Monday, January 16, 2012

midlife monday: i haven't the slightest interest in monty hall

i will not miss ...
jumbled bicycle still life (with garage detritus)

Last week, dear sweet mr ebb tried to present a mathematical probability problem to me ...

If you're interested, it's the so-called Monty Hall probability puzzle, which most people, including me, (and believe it or not, gasp, PhDs - oh wait, i am one - and Nobel physicists ZOMG!) get wrong. There is a good sound basis of mathematical modelling behind the result but it's still counter-intuitive to the majority until you actually see the proof on paper (where it does make more sense).

Evidently, most people get quite heated about being wrong.
This includes me.
I like maths, am not that great on probability, and hate to be proved wrong.

But what irritated me the most was mr ebb's persistence over a couple of days, and his timing. Apparently, the best time to bamboozle your wife is when she's trying to finish some mundane act of housework so she can get on with something more pleasant (or homework). Every single time I heard "Imagine you're on a game show, and there is a prize hidden behind one of three doors ..." I was either scurrying from kitchen to garage with garbage or similar, or trying not to lose my train of domestic thought. I really wasn't listening. I truly did not give a f*ck about doors, cuddly toys, goats or game shows and (i think) made this pretty obvious.

Eventually I relented, in the middle of some trivial domestic pursuit involving food waste.
I regret this.
I really did not need to know the answer (or be proved wrong).

It really irritated me that a. he was idly wittering on about an inconsequential game show problem while I was trying desperately to finish the household chores so I could complete my homework before midnight, and b.he has time to sit and read such drivel. Oh, and c. that he apparently has leisure time. Moving on through d. if he has so much time on his hands, then why can't he use it more constructively to, for example, sort out the bike storage in the garage, or pitch in to help the Wee Guy clean his room, or wire up the stereo, or mend something? - skipping e. and f. to finish with g. I hate it when I'm wrong and he's right.

On reflection, which is what a good marriage is all about, my reaction is as much about me being pissed off at the seemingly never-ending nature of work right now, as it is about mr ebb's devotion to household maintenance. I really resent the fact that he seems to have headspace and time for the luxuries, whereas I don't. Working from home means the to-do list is never done and always present, but if I don't turn my back on it and start building in some downtime soon I shall probably explode (at mr ebb again most likely).

So, my dear sweet husband, next time you want to educate me with a pointless (unless we get on a game show) mathematical trivia question, try doing it while I'm admiring the new bike storage or on that date night you magically get around to organising. I promise to gaze adoringly at you while you explain my error.

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