Like so many couples, my husband and I sometimes see the same things in completely different ways. For example, other than on Shabbat and holydays, my husband feels out of touch without his cell phone and blackberry within reach. I, on the other hand, dislike having my cell phone near. If I’m home, I prefer talking on a land line. If I’m not, my friend Jane put my feelings into words when she said about her phone, “It’s like having a demanding toddler with you all the time, insisting on an instant response.” I didn’t tolerate that behavior with my children, so why would I welcome it now?
Here’s another example: We react differently to directions. Unless I am facing the ocean, telling me to go north or south is pointless. Right and left, preferably with identifying marks such as, “Turn left at the house with the swing set in the yard. If you pass the mailbox, you’ve gone too far,” work better for me.
Instructions are another area of potential altercation. I felt completely vindicated when as pampered house guests we were given the ability to manipulate our room’s air conditioning. Rather than simply having up or down buttons on the control, there were two buttons, labeled ‘too warm?’ and ‘too cold?’. I couldn’t have designed it better myself. Up and down always leaves me wondering if I’m being asked about the air conditioning or the temperature. This control worked with me. I only had to decide how I was feeling and push the appropriate button.
I am not drawn to pink power tools, but I truly appreciate it when companies understand that my thought processes differ from my husband’s. It isn’t a question of dumbing things down or dressing them up with feminine looking covers. Our air conditioning control gave me the chance to say to my husband, “This is my world and welcome to it.”