Zero spatial awareness
It recently occurred to me (no less than 3 weeks ago) that I am dating a man with zero spatial and time awareness. I probably should have recognised the signs when we first met, noticed the odd throwaway comment about how it would only take 10 minutes to get there, that he only wants to watch the football for a quick second, that he just wants to play games on my iPhone for 5 minutes, that the shop was just round the corner, and he was just going to pop to the pub for a quick pint.
The reality of the situation is that it took 45 minutes to get there, that he watched the football for an hour, that he played games on my iPhone for 20 minutes, it’s a 2 mile walk to the shop, and I found him a bit tipsy at the front door 4 pints later.
It’s lovable I suppose, and when we discuss things now I subconsciously double, triple and then add 20 minutes to any amount of time he informs me things are likely to take. That’s fine, not a problem, what makes me laugh however is the fact that despite a ton of evidence to the contrary he still continues to quote these daft figures at me and then argue when I suggest they might be anything other than accurate.
We’ve been dating 2 years in January and so you might well ask the question as to why I’m only really noticing this problem now. I guess the answer to that is that now we are in business together so it’s no longer just about getting slightly irritated by the fact that I’ve ended up doing a 2 mile hike in 4 inch heels, or nagging him to turn the football off once it’s been on for 2 hours, it has a more noticeable impact.
While I am not one to gather evidence in order to rattle off a plethora of ‘I told you sos’, I am feeling a little obligated to quote a few examples in order to illustrate the extent of the problem.
Just 3 weeks ago I found myself staring at a storage space the size of a portaloo while Danny tried to convince me that we should at least ‘try’ to get all our stuff in there before upgrading to a larger space. I kid you not, this storage room was barely big enough to house my wardrobe let alone a settee, a disassembled double bed, a chest of drawers, 6 chairs, a table, and all our boxes of stuff. I stared at him in disbelief as he started indicating the height of the room and discussing how we would just pile things up to fit it all in. It’s neither here nor there that Danny and I (at our tallest) stand no more than 5’5″ but it certainly doesn’t help, and that room was certainly not big enough.
At my insistence that I wasn’t even prepared to try and squeeze everything in, we upgraded to a larger room and I can’t help but add that, even then, it was only just the right size. As if to demonstrate that point, we briefly debated trying to retrieve something yesterday but decided against it just in case, when we opened the door, everything fell out.
Not one to admit a weakness in understanding spacial capacities, Danny then proceeded to tell me I was being ridiculous by asking my folks to come round and collect a bit of stuff before the final day of the move – just to ensure that we wouldn’t have to do two trips the following evening. I would add that less than 24 hours later he commented that it was a good job my parents had already taken some boxes because the car was fit to burst on that last evening and we wouldn’t have been able to fit another box in.
Gloat?? Me?? Never!
Then there’s the timing… Everything in ‘Danny’s World’ takes 5 minutes. It must be a wonderful thing – really – to do everything you need to do in just 5 minutes. Organisation – not needed thank you very much, mainly because that task will take 5 minutes. Make a list? No way, it’ll take longer to write the list than it will to re-do the bathroom which – yes, you guessed it – will only take 5 minutes. This characteristic, in turn, led to a number of interesting (and repetitive) calls to Streetcar to extend the amount of time we hired the van for, as Danny’s inital estimate that it would take 3 hours (and that was him being cautious) to move him out of his flat and into storage was nowhere near the 5 hours we ended up needing.
While this can be an increasingly irritating trait I wonder whether Danny has it easy? After all, a task may take 3 days when he’s estimated 2 hours but the absolute belief that it will take a significantly shorter amount of time must save that ‘dread’ feeling that I often get when I start contemplating a mammoth task. Erring on the side of caution I probably allow a lot of time to do even the smallest of things, worrying that if I don’t it will surely over run and impact on something else, and I can spend an awful lot of time ‘warning’ Danny that something will take a lot longer than he thinks it will.
Yes, I was indeed right about the storage space and about the capacity of my mother’s car; but I must confess that moving out of my flat did not take 6 hours, it was probably more like 2, and we didn’t really need to leave an entire week free to pack up my wardrobe, a night would have done it.
So, going forward, while I will still take his estimates and double them I should probably also halve my own. We then might – just might – manage this guest house project in a realistic and timely manner.