Math makes me nervous in the same way that putting my hand down in the garbage disposal to clear out a clog even when it isn’t running makes me nervous. I don’t trust my ability to calculate things.
As soon as I realize that math is going to be involved in something I’m doing, I immediately break out in a cold sweat.
Want me to figure out world peace? No problem. I need to make an impromptu speech without a teleprompter in front of 10,000 people? What time do you want me to be there? You have 20 yards of hot coals for me to skip across? I’ll take a stab at it. You want me to divide fractions or figure out the cosine of 5? Forget it. I’m too busy sliding hot bamboo shoots underneath my fingernails. I’m okay with basic math as in the kind used for cooking or balancing my checkbook, but start throwing a lot of numbers at me, and frankly, I stop listening.
I have some draw pulls to install in my kitchen so I bought a drawer alignment template from the hardware store only to discover that my metric sized handles do not match up with the US measurements on the template. You know what that means – math has to get involved. Shit.
Rather than sitting down and calmly figuring this out, I called my dad in another state. Kenny started talking about diagonal lines and center points and inches and quarter inches and suddenly all I heard was the sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher talking in the background. I pictured myself drilling the holes wrong and needing to by a new drawer front that wouldn’t match the ones that have been in my kitchen since 1994 which then would require not only replacing all of them but hiring someone to replace them — all because of MATH.
I also deduced that the old man was coming to visit this spring and since he hates to sight-see or leave the leather, lazy boy, he could install the damn things when he came down. It would give him something to do when my mom and I went out to dinner. And bonus, since my husband is about as handy with power tools as Stevie Wonder, he could help my dad and learn a new skill in the process.
Clearly these two men are lucky to have me in their lives. Who else would come up with ways to expand their horizons and enrich their experiences? I would hate to take away their feeling accomplishment by figuring this out and doing it myself.
I wished I liked math.
I wish it didn’t scare me.
I wish I had a brain that worked in mathematical ways.
I wish that I had a competitive personality such that I didn’t always look for the easy way out of my mathematical dilemma’s.
I’m glad that my kids inherited their father’s math genes and not mine.