I am a textbook case. My brain is symmetrical, all right. There is the right brain, and then there is the other right brain. Let’s start out with instructions. I can’t fathom them. The ones that come with little diagrams with alphabetical points and sub numbers are the worst. In eighth grade, we all had to take “Home Economics,” and the simple “Jiffy” pattern we used to make an apron completely flummoxed me.
Problem solving is another area in which I don’t excel. I guess my mind just doesn’t have a logical neuro-pattern. Those word problems about the train leaving the station with 40 passengers, going 95 miles an hour, from Boston, compared to another one leaving Philadelphia with 70 passengers, going a little more slowly—it just makes me want to put away my calculator to wonder what they are serving in the dining cars for lunch.
According to my husband, I also have an oblique way of doing chores. I begin in the kitchen, bending down to spit clean spots on the floor, and that reminds me that the sink in the bathroom has toothpaste spit dried on. So I run up there to deal with that. The bathroom overlooks the bedroom, where there are way too many pairs of shoes on the floor. After putting the shoes away in the closets where they belong, I notice that there is an excess of hangers. So I trundle them down to the recycling bin in the garage. I never actually get one room completely finished, but my cardio vascular system is very strong.
I admire those people who are left brainers. They know how to read spread sheets. Graphs are self explanatory to them. They love data. During the decision making process, left brainers like to amass “evidence” and then thoroughly analyze it before making a decision. When we were forced to buy a new clothes dryer recently, my husband spent a day doing internet comparison shopping and research on consumer websites. I did not have to spend even five minutes doing that stuff: I wanted the huge, red one.
Here’s the thing. All I need is the big picture. Don’t bog me down with details and analysis. Planning a party? How much money do we have to spend in total? $200? Ok, then no catering, just beer and Doritos. $1000? Great! Then we can serve champagne, Cornish Hens, and have real plates. Done.
People who can make decisions in a flash are much more efficient and creative than the dullards who insist on Excel sheets and standard deviations. I know–the left brainers are probably much more adept at running companies like Microsoft. But I think that people like Mark Zuckerberg and the Twitter guy must have a little bit of right brainness. Look at the condition of Mark’s Harvard dorm room in the movie, and you will see my point.
I am happy having two right brains. I make decisions in a thrice, I never let the facts get in the way, and I have not had second thoughts about any of my decisions. I love my yellow shoelaces. That cucumber cookbook? It had some good recipes in it. Buying the big, red washer? The research won out on that one, and I ended up with a normal sized, white one. But my husband did have to hand it to me: he absolutely loves the new Blackberry phones I got. Very little analysis was necessary. I bought the red ones.