What It’s Like to be with an Engineer

I am a creative. There’s no question about it. I’m impulsive, I get bored easily, I’m constantly doubting my existence, and I love to shout the truths of my rainbow-colored soul off mountain tops.

So, like any irrational, heart-eyed creative type, I chose to partner up with the quietest, smartest, and most analytical person I’d ever met in my life. What complications could there possibly be in that pairing?

Ha.

Obviously, it isn’t all bad, I did marry the guy, but there are a lot of things I’ve learned about engineers over the years.

He’s not listening because he’s always thinking

Since he is always inventing the next great thing since sliced bread in his head, he isn’t always a great listener. Most of the time he’s wonderful in conversation, but there is always the occasion when I’m telling him about some girl from my high school who just announced her third pregnancy on Facebook and I see that signature glaze over his eyes and get a heartfelt mhm. I’m not offended. He’s just trying to change the world, or whatever.

He’s extremely motivating

Like I said, his job exists to change the world. Engineers go through difficult schooling to step out into the workforce and work daily to make the world a better, more efficient place.

*eye roll*

So, I can’t really complain about staying late at work to type some extra words when engineers are all over the world like, Oh really, today I built a part that you can put in your heart so you won’t die.

He always buys the perfect gifts

This is probably the best perk from his need to get things right. His careful analysis keeps tabs on everything that I like and leads him to pick out something perfect, every time. On more than one occasion he’s picked out purses, without my guidance, that I love. He’s that thorough in his research.

He sees every bad thing that could possibly happen

Part of inventing things is seeing the potential ways that they may fail. An engineer has to make predictions when they add or take something away of how it might affect the overall product. In the workplace this type of analysis and concern is important.

Outside of the workplace, it becomes something different. Say I do something like, suggest going to a new restaurant downtown. While I’m thinking food, he’s thinking;

What if there is nowhere to park? What if they don’t have anything on the menu that I like? How long will it take us to get through the meal? Will the dog be home alone for too long? Do we need to take him out before we go? Is there a dress code? Is this graphic tee okay? We should just go to Chipotle down the street. Much safer.

The calculator on his phone gets more use than Twitter

He loves numbers. At least once a day, he whips out that calculator on his phone and furiously starts formulating. Sometimes it’s how much buying a new car would cost, or converting measurements for new IKEA furniture, and sometimes it’s figuring out how much it cost the kids in a Youtube video to buy 10,000 balloons filled with helium. It doesn’t really matter the subject, he wants to know the numbers behind everything.

He always needs the newest tech

Our lights, outlets, and thermostats all connect to our phones. Why I can’t just get up and walk to the light switch in our one-bedroom apartment is beyond me. For an engineer, it doesn’t matter, they just need the latest and coolest tech out there. I think he would break out in hives if some simpleton with no technical experience, had cooler tech than him. If I had a dollar for every time the phrase What do you possibly need that for? has come out of my mouth, I could buy him whatever new potato clock or phone charging suspenders he wants.

Everything is scheduled

In our house, nothing goes undocumented. Every bill is on an auto-pay schedule, every appointment is carefully detailed with reminder alarms on his phone, and every penny made is filed into a meticulously kept budget spreadsheet. Nothing is every late and nothing is every missed. It’s incredible.

It’s also a never-ending nuisance to him that I am nowhere near as organized. I’m always telling him something I have to remember to do, to which he, reasonably, says Why don’t you put a reminder in your phone? To which I, unreasonably,  shrug and chuckle. So he sighs, pulls out his phone, and puts in a reminder to remember to remind me. It’s a fun game that he hates, and I love.

There’s no way to win an argument

This is a person who’s whole life and career are rooted in facts. So he has no hesitation to correct you when your facts are wrong. He also can be quite stubborn when he believes that his facts are right, even if they’re not. It makes sense. His success in life depends on his ability to calculate correctly and to defend his calculations to people who might not agree with his way of doing things. What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for agree to disagree.

As for me, I’m an emotional creative who just wants everyone to be friends, so I’ll usually concede to him with I see your point. A phrase that declares no winner and no loser. A phrase I’ll undoubtedly use after he reads this.

Him: Kierstyn, I don’t do these things! These are huge exaggerations of how I act. 

Me: Hm, I see your point.