Somebody once described being German to me as similar to being Vulcan. That is, you use logic to assess every situation, and emotion isn’t really a part of your life. I confess to more than my share of German/Vulcan-like tendencies.
Not much I can do about it. It’s in my blood.
My middle son Johnny, on the other hand, has seemingly inherited none of the German/Vulcan characteristics at all. He’s 100% raw emotion. Johnny has an unlimited amount of love and empathy, but if he has logic in his arsenal at all, I’ve yet to see it.
This becomes painfully obvious when he loses something. This week he lost his third or fourth calculator (I’ve lost count over the years–it’s probably more.) It’s not shocking that he loses things; we all do. The shocking thing is his complete inability to use logic to find it.
This is an actual conversation we had…
Johnny: “Dad have you seen my calculator?”
Dad: “Did you lose another one?”
Johnny: “If you haven’t seen it, then yeah.”
Dad: “Where did you look for it?”
Dad: “Is it in your backpack?”
Johnny: “I don’t know.”
Dad: “You didn’t look there?”
Dad: “Where did you look? Did you look in your locker at school?”
Johnny: “It’s not there.”
Dad: “Did you look?”
Johnny: “No, but it’s not there.”
Dad: “How do you know?”
Johnny: “Because I always carry it in my hand.”
Dad: “Did you put it down somewhere?”
Dad: “Look at your hand. Is it there?”
He actually looked at his empty hand.
Dad: “You obviously put it down somewhere, didn’t you?”
Johnny: “Oh. Yeah, I guess.”
Dad: “Where would you likely put it?”
Johnny: “I do my homework on the table here, and I keep my backpack over there."
Dad: “Did you look around between here and there?”
Dad: “How do you know it’s even this house? Why couldn’t it be at school?”
Johnny: “I didn’t see it today."
Dad: “Did you ask your teacher if she found one?”
Dad: “Did you look around your classroom?”
Dad: “And you haven’t looked in your backpack, your locker, or anywhere in this house, either, right?”
Dad: “Then how do you know it’s lost?”
Johnny: “You haven’t seen it have you?”
Maybe if I perform some sort of Vulcan mind-meld, he can give me some emotion so I can be a little more sympathetic, and I can give him the gift of logic.
He desperately needs it.