Thursday, March 5, 2009

Can't See the Forest for the Trees

Oh yah? Well, what if you can see the forest? What if you see it just fine? What if you can't see the trees for the forest!?? Now, I am not speaking metaphorically (as this was certainly meant to be). I am speaking quite literally. Not necessarily about forests -- though probably that too -- but just about details in general. It turns out that I never pay one bit of attention to details when I view things.

Ask me someone's eye color -- I can't tell you the answer. Do I like the moderny light fixture in my bedroom at the new house? I didn't realize there was a light fixture. But seriously, it gets worse. I don't have the slightest idea of what type of vehicle anyone drives -- I usually just have a vague idea of the color and perhaps the size (you know, a van as opposed to a car). Mike recently mentioned something about the unused sink in my parent's garage and I had no idea what he was talking about. What? My parent's have a sink in their garage? I lived there nearly 23 years with out noticing that.
Awhile back we needed to borrow a hitch from my brother. It was on their jeep which was parked down in their ward parking lot where his wife was setting up stuff for some Super Saturday thing. Mike was worried that my sister-in-law would come out and be worried someone had stolen it. This seemed highly unlikely to me as I couldn't imagine ever in a million years walking out to my car and noticing a missing hitch. I probably wouldn't even remember whether or not we had a hitch on there to begin with.
Occasionally I will notice some detail -- like a small dent in our door or some such. I will bring it to Mike's attention only to be told it has been there for five or six years.
And that is the thing that has recently made me aware of how poorly I pay attention to details -- Mike. It is beginning to seem to me that no detail escapes his awareness. When I first thoroughly cleaned the bathroom at our new house I noticed that there was a small seem full of lint, etc. where they had not connected the wood floor all the way to the vanity. I was eager to tell Mike because well, I always feel special to have noticed ANY detail he has missed. He knew about it. He even knew about the crayon colored on the underside of the counter ledge (that I only just discovered today).
Anyway, I am going to be of no use to the police when I am called in for questioning after witnessing a crime. "Oh, it was definitely a male. Maybe 4 to 7 feet tall. I'm not sure what color hair or if he had glasses or what he was wearing, but I think he drove off in a reddish car. Yes, I'm sure of that. It was definitely red . . . or maybe blue. I can't be absolutely certain of the model or make, but I am positive it was a car. So, a male in a car. If you have any more questions, I'm happy to help."
Why am I so unaware of details? Maybe that will be my new goal: notice a few more details for crying out loud (and yes, the "for crying out loud" will remain in my official goal decree).
Or, it might be easier to just turn it back to speaking metaphorically and keep me detail deficient. If I'm so good at the forest (the big picture) and don't worry about the minor things along the way I'm doing pretty good right? . . . Of course, I am not so good at that once we speak in metaphor so it sounds like I have it wrong all around!


jami said...

funny ... for us, it's me who notices the little things and jas who is only looking at the forest. :)

Karen said...

I have the exact opposite problem. I have a hard time seeing the whole picture and become such a perfectionist about the one small thing, that then has to be right, that everything else falls apart around me.

"Yes, Officer, he had a freckle next to his nose. It was quite annoying. It was the only thing that could be seen for miles. Yes the freckle. It was perfectly round. I could give the coordinates for it on his face and the exact shade of brown if you like. It was exactly 1 milimeter in diameter."

I think you would have more to offer law enforcement in that situation. Thanks for the chuckle!

Rhonda said...

I loved this post because I feel like I can so relate! Greg notices all those same kinds of details that Mike does. Before meeting Greg I didn't even realize that people noticed (let alone cared) about dings on cars or other small imperfections like that. I am glad I am not the only one out there who doesn't catch all the details!

Tia Juana said...

this is where we are compeltely different - not the same peas in a pod that I'm always claiming we are - because I notice all kinds of ridiculous things that are of no use to anyone. Case in point - the other day I noticed behind your babies darling head that you had patched your wall and I'm sure you were not even thinking about me looking at your walls when you posted that picture. Such it is with me and not with you.

Krista said...

I have the same problem. I wish I could remember more. I had a memory once. I thought it was my age or too much Excedrin has watered down my brain cells. Just today as I left work I noticed there were about five houses across the street. I never noticed them before. Passwords are the worst!

Perla said...

funny post, nanc. but it sounds like you are better off the way you are. the less cracks full of lint, small dents in the car, and colored on countertops we notice the better, i'd say! but then again that is probably why mike is so good at buying you presents and you and me not so much good at that.

Kelly said...

Nance, I just read your weeding blog and I too have a magnetic pull to my yard. Soon, soon we will be buying flowers and perennials to fill up those beds... I assure you. My brother asked the other day if it was too early to go flower shopping, I had to say "patience, patience". I raked the other day, it made me so excited!

Nancy said...

Ohh, Kell, Kell, the sad difference is -- I like it but am clueless and black thumbed while you go about you creating beauty every tiny thing you plant!! Please help me!!!!!!

Mugsy said...

Isn't it can't see the forest through the trees? And now back to reading the post. I am such a brat

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