The day my parents dropped me off at college, my Dad said to me, “Do what you want, just don’t date an engineer.”
The Engineer and I met later that afternoon. We became an official couple two months later—I say official, because the girls in my dorm would tease me about being “courted” by the quiet guy on the second floor. We took long walks along Lake Mendota, sat on the pier at Memorial Union with our feet in the water, and fell in love as the trees changed. Fast forward five years and we were married. Two more and we had our son, Little Darcy.
For awhile in those first months my Dad and I maintained an email string entitled “The Engineer.” I told him about the new man in my life and my dad acquiesced that he seemed alright, for an engineer. But I shouldn’t get too attached. My Dad eventually met TE and fell a little in love himself.
In many ways TE is just that—an engineer. On the surface he seems to present many of the engineering stereotypes my Dad dislikes—a little analytical, a bit aloof, maybe even arrogant. What TE really is, however, is a thinker. A deep one. “Think before you speak” isn’t just an expression for him—it’s a way of life. Only for TE, it’s more like “contemplate your reply for at least seventeen hours, driving your wife slowly insane in the process.” (I’m joking, a little. Except yesterday I asked TE if he wanted me to grab him a soda for the car—and I’m still waiting to hear if he wants a Sprite.)
My Engineer also happens to be the sweetest, most compassionate soul I’ve ever met. Adorably humble, he doesn’t recognize his own intelligence (Doesn’t everyone remember everything they read?). Honest to a fault. One of the first comments he ever made to me was, “The way your ears poke through you hair makes you look a little like a monkey.” It’s probably never a good idea to compare a girl to a monkey.
My Engineer has been honest from the beginning. Not ugly honest. Not beautifully honest. Just real, uncompromising. His willingness to speak openly about his downfalls and failures inspires me daily to share more authentically. But maybe without the monkey analogies.
Do you have any Engineers in your life? Would my Dad approve? Tell me about them!