My Beautiful Mind

I’m a dinosaur — a cute, small one — because I still use checks as opposed to a debit card. As punishment for this, the check company sent my documents in a flat package that included a box — also flat, unfolded, to be assembled by the addressee (me, unfortunately).

The mighty majesty of three-dimensional thought is the province of the Norwegian Artist, not the Polish Writer. Chief Joseph Mountain by Steve Henderson

Yes, there were (nominal) directions and no, this shouldn’t be that difficult, but it was, and the box is mid-way between its initial two-dimensional state and its preferred three dimensional one, and the checks are stuffed in a drawer, nakedly boxless.

I do not have a three dimensional mind.

“Does this mean that your brain is flat?” Son and Heir asked.

This would be funny if it weren’t disquietingly true.

Years ago in high school when I was attacked by a barrage of multiple choice career selection tests, I slogged my way through the section dealing with lines and dots that you were supposed to connect in your mind, or shapes that you mentally turned 45 degrees to the left and backwards, or a series of pulleys that somehow reduced the load borne, and I scored around 3 percent, which is considerably worse than random chance.

So, yes, I guess my brain is kind of flat, which is okay because so is the computer screen or the average piece of paper, and I work a lot with these.

All work -- legally, morally, and honestly done -- is honorable, so it's okay that I'll never be an engineer. The Fruit Vendor by Steve Henderson

(By the way, my test results came back with strong recommendations that I not pursue careers in engineering, construction, auto mechanics or sculpture).

So I’m married to this guy who would have scored 97 percent on that three-D test, meaning that between the two of us we post a score of 100 percent, and he speaks 3-D, or at least he used to, until he figured out that the blank look on my face wasn’t an act.

“You seriously don’t understand what I’m saying?” he asks.

“I was right with you until just after, ‘This is what I’m going to do.'”

My continued ineptitude in this area is not for lack of trying; I spent a concerted period of time focusing on the North South East West concept and, as long as I am in my own home, I can find East, so it’s not as if I, unlike the dog, can’t learn.

It’s genetic, another gift from my profoundly nearsighted brilliantly scientific father who once fixed the 500-pound sagging overhead garage door with baling twine (my mother, who is also 3-D inept, is remarkably gifted verbally, something we children enjoyed firsthand in her response to the garage door “repair”).

Replacing the front doorknob was a two-day affair eventually solved by my mother’s desperate unending phone calls to my middle brother, who somehow, from generations deep in the forgotten past, received the gift of mechanical ingenuity.

After 28 years of marriage to the Norwegian Artist, I still marvel at living 24/7 with a man who also has this mechanical ingenuity gene. He may not be able to explain, step by graphic step, the infective cycle of amoebic dysentery, but by God, he can replace the intestinal workings of a toilet.

Just now the man walked in and I handed him the mangled box.

The knight on the white horse shows up in the oddest places at the oddest times. Working Trigger by Steve Henderson

“This is a stupid design,” he said immediately.


“And someone has totally messed it up.”


Ninety seconds later he has it assembled, and it looks like the box it was always meant to be.

My Prince Charming — all 3-D of him.

About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She writes about life, art, and the art of life.
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8 Responses to My Beautiful Mind

  1. I, too, was born without a linear thought process. My daughter took an aptitude test, as well, and the recommendation came back that she become a dry cleaner. It’s genetic.

  2. I am an inherently 3D person, but I can “like todally” understand. I can cut out and put together a garment from a pattern with pieces missing, heck, I usually design and drape my own patterns. In knitting and crocheting I have nailed pattern errors. BUT, in the entire 14 odd years I lived on the San Francisco peninsula, the sun rose in the SOUTH and set in the NORTH. I suspect I’m not alone, if you’ve ever driven the “El Camino Real” there, the street signs say West El Camino Real or East El Camino Real, and it goes from San Francisco to Mexico City. Now even I know that is a north to south route. I’ve seen a map! Maybe I’m a prime candidate for a GPS thingy.
    I commiserate and empathize.

    • We have roads up here, too, that I swear go north and south, and yet are marked east and west. Yes, I understand that not all roads are in a straight line, but one would think they would choose the name in accordance with the predominant direction!

  3. Seasweetie says:

    I too am completely inept in this regard. My daughter, however, is much better. She must have gotten it from her dad. And for Becomingcliche, I was just thinking this morning what a lucrative business dry cleaning is. Your daughter could do worse.

  4. Laughing and laughing … I hate those flat boxes. I was lucky enough to have saved a few from when checks came IN their boxes. I guess this means that I still write checks too. Prefer it. Your writing is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your middle age. They are wonderful memories of my middle age that whizzed right on by. ~J~

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