One of my favorite questions in the world to answer is ‘What does your husband do?’. The most accurate answer is that he teaches biochemistry at the University of Alberta, but the more fun answer is ‘He’s a scientist’.
It’s cool to be married to a biochemist for lots of different reasons, not least of all are departmental dinners at awesome restaurants. I used to feel somewhat intimidated going to them, being in a room full of scientists is not something my upbringing in rural Alberta prepared me for. I muddled my way through. It helped when one day Jo looked at me in shock and said ‘Seriously? You feel socially awkward in a room full of scientists?!’
As I’ve gotten to know some of his co-workers and become more comfortable in my own skin, these issues have disappeared, but still, as with any conversation, there are sometimes awkward moments of silence and weirdness.
Not at this last dinner we went to on Friday. When Jo told one person that I wrote he responded with “That’s so cool!” and then we got to talk about Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, geekiness and zombies. Later on when I returned to the table after a trip to the washroom Jo looked up at me from a conversation with different couple of people, with a big smile and said ‘Rhonda, where do you get your ideas from?’ which gave me an opportunity to quote Neil Gaiman and say “I make them up. Out of my head.”
Seems Jo had been talking about me while I was gone — but saying nice things which made me all ooey-gooey inside.
Our end of the table was definitely pegged as the rowdy end, but it’s all good, because after all, how can you discuss zombies without getting a little animated?
It was wonderful fun and I’ve got to say, having someone (over 9) say ‘That is SO cool’ when told what I do was probably the highlight for me, and it reminded me that what I, what all writers do, really is freaking cool.
I thought I’d write this to capture that, so next time I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall and trudging through tar toward a goal that seems very far away, I can read this and remember that writing is hard work but it’s also SO cool, and totally worth the effort.