Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Dog House Paradigm

I remember from classes and motivational assemblies in high school people telling me that if I picture something in my head and visualize what I want to have happen I would have a better chance of succeeding, or something like that. I have tried to do that in life, because it makes sense. If you're going to do something, it's good to have a plan and to be able to picture what it is you'll be doing. Of course you're not going to picture yourself failing, so you kind of get that image of acheiving your goal in your head. You can picture the pending success, and it is good.

However, there are several times when things don't go quite as well as you had pictured in your head. In my case, that happens more often than not.

Take for instance our dog house. You see, we got a dog back in February. I decided that we needed a dog house. I looked at the price of manufactured dog houses, and then looked up some directions on how to build a dog house to see what the difference would be. Building a dog house would only cost $20, versus like $95 from what I saw for a manufactured dog house. Being the cheapskate that I am, I decided to go ahead and build a dog house. What could go wrong? The directions I found at were simple enough, and the picture of the dog house looked fine. I gave it a shot. I had pictured in my head a pretty nice looking dog house that she would be able to use for a while.

As soon as I cut the first piece out, I knew I was in trouble. Not because I didn't cut it straight or anything, but because the piece looked awfully small for our golden retriever. It looked big enough for a chihuahua, though. I didn't stop, I kept going because I wanted to see how the end result would look, because in my head, it looked great. I finished the dog house, and well, it stands. It does have some structural integrity to it. It does not look good, though. Sadie is already too big for it. I didn't get the right nails, so where there are nails in the roof, there are streaks of, rust, I don't know. And it's not exactly leak proof, either. So instead of this fine piece of architecture that I had pictured, we ended up with a few slivers and a tetanus shot waiting to happen.

I wish I could saw that my capentry skills were the only area of my life affected by "The Dog House Paradigm". (That sounded better in my head.) I have been crippled by this my whole life.

In high school, trying to pick up women: I always had the perfect line in my head waiting for the right moment to move in and swoop a girl off her feet. When I finally decided to move in, I tripped over my own feet and then mumbled something inaudiable before cowering away dateless and dorky.

The one time in my life I've been to a dance club:
A friend of mine made me do it. I had the image in my head of me dancing with a girl or two and looking cool. I think I have blacked out most of that night, because I can't remember what happened. It couldn't have been good. I haven't been to a club ever again.

Trying to flirt with my wife:
I say something stupid and end up having to wash the dished to make up for it.

Taking a physics test:
I had the formula in my head and knew what I was doing, until I got my graded test back with a notefrom the teacher that said "How did you even get that answer?"

At work:
All the stuff I work works great the first time. Then somebody else looks at what I did and break it. Grrrrr.

This post:
I'm not 100% sure if paradigm fits what I'm getting at.

My children:
They're perfect angels, then I wake up with one of them in the bed next to me and my shoulder hurting because I wasn't able to roll over all night.

Life is cruel, but I guess whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.