Norma loves bricks. She also dislikes straight lines. Along with gender, this is the major difference between us. I am a guy, and bricks are rectangular. Guys know brick walkways are supposed to be straight. It's like when we shop, we go straight to what we want and go straight to the checkout counter, then straight back to the car. Women don't. They wander all over a store, double back, circle around a few hours or days and finally find some item that was invented, marketed, stocked and sold while they looked for it. But I digress.
I have hauled bricks for walkways to this property for many years. Norma creates plans for the walkways. None are straight. All are curvy. I protest emphatically. She says, "Set them as they are plotted."
I say, "But there will be gaps!"
She says, "Gaps will be filled when we find the right rocks." ,
I am always surprised at her answer. Surprise is psychological condition caused by dopamine, a neurotransmitter, carrying a compelling message through the brain: the extent to which a reward or punishment differs from expectation. It directly affects mood, memory, attention and cognition, and therefore qualifies as a vehicle of addiction, fear, strong emotional response, involuntary conditioning, slavish agreement, flight or fight, and the strange expression men get when they decide to uproot to tend an off-shore oil rig in Qatar. This is all due to a molecule, dopamine --the irreducible essence of what guys call "going apeshit".
But then, after 48 years of marriage, I look into her eyes and ask myself, "Is this the face of someone who will always insist upon curvy brick walkways?"
And I must say yes. I will, however redirect your attention to the first photo and point out the fact she found the right rocks to fill the gaps. Moreover, I must --as a guy-- warn all other guys about dopamine and all molecules: Stay away from molecules! They are dangerous! Especially brain ones!