So I Married an Intellectual

August 15, 2005 | 42 comments
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I didn’t really know it at the time. When we met, he was well disguised as a dirtbike racing, country music fan that was six months off his mission. He was on the five-year undergrad plan because of his indecision on a major and a wasted semester at Weber State that left his transcript with a few “F”‘s and “Incompletes”. I, on the other hand, was on the three year undergrad plan. From my Freshman year of high school, I knew I wanted to be a Fashion Designer. So I packed my classes in, eager to get all the G.E.’s out of the way so I could concentrate on what I loved and then enter the real world ASAP.

The two things that made me first notice him in that BYU country dance class were
1. He laughed at my sarcastic, under-my-breath comments and
2. He wore these horrible American flag Converse hi-tops (even now, when Converse is actually making a comeback, these shoes would be considered an abomination).

And while I am sure most people can understand the initial attractiveness of #1, for a fashion design major, #2 could be seen as the ultimate deal breaker. But for me it wasn’t. It was totally endearing. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to make a fashion statement amid the sea of brown braided belts, plaid button-up shirts and Dr. Martens (though a totally misguided statement it was).

So fast forward a bit– I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design, got rid of those American flag Converse shoes at a family white elephant gift exchange, and ended up married to a guy with an academic pedigree similar to everyone else on the T&S blog (philosophy undergrad, ivy league graduate degree– in law nonetheless). And the longer we have been married the more I have come to realize the wide divide between our academic interests. He is now an appellate Lawyer and I am a Fashion Designer. It seems our worlds are in two different universes yet we make such a great team. We have learned to appreciate each others talents while becoming each others “biggest fan”.

The way we approach the gospel is also very different. He is very logical. I am very emotional. He spends a lot of time wondering about how to balance God’s foreknowledge with the doctrine of prayer. I don’t. But, I think that we have been able to learn and grow from each other’s strengths because they are our weaknesses.

This last post of mine on T&S doesn’t really have a good point. I guess you could just call it a love story. I love it how people can be so different in opinions, in dress, and in the gospel. I hope we can all learn from and value our differences and not count anyone out because they might choose to wear American Flag Converse shoes — or make an illogical argument.

Thanks to everyone for having me! It has been a great experience (one that I will always be able to remind my “intellectual” husband about – I got to be a guest blogger on T&S “Neener, Neener, Neener”).

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42 Responses to So I Married an Intellectual

  1. Kristine on August 15, 2005 at 5:07 pm

    Carrie, we were hoping we could convince you to stick around and simulblog your labor!

    One time when we were moving, one of the movers complained to my husband about the 27 or so boxes of books he was loading onto the truck. My husband said, somewhat apologetically, “yeah, I married a reader.” The response: “well, I guess that’s better than marrying an idiot.” Maybe :)

  2. Brian G on August 15, 2005 at 5:16 pm

    I had those same shoes. They disappeared one day without explanation. Now I miss them. I think I need to go have a long talk with my wife.

  3. Kaimi on August 15, 2005 at 5:28 pm

    You were a great guest, Carrie! Your posts were fun and informative, and you certainly sparked a lot of discussion — your first post is at almost 300 comments!

    (And I think that you and Todd match just fine, by the way).

    I hope that all goes well with your next big project. Let us know the details when there’s something to announce. And don’t be a stranger in the comments around here! (Once back on your feet and ready for blogging again, that is.) Remember, “former guest-blogger” = major credibility.*

    *Subject to an exception that we like to call the “Steve Evans rule.”

    Kris,

    My movers said the same thing. Mardell was half-apologetic and half-sarcastic about the fact that we moved a minor library across the country. She kept saying “are you ever going to read this? Do you ever read this one?” As if that’s important! ;)

  4. alamojag on August 15, 2005 at 5:44 pm

    My wife and I also have wildly divergent backgrounds and perspectives and yet somehow fit. We are in the process of moving now, and while the home office/library is packed with about 15 boxes, I haven’t even started my work office. My back hurts….

  5. Lisa B. on August 15, 2005 at 5:53 pm

    Okay, so now this is a “my library is bigger than your library” bragfest?

    I’ve enjoyed your blogs and comments, Carrie. Hope you’ll pop in now & again.

  6. alamojag on August 15, 2005 at 5:59 pm

    Sorry, Lisa,

    I didn’t mean to turn this into a manhood contest, or to add to the one already in progress. I have downsized my library considerably. I don’t currently have the means to pay for movers, so am doing it myself (my wife has back problems and can’t help as much as she likes). But there are those of us who have to have books around us before we feel comfortable.

    Carrie, I enjoyed your posts. I haven’t thrown out my Bugs Bunny or Tazmanian Devil ties yet, though…

  7. Todd Lundell on August 15, 2005 at 6:23 pm

    No matter what Carrie says, those shoes were cool. I saw them in Footlocker a couple months ago . . . I wonder if they’re still there.

  8. Carrie Lundell on August 15, 2005 at 6:23 pm

    Don’t even think about it honey.

    alamojag — Oh yeah? Well I have 16 boxes of fabric (I admit it doesn’t look as good displayed on a bookshelf though).

  9. Ana on August 15, 2005 at 6:27 pm

    Hm. My parents moved 92 boxes of books to Alaska in 1989 and back to the lower 48 in 1994. Beat that, bibliophiles! (They did ditch the barrels of wheat on that last move.)

    Carrie, my husband and I have diverged and converged again as far as our intellectual and professional interests. When we married I was majoring in communications and he in psychology. I changed to English and he changed to Geological Engineering. Now I’m a science writer and he can actually turn in a proposal or book review without my having to proofread it. It’s good how we learn from each other, I think.

    Thanks for your stint here, it was lots of fun and a most welcome change of pace!

  10. Steve Evans on August 15, 2005 at 6:30 pm

    Good stuff, Carrie — great posts and discussion. Honestly, I don’t think you’re a step behind Todd at all; you two go well together and I think you’re every bit as smart as he is.

  11. Carrie Lundell on August 15, 2005 at 6:40 pm

    Anything I said that would make you think I feel a “step behind” Todd or less “smart” was said completely in context of this “intellectual” blog (note all the quotes). I know now that I am actually the smarter person — why else would I be invited to guest blog before him? :)

  12. Steve Evans on August 15, 2005 at 6:42 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! Note how Sumer has yet to guest-blog at T&S…

  13. Jim F. on August 15, 2005 at 6:50 pm

    Steve: that’s because she is so far above anyone else on this blog that we’ve not have the presumption to ask her.

  14. Costanza on August 15, 2005 at 6:53 pm

    Carrie ended up “married to a guy with an academic pedigree similar to everyone else on the T&S blog (philosophy undergrad, ivy league graduate degree– in law nonetheless).”–ya, I’ve always admired the diversity of background here at T&S, too! Joking. Anyway, thanks for your posts, the what not to wear posts are classics!

  15. Kristine on August 15, 2005 at 6:57 pm

    Lisa, not bragging–it’s just that those of us with no friends have to have a lot of books to keep the loneliness at bay! (If only I’d read Carrie’s “What Not to Wear” before my first day of Jr. High…)

  16. manaen on August 15, 2005 at 7:06 pm

    Is there not a difference between smart/intelligent and intellectual? For me,
    * smart/intelligent is the measure of intelligence, or intellectual capacity, and
    * intellectual is the measure of (self)occupation of the intellectual capacity, whether that capacity be great or small.

  17. Nate Oman on August 15, 2005 at 7:18 pm

    Manaen: I think that the distinction you are groping toward is between “smart person” and “geeky prick.”

  18. Matt Evans on August 15, 2005 at 8:33 pm

    “I love it how people can be so different in opinions, in dress, and in the gospel. I hope we can all learn from and value our differences and not count anyone out.”

    Carrie, thanks for your visit. I too am glad people can value those with different opinions — I wouldn’t have many friends otherwise! I look forward to meeting you. Maybe I’ll wear American Flag hightops. : )

  19. Lisa B. on August 15, 2005 at 8:49 pm

    Oh, I said nothing about manhood, alamojag. Just keeping the extent of my book obsession and intellectual snobbery private. Okay, so I just blew it. Just can’t stay out of the fray.

  20. Gavin McGraw on August 15, 2005 at 10:52 pm

    #9. Geological Engineering… are these the people who actually learn how to move mountains? Sign me up!

  21. a random John on August 15, 2005 at 10:57 pm

    My wife and I are so specialized that we really can’t understand what the other does during the day in any real detail. Instead conversations about work tend to be on a high level and about people rather than details. Luckily there is much more to life than work, and plenty of other things to talk about! Right? RIGHT?

    (somewhere in the distance I hear my boss telling me otherwise…)

  22. manaen on August 16, 2005 at 12:29 am

    17
    Nate: there you go!

  23. Ana on August 16, 2005 at 12:45 am

    Gavin: If he ever finishes graduate school, we may just find out. ;o)

  24. queuno on August 16, 2005 at 1:08 am

    Wow, so is there a place for the non-philosphy-major-and-non-lawyer-who-fancies-himself-an-intellectual-type in T&S? Or do us technical intellectuals have to go off and do virtual “my-algorithm-is-more-optimal-than-yours” battle elsewhere?

  25. Crystal on August 16, 2005 at 2:28 am

    Hey, Gavin in #20, are you the same Gavin McGraw who went to Berkeley and always told those borderline jokes during SM at the Cambridge University Ward? :P

  26. danithew on August 16, 2005 at 7:51 am

    Carrie, I had to chuckle at your remarks about your future husband’s “horrible American flag Converse hi-tops” and how you found them “endearing”. My wife makes similar remarks about the reindeer sweaters I wore to Church when she first met me (hey, it was near Christmas time and my Mom had given them to me). Endearing or not, in the days when we were first married, certain sections of my wardrobe simply disappeared, never to be discovered again. I used to be a huge proponent of “ugly Saturdays” (that was laundry day) but I have very little quality material in that department to really work with now.

  27. Gavin McGraw on August 16, 2005 at 9:24 am

    Crystal: Why yes, yes I am. Now in the same ward as the Lundells. I’m glad I made an impression, but what exactly do you mean by ‘borderline’? Hmm? :)

  28. Gavin McGraw on August 16, 2005 at 9:43 am

    By the way, Berkeley is in California, Berklee is in Boston. I woudn’t want to confuse the Ivy-Leaguers here present. Besides, UC Berkeley doesn’t have much of a jazz program. Anyone for a blog for Mormon musicians? SoundingBrass.com, Tinklingcymbal.org, SongoftheRighteous.net?

    Crystal, and/or other Cantabrigians, feel free to email me at gavin(underscore)mcgraw(at)hotmail(dot)com

  29. Jordan on August 16, 2005 at 10:33 am

    I sure enjoyed Carrie’s stint.

    When we marry as young as people do in the Church culture, we often have no idea who the person we married really is. One reason I appreciate this post so much is because it shows that two people who marry young before either has really blossomed can grow to love each other very much, even when their interests take diverging paths.

    Thanks Carrie!

  30. alamojag on August 16, 2005 at 10:41 am

    Oh, Carrie,

    Don’t even talk about fabric! My wife is a quilter, who is not far from the lady in “Baptists at our Barbecue” who has a trailer-truck of fabric–the two years’ supply. In our house, every room is the craft room. My collection of books is puny beside the power of fabric. Don’t even start with the quilting frames, either.

  31. Heather O. on August 16, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    “When we marry as young as people do in the Church culture, we often have no idea who the person we married really is.”

    Nah, I knew exactly what kind of intellectual I was getting (although I definitely wouldn’t classify you as a a ‘geeky prick’, dear). One of the most memorable dates I had with Nate was when we closed Baskin Robbins in Salt Lake because he was too busy describing Plato’s cave to me to notice that it was nearing midnight. We had a rousing discussion about truth in the car on the way home, and finally I said, “So, really, what is truth?”, and he looked at me, and said, “I don’t care”, and kissed me. Apparantly we were destined. According to his family, anybody who can get Nate more interested in kissing than in discussing Plato is certainly his eternal companion.

    One of the other bonuses in our marriage is that Nate has absolutely no idea about speech therapy, and he thinks it’s pretty cool that I know stuff that he doesn’t. It’s healthy to have a daily reminder for him that he doesn’t know EVERYTHING. Most stuff, yeah, but not everything.

  32. Chad Too on August 16, 2005 at 1:10 pm

    re #30: We’re in the process of preparing our house to sell and spent one entire evening going through all the fabric we have stacked in the sewing room. Let’s just say that I alone made the gaggle of our ward’s quilters happy with what I gave away from my pile. DW wants to keep her pile intact; the difference being that my pile was mostly bright scraps where hers was mostly muted unfinished projects.

    Of course, that didn’t stop me from making a pilgrimage to Mary Jo’s (well-known regional fabric/sewing store: think Albertson’s for those who sew) just last Saturday. I needed a double-folding bias tape making tool so it was a good excuse to go.

  33. HarvardYard on August 16, 2005 at 2:04 pm

    ” It’s healthy to have a daily reminder for him that he doesn’t know EVERYTHING. Most stuff, yeah, but not everything.” GAG

  34. HarvardYard on August 16, 2005 at 2:09 pm

    Sorry,that should say GADS! He doesn’t know everything. Not gag. oops

  35. Shawn Bailey on August 16, 2005 at 2:21 pm

    My American-flag Converse were a pair of dark brown linen pants. Baggy, comfortable, bohemian, yet tasteful. I could dress them up or down. I looked good while making the statement: hey establishment, I don’t really care whether or not I look good! So in your face!

    Andrea dubbed them “Johny Appleseed Pants” soon after seeing them for the first time—and she asked in a loving voice: “what ARE we going to do about those?” I am stubborn. She eventually took matters into her own hands.

    Ours is a similar love story. My books are legion and talking about my work serves as a potent non-prescription sleep aid for Andrea. And I have been delighted to learn a great deal about music from her. Yes, facts about periods, styles, composers, and so on. But also appreciation—feeling and understanding music on a different level. Early in our marriage she was working on a difficult piece that really bothered me. I observed that the song sucked, and was driving me crazy, and wondered whether a practice room might be open at school. She was amazed and annoyed, but understanding. It was definitely a moment where I didn’t get it and she was sorry. Ultimately that piece, Cesar Franck’s Prelude Chorale and Fugue, became a personal favorite. It just took me listening to it—bit by bit and then in its entirety—hundreds of times. I am deeply grateful that she brought that beauty into my life. In our difference, we are rich.

  36. Shawn Bailey on August 16, 2005 at 3:00 pm

    Go to http://www.pianosociety.com/index.php?id=121 to listen to Franck’s Prelude Chorale and Fugue. Just sharing the love, beauty, and all that.

  37. Emily on August 16, 2005 at 4:15 pm

    Okay, since were talking about horrible clothes – white jean shorts, need I say more? They’re gone now, and yes, I’ll admit I donated them to charity when he wasn’t looking. I argued with myself that it was a decency thing, since many couldn’t tell whether he was wearing any pants at all with those white legs of his. (tee hee)

    Seriously though, I met my guy on a blind date through an “I’m looking for LDS housing/roommates” site. Crazy how stuff works. I always say he’s my Absentminded Professor and I’m the Artsy Fartsy one. (oh? Can I blog Fartsy?)

  38. JKS on August 16, 2005 at 6:39 pm

    I would beat my husband on a Calculus test, but I am amazed that he knows how planes stay up in the air! I will never understand that.
    My husband admires my ease with which I am able to answer questions from like, “How does the sperm get inside the Mommy’s tummy?” and “Mom, can we call that number on the TV? They said they would give us $25,000!!!”

  39. Jordan on August 16, 2005 at 6:53 pm

    On the terrible clothes diversion, that seems to be an affliction for many of us unfortunate mormon males. When I was in high school Girbaud jeans were very much in style. I had several pairs in various colors, most notably red and green. When I left on my mission in 1994, I put the girbauds in a box. Upon returning from my mission in 1996, I happily donned my girbauds and wore them throughout my sophomore year at Ricks College.

    My wife’s first memory of me is of me introducing myself to her apartment (who was my FHE group) wearing bright red girbaud shorts and a yellow gold shirt. I enthusiastically announced that I was “Jordan from South Jordan!!” (where my family lived at the time, having moved from Texas just prior to my mission) and that “I LOVED Family Home Evening!!” Andrea said I looked like an overly-enthusiastic Ronald McDonald. Her roommates snickered about it for days. And we still got married. Awww.

  40. Crystal on August 16, 2005 at 10:32 pm

    Sorry, Gavin! I can’t spell, which why I went to BU and not Harvard. ;)

    By borderline, I mean they were really funny, but kind of time and place inappropriate. But then again, I was a molly way back then.

  41. jimbob on August 19, 2005 at 10:35 am

    “…for a fashion design major, #2 could be seen as the ultimate deal breaker. But for me it wasn’t. It was totally endearing. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to make a fashion statement amid the sea of brown braided belts, plaid button-up shirts and Dr. Martens (though a totally misguided statement it was).”

    Am I to understand that bad fashion sense is worse than none at all? Maybe there is hope for me.

  42. Carrie Lundell on August 19, 2005 at 7:04 pm

    41. At least it gets you noticed–and I think that is half the battle.

So I Married an Intellectual

August 5, 2005 | no comments
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I didn’t really know it at the time. When we met, he was well disguised as a dirtbike racing, country music fan that was six months off his mission. He was on the five-year ungrad plan because of his indecision on a major and a wasted semester at Weber State that left his transcript with a few “F�’s and “Incompletes�. I, on the other hand, was on the 3 year undergrad plan. From my Freshman year of high school, I knew I wanted to be a Fashion Designer. So I packed my classes in, eager to get all the G.E.’s out of the way so I could concentrate on what I loved and then enter the real world ASAP.

The two things that made me first notice him in that BYU country dance class were
1. He laughed at my sarcastic, under-my-breath comments and
2. He wore these horrible American flag Converse hi-tops (even now, when Converse is actually making a comeback, these shoes would be considered an abomination).

And while I am sure most people can understand the initial attractiveness of #1, for a fashion design major, #2 could be seen as the ultimate deal breaker. But for me it wasn’t. It was totally endearing. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to make a fashion statement amid the sea of brown braided belts, plaid button-up shirts and Dr. Martens (though a totally misguided statement it was).

So fast forward a bit – I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design, got rid of those American flag Converse shoes at a family white elephant gift exchange, and ended up married to a guy with an academic pedigree similar to everyone else on the T&S blog (philosophy undergrad, ivy league graduate degree – in law nonetheless)
And the longer we have been married the more I have come to realize the wide divide between our academic interests. He is now an appellate Lawyer and I am a Fashion Designer. Our worlds are in two different universes.

At a dinner a few weeks ago with 7 lawyers and their 7 spouses, I was the only person there that was in a non -“intellectualâ€? field. It was a most horribly boring evening. I could not help but wonder if at times like these my husband wishes he had married a lawyer, or someone who had gone on to get a phD or a Masters. Or at least someone who didn’t graduate from BYU’s Family, Home, and Social Science Dept. This thought only lasts a second though because I know he is my biggest fan (and I think he knows I’m his). He’s a lawyer that has great style and I am a fashion designer that can win almost any argument.

The ways that my husband and I differ when it comes to our “academic interests� also affects the way we approach the gospel. He is very logical, I am very emotional. He spends a lot of time wondering about how to balance God’s foreknowledge with the doctrine of prayer. I don’t. I think that We have been able to learn and grow from each other’s strengths because they are our weaknesses. When it comes to the church as a whole, we are commanded to be unified, but sometimes it is hard to read T&S and feel like people like me hold a valid place among people like you in the gospel. I can’t imagine a church where everyone had the same quandaries as my husband or one that was filled with people like me whose testimonies might seem too “simple�. I believe Zion has a need for all of us.

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