Sunday, February 7, 2016

45 Hours & 2,000 Pieces Of Marriage


We got it to start with as a project to do together as a family during winter break. That foolish dream ended when we opened the box and saw the magnitude of the 2,000 piece Star Wars cast puzzle. But determined to finish we began to work on the puzzle at night together while the kids were sleeping. With our favorite watch together tv show as background noise we would work on the puzzle, usually from 8pm to 11:30pm. Then we would say we were going to bed and shut down the tv and then stand at the puzzle together again for another hour or so helping each other find certain pieces that we had been stuck on.

All in all we took about 45 hours to complete the puzzle over a period of one months’ time. These stats are probably pretty laughable compared to other puzzlers out there, but I give them for reference only. We found out some interesting things about each other as we worked on this complicated but very centrally focused project. It was similar to our personality and patterns established in our relationship over the past 13 years being played out in 2,000 cardboard pieces.

I wish I would have taken more pictures along the way to better show what happened.

We started with the edge pieces of course, separating them out from the non-edge pieces. Completing the frame of edge together was easy we did it in one night. Then it got interesting. We picked our own corner to work in. Really it seemed not working together at all. Frank went for the lines and pattern of the stairs at the bottom of the puzzle and I was drawn to the crazy color of the explosions against the sky at the top of the puzzle.

Soon I began to get bored with the section I was working on and would jump to another little section that would catch my eye as I was sifting through the 6 trays we had the pieces separated into. Frank however did not stop on the stairs until he had four even rows of the puzzle put together from the bottom up horizontally.

And so it went. I jumped around and flited all over the puzzle and Frank found a section and would not move on or deviate from that until it was complete. Eventually our sections would merge. Then we would be made to work together. Frank would look for his pieces by shape alone (because he is color blind) and have huge success. I would find my pieces based color alone and do well that way.

We got to the end and had one tray of pieces left. We both started sweating because the math of exactly 2,000 pieces of anything around 4 kids over a months period of time it seemed sure we were bound to lose a couple of pieces. We held our breath as we placed the last piece on the puzzle that we thought would be much easier than it turned out to be for us.

It has been revelatory to compare how we worked on the puzzle together to how we work together in non-cardboard ways. Professionally, cleaning, food preparation, home improvement projects, organization, child care methods, personal goals, etc. I feel like I am a shot gun that keeps shooting at my target over and over again until there are eventually enough holes that the target disintegrates, while my husband is more of a look through the sight type of guy waiting for the wind direction to be just right (no matter how long it takes) and getting it done in one clean accurate first shot.

But as far as targets and puzzle go working together we can get the job done (although I must admit I have never actually shot a shot gun).


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