The Brain Game: The Adventure of Living With Folks Who’s Brains Aren’t Like Mine

I had one job.

One job only.

And I failed.

Well, sorta.

The task at hand—pack my teenaged daughter’s suitcase so my husband could whisk her away for a surprise Daddy-Daughter weekend.

He had cashed in points, of course, to fly them to Los Angeles and catch their favorite British Boy Band concert.

Yes, my husband has a favorite British Boy Band.

Just one of his many quirks which include obsessively collecting frequent flyer miles, getting goose bumps from spread sheets and having a very straight forward, logical brain.

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Here’s a challenge, Dear Reader, I know you understand—living with people who’s brains are wired

differently than yours.

Your spouse? Your kid? Your boss?

They think in straight lines, while your brain is awash in spiral doodles.

One’s not better, but we sure are different.

Back to the caper-

The band is “The Vamps.”

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Yeah, I never heard of them either.

For this surprise to work, I was going to have to pack my daughter’s suitcase.

Army generals have quaked at battles not as formidable as packing a teenaged girl’s suitcase.

My creative brain figured, “No problem. I have a plan.”

The perfect plan.

There she was in her room opening some packages of clothes she had ordered online with some birthday money she received back in October.

I sauntered in and casually mentioned, “Oh, I have a favor.”


“Let’s say someone was doing some early holiday shopping and someone maybe wanted to buy someone some new clothes. How about you put together a few outfits so that someone could take some pictures on her phone and use that as a style guide for further shopping?”

How brilliant am I? Daughter would be putting together various outfits. She would be basically packing herself!

I was already congratulating myself.

Only one problem.

I forgot my daughter has my husband’s straight-forward, logical brain.

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“Why would you buy me clothes?” she asked. “When I just bought clothes for my birthday?”

What? Where’s the whimsy that lives inside my brain?  Not anywhere inside this child’s head.

“Maybe you’d like more clothes?” I suggested. “You probably didn’t get everything you want with your birthday money.  Pull together some outfits to help me out.”

“I’ll just send you the links of the stuff I want,” she said oh so practically.

Talk about having to get creative.

Plan B was packing a bunch of clothes so she could make her own outfits.

We surprised her at school and whisked off to the airport.

That’s where I unzipped the suitcase to show her what I’d packed.

“Ewww.” Was her first response.

My answer, if you can’t pack’em, join’em. Speak their logic language.

“There’s a lot of choices squished in this suitcase. You’ll figure out something to wear.”

“That makes sense,” Daughter said as she hugged me goodbye.  “I love you.”

Off they went, my two logical, straight-forward thinking loves.

To know them is to love them, just as I imagine you do with those other-brained people in your life.

Find more uplifting stories on my website,

Please catch my newspaper column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio.



The Brain Game: The Adventure of Living With Folks Who’s Brains Aren’t Like Mine

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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