Sprue Cutters Union #7: My Significant Other
Simply put, she is supportive. As supportive as she can be behind a guise of relative indifference.
It is not surprise that she doesn't get all excited when I come home from the hobby shop, or just finished my latest project. I mean, let's face it, building models doesn't attract many women, either to the hobby or to the modeler. I've never heard any one say, "chicks dig my scale models."
Well, some might. A very small few.
Out of all the people who follow my Facebook page, only a mere four percent of them are women. Just walk around any national convention or even local clubs and tell me how many women you come across that actually participate. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Guys, this hobby is one huge proverbial sausage fest, which is why I consider myself lucky to have as supportive a wife as I do. In our seven year marriage, and our thirteen year relationship, she has never done anything to impede the enjoyment of my humble obsession. This is significant when I consider she has told me that it can sometimes get on her nerves.
But how does a hobby as menial and benign as scale modeling rub some one the wrong way?
My wife has told me, on more than one occasion, that I have "a problem". My rebuttal is generally along the lines of defending it as a good problem to have, because I could be doing worse things with my time. Right?
Never the less, she usually just gives me a wry smile and lets me carry on.
There are times I'll catch myself foraging like a squirrel in the back yard, digging up roots and twigs to use on my diorama, or snatching tongue depressors from the doctors office, and I'll pause and think perhaps she may be on to something.
Maybe I don't give her enough credit, dealing with an individual as far gone as I am. It must not be easy trying to explain to your parents that your husband is tearing bark off a tree stump in their front yard because it replicates rock so perfectly when painted just the right shade of gray. I can certainly see how this can be slightly befuddling to her.
Just the other day she found me hunched over the kitchen table, Dremel in hand, vigorously shredding plastic and cutting parts off the AMT Imperial Walker I was working on. Little bits flew around the room while I, the be-goggled mad scientist, carried on oblivious. When I saw her staring at me, I stopped as she said, "You're in deeper than I thought."
She had never seen me perform surgery on a model before. In our previous home, such gruesome procedures were hidden from her view in the basement. Now a days, I'm forced to used the kitchen table as this house has no alternative space for me to work in. Hence, my obsession is laid out in full for her to see. Honestly, for some one as sweet as my wife it must be heart wrenching to observe.
She is neat and organized. Ask any modeler to show you their workbench on any given day and they will gladly display images of their horrifyingly messy conglomeration of paints, tools, references photos, glue bottles, and unidentifiable plastic parts spread across a surface, the top of which can't be seen under all the heterogeneous matter. This is what she sees on a nightly basis. Her world of cleanliness and order, torn apart regularly. Indeed, I can see how this could get on her nerves a bit.
Perhaps the largest irritant for her is the amount of time I spend involved in the hobby. I must admit, since starting this blog I have been far more driven by modeling than I have in the past. I spend a lot of time building, and when I'm not at the workbench I am writing as I am now, or maintaining the Facebook page.
She has told me that she estimates roughly ninety percent of my thoughts are of modeling. Realistically, this can't be true, but she makes a good point. I do think about it a lot. But lately, I have been more aware of my time and understand that maintaining a balance between hobby and family is crucial in retaining her support and strengthening our relationship.
Despite her support, I know it only goes so far. She knows I have been bitten by a bug and suffer from a disease that I will die a happy death from...
I know she doesn't quite get it, and likely never will. She is immune to the modeling bug, and is watching helplessly as it slowly consumes her husband. She won't understand the lure of the hobby shop, the blissful aroma of Tamiya acrylics, or the soothing hum of an air compressor. She can't comprehend the long nights, and time consuming techniques. She can't fathom driving for several hours to attend a convention. All of these things we modelers hold dear is lost on her. I know she will never become involved in the hobby beyond contributing every so often to the stash, or offering the occasional compliment wrapped in subtle disinterest. But she still supports me. Minimal interest is better than none at all. Enthusiasm isn't what I ask for. Tolerance is.
In the end, there are two things that I hope for when I examine the future:
1) that one day I will truly impress her with a creation of mine.
2) that I will pass on this hobby to my children.
If she continues to support me, and I continue to balance the reality of life in actual scale with that of miniature, I have no doubt I will accomplish the second goal.......
If you're reading this, Nicole, I love you and thanks for putting up with this guy!
Now you know what my wife thinks of my hobby. Thanks for reading!
Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!
David Knight's Weblog
The Eternal Wargamer
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
A Scale Canadian
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