At the breakfast table one morning a few days ago, my wife was telling me about her latest knitting project. She was knitting a hat and was pleased about how well the colors were working together and how nice it would look when finished.
But she was concerned about running out of yarn. The yarn she bought was 100 meters in length and the hat pattern told how much yarn was needed but it told the amount in yards.
The hat was nearly finished but her ball of yarn was getting smaller and smaller. She was very concerned about running out of yarn before the hat was done.
There was a brief pause in the conversation and I started telling her about what I had heard a few grain analysts call "the perfect storm" in the coming crop year for the corn crop in particular. We have a good sized crop and increasing demand base that will require growing as many bushels as possible in 2007 and it may not be enough even with ideal growing conditions.
Not only do we have a large demand with an unknown supply, but weather will be the wild card for this year as a drought throws all numbers out of play. Supply, demand and weather are all coming together as large factors for this crop year and no one knows the outcome.
There was another pause in the conversation and my wife went back to telling me that her hat might work out because those measurements are estimates. A ball of yarn is at least 100 meters and each knitter makes different size stitches that affect the amount of yarn needed for any given project.
As I sat there in silence listening to her resume her concerns about being able to finish her hat successfully, I wondered why we were even having any conversation at all. Neither of us seemed to have much interest in the other's thoughts of the moment. We were each talking but listening seemed to be optional.
Years ago, we heard how men were from Mars and women were from Venus. This was probably one of those Mars and Venus moments.
As she continued talking about her project, I thought, "Wait a minute. Maybe we aren't that far apart. She has a project she wants to see to a successful completion and so do I. We are both concerned about things not working out as planned because of an unexpected event. If this event does happen, how can we be prepared to overcome it?"
So there we were at the breakfast table telling each other about our plans, hopes and fears. Each of our subjects did not mean a lot to the other person although neither of us wanted to see the other fail in our chosen projects either.
I thought maybe to find some common ground in our conversations I could take up knitting so we would have a common subject when we talk. Then there would be listening to go with our talking. That would be a good idea.
Then I thought some more. I thought to myself, "Why would I want to take up knitting? It's too much like farming."
The gap in the communication between Mars and Venus continues and we will hope there is some miraculous technology in the future to solve the problem. It most likely will not be very soon. When Valentine's Day arrives, we are on our own.