My favourite theory about the development of human intelligence is one that says it happened to help us – men, specifically – attract mates.
The theory is that in order to try to convince womenfolk to procreate with them, in addition to using the normal tactics like being conventionally attractive and not having weird diseases, males may have tried to impress potential mates with their brain power. In doing so, they would have been demonstrating in another way that they were healthy and had good genes to pass on to offspring, since almost half of our genes are involved in the development of the brain.
So there the men were, all trying to outdo each other in their battles of wits.
But here’s the fun part; the women had to be smart enough to understand their acts of intelligence and creativity to know which males were superior to the others. (As in, I know empirically that Stephen Hawking is a smart guy, but I don’t really appreciate him, because I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. We wouldn’t be a good match.)
Smart women picked smart men, and they made smart babies, and those babies were better at wooing the next generation of babies, and so on and so forth, until present day where we can poop on porcelain thrones in the comfort of our homes, all while using our thumb gadgets to surf websites that allow us to compare dresses that strangers wore to an inconsequential event halfway around the world.
(If pooping while surfing the Internet isn’t an appropriate segue, I don’t know what is. Cue the main point of this post.)
My husband is becoming a police officer. It requires a different skill set than what either of us had just a few months ago, and probably a different skill set than I know fully how to appreciate. But, of course, I want to be able to understand him and appreciate his intelligence and make smart babies with him, so I find myself trying to learn, too.
Resources suggest that being a police officer’s wife is no easy task.
PoliceWives.org says “a police wife is a woman who is married to a man who is ‘married’ to his job, his partner, his badge… a police wife must live with shift work, lonely holidays, bad jokes, ulcers and alcohol, bulletproof vests, and fixed incomes. She is used to words like rape, robbery, assault, and child abuse. She is familiar with night school, stakeouts, overtime, and being on her own.”
(No word on what it’s like to be a police husband. He probably just leads a normal life and is no way impacted by what his wife does for a living.)
I already get a pretty hearty helping of bad jokes, but everything else sounds kind of scary.
But the way I see it, it’s easier to hate or fear what we don’t understand, and it’s easier to love that which we do. So, bring it on, I say.
As he was memorizing his 10-codes, I was doing my best to learn them too. Granted, I’m not using as often as he is, but I know well enough to answer 10-4 (acknowledgement) when he sends me a text message that says 10-21 (call by telephone). And me having a passing familiarity with the codes means we can have a discussion about whether 10-36 (correct time) is meant more as an affirmation (Yes, 10-36, that’s the correct time) or an order (What’s wrong with you? You’d better 10-36!).
In the past few months, I have also learned the NATO phonetic alphabet (you know, alpha, bravo, charlie, etc.), improved in my ability to identify makes and models of various vehicles on the road, and even put a few handcuff keys through the washing machine.
If my husband is going to live with shift work and bulletproof vests, so can I. I mean, I’m going to have to at least try to understand so I can know whether he’s still superior to other males.