I get really, really frustrated when someone is explaining something to me and I don’t understand.  The longer I don’t understand it, the  more irritable and grumpy I get.  That is a sign of my superior intellect, right?  No?  Alright.  Moving on then.  (On a related note, thanks for all the math homework help, Dad!  And, you know, I’m sorry.)

Mike has an uncanny ability to explain things in a way that make sense.  Actuaries tend to be confusing people and often aren’t the best communicators, so that makes him very well-liked at work.  It is a skill for which I am continually grateful, and I think that it (combined with his infinite patience) has prevented many an argument between the two of us.  He manages to figure out exactly what I’m asking and condense the answer down to something that doesn’t make my brain smoke.  (The fact that I require that is another indication of that superior intellect, right?  No?)

Case in point:  I’ve heard rumblings in the news about Bernie Madoff, but hadn’t really been paying attention.  Today I read a blog entry by a writer I quite enjoy, describing how she had lost 30 years of retirement savings as a result of his Ponzi scheme.  I called Mike into my office, asked him to tell me what the heck a Ponzi scheme is, and avoided minutes (nay, hours!) of mental anguish and Googling when he responded with, “Well, do you remember Jimmy from The O.C.?”

I can’t even wait until I ask him about string theory or inter-cranial neurosurgery and he explains it to me through a comparison to Pacey from Dawson’s Creek.