I do believe she might be a non-Newtonian fluid. How can I find out for sure, and what should I do? I think I love her.
Dear Paul, I have been dating my girlfriend for three months now, and things are going well, but I have this sneaking suspicion that something is wrong. I don’t think she’s cheating on me, but I do believe she might be a non-Newtonian fluid. How can I find out for sure, and what should I do? I think I love her.Quote:
Stuck In Oobleck
Well, you certainly have a conundrum on your hands, and it’s not an easy problem to solve, but hang tight, and we’ll figure this one out together.
For those who didn’t pay attention in Physics 101 or aren’t fans of the show The Big Bang Theory, let’s do a brief rundown of what a non-newtonian fluid is.
In broad terms, a non-Newtonian fluid is one that doesn’t follow Newton’s laws of viscosity; that is, it has variable viscosity dependent on stress. With your non-Newtonian fluids, viscosity can change when under force to a more liquid or more solid state.
Ketchup is a non-Newtonian liquid; when you shake it, it becomes more liquid. We have a lot of non-Newtonian liquids in our daily lives, such as custard, toothpaste, starch suspensions, corn starch, paint, melted butter, and shampoo.
With non-Newtonian fluids, if you smack them, throw them quickly, or punch them, they have a more solid feel. If you let them sit in your hands, they will become a puddle.
History of Difficulties Dating a Non-Newtonian Fluid
Well, you think you love her, that’s good and bad. Dating a non-Newtonian fluid will always be a challenge. But, if you’re aware of the challenges and are willing to work through them, you should be able to make things work.
Be aware there are pitfalls to this kind of relationship. Here is a famous example.
In the 14th century, the Earl of Shroppingbottom, a well-loved and pious man, began an affair with a woman who was not of his class. That wasn’t as much of a problem as the fact that she was a non-Newtonian fluid. When she was in her most solid of states, she wowed the court with her charm, grace, and razor-sharp wit. In those times, the love-lorn Earl would dress her in the finest of materials and bedeck her with stunning jewels. He was proud to have her on his arm. In her less solid state, the Earl was given to carrying her about in a silver gravy boat covered with jewels and gold.
One evening, the Earl was in court, and his love interest had experienced an emotional day, and she had turned into a puddle before the events of the night, which included a massive feast at the Duke of Clambakia’s Estate.
Wanting to show his face at the event for political purposes, the Earl poured his lady love into her gilded gravy boat, and off he went. The evening was quite spectacular, with the Duke pulling out all the stops to make it memorable.
Now the Earl of Shroppingbottom was a man of modest appetites. He didn’t drink to excess or eat more than his share. However, this particular evening, he was in fine spirits. He was overwhelmed by the variety and exoticness of the offered foods and entertainment, and he drank a little too much. Typically, this wouldn’t have been a problem as most people at the feast were well into their cups. The trouble was, the good Earl lost track of the gravy boat his love was in, and he realized his mistake only when he heard his host say, “Good heavens, but this gravy is truly thick, creamy, and delicious.”
The Earl sat back, stupified, watching the men and women at the table pour his lady love over potatoes, slabs of mutton, and slices of roasted chicken. Unsure of how to proceed, he knew that being involved with someone beneath his station would send chills through the court and subject him to mockery and possibly banishment from the upper class. The Earl might be able to escape the social faux pas, but he knew he could never explain being in love with a non-Newtonian fluid. He went along with the crowd and poured the remaining bits of his lover over a roasted capon and took a huge bite. Then, with a mix of delight and sorrow, he declared to the table that he loved this gravy.
No one knew the true meaning of his declaration of love. The host, the Duke of Clambakia, was honored by the Earl's declaration and promised always to serve this gravy at every feast. The Earl thanked his host, slipped quietly from the party, and wandered home in the moonlight.
He eventually withdrew from society as his broken heart didn’t allow him to play the games at court or attend another feast. Eventually, he fell into ruin, drinking heavily and taking up with a series of questionable mates: a jar of peanut butter, two tablespoons of clotted cream, and even a tray of fruits ensconced in jello. None could fill the hole in his heart, and eventually, he died alone, clutching a crystal decanter of 10W-40.
How to Tell if She's Non-Newtonian
There are obvious ways to detect a non-Newtonian fluid; you can slap it, punch it, slam it off a wall, or hit it with your car. None of these are things that you can or should do to a human being. I am not, in any way, advocating violence toward your girlfriend. Violence is never the answer. Unless the question is: "What is never the answer?" Well, in this case, the answer would be violence. But violence is not the answer here.
I would suggest taking her on vacation to someplace tropical and relaxing. When you arrive in the tropical paradise, keep an eye on her. If she begins to relax and shake off the tensions of her life, she will start to drip if she is genuinely a non-Newtonian fluid. If the level of drippage increases as the days pass and she becomes more relaxed, you may have a non-Newtonian fluid on your hands.
If you don't have the funds or the time to take her on vacation, I suggest a bottle of wine, candles, poetry, and moonlight, or get high. Anything that will remove the day's stress so you can observe her reactions.
After you've shared a bottle of wine and you return from the bathroom to find her sloshing about in the ashtray, it's pretty safe to say she's a non-Newtonian fluid.
What to do
First, you must understand that dating and possibly marrying (fingers crossed) a non-Newtonian fluid is a lifestyle choice. Your life will be about monitoring her state of being. Some men will complain about their wives nagging them; you'll have to worry about your wife becoming too relaxed in a hot shower or, heaven forbid, a community hot tub and flowing down the drain.
Getting your non-Newtonian love back to her most solid state should be pretty straightforward. When you see that she is becoming more liquidy, grab her and give her a hard, passionate hug. That should solidify her and get you through whatever social nightmare you're partaking in.
Another way you could handle the situation is to keep her in a constant state of stress. Talk to her about the news, the coming elections, the world climate state, and whatever you need to do to keep her slightly stressed at all times, and she will remain in a close to solid state.
A non-Newtonian relationship is like any other in one way; the best way to keep it alive and healthy is with a lot of communication. Encourage her to talk about her states of being. Be aware of when she starts to relax. Always carry a vessel you can easily pour her into if she becomes completely liquid, and check in with her.
Just keep talking to each other, be open, honest, and present, and your chances of living happily ever after with your non-Newtonian calendar girl will be good.
Best of luck.