2 + 2 = 5: Some people put two and two together and make five. Present them with some facts and they'll immediately read far too much into them. These people don't just jump to conclusions, they leap right over them and land somewhere in the middle of misjudgement. A few scraps of gossip quickly become half-baked certainty, and allegations can be based on nothing more than unfounded rumour. These people can be very hard to argue with because they know they're right and no amount of persuasion will change their mind. There is no grey in their world, just black and white. 2 + 2 = 10: Five years ago my ex used to put two and two together and make ten. No flight of fancy was too improbable, no wild accusation too unlikely. Never mind the truth, I could always be blamed for something I hadn't actually done (and frequently was). Not that I'd worked out why, because I was in the next category.
2 + 2 = 3: Some people put two and two together and make three. Show them the bleeding obvious and they'll somehow miss the point. They're the last to spot that someone in the office is pregnant, or that those two colleagues who keep arriving at work one minute apart are actually an item. They never get a nagging gut feeling, neither would they recognise a hunch even if it came with a big red flashing light attached. There is no black and white in their world, just grey. 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 2 + 2 = 0: Five years ago I couldn't put two and two together at all. I was in a failing relationship at the time, and all the clues were there but I just couldn't (or wouldn't) see the wider picture. They say love is blind. More blinkered, perhaps.
2 + 2 = 4: Some people put two and two together and make four. They possess something commonly known as 'common sense', and they use it well. Faced by a mass of incoherent evidence they can pull together disparate threads and reach a sensible conclusion. Intuition guides these people through life, and rarely do they put their foot in it. There is no black and white or grey in their world, just colour. Lucky bastards. 2 + 2 = 4.00000000: Five years ago this evening, in a blinding and unprecedented moment of clarity, I made precisely four. The trick was to add the right two twos together so that at last all the clues meant something. I made one inspired phone call, came to one inescapable conclusion, and moved on. I've never looked back since.
2 + 2 = ?: I'm much better at putting two and two together now than I used to be. I still miss a lot of things that everyone else spots, but now I spot some things that some other people miss. For me two plus two now equals about 3.7 (near enough). How about you?