- You and two friends are out to dinner when a woman walks up to you and says, "My husband and I have a disagreement and we'd like you to decide who is right." She explains the issue. Both of your friends chime in, giving completely opposite opinions. The decision now rests in your hands. What do you decide?
A few years ago, I had an occasional 'drinks, meals, and psychodrama' relationship with an attorney. One cold, snowy night in January, we met at a breakfast bar (yes, they actually served breakfast, greasy snacks, and drinks, all day) near his office in the city. We had a number of beverages and some sort of food, and flirt-argued for several hours. At one point, he was talking about his inability (as he termed it, though I would have called it 'refusal') to so much as enter the feminine care products aisle at the store. I responded, "We all have our issues."
He was immediately affronted. "It's not an issue; it's a quirk."
Um, whatever? I didn't grasp at first that this was going to be A Thing. "What's the difference?"
It turned into A Big Thing. After a few moments, we were hurling invective about misogyny, lack of imagination, arrogance, small minds, fatal stubbornness, and any other weapons we could find. We were starting to be the subject of not a little conversation by other patrons of the establishment. Finally, a younger guy (not much more than 21, I would guess?) walked past the booth. My companion caught his attention. "Hey, can you settle something for us?" The guy looked like he'd rather be anywhere other than right there.
"Um, sure--I can try. First, though, tell me how long you two have been married."
We looked at each other, speechless. We are so not married.
"Oh... kay..., how long have you been dating? A long time?"
"Uh, this is a date, right? You're on a date?"
By this point, my face was burning in a deep blush, and he was intently inspecting his fingernails. Was it a date? Hmm.
"All right, how can I help?"
My companion explained that we needed to know the difference between "quirks" and "issues." The guy looked at us like we were totally nuts and asked, "Is that what you've been yelling about all this time?"
We were sheepish. Little nods.
In the end, the actual answer that he gave was not nearly as memorable as what it took to get there. And it all resulted in an invaluable life lesson: it's not a date unless someone says it is, no matter how it seems. And, of course, all lawyers are bastards.
- If I could give one piece of advice to any person in history, that advice would be:
I'd have given Columbus an accurate map.
- Are you a neat freak?
I don't like to think so, but it's probably true in a lot of ways. Call me a recovering neat freak, maybe.
- Show and Tell.
Public Domain Photo
One of my friends is a very accomplished painter, and a couple of others have skilled amateur status in that area. Several of my friends are professional (or pro-level) photographers. At least one is a performance-quality musician. A number are wonderful, very powerful writers.
I would love to take part in that, somehow. To have the opportunity to display those visual media works, to listen to the music (which I can, in at least one small way - but I'm speaking more generally here). To read the poetry and prose. To have a picture taken by a real photographer, who I actually know! To see a painting and know that it was created for me! To hear that voice, anytime I wish. That would be a gift, well beyond the literal.
It's getting to be time for my annual "Birthday Wishes" post, where I reveal the deliberately over-the-top presents I'd love to find in my birthday sock. Really, though, it's not about the stuff. This paint palette reminds me how much there's love in the creating and sharing.
[from the original source, week 485; the title quotation is by Jean Anouihl]