3/20/09

Alien Life Forms on Earth

I've been caught in a two year episode of "The Dating Game: My Search For Compatible Friends in My Home Town." It's been nothing short of a learning experience...about myself.
From the first breath of life, we, as a species, are introduced into social settings, we are expected to communicate and cooperate with others outside our immediate family unit. Why? Because the other extreme is never leaving the house, never learning what it feels like to have your toy stolen or a classmate share her cookies, never giving a compliment, or receiving one, never understanding how to make small talk with the grocery checker, never learning to love. It is a study in reflection, finding ourselves through the interaction and interpretation of others.
As a stay at home parent, I recognize my need for other adult friendships and conversations... because if I don't interact with other adults, the other extreme is yelling "MINE!" all the time and making farting noises everytime I see a horse. And each time I have the opportunity to interact with others (I sound like a friggin alien sometimes, I swear, (Robot Voice) "Weirdo One to Mother Ship, Confirmed Interaction With Humans, Repeat, Confirmed Interaction With Humans")....
Sorry, I'll get to the point without the robot voice: Every time I meet someone new, I learn more about myself, my analytical self, my creative self, my sense of direction in life, my values and my priorities. As the saying goes, "Never Judge A Book By It's Cover", but now I'm wondering if the cover is somehow correlated to that person's values and interests. Okay, that sounds shallow. Dare I digress? (Why not?! You all know I'm crazy by now anyway)
"An Analytical Interpretation of Me"-in 15 sentences or less: I take pride in my family, and am protective about our time together. I pride myself in the look and feel of my home, I value controlled chaos. I exist more sanely with a tidy living room (that's because all the other rooms are full of laundry piles and exploding closets-but that's what doors are for, right?). This means I value my home as a sanctuary for thought, play and family life. I like real furniture. I hate fake flowers. I also take pride in how I present myself, what I choose to wear, that is, IF I make the effort to get dressed. Lately, I'm batting about a .400. Other tidbits of info: I love to travel, exercise, and have an extreme appreciation for literature, I am a musician, I sincerely appreciate the use of manners at all times, I like bright colors, I despise lavender. I am cynical and self conscious. I have a sense of humor. I love all forms of water; ocean, lakes, rivers. (Seeking someone to share this with, please call me at ....)
Seriously, though, what does this say about me?
Where am I going with this? Each time I meet someone new, experience their way of life, their values, their style, their family, I walk away with a new perspective on me and my way of life. I'm not looking for my diabolical twin, I'm looking for a few strands of a common thread in other people, some way to recognize parts of myself, a way to be inspired by their values and thoughts. It's not simply judging the book by its' cover, it's observing how that person came to create that cover, what they're doing to make the cover, decorate it, protect it, relocate it, and care for it. And then, when applied to me, it's how the look and sound and feel and laugh and conversation of that other book in it's cover makes me feel when I'm in their presence. What thoughts and inspiration I may have with that other person.
OMG, I AM an Alien! I never realized it until I wrote this blog entry! I'm finally out of the closet. Phew, that's a relief.
If I could reflect on a few of my dearest, closest life time friends, what could I say about their book covers? And why can I call them my dearest friends? Because their book covers are woven from some, not all, of the same common threads that my own life contains. Because they inspire me to think about new things, to be more creative or more savvy, to be a better parent or a more thoughtful friend, to be a better spouse or a better athlete. Because in my humble (alien) opinion, that is the definition of a friend.

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