If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

06 April 2005

Of books and covers

Had lunch today with one of my new favorite people, the Sensitive Rebel. (He'll probably hate his nickname, and there were a thousand others that might have worked equally well, but I'm going with this for the moment. Suggestions welcome. I debated Brilliant Sensitive Rebel Provocateur Onionesque Softie Cultural Commentator, but it seemed a bit, well, much). As I floated out of myself for the moment and looked at us sitting on the sidewalk at Stoney's (a tiny little dive bar in DC where they sell the BEST reuben sandwich I've ever eaten), I saw a coiffed, polished, sunglassed, slightly uptight, perfectly lipsticked, professional-looking woman and a t-shirted, wildly tattooed and a bit pierced, intellectual and quirky yet 'angry youth'-looking man, toasting each other with lukewarm bottles of Miller Lite and sharing sandwiches on a gorgeous spring day.

And I giggled in spite of myself thinking that a 'snap judgement' would have most wondering what the two of us could possibly have in common. (I can hear the party game now -- he's an artist that she's commissioned for something, he's a brother in town for the weekend, he's her dealer, she's his therapist or his lawyer, she owes a friend of his money ... ) All a bit funny and yet the cultural commentary is depressing in its own right. Nope, we're just two people who happened to cross paths in this crazy life who have so much more in common than our seemingly disparate physical images would ever belie.

They say politics make strange bedfellows, but I can't help but think that all the politicians look mostly the same (and by that I tend to mean White, Male, Greyish, Straight, statistically speaking cheating on his wife, usually Christian of some flavor, and power-tied). Those of us out here in real life are so much more interesting, diverse, and -- at least in my experience -- honest. Real. We say 'I'm sorry, I screwed it up' when we do something wrong. Without the benefit of handlers or gatekeepers, we fly off the handle every now and again and have to learn how to articulate our own boundaries, and when to let people in. We say please and thank you when we need something, rather than behaving with a sense of entitlement. We don't believe we're infallible - indeed, we probably spend an inordinate, or certainly an inappropriately disproportionate amount of time worrying we're inadequate.

It's amazing what can happen - what friendships can be found, what truths can be learned, what life experiences can be shared in even the most ordinary moments - when you stop the dangerous and oh-too-quickly-learned habit of making assumptions about people.


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