Tuesday, March 2, 2010

alive and kicking.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Simple minds discuss people.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt.

The hospitality industry has turned me into a simpleton. I can't tell you how often my day to day interactions feel reminiscent of full blown déjà vu. Same conversations, same people, same mindless responses.  Conversations are too safe nowadays.  People are so scared to offend, so concerned about their projected self image that the vast majority of the time, what should be a chance for two minds to meet, to better understand each other ... instead becomes a tepid, flaccid, watered down version of itself.

Think for instance, of the quintessential first date.  I doubt a more elusive and fundamentally deceiving conversation exists on this planet.  You don't say what you're thinking, you say what you think the person sitting across from the edamame beans wants you to be thinking.  You're hoping that you can dose out the "crazy" in palpable increments so they won't realize how neurotic you really are.

Here's a secret ... we're all crazy.  

well, at least all the good ones are...

People wonder why couples date for six months and then say things like "They've changed!" or "I guess I never really knew them."  Did you take the time to know them?  Did you create an environment where the socially constructed taboo-free templates of relationships have been torn down?  How could you possibly know someone until they feel comfortable enough to let you into their twisted little world?  When you meet someone, realize that they're bringing along years and years of memories and experiences.  Why would you even believe that you can learn anything about them without spending a little time in sepia tone?

Take that time. Enjoy it.  Bask in each others idiosyncrasies because that's what truly makes someone special.  Embrace the fact that deep down, we might just be piles of carbon, but what makes us each devastatingly different, constantly confusing, and utterly unpredictable is also what makes us simultaneously and beautifully unique.  Stop trying to adjust yourself to be who you "should be" ... if the person you're talking to you can't accept how absolutely batshit insane you are, they don't deserve your company.

but be gentle... you might not want to make too many sudden movements... remember, they're probably as crazy as you are.

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