This is another entry in the backlog that built up during the last few weeks while Mrs. Geek and I struggled to upgrade 140 computers at her school before classes began.
I find occasionally myself having "aha" moments when I get to know some people; experiences that reveal to me previously unrecognized (by me) parts of themselves. Generally, these parts are something I strongly identify with... or as the net.writer Richh once said
"It's one thing to locate a part
of yourself in another--that is a prerequisite to love--but to find
so much of yourself congruent with another--this is frightening."
Well, ok, maybe not something I identify that strongly with... but you get the idea.
The last time this happened was when we had J., G., and son R. over for beef burgundy and double chocolate ice cream just over a week ago. Since J. and Mrs. Geek have known each other for nearly three decades now, J. naturally was one of the bridesmaids in her wedding. Since Mrs. Geek and I had been trying to have them over since last December, this was naturally the first time that we had the chance to rehash the events of that night.
At one point, the discussion happened to turn to the charm that my cousin J. (mentioned here) innocently worked up the bridesmaids that day. After hearing J.'s take on the day, I should now amend that to "most of the bridesmaids" because J. was having none of it. That surprised me... or perhaps the way she put it surprised me... perhaps because it revealed to me a certain dimension to her personality that I did not previously recognize.
This feeling was later amplified when I heard J. and Mrs. Geek reminisce about their early days together. I heard that tone in her voice... a tone that my own inner voice uses when I think about the person I used to be. I immediately got the sense that the way that J. and I look at the world is not all that different at times. Mrs. Geek told me once that J. was rather shy around new people when she was growing up... as I was and continued to be, all the way through much of my adolesence. When I heard that tone in her voice, I felt like I knew a lot more about who she was... and understood why my cousin J.'s charms held little value for her.
For me, the ability to light up a room with charm is something I may occasionally envy, but it is never something that will make me feel comfortable with someone. For me to let my guard down and really be myself, there has to be something more that is generally slower and more attuned to personal chemistry after a first meeting. I am someone who would rather have a few lifelong friends than a large crowd of acquaintances, and being accepted by me has something to do with grouping people more into the former category than the latter. My cousin J. is a good man in every sense of the word... but I know this for reasons that go far beyond what I see when he walks into a room. I found it interesting that J. might evaluate him in precisely the same way.
The dinner was tremendously pleasant for this and so many other reasons. The food came out great, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Hopefully, it won't take another nine-plus months to see them again.
on 2005-08-30 at 5:32 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond