I am sitting in the kitchen with Mandy and she is doing homework for Writing 121. I am hacking this blog. Again. I’m tired of helping her peer edit essays that aren’t even really essays. But really, I just don’t want to write my own paper.
Here’s something I got out of Psychology the other day: “I learned from my own life and marriage that you must build a life together, but also a life apart. You must grant each other time, space, and support to forge your own identities, your own ways of expressing yourselves and giving to others.” A woman who lived during World War II said that. Her name was Sofie. She was a German teacher who played piano. I really liked it.
I am currently reading “Jane Eyre” as you probably know. And a bit of Whitman. He’s been living next to my pillow lately. But I’m still stuck on “Little Women.” I re-read the ending quite a lot. I especially like the part when Mr.Bhaer asks Jo to use “thou” instead of “you” because it’s more sentimental and endearing. It made me realize something about relationships.
You can only know so much about someone.
Not just to the physical extent. We can know a lot about each other in that way. More so in the thinking and past areas of our lives. Things we’ve experienced or said or done. Even before you knew of the other person’s existence. I wrote about it once. After reading an essay my Dad wrote. And then I kind of tucked it away on a shelf in the back of my mind. But then I re-read “Little Women” and went to Psychology class. One word brought it back to me.
Every single human being has preferences. What colour eyes they like. If they take cream in their coffee. Early mornings or late nights. Whether or not they care about broad shoulders. If empathy means anything to them. The smell of the ocean. Ankle socks. Lace. Old things. Dirt on their hands. Violins. Sweatshirts. Harvard. People prefer billions of different things. And there is no way we can tell a single other being everything we prefer. It would take a lifetime.
Oh wait. Isn’t that the point of a marriage and relationships and courtship? Being together for a lifetime? Maybe then, it’s not so big a task. Telling that one girl that you have to get up at seven every morning because you’re hard-wired to do it. Or letting him know that your one indulgence is lemon tarts. Even saying that you would like to be called “thou” instead of “you.”
Here is the thing about “Jane Eyre.” It is super depressing. Here is the other thing about it. Jane is always very verbal with her preferences. And I like it. I like it a lot. Because she spends so much time letting Mr.Rochester know that she is not a bird. I recognize the importance of that now. The gift you can give another human. And it is only simply by telling them what you like and dislike. It is only simply by letting them know what you prefer. It’s easy too. You don’t have one hour and twenty three minutes maybe even plus forty and a half seconds to do it. You have a lifetime. So don’t freak out if someone doesn’t know your middle name. Don’t have a panic attack if you didn’t realize they only like haikus. Don’t weep because you had no clue that they’re allergic to cats and they only eat chocolate gelato not chocolate ice cream and they are still afraid of swimming. It’s not a big deal. Not if you’re going to be with that person for however many more years. You get a chance to cherish it. Discovering small things is an adventure. One you get to embark on together. It’s a very small part of courtship, and a huge part of individuality.
Our preferences are what helps us keep ourselves separate from one another. But they also draw us together when we share them. So here’s some advice. Thou should start to tell each other the little things thou prefer. It’ll help you grow. Promise.
Also, Kate is Greek. It means “pure.” And Samuel is Hebrew. It means “God heard.”
From, a flower.