So far this year, I have made so many lists of things I plan to accomplish and things I like about myself. I suppose this is to be expected with the new year and unusual volume of inspirational literature I’ve been reading that encourages me to do so.
Also, I’m awesome and goal-oriented, so those lists are easy to write.
It’s only fair, however, that I keep in mind the things that potential new friends or significant others should understand when embarking on our relationship. Today, I bring you five things people probably wish they’d known about me from the start.
1.If you are sick around me, I will go into sterilization mode so quickly that I might forget to sympathize with your illness. I’m barely even sorry about it. I’m not trying to catch your disease. This is especially true if you are sick in public.
People – stop going out among others when you’re sick unless you absolutely cannot help it at all, and nine times out of ten, you can help it. You might not want to, or it might be inconvenient, but you can. You have the ability. Embrace it. Indulge in self-care by staying home and healing. But if you can’t do it for you, do it for me. I get enough germs flying through the air with the students who live where I work (who ARE home, so they get a pass. And also I keep a stockpile of disinfectant and Emergen-C at the desk, so at least there I’m prepared.). Spring Break is next week, and I plan to spend it not hacking up a lung.
2. I am particular about my kitchen (also, if I live there, the kitchen is mine. Life will be easier for you if you just accept that. You can have other parts of the house, roommates/future spouse.). Everything has its place, and I barely hold it together when things are put somewhere they don’t belong. After multiple offenses and maybe a warning, I will not even try to hold it together anymore. It’s seldom clean, but there is always an ongoing method in play. I have stopped getting passive aggressive (and in some unfortunate cases, active aggressive) when guests who are only trying to help disrupt the system, but it’s a struggle.
3. I don’t like game nights. Don’t misunderstand – I like playing games just fine. But if I’m going to play, I’m going to play to win. I will be gracious whatever the outcome, but I will trash talk during the game, and if you can’t accept that as part of friendly competition, then you probably don’t want to play with me. Because I do see it as part of friendly competition, and I will not feel guilty about refusing to be bored/boring. And I will become annoyed with interruptions or slow decision-making behaviors that turn what should be a 30-minute game into a 3-hour game. If you can’t focus, I’d rather just snack, hang out, and talk.
4. I will also not feel guilty for misunderstandings for which we are both responsible. I will apologize for my part, because adulthood. I hate not being clear and not getting my meaning across well, and my apology will be sincere.
What I will feel is hurt if you do not also recognize and apologize for your part – a reconsidering-how-much-I-trust-you sort of hurt. Because what I hate more than not being clear is a lack of self-awareness and personal responsibility.
[Aside – while the personal hurt feelings are a strictly one-on-one phenomenon, I also tend to distrust public figures and groups who make not effort to be aware of their own social effects and the part they play in them, or worse – those who, being aware, do nothing to correct or at least minimize the negative outcomes of their behavior.]
5. I am super sensitive to extraneous, unnecessary sound. There are a few exceptions. I enjoy some sounds – like wind chimes and the whir of my fan at night. I like the sound of rain. That’s nice. But if I can understand your conversation through my closed door and over my television, I am not going to be happy. And do not walk into my space and start playing your own music. It’s so rude.
I have a complicated relationship with music. I want to enjoy background music, but if it has words or is instrumentally interesting at all, I mostly want it to be the only sound and the primary thing I’m paying attention to. This is why, random fellow, I don’t want to have a conversation with you at the club. I am willing to dance with you, but please stop talking, because you’re ruining it. I can’t listen to wordy music and write at the same time; it’s too distracting. If the music is in the background, it has to be both instrumental and a little boring, because otherwise I want to focus on that and ignore everything else.
I am fighting the urge to print this out and hand it to people I meet. That would probably be a weird thing to do, right?