Differences

I will be moving in with my boyfriend next week. This will be my first time living with someone who isn’t family or a roommate. I’m very excited but also a bit nervous. I love change but it’s not the easiest thing for me to do.

As we make preparations for our new abode, I’ve noticed that moving in with someone really magnifies the differences between you both. Fortunately, my boyfriend and I agree on the big things, the deal breaker stuff, you know things like “you don’t smoke crack, right?” and “alone time is important!” But we are most certainly different and this whole moving-in process has had an interesting way of illuminating these differences…

I think moving in with someone can go one of two ways. Yes, I’m basing this on what I’ve seen from others who have moved in with each other and I’m generalizing, but I think it all boils down to two roads: either you allow your differences to conquer your relationship and you two become opposing sides rather than a partnership OR you allow your differences to compliment each other and provide each of you opportunities to demonstrate love, patience, understanding and compromise.

I believe in washing towels after every other use, my boyfriend does not.
He likes the sheets tucked in when making the bed, I leave them hanging out.
My boyfriend likes the sink counter to be dry while I don’t notice it either way and therefore, often leave it wet.
I need a fan on while I sleep, even in the cold. He hates it.
I like to snack. He likes full meals.

We are different. Compromise is needed.

I love to vacuum and sweep, he’s great at dusting.
He cooks healthy protein-based meals, I cook Sicilian-style.
I buy the first thing I see, he researches and asks questions.
He’d rather not deal with it, I face it head-on.
I’m obsessive about organizing, he’s obsessive about detail.

We are different. Sometimes it works to our advantage.

But allow me to get to the point. This whole moving-in-with-my-boyfriend process has been quite enlightening for me. I’m glad I waited to live with someone until I thought it was really right, especially because I don’t think I would have lasted longer than a month. Differences often have a negative connotation with them. And personally, I’ve been from the camp of liking things the way I like things. Sure, I thought I had great reasons for such but now, only after I found someone who was able to reach inside me in ways no one else ever has, I’ve come to realize differences aren’t so bad and in fact, are often great.

Perhaps it’s a good barometer for a relationship – the more the relationship is right for you, the more the differences are right for you too?

Connection

To supplement my income until filmmaking brings in the dough, I work as a reader and part-time lunch server. A couple of months ago, I was laid off from the serving job I had worked at for about six years. I primarily worked Mon thru Wed lunches and not only did I have these same shifts since I started, but I rarely deviated from them.

The math tells a story. For six years, serving the same three lunch shifts week in and week out, one can only guess how many people I’ve met in terms of this job only. I think a number in the mid thousands is a fair estimate, yes? With that number in mind, think about how some of those people were regulars, meaning they came in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and how those same people could start to become more to me than simply another human I was serving.

Well, for the first time for me as a server (and I’ve served on and off for about fifteen years), this happened. I thought about it today and realized something about these people. Can’t say we were friends but hard to say we weren’t. Can’t really say I thought much about them outside of work but while with them there, conversation flowed and carried over to next time. Can’t say I wanted to see them all the time but after two months, I do miss them. This may not be the typical relationship I have with people in my life, but I can say something for sure.

With many of my regular customers, I’d be lying if I said them all, I felt a connection.

Perhaps it was just being in the same place at the same time, over and over again, but is it not a connection nonetheless? For some, this may be the UPS guy who comes into your office everyday or the sandwich shop girl who makes your meal the moment she sees you coming. These connections, while seemingly random and lacking in depth, can be very real and meaningful.

So this blog is dedicated to those connections I made while at my last job. Due to circumstances outside my control, I was unable to say goodbye to most of them and they went from being in my life for years to being someone I’ll probably never see or talk to again, unless our paths just happen to cross… And while this is what it is, and life will go on and I’ll likely forget many of these people, the connection we shared will always exist and just maybe, we’re all the better for it.

I think I am.

So Cheers!

to the pretty lady who sat at the counter, ordered quickly and treated everyone with respect and a smile;
to the silent businessman who appreciated good service and being left alone;
to the adorable senior citizen couple who were both sharp, witty and kind;
to the vendor who came in for a pulled pork sandwich every now and then and told us about his poker games;
to the couple who were outside the door exactly at open so they could get the booth;
to the business lady who kept to herself but let you know she appreciated you remembering her order;
to the lawyer who became part of our restaurant family;
to the outspoken Italian who still came in after the passing of his dear significant other:
to the woman who was his significant other, who had become my friend before she left us, RIP Andy;
to the group of guys who came in, ate quick and made you laugh;
to the owners of the building the restaurant was in, who were cool and respectful;
and to the guy who came in for the same to-go and always made a point to say hello.