Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Friday, July 16, 2004

OK, so last night I wrote about the Dylan Moran one-man show I saw on Wednesday night, and that the one piece of his routine that stuck in my head on the way out was that he talked about life as basically a journey to find people who understand how you think.  Which I thought was interesting.  I'm going to ramble on this point for a bit without any real destination, so we'll see where I end up.  Okay.  Having something happen and then knowing that there's someone around that you can make eye contact with and know that they're thinking what you're thinking is nice.  It's comforting.  It makes me feel like I'm not insane; that maybe whatever's inside my head isn't crazy.  So that connection is good.  But I have a lot of friends where that isn't the case, at least not that often as far as I can tell, and that doesn't make them lesser friends, or mean I like being around them any less.  Because sometimes you're compatible even if you don't necessarily understand how the other person thinks -- or not "even if" but perhaps "because" you don't understand how they think, so they're interesting in a way.  Because you're not sure what they're thinking, and you're not sure how they're processing the thing that you're processing.  But frustrating sometimes.  Like, to give a relatively mundane example -- but it's the one that's coming to mind -- I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago about being on time vs. being late.  I'm generally on time -- more than most people, I think.  I don't like being late, feeling like I'm going to be late, feeling like I'm keeping people waiting.  In a way, it's because I spend more mental energy than I should trying to make sure people like me, and if I'm late that's a reason not to like me, and that's fully in my control, and I'd rather be someone people can count on to be on time than someone people know is always late, because that feels like a better thing to be.  So I tend to leave early to get places, overestimate the time it'll take me, plan for possibilities that won't happen... so I'm not late very often, and when I am I usually have a totally legitimate and understandable reason, like the express train exploded or I got stuck in a meat grinder (huh?  I don't know where the words come from, sorry).  And the friend I was talking to said that he comes at it from the opposite direction.  He doesn't want to be late, but he always feels like something will take the shortest amount of time it has ever taken, and so it's reasonable for him to budget that amount of time -- and then something will come up right when he's getting ready to leave -- so he ends up late.  Not on purpose, but just because it happens.  Which is different from what happens to me, obviously.  And probably his way is better, because although it bothers me when someone is late, I chalk it up to "this bothers me more than it bothers other people" and don't actually hold it against them, unless they're consistently really late, and for no good reason.  Or don't call to say they're going to be late.  Or are just flaky about making plans in general, which, again, probably bothers me more than it bothers other people, but as long as someone is predictable -- if I *know* you always cancel plans, then I can plan for you to cancel and be happy when you don't and it's all fine, I understand, it's just how you work.  Now where was I going with this?  I don't know.  Thinking differently.  Yeah.   I think this was a bad example of where I was going, but it's a lot of words so I'm going to leave it.  I guess what I want to write is that I sort of agree with Moran's point, and it is really nice to find people who understand how you think, and you understand how they think, so you can realize you're not insane and feel like you're not all alone in this big, dark world.  Okay, this was useless, and I'v e just written a lot of words about absolutely nothing, so I think I'll stop.  This is what happens when I'm sitting at a desk too long.  :)