So while idly wondering about air velocity of an unladen swallow (European not African) I randomly did some Google searches for old names from the depths of my memory.
What popped up was the name Robert Boeke. He’s the father of a friend of mine (Dan) who I went to grade school and middle school with. Turns out Robert and his lovely wife Rita have written a book on making marriages last. ( Amazon link to the book ) I’ve ordered it from Amazon just out of curiosity. Any marriage can likely be improved upon so it should prove an interesting read. (After 15 years of marriage my wife and I have managed to smooth the rough edges but nobody’s perfect.)
I haven’t thought about Dan in a great number of years but oddly I do wonder what became of him. So I’ve fired off an e-mail to Mr. Boeke to reconnect with him and his family including hopefully Dan.
I don’t make friends easily so I like to keep track of the ones I’ve picked up over the years. Regardless it’s an interesting feeling to find a connection to someone you knew long ago.
I remember one time when I was at their house we had just eaten a meal and we were cleaning up and as I’d been taught at home I opened the refrigerator door repeatedly to put stuff away. The entire family looked at me like I was nuts. Dan mentioned that they left the door open during the entire process because it used less energy that way. (It wasn’t until later that I understood that that was not strictly true and that burning enough mechanical energy opening and closing the door was more electrically efficient provided the door cycle was fast enough that you didn’t trigger the thermostat of the fridge. But I digress.)
I think I liked hanging around with Dan and his family because they were tolerant that I wasn’t the smartest kid on the block and that they treated me just like everyone else. That made a difference somehow. That and they were always ready with an explanation as to how something complex worked.
Between that, my father, and computers look where it’s lead me. A horrid life of unabashed technical geekery. *grin*
Something else that’s very interesting is that while my father and others taught me how technology worked my mother and another set of others were busy teaching me how people worked. Chief among them were several of my cousins in the early years and my cousin Debbie in later years. She taught me how to pay attention to my instincts and family gifts. Little good it did her...
I can easily say though that in my entire life there’s not one person who I haven’t been able to learn _something_ from. Even some of the worst people taught me things.
Years ago before I entered the computer field I worked at an auto parts store doing stock and delivery. One of the places we had to deliver to was this muffler and brake shop that had a mechanic who was just nasty as all hell to me.
Now my emotional engine runs at about 150% of normal all the time and it’s tough to control. And back then I had less control of it than I do now so I actually was in tears on occasion due to his words. After several bouts of this one of the other mechanics took me aside and told me a secret. The guy was nasty until you stood your ground.
So I tried several times and failed and then one day I just stood my ground and gave back what I got from him. To my surprise he stood there and just grinned at me as if he were suddenly proud of me. And in retrospect I realized that was the day that I learned what I needed to do in order to prevent myself from reacting in those situations. So from one of the most foul mouthed people I’ve ever met in my life came the basis of the control I hold over my emotions to this day. I’m not saying I always give back what I get, nor hold it all in, but due to those events I now have a considerable amount of control over that seething cauldron of emotions I keep below the surface.
The universe contains some amazing people and I’ve met a few of them. And I’m betting you have as well. :-)