Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"Getting to know you, getting to know all about you... getting to know you, getting to feel free and easy..."

Thanks to Rodgers & Hammerstein for that pretty little lyric that is sure to be stuck in my head all day.

In thinking about my post from the other night, I've come to the conclusion that it's not such a big deal. I'm the first to admit that I have a horrible habit of overreacting when a situation first becomes sour... but I'm also the first to admit that my hasty assessment was wrong, once I've had time to think about the situation. I was wrong. This isn't the relationship-altering piece of information that I first saw it to be. This does not change the personality of my friend. It is simply an addition, and one with which I must cope or overlook.

On a related note, the events of the other night caused me to remember something I once read by a philosopher by the name of Leopoldo Lugones. Although he was mainly a poet (and an anarchist :)), he dabbled in the realm of philosophy and epistemology, and generated one of the most interesting articles I've ever read. In it, he wrote about personality changes according to environment... how personality can change around different friends or settings. When I first read the article, it made me sad and a little scared. I was worried that if this was always the case, then how could I ever be confident that I knew the "real" person in each of my friends? More over, how could I be sure that I was showing them the "real" person in me? Much like Sunday night's conversation, these ideas caused me to reevaluate a lot of my relationships at the time.

Now, looking back, I can see that, although I still believe Lugones' theory of personality changes, these ties can be unbound. I think it's a kind of step-by-step process. First I have to get to know my friend in the Friend-Becky environment... how she is when she's around me. Then, once I've acheived that goal, I can either stay there or attempt to move on to the next level: the Friend-X1, Friend-X2, Friend-X3 environments, and so forth. It's like a video game. You have to beat the first level before you can make it to the second, third, or forth; once you beat all the levels, you have to beat the Boss (or "Big Guy" ;)) before you can beat the game.

I can confidently say that I have beaten several levels in each of my closest friends. The ones I consider family are the ones who have beaten several levels in me, as well. It's not as hard as I used to think.

Lugones was worried that he hadn't discovered in his friends the persons they were when they were most at ease, when they felt most comfortable with themselves. He worried that no one had discovered this ideal in him, either. I think he should have relaxed a little and not tried to beat the timer.

Ironically enough, he killed himself at the age of 63.

Too bad he didn't get the chance to see The King and I or hear Anna and the school children sing that cheery little diddy. Maybe he would have stopped worrying and lived a little bit longer.

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