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We the human race have the most ridiculous tendency: we zero in on our differences, enlarge them to epic proportions, and harp upon them--pick-pick-pick, lecture-lecture-lecture, obsess-obsess-obsess--until bringing about an argument, freeze-out, or war. And we usually don't stop after that, either. We just lather, rinse, and repeat. It's part of the need to belong to a group, a tribe; and I know it will never go away. But I also think it's taken way too far, way down to laughably small details--or rather, they would be laughable, if they didn't result in tears, blood, and death.

Religious schisms are the obvious example. There's the famous joke where two people exchange views, agreeing on everything at first--"I'm a Christian." "Me too!" "Protestant." "Me too!" "Baptist." "Me too!" "Second Baptist Church of Christ of Louisiana." "Oh. I'm First Baptist of Missouri. Die, sacrilegious scum!" I don't have to point to specific instances regarding the Catholic Church right now. You've seen it on your own f-list.

And it goes all the way down to personal relationship level, which is really where I think it's idiotic. People who have 99% of everything in common, and know each other extremely well, will spend 50% of their time arguing about that 1% difference. I'm getting tired of it. It's extraordinarily stupid, and predictable, and nothing exasperates me faster than predictable stupidity. No, we'll never find someone who's 100% perfect in our eyes. It's a sad fact--but then again, 99%, or even 90%, is pretty good. People's quirks and preferences, ones you may never quite understand, are what make them individuals, and are part of what drew you to them. Radio host Chris, in one of his thoughtful rambles on "Northern Exposure," observed with regret, "When we win the woman of our dreams, the first thing we do is try to change her." It's true (for both sexes), and it should not be that way--not for lovers, and not for friends either.

Oh, I've done it too. I know I have. "I thought I liked you until I found out you didn't care for the LOTR movie. There is no trust between us now." "You prefer sweet pickles to dill? Get out of this house; out!"

But I'm trying not to. Call it part of my New Year's resolution, which was to stay out of internet debates; or call it an attempt to keep my stress level down (because stress ages you unnaturally fast, and I want to hang onto my girlish looks).

So. Comment below if you want me to name something I like about you, despite it not being a feature I'm interested in having myself.

And me? Is there anything you admire or like about me even though it's different from the way you'll ever be? (No biological traits, now. That's silly.) Speak up. Get over here onto this common ground.

We'll crush the infidels later this afternoon, when we've had some tea and a few good laughs.

Comments

(Anonymous)
Apr. 22nd, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
What I like about you (music insert here)
I like that you can write about any subject, from perfume, to linguistics, to politics, and make it entertaining. I like that you are unafraid to be a proud conservative American.
mollyringle
Apr. 23rd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
Re: What I like about you (music insert here)
Thank you--I don't feel "unafraid," but I always like to be considered entertaining! I'd return the favor, but uh... what I like about you is that you will compliment people in completely anonymous fashion and therefore make it impossible for them to think you were fishing for compliments yourself. :)