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Monday, February 14, 2011

Grinding Up Common Grounds....

Happy Valentines Day! On this day where we fill the air with sappy aphorisms about love, I thought it might be a breathe of fresh air to a blog on the theme of love & friendships but sans the cheesiness. There is nothing that melts cheesiness into fondue like dishing out juicy details and hot gossip about me and my BFF.

So grab your morning coffee because on today's blog we're going to be grinding up common grounds the way you grind up coffee grounds. It's time to let the cat out of the bag as I reveal one of the most shocking relationship revelations about Marisa & I.....WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON!!!!

Bet you never saw that one coming! But I could place my hand on a holy Bible and swear to you the truth of that statement. If we were to go to court and the judge and jury were to put our friendship on trial based on our things in common, we would get indicted. She's extremely feminine, a definite "girly girl". For me, I'm 30 years old and I'm still trying to find a feminine bone in my body. When I was in Canada and I was looking for a souvenir for her, I literally had to think "OK, what do girls like?" Alot of my friends are girls who aren't overly feminine.

Marisa is my first friend who is about as feminine as they get. This is just one of the many things on the list that are seemingly opposite. We differ in everything right down to our taste in music. If we hung out together I would probably be waiting for her outside a clothing or makeup store and as soon as she was done, I'd drag her into the electronics store to check out the latest technology offering.

Yet this is the healthiest relationship I have ever been in with absolutely no signs of stopping. Our culture tells us that having things in common is essential for a relationship to succeed. Well if that were 100% true, then why is it that in the Indian culture 90% of arranged marriages don't end up in divorce. A majority of the time, the bride and the groom literally do not see each other until the day of the wedding. So any chance of relationship based on common interests gets thrown out the door.

 Although surface-wise there doesn't seem to be much in common there, when you put who Marisa is under a microscope, she fits me like a glove. Not many people know that I have an extremely high standard for who I choose as friends and who I let in. Don't get me wrong, I'll hang out with just about anyone. But as for who I allow to get deeply involved in, there are qualities that I am looking for. I know exactly what I want and after a year of observing her, I realize that what we have together is something no amount of money can buy.

I'm good for her in many ways. I'm not exactly sure how but it seems that we bring out the best in each other. Being a writer I can articulate exactly how she is good for me and fits what I need. Granted, she is a great person with honesty, integrity and good energy. But those adjectives are a little too general and I want to get into the specifics of why I've chosen her as a friend and why she brings out the best in me. Hopefully, my example will be an inspiration to others to have high standards too and know what you want when you are looking for a relationship.

I'm a person who can be somewhat of a paradox at times. I can be loving and at other times downright cold. Being creative, I also have my different moods and can go from being soft and sensitive to strong and aggressive. Marisa is fantastic because she knows how to be firm yet gentle. She is very much a leader and has a strong personality herself. She has a "take charge attitude" and is not afraid to rise to the occasion. I realize now that those are the qualities I look for in a friend. In life I believe there are two kinds of people, ones that let circumstances control their outcome and those who take control of their circumstances and determine the outcome. I believe that both of us are the latter and both us are drawn to people like that.

Any given day, whatever our friendship needs....she's on to it. I do not need to worry about things falling through the cracks. It's as if I can just hand the keys of responsibilty to someone and know she's going to do her part to ensure success. She also knows how to handle my personality and has a way of knowing when to be sensitive and loving and also knows when to be firm and direct. She is mindful of my different moods and has a way of showing empathy without turning it into pity and indulging me to sit in my sorrow and let my feelings overwhelm me. Her ability to do this has resulted in growth because she's sensitive to me but also isn't afraid to tell me things even if I don't want to hear them.

As I continue to grow, I realize that things in common are only a tiny part of what makes people compatible. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if having things in common should be one of the last things on the list. Why? Because you can learn to love what the other person loves. Like a typical Argentine, she loves rock music from the 80's and 90's. I've never been a die-hard rock and roll fan but I can grow to love it. She's never been interested in technology or stuff like that but it's not hard for her to get into it after we spend time together.

Common grounds are something that you can make happen if you really want it to happen. But character is something you cannot create in a person. These are variables you cannot change and ultimately, these qualities serve as an anchor to your relationship when the storm hits. I'm so blessed to be in a relationship with another person who like me, has a healthy strong character.

Finding common grounds with each other is one of the last great frontiers we have yet to conquer in our friendship. But I'm still waging war on the idea of becoming more feminine. It's gonna be a long time before you'll catch her taking me clothes shopping and getting my hair and nails done :) I'm not converting to the other side that easily! This is one area where I will gladly grind up all grains of common grounds....

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Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas