Since moving in with the Hendersons (composed of XX-year old Sandi, XX-year old Dustin, 6 year-old Eliza and 5-year-old Ethan) my horizons have expanded. Nay, blossomed. Belay that ‘nay,’ expanded. I’ve eaten things that have previously disturbed me, made leaps and bounds in my toddler-level writing career, and participated in various heathen rituals that I shan’t go into at this time due to various contracts.
I’ve also learned things about myself as a person which I simply hadn’t cared to know before. How much money am I really willing to spend to allow myself some freedom? (At least enough to cover rent). Why do I really want to graduate from college? (Because I can). Where did I leave my keys? (My nephew hid them in his shoes as a joke). Exactly how much of a nerd am I? (Judging by the fact that I can have lucid conversation with my Broinlaw* about Star Wars and when people will make it to Mars, a pretty big one).
I’m also learning how to DO new things. Like cooking. Sort of. Slowly. Sandi and Dustin are both very good cooks; living with them has resulted in my palatial boundaries broadening and my waistline slowly shrinking (yay!). The fact that I used to consider Fuddruckers to be borderline gourmet apparently bothered them, and in hopes of having a Broinlaw of their own someday, have made the staggering decision to try and teach me their ways. Working full time and trying to get Ze Book finished has made the process slow, but I’ve picked up a few tips already. Like steak being seared, or whatever.
What inspired all of this semi-philosophizing? The other night, Sandi and I had what may well be our second real argument. The fact that it was pretty much forgotten five minutes later says great things about our relationship, but the way it got started and the way it was carried out was very informative about how different we are as people. Belay that; how different we are as…actually, no, ‘people’ works fine.
The argument was about a piece of writing by our friend, Amber. We had completely different views on it, though we agreed it was well written and could have a huge market. Any pretense and mature debate went out the window pretty fast, and the really steamy part of the discussion went something like this:
(the red-head that pops in is probably Dustin)
“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“I do, you just don’t like that I disagree with you and-“
“No, you’re just interpreting it wrong!”
“You can’t say stuff like that and not expect to be interrupt-“
“YOU’VE BEEN INTERRUPTING ME ALL NIGHT!”
It’s funny looking back at it, and really we were laughing most of the way through anyway. That’s one of the wonderful things about being snarky, even a bitter feud over a friend’s short story is humorous.
But later, it got me thinking about how different Sandi and I are (and how good of a thing it is that we agree on almost everything, considering how ugly it is when we don’t).
You see, Sandi and I both have creative aspirations (okay, okay, SHE has a creative career, whilst I have creative aspirations). But they manifest in very different ways. Sandi is like the ship's captain, military-clean, ornately simple and absolutely sure of her own style. She rules a ship of stiff upper lips and unyielding perfection; it is a beautiful ship and, obviously, very successful.
I, on the other hand, am the lacksadaisical beach bum who watches the ship sail off to uncharted regions. I've got my jungle behind me, and have created my tree fort and monkey lounge area which can be taken apart and wiggled around for other purposes with the same function of a swiss army knife. I know what I want to create, and a big part of that is leaving some elbow-room for others to take from it what they will.
Perhaps that's why I'm into the writing thing, and Sandi's into the fabric designing thing. Or perhaps I've got it all wrong.
Either way, I'm glad for the influence the Henderson Clan has had on me. And I'm glad that I did eventually find my keys.
*Broinlaw: Brother-in-Law, one who is considered an inseperable part of one’s family, rather than the sort one secretly hopes will choke on their wedding toast drink and quickly be replaced.