Sunday, May 16, 2010

as others see us

I once made the mistake of telling Kay I wasn't interested in physics. Or maybe it was space (as in OUTER space). She was shocked. She felt that as an intelligent person I MUST be fascinated by these subjects and want to attend every Friday night lecture at CalTech with her and Jean.

Truth to tell, I HAD attended many Friday night lectures at CalTech when I was in high school. In fact I heard Linus Pauling there. I had also taken the first undergraduate class in quantum mechanics ever given at my college. None of this was good enough for Kay. She wanted me to maintain an up-to-date interest in all the sciences, and she never gave up.

Carolyn, on the other hand, once berated me for being too scientific. She wanted me to work with her on a line of dollhouse furnishings, but I offended her artistic sensibilities by talking in terms of square inches.

Dino wanted me to co-write a novel with him, so decided I must be a fiction writer. When I said I don't write fiction, he said: "Oh, but you SPEAK it so well!"

A teaching colleague who knew I was interested in music made the assumption that I wanted to hear him blather on with detailed comparisons between every recording ever made of Wagner's operas.

And so it goes. We know each other to the extent that we see reflections of ourselves on the surfaces that others choose to expose. What of the less shiny surfaces?

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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License