Drawing Lines in Black and White.

“Just make a pros and cons list!” my close friend told me last week, as if the solution were that simple.  I was feeling so suddenly divided over my feelings for two people when I saw her.  I had been gravitating one direction, but being around her causes the scales to tip in her vote’s favor.  Of course she wanted me to make a list; she thought all I needed was stark contrast to see the obvious.  I wasn’t sure it would be that obvious.  Besides, how do you even compare people like that?
Case A                             Case B
smart                               smart
hard worker                  hard worker
tall and handsome     tall and handsome
nice                                   nice
No, no, not like that… that’s stupid.  Think harder.
Umm, okay…
Case A                      Case B
go-getter                   more laid-back
smooth-talker            trustworthy adventurous              reserved formal                        goofy
pragmatic                  dogmatic
Closer, doesn’t this help?
No, it doesn’t help.  These kinds of things aren’t black and white!  And you can’t just group people like that!
And so I struggle.
Case A.  Someone might be a go-getter and adventurous, but that could also mean they’re busy, hard to entertain, always just as easily pleased by the world around them.  That person might seem slick, but a smooth-talker could just be telling you what you want to hear – a politician.  A formal, assertive, confident presence can be just as concealing.  Yet pragmatic people, the ones who try to see the logic in things, the scientific light,…those people are often so much easier for me to relax around.  There’s room for debate.  There’s sifting through facts.  There’s entertaining the mind without fear of hurting someone’s feelings.  But does it provide perspective?  I like perspective.
This should be easy.  Why isn’t this easy?
Case B.  On the other hand, someone else might be more laid-back.  This could be good because it’s a comfortable place to be, but does that person ever go outside of the comfort zone?  That person may be obviously trustworthy, an excellent quality, but what if it’s at the expense of adventure because of how reserved and in-the-box one lives?  Goofy is good; similar humor is appealing and leads to fun times that require less formalities and that can be spontaneous.  Then my friend’s always saying, What about that dogmatic part?  The part so hell-bent on a certain perspective and way of living that any deviance is unwelcome?  Unaccepted?  It offers me perspective and conversation, which I like, but I don’t like feeling like my own opinions are invalid, like that person has the only possible right answers.
Finally, my friend forgets to realize it’s not just one-sided; how someone regards me, yearns for my company, makes an attempt – friendship, relationship, whatever – that plays an enormous part in my considerations, and understandable so I’d say.  So far, it has been that factor dictating the majority of my choices.
“Pros and cons list!  Pros and cons!”
I can’t just do that.  I love making lists to lead my life, but people are not black and white and divided by the thin line of a column on a piece of paper.
And the whole time, I cringe at the thought: Who is comparing me?

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