Wednesday, July 28, 2010

(Mrs) Adventure #15: Twenty Five Questions

If I were to make an admission, it would be that I am absolutely, undeniably and over the top obsessed with people. I am totally fascinated by the foibles and experiences that mix to create the advanced psychological formulas that will determine just what makes a particular person ‘tick.’ Like a constant game of Jeopardy, I want to know the answers that will inevitably lead me to the questions. Really. I could totally win a game of twenty questions against Barbara Walters. As a result, I think most people walk away from a first encounter with me scratching their heads and trying to figure out how in the world they’d just ended up getting into a two hour conversation with a veritable stranger about how their high school crush influenced their later relationship patterns.

The guy in India who fixed my computer, Bob from Bombay? I have his personal number at the call center. The same can be said of the operator at Southwest Airlines, (Congrats Betty, by the way, on the birth of your new grandchild), or Joe the friendly customer service agent at DirecTV who used to live in Joliet, Illinois before he moved to Nowheresville, Oklahoma. As it turns out, Joe and I have three mutual friends and because of this my DirecTV always works swimmingly.

I’ve been on this veritable and unexplainable quest for answers since nearly birth. Though it has occasionally brought me pain, my favorite homeless poet King James recently wound up back in Cook County Jail for theft; it also has the ability to bring me fabulous surprises and joy. While on a recent outing to one of my favorite Sunday brunch digs, I found my way over to a friend of a friend of it turns out a very good ‘friend.’ Midway through conversation and amid my determination to figure out this interesting fellow who knew my tablemates, we discovered we shared far more than a coincidental number of similarities- the most important being that this lovely fellow was a friend with both my brothers while growing up. This may sound slightly common, but I assure you, it isn’t. You see, one of my brother’s passed away when he was only seven years old and outside of my family, I’ve never actually met anyone that knew him personally. As he shared stories of baseball teams and jocular boyhood activities, I felt as though I discovered a missing puzzle piece of myself. All over omelets and mimosas. And all because I felt the need to know this man’s particular questions.

Of course, the second half of this admission is that in my quest to figure someone out, I will do every possible search. That’s right. Like a crazed stalker wielding the power of the Internet, I will be up late into the night researching. In more euphemistic, less commitable terms, I like to do my homework. Come on, is there really anyone out there that can’t say that they sometimes find it delicious when someone hasn’t set their profile to private and you can view countless numbers of pictures? It’s like reading a little storybook. No one? OK, well, I’ve never said that I wasn’t slightly off-balance occasionally. And if I am truthful, I predominately only did this when I was considering dating someone. I just really needed to know if they had ever, say, been arrested for setting fire to their car. Or had once been suspected of master minding a counterfeit troll doll trading ring. Or perhaps appeared as an up an coming child actor on the short lived 1980s sitcom ‘Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Roll Wrestling!!!!’ Which isn’t really an arrestable offense, per se, but it is undeniably a crime of dignity. And for anyone out there who also likes to ‘do their homework,’ a word to the wise: charges before 2003 often don’t appear on the interwebs. Yep. Had to find THAT one out the hard way. And I won’t say of which scenario above; I’m still traumatized.

On the opposite side, I am always very surprised when people mention that they have, say, google searched me. Mainly because most people are shocked to learn that I once produced a show episode titled, “Sex Strippers Tell All!” In truth, I didn’t. I’ve actually produced far worse, but for some reason, imdb loves to attach my name to this one. I was thrilled when I realized that my future in-laws knew how to use Internet searches -because nothing says perfect match for their ridiculously intelligent and well-versed son like a producer credit on The Jerry Springer Show. I later found out that my fear was unnecessary because my husband had already beaten me to the punch. It was apparently one of the first things he mentioned to his parents when describing me. “Hey, Mom and Dad, I’m dating this girl and guess what? She used to work for Jerry Springer!” I’m sure at that moment they were positively elated. He really does have a knack for introductions, that one.

Anyway, the point of this whole entry is that due to my obsessive love of people and their psychology, I am often shocked when I discover something new and charming that has been essentially sitting right in my lap all these years. And that is a tiny joy for me, especially because it is something that my husband wrote about himself and because he is currently deployed, I don’t always have the benefit to pal around him all the time and discover these very innocent and simple psychological gems.

Do you remember those twenty-five question surveys that were passed around Facebook at some point early in 2009? Well, apparently the hubs filled one out which seems so somewhat out of character of him. He must have been extremely bored or deployed, otherwise he’d be too busy playing around in jets or greasing himself up on the beach volleyball courts while the Top Gun soundtrack plays in the background. And no. No. I’m not kidding.

I guess sometimes I get so fascinated with figuring out strangers, and maybe we all do, that I sometimes forget to seek out all the hidden gifts of those closest to me. I wonder, of anyone reading this: have you ever discovered a positive hidden gem of someone you’d known for years? It’s simply wonderful.

Of course, this is just a silly survey. But knowing that he wrote this a few months before we reconnected, well, it certainly reminds me how I fell madly in love with him in twenty five simple steps.