One of the biggest mysteries in human interaction, to me, is how long it takes into a relationship to truly know someone.
First let me be clear. By relationship, I don’t just mean boyfriend and girlfriend. I mean any human relationship. Whether it is family, friends, coworkers, classmates, etc. Basically, any bond you form between another person.
We meet people all the time, but we don’t truly meet them. Whenever you are acquainting yourself with a new person, it’s only natural that you are going to act differently than you normally do. I’m not saying you’re going to become a different person — but you’re going to make sure your best qualities come to the forefront.
You are going to be polite, you are going to listen, and you are going to be friendly.
But the more time we spend with someone, the more we discover about them, and it’s those details and intricacies we learn that formulate who a person really is.
But what is that breaking point? Is it the first time you see them drunk? The first time you see them deal with adversity? Or the first time you really learn something intimate and personal about their life?
It’s like on a first date… you’re going to try as hard as you possibly can to keep all your bad qualities away, as you try to present the best possible image of yourself. But the more times you see each other, the more difficult that becomes. You can’t hide your true colors forever.
And I’m not being cynical and saying that everyone’s “true colors” are bad, but it’s only inevitable that everyone in this world has qualities that will annoy other people. Nobody is perfect. Except me.
So again, what is it? What is the context when the walls finally come down, and you actually see someone for the first time.
Well I think I know.
It’s how they react when there is a spider in their bedroom.
I can’t speak for everyone, but that won’t stop me from trying. As children, we were mortally afraid of spiders. Have you ever seen a 6-year-old look up, spot a spider chilling on his ceiling, and then coolly grab a tissue, stand on a chair, kill the spider, flush it down the toilet and then return to his room like nothing ever happened? Of course not.
The moment they lay eyes on that 8-legged critter, they’re going to bolt out of their room, scream for their mom and dad, and not reenter their room until one of their parents has not only removed the spider, but flushed it down the toilet.
I’m not going to lie — I behaved this way until I was about 15.
It’s a very telling characteristic about a person. Let’s face it, if you can’t handle the emotional toils that come with dealing with a spider — something that is the size of your freaking fingernail, then how the heck do I expect you to react in a situation where actual danger is involved?
Sorry, but if I am with a girl who is in her mid-20s, and she becomes terrified at the sight of a spider, it is going to be a little bit of a red flag for me. It will tell me a considerable amount about that person.
It just doesn’t make sense to be legitimately afraid of something that can be killed with an actual flick of your fingers.
Now, I’m 25 years old, and my fear for spiders has all but evaporated. I have no problem killing them myself, and on days when I am feeling charitable, I will even throw them outside and allow them to live long and happy spider lives.
And right now, as I type this, there is a spider in my room. It’s sitting on the corner where the wall meets the ceiling, and it is directly in front of me. I’m not afraid of it, but I keep checking every couple of minutes to make sure it’s still there. The sight of a spider in motion, moving it’s eight legs to crawl across the wall, does still give me a little bit of the willies. But as long as it’s stationary, we’re cool.
I actually first spotted this spider about two or three days ago. It’s pretty easy to tell that it’s the same one. I saw it right before I was about to leave my house, and I didn’t have time to do anything about it. When I returned home, it was gone. And now, it has resurfaced, and it’s maybe five feet to the right of where I first saw it.
That means that this spider has moved about five feet in 72 hours. God, what a life. I seriously could not be more envious.
So what am I going to do? Since I know that this spider is extremely immobile, and since it’s on the wall opposite my bed, I think I’m just going to let him chill there. It doesn’t appear that he wishes to do me any harm. And yeah, I’ve decided that it is a he.
Not to get all philosophical here, but does it ever occur to anybody, then when you kill a spider — or any bug, really — you’re ending a life? A very irrelevant life (no offense, spidey), but a life nonetheless. I suppose it’s a pretty unmanly thing to think. It’s also probably why I never go fishing.
However, that’s the way nature works. Survival of the fittest. It is how humans became the predominant creatures, after all. Well, that and a giant meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Hopefully, if someone was making a final judgment on me based on how I react when I see a spider, they would come to the conclusion that I am a caring, thoughtful individual with a good heart. Or that I’m a pussy.
Before I go, I hope you all were aware that today was National High Five Day. This day is extra special for me because it reminds me of the most infamous high-five I have ever given. It was at the end of a first date, after I had already given a hug. I foolishly stuck my hand in the air, suggesting a high-five, which was reciprocated. It wasn’t until hours later when I realized the consequences of my actions.
People, do not make the same mistake I did. Don’t ever, EVER, go for the high-five on a first date.
It’s the number one surefire way to die alone.