Family, Culture, and Life

The central players in this little play:

Me, a person of some years (not that old you git) Engineer (IT) who's interests and hand(s) have been in quite a number of pots (and not all of them in IT). If you know me, then you know the rest, if you don't know me:
Nanana booboo!!!

Her, a *erased by her censorship squad* year old Real Estate (Finance) Professional. The rest you will discover from this entry. What you don't know from this little entry is your problem. (*sticking my tongue out*)

Things are moving along quite nicely I must say... some minor little hiccups here and there, but overall quite well. She's a a wonderful person with strengths and flaws that sadly we both share, I must admit. Its the downside of being very similar, which is ironic considering how different we both are and were come from.

For example, the differences:
  • Myself, I am Costa Rican with a little bit of everything tossed in (go far enough up the tree and the only group that my family doesn't have in our little melting pot is Chinese or Japanese. (Or Taiwanese for that matter) ironic given my particular bent, but that is a blog for another time). She on the otherhand is 100% Taiwanese. Though again, I suspect if you go far enough up the tree some other fruit may fall. But again, another blog, another time, with permission.
  • I've made it a goal and my life's work (both professionally and personally) to explore and learn as much as I can about this little planet and all its cultural differences. VS. She is most decidedly a home body (I am as well, to a large degree, but my home ranges all over the planet *grin*). Not to say she has no desire to travel (simply not true as my first love, a Ms. Delta and her sisters (Continental, Singapore Air, JAL, Asiana, ANA, BMI, and Northwest) would disown me), but where my second thought when waking is "Where can/do I go today?" (My first thought is about her, and that is none of your business) her's is more domestic and local. But she is willing, so I don't have to give up my mistresses. YEAH!!! (was a man ever so blessed?)
  • My (extended: Cousins, aunts, uncles, etc...) family is more loosenit. We are close, but not that close. A person or twenty may drop off the map (sometimes its a good thing), and its no harm, no foul. Her family (extended, and I do mean extended) is much more cohesive, with constant checks and reports. Some of this, I am sure, is due to her being an unmarried female living alone, but the main thing is the family is just very close. (Personally, I vote for the middle ground: very close to the family, but with some distance so you can control the frequency, duration, and timing of the checks)
  • Naturally our approaches to conflict are different, more from a gender separation than a cultural one. (ahhh, the eternal struggle between man and woman)
  • We have different interests, expected given that she is herself and I am myself. (Its an easy cheap one, but I'll add it here to round things out)

Now for the similarities:
  • Both of us have a strong sense of family (and our desires and interests are identical)
  • Both of us have an identical deep sense of honour and respect
  • Both of us have similar financial aspirations, though we differ a little on where we would spend money: With me, its electronics, with her its clothes and shoes. (Anyone shocked yet?)
  • Both of us have similar educational goals and our respetive career paths are pretty compatible. She a Master's in Mathematics, me a Doctorate of Computer Science. She handles the real estate and how to get the home, I can handle what to do with the home once we get it. (see, it works!)
  • Both of us have similar home styles (we are Condo/Townhome people, not "Yard" people. Lazy sods we are)
  • Both of us value, cherish, and demand our privacy (ironically this is a slight source of conflict we are also trying to relax this more between us)
  • Both of us have similar asthetic styles, though she is more utilitarian than me. I've been hanging around too many artists. (mother always did say if you lay with dogs, you will get fleas)
  • Both of us want to see the world. I've seen a bigger part of it so far and still have a LOT more to go, but now I want to see it with someone else. Someone to share my "world" with as well as teach. (I should have changed professions, I knew it)
  • Our sense of humour is nearly identical and we both suffer a similar problem of accepting the joke as literal some times. (which can be bad, as we both tell such darkly humorous lines regarding the "other man or the other woman" (I suspect this feeds into our own insecurities))
  • Both of us believe in being polite and civil for its own sake, though she has a much shorter fuse than me.
  • Our cuisine preferences are very similar (though I will eat raw fish, she will not. Hey, I said SIMILAR, not identical)
  • Even our families are very similar: Strong matriarchal structure with a firm patriarch at the head. (Think queen, and her right hand hatchet man). Both of our familes enjoy humour, laughter, and the same "round table" like banter at the dinner table.
  • Our family sizes are similar but uneven. (Mine is immense on one side and small on the other, vs. her's is large all over.
  • And for a cheap one: We are both April babies; 3 years and 3 days apart (and I think even 3 hours apart, but I am not sure)
  • And there are many many other similarities, I won't go into them all or this poor blog entry will be much much longer, and I am sure I won't live to see the next day once she reads it.
And now that we have established the players in our little drama:

What strikes me as amusing is just how culturally similar we are. I am less surprised by this than her (mostly because I've seen enough in this world to realize that the only think that separates me from other person is a name and a location, otherwise, we are all pretty much the same). Because of her surprise, I have to ask the question: WHY?

Now granted, I am not the worlds best person to go down this route, given my hobbies, interests, and strong desire to experience and learn about all cultures all around this world (and if possible, a few beyond. That's right NASA and SETI, get your arse's in gear.. ok? Flying car my rosy rear end. I was jipped.. Jipped I say. 2005.. bleah!) And granted, she's been more isolated than I have in terms of experiencing the world and various cultures. Family restrictions.

Much of what goes on in the world is repeated numerous times by all. As chere papa quite often quips:

"Nothing exists in a vacuum"

or to put it another by a quote from the same man (not sure its his, but I'll attribute it to him anyway, if its not, don't correct me, I pack an OED and a rifle. A man's quotes are not to be abused):

"Great minds think alike"

All of this is to say, despite a trick of geography which has given us different starts, it does not negate the notion that ultimately we are both humans (stop laughing), and humans, for good or bad, are the same. Similar desires, similar interests, similar aspirations, etc... ad nasuisum. In fact, I can prove to you with math (not fair, as I can prove pretty much anything mathematically. Now whether its socially sound is another story) that pretty much all of human endeavors and drives stem from probably about 5 - 7 core drivers. (and not windows you freak).
If you think hard enough, I am sure you can name a few without furling your brow. How does a happy safe family sound? What about some recognition? Sex anyone? (not offering, just saying) Anyone want a child? (I got two real cheap from the flight I was on, whiny little bas.. err.. I mean such angels)

These are some basic drives. For what purpose you want those things, how you go about getting them, and in what percentages you want them or to what extent they play in your life are unique to you. (I don't want to know... really.. I have my own problems)

Some want to bang everything and everyone in sight. (I highly recommend never drinking with these people, you may experience more than you want. But hey, its your life, all I ask is photos for later. A man has to make money some how). For some, their family is their goal, but they view money as the path to achieve such success. (Trust me, it never works. At best, little Johnny or Jane is not in jail... at worst, you are dog food. Anyone remember the menendez brothers? 'nuff said)

So we've established to some degree that despite locale, age, gender, race, creed, or religion, we are all pretty the same animals drinking from the same trough. This natrually (huh?) loops back to the question of our similarities. If everything in human history (damn monkey's) has been done before, merely the tools used and the approach differ, why should she be surprised that excepting some minor differences we are pretty much the same and that once I accept those differences I ("L" word) her?

I suppose it comes down to numbers. (yumm... Number O's) And, what wine do you have by the bottle?)

I once mentioned to a friend of mine (you know who you are) that the odds of me meeting someone of mutual interest, someone of intelligence, hell, lets wrap it all up into "someone of quality" (see the similarities above, my fingers hurt) is pretty low to nill (so how did I get her?.. would you believe voodoo? what about bribery? I kidnapped her? Oh come on...) here is how I break it down:

On any given day, I meet about 150 people (I'm rounding here so shut up Alexi)

Out of that 150 people, lets assume about half of that number is male (sorry folks, me down swing that way. They make good friends, colleagues, even drinking buddies and travel guys, but for my bedmate, I prefer someone soft with three PHYSICAL parts (stop giggling) I don't possess.

So that leaves us with about 75 people. Now out of that number, lets assume I have even a passing interest in about half of them. (this is based on limited factors: age, apparent intelligence, decorum, appearance, etc...)

So that drops it to 37.5 people. (isn't math fun?) From that number we have to deal with their interest in me. I am a great guy (its on my business card.. right there, in small print. Well, use the magnifying glass, but trust me its there) but some people just don't get my particular brand of me'ness and the reasons are varied and far ranging:
  • From the stupid: Wrong colour (Their words, not mine. Sucks don't it?)
  • To the mundane: "I don't like people in IT" (I will refrain from commenting as this is a family blog... mostly)
  • To the moronic: "I didn't know people of that colour were intelligent" (this is an actual statement a lady said to me once when I was in phoenix. The world can be a lousy place at times)
  • To the confusing "You are almost what I want, but not quite" (again an actual statement, this time by a lady in Miami while we were in the airport)
  • To the direct "No, sorry, not interested" (I laughed at this because I met her not more than 2 seconds and my total interaction time with her was saying that most hated and vile of words "Hello". Some people are just so jaded that any attempts to engage them are met with WOMD).
So given all of that, lets chop that number to a third shall we? Which leaves 12.5 possible people.

Now we enter into the other factors.

Timing = -4 (I miss her on the train, she misses me at the wine club, etc... Plus I travel a great deal, which makes it even more difficult.

Circumstance = -2 (A great person, but one or both of us had a hard day and so we are a little more snappish than what we normally would be, or some other extenuating factor. Or its at work and she's a vendor/client/bosses daughter (hey, its happened. How? The less said the better))

Ability = -2 (I am not a Romeo (Destined), I'm not a Cassanova (Suave), I am not a lothario (Persistant and charming), I am not even a Garfield (hey, they cat is lazy, but he talks to everyone.. trust me, he's getting a little kitty on the side of his Pasta). In almost every case I have "chatted up" a lady, there has been some reason to engage her in conversation. I am too old world English (read: prude) to just speak to a lady like that. I love a good conversation, I enjoy debate, but there must be an obvious and stated reason to do so. Anything less would be improper.

Situation = -2 (You meet someone, she is great. Stimulating conversation, great sense of humour, a body that would make a priest kick little johnny, a smile that could melt a glacier and have it begging to come back. The kind of woman that men have been known to propose to on the spot. BUT, she's a co-worker (Rule #22: NEVER date a co-worker, don't even think in that direction, in fact, you have no "female" (or "male" for my female readers) co-workers, just waldos). See my client/bosses daughter line above. (Old Line Quoted by The Shadow #89901: Never dip your pen in the company ink)

Luck = -1 (Don't ignore luck! Many a Battle, Job, Yen (or dollar for you other people), or fair heart have been won/saved through pure dumb luck. Don't believe me? Example: You break through your fear and trepidation and strike up a conversation with someone that meets all of the above qualities (and she has to, I'm picky).. Its a great conversation with the lady. You have incredible chemistry, she's got a body, yadda yadda yadda... and "Oh, and here is Bob, my husband, Bob say hello to the shadow" And well, you can imagine how the rest went. ("...tail between the legs" about sums it up) Bob that bum got there first. Especially when you find out that Bob was a former college mate of yours and moved into the building across the street and while you were gallivanting about the globe looking for the next great adventure, bob, was out there wooing Ms. Right. *breathing to calm myself* But I digress, that little example my friends is dumb luck. Don't discount it.

So we are left with 1 possible person per day.. 1 out of our 150. Not good odds I would say. And with that 1 person, its down to lots of other factors I won't even mention or this entry will get longer than it already is).

So, how did I meet this little wonder that I plan on making an "honest woman"? Remember my small speech about luck? (if you do, you get a cookie, send me an email and we discuss terms and flavours) It cuts both ways. So yes, I had to to some 5500+ miles away.. shorten to only 2200 because I'm a nice guy (see, right there) to find her but I found her. Difficult to find, a slippery little thing, but worth hanging on to.

And despite all the hoopla, all the potential differences (paper does not match the reality), all the dumb luck (again with the luck thing), all the reasons I can think of that we both should run
like the wind, hide our heads in the sand singing loudly to make it all go away. Dispite all of that, we are so similar it is frightening (remember that luck thing? I told you not to discount it) and I think we want the best for each other.

I can't wait to see what happens next.
It should be fun.
Now, if you will excuse me, Daddy's gotta go kick some keister.
Ciao Ciao

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