oh, the differences
How S. and I are different, as driven home to me this weekend after a visit with Keita and a visit with S.'s cousins up near Chicago:
1. He assumes the best about people and is genuinely suprised to learn otherwise. I, of course, usually assume that people don't like me and respond accordingly until I have reason to believe otherwise. So I assume an antagonistic stance until I figure out I that don't need to. This means I generally assume the worst. Less room for disappointment, more for surprise.
Number 2 is really just a corollary to number 1 and is most certainly related to gender: I become on-the-verge-of-hostile whenever any kind of sales person tries to talk to me in a store, especially an electronics store. S. talks with them, sharing stories and making friends. I stand there seething, knowing I'm coming off as such a royal bitch--it's the contrast between him and me that does it. But S. has never been a woman being sold in stores like this.
3. S. genuinely likes his family members and wants to spend time with them. It's a way of being that I envy. Sometimes I feel like I've been ripped off, but I'm happy now to spend time with his family. They're fantastic. Every man in his family is as sweet as he is--kind, generous, and assuming the best of people. And it just doesn't work to assume the worst about people like this.
So I'm workin' on it.