Off I went, bravely I must say, on another date. This guy, while very nice, seemed perhaps to suffer from untreated bi-polar disorder? As he went on and on about his conspiracy theories – apparently there’s one big corporation running the world…etc., I listened and nodded. He told me that everyone looks at him likes he’s crazy when he shares his beliefs.
I looked at him and just listened. What do I know, anyway – at this point, who knows what the heck’s going on with our world? His guess is as good as mine or even, perhaps, Rachel Maddow’s. (kidding. but still)
As he spoke, I was reminded of the movie A Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe – a brilliant professor with paranoid schizophrenia writing wild equations all over chalkboards while losing touch with reality.
But again, I can not judge. What my date believed is his reality. I think it made him feel safe that I didn’t argue or call him him out or seem appalled.
After all, I think all of us just want to be heard. When I work at the restaurant and customers are angry with how their meat is cooked or that they can’t use 20 coupons for one meal or that the salad bar no longer includes cauliflower, I often just listen. When I asked one woman what I could do to make her happy, she said, “Really, I just want to be heard.” I still bought her dessert, but she left with a smile.
And in the case of the restaurant, or most places, it’s really not about the cauliflower, is it? It’s about everything in life that’s disappointing or unfulfilling or…not validated.
So, I’m happy to validate and to understand with compassion. After all, that’s how I want to be treated.
On another note, last night’s date – like so many men before him – said to me, “I just can’t understand how someone as great as you can still be single!”
Anyone want to validate me on that?