Rules of Engagement
My wife and I went to dinner the other day and we got to talking about our old college relationships. We met at work a few years after we'd both graduated; I think we've always been curious about that younger version of us. I've heard stories here and there, but that period of both our lives has missing spots, like a hazy strip of overexposed negatives on a roll of film.
Before she met me she had a boyfriend for a couple of years, but they'd broken up a little before he moved to another city. I on the other hand had been single throughout my college years, having dated a few people but never quite settled in a relationship. The topic came up because she'd asked about lessons I've learned from people I've dated, and I didn't have an answer right away. I told her to give me a minute while I wound up the memory reel of those papier-mâché dates that had gone mostly nowhere.
She shared one of the lessons she learned: people change without reason, and that's okay. In fact, we change people too, without reason, by being ourselves.
I shared what I'd learned: four kisses in the morning and three before going to bed is not the same as three kisses in the morning and four before going to bed.
The fact I learned this from her, I kept to myself.
Lessons from my side: just because she's not nodding her head, doesn't mean she hates the music. Also, don't start a deep discussion just before a specific eating time, or hangriness will ensue.
> I shared what I'd learned: four kisses in the morning and
> three before going to bed is not the same as three kisses
> in the morning and four before going to bed.
I've read this a few times now and can't work out what the implication is. Does one of you get upset if the improper number of kisses is applied?
I really like those two lessons!
This is a totally fictional short story, but I will have to keep the hangriness lesson in mind for future relationships:)
The last "lesson" about the kisses is a play on a Daoist teaching from Zhuangzi in a parable called "three in the morning", it goes like this:
#Three in the Morning
But to wear out your brain trying to make things into one without realizing that they are all the same --this is called "three in the morning". What do I mean by "three in the morning"? When the monkey trainer was handing out acorns, he said, "You get three in the morning and four at night." This made all the monkeys furious. "Well, then," he said, "you get four in the morning and three at night." The monkeys were all delighted. There was no change in the reality behind the words, and yet the monkeys responded with joy and anger. Let them, if they want to. So the sage harmonizes with both right and wrong and rests in Heaven the Equalizer. This is called walking two roads.