In one of my favorite all-time romantic comedies, the 1972 movie What’s Up Doc, it quickly becomes obvious this is no ordinary love story! It’s a wonderfully hilarious treatment of the old oil-and-water-don’t mix relationship that’ll literally have you in stitches from start to finish.
In one scene, after becoming increasingly aggravated by Judy Maxwell (Barbara Streisand), Howard Bannister (Ryan O’Neal) finally cries out in frustration, “Why do you have to be so different!” She looks abashed for a moment, then quietly replies, “I’m sorry; I don’t mean to be so different. From now on, I’ll try to be the same.”
[Note from the Proprietor: If you’ve never seen this movie, by all means do. It’s worth it. Trust me on this.]
I said all that to ask ya this: Do you consider yourself to be “different”? (Forget everyone else’s opinion for the moment. If you’re anything like me, they will likely think you’re, y’know, insane.)
Anyhoo, I’d be willin’ to bet the farm (that is, if I had one) you probably do. To my mind (which admittedly can be a very strange place), we all like to think of ourselves as unique. But (and here’s the nub of the gist) does it aggravate you when you encounter folks who are different? Yeah, me too. Well, sometimes, anyway.
Vive le Differénce
I’ll tell ya; it never ceases to amaze me how each and every human being on the planet can be so… different. It’s true; we can separate ourselves into groups in a whole herd o’ ways – there is literally no limit . And I mean that in a good way. Really.
Take, for instance, U.S. politics (please!) I mean, you got your Republicans and your Democrats. And if that ain’t enough of a difference for you, well, you got your Libertarians, your Greens and your Independents, too. And that’s just the tip o’ the compost heap. Then there’s schools: every college or university you care to name (and more). And we all identify from different countries and home towns, don’t we? Oh, I could go on, but I think you get my meanin’, right? The fact is, we ARE all pretty different.
On the other hand…
You know how they say that long-time married couples begin to act, think, and even look alike after awhile? (Heaven help Mrs. MZM if, y’know, that last one is true!) Well, while that may or may not be the case, even so, those of us who’ve spent a lot of time in each other’s company can still be, when you get right down to it, amazingly different.
Keepin’ It Simple
Take, for instance, the curious case of Yours Truly and the ever-gorgeous Mrs. MZM. After more than 28 excitin’ fun-filled years of marital bliss (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it) we have, in many ways, grown to be quite alike. However, in certain other ways we can still be as different as day and, er, not day. I’ll give you an example.
The other evening we decided to have something “simple” for supper (happens a lot around our house). That usually means something along the lines of, say, a tuna fish sandwich. Now, over the years Mrs. MZM, bless her sweet little well-meaning heart, has tried to stealthily slip various and sundry “extra ingredients” into the tuna mix. Thus, every now and then I’d occasionally inadvertently bite down on unexpected stuff like diced pecans, diced celery, or even diced boiled egg. (One time, it was diced grapes, for cryin’ out loud! Now I’ll admit it had a kinda interestin’ flavor, but it turned the whole thing a mite soggy. Ick.)
Well Bubba, I don’t mind tellin’ ya; when it comes to my tuna fish sandwich, I’m something of a purist, if you get my meanin’. And so (with the exception of the diced egg, which turned out to be a pretty tasty addition – and also, by the way, proving you can teach an ol’ dog like me new tricks), I really don’t like anything else sneakin’ around in there. I’m just sayin’.
The upshot is, I know what to expect when it comes to tuna fish sandwiches (and pretty much sandwiches in general). No surprises is just the way I like ‘em.
BUT (and as you can see, that’s a mighty BIG ‘but’), there is still a major difference in the way the two of us prepare our sandwiches. As you can no doubt see in the photo, I like mine cut, er, properly, and she… well, she cuts hers “in a different way” (which in this case, is a euphemism for “wrong”).
Yep; the truth is out. We’re different. (sound of surprised gasp) Is that bad? Not on your life! Hey, when it comes to our differences, I say, “Vive le differénce!”
BONUS: “So,” I can hear you ask, “Which one of these sandwiches is mine, and which one is, well, wrong?”
Hey, I’ll leave it to you, my dear kind reader, to ascertain (yet another euphemism, meaning “guess”) which one of these delicious works of performance art is which.
(But if you’d like to guess, by all means leave a comment in the box – and let me know how you made your guess decision. If you know anything about me, it’ll probably be obvious. Just sayin’.)