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I’m a grown-up!

At the bus stop by a highrise today, a woman whose eyes I liked looking into asked me: “Do you know what this building is?”

When I was young and people asked me: “How’s it going?” I responded in the least appropriate ways. I would answer the question as accurately as possible. Or I would attempt clarification:

Them: “How’s it going?”

Me: “Is your inquiry regarding my general emotional state, or are you asking me to make value judgments about recent events?”

I was not a popular kid.

Social norms and customs and just about anything that other people seem to “know how to do without thinking about it” have never been easy for me. I never understood trends, hair-gel, or why the hell anyone listened to “New Kids on the Block.”

Seemingly, I must think about everything. The upside to this is that I know my own values, and why I do what I do. The downside was missing out on being social, and much of what people enjoy up through their teenage years.

By forcing myself into professions of near-constant interaction, I learned. I paid attention to how human beings interact and make decisions. I attempted to help them make better decisions using awareness of their own values, and self-honesty and reason and inquiry. After talking to tens of thousands of people I learned some things.

Among them was that when people say: “How’s it going?” it is intended as a form of greeting or acknowledgment.

Today, when the woman asked me: “Do you know what this building is?” I did not attempt to answer this question.

Instead, I considered that she may have intended to say:

“You should take me to your favorite produce shop in the city, and then we will sit on a bench overlooking the water and eat strawberries together.”

That’s what we did.

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