Suddenly Seeking Ourselves

plaza suite“Cool it Dana!”

could have been Neil Simon’s line instead of “Cool it, Noreen!” when the young William Brewster came to the Plaza Suite #719 to retrieve his bride-to be who, frightened she would grow up to be like her parents, refuses to get married.

Or Mickey, could have easily been Sam Nash – the 51 old New Yorker trying so hard to remain young that his wife reassures him

“Sam, you’ll be the youngest one in the cemetery.” (no other similarity except counting down the calories)

And watching and reading and thinking, and taking long subway rides, I sort of got it. I found why people seek other people. We choose people like us. The opposites do not like each other. That’s pure B.S.

People are not magnets. People are narcissistic somewhat lazy mysteries. Knowingly or not we all try to understand ourselves and the easiest way is to sleep or to talk to a guide to our inner self. Instinctively we search for people who hold a key to some part of ourselves. And we seek them, over and over and over again. Failed relationships or marriages are the result of discovering that we need more answers.

Unfortunately, sometimes the person you view as the key holder to yourself refuses to be with you because they are not ready to unlock themselves to you or to anybody else. But, when they grow older they do want that chance. So they come back.

Both Mickey and I were damaged very young when people we held in high esteem refused being with us. Both Mickey and I used our intelligence to grow into whatever we were supposed to become and live to the best we could, though we continued to be baffled by that early rejection.  Within the last five years, both Mickey and I have been furiously asked to reconsider our views about the people who rejected us.

I’ve been baffled because I misunderstood his actions. When A. called me and determinedly sought my conversations and presence, I misunderstood his actions. First, I let myself be baffled. Then I reasoned he needed some business advice. Then, I thought curiosity made him meet my family. Finally, walking in frigid weather in Central Park put an end to all the baffling:  I had had enough. I came down with a cold. Then strep. I faced unpleasant questions from his mistress, when I limit that to in-laws and work, so I was determined to find out why this effort to talk to me while exposing both his mistress and me to moments of distress for her and maddening waste of time for me?

And it dawned upon me- A. does that because we are very similar and instinctively similar people try to surround themselves with other similar people and by understanding the actions of their mirror images they try to understand themselves. There are similarities and similarities. A. blurted out:

“I think I’m doing better than my folks at my age.”

He mentioned something about his hair falling out but at a slower pace than his father’s. I believe there is more there than he wanted to say. Unlike his father his life is not a lie. He is not married with a mistress. A. only has a mistress.

Recently, Mickey, for some reason, thought that I might want a mister in my life next to my husband. My only reaction was:

“That was mom’s life. Not mine.”

You see, A. and I are very similar. Our life goals are to avoid our parents’ mistakes. In the process we want to become ourselves. But I doubt that A. and I have ever dreamed of becoming presidents. I believe we both want to be taken seriously as writers. And that’s it.

And Mickey with his own A. has as similar story. Mickey’s A and I met at Mickey’s 45’th high school reunion anniversary. I guess Mickey’s A takes longer to admit she still needs to know. She’s very sweet. Very intelligent. And I believe she’s still unsure about her life choices. She would like to understand herself through Mickey’s life. I wish her the best. I do admire intelligent people. We are less than 10% of the population.

This quest for knowledge is pleasurable.  Especially when everybody involved share the same existential questions.

I hope my A. found the answers he was seeking from me.

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