So You

A friend of mine once commented on the way I do dishes. She claimed that it was, "So you." At the time I was offended. Just what the fuck was that supposed to mean? "So you?" I won't bother with the details, but I have a system for doing dishes. Today I choose to interpret her comment differently.

Who you are bleeds into everything you do. From the way you button your shirt, organize socks, or do the dishes. Everything bears your signature and your stamp of approval. There is an art in existing and I started noticing it in those close to me. I am downright jealous of the way one of my co-workers sprays lens cleaning fluid onto eyeglasses. He holds the glasses at arm's length, lightly sprays a mist of cleaning and fluidly pulls the glasses into the mist. It's fucking beautiful. Alex and Andy apply lip balm in different, but equally fascinating ways. Andy does the entire motion with one hand, a byproduct of his days playing in band where his other hand supported an instrument. Alex rolls the wheel through his fingers until the balm emerges. It's mesmerizing. Jawsh's handwriting is practically a painting. Every letter is deliberate and specific. Jace types like a cheetah yet his fingers barely graze the keys. Using only the minimum force necessary to press the key and move on, his typing is free of all inelegant clicking and clacking. Pete's PC desktops are magnificent in their simplicity and function. DJ's till sheets were a work of art. Dr. Hoffman's philosophy books look like maps to buried treasure. My Dad's closet is organized like a library. My old manager, Bob, opens a box like a surgeon. Trevor insists a joke is made or broken in two frames of footage. Nathan throws away half his tweets because he can't articulate them perfectly. Jim will destroy half his room after we've won a Slayer match because he isn't pleased with his performance. Tim will agonize over a move he made in an improv show three years ago. Even though the move got a huge laugh, he'll lament it was cheap and out of character. Will systematically exhausts every possible move in Words With Friends.

I love each of these people for different reasons. Though these behaviors and moments do not encompass the complex and interesting individuals, they do belong to them in deeply personal ways.

Character spills out from every pore of our body and stains everything it touches. The next time someone tells you that something is, "So you," take it as a compliment. It means you have character that is tangible to others.

My values are efficiency, elegance, and simplicity. What are yours? The only wrong answer you can give is a shrug.

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