I will show you mine if you show me yours…..

I would rather trip and face plant than cry in front of someone.

I can’t sleep when my husband drives on long road trips because I think he needs my eyes to keep us from wrecking. I do the same thing when I fly.

I love violent weather and I sleep like the dead the nastier it is.

Wet paper skeeves me out. I don’t like to touch it, look at someone who is touching it or even think about it.

I can’t help but laugh uproariously at anyone who trips, falls or walks into anything. I hate it and desperately wish I could change but I cannot.

These are just a few things that make me Stephanie Kline. There are millions more and uncovering my quirks sometimes takes me by surprise. The difference is when you are young you struggle to find a way to make yourself more homogenous. Then as you grow older you accept your idiosyncrasies and even grow to love them about yourself and embrace them when you find them in your friends.

So here lies my conundrum. I am very comfortable in my own skin. I call my food baby (when I fall off my diet) as I see it, I am the very first to poke fun at myself and invite someone else along to join me in the merriment, and for the most part I am an absolute open book. I am blessed to have wonderful friends who are each so unique and lovely that they add a tremendous amount of color to my life. Given that I am happy and transparent, I love to meet other people who are the same.

But what happens when I meet someone who is reticent and a bit shy?

Well I can just fill in the blanks for you… It’s not going to happen for us. I am too damn old to go digging around to try to figure out if I will ever figure you out. And just so you know, I need to figure you out. I need to know that you are genuine and in that I find honesty. Chances are if you don’t delight in hurting another person and are not maudlin, we are going to get along famously. But just in case you need a bit more information, here are a few tips-

1. Swear. I love when someone lets one slip because in that minute they aren’t worried about how they are being judged.

2. Don’t get gossipy or preachy. I will just mentally insert my name in place of whomever you are speaking about and determine that one day you will throw me under the bus.

3. Don’t play keeping up with the Jones’. I don’t care about your material things. I have been a child on Welfare living in an apartment above a family where the bathroom was outside our front door and surviving on food bought with food stamps and I have been a millionaire living in what most America considers a mansion and everywhere in between. I am the same person with different circumstances at different points in my life. None of them define who I am. If that is what you think defines you, you are only as interesting as a set of random numbers assigned to your bank account. Don’t be that person, you are so much more than that.

4. Laugh with abandon. Show your joy!

5. Do not take yourself so seriously. We are all guilty of making a jackass out of ourselves on occasion. Sometimes even more often than that. It’s experience, it’s life and it’s wonderful. Celebrate it. My husband and I call each other when we do something stupid so the other can laugh and share in our embarrassed laugh.

If at the end of all of this you are saying, who the hell does this chick think she is? Maybe I don’t want to be her friend! I wouldn’t blame you at all, I am not for everyone. Perhaps, you take this as an invitation to go live genuinely with unabashed appreciation for whatever makes you you. You know, go fly your freak flag! Make strong and deep connections with other people based on your truest version of yourself.

As for me, it’s time to either bite the bullet and either tell my husband we are eating out again or try to make something passable from the rotisserie chicken I picked up. Either way, the fact of the matter is that I am just too damned lazy and unprepared tonight to do anything different! I am very ok with that. 🙂

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