I am one of those individuals who regards other people dubiously and with great hesitation, sort of a misanthrope, I guess. It isn’t that I don’t care about people, I am greatly saddened by all the hatred and suffering in the world. It is just that I prefer to do my caring from a distance, with a checkbook, instead of up close and personal. I generally demand at least a five foot perimeter around me at all times and am quite distressed when people breach it. Honestly, I am barely able to be affectionate with my family and the best of my friends, let alone reaching out to other people.
My peculiarities with other people extend to food consumption, sharing, and disposal. I never could share food or drink with another person, even as a child, except under the most extreme circumstances. I couldn’t even stand to clear the table of the remains of other people’s food without gagging a few times. My food is my food – no one else gets to touch it, taste it, or even smell it. Obviously I belong in the animal kingdom, I seem barely human with my inability to deal with other people.
Yet, I’ve found myself changing since I moved to
As far as food goes, I was absolutely shocked by the Greek way of sharing meals at tavernas. Sure, it is one thing to share a bunch of dishes between family members at the dinner table, but sharing a bunch of food with friends and acquaintances is downright uncivilized. I began to wonder what sort of heathen hinterland I had ventured in to here. It was like my worst nightmare coming true.
Four years later, I find myself surprised by my own actions. I go out to tavernas with friends, my husband’s colleagues, whoever, and find myself readily sharing a plethora of dishes with them without a second thought. I have accepted the physical greeting with my in-laws and expect it. Admittedly, I still grimace a bit with people outside my husband’s immediate family, and for god’s sake, on New Year’s Eve I could totally do without kissing thirty some odd extended family members and friends. Seriously, you can get bad rashes from doing that.
At least I still continue to keep my distance from the general public, I haven’t totally lost all my misanthropic ways. But who knows, some day I might squeeze in and push and shove with the best of them. Apparently the phrase “when in