What I Want to Know About You

I like to go as long as possible before asking people what they do.

I want to know your name first. And I want to remember your name. I want to know if your smartwatch is waterproof and where you got that chocolate eclair. What do you think of this weather we’re having, those Celtics? Do you have a dentist you like?

I want to know anything about the human you are before I know the work you do. 

This is self-serving. Because I want the same of you. 

I want you to know my name first. And remember it. I want you to know that I love Prince and minor league sports, made a slamming coffee cake for my father this weekend and am aiming for my gym card to be as worn as my CVS Extra Care card.

I want you to know me - anything of me - before you know my work. Before we both categorize and file each other on a status shelf in our minds, as knowing someone’s work instinctively, unthinkingly, instantly makes most of us do. 

We will find out each other’s work. Someone else will join our conversation and ask. It will spill out when we talk about our commute, housing, our favorite food trucks. It will come up. It always does. It is easy to learn about someone’s work. It is not easy to learn about someone’s life. 

So give me the life stuff. And yes, I know, work is a part of life. But it is a part that gets enough attention. We need not give it more. 

We could give our attention to other things, human things. And we could know each other’s names and remember each other’s names before we know each other’s job.

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