I once discovered my best friend eating pepperoni and peanut butter in bed alone but I was not surprised. I also once chastised her for eating my gummi-vitamins like they were candy.
I love when weird things go together. I also love when things that were weird when they went together at first eventually come to fit together so well that you almost can’t imagine one without the other (peanut butter and jelly, anyone?)
Although food is a prime example, this is true of people as well. Some of the most enriching and exciting friendships I’ve ever been witness to or involved in emerge from stark contrasts in personality, lifestyle, or beliefs.
I especially love a good story of a friendship that formed after animosity as I believe it provides a meaningful glimpse into the capacity humans possess for understanding and growth and displays the true beauty of the human spirit.
There is currently someone very important in my life with whom I’ve deferred on a lot (and I mean, a lot) of fundamental ideas. I would not change this relationship for the world. Our contrasting viewpoints have not only broadened each of our world views, but have made our lives infinitely more interesting.
Our conversations rarely traverse such benign topics as the weather like so much small talk is bound to do. Rather, we can jump into a lively debate on anything from religion to gender roles to pricing strategies in the blink of an eye.
From this unlikely pairing, I have not only learned and grown but my brain now works in a way that it didn’t before. When I come across someone who, for instance, believes the woman’s place is in the home, I still think they are wrong (and uninformed). However, rather than stubbornly asserting my “correct” opinion, I am now much more fascinated with the “why” of how they came to believe that. I also understand that, while that belief doesn’t work for me (AT ALL), it could be perfectly good for contributing to their completely satisfied, fulfilled, content state of being.
Unlikely pairings are important. While we can throw ourselves into new cultures, situations, and circumstances, the direct struggle between two starkly different people with lively and friendly tension is an interpersonal experience that cannot be matched.