Today's list, à la Two Weeks of Reflection.
ETA: Not a personals ad. The assignment is "five ways to win my heart," and I read that in the broadest way possible. I built this list to include five qualities that render people endearing to me, whether in the context of romance, friendship, or amusement.
Like animals. This can mean animals in general. If you're dog or cat or chicken or goat or horse person, I'll probably like you. Even better if you like my animals. Back when we were still dating and not yet living together, Dave suggested that rather than leave my cat Ben with my folks for two weeks, we take him with us on our cottage vacation. In the love Olympics, this was like winning the gold medal in all categories ever.
Be interested in life, stuff, and the world. Do obscure facts and the way things work fascinate you? Do you like talking about other people's theories of the way things are? Do you have your own theories? If your mind is switched on, and you like playing with ideas, chances are I will see you as a kindred spirit.
Do something that you are not obligated to do. I adore people who have obsessions or vocations. Since the vast majority of people who read this blog are writers, here's looking at you.
This is a sub-category of the last two, but it has a special place in my heart: be an arts or humanities major. Every year, thousands of young people choose history over journalism, literature over engineering, fine arts over business. Why do they do it? Because they love it. Because they are fascinated. Because they can imagine nothing finer than spending years of their lives learning about what other people have created. Arts majors are important because they understand our cultural legacy. They have a formal education in how people have dreamed, framed the events that formed us, and expressed ourselves as human beings.
Be nice, be sincere, and embrace compassion. It has become a fashionable thing to be cynical, or to adopt a know-it-all attitude. Too often we criticize rather than try to understand where someone is coming from. It is very, very hard, under the current cultural climate, to be soft in one's approach to others. Anyone who can manage to be genuine has my respect and affection.