Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Why a Good Friend is like a Good Cup of Coffee

Having been brought up on a mix of granulated instant and bullies, I hated both coffee and people. There was never any point giving either of them a second chance; why bother when you know you’re going to hate the experience? Besides, before I could ever try (or retry) anything new, I had to understand how it worked… in meticulous detail, and neither coffee nor people seemed worth the effort.

So I wish I could remember what peculiar circumstance took me out of my comfort zone and into Costa for the first time. The discovery that there existed something other than NescafĂ© transformed me from a tea-shop-bourgeois to a coffee-bar-chick. It was a happy occasion, and just reward for my bravery. (Oddly though, and despite my now-renowned love of the stuff, it took until today’s barista treated me to an impromptu latte-making lesson, that I realised I've never needed to understand the process to enjoy the coffee.)

People have taken me a little longer.

I had long-since got as far as realising that I don’t really hate people, per se. It was my inability to understand how they work that rattled me. I’ve always been frustrated by the lack of a blueprint or data-table to reveal the hidden workings of human interaction; there is nothing tangible for me to dismantle, inspect and put back together. If only people were more like coffee machines, I could understand them better, and perhaps be more trusting.

My aspie diagnosis was my Costa moment: it has enabled me to realise that the people I love are not just those who profess to understand me, but those whom I don’t feel the need to understand – people I can let be without having to know every detail of their every motive. It’s like not just letting someone else drive, but being able to shut your eyes while they do it: unnerving to begin with, but so much more relaxing once you get used to it… a bit like your first taste of good coffee after a lifetime of granules.

15 comments:

Debs Carr said...

I love your analogy at the end and it's so true. Those you love are so much easier to be with because you can simply trust them to do the right thing for you.

Captain Black said...

Let me know if you find that blueprint...

Flowerpot said...

Good post and so true - though a close friend of mine has recently been demanding to know how I feel so she can empathise. Why? I ask....

Jen said...

I'm always intrigued by people-processes but find that, once dismantled, it's easy to put people back together the wrong way.

Friendships can be amazing, especially if they've taken a little time to brew.

Leigh said...

Debs - that analogy came easily to mind, as I particularly hate being driven.

Capt - was hoping you might know where it was...

Flowerpot - perhaps she just needs a little guidance on how best to help - even if it means asking for a bit of space. x

Jen - (And there we have our next lunch-topic: people reassembly, and the need to label everything as you go along.) My next post will be called 'why a good friend is like a good pint of beer,' and it will be all about brewing.

Janina Davison-Forder said...

Good friends are hard to find. It is amazing when you find people that you can trust with your life and never have to doubt their intentions. Never have to worry about why they are your friend or why they are happy to help you. It is almost as if it is a big sigh of relief knowing you can truly trust someone.

Its so hard in a world full of people who's main goal is self-preservation. Good friends are like angels!

Or like you say a good cup of coffee (mine would be tea) after drinking the rubbish stuff for years.

Tom Foolery said...

A very thought provoking post :) TFX

womagwriter said...

You hate being driven? ooh er. I drive carefully and safely, honest I do!

If people were like computer systems - code you can delve into and debug - life might be easier but definitely more boring.

Karen said...

Instincts are good - sometimes you just like and trust people without really knowing why and as you so eloquently put it, it doesn't matter.

Coffee's a different matter - I have a cup of weak, sweet instant stuff first thing in the morning, and that's as much as I can stand!

Carol said...

Yup, good friends are worth their weight in gold! (and are just as hard to find as a decent cup of coffee :-D)

C x

OfficeGirl said...

Awesome!! You're funny! I've been following your blog and yet don't recall reading it a whole bunch, and now I will. Great posty!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Great post.

Leigh said...

Janina - Yes, you can truly relax in the company of true friends.

TF - Thanks, honey.

Womag - And I slept while you were driving!! Howzat?!

Karen - must take you on a coffee-shop crawl one day ;o)

Carol - much harder to find, imho!

OfficeGirl - Hello! Thanks for commenting. Glad you like the content! Hope to see you here again.

Graeme - Thank you :o)

Minnie said...

Spot-on: acceptance is the key! And, although there will inevitably be misunderstandings, it willl enable the friendship to prevail.
Lovely post, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Haha! Thank you for this. I agree wholeheartedly :) new favorite blogger!!