"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other."
- From Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities
Philosophers, being rather strange in many ways (delightfully strange, in my opinion), are very interesting beings to live with. Here are a few strange things I’ve noticed in the few years I’ve lived with my philosopher.
1. Books everywhere.
I like to joke that in our apartment, I can’t ever escape my philosopher’s dissertation project. There are books for this everywhere: bathroom, kitchen, under various chairs, stacked beside the bed. Sometimes I even find his books in my bags.
2. Thinking-hours are kept; not regular hours.
Thinking-hours can be at any time of the day/night. Some philosophers do their best thinking at 2am. Getting used to these strange hours can be cause for some grievous misunderstandings at first, but after a while you learn to adjust to them.
3. Strange eating/drinking habits.
Most philosophers forget to eat when they work, but they do not usually forget to drink, particularly caffeinated beverages. Philosophers can drink amazing amounts of caffeinated beverages when they are working. At my philosopher’s peak, be was consuming two-and-a-half, 12-ounce pots of coffee per day. Because my philosopher will not eat lunch when I’m not there to remind him, I set up a schedule where we always eat lunch together.
4. Forgetting strange things.
You may find your philosopher forgetting strange things like (1) washing the shampoo out of their hair, (2) how to get home, (3) to close cupboards, (4) to go to bed, (5) to match socks before they put them on, (6) to turn in super-important paperwork, (7) to close the front door quickly at night so freakishly large palmetto bugs (huge cockroaches) don’t fly into the apartment.
It is very easy to keep yourself from being frustrated by these oddities by viewing your philosopher as an anthropologist would (noticing what they do and interpreting it as a part of their culture, rather than viewing it as an annoyance to be corrected). Personally, I love these quirks. Philosophers make my life much more interesting than it would be otherwise.
5. The ability to talk about things (especially philosophy) at all times.
Philosophers are very good questions-askers and talkers about many things—normal-person things and philosophy. This does not mean that they are always the best listeners, but this quirk can be worked on. Persons like myself who are not very good talkers can find philosophers delightful beings to share a relationship with, except when they cross lines at times when we would rather have peace. No-talking boundaries are easy to erect with philosophers, though, as they are very sensitive to your rejection of their ideas. As I’ve mentioned in previous entries, a simple, “I’m not feeling up to talking about this right now, but I would be willing to discuss it [at X time],” Is sufficient. It is wonderful to share a life with a person who likes to talk about interesting things all the time.
Please feel free to share any philosopher-oddities you’ve seen.
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