In my opinion, one of the beautiful things about life is how, while each of us is unique, we are essentially an amalgamation of the people we get to know and love. This truth is evident physically--I have my mother's dimples and complexion; I mimic elements of my aunts' and grandmother's style (how I love a good shoe!)--but, more importantly, it peeks through in personality.
I was reminded of this last night, when, after devouring ten shelter magazines and going through two books in one evening, I promptly announced to my husband that I am obsessed, obsessed, I tell you, with this new house decorating project I have undertaken. He just smiled indulgently and good-naturedly pointed out that this is how I get about everything.
The man is right. And as I thought about it more, I know precisely who to blame (or credit, depending on my mood): my dad's side of the family. Growing up, I learned by example that there is no reason whatsoever to settle if one is patient and thorough. While this has mentality has its downside (an awful lot of time wasted, for one, and a nagging fear that, despite my meticulous research, I have missed something), it gives me the benefit of knowing that I have found the very best thing for me. So yes, I looked at over twenty apartments before signing a lease, but I still think of the garage, granite countertops, and location with fondness. Michael wanted to kill me over the sheer number and shapes of wine glasses we analyzed before I put some in our registry, but boy do I feel great every single time I use them. I had a ridiculous number of crushes growing up, but I knew when I met Michael that he was the one. There was no looking back.
It's an approach that doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me. More to the point, it's a quirk that I appreciate in myself because I've seen it all my life in the people that I love. And when I get to know other people and begin to appreciate their quirks, it's heartwarming to know that they're that way because of people that they love. It's an identifiable yet intangible continuum that makes life and relationships special, and it's a way for people to live on in our hearts. And that is a wonderful thing.