I went to the Black Tomato yesterday, which was a small restaurant with a decent atmosphere (though I think it would have been better at night), which served jazz along with your meals. You could purchase jazz albums from the side of the restaurants, and numerous portraits of jazz greats were hung near the top of the walls. The meals were pretty pricey; the sandwiches cost over 10 dollars, and the 7oz. filet mignon was $24.95. I was really considering the filet mignon since I so rarely get a chance to go out and eat at a nice restaurant, but I decided that I had nothing to celebrate. I went with a flank sandwich, which had thinly cut strips of marinated steak with sauteed onions, and melted cheese, baked on French bread. The put a sort of sweet mustard with it, that gave it a spicy, juicy taste, which was excellent. I had to get a pint of Strongbow, since they didn’t have Double Diamond. In total it cost me about $20.00.
It was comical to see what kind of manners people brought to the table. You could tell who was an executive by the way they broke their bread, or you could tell who was a administrative assistant by the way they cleaned their teeth with their tongue. I wondered if their manners were a result of their profession, or their upbringing.
Sometimes you can tell what kind of family someone has come from, by the kind of manners they have. However, there are always exceptions, as some parents with exceptional dinner professionalism don’t much care to impart this grace on their children. It reminded me of what one could tell about one’s parents, depending on what one’s children are like.
Before I knew better, I would assume that one’s children were a reflection on what the parents were like. Of course, I didn’t even realize that I’m not much anything like my parents, being the ignorant person that I was.
I find it odd that Aaron and I seem to come from very, very different families, yet we are so similar in mindset and world view. I don’t believe that he experienced a terrible childhood, though I believe he was in a worse situation than me. He was able to deal with it very well, much better than me at least, perhaps with an intelligence that was born in him. I learned most of what I know through pain, so I’m not sure how he learned the same things that I did.
Some people I know are very much like their parents, in intelligence as well as ignorance. Yet some people I know are nothing like their parents. In these cases, however, the child is always smarter than the parents, never the other way around. It’s like an evolutionary process, the way males are usually taller than their father.
Sometimes I wish I could find out how people become the way they are. What experience could make one racist? What could happen to make one kind, when their parents are cold? For the people I look up to, I’ve always asked them many questions (too many, I suppose) about how they learned what they know. It always seems to be a random answer, never something that’s consistent.
It reminds me of a twin study. Usually twins are extremely close genetically, so scientists study twins to see how genetics affect psychology, as twins usually share very common traits and personalities. In this study, two twins are separated at birth, and when they are adults after being brought up in very different families, the only trait they seem to have in common is their zealousness for being neat. When asked why he is so neat, one twin responds, “Well, my mother was always so clean, that she forced me to be clean as well”. His brother, when asked the same question, replies, “Well, my mother was so dirty, that it forced me to be clean”.
I suppose that I really do believe that 50% of our personality traits are bred in us, and 50% of them are a result of our environments. That seems to be the consensus with psychologists today. I believe that some people are unbalanced in this respect; they learn everything from upbringing, or everything from experience.
I just wish I knew how (un)balanced I am.