No one thing is exactly the same as any other thing. Ever.
Always categorizing, the poor woman has a hard time just being with an individual. When she meets someone new, she scans him for abstractions, theories by which she can classify him.
He says something perplexing; the corners of her mouth turn downward. She asks, “Then you’re a Freudian?” Or later when he has left the table, she asks a mutual (Catholic) acquaintance, “Has he been to confession?” At another time, I remember her saying. “Surely her degree is only an honorary one?”
The Tale Wagged
But guess what? I was doing the exact same thing to her as I watched and listened! She was a “Rohrshach” for me (she was showing me my own obsession with categories and abstractions and theories).
Later, I saw her again. This time, I noticed how grumpy she looked. Actually, the more I looked, the clearer it became that she was hurting, protecting something (her mouth was so . . . disappointed). As I studied her, I was hoping she could work it through. (Specifically, I wondered if she felt trapped with a husband who, maybe, never listened to her.)
And then, right in the middle of another diatribe, she stopped cold, and turned to look at me watching her (but this time I wasn’t theorizing too), stopped in the middle of her sentence, sighed and her shoulders relaxed and she smiled with something that looked like gratitude and she said, “Yuck; what the hell do I know?”
It was interesting!