Icky Gary was this guy I knew a long time ago. I was a single mom, working at this nice company in Connecticut. Icky Gary was a consultant they hired to help with the business. At least, I guess that’s why they hired him. I never really knew.
I had to work part of the time with Gary because I wasn’t really important enough to tell him to go bother someone else. I also was good at organizing things, and was told to help him with his notes and stuff. Thanks, guys. So I got to spend a lot of hours listening to Gary pontificate on pretty much every topic under the sun. He never got tired of talking. And I learned to listen while on the other side of my desk, or barricaded behind a bunch of file cabinets.
Gary was definitely one of the more icky people I have had slither in and out of my life. But once in a while, Gary came up with some genuine pearls of wisdom. I will grant you, it was hard to keep track of them in all the rest of the babble, but he had a couple that were absolutely priceless.
I figured, since Icky Gary was unfortunately on my mind, I would share those Pearls of Wisdom with everybody.
The Triad of Perception – I made that name up, he didn’t call it that. I don’t remember what he called it. But it’s such an invaluable, truer than true concept that I have continued to use it for decades. It goes like this: There are three perceptions that everyone has. One – how you see yourself. Two – how you think other people see you. And Three – how other people really see you. If you think about it, most of the problems we experience in relationships with other people, whether they are work relationships, family relationships or friendships, come when one or more of those perceptions is out of sync.
Now, I thought that was pretty profound, even for Icky Gary. But it made a whole lot of sense. And, if you think about it, I bet you will find situations where it applies. I can honestly say that when I get that creepy, it’s not going well feeling, I think about the Triad of Perception, and try to adjust accordingly. It hasn’t failed me yet.
The other Icky-ism, or Gary-ism if you will, is the Hunting Fishing Rule. Icky Gary didn’t call it that, either. But again, I forget what he did call it, and I don’t care. It’s what I call it. And it is again, a truer than true way to look at the world.
You see, life and relationships are more like hunting and fishing than like building a bridge. Think about it. When you build a bridge, you get blueprints. You find a spot to build a bridge. You get the funding, buy the materials, hire the workers, and build the bridge. Task completed. Bridge built.
But when you go fishing, you can buy all the equipment, the poles and flies, the hat and waders, you can pack a lunch, check with the locals and park yourself in the spot in the river that is KNOWN to be the perfect spot to fish. And you stand there. You cast your flies, or whatever it is that fisher people do. You wiggle your toes in your waders, and stand some more. You can stand there all damn day, and never catch a fish. And then you can watch some kid stand on the bank of the river, take a stick and some string and a worm, plonk it in the water, and catch the granddaddy of the river – right before your unbelieving, outraged, tear filled eyes.
Why? Because you can’t buy a relationship. You can’t have a blueprint, with a list of materials and a deadline. It doesn’t matter what you are wearing, how much you spent on your gear, or your waders, or the stupid flies. If it isn’t your time to catch a fish, you aren’t going to catch a fish. Period.
What does all this mean? It’s pretty deep. I know I have spent 25 years pondering these words of wisdom from Icky Gary. I can’t really tell you all the points where they are true. I just can tell you that they Are True.
I hate to admit it, but Icky Gary left his mark on me. Thank you Gary, wherever you are, for your words. Now, can I please forget you again?
Sandi Tuttle is the host of the Blog Talk Radio show “An Average Woman in a Superwoman World”. For more information, go to: http://www.averagewomansj.com.