Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Unions & Intersections

I like to think my relationships with all the people I know are like those annoying Venn diagrams found in Set Theory. (Not saying here that my relationships are annoying; well, at least most of them aren't.) There are numerous overlappings that occur between most people, and it's the area common that defines the closeness of a relationship. That is why when you engage in a conversation with an absolute stranger, topics such as 'music' or 'movies' are the way to go, since you are bound to run into an overlapping - an Intersection, and raise your relationship's closeness levels a degree or two. Still it's possible to have relationships where the borders merely touch the outlines of each other's Venn diagrams (those people who always say "Hi" to you each time you pass by them, but never stop to have a conversation).

But it's not just the common part that strengthens relationships. My oldest friend, MA, has a personality which could be said to be the complete opposite of mine. From music interests, likes, dislikes to the types of activities we engage in, it's hard to find something that is common between MA and me. In cases such as these I guess it's not about the overlappings, rather going beyond those overlappings and delving into the non-overlapping part and appreciating and recognising it. Such relationships take time, just as my friendship with MA goes beyond 18 years now, which is ample time to explore whatever is not shared in the Intersection to form a Union.

So it can be said that relationships are either - to use the correct Mathematical terms in Set Theory - Intersections or Unions. But this classification becomes obscure if you consider those relationships where the other person is married or married-ish. You might have become accustomed to the nature of the Intersection or the Union with such a person, but once he or she enters this new realm, all the commonnesses and/or uncommonnesses have to take into consideration this new entrant's Venn diagram. All the rules don't apply here, and at least for me, this is unexplored, and even dangeorous territory.

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