February brings back other fabulous moments while staying with my Grandmother on those hot summers, clear springs and cool Christmas vacations from school in Imperial Valley. One February when I was 12 years old I told my Grandmother that I was going to get a girlfriend for Valentines Day.
After thinking about my comment for a moment she looked at me carefully and said,"Really, that is very interesting." She motioned for me to sit at her little dining table, handed me a pencil and a blank piece of paper then said,"Here, write down everything that you want in this new girlfriend." I sat down and wrote everything that I could think of. She had to run as fast as me. Climb trees all the way up with out getting scared. Ride all sizes of bicycles. I wanted her to be smart in school. Never ditch classes to hang out with her friends. No smoking, yuck. I even wrote down that she needed to be clean. I wished that she would smell nice. Be friendly to all people. Speak well of me and of all her friends. Not be mean or angry with a bad attitude. Never cause problems at school or at home. Finally that she be pretty with nice hair and eyes...and God knows how many other things went into that exhaustive list.
This list took me all afternoon. I would write and erase, then erase and write some more. You see I wanted her to be perfect. Eventually after what seemed like hours, I felt that I was completely done. I sat there reviewing my list over and over because I knew my Grandmother very well. I was fully aware that once the list was finished, there would be no more adding or taking from it. She had brought me up to make a choice. Live up to that choice because the choice was mine. Once I had made the choice I had to defend my choice not in an argumentative way but in a logical way. You see this choice was my word as a man and the only way to be a man was to live like one. Therefore, I examined the list carefully and finally handed it to my Grandmother who by this time had started to cook dinner on her white porcelain gas stove. She looked at me as I stood there smiling from ear to ear with the look of anticipation on my eager face. Without even looking at it she handed it back to me and said,"When you become all of these things that you wrote on this list, that is when you will find her." Not saying another word she turned around and went back to her cooking. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I saw perfectly what she meant from it. It was at that moment when I began to see the true value of what a great companion was and is. What it truly is to be in a relationship where everyone has great expectations of one another. Whether it's in business, our family, or God we must be fully vested in each other and the only way to do that is first and foremost to be exactly what we want the other party to be.