During this four-day marathon weekend of dysfunctional family accompanied by turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a gallon type person.
A friend of mine sent me a quote about the two kinds of people out there, and whether you were thinking about relationships, family ties, acquaintances, or the chick from work that drives you up the wall, you know the one, there are always two kinds of people.
Gallon type people and pint-size.
The gallon type of person has a huge capacity to give, to love, to laugh, to rejoice, and to receive. They have a huge heart and what they put out there in the world they naively think that they’re gonna get back regardless of who is in their circle. If they love they think they’re gonna get love. If they rejoice in your triumphs, they think you’re gonna support theirs. If they show compassion and grace, they think others closest to them will do the same.
But no, not so.
Not gonna happen if you’re the only adult gallon-size person within a 10-block radius. My Dad was a gallon person, I’m a gallon person. 10-gallon size capacity.
And then there are the pint-size people who give to you, but it’s never enough. Their capacity for love, laughter, consideration, kindness, and friendship is less. It’s pint-size. It can be someone you marry and didn’t realize it until later because love made you stupid, it can be your family where you’ve always known something was off, or it can be that chick from work that just sucks the air out of your balloon just by walking into the room.
Doesn’t matter who, the feeling is still pint-size.
And the thing is you’re not asking for something extraordinary of them, you’re just asking for the basics and sometimes not even asking just expecting and it just never comes. You’re like that chic alone at the bus stop waiting for the number 44, but not aware that you’re at the wrong stop.
Sometimes it’s not their fault. Sometimes you’re asking and expecting some kindness, some heart, some hilarity and they’re giving it to you, giving you what they got but it’s pint-size and doesn’t even reach the line. They’re not lying to you, that’s just all they can do. Sometimes it’s because they’re hardened by experience, other times it’s because that’s how they’ve been their whole life. Some people were just already broken when they got here.
I recently learned I am one of the last of the Mohicans. I’m a gallon type of person currently surrounded by pint size people.
“We are ten gallon people, but we may have been born into families of people who have pint capacities.” TD Jakes
And when this happens I apparently need to lower my expectations of what others are capable of and try to meet them at their level.
That is some Dalai Lama-Nelson Mandela type of magic that I’m still working on. I’m an angry Guatemalan I need some time to get there because I’ve just recently had this revelation.
But while on this journey I can surround myself with my kids, my friends, my comadres, my peers, my WordPress buddies who are of gallon-type capacity that can fill what is missing, so that I can hold on to the best version of myself.
The kind with clear eyes and full hearts … and bar of chocolate.