Here is a short list of the kind of people everyone should know at some point. At 36, I’ve been lucky to know most of them. Some of them in multiples.
1. An eternally pessimistic person. If you are optimistic, as I am, this person will drive you crazy until the one day he says everything will work out just fine. That will be the day you can’t possibly believe anyone but him.
2. An eternally optimistic person: This person will drive you crazy because you won’t believe her when she says everything is going to be ok … because she ALWAYS says that. But one day you will need someone to do something impossible for you, and this person is the person who will figure out how to make that happen.
3. A devoutly religious person who doesn’t care if anyone else is religious: If, like me, you grew up in the Bible Belt, it will be a surprise when you meet this person. Because she doesn’t talk about her faith, you will ask about it. From her, you will learn how to do, which is different than what to say.
4. A thoughtful person who knows practical things: How to put air in a bicycle tire, when to bring someone a casserole, when to change oil, how to sign up for Amazon Prime.
5. A person who levels with you: This person conveys harsh truths in a way in which you can hear and even feel good about them. You go to him for advice and clarity.
6. A person whose life is much harder than yours: Yours are not the biggest challenges in the world.
7. A person whose life is much easier than yours: Chances are good they think of you as some sort of inspiration. See No. 6 and consider how you think of her.
8. A young person: She will make you feel wise.
9. An old person: He will make you feel unspoiled.
10. A person with lots of ideas: She will inspire you.
11. A person with spreadsheets: She will get shit done.
12. A person who remembers in advance that Tennessee liquor stores are closed on Sundays and major holidays.