I’m teaching myself java. Ambitious, maybe, but the website project is drawing to a close, leaving me with lots more time and a newfound interest in website design.
Java is case sensitive, which means that if you mean Print and you type print, your program won’t run. Life, generally speaking, is not case sensitive. Sure, rules of grammar and punctuation apply, but the upper and lower case letters that populate our everyday speech are, by and large, negotiable.
There are some words for which this doesn’t exactly hold true. My 10th grade history teacher taught me the difference between people and People, power and Power. When Lincoln said “Power of the people, by the people, for the people,” each instance of the word people may have been written with a lower case p, but the President was speaking in capital letters.
Every once in a while, you’re not sure what case someone is speaking in, and you feel compelled to check. Or we crack jokes. Somewhere around a year ago, my significant other showed up in the midst of a hard-core study session with chocolate soymilk. He tossed it to me, and I (stressed, parched, and incredibly grateful) blurted out “Oh my god, I love you!” Of course, this was not my great declaration of Love for him, and we both knew it, but he raised his eyebrow at me and I laughed nervously and blushed and explained the rogue l-word away by saying “not like that.” In retrospect I realize I should have just shrugged and told him I was talking to the soymilk.
Sometimes, the differences between capital and lower case letters in our lives are so small we barely notice them. What, really, marks the difference between a relationship and a Relationship? There’s the official agreement of exclusive coupledom, of course, but what does that mean? I think you’re something special. I like the way I feel when I’m with you. I want you in my life on a regular basis. I’m not interested in anyone but you. I want to see where this can go. I’m taking an interest in your happiness. You’re so damn good in bed that I’m willing to sleep with you, exclusively. I’m prioritizing you in my life – not before everything, but before a great many things.
We’re lucky life isn’t like java. Program “relationship” runs just fine, capital letter or no.