My friend, Valerie Weinberg, is not only beautiful on the outside, she is equally stunning on the inside… sensitive, smart, kind, and creative. Those four words sum up what is needed to be on my preferred people list.
People who are sensitive think before they speak or act, and if what they have to say or want to do regarding any controversial or difficult situation is not going to be helpful or encouraging to someone, they don’t say or do it. This is something I fully appreciate in a person. People with this quality are such a stand out, only a small handful come to mind, and not coincidentally, are among my good friends.
Those few times I have not been sensitive myself I have lived to regret it. Sensitivity is not an easy task, which makes it an admirable trait.
Smart is something we all define differently depending on our interests, and more importantly, on our lack of interest. We all look less than smart when we don’t know anything about something the person we are interacting with is passionate about.
Intelligence matters, I cannot deny it, but on the other hand I have met some pretty smart people who did not do well in school. School smarts and street smarts rarely align.
Granted I am a nerd. I not only excel at school, I am more comfortable in an academic setting. I could never tire of studying literature and writing essays about it, or studying anything and writing essays about it, quite frankly. Yet some people perceive me as a bit dense.
I can’t say as I disagree with them. I am not street smart, which includes deciphering exactly what it is some people are asking, or saying, or expecting from me in certain social settings. That lack of intuitiveness for how the minds of some people function can make you look rather stupid when at a loss for how to interact with them, or respond in a manner they will appreciate. People skills, obviously, fall into street smarts.
Kindness, thankfully, is less confusing. You either are or you aren’t. You don’t have to know a person very long to make that call. Some people tolerate unkind people quite well. It doesn’t bother them when someone gossips, makes fun of others, says detrimental things about a person’s character, mistreats or disrespects those who are close to them, or otherwise back stabs and claws their way around whomever they perceive to be competition.
Some people actually see this as being strong, tough, and successful rather than weak, cowardly, and well, a failure at what matters most- human kindness.
I am willing to admit that creativity is a wild card in my scenario. It is very important to me because it is more than an interest and passion of mine, it is the most important part of who I am. I lose my sense of joy when I cannot express it. I suddenly understand someone when I see theirs. It breaks down barriers instantly for me and opens a path of communication.
Does this mean I have no true and valued friends that are not creative? Of course not. It simply means if I can put those 4 little words together (sensitive, smart, kind, and creative) in one person, there’s a really good chance they will be on my ‘A’ list.
And Valerie Weinberg is on my ‘A’ list!
If you know Val, I am sure you aren’t going to miss this wonderful event the ‘Valerie V Vibe’ is holding in the Sacramento Theater Company cabaret space. Val and her amazing band will be performing Gershwin, Porter, and more — including songs by the Sacramento Business Journal’s Ed Goldman (his musical, Friday@5, had its world premier at STC in 2008).
Ed Goldman, by the way, is one of the most creative people I have ever had the privilege to meet and call a friend. One of my most vivid California memories is a Christmas party at Ed’s house, listening to him and Val play the piano and sing songs from Ed’s musical.
It was the closest I will ever come to knowing what it feels like to be in the home of real Broadway Stars performing for only a handful of guests. Simply divine is all I can say about that evening.
If you have an opportunity to attend this event, do it, and create a few memories for yourself.
Here are the details:
Wednesday, February 11, 6:30pm
Valerie V at STC – A Vocal Valentine (with full quartet)
$20 in advance | $25 at the door
Sacramento Theater Company
1419 H Street