Common Denominator, I

I was having a conversation with my buddy Sam about life and stuff the other day. I won’t get into the details of the conversation, but I will say that at one point I was relating about my perception of how people react to me – mostly what I say at times. My “complaint” in all of my stories was that people often take what I say too personally. Sam’s interjection to this was “What’s the common denominator?”…and while I understand where he was coming from, I don’t think it’s as simple as it might seem…

What Sam was getting at, is that in all of my stories of how people can take me the wrong way, I am the only person who “appears” in all of the stories. This is to imply that I am “the problem”, or that at least I should look within to solve this particular issue. The fact though is when contemplating these things, I DO look at myself first, so I have no issue on that level. I probably always look at myself first when dealing with life – I am the motivator of this story I am living after all.

At this point, I break into two lanes of thinking: “A logic problem” and “My wish for others”.

A logic problem

When I am relating anything that has to do with my life, then OF COURSE, I will be the common denominator. I don’t think, however, that this equates in totality that I am the cause of all my problems. It makes me a suspect in most cases, but it should not, in my opinion, automatically make me guilty. And, as I have said before if I am being logical about my resolution, then I should start with the inward inspection. Perhaps this is what Sam meant as well – to start from within – but the phrase “What’s the common denominator?” implies something to me that maybe isn’t that simple. In other words, simply finding the common denominator won’t always lead you to the cause/answer…but it’s still a good place to start.

My wish for others

It’s simply this: that no matter what I say (or even how I say it), that they would know that in my heart I am always on their side. Before you say anything…I KNOW – it’s a big ask. I guess I just feel that if you know me even a little bit, then you know that I am not a mean-spirited person, nor do I hate anyone. And if I say anything sarcastic or biting that it is ALWAYS in jest. In fact, I would say that when I do so that it is in fact a sign of affection from me. I guess I do project myself too much at times – as I have told many people before “You pretty much have to tell me if you’re offending me, and even then I don’t give a shit much!” My expectation of others to have this same attitude is the “big ask”, and I realize that.

I guess the simplest way to express my wish for others is to say

Take everything I say to you that is good and kind and embrace it with all your heart…for that is what you mean to me.

Take everything sarcastic that I say to you and embrace the opposite of those words – for why would I wish anything else for you?

Matthew Martinez


THIS IS A JOKE!…just to be clear.