Most of my other friends cannot stand him – for the very reason that I like him: he says just what he thinks. This rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
In this he is like my wife Rebecca, but with a difference: While both readily point out my faults, Seth does it as a simple statement of fact while Rebecca does it as if she thinks she is better than me and wants to improve me. So with Rebecca I become offended, with Seth I can laugh at myself.
We went to Columbia, a university which is well to the left politically. Marxist, really. But Seth was squarely on the right. People laughed at him and thought he lacked intelligence. At the time it made him seem a bit strange, but looking back I can only admire him for standing his ground.
On the other hand, what I did not like about him then and still do not like now is how he puts money above everything.
For example, at school we were both interested in computers, but for very different reasons. I loved computers. Even if you never paid me I would still work on them. But Seth was only interested in the money. “A computer is a machine for making money,” he once said with a straight face.
Even today I know more about computers than he does because I love them. He only knows just what he needs to do his work.
Life is more than money. We are more than the clothes we wear and the food we eat, as an old book says. Seth is selling computers and himself short living by the measure of money.
He finds us Abagonds something between strange and wonderful: we care little for money, valuing art and intellectual things more. (When Rebecca first met my mother she was surprised that she spoke in perfect Standard English and yet wore such cheap shoes.)
If he were an Abagond he would write and teach about the the American Civil War, his one great passion. He would have less money, of course, but I think he would be much happier and the country better off.
He thinks Barack Obama is a lightweight. He points out that Obama did not even understand Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech.
I doubt he will ever marry. I know from my sister that he is not serious about getting married. Enough women will sleep with him outside of marriage.
I doubt he gets far with most women, beyond the physical: his sort of straightforwardness does not work with women. You never point out a woman’s faults. You must also be free with your money. You never, for example, remind her how much you paid for her dinner. Yes, he has done that.