Tag Archives: love

Oddly Neutral

Even though I have come to accept my oddities and my unique-bordering-on-strange interpretation of the world and of people, I can’t help but sometimes feel like some kind of alien when it comes to interacting with people.

There are times when I’m with a friend, and we are walking around in a store, and my friend will whisper to me, “Oh my God, isn’t he HOT?”
I’ll usually lie and say something non-commital about the person.

He’s alright.
Not my type.
I guess.

In reality, though, I have absolutely no fucking CLUE as to whether or not the man in question is ‘hot.’ I just find it easier to placate my friends instead of going into the lengthy explanation of how my mind works when it comes to aesthetics and attraction. When I do explain it, my friends usually say that it couldn’t possibly be true…that nobody’s mind works like mine; either that, or they just don’t understand.


Let me preface this all with an exception to the rule before I even begin explaining it.
I HAVE had certain experiences where I have felt a strange holy-shit-where-have-you-been-all-of-my-life connection with people I have never met before (at least, not in this incarnation). I have had another woman come up to me, and when we looked into each other’s eyes, we both began to cry, and I jumped over a table to hug her. As a matter of fact, I would even like to discuss a similar experience at length another time, but for now, I’m just talking about people who I don’t feel a bordering on supernatural connection with.

To me, all people are neutral at first.
This includes looks, age, clothing, and anything else that could be superficially judged.
…Let me repeat that one more time: NEUTRAL.
If I pass by you in the supermarket or walk by you on the street, I probably won’t notice you, no matter how much you peacock or how ‘hot’ you are. You’re just neutral.

Now, when I start getting to know a person, their faces and bodies begin to slowly shift and move, and depending upon the sweetness or sourness of the personality, they either become increasingly attractive or increasingly yuck to me.

This is especially interesting when a person is very nice at first, and then they do something absolutely horrible; they go from beautiful to puke within seconds.

Conversely, I remember one day in high school, I turned to one of my friends and said, “I think you get prettier every time I look at you.” And I meant it; she gave me the biggest, happiest smile when I said that, and all I did was tell the truth.

If I fall in love with a person, they are literally the most beautiful person in the entire world to me (well…next to my Momma because I don’t give a shit who you are, NOBODY steps to an Italian girl’s Momma…NOBODY).

I guess I’m not expecting everybody to be able to empathize with me on this. I’m painfully aware of how strange I am. It’s just interesting to me that something so simple and private can make a person feel so out of place.

I Don’t Hate You

Something happened just a few minutes ago, and I felt so strongly about it that I just had to talk about it.

I stopped on my way home from work at a party store that is located less than a mile from my house. It’s one of those stores that I’m so familiar with that I know exactly where I need to go to get what I want inside, so I walked in and grabbed what I needed. The items I purchased were right at the cash register, and there was a woman buying a carton (plus a pack) of Misty cigarettes already occupying the cashier’s time.

“No! No, I don’t get charged for this!” she insisted.

Her words caught my attention, as I typically turn mentally idle while I wait, only turning back on when it’s my turn to pay.

I’m not quite sure what she was talking about, but the cashier caught my gaze: He was tall, slightly grown-out shorter hair, which was a medium reddish brown, and it contrasted with his vaguely olive skin. For some reason, though, what really caught my attention was the wooden rosary he wore around his neck. My first thought was ‘that’s not a necklace,’ as it usually is when I see somebody wearing a rosary like that, but I packed my nit-pickiness away and continued to observe this man. As he spoke to the woman in a gentle and nervous way, I could hear an accent in his voice. The accent sounded almost exactly the same as the rest of the people who work at the store.

I had always wondered where the people who own the store are from; I could never figure it out. My best guess was Albania, but I very rarely put any weight on guesses. All I was aware of was that I enjoyed their accents and how they spoke to me. To them, I’m ‘sweetheart’ or ‘honey’ or some other term of endearment that makes me smile.

Once the woman vacated her spot at the register, the man softly, gently sang “Thank you,” with a shy smile after her, looking sheepish.

Then, he looked at me, and smiled wider.

“Hello,” he said, warmly.

“Hi,” I said, cheerfully, giving him a friendly grin. “I just need these, please.”

“Umm, how much are those?” he asked, more to himself than anybody else. “Oh. $6.99, so…” He began to type the numbers into the register, and I felt my curiosity take over.

“Your accent is so pretty. Where are you from?”


It was kind of loud in the store, so he probably didn’t hear me.

“Your accent is so pretty. Where are you from?” I repeated, louder and clearer, though sadly, lacking the amount of emotion from the first time I asked.

The man’s eyes went wide, and I saw a flash of terror for a fraction of a second before they dropped away from mine.

“Oh-uh…” he stuttered nervously. After a bit of hesitation, he finally came up with an answer. “The Middle East.”

“Where in the Middle East?” I pried.

Looking extremely uncomfortable and defeated, he offered me an unhappy smile and nodded his head.



“Oh. Ok,” I said, casually.

But that’s not what I wanted to say. I wanted to say something like this:

You poor soul. You look like you’ve been emotionally battered and abused just because of where you come from…something you have absolutely no control over…and you’re so afraid that people who don’t know a thing about you will instantly hate you. Well, not this time; not me. I don’t hate you. As a matter of fact, I think you’re the sweetest, shyest, most endearing person I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with all day, and if I ever saw somebody go off on you for being Iraqi, I would hit them over the fucking head with a bottle. YOU are not personally responsible for our respective nations’ issues. The people in this country can be very ignorant and rude and mean-hearted, and…look at you! You were so scared to tell me where you were from, but it didn’t even occur to you to lie about it. Do you realize how much character you possess? You seem wonderful. So, please, don’t be scared of me. I don’t hate you…not even a little bit.

I just gave him a big, genuine smile.

“It really is a pretty accent.”

As soon as I said the words, a wave of relief seemed to wash over his face, and his strained grin relaxed into authenticity.

“Thank you.”

We said our good-byes, and as I walked away, I felt a heaviness in my heart. I mean, are we really that far gone, as a society? Are Americans really that prejudice, that vapid and self-interested that they don’t care about other people or think things through before they react? Surely, his fear was based in some sort of reality, whether it was born from his own or by-proxy, but are people seriously such assholes?

As I approached the door, I saw a girl wearing shorts and holding a smart phone who was about to enter the store. With the way she maneuvered her body, though, it was going to be awkward to hold the door open for her, so I completely exited the store, let out a short laugh at the silliness of the situation, and held it open for her.
To my shock and amazement, she walked through, not looking at me, or saying a word of acknowledgement, as if it were expected of me to hold the door open for her, like I were a doorman. Didn’t even reach out to help hold the door.

“YOU’RE WELCOME!” I shouted at her unresponsive form, as I let the door go.
And yes, she DID hear me, but I severely doubt she cared.

Yup. They certainly ARE such assholes.

Can we change assholes? Nope. We can’t.

What can we do, then?
NOT be assholes.
We can call assholes out on their antics.
We can find other non-assholes and show them that we exist.
We can heal each other a tiny bit each and every day.
We can stand up for each other and our own values.
And we can place hate only where hate is due.

The Fine Line: Part 1

When we examine others, we tend to categorize them in a plethora of ways. It just happens. As a matter of fact, it’s probably instinctual. However, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in this categorization behavior through the years, and it is brutal and vicious.

I admit, this ‘dramatic change’ could be totally perceived from my own world view…maybe it’s the people I meet or where I have been deposited in the social realm or maybe I just never noticed it before.

My personal theory is that people have become nothing more than a commodity with the rise of technology.
Think about it:
Want to talk to random people? Try Facebook!
Need a friend? Girlfriendsocial.com will help you with that.
Need a romance? Take your pick! Match.com, eHarmony.com, pof.com, etc.
Need to just get laid? OkCupid.com OR, for that extra scary experience, try Craigslist!
Oh, what’s that? You just want to see a random guy masturbating? Then allow me to introduce you to Chat Roulette, my friend!

Come on up! Don’t be scared! Just fill in these neat blanks here, enter your credit card information (if applicable), and we’ll provide you with more people than you can shake a stick at! And you haven’t even heard the best part: You can be totally shallow and set your standards accordingly. You can pass up on a person because their eyebrows are too thin, or they look paunchy in an outfit, or they aren’t vegan…WITHOUT SAYING A FUCKING WORD to them, EVER! And since you’re at home on your computer as opposed to any normal social situation, your friends can’t tell you just how shallow you are!

People and relationships are being sold on a daily basis online, and whether or not you are alright with this or participate in this, that is your choice. I respect that because I don’t believe in oppression. You can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t directly involve me.
That being said, I am postulating that this whole buy-sell attitude that is running rampant on these websites is harmful to human relationships.
Why? Because this attitude seems to have generalized across nearly all platforms, and has leaked into the physical world, and is influencing the way many people operate in interpersonal communications and categorization.

Just in case you’ve missed the ‘subtle’ hints I’ve made, I should spell out my feelings for you:

I hate it because I feel it being acted out on me…ALL THE TIME.

I don’t want to be seen by my relationship status or lack thereof; I don’t want to be seen as a woman; I don’t want to be seen as a fucking category!

I want to be seen as a person.
A WHOLE person.
And I’m not.

I would like to shift the focus to the dating aspect of this topic.
Whenever I speak to people, especially men, it’s so obvious to me that they’re making checks on their mental checklist with every sentence that comes out of me; it’s in their eyes, their twitches, their entire faces…but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Then, granted I meet their checklist requirements, if I hold a deep, cathartic, and enjoyable conversation and they know or assume I’m not in a relationship, they tend to shift into the romance gear and begin pursuing me…AGGRESSIVELY.

If the man I’m speaking with is attached, he’ll talk to me again.
And again.
And again.
Until I get the inevitable phone call where he reveals that he’s having an emotional crisis because he doesn’t know how to be friends with a woman.

It’s enough to make me want to slam my head on a wall.

These conversations…they aren’t romantic or sexual or even sexually charged. They’re about life and our own personal journeys. Jesus, if I hopped into bed with every person I’ve had a truly awesome conversation with, I…
Hmm…I don’t even know how to finish that sentence. I guess I would’ve sexed a LOT of people.

Why is listening to somebody or being listened to tantamount to flirting?
Why is making a girl laugh the equivalent to her communicating that she wants to be more than friends?
Why is it that we can hardly ever make somebody feel a bit less lonely without trying to ‘get together’ with them?

Maybe it’s because it’s not the norm to just sit down and talk with people anymore. Maybe…maybe we feel so painfully normal that acting painfully normal is the only way to make ourselves feel safe and loved and accepted, and therefore, we just don’t talk about the deeper feelings…and when you don’t talk about them, you begin not to think about them anymore.
Maybe we don’t even try to look at people as they are, and more try to figure out what they can do for us.

It could be that this isn’t even a discussion about categorization at all; maybe, it’s about assessing and managing intent. And if the subject actually is intent, well…I’m completely fucked.
I’m fucked because I don’t have any intentions for strangers. I don’t see a stranger from across the room and intend to have sex with him or date him or trip him in the parking lot, and (as I understand it) most people do have intent toward everybody they approach. I typically don’t try to pursue anything or anybody (except animals, so I can pet them), relying mainly on the natural rhythm of things, and if I hear a good spot to jump in for a solo or a duet, I do so.

It’s kind of a big problem, though, as the people I tend to meet can’t comprehend the idea, let alone the reality, of a person with no intentions. At the same time, it is equally confounded in my perspective to have my intentions assessed (usually inaccurately) or to be assessed by another, then unfairly placed.