Tag Archives: meeting people

The Fine Line: Part 2

What do I mean by being ‘unfairly placed?’ I’ve got examples.

About three weekends ago, there was a monthly social event I attended, dealing primarily with spirituality topics. It’s a very casual group, and I usually adore attending because all of the annoying pretense of ‘oh-lordy-are-these-people-going-to-think-I’m-strange?’ feeling is next to non-existent, and one is typically able to just relax and be oneself.

I was chit-chatting primarily with two men, so let’s call them A and B, for the sake of anonymity. I have a lot in common with A, and B is close to A, hanging around him quite a bit inside and outside the confines of the group. I followed them outside of the restaurant so they could smoke, and we were all talking, laughing, telling jokes, etc.

As it turns out, I noticed that B was kind of touchy with me (putting his arm around my shoulders, patting me on the back, etc.), and to be perfectly honest, I’m quite used to this. I come from an Italian family, and we Italians tend to be touchy, hugging, kissing types of people, and as a girl who has had lots of male friends in the past, it seems to go with the territory of socializing with them for me. They pick me up, swing me around, I laugh…no big deal. Needless to say, it didn’t seem out of place and wasn’t sexual or anything of the sort.

Later that night, A provided me with conveyance home, and when he pulled into my driveway, the topic of conversation changed drastically before I left the car, and it went something like this:

A: Luna, I want you to know that B really likes you.
Me: He does?
A: Oh, yeah. And I guarantee he’s going to start texting you and trying to talk to you more often.
Me: Oh, God. This is the last thing I need…I don’t know how to deal with people who like me when I don’t like them back, and I don’t like him…AT ALL.
A: You can’t be nice to him, because if you’re nice, and I know it’s just in your nature to be that way with people, he’s going to claim that you’re leading him on. I’ve seen this so many times, it’s happened so many times with him, and he’ll make it look like you’re the bad guy.
Me: Oh fuck. What do I do? Just tell him to fuck off or ignore him? It’s really difficult for me to be mean to people when they’re being nice to me…it’s like I have to match their level-
A: If you match his level, it’s going to be bad. Just be honest or flat-out ignore him, but whatever you do, don’t be nice.

A good night went to a stressful one really quickly; sure enough, the moment I got into the bathroom to get ready for sleep, I received a text message from B, and groaned. I didn’t answer right away, and received another one.
Soon, though, the text messages stopped, to my relief, and I met with A for coffee the following weekend, where I got to discuss it further. It went something to the tune of:

A: I’m assuming you haven’t heard from B?
Me: No, I haven’t! Thank God!
A: (His smile was half satisfied, half knowing.) Good.
Me: (I looked at him suspiciously.) …What did you do?
A: I told him to back off because you were taken.
Me: (I burst into laughter.) Thank you! That must’ve really done the trick!
A: It did!
Me: A, how did you even know he liked me? I didn’t know, so how could you have known?
A: Because of the way he acted around you. If he put his arm around you and you didn’t move away, that was like confirmation to him…like he was saying ‘Hey, I like you,’ and you not moving away was you saying ‘I like you, too.’
Me: (My eyes went wide.) WHAT? I was just trying to not be a bitch! How obscure is THAT? God, I must be fucktarded if I’m the only one who couldn’t read his signals!
A: Well, there was also the text message.
Me: What text message?
A: I got a text message from him after I walked you to the door that said ‘I really think it could work between Luna and I; I really like her.’
Me: (I scoffed in disbelief.) BASED ON WHAT? I’ve only talked to the man twice, ever! On what basis does he conclude that-
A: Based on the fact that he likes you! (He laughed.)
Me: Oh my God… (I shook my head and closed my eyes in frustration.)
(We both went quiet.)
Me: You know what’s sad, though?
A: What?
Me: I just realized that since I am no longer an object of potential romantic conquest for him, he just totally stopped bothering with me altogether, like I’m not worth talking to anymore.
A: (He let out a sigh.) That’s the way a lot of people work.

Oh, A; how right you are.

The second example is a product of something that happened about a year or so ago.

I’m friends with somebody who I’ll refer to as C. C has a job in the public sector (in a way), ¬†and he is ‘frenemies’ (his word, not mine!) with a guy who I’ll call D. These two basically compete with each other on a career level, as they are employed by two separate institutions that have the same function, and they run into each other a lot. For some reason that I can’t remember, C mentioned me to D, who had no idea who I was, and for some reason, it piqued D’s curiosity.

One day, D was close by C’s workplace and dropped in, and asked about me. A few days later, D sent C a text or email and asked some questions about me:
Is she single?
Is she our age?
Is she cute?
C said ‘Yes,’ and I guess it just fanned the flames of D’s curiosity even more than before.

I was at the laundromat one day because my washer and dryer are too small for my comforter, and C sent me a text. The conversation went something like this:

C: He’s asking about you…again.
Me: Ok, this is getting so stupid. Tell him that I’m at the laundromat at (such-and-such intersection), and if he wants to see me, he can come over and ask me whatever he wants. Tell him I’m in a red and black shirt and black skirt. Can’t miss me.
C: Whoa. Seriously? You honestly want me to tell him that?
Me: YES. Dude, I feel like this is bordering on interfering with your work, and I’m uncomfortable with you being stuck as the middle man. I’ll just make it easier on the both of you. Just tell him that I’ll answer all of his questions if he comes and finds me, and I’m not going anywhere for a while. As a matter of fact, I’m bored.
C: …Are you SURE you want me to say this?
Me: Why? Do you think he’s a closeted rapist, or something?
C: No, I think that he might think it’s weird that you’d offer that.
Me: C, I know what it’s like to be that curious about somebody you feel like you can’t approach…to feel a draw to somebody, but the context to talk just isn’t there. I don’t want anybody to have to feel that with me. What’s so weird about that?
C: That’s a good point. Ok, I’ll tell him.

D got all weirded out and didn’t show. I LOLed.
C then got bombarded with even more questions, so I took it upon myself to email D.

We spoke a bit, but I found him very difficult to talk to…we had different email styles.

Meanwhile, C and his wife were having a house warming party a few days after D and I started emailing each other. D asked me if I planned on attending, and I told him the truth: I have driving panic, and where C lives was just not an option for me. I told him that I’d try to get a ride, but I wasn’t sure if I could procure one. [If you’d like to know why, please refer to my post ‘The Trouble With Tulips.’] D, graciously, offered me a ride.

I cried. I thought that that was one of the kindest, sweetest things that anybody had done for me in a long time. I mean, this guy didn’t know me from Adam, and he agreed to pick me up and drive me for 10 to 15 minutes, being totally alone with me. I actually still admire that leap of faith.

And, well…we met.
He was actually really nice and funny. There was never an uncomfortable lull in the conversation, and as a matter of fact, he and I hung around each other the entire party, just non-stop talking.
I was SO excited…I thought I had made a new friend!

THOUGHT being the most important word in that sentence.

After that, we didn’t really talk. I’d send him an email, or he’d send me one, but whenever I tried to hint at hanging out, he’d avoid me.

C and I soon discovered that D was kind-sorta seeing somebody, but apparently, I wasn’t somebody who he’d switch to pursuing (not that I was trying to be because, again, I hardly knew the man), and C told me that D ‘didn’t make friends with girls.’

Pwoo-cha! Thwarted. Not from making friends or getting a boyfriend, just…making a connection with another human being that seemed quite interesting.

Like I said before, I follow the natural rhythms. Obviously, these rhythms faded and went off-key, quickly. There’s a reason for it…that, I know, and I trust the universe and its reasons. But, it’s frustrating. Really, really frustrating. Watching somebody throw your sheet music to the floor when you’ve just settled in to play and have barely emitted a sound because they don’t know what to do with your instrument isn’t fun.

It makes me really think, though, and I believe that there’s a fine line that I’m simply not capable of sensing or seeing with some people. And if I can’t see or feel this line, I’ll never be able to cross it.
It also makes me smile, though, because if a person has this ‘fine line,’ I’m not the kind of person who should cross it, anyway.

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.