Oddness. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I've watched the world changed in ways we couldn't have dreamed of. For example, I remember when:
*Answering machines were new. We never got one because my mother thought they were tacky.
*Everyone else played Mario Bros on their Nintendo while we played Asteroids on our Atari
*Everyone started getting VCRs and movie rental stores proliferated
*Blockbuster killed the independent video store. My dad bought out their C-movie collections for 99 cents each. What a bargain.
*The advent of the dollar store. And the world is still reeling
*Call waiting retired the busy signal, remember how annoying it was?
*Only nerds had computers, like my dad
*Talking cars were going to be the wave of the future. The 84 New Yorker I drove in school was so cute when it talked, but it thought my door was a jar.
*Michael Jackson was good looking
*Velcro was high tech
*Using a typewriter for school assignments meant someone was an over-achiever
*Using a dot matrix printer for papers took forever and were the bane of procrastinators everywhere.
*At my first job in the courthouse, some of my co-workers smoked all day long INSIDE their offices.
*Going to college, I got my first ever email and voicemail account.
*Only yuppies and doctors had cellphones
*Online internet service revived the busy signal
*Men and women argued only about real life instead of virtual things.
Yes, this is another post about blogging. And dating. And blogging and dating.
The NY Times published a piece about dating blogs and how they were becoming a threat to people's privacy. Though most people interviewed thought that as long as bloggers used pseudonyms for other people then there is nothing wrong with writing about them. Besides, past boyfriends have no concern with my blog. But. What to do about current relationships?
I seem to be in some kind of relationship at the moment, what kind I don't know. We've dated about 3 months. In the past, most of my relationships burned out at 2 or 3 months, the rest didn't last past 6. I would get caught up in the excitement of a new person, new romance, the honeymoon phase. Then when the shine of the honeymoon faded, the real person emerged and we realized we didn't like each other. And that ended that.
My excuses for such adolescent behavior follows. Going to a women's college made dating purely extracurricular and men nothing more than meat.I never experienced the friend-to-boyfriend development. Which meant I only dated strangers. Randomly finding someone with whom one has compatibility is more than difficult. After college, I thought I should only date Mormons. So I tried. Nothing ever went very far. Dating is so serious an undertaking for LDS that one doesn't do it lightly, nor stay with someone unmarriagable. My most serious relationship got truncated by moving to New York.
So now I'm 28 and without experience of the adult romantic relationship. All I have done is date, date, date, date, until the thought makes me want to puke. But last fall I started spending time with a friendly acquaintance, I always found him interesting and attractive. At first, I didn't look at him as a potential whatever because I was in love with someone when I moved to the city. And he wasn't Mormon. Meanwhile we became friendly. But he is a shy one, we never went beyond mild flirting and conversation.
Then this shy guy inexplicably turned the heat up in pursuit! I didn't encourage him. Did I? The more I like someone the less flirty I behave. And yet, he called me anyway. So we went out. We have crazy strong chemistry. The third time we hung out, the tension was so thick it reminded me of a scene in Annie Hall. Woody and Annie have an inane, awkward and uncomfortable conversation because both of them are so nervous with sexual tension; subtitles tell the viewers what the two really think. She thinks everything she said makes her sound stupid and he wonders what she looks like naked. I'm finally old enough to get Woody Allen. Yikes.
Unlike Woody and Annie, we have taken things very slowly. Instead of burning out like a match, I found we have some ingredients for a relationship: mutual attraction, common interests, intellectual equality, complementary character traits, similar aesthetic preferences, similar humor, and we study the same discipline so we can help each other with work. Socratic dialogue has taken on the role of a sport for us. We have attracted spectators/listeners on the train and in the park. It begins with a challenge, the other responds and we duke it out verbally until a clear winner emerges or I get tired. Usually, the loser concedes to the winner.
This relationship stuff is hard! It takes work when I respect the other person and actually care what happens. Who knew? When chronically single people try to get together they have to un-isolate themselves. A strange and unnatural thing. It takes effort to remember the other and include him. Besdies this ordinary stuff, I have the blog. I blogged about him. I had assumed he knew that and read it, figuring he found it through google. But, I never wanted to talk about it, way too embarassing. My blog was the elephant in the room.
A few weeks ago I grew so disgusted with myself for using the blog to vent about him that I decided to slay the elephant. I sent a long email saying that I knew he read it. I made several excuses for things posted here. And I apologized for not letting him discuss the blog when he tried to bring it up in December. (Or so I thought.)
He called me. Said he didn't know what I was talking about, he never read my blog. So I didn't have to worry. He didn't know why I thought he was reading it. Why did I? I tried to brush off the question but he pressed it. I answered that I must have read things into his actions that weren't there and I may be losing my ability to reason. He said "You are losing it. I've never seen your blog. I knew you had one but I don't know what interesting things you write there. Maybe some day you'll share them with me and we'll roast marshmallows by the fire." Then he had to go. . . .
That was not the end of this. I think he may have lied and I told him so a few days ago.
And now, as the Times predicted, my weblog is an issue, it's become a thing. 20 years ago, who could have imagined that people in the 21st century argued about someone's website? I never dreamed about growing up to date men and having to deal with things like voicemail messages, texts, IMs, and a website!
Stay tuned for Part II.