Sometimes I wish people wore signs… or … registered all their thoughts in a central database that I could easily access, preferably tied into some sort of Heads-Up Display which used facial recognition and high-speed data access to feed me vital information about everyone I met, and that emails and IMs were hooked into the same system, so I could know important things about people right from the get-go.
Like, I just got an email from a 13 year old in Tucson who likes my paintings and may be interested in buying. Which is great. If he has the money. My prices are very low right now, actually, so it isn’t inconceivable. I responded professionally and completely, and if he’s interested, I’ll know soon enough, but wouldn’t it be nice if I could tell right off the bat whether he was genuinely serious about buying, and financially capable of same? Whether he buys or not, it’s nice to know that he likes the work, but should I be responding as to a groupie or fan, or professionally, as to an art collector? I chose the latter.
Or with Laura. We’ve been corresponding for about a couple of months and … I want to go into the details at some point, but I am not sure it is relevant here, but … what is relevant here is that until I pressed the issue (because I sensed something was amiss, and drove conversations in that direction… after which it took her over two weeks to respond) I had no idea that … not only is she not looking for or interested in a serious romantic relationship of any kind, but she has never been in a relationship that required fidelity of any kind, and even if she were interested in having a relationship with someone, she wouldn’t want it to be a monogamous one. Which seems odd to me, considering that in the second or third conversation we had we spoke at length about monogamy and fidelity and how I am not interested in relationships that are not monogamous… months ago… But wouldn’t it have been nice if upon first hearing from her I could know that she has no interest in relationships and has never bothered with fidelity? I very likely would have avoided investing any of myself in her, had I known that. It’s not like it was easy or casual… she lives 3500 miles away… I wasn’t running into her at the local coffee shop or library… I was going out of my way to get ahold of her, spending hours and days writing letters to her… if she just wanted a casual friendship, well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t typically work that hard to create a casual friendship with someone I may never meet. (Or have erotic fantasies about them, which is something we BOTH did re: each other, but which … no… no, I don’t tend to have erotic fantasies about my casual friends, and if I find myself having them anyway, I look into advancing the relationship past ‘friend’, eh?)
Or … imagine going out to a club and knowing at a glance who wanted what, not just out of the evening, but in relationships and in life in general. You see a beautiful young woman and think about asking her to dance, but see that she is married with kids and just out for a night of fun. If you’re looking for the same thing, great, she can see that and you two can have fun dancing. If you’re looking for something more, you don’t even waste the time talking to her. And no, a person can’t be broken down into likes and dis-likes and give you a fair picture, but if you have “conflicting worldviews” (say, a gaia-loving wiccan and a captain of industry protestant), you would know right away not to bother trying to get together for something that became ‘serious’ enough to bring these things up. Sure, some people are just looking for a string of steamy nights of passion with no intellectual or emotional connection, but … well, that would all be obvious, too.
Hobbies, obsessions, passions, occupations and recreations. Religious beliefs, dreams, aspirations, biases and prejudices, expectations, and what other relationships they are currently or very recently involved in. All out in the open from the moment you meet someone.
Wouldn’t that be nice? If people were just open about who they are and what they want?
I am trying to be. It’s hard sometimes, but I do my best. It’s hard to let people know who I am and what I want over the loud music in the club. It’s hard to get through to people that the words I’m speaking are the truth, the whole truth, not something I like to say to make you like me exactly, but what I actually mean. It’s hard to get people to reciprocate. When I started with Laura I thought I was making my intentions clear by beginning the conversation “How would you like to be courted?” and then proceeding to explain that I wanted to get to know her and to try to form a relationship with her, that I wanted to know how she preferred to go from strangers to intimates. But I guess that didn’t get it across. Or when, on that 2nd or 3rd conversation when we discussed at length monogamy and fidelity and why we both agreed that we didn’t like infidelity, and I know I said outright I was not interested in being in a polyamorous or “open” relationship. I guess I wasn’t clear enough.
Or when I told her I was falling in love with her. Or when I revealed that I was, in fact, in love with her.
And when, earlier than those, I saw her use the words “yours” and “mine” as in “I’m yours and you’re mine,” and my multi-page response must not have been clear enough that my understanding of those words implies posession of a sort, which implies (to me only, I suppose) the idea that if I am hers I am no one else’s… if she is mine, she is no one else’s… and if not, then why use those words? And use them again and again and again and again? It only encouraged me, and I told her as much, in writing, quoting her, telling her she was only reinforcing and building up our relationship, encouraging me to love her and love her more, seeming to be …
nevermind. I have got off track, here.
What was the track? AH, yesh. I wish I’d known sooner. I wish she’d taken any of a hundred opportunities to tell me she was taking the introversion road of self-examination-before-attempting-external-relationships. I wish… I wish Sara had known all this, and not recommended to me explicitly that I pursue Laura. Sara, your matchmaking skills are wanting. In the future, try not to set up people who have no interest in a relationship with people you know are very serious about having a meaningful relationship. Yeah.
And that’s what I have to say about that. I’m going to bed.