Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Putting a puzzle together, wearing mittens

I’m laying on the couch I call the "14 yr old makeout couch." This couch, acquired by my roommate Dave has as its primary defining characteristics two features which suggest to me the dreams of 14 year old boys. The couch is sort of suede-y, and most importantly it functions a bit like a chaise lounge. If you pull the arms of the couch towards you, they can be lowered into full recline, as can the back. It converts from a velvety/suede couch into a bed of same. Dave loves it, though thankfully not for those reasons. I on the other hand find it not a little preposterous and generally silly. But it serves the purpose, and I have taken a few naps in its gentle embrace, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

I’m sitting here alone. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been leading the life of a galavanting socialite or someone similarly engaged in evening activities. I’ve lamented this fact, and whined about it. And tonight I find myself occupying my apartment in total solitude. And without being too blunt, I’m bored out of my fucking mind. I want to be talking to people, making friends, telling stories, hearing jokes, throwing Frisbees, doing something. Instead I’m checking and rechecking my email, and now sitting to write this.

And yet, whining aside, it’s terrific. In the final analysis, I think I may be overloading on people right now, if I’m this distracted and bored while sitting alone. I may want to try and spend a little more time with just Aaron, otherwise I may lose my damn mind.

I guess I need alone time, but though how much is still an issue of some debate. Tonight I’m buzzing with thoughts about this weekend’s Sectional tournament. (to read more you can check out another blog project of mine But the realization that there are tons of people with whom I could be hanging out right now, several just a few blocks away, well that’s just peachy keen. I’m thinking about the various new friends I’ve made and trying to sort out what it means that I’m making considerably more female friends, and um…well, what comes next. I never really bought the thesis of When Harry Met Sally that it’s hard to have cross gendered friends without some (some) relational pressures interceding, but I think it may be on to something.

All of which leads me to a strange conclusion. I now realize. I’ve never really dated before. I’ve only ever entered into relationships with close friends. The idea of asking someone whom I don’t *really* know to a meal or movie is completely foreign. Not so much scary or intimidating, as simply foreign. And if you ask someone to diner who is in possession of XX chromosomes, does that have to be a date? What signals am I sending? I feel like a jittery telegraph operator, I'm undoubtedly sending and receiving signals that mean nothing. I don’t know. When is a movie just something you watch with another person, and when is a movie a signal of some primal dating instinct. It's all Greek to me.

Unlike the 14 yr old whom I imagine loves my couch, I don’t really have the basic experience of dating. I don’t know the official rules. It feels a little bit like trying to piece together the rules of cricket by watching a test match. I get the general goal of the game, and some of the terms, but the strategy is impenetrably confusing to me.

But, even if I'm struggling with the rules and basic truisms of dating or the precursor to dating (really). But, the best part of all of this is the realization for me that dating someone and ending the romantic part of that relationship doesn’t have to come with the requisite strife and sorrow that ending a 2 year relationship does. I have been worrying that I better choose really carefully, lest I mess up and have to endure another gut wrenching break-up. This isn't going to hurt like my last break up. This is pulling off a Band-Aid not Civil War field surgery.

People date all the time. You can date and find out that after a few days, weeks or months it isn’t working and that’s fine. It’s not some earth shattering upheaval, hell, it can be less of an ordeal than changing long distance carriers.

So the past few weeks have been spent trying to figure out what people think of me vis a vis dating, and what I think of them. But it’s funny. How can I know what another person is thinking when, with unfettered access to my own thoughts, I’m often flummoxed. I gotta imagine that if I don’t know what I think, knowing what they think is like cleaning the Aegean stables. I was talking about this with a friend (Liz) and described the quandary as trying to put together a puzzle with mittens on. Seems about right. And yet, it’s still pretty fun. Further vague updates as events warrant.

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