Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Alone and barely breathing...

Saturday night, I hit my favorite club.

Before that, though, I was doing my usual: hanging with a friend and marathoning whatever TV show we had decided on (this time it was "Father Ted", which is an excellent BBC comedy). We made pizzas, me working my mad stylings on some ground turkey for his sausage needs.

Which sounded really gay. Yes, I know. I bring the funk.

Pizza was a success, wonderfully good.

And afterwards, I stepped into his bathroom to play what I call "Pretty, Pretty Princess". This is the fifteen minutes to an hour+ girls spend in the restroom getting "done up" for the evening. He lives significantly closer to the club I chose than I do, so I talked him into it. Which, admittedly, was pretty easy.

We've been platonic friends for over a year now, spending time together about once every week or two. He hosted me weekly during my ten month couch-surfing expedition, and it has been perfectly without any push or tension towards more than what we have.

Doing my part, I've kept it at jeans and t-shirt level, no make-up, hair usually pulled back.

So I go into his bathroom in casual gear, plain-faced, then come out in a mini-dress, sexy hair, and club make-up.

And he was perfectly cool with it.

Drove over to the club, chatted with the valet, backed myself into my usual spot. My club friend from the previous Friday was already in his usual spot next to mine, a song I love blasting from his stereo- on the mix CD he made for me.

Walked past the door guy with a smile and a wave, my club friend guest-listed me at the inside door.

And then I hit the floor.

Glorious. It was such a perfect night for dancing, the floor was recently cleaned which made every move smooth and perfect. Friends I had texted earlier in the week to harass them out started arriving, quick reunions then back to the music.

Unfortunately, one of those friends, someone I've been quite happily platonic with for about four years now, had suddenly determined I was now desirable. Too-close hugs, roaming eyes, extended touching, excessive (for him) complimenting.

Awkwardness, on my part, ensued. Untangled limbs, edging away. It was managed, as much as it could be.

Another friend brought her date from a previous club.

I had told her to bring him, as we had been discussing dance styles over time within a particular club circuit, and how one could track the music, club, and what time the person entered the scene based on how they danced. He is a dancer, salsa, swing, ballroom. Actually straight, suprisingly, and not feminine at all.

What was even more surprising, occurred at the end of the evening when he hugged me goodbye, pulling me against his hard body by wrapping one arm around my waist and yanking, almost like he was in the middle of a tango. I began to suspect that my friend wasn't his date, but their body language from earlier illustrated private physical intimacy, so I dismissed my suspicion.

And dismissed the idea that him touching me all night, bumping into me, leaning into me, brushing shoulders, was not because of trying to be heard over loud music, but him maintaining physical contact out of interest.

This all happened, of course, after I told her to give him my number so I could text him when I went out clubbing. He wants to learn how to dance the style I do, and there's not a lot of people better to learn from, I will admit.

So he texted me today, to find out if I would take him shopping, get him the right wardrobe for the clubs.

I couldn't... I just kept thinking back to what GV8 told me once, that he wasn't going to give me the play book to figuring him out, that if we fit together, we'd do so naturally, without me shaping to fit him.

I've been using that more often lately. I'm usually so straightforward with my communication, but it really is frustrating to constantly have to be feeding the men around me the tools they need to, essentially, manage my attraction for them.

I want them to be able to do it on their own, from their own observation of me and their own intelligence, like GV8 did.

I'm not talking about not sharing my emotions, making a man figure out what I'm mad about and how to scramble about and fix it, but simply how to gain my attention in the first place.

So I kept texting light and minimal on my end, watching to see what he would do.

Here's our text message series from this afternoon. My notes are in bold, so you all can enjoy(?) how my brain works.

H: "It's ******. ******'s friend. I got your number from her. I'm think of going shopping for some newer stuff to wear to the clubs. Wanna help out?
At this point, I still thought he was seeing my friend. Not very observant of me.

V: Sure!

H: sweet cause I have no idea where to go. we used to look down on ********, but I'm not sure if it's still like that.
Wait, wait, why are we suddenly dropping our punctuation and capitalization at the beginning of sentences? Please tell me this isn't going to be another guy who doesn't pick up on my near perfect texts and can't conform to my texts in a sort of mimic like body language. At least I don't have to worry about him being interested in me, since he's seeing my friend.

H: do you live locally?
Ah, yeah. There went the caps.

V: ***********

H: o ok that's not bad. I'm right next to ******. where's a good place to shop?
And he's lost his "h" in "oh". That's going to drive me insane if he keeps it up (there is a non-anal reason for this).

V: There's some places in Hollywood, one in OC, another in HB.

H: I'm too familiar with hollywood's shops but I remember the ***** in HB. whatever outfits I end up with need to be sexy :)
You need to be sexy???? What guy says that? What do I even say to that? And the emoticon?

V: Sexy is relative to what type of girl you want to attract.

H: I trust your judgement :)
Uh... wait. Is he inferring that the type of girl he wants to attract is my kind? (reluctant understanding begins to dawn)

H: but preferably the fun ones

V: I dunno. Not a lot of girls like fun these days.
Must... insert... teasing. Must... hope... he... picks... up... on... this... and turns this conversation into something that isn't so boringly generic.

H: their loss i guess cause I like to have fun and in as many ways as I can find :)
...I suddenly hate my life. I like having fun and doing fun things and I love to laugh omg. Puppies are cute. And did he just toss in an innuendo at the end of that?

Which continued into a boring bit about money to spend and clothes he needed to get, which shifted into a logistics of our relative locations and where we needed to shop, which, of course, shifted into what he does for a living, and how he met my friend. I assumed it was because they work in the same field, but he said...

H: I met her when I was riding my harley with some friends which happened to live next door to her. she came out riding with us after that and we became friends
Huh. Math. She lives on the beach. Her neighbors to the south are hot beach guys, loaded, lazy, and doing lines of coke way too often. Did he just raise his status?

V: Ah, sweet.
I have no comment.

H: yeah, she's a good friend :) never short on cool things to check out. like clubs with cute girls :)
Fuck. Friend. Fuck. Lame line about cute kids in clubs, directed at me. Fuck.

V: Yeah, I really don't spend enough time with her.
Um, let's focus on... not me.

H: what clubs are you going to hit this week/weekend?

V: None, too busy. I'll be at ***** next weekend, though.

H: I might be riding to yuma for a kids charity this weekend. what else do you do for fun?
Well, now we've established he's a "good guy", he "likes kids", and he's "adventurous". With one activity. If only I liked good guys. Or other people's kids. What's with the generic question?

Insert discussion about hobbies here. One of my favorite activities that came up was, of course, driving.

H: ever ridden on a motorcycle?
Oh, I know where this is going.

H: I know some kick ass places up and down the coast. I've seen every mile of coastline from san diego to the middle of oregon.
Which is pretty cool.

V: Lucky. I'd love to have the time and money to do that.
Generic comment is generic.

H: well when you have time I'll take you to a spot I like. get to go check out the tide pools

H: we can ride the bike if the weather is nice enough. I'll have to see if I have a helmet that fits you.
Called it. Clinging to his back as his powerful metal steed propels us up the coast for a romantic beach trip, complete with tide pools while he establishes his rebellious masculinity with his control of his motorcycle.

Trail off into reminders, once he asked, that I was already busy this weekend.

I haven't re-read the above, but I likely sound like a stuck-up bitch. My mental tone isn't as derisive as it sounds, really. Just... kinda bored, kinda leaning back, looking at my phone going off, groaning slightly as I feel vaguely like an idiot for dismissing him and not guarding against him like I normally would if I hadn't thought he was with my friend.

It made me feel... just, myeh. Isolated. That feeling has passed, mostly. But when I finally ended the conversation with this guy, I was frustrated and feeling so socially abnormal.

I want to say I'm not supposed to think like this, that I'm not supposed to be analyzing the behaviors of the men around me and breaking them down into little parts (most of which I did not include in the above, as that would take too long and I'm a major over analyzer).

Having this guy do this... I felt so out of sync with my age group, so alien. I'm passing as standardly attractive now, and that means socially standard men, which means I'm left feeling like an oddball when "normal" guys hit on me.

So I texted Roman to get on IM so I could bask in the glory of his equally abnormal masculinity. Get back to baseline of talking with someone whose company and banter I enjoy. Even though, as I was bitching about my feelings of isolation brought on by the text conversation above, he totally smacked me down in his own way.

Which is what he does.

But at the same time, I'm left feeling like people expect me to be grateful for male attention. That I should be just happy as a clam. However happy that is.

I can't make myself feel glad of this. Reminds me of when I was younger, forced into going to church with my family, going to a youth group that was part of the church, staring sullenly at my peers while they pray and sing, while the youth leader would tell me the way I should be, what I should believe, and how happy I should feel that God loves me.

In a room full of people, people willing to listen and discuss, but none of them willing to understand or accept, viewing me through the light they choose, not caring that the light doesn't fit me. I'm not who they so desperately want me to be, if only to stay within what they deem okay.

I'm supposed to be some sort of male-interest Buddha, able to easily deflect desire, able to handle situations that arise, however uncomfortable they may be, constantly forgiving of transgressions and totally understanding of fumbles.

But I'm not. I'm a just girl, and experience has given me certain expectations. I bring certain qualities, good and bad, to my partners, just as they bring good and bad qualities to me. I will get frustrated, I will feel put out when yet another man steps outside of behavior I am comfortable with.

And I will feel lonely when I come back to my apartment and realize that I've opened up to so many people, but never enough. That I'm always guarding myself.

A bit of an emo post tonight. I'm much too tired to attempt to think.

C is already passed out beside me, tangled up in my blankets. It's probably time I joined her.


  1. I hate the improper grammar in text messages. It's not even a matter of romance. It's honoring the fact that a message is a form of communication; it's honoring that words are what we use to communicate.

    I've been thinking about Anais Nin and Henry Miller communicating through Gchat. The long periods of longing would be somewhat stifled. I'm sure they'd master one hand masturbation. But I trust that there would be complete sentences. Henry and June would still be readable, even if it existed in electronic documents and blog posts rather than folded letters and hidden pages of a red diary.

    You have to trust in some things. Otherwise, you go crazy.

    For what it's worth, the only men whose text messages have been dealbreakers were men that I shouldn't have been with for other reasons. The reaction to lazy grammar is guttural, and I trust my gut enough to go with it.

  2. I admit, I do sometimes lapse into the lack of capitalization when texting but usually only when I am in a rush. I am not the fastest texter but I do try and make a point to text as though I'm using an actual keyboard.

    What I meant by being human is that your are now accepting your faults and your talents and not letting either limit you in pursuing life.

    Your blog is at the top of my leader board when it comes to what I have to read even though I have more off blog, social interaction with other bloggers via text, e-mail and IM.

    No matter how I'm dressed I tend to be mistaken as a bouncer at the majority of the clubs I go to or have gone to. I'm a pretty big guy. I'm built like a 1980s professional wrestler.

  3. Poetry, you are so critical, you are even worse than me but so much funnier about it.

    I agree about the illiterate text messaging, it is always reassuring to know a man can actually write a full sentence, but it's not good for a guy to be too uptight & formal in text messaging either, otherwise there is a risk of coming across as a stuffed shirt (though I appreciate this depends on the content as well)

    What would be the guidelines a man should follow to impress you by text, or should he just try another method of communication?

    PS Father Ted is a work of comic genius.

  4. Your feelings of isolation are normal.

    Scratch that. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but they're normal for me.

    When I'm learning something, I've noticed I reach a stage where I start breaking down what other people are doing in whatever field that happens to be.

    For me of the characteristics of that stage is that often I'm not so much seeing the person as I am "deconstructing their performance."

    When that happens, I sometimes find myself feeling isolated or disconnected. My theory because I'm cutting myself off a little bit in order to maintain that necessary 'evaluative distance.'

    It's troubling when it happens, because it stimiluates that feeling of alienation. But for me, it goes away when I pass through the 'evaluative stage' of whatever it is I'm learning and into the land of what the psychologists call unconscious competence.

    So what you're feeling might be good news. It's a sign of growth.

    Just don't stop there.

  5. i purposefully drop most of my capitalization while keeping to grammar and punctuation rules. this is how i choose to communicate (most of the time). for me, it's important that one chooses. so often, lack of capitalization is an indication of not choosing, not actively deciding how one meets the world and communication with other people.

    "I will get frustrated, I will feel put out when yet another man steps outside of behavior I am comfortable with."

    i wonder if you established a manner (a base plan) to deal with unwanted attention/grabs, if you might feel less put out.

    you could (so nerdy of me to suggest) role-play with a friend you trust; practice different situations that you feel uncomfortable with. in the safety and with the feedback of your friend, you could learn to feel comfortable being picked up by clueless guys whose feelings you don't want to hurt.

    up your game, evolve it, equip it with compassionate shoot-downs.

  6. Hannah,

    Yes, it really does make me feel like they don't care how they present themselves to me. It's like showing up dressed in clothes you've been wearing for two weeks straight and smelling of urine.

    I've been reading Burke and Wollstonecraft lately, and just the general debates writers would have during the Romantic period. Reminds me strongly of the blogs that go toe to toe, constant counter-posting. Makes me giggle.

    Glad to know I'm not the only person out there who has these type of thoughts about blogland.


    I'll forgive you for your occasional incorrect text message, since your blog seems to be fairly spot on. ;P

    I'm honestly not sure if I have a harder time accepting my strengths or my weaknesses. I want to reject both outright. It's difficult.

    Also: aw! <3 I'm all grinning and flattered.

    Have you thought about having a shirt made that says "I am not a goddamned bouncer"?


    If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods and feel like hearing me rip into people with little remorse, I'll take you clubbing with me. My friends cringe at the thought of dancing around me because my words are so bitingly critical. Watching a dance floor is the one place I'll let loose.

    As for text messages that impress me... I've been saving some text conversations between Roman and myself for illustrative purposes for a post somewhere down the line (AKA when I get my ass in gear). He's almost always perfect with his texts, but he still manages to come off lazily arrogant and much too witty. I'm a word junkie, so if someone wants to seduce me, that's the written word in any of its forms is the way to do it.

    PS: My lovely horse! I want to shower you with sugar lumps! Like a freight train in the niiiiiiight!


    I never thought of it that way, and you're completely right. A lot of my conflict comes from breaking down and judging their performance versus the person themselves. I feel bad about thinking the way I do about this man's approaches to me but, as much as I made fun of him, I actually do enjoy his company.

    But I'm always one step away from everything. It's a constant fight to get me into the moment.

    You're going to have to expand on unconscious competence, though.


    I never noticed your lack of capitalization, probably because, aside from that, your writing is accurate to standard rules. Why do you drop the capitalization, exactly?

    Heh, I'll put on my robe and wizard hat. I've been trying to pick the brains of my guy friends about the best way to set someone down, but it's so incredibly difficult. If you tell someone no, you're not interested, they'll demand an explanation and get all butt hurt whether or not you give it to them. If you tell them no and give them a reason that has nothing to do with them (but, rather, life circumstances) they take hope and hang around, waiting for those circumstances to disappear. If you nip it in the bud ahead of time, they either deny it or get incredibly embarrassed that you caught them so early on and then get butthurt and bolt, losing potential friendship or already established friendship. Or they say okay and then try to Nice Guy you. All of these things have happened to me and I'm completely sick of it.

    Send help. Or cookies.

  7. Enjoy the attention from men now because the hands of time go in only one direction and that is forward. What would it hurt to go on just one date with this guy. He seems worth it. Why not him? So he is a bit corny, he may just be a little unsure of how to charm you properly on a text.

    I am wondering why you didnt call your friend and find out just why she gave him your phone number. Maybe your friend had a thought that he would be a good choice for you.

    She might also know a little more about him. It would be interesting to find out why she didnt go out with him, or why he didnt want to go out with her....inquiring minds wannna know...and yes I meant that, tee hee.

    About the texting, "Don't judge a book by its cover" and Don't judge a person by his typing skills. Einstien was home schooled, He had troubles in public school. It is all relative anyway, thanks for the new post, enjoyed it, Sweet

  8. i drop capitalization because i don't appreciate the way it brings focus and importance to some words over others. thus, i occasionally add capitalization when i would Like to bring focus to a specific word, whether in place of italics or as a sign of respect (Moon over monday, any day).

    cookies can be sent.

  9. Sweet,

    There is the argument about giving him a chance. That is something that cycles through my head. But my time is so very limited, so to spend an afternoon with someone, for me, is at high cost.

    I actually told my friend to give him my number so I could let him know when I was going clubbing, before I knew that they weren't an item. Was silly of me.

    I... can't help but judge a person by their writing. I read too much to not be effected by someone's words, and their presentation thereof. I try to get over it, and I do get over it when I know the person well enough before the texting starts, but when it's our main point of contact, it's hard to step back and realize the person on the other end of the phone is not the sum of his texting ability.


    That makes an odd amount of sense, and is pretty cool, I will admit. It's very artistic, something I never thought of doing, but definitely has an impact.

  10. What's your dancing style like anyway? Is there anything I could check out on YouTube or something that's close to it? Just wondering.

  11. While there are tutorials on youtube, and then just general displays of "look at how awesome we are" (which are, indeed, pretty awesome), I'm not going to put them up here anytime soon, just because that would cause my real life and my internet life to run too close together. I don't want someone hunting me down, or having some sort of overlap. Sorry!