Thursday, May 6, 2010

One, two, three, branch.

I... had a minor blow-out with a friend today.

This doesn't happen often.

It should bother me more than it does, I think. I'm likely just so... tenuously balanced. I know I'm leaning on Roman too much for sanity. We talk, pretty much, off and on all day. It's not going to go anywhere, I've accepted this. And I do know that, without his companionship, I'd likely be much worse off than I am now.

He's this very distant male-focus point.

So when I got into it with another friend, I found myself texting Roman for sanity.

This whole situation is a bit awkward, with my friend.

I've known this guy for coming up on two years. We've never met, though we live, vaguely, in the same city. Just an internet friend turned phone-friend. He was there for me with things with Darkeyes left me so raw, was there to soothe me and make me smile when anxiety was running at all-time highs. I had a crush on him for a long while, and we would flirt. I'd get my hopes up that he'd ever have time for me and, of course, he never did.

He's amazing at dodging and deflecting questions, derailing entire conversations. I never learned much about him, and for those of you who know me well, one of my more annoying and persistent personality traits is to interrogate everyone within an inch of their life so I can figure out how things work.

Questioning this guy, learning anything about him, was like trying to crack open a slab of marble with a throw pillow.

So I eased off. I try not to press boundaries.

A year later, I find out that he was seriously seeing someone while we were flirting and I was being naively hopeful and weak.

He never told me. He never mentioned it. I, I was flirting with intent with someone who was taken. That, to me, is one of the most awful things I can do. That violates so many of my rules concerning sex and relationships that it makes me feel seriously sick at heart, even though I'm quite well aware that I had no way of really knowing, and it was not my responsibility to be so suspicious to obtain such information.

...I think that, that was the last time I got seriously swoony over someone. I never wanted to be in that position again, with that imbalance of interest. I lost faith. I lost faith in my ability to judge a person's character, I lost faith in the idea that the average male could stay loyal, and I lost faith in my desirability.

Not once did I blame him.

I should have. It was an easy thing to see, to break down. A guy dates/flirts with a few women at once. One becomes serious, but just in case that one doesn't pan out, you've still got a couple on the back burner.

He never made time for me, his phone calls were erratic, and I was trying to recover from the blow that Darkeyes inflicted. All of these are simply excuses. They're accurate excuses, but excuses nonetheless.

So I let it slide.

And when it was brought in front of me, after they had gone their separate ways, I felt guilty, embarrassed, foolish, inexperienced, and used.

But I kept him as a friend. He wasn't anyone I would want to date, after that.

Aside from the flakiness, he was a good friend when we talked. Phone calls continued to be erratic, but I let that go. Saying he'd call in a certain amount of time, only to hear from him two or three days later, if at all. Saying he'd email, but never did. I just kept letting it go.

You know what that shows? Disrespect by him for me, and me accepting it, which confirms his disrespect as accurate. Rewarding poor behavior patterns, reinforcing an imbalanced friendship.

Roll around to today, where I mention that I'm aware that he omits things. This was spawned due to a statement he made where he told me he never lied to me.

This may or may not be true.

But he omits, and I finally called him on it.

Which led to a discussion where, eventually, he told me a piece of information that I, I should have known early on in our friendship just because it's a very life-impacting thing.

He's got a kid.

His defense was that other girls reacted poorly.

I might be very standard in some respects, but I do know that I am leaps and bounds away from sharing tendencies and values with "other girls".

As an amusing side note, I find men with children more attractive than those who have not reproduced. Some girls find men in relationships more attractive because it shows they are desirable, I find men with kids more attractive because it shows they're fertile, and that's very hot to me.

I'm an odd duck, I know, I know. Move along.

At learning this, I was... well, not enraged. Irritated and disappointed. A shade below pissy.

Having a child is a major thing, especially if you've got split custody, which it sounds like he does. They impact your life and behavior in so many ways, not to mention your free time. They show who you are as a person, the way you handle them illustrates your values, controls your schedule.

I found myself feeling, once more, like an idiot.

Like someone just slid another thing under my radar. Like all my powers of observation were reduced to a pile of youthful inexperience.

And that it wasn't the first time he had done it.

Tried to express that, when all two people do is communicate by phone, the value of the exchange lies in the truth of the information being presented. You take away that truth, you warp it and twist it, the conversation loses value, and if the friendship is based solely on conversation, the friendship loses value.

Tried to point out that, earlier in the conversation, he said he didn't lie to me because he didn't want to do that to our friendship, but he was more than willing to rationalize major omissions as perfectly fine and expected.

He says he feels protective of me, but I'm starting to feel like a pet.

And not the awesome kind of pet scenario where you're sleeping in a doggy bed at their feet and crouching under the kitchen table in the morning while they feed you scraps while you give them head.


Just the social imbalance that occurs when one person does not disclose, so bonding becomes imbalanced because the power structure in the relationship is not equal. One person becomes the mentor, one the student.

But, like in so many cases, if information was equally disclosed by both parties, the friendship would have been equalized without having the mentor on some lonely summit dispensing kernels of wisdom to his devoted sect.

It was easy, listening to him, looking up to him, going to him when I was upset. He was the big, strong male with his life together and his head together.

By the end of the conversation, he was telling me "do as I say, not as I do" while I was quoting Braddock's version of "don't take advice from anyone who isn't living the life you want to live".

That was a quick tumble. I didn't even see it coming.

After he told me "Suit yourself" I didn't respond.

What was I supposed to do? Continuing arguing with him? We're not going to agree on this, and I highly doubt he'll fold.

I value honesty so highly. Not some twisted version of honesty where you're trying to manage information flow, control your output, but total honesty. Which is what you all get to see here on a somewhat regular basis. It's not always comfortable, but truth isn't always comfortable, especially when it's revealing so much weakness.

How could I take advice from a man that I could never trust to be honest with me? He says he wants me to learn from his mistakes, but he doesn't seem any happier for where he is now. What little I know of his lifestyle, his intense need for privacy, it's not a goal of mine.

How would I ever know what he is telling me is true, and not just him trying to achieve some sort of random goal, like those moms do with the five year old beauty queen champions? Those parents that push their kids into soccer practice, karate, french lessons, ballet, tap dancing, and honors programs.

Conversation is wasted when words become of questionable value.

Honesty is the currency.

First twenty-three seconds.

Something's got to stop the flow.


  1. The "honesty" of a strictly controlled information flow, lies of omission and actual flat-out in-your-face lies all seem eerily familiar, albeit in the reversed gender situation. In fact, the whole thing seems frighteningly close.

    I honestly can't decide if she lied because the thought the lies would hurt less, or if she couldn't be honest to me, or herself. The fact that I believed her means that in addition to her, I can't trust myself either - because, (not even that) deep inside, I knew some things were not true. Now I'm left gasping, trying to figure out what was and what wasn't. And in the case of all (exceptionally intelligent) women, you're always left wondering how much they just know how to push your particular buttons... to further that hidden agenda.

    It's sick that you can be so in touch with somebody that you basically finish each other's sentences, yet they can't just drop their protections.

    Oh, and women maintain reserves too. I know, I've been in a few. :)

  2. "Something has got to stop the flow." Would that be a pad or an insert?

    One of the things I love about your blog is how candid you are with your life. While I don't have a genuine comment other than a smidge of comedy I love coming back here for more.

    If I lived with-in 100 miles of you I'd probably have asked you out by now (blogland women be damned!) whether or not it lead to anywhere other than friends is immaterial to me....
    I have no clue why I just said that but I felt it needed to be said....

  3. Poetry

    So frustrating, not knowing what is truth and what is fiction, always having to read between the lines, the potential for time-wasting & fruitless speculation is truly appalling. I don't think it's possible to build a romantic relationship unless the other person is truthful. This does not necessarily mean telling everything about themselves right way, but at least disclosing it if the subject comes up.

    Funnily enough, I don't see failing to tell you about his child as being as bad as failing to tell you that he was in another relationship. A relevant consideration in relation to the child (but not in relation to the other relationship, where in my view he had a duty to disclose) would be whether or not he lied outright, or simply failed to disclose.

    It sounds like he's interested in you, though, otherwise why fear that you would be put off by the fact he had a child? It also sounds like you were interested in him. But I agree that his elusiveness and the fact that he does not tell the truth sounds like a bit of a deal-breaker. Do you really want another head-wrecker (like me, you seem to have a knack of atrracting them)? This is the dilemma.

    Why haven't you met him in person yet anyway? This is worse than a Victorian epistolary courtship. I think you should meet up with him. If you do not feel comfortable meeting him, or if he does not feel comfortable meeting you, clearly things are going to go nowhere romantically. You will then be faced with the choice of whether or not to wind down the friendship or keep it strictly platonic.

    PS: Look on the bright side. At least he's fertile. That is a joke by the way. I think it would be a bit premature to start planning babies with a man you've never actually met in person.

    PPS: I wonder whether or not the sporadic nature of his communications could be explained by the shared custody issue?

  4. Please forgive the misspelling of "attracting" above.

  5. I like men who love children although I don't want any myself. Well, I'm weird so...

  6. Nepenthe,

    Your girl sounds very... issueful, I'm going to say. This, fortunately, is just one of my friends, so I don't have to worry about having feelings for him or the like.

    I don't know how long you've been reading, but I've felt very similar about GV8, regarding the doubting of self, doubting of intuition. It's a really hard thing to admit you were or could be wrong. Your entire judgment ability is now under strict scrutiny, never quite trusting your feelings.

    You've been in a few women? I'm shocked. :P


    I facepalm in the direction of that joke.

    I'm glad you like the candidness. It's hard, sometimes, but... it's gotta be done.

    And, of course we'd hang out. You need to learn how to eat an artichoke properly, after all.


    The not telling me about the relationship was the dealbreaker for him. The kid thing... was just another thing. If the relationship thing hadn't happened, I would've taken the news about the kid without issue, just a little disappointment in his communication ability.

    Luckily for me, I'm not interested in him romantically. Well, anymore. Haven't been since the relationship thing.

    And I'm not expecting to meet him any time soon. He didn't return my phone call, so I have a feeling my reactions chased him off.

    The sporadic communications are mostly attributed to the kid, which is totally understandable. I wish I had known, so I wouldn't have felt like he was flaking on me all the time.

    I will forgive you for your misspelling, as the fertility joke was so great.

    Chic Noir,

    Looks like you need to find yourself a loving man who is very devoted to his nieces and nephews, huh?

  7. More reserves than women, I'm pretty sure. :P

    Frankly, I'm not sure how long I've been reading, but long enough to see a lot of similarities that help me analyse my own thoughts as well as what might have been going on in hers.

    It's not so much being wrong that's the issue, more like being right. I KNEW what was going on, I picked up the cues, but just didn't want to believe it because she was basically everything I had ever dreamed of (gorgeous and fit geek girl with a quick with and a warped sense of humour, open-minded and in touch with her sexuality). It's not so much my intuition that's in question, more like my ability to blind myself to it when it's telling me everything's gone wrong in the worst possible way. Now I'm just wondering how the hell can I avoid this in the future, apart from starting, say, WoW and becoming a fatbeard hermit :P

    She just told me that she's moving out of town and buying a house with her fiance. Or has already bought, to be exact. Going to be working from the home office most days, which should be a blessing as we're going to see each other a lot less, but probably isn't since I can't mentally prepare for when she is and isn't going to be around. And after the way(s) she's hurt me, I need that kind of preparation to get my armour back on.

    Oh yeah, she has issues, and a lot of them have apparently passed over to me, now.