Sunday, September 18, 2011



One of my favorite bands doing a cover of a song by one of my favorite bands! Does it get any better musically than this? What is cool is that the cover version of ‘Shake the Disease’ by Hooverphonic evokes the haunted mood of Depeche Mode’s later music as it evolved from the sterile sound of late 80’s electronic music.

School has been school and it has been pretty much as I expected it to be. There have been moments of ‘wow!’, where I recognize an example or reference in a class and then there are times where stuff ‘dead ends’ and I have to turn around and start all over again. Getting my homework done and keeping up with the lessons has required a lot of my focus but not more than I expected. I had one abortive attempt at community college when I was still with Mookie Dee and that was when I started thinking about what I needed to reach my personal goals and be more productive with my life.

What I really want all interested parties to know is that I am fine. I am simply another human, being, and that is really about it. Because I think I have a ‘good car’, there never was any reason for me to justify my choices or decisions to live on my own. But I had an exchange with someone who I have thought was attracted to me but because we have had infrequent encounters since I have been in town, I never thought to mention her. Last week (or the week before… who knows and WHO CARES) things changed a bit and we finally had a real conversation, one that further confirmed the direction that I have chosen regarding relationships.

I don’t talk about people who may be attracted to me or who approach me for the puffery of it. Mainly I mention those encounters because I don’t want to have anyone think that was withdrawing from the world or from relationships out of exasperation. It is all part of my strategy and talking with this woman and discovering her malfunction is what I hope to continue to successfully avoid.

As I said, she has been ‘feeling me’ and she had not been shy about it. But over the summer I did not see her much and it wasn’t until late August that our paths crossed. So when we ran into each other I went on and took the next step and stopped to speak with her.


We sat and talked over coffee, nothing major. I figured to simply get a true feel for this woman because she was the one who initiated the first contact and the coyness she had in our previous encounters were sign enough of her interest. But if I had ever been a candidate for her affections, that had changed over the summer. She found her a partner via one of the dating websites and while she was not satisfied (otherwise, why have coffee with someone you once crushed on?), she was ‘in’ the relationship, though her story was one where she should be on the way ‘out’ of what is going to be a dissatisfying affair.

I only heard one of her stories but it was all I needed to hear. Her on-line beau, who lived at home (apparently after his divorce and I think the passing of his father) with his Mom, went out to a basketball game with her and some friends (hers or his doesn’t matter as you will see) and he did something disrespectful in her presence. He was asking other guys in their group if they thought ‘this one was hot’, and saying ‘that one has this’, IN FRONT OF THIS WOMAN, HIS DATE, in that butthead way that men are want to do, especially when they are jerks.


I took a sip of my coffee (as I am not a fancy hot beverage drinker) before I began. “Now, I know you are a smart girl,” I said as I sat my cup on the table, my hand still holding my coffee, “and you know how wrong that was, right?” She heartedly agreed and mentioned that he may feel threatened because she is professionally ‘this’ and was professionally ‘that’, independent of him both financially and emotionally (with the latter, that is what the Germans would have us believe). Oooh-kkkaay, so what was she doing with me, a cat she has indicated she thinks she is good-looking?

Fiddling with my cup as I pondered the situation I found myself in as I drummed the fingers of my right hand on the table, glad that I was actually ‘finished’ with my day and could go to my apartment after this, I formed my reply carefully. “Look,” I said taking my left hand from my coffee cup, “you aren’t planning on doing anything about this, even though I am sure your friends have already told you to dump this cat.” Smiling, she told me that even a few of his friends had mentioned how big a jerk he could be to her and that she was maybe a little bit too big a step up in class for him. “Even though you haven’t said ‘but’, and you know you should, you haven’t. The only reason you are across from me right now is to remind yourself that you are attractive and you can still catch the attention of a cat like me.” She smiled and said, “No, no, I am not trying to lead you on or anything. We are friends, right?” Our eyes met by coincidence, at least on my part. I dialed up some ‘life’ because I was sure they were pretty empty throughout the conversation. I have heard enough of the ‘why doesn’t he treat me like I mean anything’ whine from women to where the glaze begin dull my look almost instantly.

Whenever I have talked about my conscious decision not to hit or pursue anyone, this is an example of one of the myriad situations I did not want to find myself in. After all, no one needs to tell her that she is ‘too good for him’ or anything like that. She was feeling a little underappreciated, even more than the lack of appreciation she has gotten used to. The boost of her ego by f*ckin’ with me was enough for her and most times that IS enough for women in the throes of dead-end relationships. They want validation to their desirability and they usually stop there. Men, on the other hand, don’t have the discipline to keep from trying to get a little extra and if their sob story gets bought, they go for it.

Looking into my cup and wondering if my drink was now butterscotch or a honey colour from the cream, I told her that I hope she doesn’t get her feelings hurt. She assured me that she wouldn’t, but those are more than ‘famous last words’ as they are a sign that it is already too late. When a person says that they won’t get hurt, they have usually already begun to accept the diminishing returns in their relationship and like a gambler who is behind the house and now has given up the ‘break even’ rationale and just doesn’t want to lose ‘that big’. And of course, that is exactly what they are going to do, lose big, that is.


There are things that are universally regarded as bullsh*t. Flirting with sisters or wearing you Kors A-line skirt with the sleeveless Ralph Lauren shirt to meet with a male co-worker after work are just a couple of those things. What this woman’s boyfriend did is definitely among them as well, and just by sharing this scene with me, tells me all I needed to know about why I haven’t gotten involved with anyone. People have their drama and their scripts and they write the same stories with the same kind of characters. Thanks, but no thanks homeboy, I’m drivin’. Besides, those were among the demons I exorcised in that provincial town I once jogged ‘round.

When I last spoke to Nebraska I told her that Omaha seems to be a ‘couple’ kind of town. Not that I have been out or even really tried to mingle as a single, but that is what I sense from people when I am out. But I also think that is because of the clash between the repression and limits that are becoming more liberal but slowly doing so in town. Perhaps that is why it is difficult to keep young people here, we shall soon see.

Well, I get to watch the Lions today (beating the Chief 10 -3 right now) and it is a little drizzly here. Still, I want to go shopping and a little rain won’t matter to me.


Indigo said...

I think there is something that comes with age and experience - The bullshit detector; the 'I'm so beyond the drama right now it's not even funny' meter.

Eventually you'll come across someone else that is at that level of wisdom, or shall I say comfort with themselves.

You may still be alone dear friend, but you sound as if you're comfortable enough in your own skin to be happy with that. (Hugs) Indigo

Tawnya said...

It is getting harder and harder to keep anything resembling a relationship these days. You are right to be alone for now. Hugs, oh by the way it is now 41-3 Lions...

Mizrepresent said...

I liked this post very much! Why, well maybe because i have gone through the online dating thing only to thus far come up empty handed. That in itself is not a bad thing though, like the way i felt after meeting bachelor#1...i had an immediate feeling that this would end sour, it would be regretful and i would have to deal with alot of BS! I pondered, and searched for a more positive outcome, but there was none to come. Sometimes, or even better mosttimes we have to go with our first thoughts, our intuition. This time i did, an i am petting myself on the back and breathed a little bit better once i said "goodbye". All good byes are bad, some are just meant to be. Perhaps your lady friend will strike up the nerve to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!

That corgi :) said...

glad to hear school is going as well as it can, Mark. I'm so out of trying to form relationships with the opposite sex these days (married 31 years next month) that I wouldn't even know how to approach it these days yet alone comment on anyone's efforts, but meeting over coffee seems like a good way to get to know someone and whethar or not they might be interested.

Watching the Chargers; 20-7 Patriots right now, just the start of the second half.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Glad school is tolerable, and that your instincts are still intact.

Mr.Mischief said...

Happy to hear school is going alright, and sorry to hear she's putting up with him keeping her down. That's just not right to do to anyone, especially someone you're in a relationship with...if his own friends are commenting on it, she needs to brush him off and look for better pastures.

Toon said...

I say 'well done' to your Lions!
I hate Chiefs' fans -- they are a miserable lot.

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark, first of all I want you to know that your post today was so well written and the clarity was spot on. You describe a woman that is unhappy but chooses to have someone in her life just because. I think women afraid to be alone accept relationships without respect. Until a person can be happy or satisfied in being alone in the world, they will continue to seek out people who easily use them. You have a great bullshit detector.

Daniel said...

I haven't forgot your request Mark. Maybe one day... LOL