I am starting to feel better than I have been in weeks. On Tuesday, I had a "Mary Richards" moment as I waited with the regulars for the #13 bus to school. It had begun to flurry, the snowflakes were crisp as they floated in the cool but not uncomfortable breeze. I looked around and I felt in that moment (which was not unlike many that I have had before since I have been here), that finally, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The feeling brought to mind Nebraska, and how unsuccessful I was at convincing her that I did really want to be here, that my affections for the Big Red, Marlon Perkins, and Sam Lacey and Nate Archibald were, along with unfrosted strawberry pop-tarts, enough of a connection for me to want to move to Omaha. And that would be a disappointment that had been relived, in a fashion, Monday at lunch, when my erstwhile date to the Holiday Party thrown by the company that the fitness center is a part of, invited me to a deli near the Arksarben Village, just south and west of the UN-O campus. While the lunch date itself was fine, the problem that I had with it was that it was the first time I had seen her SINCE said holiday party, six weeks ago.
What had brought about the sequence of text messages (???) that arranged our lunch together was a question by a female co-worker, wondering if we were an item. Said co-worker also attended the party, which spurred her question, and I indicated to her that we weren't, and that I had not heard from her since the night of said party. I would go home that night thinking that maybe she was a story waiting for Chris Hanson or whoever to exploit for ratings, and that I may have been among the last people to have seen her. So I sent her a message and she replied, straight away. She then tried to explain what had happened, which I told her was unnecessary, and my reply was that I only wanted to make sure that nothing untoward had occurred in her life. After that brief exchange, she asked for the lunch date, and that was that.
So on Monday, she stopped by and picked me up and we had a pretty decent lunch. Conversation was not stilted, but neither was it exceptional, or so it seemed to me. After we finished, she dropped me off at work and I've not heard from her since. And unlike the last such period of radio silence, I will not be interrupting this lack of communication with any worries about anyone's well-being. I mean, if she can go nearly two full months without sending me a lowly text message, then I don't need to do anything further in confirming her interest (or lack thereof) in me.
WHO DO YOU TRUST WITH YOUR EMOTIONS?
When I was languishing back somewhere in Mid-Michigan, most of my critique of women in relationships had this question (and the title of this section) at its core. Who DO you trust with your emotions? I mean, I don't think that anything that you can know about a person necessarily has to have a point of reference from where you can draw a definitive conclusion from, and I really think knowing someone as much as you can is all you can really ask for. That said, how you INTERPRET the information is definitively all on you. Now I am not going to go into the variables that make up another person's life experience for them. But I take the available data points and combine them to gain a perspective with which I can make an informed decision on whether or not I am going to be able to "be" in someone else's life. It doesn't matter what role I am seeking, as much as it depends on the availability of the roles in the person of interest life. That is when I begin to figure out how well we match, in character, goals, and various expectations in a relationship, as well as the ways and means of reaching stated goals, especially if there is a high level of intimacy between me and said person.
For women, the question of trust in relationships has long been particularly vexing. Trust is something that for many women is at once a strength and a weakness, validating hopes and certifying fears. The nature of human societies has been set in favor of men since the dawn of time, and the movements that has spawned the increase in equity in all areas of society for women is still in its nascent stage of development. There are times where I am unsure if the collective of women even understand this change, whether it is in picking up the check for dinner or whether or not a family moves for her prospects and his just comes along for the ride. Because equality is just that... things are EQUAL. There is no more of the elevation of a woman's responsibilities than that of a man's in relationships and vice a versa. If anything, I think that the ability to work and function in a unified way is likely to be the highest expression of love, because it shows the true value of one person to another. At any rate, my personality and approach is well suited for the evolving rigors of relationship seeking, primarily because of how much I value the ideals that make for the criteria I use to judge who it is I trust with my emotions.
To begin, my current state is ALWAYS a more preferred option than the choice to be in a floundering relationship, held together with delusion and willful ignorance. It has never occurred to me to want for a relationship as a way of seeking some kind of balance or filling a need in my life. As I have grown older, I am at the point where I KNOW THAT I would rather be alone than to either hold on to, or to chase, a relationship for the sake of being in something. Second, getting to a point where I trust a person to allow them to be a part of my life, the basic pre-qualifying requirements are non-negotiable. That is another thing that has gone from "theory to practice" because of my real-life experience, as reflected by my "Rules To Live By" and the thought to codify my life. It is when I look back and knowingly acted contrary to what I knew was better for the hopes of something that may as well been steeped in mysticism and unfounded prophecy.
Finally, I loathe contradictions in my personal life to the point where I simply hate unexplained contradictions of any kind. After reading this far, the preceding sentence should come as no surprise. Nearly all of my justification and comfort at being solitary revolves around the clarity that I have in my life. Now, when I talk about MY daughters, it feels unobstructed and whole. The short-sighted and dim view of our situation would grimace and be ready to voice trite and pathetic opinions that are made popular by the different social groups and associations that I have been knowing to make light of. Untroubled by such commentary, I get to voice my concerns, my hopes for, and my plans surrounding my relationship with them, because they are a top priority and motivator in my life.
Many of the traits that I value in a person's character just also happen to coincide with some of the things that make for good character traits in a relationship. And were you to invert the list above, then you would be able to figure out why you may not have the consideration in my thoughts that you may have previously presumed. Together, they form the core rationale of why I don't miss the people who once was a part of my life (well, except for maybe Tee Jay..!)
COUNSELS AND MAXIMS
"Most men are so thoroughly subjective that nothing really interests them but themselves." -Arthur Schopenhauer
One of the classic reasons for the reasoning behind single and childless cats not wanting a woman with a child or several, is, for me at least, caught up in the words of Schopenhauer. Often, both sides are only thinking about themselves, first, foremost, and finally. Internal conflict within, among the fears of some men that unrelated children will be competition for a limited pool of affection and disobedient; that the other parent or family members would needlessly complicate the main relationship. Then the fears of many women, that they are somehow being selfish/neglectful by pursuing love, or that they can't stand the critics in their lives, be it family, their friends or co-parent. And whether I hit or miss with some of my estimations, the biggest of the concerns are those that are hits... because those are where the complications will arise. Of course, there is a great deal of irony in critiquing men for being unfair or judging women because of a couple of bad encounters or typing. Because, you see, women are just as, if not more so, subjective in judging men. At any rate, I am not trying to be objective here, nor am I making a comment about ANYONE IN PARTICULAR. I am simply using my journal to JOURNAL.
The quote about "the trifles of life..." and it is, for my money anyway, the truest indicator of a person's character. Usually, the people that I "care less than" for, like my feelings towards my ex-wife or the feelings that I held a pre- or post- "ex-list" Mookie Dee, have violated this critical element in how I regard people.
"...And while I am on the subject, there is another fact that deserves mention. It is this: A man shows his character just in the way in which he deals with trifles -- for then he is off his guard. This will often afford a good opportunity of observing the boundless egoism of a man's nature, and his total lack of consideration for others; and if these defects show themselves in small things or merely in his general demeanor, you will find that they also underlie his action in matters of importance, although he may disguise the fact. This is an opportunity which should not be missed. If in the affairs of the every day-- the trifles of life... --a man is inconsiderate and seeks only what is advantageous or convenient to himself, to the prejudice of others' rights: if he appropriates to himself that which belongs to all alike, you may be sure there is no justice in his heart, and that he would be a scoundrel on a wholesale scale, only that law and compulsion bind his hands." - Arthur Schopenhauer
After learning this lesson the hard way several times in my life (after having KNOWLEDGE of these words..! Incroyable.!!), when I decided to actually enact and live by my "Rules To Live By", this became the blade with which I cut people out of my life. The only exceptions that I have allowed for, Tee Jay and the SFC, were not made solely by my desire to be in a relationship, nor was it completely base on my emotions for them. What had made them exceptions was that they KNEW how I measured against my own beliefs, and that is what allowed for their exception.
It was, and always has been, at least for me, anyway, the small things about a relationship that spoke the most to me. I never should have married my ex-wife, not just because I was too immature, or that she was too selfish, but because of a small thing-- her insult of Thomas "The Hit Man" Hearns, in front of my family and in my HOME no less, which defined her as a person. The additional issues that followed in our marriage were totally unnecessary-- her actions were presaged by her comment-- and that has been the signal that a person has to be eliminated from my life. See, I am unable to trust in a person who can say, unapologetically no less, that they have me place on a tier below "their loved ones", when we are supposedly developing a loveship. Or, that they have tiers of friends and I am on a lower tier than those that they would make plans with and yet, I am the one who gets called when they go awry.
No. That is not me. And in getting back to the male reluctance to date women with children on the behalf of young men who may think that way... it isn't their selfishness alone that may cause them to think this way. What I have not heard in this discussion is the aspect that a man must commit to said woman in a way that does not guarantee that she is going to, or even considers herself capable of, making the same respective level of commitment to him. If he is truly committed, he must, similar to what I had exhibited to both Mookie Dee and Princess, that the priorities in there lives, their children, were priorities in my life. And this was done by me in ways both large and small.
I can't help but think of my Mother advising me that, "When someone acts like they don't like you, believe them the first time." With the verification of this theorem as part of my life and exampled by my failed marriage, it is something that the more I have chosen to act upon, the happier I have become and the better off my own welfare has been.