Wednesday, January 23, 2013

...We Can Just Be Friends...

There was some conversation and media coverage about Malia and Sasha Obama flirting with a boy at their father’s inauguration on Monday.


That’s not my word, “flirting” but that’s what I keep hearing and reading. I guess because, you know, people don’t stand next to each other smiling and laughing unless they’re trying to show the other person that they’re interested.

Or unless they’re high, so I guess it’s better that someone assumed it was flirting and not cannabis that they were engaging in.

Turns out the little cutie in question was a first cousin.

And even if he wasn’t a relative, can I remind you that guys and girls can be just friends.

I think I’m in a shrinking minority with that opinion but I still believe it’s possible to smile at someone without it being an invitation to whatever.

On the other hand these days, there’s no smile required. Just a text or two.

My mom has me sort of hooked on Catfish. Not the food, the TV show.

If you watch less television than I do and occasionally forego all forms of media let me fill you in.

People meet on line, talk for a couple years or more via the internet or text messages and sometimes the phone but they never meet. They exchange pictures but they never meet. They declare their undying love for one another but they never meet.

Then one of the two (let’s call them the Initiator) contacts the Catfish guy who does all the investigative legwork on their behalf and sets up a meeting whereupon Initiator becomes woefully disappointed to find the tall, dark, and handsome image they’ve been using as fantasy material is an Oompa Loompa in real life.

Something like that.

So the inadvertent questions are now 1) do looks matter? And 2) what else were you lying about?

The show is funnier than I think it’s supposed to be when it’s not a little bit sad.

I have a hard time figuring out how these people fall in love.

Some of the best friends I’ve ever had (and in some cases still have) are people I’ve met online. Not on a dating site, but on music, movie or book forums.

I’m free to be my own weird self and meet other equally free weirdoes and talk about stuff no one else cares about but us. So in a weird way, I suppose it’s possible that I am bonding with this individual.

If the conversations become personal, I care about what happens to them.

If we lose contact, I assume they are up to great things and wish them well.

But I’m not in love with these people.

Sure, I love them in the universal sense of the word. But that just means I would be devastated to hear they were randomly attacked by a rabid rabbit or something. It doesn’t mean that I’m planning our wedding and naming our unborn children.

And that’s true for my lady friends, too.

This friend, “Girly” said something that was unmistakably … whatever comes after flirty.

I believe I handled it with all the sensitivity of a Republican male discussing Roe v. Wade. (No offense to any Republican males that aren’t anything like the jerkwads that were all over the news for their stupidity within the last year.)

The truth is I was a little offended. Or shocked. Possibly hurt or angry. I’m not sure which one or combination of those it was, but I was so blown away by her words I reacted very quickly and strongly.

I don’t think that many of our conversations were all that detailed about each other’s life, but I still felt like we had enough of a connection to understand certain things about each other.

We love books. We meet here to discuss books and sometimes movies and we enjoy the idea that we can be hundreds or thousands of miles apart and hang out in the same space.

We can smile at each other and it’s not an invitation to whatever.

When I hear about stories like Manti Te’o or watch Catfish, mostly I wonder how it ever got that far.

It’s like that part in The Truth About Cats and Dogs where the vet with the radio show reminds her caller who has allowed his cat to lick him for three hours resulting in a rash: it’s okay to love your pets, but just don’t love your pets.

It’s okay to love your internet friends, but not love your internet friends.

You can’t really know who you’re dealing with.

If the person is drastically different looking than they led you to believe then you run the risk of looking like a fool. Or shallow. Or like a shallow fool.

On the other hand you reserve the right to be a little ticked off because now you're wondering what else you're dealing with.

I’m always who I am online. In fact probably more so because if you ever make a weird face at something I say or do, I’ll never see it which makes me darn comfortable.

But I don’t necessarily believe that everyone else is doing the same thing. I have too much experience with knowing how people truly have a public side and a private side.

I have too much experience with knowing things I’m not supposed to know and pretending that I don’t know them. Or being able to find out the things that I don’t know, and deciding I would rather keep not knowing because it’s easier on everyone that way.

Make sense?

So I tried to explain all this to Girly in an email but I never heard back. She disappeared from the forum and I don’t hang around as much as I used to either. Although honestly, I’ve been super busy and M.I.A. from practically all of my favorite forums but it’s different when they’re might be a reason to disappear.

It’s good to meet new people. It’s wonderful to share something with someone. It’s great to find your element.

But I think sometimes the best way to truly be happy with your situation is to simply be happy with your situation.

If things work themselves out that you happen to meet and it turns into something wonderful, consider it an extra blessing or stroke of luck.

But I think you have to let it be whatever it will become because it seems to me that trying to make it into what you (think you) want almost never works out quite the way you planned.

Blind Melon – No Rain



This song still makes me want to do the bad Laurieann Gibson/Making the Band 3 choreography

Cheri Dennis – I Love You



Bonus clip: Fun Inauguration moments



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