Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ghost Etiquette

Since when did it become antiquated to expect a response when one asks a friend if they'd like to attend something? Oh, wait. Yeah. "Ghosting."

In my world, "ghosting" is actually an IT expression indicating that the computer system is being set up with a uniform desktop via network broadcast. In the wider ergot, however, it means that someone who is disinterested in continuing a friendship or relationship ignores the other individual entirely until they give up and go away.

Look, I have a timeline here. If tickets have to be purchased in advance and you're not interested, the correct response is, "No, I don't want to go," or "I'm really not interested in that," or something along those lines. At some point, if you change your mind or get around to responding, it may just be that I've already had to schedule it when you can't go or it would involve reorganizing my entire schedule around accommodating you.

The thing is, while it's easier to "ghost" or ignore someone, it's also cruel. Just say no, and move on.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Back on the Trail

So many things terrify me about the prospect of dating. I'd really prefer to meet someone organically, as it were, but that's a little difficult since I'm not really all that social.

Also, whoever they are, they're not Chris. (There, I said it. Moving on.)

My sister recommended going to the Big City and hanging out with her in a coffee shop. Well, I love coffee...but she (who is married) will inevitably be hit on more than I will.

I was never exactly good at the dating thing. It took me from my senior year in high school until the second year of grad school- six years, give or take- to realize that one of the guys in my class was trying to ask me out when I shot him down about homecoming. I was dating a boy from another school who I'd met in college over the summer. Call me clueless...I never expect anyone to be attracted to me.

Maybe it's that my heart's just not in this.

I have this fabulous wardrobe. I've got all and sundry topics of conversation. My interests are widely varied. I also scare the hell out of most men.

It may be the degrees. It could be the career. Or it could just be the "big words"...I dunno...the lazy default is, "Oh, it's because I'm fat."

I've also tried to be egalitarian in my dating and the one thing it's shown me is that eventually, if I'm dating someone outside my own social class and educational level, it will be thrown in my face as a "silver spoon" argument. Only once have I dated within "my class", and it wasn't that long. At our age, they can buy younger and thinner if they want it.

I'm a bit lonely, but I'm not lonely or desperate enough to take whatever pops up this time. I don't even know where to start.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Rest is Silence

Some time ago, I wrote an entry about the cruelest thing I ever did to someone else. I don't know if I can fully convey the childish stupidity that led up to it, or the hideous guilt and shame I've carried for thirty years for having done it.

I got into a turf war over Hopkins with his other close friend, a boy named Doy. If I'm going to tell this truly, I'm also going to give up the pretense of "Hopkins"...everybody who knows me is well aware that his name is Chris. It doesn't seem right to write this without using both of their names.

Doy died on April Fools' Day at the age of forty-eight, having had his birthday in March. That's far too damn young. I don't know the circumstances, but I'm deeply disturbed by it. It feels unreal and unfair.

I'm tempted to say that I hope he forgave me, but...that seems weak. I must carry this sin, mindfully, forever, because I have to let it inform me in moments when that cruelty could leap out and assault some other innocent person.

It was jealousy, plain and simple. Chris and Doy had bumped along as best friends for a dog's age and then lo and behold, here was this *stupid girl* driving a wedge between them. He took his shot at me, and I delivered the most perfect, complete coup de grace to end it. (Never push a Southern girl to this point, because trust me, you will regret it in ways that you never imagined.)

I'm not wide of the mark when I say that this particular moment is why Chris has not and will not ever become romantically involved with me. One cruel 'gift' of a high intellect is an excellent memory; he saw that lacerating bitch and she scared him to well it should.

It dawned on me last night that I was not the only one who probably got a "Hail and Farewell" speech from Chris when they graduated. Doy had received a decent scholarship to Western Kentucky University, while Chris swanned off up East to Baltimore and Johns Hopkins. We were proud of him, mind you, but it hadn't occurred to either of us that he would turn his back and walk away. The words that have rung in my ears for thirty years were: "There is nothing and no one in Green County worth remembering."

That statement included me, and it also included Doy.

I hope that whatever life Doy had after Western, that it was a happy one, or at least one that included some moments of happiness, or contentment. He was a gifted mathematician, a decent person with a kind nature, and he was too young to die.