Let me indoctrinate you gently, with a story, which is my way.
One hot summer, I was working in a cheese shop and swooning so much over all of life's big choices that I cut them into little cubes every day for other people to try that way I could go home and just be. Stop worrying. Just be. But, my home life would have it otherwise--as most stories are want to do: The wrench.
My lover wanted to go to her ten year college reunion...without me. I couldn't help but wonder if she meant to hook up with all the ex girlfriends hanging around panting. It drove me to cut the cheese harder and faster, to shovel it into the ornrey hands of my bourgeois customers. When I got home, while she was presumably rubbing elbows with the other aging graduates, not ex girlfriends to speak of, except one: J. I'm not one to obsess, I say and said but when I got home, I saw curly hair, thick towering curly hair standing over me and my lover, banishing me to a cove to grow old and relearn language.
I'm not one to obsess but I thought about it. I thought about if J and my lover saw each other, of their smiles in that one FB picture I'd been able to track down whenever I just needed to check, just needed a reference point for the one fabulous, whip smart girl of my lover's past. Imagine my surprise when I get off work to discover a text message from another graduate, my lover's friend who liked me, S. She wondered where I was, wanted a drinking buddy, had lost my lover in the bustle, per usual.
I'm not one to obsess so I thought I'd stay home. Then I thought again. Put on my purple dress and went out. S met me and brought my lover plus the extra ticket. I schmoozed. I talked. I glowed. I even saw J and spoke in a manner I perceived to be---> elegant, pleasant, affirming, polite. It was my intent to show her, to demonstrate all the things I was that my lover had that she couldn't possibly be. But it was subtle, you understand.
When my lover decided I was drunk. Which I was. I'm pretty sure what I actually said to J was, glug glug glugglglgugls s. And when my lover decided to stay, I yelled. Started yelling. Continued to huff down Kirkland St with S following and looking concerned. I'm not one to go crazy but I took a leaflet from Lady Godiva and stepped calmly from my purple dress, which S scooped up like a perfect mid century butler. She walked me home, heels and underwear and huffing down Kirkland making some bonkers show of myself to prove something? That I'm not one to obsess?
The point is, when we feel oogly for someone we can lose all sense of reason. People who are normally just sipping tea and looking at memes are suddenly using defunct web presences to stalk people they see in photos with their lovers. Speak nothing of the actual physical danger of dating someone. I mean, especially dating men: THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF WOMEN GLOBALLY. Every time I go on a date, I take my life in my hands. Speak nothing of how annoying it is to explain to men that their penises might kill me? Like yes you have to wear a condom until I know you aren't a murdery fuck?
Speak nothing of the physical danger and just take one minute to recast yourselves in the time and day in which we live. No longer do you hear about Wendy Sue or Joey Steve flirting with your lover at the hayride; you see ripples, you use the internet at your disposal to assume assess, contextualize, timeline, chart, and dissect all relationships. Your relationship to yourself....hey what am I doing right now?...you relationship to others, your relationship to the world. It's a terrifically dangerous and specific cycle. Remember the days of less nuance. If you're just analyzing Joey Steve's voice over the crinkly 80's telephone, there's only so much time you can spend on it right? But, if you're analyzing, mapping, charting, assessing, etc the various impressions of a person on the maniacal tangle of the internet you're going to lose your mind.
NO ONE HERE SAID I AM DOING THAT. I just keep thinking about it. There's so much to see nowadays, so many different entry points into analyzing a person and supposing about them. How do we step back? If I hadn't googled J and FB'd J so many times I might not have obsessed as one who doesn't obsess? I'm not sure. I love a good moment. It's also very easy to suppose about me in this instance the fact that I also love my own parade and Kirkland St was no exception. But the real point is, I'm hearing women I adore talk about the complications of dating nowadays, worrying their beautiful heads over the several shades of nuance we must wade through before deciding to waste our time with a loser who may or may not give two shits about our dreams. Friends and lovers, I don't think we'll die before we figure something out but I'd love to meet an adult of sorts who thinks they've got it. You know what I think? I think the rug is always moving and we just wish we were standing on it.