12 October 2007

Back in the Saddle

There are entire industries built upon our ability to project our fantasies onto a disembodied, far-away voice or even a series of zeroes and ones. Our society is constantly moving farther and farther away from honest live, one-on-one interaction. Just look at the popularity of these networking sites, online dating, even text messaging. My new cell phone even came with a blue-tooth network thingie that scans for other people in the vicinity with similar capabilities. I can upload a profile and read other profiles and could conceivably "meet" people in the same room without ever saying a word to them.
It almost makes me miss the days of the good old cheesy, but straightforward pick-up lines.

My recent little interlude with the fantasy vs. reality thing has come to an abrupt end.

The Lonestar Pony, whose voice has accompanied for the past 2 months, finally arrived in town. All throughout our conversations I would remind him, and myself, how easy it is to mistake the fantasy for the reality. Though I tried to present myself as honestly as I could, I knew that his desires and fantasies would blind him to some of the realities and vice-versa.
Even simple things like cuddling---the very first time we talked, I mentioned, point blank "I don't cuddle". He would laugh it off with a cavalier "Oh, you'll cuddle with me though...".
We often discussed the possibility that the connection we felt on the phone might fizzle in person, and agreed that we should ease into things once he was here. I made it clear I did not want an instant relationship.
He seemed to agree and to approach the whole thing with a practical attitude. I was mistaken. I also misread his self-assurance and confidence.

I am a person who likes my space and, believe it or not, my privacy. On the phone I would tell him some of the minutiae of my day--- I was going places he'd never heard of with people he'd never met. Once he was here, and in my apartment, it was time to reclaim my privacy.
I made allowances for the fact that he'd driven for 3 days straight, and taken quite a courageous step in staying at the home of a girl he'd never actually met before. It was an awkward situation to begin with, but it became quickly apparent that there was just awkwardness in general.
I'm stand-offish under the best of circumstances, when it comes to getting to know somebody. In the past year I've kept prospective lovers at arm's length, keeping things all surface, all business, if you will. This one had distance built right in.
It was a rather rude awakening. No more distance, and a complete disregard of my admonishments to take it slowly and give it space---to really see if there was anything there. I suddenly found myself, with this stranger in my home, seemingly smack in the middle of a relationship to which I'd never agreed.
The final straw came when he questioned me on an appointment I had.

"i'm meeting with a friend to take care of some business stuff." Even my closest friends would know better than to pry further.

He questioned me several more times, and I gave the same reply, also making it clear that I did not appreciate the repeated questioning. That was two nights ago.
Yesterday, he was scheduled to move into his new place and I had other errands to run, so I tried to get him packed up and ready to head out so that I could get everything done. This prompted further questioning, much to my annoyance and disbelief.
He finally pulled me aside to have a "talk". I hate "talks".
With a grave expression, he asked me to be honest with him about my "appointment" and asked if it was romantic in nature.
I snickered. Buddy, I thought to myself, you just lost yourself any chance you had at any sort of romantic association with me, with that one gesture.
I have no patience for that degree of insecurity, nor that sort of possessiveness, particularly from somebody that I'm just getting to know.

"You're in no position, nor do you have the right to ask me that question. You are not my boyfriend, I was very clear about that before you ever arrived. And no...it's just business stuff, like I said...all six times you asked me."

I am open to exploring some things but there are others that are just instant deal breakers. There are warning signs I still ignore, that I probably shouldn't when I meet people, but there are some that scream at me loud and clear. These were too loud to ignore.

There is the naive part of me that always hopes this one will be different, that he'll deal with things maturely and rationally. All of his reassurances that even if we didn't end up "together" we obviously still had a friendship...more fantasy.
It was another one of those awkward "break-ups" without the actual "relationship" part. He wouldn't even look me in the eyes when he came to do the inevitable "Picking up my Stuff" ritual.

"So, are you ever going to talk to me again?" I asked as he gathered up the odds and ends he'd left here. I knew as I asked what the answer would be. I smiled a little, an ironic smile.


Ah, of course.

"I don't know...we've talked every day for two months...you know, the whole 'even if it doesn't turn into a romantic thing we still have a connection' and all that...?" I quoted back to him.

"I don't know...give it time I guess"

I won't hold my breath.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

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