Wednesday, July 20, 2011

sappy and sapped

Too tired and uninspired to make anything of beauty, falling asleep on the couch, in the hot apartment, waking up sleepy, ignoring the ringing phone, because as much as I enjoy company on my sojourns through the city, I don't like the ambiguity of that particular companionship.

It wasn't easier when we were younger, as we were all more awkward and sometimes more obnoxious, but as we head towards our thirties, "just hanging out" gets more complicated, because we're all starting to wonder what the future holds and those interactions become more rare because everyone starts pairing off, and we're less likely to bother if we don't think it's going anywhere.

My platonic friendships have brought more joy and enrichment to my life than any time I've dated someone, which has never really gone well, and also why I don't like that scene, because it seems like a terrible way to get to know someone. These attempts usually dissolved quietly with a mutual understanding. We both knew by the end of a meal or the end of the first week that we weren't going to call each other, that there would ultimately be irreconcilable differences, we really didn't click and it was pointless to try and make something work that wasn't and found that as we got to know each other, we really didn't like each other very much.



Sometimes it seems easier to be just friends with those with for whatever reason you know that nothing will happen with because then nothing's going to happen and you worry less about looking stupid because you're laughing too hard or doing things together that you already enjoy doing by yourself.

And there are times I wish that things were more codified, because how was I supposed to know it was a date when I didn't bother to pretty up, got there by myself and paid for my own food and we just talked about music the whole time? Does us going to see a band together mean something more to him than it does to me? What did I say or do that made it look like I was interested when I wasn't? Do we just see what we want to see when it comes to our interactions with others? Are any chances of connection as remote and unrealistic as peace in the Middle East? It feels like it.

I feel the brain drain acutely as I put my roots down further, when I see the ones with promise migrating to bigger and brighter places full of doubtless beautiful Bright Young Things, when the social circles don't get any wider as many places as I go, and to be honest, there just aren't a whole lot of other likeminded souls, period, who crave the spiritual in a way that's neither halfhearted or dippy nor sanctimoniously dogmatic, care a lot but haven't forgotten how to laugh, and have a healthy curiosity about everything and an appreciation for beauty.

So many times in church culture it seemed like there was all these lectures about how to be a good woman, but there was always less about men being men, so I see either a weakness that's irritating and pushoverish or a Type A manly manliness that can't handle someone with a strong mind who has a hard time shutting up, and I can't respect either.

So many of the amazing girls I know settle for less and try to justify it, and that's just not the way I do things. I'm content most of the time, because I get to do a lot of stuff I enjoy doing, but to be honest, I'm not sure if I want it to be like this forever.

5 comments:

Randal Graves said...

I've got oodles of both snarky & serious commentary on this subject I could lay out in this little box, but in the interest of brevity (you know how much I hate the purple) I'll just say that that's by far one of Jerry's finest tracks.

Word verification: Hesoid, look out Paranoids, here comes Hesiod Android.

Anonymous said...

it won't be forever, tho if you did settle it might feel like an eternity in a brimstoned, no exit, kind of way.

Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther said...

there just aren't a whole lot of other likeminded souls, period, who crave the spiritual in a way that's neither halfhearted or dippy nor sanctimoniously dogmatic, care a lot but haven't forgotten how to laugh, and have a healthy curiosity about everything and an appreciation for beauty.

I have been struggling so much lately with how true this statement really is. Finding the friendships, the people who really hear and see you, and who you can hear and see in return, that is a real struggle. I love my friends -- I do -- but most of them are not, actually, that.

Moreover, I'm 46 and still want, more than anything, to just hang out with people. For some reason, it's easier in Israel, and always was, where I have friends who are a generation above and a generation below me, and "hanging out" is just called visiting. I wish you and I were in each other's neighborhood. I have a feeling we would enjoy hanging out together.

thatgirl said...

Randal,
I'm sure you do. Hesoid, extraterrestrial gnomic philosopher poet.

dmf,
After living with various housemates in varied levels of domestic bliss or lack of, I definitely concur. Hell can be other people in a way that 90+ degree heat can't compare.

Emily,
Should I ever get out to Chicago (and I'm attempting to plan something along those lines), I think an afternoon of coffee and convo might be in order. Or something.

Anonymous said...

good ee is right that good friends, not just nice people, are as hard to find as good work (if anyone figures those out let me know) but she and I are living examples that even middle-aged misfits/malcontents can eventually find a spouse. keep reaching out and doing what matters to you and this will work out over time.