Tag Archives: dating

Notes from the Pub

Me at McMenamins in Cedar Mill 😉

It maybe that I spend too much time at home… I’ve been working for two hours and have barely noticed the time go by. And yes I’m taking a break with a glass of old fashioned American Rye (see pic). Nice! And that is from the scotch drinker.

If I was a good person I’d let you know what kind of rye… but I have yet to figure out how to make Safari give me more than one window it’s called (ri)1 but I can’t give you the link ;-(

I don’t get out much these days – money and migraines – but apparently my requirements are the same as people on a first date (cheep with lots of people and multiple exits). It is so funny listening to the resume date. All the stats – where you grew up, went to school, previously married? Family? Parents? Interests? Favorite foods?

The date follows the same plan. Oh, I remember it well. Please, oh, please I really am enjoying not being single. I’m rather happy with what I’ve got.

So, back to the writing/editing/writing/writing…

~ Tess

 

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Here we go again…

Why is it that I have so much baggage about not being asked?

I was musing on this topic as I walked the Fanno Creek Path by my home. Once again I was called and told when and where to be for a family event. Once aging there was the spoken… yes, spoken not even implied… statement that I wouldn’t be busy so I would be there… wherever “there” happened to be.

I know I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life single…

I also know that I am not a social butterfly and do not have a packed schedule. I have more in common with a hermit crab than a social animal. But really… I’m tired of the assumption. Why don’t I rate the common courtesy of being asked?

So, being me I started to wonder if I was overreacting. I’ve been known to do that on occasion.

Because I’m not social, and because I don’t want to be involved in the “arranging” of these events does that preclude the question? “We’ve decided to have Father’s Day on Thursday after work – can you be there?” Have I abdicated my role it all this?

I’ve decided it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) work that way. My family’s assumption that I am always free, always available, is annoying as hell and I deserve to be asked not told.

But it isn’t just my family.

There’s 10 years of dating that got me into similar situations. I have a very flexible life. I’m not one of those people with hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook. In fact I make a point of keeping my social circle small because I find maintaining close friendships difficult. The friends I keep are the ones that don’t mind being ignored for days, weeks, or even on occasion months. We meet, have drinks or dinner, and catch up. No harm no foul… but I’ve gotten off topic.

In 10 years of dating I’ve found that my lack of commitments translates into “lame”.

Yep, for lack of a better word I have been found lacking because I don’t surround myself with people, events, and activities. Also I have been found “easy” because I’m usually available. But then if I’m dating you I want to spend time with you – at least that is my assumption. But that is often read as too available or needy… it took me years to decide it was their problem not mine.

When you aren’t social – but are very good at playing one when required – people make all sorts of assumptions about you. Who you are, what your life is like, and that the person they see is the person you are all the time. If one more person who looks at me like I’m crazy when I say I don’t go out much I think I’ll scream.

Oh, and one of the most stressful questions I’ve been asked over the last five years is “What do you do for fun?”

I babble – mostly because I don’t want to discuss it and secondly because the people who ask are most often those people with the lives filled with people, events, and activities.

They are really sweet – often the question is asked to find points of contact and to fold you into their life of activities and events.

There are times in my life when I was more like them… old friends have come back into my life and find it bizarre how much my life has slowed down. But it is only an external slowing… what I do, what consumes me, is writing, thinking about the worlds I’m creating, distracting myself when I don’t feel capable of putting words to the page, and reading. My brain is always racing… my schedule is internal and can’t be calendared or mapped.

So, I have things to do… an internal schedule that has nothing to do with external events. There are times when every event, phone call, email, or dinner is a chunk of time away from the work that needs to be accomplished. Even though I don’t have children, a husband, or a sparking social life, I still deserved to be asked.

Odds are I can probably make it… but ask. I’ll be a lot happier when I show up.  

~ Tess

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Friends and other Enemies

Relationships are complicated.

My feelings about relationships are complicated.

I’m having a difficult time with several of my “friends” these days. One of them is used to this. We’ve existed in a strangely functional dysfunctional friendship for quite some time. I’m never really sure what he is getting out of it but for some reason it works for him. Lately he’s decided he needs to get out more. A desire he has transferred to me.

Transference is a beautiful thing.

It’s one of the reasons models have limited personality – so we can imagine they are anything. On a person to person level it is an aspect of how we relate. We see things in others that we see in ourselves. It is when people see things in you that don’t exist that become creepy.

Can you tell I’ve been dating?

We want to date people who are like us. Who have similar views, ideas, and values. Usually as you get to know someone you start to see not only the similarities but also the differences. That is usually. Sometimes the desire to see someone not as you are but as you want them to be, assuming passions, knowledge and aspirations that they simply don’t have, is so powerful it overrides even logic.

Kind of like our political views. We pay attention to what supports our view and ignore or discount those pieces of information that doesn’t. Belief is a powerful and dangerous thing. Personally I don’t like to mess with it although it comes so naturally to us it is difficult to turn off.

There is a fine line between seeing someone as who they can be verses seeing them for who you wish them to be.

So, I’m complaining about my friendly enemies but the truth is that a lot of the problem lies with me.

(1)   I’m not good with expectations.

Every time I’ve been hired to “fix” something I’ve ended up on the street rather quickly. Granted I “fixed” the thing, but no one like the person who causes change thus the back on the street ending to my story. We have a build in negative reaction to change that is very difficult to overcome. I’ve become averse to being anyone’s solution to anything – professionally or romantically – it never goes the way they think it will. Now I choose to simply not get involved.   

(2)   Too much of how I view myself is wrapped up in being unique.

In the immortal words of Louisa in the Fantastics, “Please God, Please… Don’t let me be normal.” I shy away from those people who like to see themselves reflected in other. I believe in the uniqueness of each person. No one lives their life the same, views the world the same, thinks in exactly the same way. That individuality is something I treasure. The act of transference takes it away. I am no longer me but a ‘me’ you filter through your wants and desires. A ‘me’ that is only real for the viewer and has limited relation to the original.  

And just to be clear:

I’m not good at being the entertainment and just once would like to be the one in transition rather than the innumerable midlife crisis I’ve suffered through. I’ve decided it is my turn!  

I wonder what online dating would be like if we posted these types of things rather than pictures and interests? Probably not any different but it was an interesting thought. Most of us do a very poor job of seeing ourselves for who we really are besides the fact that we are very poor judges of what will make us happy.

It is rare to find people who see you for yourself – be those friends or lovers. People who don’t assume or if they do are willing to change their view. I treasure them. But I have to I’ve found so few.

Enough with the soul searching – I have fiction to write.

~ Tess

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Putting the pieces back together

There is so much to do.

There was before he left but somehow it feels more important now. Or maybe it is just different. Over the last few months I have been changing all sorts of aspects of my life – becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. Being with him was part of it. But now he isn’t here and I don’t want to lose the momentum. When I start listing the things that I’ve accomplished since September, the changes I’ve made, and the fears that I’ve faced – I can’t help but smile.

I am becoming.

So, we keep moving forward. I keep moving forward.

One of the hardest things I’ve learned is to keep myself whole when I fall for someone. I’ve always tended to subsume myself. Losing myself in them – their likes and dislikes, their passions and their hobbies. I’ve never been good at keeping my own sense of self. It’s funny because it isn’t like I live in that space… I’ve never stopped working, learning, and achieving… but I know that I always put them first.

The good news is – this time I didn’t. This time I balanced my life with my desire to be with him. And I never let myself think beyond the present. I was perfectly happy with what we were and willing to wait for what we would become.

When we stopped I realized that I could use that – that by working harder on my writing I could move my journey forward. I had decided to stop dating before he came into my life – so I’ll just go back to that state.

I’m rambling…

After every change there is a period of reassessment. My best friend told me not to make any changes for several days. Good advice. So, slowly, I’ll start to put myself back together, piece by piece, by focusing on creating the patters that I need to do life well. And that is the goal after all – a life well lived.    

I have a lot of work to do.

There is so much I don’t understand about myself, other people, writing and the world. And this is an opportunity to spend more time learning. I’ve wanted to reach out to some of the communities that I left years ago, theater and science. Have invitations to groups that meet on different topics that I’ve not followed up on. A relationship takes time, effort, and energy. All willingly given but if I work hard I can drive those energies into other things.    

…and at the same time, I keep hearing phantom tones telling me I have a text from him, and yet my phone is empty…

I have a way to go, but at least I’m going.

~ Tess Anderson

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Endings…

I always know… this time I thought I was over reacting… but I always know when a relationship is ending.

It’s the patterns.

When we date someone we develop very specific patterns around our interactions with them. They only change when circumstances change. I’m sure if I wanted to I could develop a whole mathematical formula for it – looking at word usage, type and frequency of communication, and body language – but it would just formalize what my brain does a great job in processing for me.

Unfortunately I’ve never gotten very good at using this skill in larger group settings. It would be very helpful to watch the flow of power during a debate and see how people are responding. But then I’m not sure I’ve ever really tried. For some reason my brain reserves this skill set for relationships.

This time I was surprised.

I was surprised this time because I didn’t want this. Since last week when I felt the first tremors I was hoping that it was holiday stress. For days I tried to convince myself that was all there was to it. But I knew. Usually I’ve known for so long that it is only the formalization of what has become fact. This wasn’t that… this hurt.

But I was trying to talk about patterns.

We are creatures of habit and we love our patterns. Coffee in the morning, a glass of wine with dinner, how we address our significant other, and what we say when our children walk in the door. All these patterns of behavior make up the web of our lives.  

I have a specific pattern for this blog – postings on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Last week I broke the pattern because of a migraine (three days long) – this week I promised myself that I would be back on track.

Today I wanted to talk about fruit flies and why I love genetics so much. But I can’t seem to ignore the pain I feel and how foolish I feel. Foolish because I let someone in, again. Foolish because I, of all people know, that everything ends. Foolish because I wanted so badly to believe that this wouldn’t.  

There is no blame – it was an honorable ending.

So, I have work to do…. Stories and articles to write, worlds to create. But just for this moment I wish I could howl with the pain, and let it all out – throw things and beat my breast – and then begin to heal.

That isn’t me. It will lurk in the corners of my heart showing itself in fits and starts until like all things it too ends.  

Thanks for listening,

~ Tess Anderson

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