Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The functional face of love


Simon came from a family of four boys. It was a functional but undemonstrative family, and a family that didn't share its feelings.  The closest thing my mother in law got to sentimentality was to recall how at the start of each school year there were four sets of clean school shoes laid out (by her) on the bottom step. Yes, she did  a great job. She raised four polite and ostensibly functional boys.

George was also one of four boys, from a military family, sent off  boarding school with,  I imagine, a similar crisp sense of proper grooming and behaviour. Like Simon's family one or other of them have suffered with mental health issues from time to time.

Despite the intimacies George and I shared online the reality of him was one of functional, polite, respectful base-covering kindness with really no personal connection whatsoever, and it suited him to keep it that way. "I've left a bottle of cold wine in the fridge", "Stay as long as you like".

Somehow I see a common root in these two men with whom I tried to get close. A perhaps peculiarly English need to not show emotion and to soldier on. Both men are quite patently vulnerable inside but bury it so deep as to deny its existence. Further  they chose to somehow shut down when I show my own vulnerabilities. Even to the point of mocking me for the (to them) weakness of showing my feelings.  I first thought of this post back in August, but I was reminded somewhat of the sentiment again by Alain de Botton on "How to be warm".  A lesson they could perhaps both take.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

A gift maybe

This is a stock photo of Rick Moranis from firsttoknow.com. I picked him because he's kind of a regular looking (if a bit goofy) sort of  a guy.

Anyway this couple I  know split up lately, And the guy who is goofy and middle aged is taking it very badly. He messages her all the time and she can't handle it so she took to ignoring him.

So he's started texting me to try to find out what she's up to. The trouble is I know he had a bit of a thing for me before they went out, and I don't fancy him. No not even  a little bit.

But I am caught in this little trap. It is rude to ignore him so I send non-commital polite little responses and he sends me more. He likes every darn thing I post on facebook. Even I feel a bit smothered and I am not and have never been in a relationship with him, And eventually I put him on a restricted list so he can't see what I post and I muted his messenger contact so he can't see when I'm on line.

Maybe this is a little tutorial from the stars. In fact it was followed by a tutorial from Alain de Botton which to my mind is pretty much on the same subject. When George said "You've put me on a pedestal" I swear I had not, but this is how he saw it.

I never tried to insinuate myself back into George's life by contacting his friends. And our friendship did start off quite a bit more promising than this guy (lets call him Rick) and I did.

But how I am feeling about Rick must at some point have been how George began to feel about me. Right. I can't handle this, she's goofy and way too into me and I am going to put her on semi permanent hold. But Ill try to be civil with her.

The funny thing is we never were lovers, Or friends either once he realized he didn't fancy me as much as .. let's call her Juanita. But in the interstitial space between love sex and acquaintance there was a time when he was there for me and took an interest in my life.

So I guess Rick is lonely. Probably looking for a replacement,

You would've thought if I was lonely and wanting someone to be interested in my life there would've been plenty of places to look. but female friendship doesn't quite cut it. My mum and my son's care and attention do.

So this I guess is the odd little gift. The gift of being placed in George's shoes.  I still hope for contact from George but, looking at Rick I know there is not one single thing he could say or do that would make me want to draw him into my inner circle. That's not because he's a bad guy, or that there is anything wrong with him. I just don't want to encourage him. The same applies to me. there is basically nothing I can do to change the way George feels even about friendship. That kinda stinks since we were never lovers. Its almost as though even having designs on him at some stage has ruled me out as a friend.