The title of this blog is possibly saucier than the content it may contain. First, I’m months behind in the Oprah-Tolle-Change-Your-Life-In-The Power-of-Now online classes. Instead of letting the discussions drag on for ten weeks, I’m reviewing the courses in five days. I’ve always been in favour of rushing and condensing. I’d like to develop a formulaic approach with Fred see if a flaky plan can be exchanged for some more rhyme and reason. Part of this “New Earth” diet is to let go of resistance, control, and fighting for things in life. As I learned today, “the need to fight and win” is more enervating than the actual fight. Actually, I may have incorrectly paraphrased that. But what I learned in today’s lesson is that we are meant to be transparent in situations of drama, turmoil, and noise. Like the polluted Hudson River that my exposed rump endures on my kayaking adventures… you’re just supposed to go with the flow and not put up walls of resistance. The control freak in me does not want to be like the Hudson River. It wants to be a fighter.
As of late, I’ve been spending a lot of time with guy friends and tearing apart the bizarre world of dating. One of these friends, who I dated briefly years ago, felt that dating itself is the problem. He alluded that dating is a manufactured, awkward, and uncomfortable experience for all people involved. I tend to disagree, but as they may say- practice makes perfect. Serial dating has taught me the art of handling bizarre conversations, initiating new questions to beat the standard prompts about family, work, blah blah blah, and having an overall good time no matter how weird either of us may feel. I have no issues with dating. I actually think of it as a novelty. It’s the evolution or conversion from “dating” to “relationship” that is always a particularly difficult and often fatal (metaphorically speaking) turning point I find. I am, in fact, a magnet for emotionally unavailable and terrified men who put up a long, ardent fight until they get me interested. Then they run, hard and fast. My straight dudes, with their advice will often claim that our friendships are so open and great that if we ever were to date we wouldn’t have that problem. I then argue the obvious mistakes they may have made with women in the past. Because there is a point in all “dating” scenarios that one or both of the parties involved will aim to sabotage the good. It may be through unconscious actions or blatantly dumb moves, but the moment always arises right around or before the “transition.” Wining, dining, and making out in Central Park on random romps were simple. The funeral march begins after a few of these otherwise awesome encounters, for those rare times that a second and third and fourth date occur. In the New York dating scene, anything after a first date can also be considered rare.
But why do we even go through this? It’s like an intense cardio workout that is nothing but brutal for the first twenty minutes. The harder the routine, the more I find myself questioning if I want to continue. But once I hit my stride, the endorphins rush, my heart soars, and I feel victorious for hanging on for the relief. In retrospect it wasn’t so hard afterall.
If dating wasn’t complicated enough already, we now have the added benefit of the Internet where passive aggression can take a firm hold and sabotage a budding relationship. Befriending one another on Myspace or Facebook is just another nail in the coffin during the courtship period. Last year I was seeing someone who communicated his sudden disinterest in me by removing me from his number one friend on Myspace to the number twelve spot. I was devastated at the time, particularly when he argued that everything was fine. Looking back I wonder why I even gave a shit. Everything can be misread on these blogs and tagged photos, leaving someone to wonder is he or she dating that person? What does that comment left by some other girl about cool-whip and chocolate sauce really mean? When did he go to Ireland… he told me he was hanging with friends this weekend?! Not only does online stalking become totally acceptable, but people begin to feel like they have a real relationship with someone else based on reading status updates and drunken blogs and tagged images. Thus begins cyber-warfare in the dating scene. And cyber-warfare does little to aid us in emulating the Hudson River. And that is the goal, after all. To be one with water.
The problem with those dating experiences that never surpassed the conversion from “hooking up” to “relationship” is that these people feel there is a continuum, which can amount to a parade of “formers” who want another chance. See if you were never officially in a relationship, then there was never an ending, right? Wrong. One drunken text of late told me that there is “clearly a connection” still between me and the drunken former and it was somehow childish of me to not return his calls and meet in person. It’s funny because I clearly saw that connection for the five years I spent waiting for this person to wake up and spend time with me, when he was more comfortable dodging phone calls and keeping space between us.
Now, how does this tie into politics? Everyone knows I am a die hard Hillary Clinton supporter and have yet to openly support Obama. I just didn’t have much of a sense of the man behind the suit. Then today, my decision to rally for this man came from the words of a woman- his wife. I caught her on “The View” this morning and found her to be educated, strong, empowered, and empathetic. She is completely supportive and committed and any man who is capable of being married to a woman with such strong opinions and ambitions of her own has my vote. It was a reminder to me of why any of my close friends or even I go through all the circuitous games and bullshit of dating and the dreaded “conversion” period. Within us all is that shred of hope, that “audacity of hope” for something that withstands the test of time while allowing for our own spiritual and personal growth.
In the meantime, I’m going to practice being like the Hudson.