Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Intimacy: The horror
So many people are afraid of connecting with others on anything but the most superficial level.
Society encourages this. Reality TV is full of it - oh, like anyone you please, but don't like them for too long because they'll be right the hell out of here. Don't even get me started on the amazing shows that start up and are then nixed with but half a season's worth of episodes to their name.
Almost no one is willing to make the emotional investment to really, truly connect, and the entertainment industry just reflects that.
I am a shy, geeky sort of person, but in all the friendships I have, it's been me who's reached out to make the connection, or made the suggestion that we try to build something deeper. My husband and I go to meetups sometimes, where crowds of geeks hang out. We've managed to connect with one (1) geek on a deeper level. One. We've been trying with another, but our schedules won't match up.
We went to a picnic where there were a hundred or more of these folks, and even though we knew quite a few of them on sight, we also knew none of them would miss us if we weren't there. The geeks love to socialize as a bunch, but try to start any deeper connection and you're going to have a hard time.
There's a lingering sort of sadness when you're standing in the midst of a hundred more-or-less like-minded people and you can neither think of anything to say or seem to find anyone to hear it if you did. The opportunity is there but you can't quite grab it. It will haunt you for days afterward, lingering on your soul like an oily residue on plastic.
I am full of love. I love easily, and well, once I've had time to make a true attachment. That's how I work. I attach and I love and I do my best to make sure that my friend is happy.
Standing there, though, on that bright, sunny day, surrounded by geeks, I felt useless. Unattachable. Unlovable. Unnecessary. Really, I just wanted to go the hell home. Eventually some kind soul took pity on me and we struck up a conversation and my world was right again, because I was having a conversation even if I wasn't connecting. I was communicating, and therein lies a possibility for connection.
When no one is attached, no one can be loved. If no one is loved, then no one can be missed, and so everyone will scuttle home to their lives, their husbands, their children, their lovers and their video games. But if they haven't connected, no one can miss them.
I see people post on facebook: "I'm in town, call me!" and I wonder, does anyone actually call those people? Why don't they just call the friends they'd like to hang out with? I'm pretty sure if I put "I'm in town, call me" on my status, no one would. No one wants to hear that you're already busy.
I've been standing in a group of my own friends and felt out of the loop. That happens when you can't see them for a year at a time, but beyond that there's this sense of "missing out" on what goes on with them when I'm not with them. In-jokes and all sorts of random stuff that just go over my head and make me want to hide. It's ridiculous, of course, to expect to know everything that goes on in anyone's life - hell, sometimes even my husband doesn't tell me what he had for lunch. That feeling is kind of unshakable for me, that clearly they don't miss me because they're actually enjoying themselves without me. The horror!
Of course I'm not necessary, but I'm preferred. And isn't that better, anyway? For someone to choose to spend time with you because they prefer it, rather than because they can't not? Of course it is. In friendship, in love, in kink, it always is.
It's scary, though, to reach out. Even if you feel like you're being led to reach out, it's scary.
When Kitty and I met, she sort of led me to the place where I would ask if she wanted to meet up. It still took quite some mettle on my part to just come out and say "So, you wanna get together then?" As hard as it was, I am so, so glad that I did.
The idea of hearing "No," which may translate in our heads to "No, you're not worth my time you steaming pile of yuck," is unappealing at best and downright damaging at worst. It's easier, safer, to hope something will just naturally happen.
What it isn't, though, is better. It's far, far better to have reached out and been struck down, or even ignored, than to never reach out at all. Yeah, being ignored sucks. But the friendships you build with the people who say yes are worth it.
This post was inspired by Lily's need to Water the Bonsai