samedi, février 28, 2009

Rara avis

I had an anomalous experience a few days ago. I ran into a date with beautiful manners.

It was one of those aha moments that makes you wonder--why can't life always be like this?

That doesn't mean I'm slamming other potential dates for being cads, bumpkins or fit solely for auditioning for the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs."

Nor am I saying that the United States doesn't teem with rude women. I'm sure that there are a lot of them, too.

We live in a time in which politeness can seem old-fashioned. As I have also noted in the posts previous to this one, we live in one in which the Internet facilitates rudeness. I've found that some men are really a whole lot nicer in person than they are online.

So, back to this guy. After I had to cancel our lunch this week because Mr. C was ill, David called me to ask how the kid was doing.

When we finally met up for lunch, he greeted me with a large gerbera daisy (sadly, because the cat kept knocking over the vase in which it was put, the daisy is now doing duty as compost).

And he paid for my meal because, as he said, he had invited me.

Now this is a sensitive topic. Why should a guy, in these liberated times, offer to pay? I am usually pretty fast with the bills when the waiter or waitress stops with the tab.

But I have to admit that it really impresses me when a guy offers to pay the first time. I know that, down the road, I'll be making dinner, or buying a book, or the large tub of popcorn at the movies--but it makes me feel cared for.

I guess I'm not as egalitarian as I thought I was--those ol cavewoman genes are hiding in there somewhere.

After asking me if I could make it back to my car OK (we cavewomen are pretty good at tracking back on West Chester streets) David went back to work. As we said goodbye, I told him how impressed I had been by his gentility. "My mother must have raised me right" he told me.

He didn't respond to my "thank you" email until a day later--with a phone call to say that he was going on a second date with another woman.

I happily wished him the best, and returned to my work, grateful that I had experienced one date with a guy who exemplified the innate good manners of an age long gone--seemingly almost unnoticed.

Who knows? Politesse might seem tedious after a while-but I wouldn't mind a few other opportunities to find out.

jeudi, février 26, 2009

Too much, too soon

I am thinking now that as well as letting some of us allow that old id to rip, email and messaging do expose some people's personalities. I'm not usually a bitch in everyday life-but I have my snarky online moments.

Then there is the barrage of revelations at the beginning of the dating exposure process. Email and messaging encourages that, too.

Going back and reading a few emails from many guys I'm looking for clues, cues that I might have missed.

I find a couple--what bothers me is that they are cloaked what appears to be a torrent of candor. When someone tells me too much, too soon, it may be a sign that they aren't telling me everything--or that they have online Tourettes. Virtual dialogue seems to bring that out in some folks, too, or cartoon something that's just beneath the surface.

Maybe sometimes a storm of words is just that...a storm of words. They appear on the horizon, inundate you for a minute, and then they are gone. If your relationship prospers, then you will hang on to them for years. If not, you will eventually press the "delete" button and allow them to fly into cyberspace, mostly forgotten.

mercredi, février 25, 2009

The damage done

Well, let's see, what's the wreckage this week?

A few charged words in an online conversation roll like bowling pins, hitting knees and toes and feelings right and left as they go.

A curt email in response to a friends ill-timed suggestion elicits another, equally terse.

Hurt words and feelings shot in haste towards a friend to plumb for honesty have the opposite effect-of sundering the nascent relationship in a barrage of blame.

That's not even to list the ambivalent, secretive, regretful messages, to which I respond with missives (missiles) wracked with my childish anger at being put in such a spot--again and again. The spot in which I apparently placed myself quite a while ago.

Not bad for a week of online communication. Or very bad, perhaps. Some of the damage has been fixed. Some not. Some is out of my hands. But I know in the core of my being that if someone values my time, and my friendship, they will want to find a place for me in their real lives.

Perhaps I am too rigid-I've certainly been told that by a few guys (who may have had agendas)...yet I find myself craving contact with people who want to sit and drink tea, watch the wind race through the evergreens, and talk theology and politics and poetry-- in a place where we can view each other's faces.

Resolved that...

Some folks give something up for Lent and others take things on.

I'm making resolutions--starting New Years a bit late, after hopefully everyone else has moved on to giving up on resolutions.

To shed some toxic, relationships, where I find myself continually on the losing end.

To seek out those where I can feed and be fed.

To not be so darned quick to take offense.

To be faster to forgive.

To be more present to the blessings of ordinary life.

To get to know Him a little better.

How about you?

lundi, février 23, 2009

Simple love

I'm sitting here tonight, one ear cocked to the bedrooom where my son is lying, still awake, suffering from abdominal pain I can neither treat nor cure. It doesn't seem to be his appendix, but I'm not sure whether it's minor or needs a diagnosis and a I wait, and surf the internet for material on tummy pain, and wonder if I'll sleep tonight.

My love for him seems so direct, so simple, and profoundly frightening because it lives in the very core of my being. But I am discovering I crave directness, simplicity over drama and passion...I once thought it would be fun to be someone's mistress, to be that object of suppressed desire. But now I know that I want the love that dares to speak its name, that wants the sunlight, wants the domestic, is hungry for the small treasures of normal life.

I think about all this as I reflect on my day, and then I go back to check on one of the two people who has changed my adult life the most. God give me inspiration, please.

dimanche, février 22, 2009

Lead, follow, or get out of the way

Here's some ideas by Tom Friedman on where we ought to be investing our stimulus dollars. Let the auto industry declare bankruptcy and restructure--why should we support some medieval titans who for decades refused to see we needed cars that run on green energy?

And the large banks? Did you hear about Merrill and the 3 and a half mil the leadership gave out before it got taken over?

As the unemployment rate rises towards a possible ten percent, bankers are using our tax money for bonuses.

I like Friedman's ideas. Too bad the Reid-Pelosi duo chose "victory" over vision.