Saturday, January 2, 2010

Just Cause I Feel Like Writing Tonight...

I really appreciate these post-college moments of clarity that seem to appear so often in my life right now. I don't mean those high-school-like moments of isolation, where I'm wondering who likes me, who doesn't like me, who are my friends, who are my enemies, what certain people think of me, who I'm going to take to the prom and the hundreds of other questions that seem to invade the adolescent mind who's trying to find a way to fit into the world around him. And in college it seems that I was always either studying or partying or clubbing or getting ready for grad school in so many different ways that I didn't have much time for these moments. But in this post-college, pre-'real' work world, I feel like these moments occur a lot more often. I'm talking about time when I'm sitting alone in my office thinking about stuff, or when I'm driving home from work, just sitting on the beltway, the only car in sight with a lot of time to think.

These moments are the perfect time to sit and reflect on whatever's going on in my life: whether it be different ways to try to pass qualifying exams, determination of what to do in my research, or more complicated problems like my personal life. When its just me and my thoughts, I have an opportunity to just sit back and think about stuff from a few different angles without fear of embarrassment or harassment and without causing an argument (as I often do). Or maybe I can sit and think about (or blog about) an argument I had in the past.

Take, for example, an incident with a young lady I was dating a month or two ago. I'm gonna go ahead and put the incident up on here because its pretty likely that I'll never talk to her again. She did say she'd like to remain friends, but with some of the statements she threw at me, I don't know if thats gonna happen. But in thinking about this, I'm forced to wonder how often this type of incident happens when two professional or career oriented people are trying to date.

Basically what happened on our last supposed date is that she invited me out - asked me to meet her later - but never got back to me. This kinda upset me because at first she was pretty responsive saying it'd be just a few minutes and that she'd keep me posted on what was going on. But unfortunately I never heard back from her that night. So, after about about two hours of waiting, I kinda got frustrated and sent a message that ended with 'holla at me when you've got time for me.'

Now I'm gonna pause in my story right here because I can just hear my friends in women's studies talking to me about the pressure I'm putting on a woman by forcing her to choose between her relationship and her career. In fact, I had had this very conversation while she was studying for the bar, and when she first started her job. There was a time that a similar thing happened in the past, and I tried to be understanding in terms of the stress that her career puts on her (whether I actually was or not is another question, but I really didn't show ANY anger over it at this first occasion).

But what some see as a choice between a career and a relationship, I see as merely respect for another person. On this example I pointed out above, what upset me wasn't that she couldn't meet me. Remember it was her idea to meet up. I would have been just fine sitting in my office and finishing up my work. But instead, I had to get in my car, run home and get in the shower and try to put on some nice clothes, get ready to go out, and THEN basically get stood up. And if she had called me and said, "hey, I'm not going to have that free time tonight after all", then I would have been able to just go back to my work and its all forgotten. But I didn't want to start reading a paper or thinking of a proof and then get a call like "I'll meet you at the movie theater in 30 mins" cause then I'd have all this math on my mind and might not want to leave if I'm in the middle of a good thought, and if I'm in the theater, my mind will start wandering and stuff. So basically, for about three hours (an hour after that text), I'm sitting there wondering if I'm going out tonight.

We didn't really talk again til one day she IM's me. What I found really messed up was that she didn't even mention the situation. I thought that was kinda weird so I went ahead and brought it up. I figured she'd have a legit explanation of what happened (and she kinda did), but she didn't (or refused to) explain why she didn't let me know. In fact, she responded to that by saying that I was "once again trying to guilt her". I don't know exactly what that means, but I was really expecting an apology if we were to ever really talk again. Even with the explanation she gave, which is legit, I just don't see whats wrong with me feeling like a dude who got shitted on. Instead, she takes my desire to have her respect my time as being "needy" and that I couldn't handle her position.

So yeah, that relationship is over. The friendship might be able to be salvaged. But the question on my mind is how common is this. Not with her in particular, but with a lot of my female friends who speak about similar problems with men who can't handle their success. I kinda see what she did to me as a defense mechanism to protect her from feeling any guilt in the situation. I'd be more than willing to say that I was a part of the problem. I mean, listening to her explanation, I can understand her state of mind and thus her frustration with my text. But to act as if I did that because I couldn't handle a successful woman? I just think thats crazy.

Now, that could easily just be her nice way of saying "listen bro, I like you, but I don't like-like you", and if so, then this was all just for philosophical reasons. But if people are going around saying that guys who expect a woman to feel bad for treating them wrong are needy or can't handle a successful woman, then that just might be a part of why you're still single (now if I could just answer that question for myself).
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.