Friday, July 12, 2002

Printing out the instructions for the complete stranger who will be staying in our house while we're gone. Creepy feeling.

So stressed, can't think in complete sentences. Don't think about camp. Don't think. Don't. Leg, quit twitching. Don't.

Auugh! I *swear* it can't be as bad as I'm imagining it will be. Get a grip.

8:58 PM

Didn't have time to read the paper this morning before going to the rink, but I did glance at the headlines. The secondary above-the-fold headline was "City seeks to tap into gay travel market." I had an hour and a half to think about this while driving to the rink.

Why is that "my people" are a legitimate enough group to be considered a target market, but not legitimate enough to be guaranteed basic civil rights? You'll take our money, it spends just like everyone else's, but you'll deny us work, you'll deny us housing, you'll deny us civil marriage rights, and whatever else you think you might be able to get away with. Well, thanks, but no thanks at all. I'm keeping my money.

Not that I should be railing at the City of Bloomington, the city gov't has done a lot for glbt groups. Bloomington in general is a good place to live. But, as I can tell from my work situation, not perfect.

I'm glad I'll be gone next week. I'll miss the acrimonious exchange of pro/anti gay letters in the editorial section. I'll miss whatever protest those whacked out Baptists from out of town decide to hold now that Bloomington is officially a den of iniquity. I'll miss having to listen to everyone tell me what my opinion should be.

So, whatever.

When I was skating this morning, an eight year old boy gave me a "Hey, Baby" as he wobbled by. The cockiness! Cracked me up. I should have told him, "You know, before you start trying to pick up chicks at the rink? You should learn to skate." Usually kids at the rink annoy me, but there was a group from a YMCA day camp there today, and they were just amusing.

Argh. Airport shuttle arrives in 12 hours and I haven't started to pack yet. It's a huge task, too. Something I discovered today: 120 Band-Aids seems like a lot. When you dump them out of their boxes, it makes a big stack, and looks like it should be enough. But if I tape all of my fingers every time I skate next week, I'll need 170. I probably won't start taping until I see blood, that should save me a few Band-Aids.

If I keep typing, maybe 3:15 a.m. will never come and I can just stay home.


Allow my thoughts to wander while I'm waiting for my Clie to hot sync. This could take awhile since I'm copying over music tracks.

This therapy thing is going to have to come to an end. I think therapy is only useful if you *don't* know what's keeping you awake at night. It's not so useful if you *do* know what's keeping you up, but prefer not to talk about it. Better to cut my losses and leave now, I think.

Other things I thought about this morning: Loneliness is endemic to the human condition (thus, the school of existential thought, really). Everybody is lonely at some point, no matter how many people love a person. I think it's pretty easy to exacerbate the situation, though. Meeting new people can be hard just because of practical reasons (most adults rely on co-workers for friendship, and that isn't always a good thing). Or, you can throw up your own stumbling blocks. Diane was telling me about her dad's paranoia and how it dissolved every friendship he made before he died. And then there are people who just have "difficult" personalities, and take too much effort to get to know.

I often think I should hand out a list of instructions/explanations for socializing with me whenever we go to public functions. Something like:

  1. I will be very friendly and outgoing when we first meet. Don't expect it to last. I am just trying to put you at ease so you don't have to deal with some ultra-shy, quiet person at a party.
  2. Expect that the next several times we get together I will be withdrawn and unforthcoming with my opinions. Especially expect it if you're smarter than I am, because I'm not about to say anything you might think sounds stupid. Really expect it if I think I might like you, because I'm not about to reveal anything that would make you not like me before I decide I don't like you.
  3. Expect that I will have my partner talk for me if I can possibly manage it. She's used to it, and your questions will get answered a lot more quickly if you accept that she's going to answer for me.
  4. Be prepared for me to turn into a chatterbox at the drop of a hat. Some mornings I get up and want to talk, talk, talk. I have just as many mornings when I would rather just sit in companionable silence, though. Or, even better, listen to you talk.
  5. Don't get angry when you discover that I actually have a strident, emotional personality. Look, you're the one who wanted to get to know me, and if I finally trust you enough to be myself, you should be flattered, not judgemental.
That, I think, would chase away many, many people. Good thing/bad thing? I don't know. Possibly it would have helped if I'd had BR read this list before she started grilling me last week. But, maybe she would have just taken it as a challenge. A lot of people seemed determined to draw quiet, shy people out of their shells, and let me tell you, that's just plain mean.

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