Wednesday, May 8, 2013

First Move

When I was eleven I wrote a book where the two main characters eventually fell in love. It happened gradually. They really disliked each other at first but were forced by necessity and circumstance to travel together for a long distance. Over time they became grudging friends, and toward the end of the adventure they each started looking at the other person in a new, rather surprising way, though neither had the courage to say anything about it quite yet. Then came drama - imprisonment, escape, literally fighting for their lives against a giant monster - and they were separated from each other. When they were eventually reunited, all that emotion bubbled up to the surface, and they both just knew - you're alive, you're okay, you're here. I love you. I want to be with you. It didn't need to be said; it was just so obvious.

This is why I love fiction. It all works out so neat and tidy. Real life sucks. Real life is nothing like that.

Instead you get people who have feelings about other people but never take the risk to make them known, whether out of fear or pride or self doubt... so many reasons, really, and none of them all that good.

I never realized this about myself, but apparently I am an old-fashioned girl. I was just watching a TV show ("Pramface") where a love interest says to the girl he's flirting with, "You've got princess syndrome. You're waiting for the guy to come and kiss you. And while I'd like that quite a bit, I'm not going to." (The obvious hint being that she should... and she did.) I'm not trying to buy into some patriarchal oppressive mindset or anything; for some reason it just seemed like common sense to me. If someone was interested, they'd say something. If they're not I'd save both of us a lot of embarrassment by just not saying anything.

I guess that's not fair though. Because the guy could be going through the exact same thought process.

But in the end, I think I know my answer to that "who makes the first move?" debate: it doesn't matter. Because I'll know. When I meet someone that's so amazing that it would be more painful being without them than to risk the embarrassment of rejection, I'll know. Or if they come to that same realization before I do and ask me first. Really, the timing doesn't matter. What matters is that something is there to make you want to risk it all. Not how they look or what they say, necessarily, but them, who they are as a person. At least, so far as you can tell.

See, that's one thing that a lot of the blog posts and forum discussions were taking as a given that I'm not so huge a fan of: walking up to strangers in bars, or cozying up to acquaintances at parties seemed to be two popular contexts for the "first move." But I prefer my eleven-year-old brain's dating model. Okay, so being thrown into a magical adventure together isn't very likely, but I'm still a fan of that other part of my story: the friends that gradually realize they feel something more for each other.

I don't think I'd be very good at dating. I suck at playing games and pussyfooting around the issue. I'm all for just saying whatever the hell you think, laying it out there in the open. But I don't know that I'd do that with some stranger in a bar. I'd go way too slow for the stranger in the bar, because they'd probably be looking for a hook-up, while I'd be all like, "Hey, let's hang out for a while and get to know each other..." Well. Unless he kissed me, and then all the thoughts in my head would bumper-car into each other and ricochet around, so I'd abandon logic and reason and thinking and just kiss him back instead.

I'm not making any sense.

So there's a person. I don't think it's anything but my overactive imagination, but I haven't exactly been helping things. I freeze up when they're around. I go quiet, almost glacial, which is not at all my intent. I need to remember to smile more. Eye contact, all the articles said stuff about that. But again, this isn't fitting with my ideal relationship model... I don't know the guy outside of work directives, so I don't even know that we'd get along.

So. Forget that last paragraph. The point is, I'm thinking about all this stuff. It's really confusing and annoying, but I guess everyone has to put up with the confusing and annoying stuff before they find the person they end up with.

God, I hope I end up with someone. (And I say that both in a taking-the-Lord's-name-in-vain kind of way and in a fervent-and-sincere-prayer kind of way.)

Preferably someone who doesn't have a tail and whiskers.

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