The Other End of Sunset

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Chinese, Change, and Car wash

I got quite a few answers to my questions in the last posting.

Apparently there ARE men who don’t spit in urinals. Or so they self-report. It’s possible they are lying. I mean, who wants others to know they spit? It’s gross, and generally considered poor form. Some sort of global expectoration expectation problem.

Have you ever noticed that the guy from has really scary teeth? Do you think that’s one of their dimensions? You know, they have that weird test that you take and it yields your perfect match, on some huge number of “emotional dimensions”. The ad says something like “you can see the outside, we let you see what is on the inside.” Well, yes, but dude, your teeth! Them we can see!

No idea, at all, what led to that particular bit of mild venom. Or perhaps that should have been “bite”, right?

But the idea of “inner dimensions” is intriguing. Do you think that stuff like that matters? Of course it does. We have all known people who looked great, but weren’t. We’ve known people who couldn’t maintain relationships. We have known people who flirted constantly, regardless of their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc. As may of us learn, when playing with fire, eventually everyone gets burned. Some of us learn it more than once.

And, after all, if Harry was right (in “When Harry Met Sally”, of course), and men and women can’t be friends, then we only have half the possible friend population, and must focus all of our romantic energy on half of the rest of the world. In my case, many of my friends over the years have been women, but they are rarely heterosexual women, so I don’t consider myself a good counter-example.

I guess it’s hard to meet people that make sense, for us, at least over time.

But how does this inner dimension thing lead to some huge dating site? Apparently dating is big business? Interesting that there is a business model around meeting people.

I have a friend who met his future wife on the pre-Internet version of the whole dating thing – a dating service by mail for people with a particular academic pedigree. I think it still exists. Guess it worked for him.

I have another friend who did one of those online dating surveys, and was told that less than 5% of all people would likely be potential mates. Initially, my friend found this terribly discouraging. However, a second look at things yielded a different perspective – out of 20 people you meet on the street, or at the gym, or at a bar, or at work, do you think you’d want to date more than 1 of them? No? Well, that’s 5%, then. Not so bad.

So if the odds are so remote, how do we meet people?

Does anyone ever actually meet “anyone” at a bar?

I think I dated somebody I met kind of at a bar for a few weeks once, long ago. There is a morning show in LA on KROQ, called the Kevin & Bean show. Or there was, a while ago, haven’t listened lately to see if it’s still on. These guys would throw “Single’s Parties” a few times per year. You had to get invited, and it was tough to get an invitation. I went to one called – no joke – the “losers’ singles party”. Dude it was really funny. You had to compete to be the biggest loser in order to get in.

No, I won’t tell you what I did to get tickets. There were lots of beautiful people there, and no obvious losers (except, perhaps, me!) I met a girl there, well two, but one was really mean to me. Didn’t date her, for those of you who are interested. Dated the other one, who was nicer. We were together for a few weeks, or maybe months, can’t really remember.

But other than that, I don’t think I’ve really dated anyone I met in a bar. Have you?

Now I have met people at work. I know, I know, never date anyone at work. Well, apparently sometimes it works out. Strange things happen sometimes. For example, I met JR at work. I also met a woman – ultimately a wife – through a lunch group started at work. And that wife was ultimately a big part of the operation of one of my businesses, so it all comes together in the end!

In general, the bar-met person notwithstanding, I tend to have long relationships – many years usually. Probably as a result of that, I am particularly fascinated with people who have serial chains of short relationships. I have a male friend whose average relationship is a few weeks long. He is universally perceived as a player, as a result. (BTW, he’s in a relationship that has lasted more than a year now). Now, interestingly enough, a woman I know, with the same short tenure relationship, and similar flirting habits, isn’t perceived that way at all. In fact, just the opposite – friends think it’s cool that she is trying so hard to find true love. The guy spends his time in bars, the woman uses other vehicles. But essentially the same odd behaviors, but such opposite perceptions. A paradox, if you will.

But the ultimate danger, of course, is that a person like me – a long relationship person – mistakenly connects with a short relationship person, without recognizing it. In other words, maybe those inner dimensions needed to be visible, so that the long-relationship person – or LRP, if you like TLAs – recognizes that s/he has other goals, and doesn’t get too attached. People fall in love, regularly, with my player friends, and they let it go on, and encourage it, because to them, it’s not so serious. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes serious to the LRP (and I could tell you some funny crazed stories, but that would detract from my point).

Maybe we really all do need Tooth-guy’s questionnaire, just to protect ourselves?

On that note, I'm going to go run errands and clear my head. It’s beautiful here today, and I could use the sunshine. Why don’t you grab a sip of that tea you keep by the monitor while I'm gone.

Hi, back now. Did you miss me? I went out to get gas for my car, get a car wash, grab lunch, and a cup of coffee.

The line at Pete’s was too long for me, so I bailed out. The local Pete’s is a road bike stopping place – you know, the kind with pedals, not my kind of bike. Anyway, I apparently timed my trip just wrong, and got there right at the turn – there were dozens of people in funny shoes there walking like elongated ducks, in spandex.

// Now there’s an image – ducks in spandex – I wonder where that came from? Some Howard the Duck reference, perhaps? And I don’t think the clip-in bike shoes actually make one waddle like a duck, although it does make one move awkwardly. //

The car wash is one of those drive through ones, at a gas station? You know, the ones where you pull in, and stop on that metal thing, and the wash moves around you. Then, when it’s done, you drive forward, into the blowers, which dry your car. The problem is that people always pull in behind you – as some dude in a gas-guzzling monster SUV did to me – which means you have to go through the drier too fast, and you get spots on your car as it dries. Grump. We can fix this by teaching people not to race into the carwash. But that seems unlikely. We could also add a sensor to the drier, so that it knows when there’s a car there (it may already), and don’t let the carwash restart while the blower is going. Regardless, it annoys me and generally messes up my chi. Darn it.

I got Chinese for lunch. From one of those Chinese food fast food chains, I can’t remember the name. Anyway, although it’s packed with salt and other badness, there are a couple of things I can eat there, and it is a big treat for me. I usually get it when I'm bummed or so, to help cheer myself up. Yummy, and always pushes me into a better state of mind. Your mileage may vary, of course.

And I can’t quite eat the food from there, so I will be a bit sick later. But what the heck, right?

After all, I refuse to tiptoe through life, only to arrive unscathed at death. This assertion comes to you from ReaperWear, the official clothing line of Team JR. Don’t be the last one on your block to have ReaperWear original clothing or apparel! Buy early and buy often (

Ok, back to my content. I try to follow this flippant aphorism in my life, for real.

I'm better at it in my physical life – I don’t take stupid risks, but I try to do things that make me feel alive – than I am in my emotional life. In my physical life, I like to do sports, ride motorcycles, sit in the sun, go to concerts, and cheer for random sports teams.

And the same should apply in my emotional life, right? I should get the same thrill out of pushing my boundaries there, too, don’t you think?

But I'm not so great at the emotional part. I keep things inside a lot, I don’t engage in discussions sometimes, I just let things go. I don’t know how to change, as relationships change around me, sometimes, and rather than really digging in and sorting it out, as a team, I opt out. Everything changes, including us. I don’t hate change as much as some people in my life, but I appreciate slow change in my emotional life the most. So different from my intellectual life, where I thrive on change.

// Yikes, I'm one misstep away from talking about emotional intelligence. Must change subject, NOW! //

I am an introvert at heart, more comfortable with the Internet and the blogosphere than I am with meatspace. So, for me, the boundaries relate to being open with people, open to opportunities to be close to people, open in general.

I guess this post, and my blog in general, counts as part of my boundarylesness, n’est-ce pas, mes amis?

Thanks for riding with me!