Intimacy (9)

I'll start with a story, one that is a thousand percent true. I'm planning a trip next month to visit some dear friends in Chicago. They just got married (yeah)! We started talking about what to do while I was there and I jokingly said, "find me a date and we can double, she doesn't have to love me forever, just for one night." And I was being serious. What was said back to me was, "OK, but you need to talk! The last time we tried to set you up, you didn't talk." Then last night, after hanging up the phone at around 1:30 in the morning, I said to myself, "wait, you can talk, you just did!" Today, I sit here, and I wonder to myself what the difference is. Why can I pick up the phone and talk for hours to someone I barely know and then placed in another scenario, clam up and barely speak at all. And I'm starting to get it sorted out. And I think it has to do with being intimate. What is intimacy? Well, thanks to the Internet, I get a head start.
in·ti·mate (nt-mt) adj.
1. Marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity.
2. Relating to or indicative of one's deepest nature: intimate prayers.
3. Essential; innermost: the intimate structure of matter.
4. Marked by informality and privacy: an intimate nightclub.
5. Very personal; private: an intimate letter.
6. Of or involved in a sexual relationship.
So what does this mean? I'll skip the sexual definition, that's an area of intimacy that I know nothing about. It's been over three years and the 3 seconds I would last would be more like the movie American Pie than anywhere close to intimate. Stop laughing, I understand that statement was too much information (TMI), we can talk about that another day. You can call me pathetic if you want, and I will politely, with passion, tell you to go eff yourself (which could be intimate for you). So let's talk about what being intimate really is and try to figure out why this applies to all kinds of relationships and why there are times when I cannot talk. From the definitions, three words stand out the most.

Close. Personal. Essential.

First, what does close mean. Close is not just a physical thing, it's more than just saying that we are near each other. It means that we can connect. I get you. You get me. We can be close on different levels, for instance, we could be close in our political views, we share the same beliefs, the same theories. In this scenario, we may also be a battleground state and completely disagree on religion. At the end of the day, we are still being intimate with each other because it is personal. It really starts to become all about opening up. Being personal. I am certainly a person that has walls I put up for some people. I don't want to let them in, but for some reason, I need them. I also have a blanket fort (not my idea for an analogy, but it works) and as long as we play nice together, you are more than welcome to come in. On some days, you may be in my blanket fort, others, you may be on the other side of my wall. However, once you are inside, we can share deep dark secrets because at that point, I've accepted you and trust you to be intimate with me. As for those other days when there is  an eight foot thick wall between us, I'll just toss over a note if I need you. Lastly, it's essential to be intimate. You may be one that is intimate with a favorite author, you are close to their words, their writing affects you personally. It could be intangibles, I'm intimate with discovering ways to teach children how to think and reason. No matter how you chose to have it, it is absolutely essential that you have intimacy in your life. Intimacy changes though. For example, I have been intimate with a software product. We were really close. I even slept with the code, literally, I fell asleep one night working with the code. I could tell you how every wheel turned inside. We were close. And since I was also passionate about it, it was essential that I stayed so close. Over time, we grew apart, she changed, I got bored and moved on. But! We still stay in touch, and she allows me to be in her blanket fort sometimes, I just can't spend the night any more. It's OK for intimacy to change, we are not stagnant creatures, we evolve as I am doing here. I'm stepping back and wondering who and what I wan't to share my intimacy with. And maybe it's just for a little bit of time, maybe it's forever. One way or another, it's there, I cannot escape it. So how does this all go back to my scenario of being able to talk to some people like we've been friends forever and others I just cannot talk to? It is forced intimacy. Maybe I take things too seriously. If I sit down for dinner with you on a date, I expect that date will be intimate (No, I'm not talking about that kind of intimate), but in all seriousness, it "should" be intimate. And that kind of scares me. I am all of the sudden completely speechless. There is this hampster in my head that just stops spinning the wheel. He gets scared. Maybe my hampster should instead run like hell! A few years ago I ran into an old high school classmate. Yeah, I'll admit, I did have a crush on her then, but we are all grown up now and I got past that. The point is, though, that we went out to dinner. We ate, had a few glasses of wine and we talked. As I drove home that night, I thought about our dinner. It's hard to describe, but as we sat there, every thing else just seemed to fade away, there was no one else at the restaurant, there were no wars going on, no one was starving, it was just the two of us, enjoying each other, being intimate. Those moments where the "rest" of the world goes fuzzy, yeah, that's intimate. That night, I could talk, and I did, and she did, and we still do, but I was in a situation where I knew the outcome, we would have dinner, we would go home and we would chat another day. We were just two friends hanging out. So then I started thinking maybe it's the unknown that I'm scared of. In the case where I was on a date, I did not know what the outcome was going to be. Would we run off and get married? Would we have a huge fight? I didn't know! And I had the expectation that the evening should be intimate as we started to learn about each other. In the case where I was out with a friend, I knew exactly what was happening, we were eating, we had a great time and we will probably (and did) do it again. Not knowing what the outcome of a situation or a relationship is going to be, not knowing if you are, or should be intimate, well that absolutely scares the shit out of me. I need to learn how to believe (next time). Cheers my friends.  

Dear Fibromy-Awesome

I've never met you, but I read you. Your writings have made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes. Tonight, I sit, awake and alive, reading "It's Snowing In New York." I stopped reading at the title and... 1. Wondered if I would wake my roommate 2. Having hours ago put on the PJ's, then 3. Traded the PJ's for jeans and a t-shirt 4. Fumbled to find shoes and fumbled again to tie them in the dark 5. Wrapped a scarf around my neck 6. Slipped into to my coat 7. Didn't care that my hair would turn a mess-put on a hat 8. Quietly unlocked and opened the door 9. To slip away, outside, to the city 10. On the small ray of hope that it is snowing in New York And when I returned to my room, having not yet found the snow, I shivered in the mystery, then read the rest of your words. You made the snow a possibility, in all it's truth and glory. And added some deepness behind it all. Perfect crystalline objects... New York would love you! Keep writing, be strong!

When wine was opened

Random senseless morning thinking about interactions with day to day objects. 1. Which came first, the cork or the cork screw? Maybe it was a bunch of wanna be alcoholics staring at a bottle of wine in 1768 wondering how they were going to get drunk. 2. What would be the point of having a screwdriver before you had screws? Maybe to open paint cans or pry open a treasure chest full of gold coins. 3. The infamous red Solo cup and the Dixie cup made for cheap beer and cheap wine, respectively, getting red necks drunk on a daily basis. 4. Canning jars were not meant to preserve food, but rather to show off a collection of mid-summer night fireflies and promote good clean fun for children everywhere. 5. Easy Cheese is just disgusting, as is squeezable yogurt. There are just reasons some things should not be transformed into a squeezable/spray-able form. What's next Easy Beef? Squeeze broccoli? 6. What did people drink coffee from before there were coffee cups? Technically, shouldn't any cup you put coffee in be called a coffee cup? Why are there so many types of cups and glasses? I would have a lot less dishes to wash if all beverages tasted the same in a 16oz tumbler, unfortunately, my brain tells me that wine does indeed taste better in a Riedel glass appropriate for a certain type of wine (see #3). 7. 3D TV, hmmm, I think this is Big Brother trying to lessen the distance in our minds between reality and make believe - the next phase in the master plan of total mind control. One day soon we will all be slaves to the government. 8. The MP3 player, the e-Reader and the smart phone prevent people from having real live conversations in public places. Come ride the PATH train with me if you don't believe me.  Stuff 200 people into a small space and you may get one conversation in a 30 minute period. Everyone is heads down engaged in some sort of media interaction (see #7), not people interaction. And we call ourselves social! 9. Makeup. There is physical beauty in everyone, I just don't get the purpose of painting over this with layers and layers of makeup (I am a sucker for F**k Me Red lipstick, though). 10. Why do we enjoy being scared? Horror movies! Aren't there enough scary things in life that we don't need artificial fear?

7 clicks to happiness

Facebook, today, decided to unleash a new user interface, and a lot of people are, well, they are pissed off!  An article I stumbled on just a few days ago commented that Facebook was getting ready to release a new front end and new services such as music and video in order to compete with Google+ after months of silence.  Well, that's great, I'm happy for them, but I'm not 100% sold on the Google+ interface yet, nor do I like the Twitter interface notifications that happen magically as my browser sits.  As a matter of fact, I don't care for anything in my browser window that refreshes or updates unless I tell it to.  Period.  Same goes for my phone.  So why change? 1. I like the new Lists feature, it was released a few days, maybe even a week, ago.  This answers Google+ Circles and the seems-to-be-dead Diaspora, but it's too cumbersome.  I now have lists on the left with numbers of unread posts in them, sometimes big numbers, and the only way to get rid of them is to click on the list, even if I have read the associated comment or post that this number is referring to. 2. Painful, it's like your kid that sits in the back seat of a car on a 12 hour trip and every 30 seconds says, "Are we there yet?" 3. The stock exchange ticker tape style thingy on the right top column, I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that my email won't replicate as fast as it used to on a slow hotel connection.  I don't like instant coffee, I don't NEED instant Facebook 4. And this little bugger, , is the most unreliable notification thingy I think I've ever experienced - but that's been going on for some time, and now, to think we got the ticker tape (see #3), do I really expect performance to be better? 5. Ah, performance, do you know how long it took me to "Check In" this evening from my phone with a decent signal?  27 minutes before FB Android App recognized I was in NYC @ Kellarney Rose.  It only took 20 seconds on Monday from the SAME seat.  My email replicated today before I could even get a list of "Nearby Places" on FB 6. SLOW, too many requests going on to update this and update that 7. Clutter.  Makes me feel like I'm in Vegas being bombarded with a million pamphlets for adult entertainment/escort services at every corner (and then some) 8. The fact that some stuff scrolls and some stuff doesn't is annoying 9. I get change, I do.  It is needed, but change for the right reasons, not just to be like the other guys.  Change for what your people need, not what you think they need. 10. Would 750 million and growing still be sticking with it if you sucked? I really think you need to add this to the site (can't promise browser compatibility with HTML marquee): Mowracer just shared a link: 7 clicks to happiness

If I were a new york pigeon

I would be the master of the sidewalk, the follower of the food truck, the windshield crapping champion, the wing flapping winner, the head pecking perfectionist. 1. I would ruffle my tail feathers in the latest fashions 2. I would find the hottest joints to get crumbs for dinner 3. I would drink top shelf puddles 4. I would be stealth and ninja like in my movements to avoid the human foot traffic 5. I would Tweet at every food truck I visited 7. I would not bother carrying an umbrella, my species do not typically melt in the rain 8. I would fly south for the winter, well, I would take a plane, no need to wear out the wings 9. I would be the go to bird for honing in on free Wi-Fi hot spots 10. I would just be a pigeon, the best damn pigeon I could, in a city of millions

Your digits, thoughts on subtle change

If you are thinking that I’m going to start talking about privacy, you are way off; I will actually digress to high school. I recall giving my phone number to a select few in school, even fewer in college. I remember getting my first cell phone, a Motorola StarTac and freely giving my phone number out. Those days were prefaced with handing out my pager number and I would return your call from a landline when I found one. The story was always the same, though - “847-xxxx.” I made a phone call the other day to schedule an eye doctor appointment; they asked me to verify my phone number and reminded me to bring in my insurance card. That same evening, I called the magic pizza car (pizza delivery) to order dinner. Later, again, the same evening, I sent my phone number in a message to a friend on FaceBook who wanted to talk. Next, I was thinking about when I was in the grocery store the other day, and I forgot my “Ima Frequent Shopper” card, so I entered my phone number on the key pad in place of the card. In the same manner, at an electronics store a week ago, I entered my phone number to retrieve my information for an extended warranty. I get my haircut and to check in at the front desk, I provide my phone number. The story has changed now, “919-710-xxxx.” So I have a phone number now, and I had one then, that’s great, so what’s the point? The point is the subtle change that happened without much controversy. In all of the examples that I have just described, I have been conversing and collaborating with individuals locally, we are all in the same area code. I was giving out my phone number then, just as I do now. The subtle change is the addition of three little digits. These days, when I reveal my phone number, it is always prefaced with an area code. I have never complained during this almost transparent change of wasting energy to speak three extra numbers. In fact, I really cannot recall when this change happened. I do remember many years ago, the news would highlight that 10-digit dialing would become necessary, but never do I recall seeing headlines like “Woman divorces husband over 10 digit phone number” or “Senator withholding the truth, only reveals 7 digits.” What really happened is that adoption of the telephone had exceeded the expectations of the infrastructure, we started running out of phone numbers; hence area codes started to become a little more important. Sure, you can still make calls locally dialing 7 digits, in some areas, but what happens if you are out of town and dial a contact from your cell phone? You are reminded by a sweet sounding operator (recording) reminding you that you need to dial an area code to reach this number. I have never yelled at her, I simply hang up and re-dial. What I noticed is that over time, I have started storing all contacts in my phone using a 10-digit format. The important thing here, though, is not the number of digits you will dial or the fact that there was an infrastructure “upgrade” needed, it is about how the consumers adapt to the change. In the end, it was the people that had to change; or not use the telephone.