Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Atomization April 13, 2009

Filed under: Dating,Not about dating — datehazard @ 11:36 am
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The subject on my mind today is probably more of a general observation. My life is atomized right now: spread out, so many molecules hanging suspended in the air.

I am aware of moments, but not of trends, and not of movement.

It’s not an unpleasant state to be in, this existence.

Especially in the crisp spring air, on a bright sunny day.


Strength in retreat April 8, 2009

The reason for the (comparative) long silence has been mainly because I’ve largely given up on dating as a strategy or a game. My general lack of being impressed with the interactions I’ve had lately has meant that I’ve taken to focussing on my work and on just living my life.

Until recently, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be back in NYC past the summer, especially since there had been some shake-ups at work. I’d assumed that I hadn’t made the cut, since I’m so new here. As I’d prepared my résumé and sent out some tentative job applications, I became convinced that I’d have to leave. As it so often turns out in my life, the day I told my roommate that I’d no longer be here past June was the same day I received a contract renewal. So it looks like I’ll be back here through December 2009 at least.

That means that I have to ramp up my research work in general and have some commitments to fulfill. Which meant a shift in focus away from dating to thinking through my next career steps. Hence the quiet.

And to be honest, I’d needed a break from so much emotional upheaval as well. It was, frankly, getting tedious. And tiring.

At the moment, there is a poet I’ve been communicating with, but we’re seeing if we can be friends at the moment. We met at a party and hit it off, having one of the best conversations I’d had in a long time. We met again this week to go to a weekly arts-related event that I generally attend on my own. We didn’t have quite such the great time again, but I feel like I’m getting a better sense of him as a person, which is always a good thing. It’s too early to say right now whether there is any spark or any possibility of having this go beyond anything but a platonic friendship, but I’m really enjoying this kind of interaction.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to do internet dating, I think. There’s always that pressure: that proverbial elephant in the room, precariously cramped on a stool in the corner, trying to be unobtrusive. No matter how friendly one gets (and perhaps particularly when one DOES get along with one’s date), it always seems the dating question is at the fore. It’s never about just getting to know someone, slowly, organically. Because we happen to attend the same kinds of events and like the same kinds of things. Instead, we “happen” to meet because we “happen” to employ a search engine that “organically” selects each of us for the other, based on stated qualifications and needs and wants. That thrill of discovery; that spark of initial interest; that ember of romance that comes from meeting someone in the flesh and randomly finding out mutual interests and passions, isn’t included. And so dating becomes an interview process: a series of trials and eliminations.


I love this woman. March 20, 2009

Just the other day, Grad Student and I had a talk about mentoring. He said that one of the problems today was that men simply didn’t have male figures who would take a young man aside and set him straight. I said that’s the same of women in general, too — that in a culture of youth, where an older woman is expected to compete with a younger one for sexual and economic favours, older women simply don’t view younger women as protégés, but as competition. And so mentorship, which was a key part of navigating society not so long ago (in the age of guilds and apprenticeships), has fallen away. And the world, in my opinion, has become just a little meaner, a little harder, for everyone. Old people deserve a soft place to land. And they deserve to be listened to, after a lifetime of hard knocks. Why does the next generation always think we can do things better if we don’t listen to the previous one?

My students insist that an embracing of sexual access is a demonstration of female empowerment. It’s Third-Wave Feminism, they say; it’s New Age Feminism. I remain increasingly skeptical. If a woman is able to make a lot of money by using her body, that’s fine; but we are definitely not in an age where that kind of work is considered generally socially acceptable. No one introduces themselves as a “stripper” or “prostitute” or “escort” to someone else’s parents, or friends, or strangers, with the same kind of pride as someone who says that they are a CEO or an executive VP, or a financial analyst. Until we get to that point, saying we are living in an age of Third Wave Feminism or post-feminism is so much wishful thinking.

I also had a conversation with my roommate yesterday, and he was talking about corporate greed. He remarked on that familiar statement that Corporations, and thus, CEOs and Boards of Directors, are sociopaths. And he stated, “you know, people need to understand that buying into the American dream of making money, regardless of consequence, negatively impacts everyone. People need to make this kind of behaviour unacceptable: this outsourcing of labour and creation of new slavery, raping of the environment, and generally that sense of entitlement: ‘I’m getting mine, so I must be good, and screw you guys’ is what is screwing us all over.”

I’d like to agree with him, but I pointed out that if I were honest with myself, I would most likely grab the brass ring too, given the opportunity, and figure my karma could be worked out later. Greed and self-interest are powerful motivators, and unless there are absolutely no rewards for monetary gain, I don’t see how we can avoid having people who exploit, manipulate, and capitalize (pun intended) on the system in place.

And I think that’s why I love Michelle Obama’s statement: it doesn’t chastise or restrict, but encourages what could be a concurrent practice — you can be greedy, but you also have a responsibility to pull up the next person behind you. Not a bad idea for thinking about how to practice ethics.


Corporate Lawyer got laid off March 12, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Exes,Not about dating — datehazard @ 11:34 am
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I don’t even know how to start this post. Corporate Lawyer texted me that he just got laid off.

There’s really nothing intelligent or helpful I can say in response to that. I asked if he wanted to meet up tomorrow, if not this evening.


A recurring anxiety

Filed under: Not about dating — datehazard @ 8:33 am
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Something strange happens when the room is quiet around me and I’m content with my thoughts. It doesn’t happen every time — only occasionally.

I’ll be sitting quietly, thinking about something, or nothing in particular, and I’ll have a vivid memory of a loud explosion, and a sensation of hitting my head, hard, against pavement. It makes my heart race and my mouth have that distinct metallic taste of fear. It’ll take a few moments to return to calmness. Nothing around me has changed, and that sensation of ringing in my ears and a violent jarring slowly fades away.

I know it’s my body remembering a concussion I sustained last summer, while riding my bike. I’d taken my new bike out for a test ride: nothing substantial, it was to be a ride just in front of the house. It was one of those few times I’d decided not to wear a helmet, since I was simply going to ride my bike once up and once down my street. It was late, I’d just returned from a long trip, and I was planning to ride the bike the next day on a circuit. So I thought I might as well try it out before riding it in the morning. Well, as accidents are wont to do, I ended up being thrown off rather violently from my bike, and landed on the road, knocking my head as I fell down. I was out for a few seconds, and awoke to the blurry image of my (then) boyfriend and a neighbour kneeling over me, asking me something. I couldn’t hear them for the loud ringing in my ears.

All I remembered of that moment leading up to the concussion was of an “oh, shit” silence, just when I knew I no longer had control of my bike and was going to fall (an almost peaceful emptiness, really). Then there was a LOUD explosion, a blinding flash of light, so bright I couldn’t see, followed by a deafening ringing. Then blackness. And then a gradual emergence from blackness, to a hazy, blurry state, but with the ringing intact. It took a few minutes for the noise to quieten so I could actually hear that my ex-boyfriend and my neighbour were asking me if I knew where I was, who I was, and was I ok?

I know there’s something about body memory, but I’d prefer mine to be chosen from a catalogue of incredibly lovely sensations, thank you very much, rather than this moment.