Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Beginnings May 8, 2009

Filed under: Dating,Desire — datehazard @ 3:33 pm
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Well, it looks like I’ve started to date someone. He’s a camera technician who’s worked on a number of mainstream and arthouse movies. And I met him on e-Harmony, of all places. Perhaps it was elliptical harmony after all?

At this point, I’m not sure what’s happening between us; it’s all pretty new and barely a week old. So far what I can tell you is that we seem to be getting along really well. We have a lot of commonality in terms of our interests, and I find him quite compelling.

Which is a little odd, considering that my attention was completely on other people (The Poet, and the IT Guy). And that there are quite a few red flags that I have already encountered. When I met him, I was immediately put off by the fact that he is larger than he appeared in his photographs. Unlike that adage of the camera putting on pounds, this was quite the opposite. For a moment, I hesitated, considering turning around and pretending that I never saw him. But then he stood up and turned to face me. I smiled and stepped forward to shake his hand.

Date #2 included dinner, and, over dinner, a revelation that he was considering being a partner in a porno production. Yes. You read that right. That immediately made me think, “dealbreaker, of course.” I listened with a mix of curiosity and resignation, heard him tell me with embarrassment that this is not the kind of thing he generally does, and thought about what it might be like if I were in his position. I thought to myself, “well, at least he’s honest and forthcoming,” and appreciated the conversation for what it was. He told me more of the details of the production, and to be honest, it doesn’t sound as though it will proceed. There are too many roadblocks, not the least of which is the fact that the other principals seem more interested in living double lives, or carrying out some kind of fantasy, than in actually following through on a solid business plan. If this is his idea of getting rich quick (which seemed like his approach), I think he’s in for a few surprises. But he’s also no dummy. He pointed out these very issues and I could see that he was wrestling with the project on more than a few fronts, including the societal dilemma being in this kind of a position poses.

I’m not quite sure what compelled me to go on another date with him. It was entirely my suggestion that we go to Coney Island, and it was entirely a spur-of-the-moment decision. If it hadn’t been sunny that day; if I hadn’t been bored; if he hadn’t happened to pick up his phone; if he didn’t feel necessarily inclined, we would not have met. And we would not have embarked on this strange and curious relationship.

It’s uncharted territory for me. Once again.

And I’m still not sure how this will turn out. But I’m oddly not really worried. At this point I can take it or leave it. I know it won’t always be like this, but I also know that expecting disaster around every turn hasn’t helped me in the past: that approach has neither averted disaster, nor guaranteed happiness. Nor has the approach of embracing randomness and chance guaranteed or approximated any measure of reliable success, for that matter. But at least the latter approach has allowed for a more intriguing life: one that allows for possibilities and meaningful interactions.

Even if it might all blow up in the end.


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.