I feel like a flaming asshole for comparing the two dudes I saw at the party. I’m doing it less to make any kind of point about them and more to see for myself where my earliest judgments about people are proven true later.
My family is talking about moving constantly. It’s a huge focus of conversation and thought in our house. What is it going to mean to us? How is it going to work? No one thinks this house is long-term appropriate so moving is in the cards…
I am going to move somewhere and not have an entire back story with people. I will go to parties and not have a minimum of two former lovers in each room. It’s going to be… different. I depend a lot on the experiences I’ve had to decide if a person is safe or not. I’m going to throw out all of my hard earned experience and go start over.
Only I’m not really throwing it all away.
I’m thinking about the differences between the two men because I’m thinking about how to look for signals of appropriateness and compatibility in the future. Not for sex necessarily, but for friendship.
I like how God talks to me. Even though I was a very fucked up teenager who totally wanted to go there again after he realized that he didn’t want that kind of relationship with me he proceeded to enact healthy boundaries and stay my friend. He has never spoken to me disrespectfully in over 20 years of knowing one another. He’s not a braggart. He’s humble and giving and compassionate. His wife is a nice lady who has never boundary stomped with me and instead she is excruciatingly polite to me.
How do I look for people more like that in the future?
Well… for one thing when someone wants to sit me down to tell me how life is going and mostly I hear brags about how important they are at work… probably not going to be my kind of person.
It’s not that people are wrong for taking pride in their work. That’s totally ok. But if I’ve known you for a decade and we haven’t really talked in 3+ years and most of what I hear is that you are the only competent person at your job…
Mostly I’m going to hear that you don’t have a lot of respect for the people around you. Because in my experience most people who brag that they are the head of a department because no one else is competent… uhm… Hey… Dunning-Kruger…
I mean. I’m not saying that other dude is actually crappy at his job. I am not evaluating that in any way shape or form. But a complete lack of humility is a sign I probably won’t like someone.
And the fact that other dudes wife walked into the room and yelled, “AGAIN?! Don’t you know what causes that?!!”
Yeah. I know we had to go to the nice doctor who did the original vasectomy and get a reversal and then there was a whole process after that. Yup. I’m totally fucking aware of what causes my current condition.
And go fuck yourself.
Yes yes, you morally superior one and done people. I don’t give a flying fuck.
(I think it is fine for people to have one child. I think that it is obnoxious as fuck for someone to act like their choice is THE moral choice.)
When I had an issue with God’s parents… he stood up for me and did not allow them to verbally be rude to me. When I have issues with other dude’s family/wife… he just kind of looks down. Because he knows better than to sass the Head Bitch In Charge of his family… even as he snarks her and low level disrespects her constantly.
I want more people in my life who are consistent, respectful, and compassionate.
I don’t always pick poorly. Sometimes I manage to stumble across people who give me hope for my species.
It’s like my friend Y. A gal I’ve known since middle school. I visited her in Tennessee and I bought her the car. She’s generous, compassionate, and kind. Absolutely consistently across the board even when it isn’t easy for her.
I do have a good picker. Even though I doubt almost everything about myself and my ability to evaluate if people are good or not.
But then we get into serious asshole territory. I’m not actually evaluating if people are GOOD or BAD. I’m evaluating if they are compatible with me. I’m evaluating if they model the kinds of behavior patterns I want my children watching and emulating. I’m evaluating if they are people who will help me feel like there are people who want me alive and who care about me.
Not that my life should depend on the evaluation of anyone else. I know that’s fucked up.
But can I go find people who will treat me in a way I want to be treated? I’m a picky and demanding bitch. I’m also generous and compassionate and I’m quick to step up if someone needs help.
I like people who want to be the helpers instead of people who want to be told how cool they are.
And that doesn’t really make someone good or bad. But it does decide a lot about how compatible I will be with a given person.
There is a big piece of me that is fairly terrified of trying to build a new community. That sounds hard. But I think back to the people who joined the various communities after me. The people who bravely asserted themselves and created spaces that were uniquely *them* shaped.
I can do that. And if I can do it without feeling constantly haunted by all the rapists from my past… maybe it will even go better. It’s not that I will find a community free of rapists… such a place doesn’t exist… but maybe my avoidance won’t kick in for a while.
I don’t know.
I want to believe that I can go find new good people. I want to believe that I am capable of attracting people who will be good to and for me. Not attracting in the sex sense. Just in the friendship sense. Because in the long run, my friendship with God is what has made him so wonderful in my life. The hour we had sex…. well, it was fun… but that’s not what defines our relationship.
I am so grateful for the lessons I have been able to learn with the people I have been privileged to know.
But maybe it is time for some new lessons.