I wrote this about a year ago, but I’ve been in a couple of situations lately that reminded me of this, so I’m recycling it.
I’ve been really interested in social networking sites lately. I took a class on it at an event last weekend, I’ve been looking around several of them, with some personal goals in mind.
Because of that, and because I’ve been online for so many years – I got my first real computer back in the early 1980’s, I’ve been on the Internet in some form or another since the early 1990’s, I’ve looked at what seems like a million other sites.
I looked at a couple of new ones today and what I was struck by, as I always am when I venture into the vanilla web, is just how different I am, how different I feel than others apparently must. I went to a site today and filled out one the millionth questionaire, and some of the questions strike me as though they were meant for a Martian moreso than they were meant for me.
They ask so many questions about trust, questions that are clearly based on NOT trusting your significant other. If your partner has to go out of town and spends the night at the house of a friend you know he finds attractive, do you worry? No, because I trust him. If I didn’t, he wouldn’t be my partner.
If you had a fling with someone else, would you lie to your partner or rush home and brag about it? Neither, really. I’d tell him, most likely before the fling began that it was at least an option, but I’d not rush home to gloat about it, either. I don’t think it’s a contest, and I shouldn’t be gloating because I won somehow.
I signed up with Yahoo years ago and now I get regular listings of people who meet my criteria. In Yahoo’s mind, this appears to be based purely on gender. They’re men. Clearly, that’s the only criteria a woman should have, right? That my potential match requires merely the complimentary genital formation to my own is alarming enough, but then, if I’m bored, sometimes I’ll open a few and look and what I find is even more worrisome.
All men on Yahoo, in my experience, are “Good guys looking for good girls.” Honestly, I am not a “good” girl nor do I aspire to be one and I’m not really interested in “good” guys, either.
I want smart and interesting and fun guys, good is damning by faint praise in my book.
They all want to be “friends first.” Doesn’t that go without saying? It makes a great scene in a sit com on TV when the lead characters start out clashing, leading to a shouting match, ending in – come on now, you know the ending – a passionate embrace followed by implied sex.
I don’t know about you, but I never had a shouting match with anyone that ended in sex. Don’t 99% of your relationships start out with some kind of friendship?
I can look at 35 profiles and never find a single profile that even piques my interest, or, maybe more to the point, whose interest I think I would pique. I could send them all notes and half of them, when they found out I was “a dominatrix,” would assure me that they’d love to give it a try, that’s really hot, that’s great, that’s ok.
That’s because they think I’m only going to be that way in bed, up to the point that they like it. I know that when I won’t allow them to watch football or wear that ugly underwear or make them change the message on their voice mail because I find it tiresome, they’re going to find the whole dominatrix thing not really that appealing after all.
I spend so much of my time in the company of people who know about me and share my interests, values and lifestyle that I often forget that I don’t really fit in very well when I venture out.
We went to a family function a while back and my mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law were chatting about what tv shows they watched. Situation comedies, reality shows, shows about straight people – in every sense of the word – who have kids and unspecified jobs in offices with far more lax dress codes for the women than any actual office I ever worked in.f there are gays in the scene, they’re the quirky friend.
They kept naming shows and asking me if I watched them, none of which I did. So they asked me what TV shows I did watch. “Dexter,” I said. “That’s the one about the sociopathic serial killer who’s a blood-spatter expert. We really love that show…” I get the feeling we might not be asked to babysit until that memory fades.
I tell myself that most of the time I like being different, but maybe that’s not true. Maybe the real truth is, I spend so much time with people who are more like me than not that I don’t feel too different most of the time.
There are moments when, sitting in a group like that one, I feel very much like an observer, someone sent down to observe the “normal” folk. Like a clever alien, I learn to either ape their behavior or more often simply keep my mouth shut, laugh when it seems everyone else is laughing, and think about that different drummer, the one I must apparently hear in the distance, the one who sets my feet marching off, restlessly.