Sunday, September 09, 2007

Family Ties

Email and phone call from Blind Date Guy. I haven't returned either, as I am trying to carefully consider what is called for. What is the etiquette? Hell, if not etiquette, what is the right thing to do? I thought about what I would want to have happen if I had, what I believed to be,a promising date with someone I was interested in, but that person wasn't terribly interested in me. On one hand, I would probably want him to give me a second chance, as sometimes, the mood just isn't right on a given night, right? On the other hand, if he felt as I do - not just ambivalent, but fairly confident that the chemistry isn't there, I wouldn't want him to waste my time or energy.

Going with the idea of telling him "no thanks," I have no idea what or how to say it. Do you do it via email? That seems so cowardly, but then again, this was one goddamn date. It would certainly be more awkward to do it on the phone or in person, but it seems more.....classy and straightforward. I don't owe him anything beyond common courtesy, I suppose, but I don't want to embarrass him, either. Even after just one date, I don't know that I would want to look at someone I was interested in and have him tell me that he just isn't that into me.

Then, there is the third option of trying to build a new friendship with this guy. That still requires some conversation about not being romantically inclined and seems fraught with the possibility of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I had a friend in college who I knew had romantic feelings towards me and, like many college-aged girls, I sort of strung him along (sort of). Shitty, shitty thing to do, and not something I intend to do now.

I guess the fourth option is to cop out and tell him the quasi-truth: that I am just not ready to date at the moment. This could lead to the proverbial friend status, which could get awkward if I subsequently decide I am ready to date, just not him.

This is why I don't want to date. And probably why Al Gore invented email.

I hate that a big part of the reason I am not into him is that he isn't as verbal and (oh, this is cringeworthy) quick-witted as I am. I like to play off other people's wit and have fast and fun conversations. I made him laugh quite a bit last night and he kept saying "God, you are so charming" It reminded me of a conversation I had with my sister last week, when she said I could "out-personality" her every time. I was completely gobsmacked, as I routinely say that Kelly can outshine me under the table when we're both in a room. I never thought of it as a competition - just reality. As an aside, it is such a paradox that she is painfully shy in most social settings, yet in a room where she is comfortable, she can light it up like a Christmas tree.

Come to think of it, that is how all of the siblings are. I would describe all of us as unabashed extroverts and capable of assimilating into any social situation (particularly with the right amount of alcohol). You sort of develop that skill when you move every two years. There is a shared fearlessness about us that is rarer than I realized. Not afraid to make asses out of ourselves, not afraid to fuck up, not afraid of strangers, and not afraid to walk away from a bad situation with our heads held high. I think we have a collective self-confidence that assures us that no matter the mistakes we have made, each of us are good - no, fantastic - human beings on most days. We are a fiercely loyal foursome - to each other, to our family, and to the friends we all have. We forgive transgressions fairly easily and we aren't cruel to anyone.

My parents - and my extended family, which shares the same characteristics -- we are the most real family I know. No subject is off-limits (again, with the right amount of alcohol), no sins are beyond forgiveness, and everyone really tries to do right by each other and by the world.

Which, incoherently, brings me back to wanting to do the right thing with Blind Date Guy. Tying two subjects together (again, incomprehensibly) is that I will never again be with someone who cannot roll with my family. It is the ultimate litmus test for me and one I will surely not ignore again. In the early days, B has some skills, but he never embraced my family the way they were willing to embrace mine. MRE only met the boys and performed ably, but he was clearly out of his element. Blind Date Guy wouldn't last an hour with us before becoming supremely uncomfortable. Writer Guy, on the other hand?


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