Back right before I moved back to Maryland in 1992, I went to Borders for the first time. At the bookstore I found a new paperback by one of my then, favorite writers: Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. It was a series called The Death’s Gate Cycle and the first book is called Dragon Wing and the first book in a new series. It had just been released in paperback because the new one, Elven Star had been released in hard cover. So I spent a few bucks and bought it. It was amazing and the series became my all-time favorite.
My “Handle” on local BBS systems and online for the 90’s was “Haplo” who is the main character in the novels. When I started reading the books, I knew next to nothing about dogs and could not understand the relationship between Haplo and his dog. Now, I totally do and it adds to the affinity that I felt for this character and it is why we named my son “Haplo.”
At the time I chose the handle, I had just broken up with my then longest relationship. I chose it because in the book, Haplo is a Patryn and in the language of his people, his name means Alone or Single. I was alone and I was single. When my son was born, I thought he would be the only child I had, so the name was applicable to that at the time and now it is applicable because he is unique.
When my daughter was born, we chose the name Kethry for her since it was her mother’s favorite character from her favorite series of books, Vows and Honor by Mercedes Lackey. So both of my kids have names that are not run of the mill or likely to be encountered in their peer groups. Some of my really long time friends still call me “Haplo” which makes me smile.
So as of January, I embarked on a new path, that of being single again after a 12 year relationship. It’s been a journey because it was not my choice and in a lot of respects I was not given an option other then to deal with it. As I have come to accept the inevitability of the situation, I have also realized that a lot of people get desperate in this situation to replace the emptiness and pain they feel with a relationship and positive emotional attachments. The problem is that those attachments are usually short lived and the relationships sour rather quickly. So I am not sure I really want to jump in to that boat, especially because I have friendships with some amazing women that I would not want to lose by doing something so foolhardy.
If you follow me on Facebook (Hint! Hint!) then you probably know that I have been depressed about my situation for a few months and that I was feeling like every time there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it would turn out to be a freight train coming my way. Yes, I realize this is a Metallica reference but it so applies to my possession of a No Leaf Clover. Speaking of clovers, my Management professor asked us today “What do you get when you cross a four leaf clover with poison ivy? A rash of good luck. Yeah, I went there but you are still reading so what does that say about you?
So, the opportunity came up to “hook up” with someone and I was all in for it until I realized that it would not fill the void and it might ultimately hurt the girl involved. So I explained that I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. She seemed to understand but at the same time seems to be a little more distant then she was before. But, I feel better knowing that my actions while potentially causing her a little pain caused her less then a one night shag and didn’t give me redwood. That’s an inside joke with one of my Facebook friends that I threw in to see if they read my blog or not.
I have an amazing group of Facebook friends and as my Stripper friend says, I am a Facebook addict and hit the Facebook pipe like a crack addict. I am guilty as charged because what started out as a diversion from my current living situation has become an enjoyable interaction with friends and family that not only enriches my life but has helped mold me in to a better person. I have a friend who we will call McSteamy, I named him that after the doctor on Grey’s Anatomy who was a good friend with someone I went to High School with. McSteamy and I became friends when he was going through the end of his last marriage and what grew from just being the guy that I am has become an amazing friendship.
See, he flirts with women. All the time, but not in the sleazy, come on, kind of way. He does it in a way that makes the women feel good because he compliments them and they are genuine compliments. I joke about being his wingman because he is so Kelso Man Pretty that the women throwing themselves at him would be 10 or 11 on a 10 scale and their friends would be 8 or 9s which makes taking one for the team that much easier. It was a joke which made him laugh and smile, so that made me laugh and smile.
Back in January, I met a woman through Facebook and we began talking. I realized about an hour in to our first telephone call that I was attracted to her physically sure, but that I also just really liked the sound of her voice and the cadence she used when speaking. I told her that I liked her and how I felt, which may or may not have been a mistake. When I got really depressed a few weeks ago, I presented it to her in a way that caused her to get upset. My fault. And we stopped talking for a while. I wont go in to details, but I apologized and she said she would get back to me. So I waited and about a month went by when I gave up.
We still interacted via Facebook groups but not really on a personal level and I really missed that personal level because her friendship was something that made me feel good, not in a relationship sort of way but because she just made me feel important and special to her which I felt like I lacked in my real life. So it was sad for me and hard not to keep pestering her, but I did it because I didn’t want to earn the creepy, stalker title which seems to be so easily handed out online and especially on Facebook. I mean, I am an admitted Facebook Wall Creeper and hilariously enough, there is a music video from Jessica Frech, the girl who wrote the People Of Wal-Mart Video:
So about a week or so ago, she called me out of the blue and I almost missed the call because I had turned the ringer off on my phone while in class and had forgotten to turn it back on. I know, I know, I should setup Tasker Chris, but I am lazy. It just so happens I saw the screen go dark after the call got forwarded to voicemail and then looked when no Voicemail was left and called her back. She was reaching out to me because she wanted an honest, unbiased opinion on something that was going on in her life and turned to me. At first, I was not sure why she was calling and I was guarded. Then as she explained things to me, I was happy and excited that of everyone she knew that she chose me. I did a Happy Dance.
Over the past couple of weeks events have sort of gotten complicated in her life and among our mutual Facebook friends and she turned to me for support and to help her through this situation. The level of trust she showed me did not register at first, until she sent me a digital image to edit for her that had a bunch of personally identifiable information on it. I asked and she said that she trusted me. Keep in mind this was at the same time as a bunch of my Facebook friends were reaching out to tell me how awesome I was and that my Facebook activity enriched their lives. No shit. I was blown away. Socially inept me, has a bunch of random people scattered all over the world who thinks he is not only cool, but pretty awesome. That really does make me Happy Dance! Yes, I think Matt’s dancing is pretty awesome. Like his video, for me! It doesn’t cost you anything and it will make Matt smile! See how I think?
So let’s get back to this friend that I was talking about above. I am a dreamer and I have an awesome imagination. It is what makes me good at my job because I can envision the entire picture so to speak. So, I really do like this woman but at the same time I am a realist that makes me aware that friendship is more then likely all this will ever be. That doesn’t mean that it makes it easier to keep from acting in a manner that I feel might push us towards each other but I have to be careful not to since I am almost positive that this would work against me. The hardest part is not over analyzing things and to keep from acting in a way that would push her away because I know that I have done this in the past. It has cost me friendships and relationships that I miss dearly.
So I am in this weird spot because deep down there is a part of me that desires a real, in the person relationship with her but at the same time I am a realist and doubt that is possible. It is not that I am opposed to it, it is because I just do not see a logical path to get from where we are now to where I want to be. Meaning, I cannot control the course and often that is the hardest part for me. I hate not feeling like I am in control and having a plan to get what I want. So, I will just hold on to and cherish our friendship because she is such an awesome person while I try not to fuck it up by overthinking the situation.
She told me tonight that one day I would find that special person and have all that I imagined. So adapting my mental model to include that as an option doesn’t really make me feel better. It’s like the statement “There are Plenty Of Fish in the sea.” But I have been fishing that site and not even gotten a nibble, although something stole my bait quite a few times.