I think it was Frasier Crane who said, about Diane and after years of reflection, “I am reasonably sure she is not the devil.”
Maybe Jerry Seinfeld said it better: “I really think they’re happy if you at least make an effort.”
I do that. I remember scenes. Language. Dialogue.
I wish my French was better because the scene from Chinatown is the best ever. I was trying to stop someone from getting hurt and I ended up making sure she was hurt.
Here’s another way to put it. “Every time I see you falling. I get down on my knees and pray. I’m waiting for that final moment…” I always thought it was knees and cry. “I do admit that if I hurt someone else then I’ll never see just what we were meant to be.” (That last part is a little murky.)
Obsessed with hurting others, online? Get over yourself.
It is the first mutual breakup in history. All I could think of was two things: narcissism and looking at things from the other person’s point of view. I am a narcissist, but at least I realize it.
It had to be the highest OK Cupid match ever (97/3). I look at my inbox and she has three different screen names. I’m in the public view and can’t post a picture. That couldn’t be true because they are there and always changing.
She dug up two email addresses of mine. I actually thought the phone would start ringing. I finally had to ask, please don’t email me at 4 AM. “What did she do,” a friend asked. “She waits until six,” I said.
Once, on one of her private-plane junkets to Mexico–no, that was Hawaii–I sarcastically suggested she send me a postcard. She read my address back to me. It was fine. There were precedents.
Raised entirely among women, how can you look at things from the perspective of a young boy who may not be able to express himself? The daughter (first divorce) is failing out of college in her senior year because of the divorce, the ex-husband, her brothers, and the custody fight. But you have no affect at all. I can’t bear to listen–and you didn’t understand why anyone would want to–much less be a part of it.
And then, in my mind, it got really nasty. Lifetime movies?
“Here’s the thing,” she said, staring up at the ceiling. “When I get divorced I will only have custody 50% of the time. I will have every other week for you.”
From what I can figure she is an amazing woman, and she is doing everything conceivable to stem the tide. But something is wrong.
How bad can it be when she is 480 (air) miles away? How deeply do you have to be involved? How badly can anyone get hurt?
It was fantastic. Obviously it was something less than entirely satisfying… But it was consensual!
“How many times did she text you,” the police will ask.
“643” I will say, although I actually have no idea.
“And how many times did you email her?”
The soundbites, the quotes, and even the scenes are priceless. There is no reason in the world to forget them. I’m sorry about the king bed at Caesar’s Palace thing. And the airline ticket. Still, the field was a good idea.
And it was perfect for two people more into themselves than anything else. That is why it went on for so long. You can go about your normal life and no one will be the wiser. You can pretend that someone desirable wants you. But you really shouldn’t go around talking about your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Here’s an update for the probably deceased writers at Seinfeld:
Jerry: How many times can you call or text a woman after she says not to call?
Jerry: Do you know what you are talking about or are you just making it up?
George: I know what I am talking about.
Jerry: Restraining order?
George: Of course.
Have you ever tried to stop a person from reading a website? It is nearly impossible. And it just doesn’t make sense, hiding in public. You could buy their ISP, or phone company, but even that wouldn’t guarantee it. Same with blocking numbers, or even saying things like over or this is the last time. Online dating is full of rants and raves, complete ignorance, and ugly moods. I think you are better off seeking closure in other ways. I once knew a woman who was still receiving texts from someone a year after nothing happened. (In retrospect, maybe she did reply. And perhaps something did happen.)
And that is the problem with online dating. Closure. There is no closure because everyone’s afraid live up to it, to admit their personal feelings, or even admit they did it. (EDIT–All that’s the norm. But this way you can hide more easily. And you can do it again.) Certainly don’t blame it on the website or anyone else. Definitely, never let it change you.
More wisdom from Seinfeld: How long have you been “seeing” her? “I don’t know. Since the last one.”
“I don’t know, Africa I guess. But you don’t have to go back that far.” That is my all-time favorite. It is referring to where one of us is from. Actually, we’re both from Michigan.
“Do you have a health problem besides stubborness?” That was a good one too.
How many hours do you have to wait before posting a text to someone on your blog? 48.
I think that is the problem with narcissism and online dating–it is more or less self perpetuating. If I could remember a quote about the word “date” as a vicious trap, I would put it here. You know, one where they are together and then the man really wants to be together. Maybe he can find a way. Maybe he will pursue it even harder.
I was on OKC for the first time in a long time yesterday. I have many suitors. Ha! Anyway, yet another picture of you popped-up. You are attractive! You have a distinctive smile.
I think when you tell someone “You treat people like crap,” more than once, and you mean it, it is not a good thing. Still, I’ve debated for a while, I wanted to send you a THINK sample. I suppose I could find it, but I don’t have your address. It wasn’t great, but I think it, and you, are worth remembering. And even keeping in touch with. That is not a sentence.
I liked that, at the end, we were finally communicating. I don’t like being yelled at, but finally you were expressing yourself. I never wanted to hear what your lawyers, or your ex, (or, wasn’t I even getting input from your friends along the way?) had to say. I wanted to know about the life you wanted to create, and the man you wanted to be with, and the place you wanted to live in… And we never got there.
Remember that one paragraph in my profile? It begins with “And here is the oddly controversial part…” I was never looking for a date. It has to be more.
I know you tried. I am pretty sure you try at everything. I am even intrigued by your efforts–your solution–to “read law,” as they used to say.
I hope and trust this finds you well, no great!
Love and kisses, (just kidding)
EDIT: My only regret is the “just kidding” part.
This was the toughest part not to say: enculturation, and “I built that house” in Bozeman, Montana. It is hard when everyone tells you what you want to hear.
Okay, I got it. At least I am zeroing in.
Why did I go through this?
One, I wanted to see if she has stabilized. Sorry, low blow. It will be the last time. I wanted to see if we could be friends, maybe keep in touch, without further expectations. That was the only really tough part, the possibilities and expectations.
Two, I wanted to remember the good things about her. There is no way I would have done it that long if there wasn’t something I really liked. That’s a problem with online dating–people aren’t real good at expressing why. It is more like, you should like me, because I’m here.
Last, I wanted to move on from my archaic profile and write a new one. I would like to think, over several years–this one didn’t go on that long–I have progressed somehow.
Then it came to me, our last text exchange. I finally got the big black diesel back on the road and began to resume that part of my life. I sent her a nice picture of mountains, aspen trees and, I don’t remember, I think my foot was in it. She was always really nice and responsive–except for the devil thing–and within hours I received an energetic Hi and picture of her hike… In Arizona with her daughter. Then, in follow-up, it is great, she is coming here for six weeks, and…
Wish you were here was never an option–for either of us. It will take a long time to penetrate, or become a part of that. I am going to need a little help. And, there will be times when I am going to want to reach you as well. (This was a bit of a bookmark.)
I could say it is like receiving trinkets in the mail from China but that would be the world’s worst analogy. Everyone–or at least I sure do–likes cheerful good mornings and fun, back and forth banter with a super-sharp and attractive person. Ditto. I mean, maybe she does too. I don’t have those kind of joys, or at times obstacles–kids–in my life. It just made me feel left out, and it made her seem even more distant… Not unattainable because that sounds possessive. It made her seem irrational and it made the whole thing seem impossible.
It is weird because, as I wanted to get back in the game, I really started thinking about this. I was terrified and afraid to get involved. (Involved is another of those really bad words because there really are 19 million shades of it in online dating.) The kids, and the travel, and the energy and the busyness are fantastic. Think of a person without any of those and it becomes a real conundrum. I wish there was an easier way.
* * *
Narcissism – I think we all know a little bit about it, or at least we have heard the word. It is not necessarily about ego, bragging, or greed. At it core, or a simple definition, it is seeing the world through your own eyes more than most people. That alone is not harmful.
It is a very long list. Everything fits the pattern. I think it is serious.
Lack of empathy – “Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another being (a human or non-human animal) is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.”
“Three of the top five psychologists in Montana are working for me,” she said. Twice. That is a strange thing to say. Before that there was a lot of talk of psychological evaluations.
For me it is a monstrous lesson. It appears to be circular, as if feeding on itself. And it is just like addiction: if you do not admit it, it can be very harmful.
Conclusions, even subjects are cheap.
But learnings, they are maybe a little more compact. Emails and texts could be hard to interpret. EDIT: My emails and texts may be hard to interpret. Maybe they’re just from someone happy, confident, who is saying what they feel. If you know me, there is also probably something of a reason, or thought too; I can likely explain it and it is not bad. It probably isn’t a personal attack. Yes, my emails may be jibberish, and there are other ways (to communicate) also.
Here there always was this culture clash. Clashes is a better word. Insert quote here by Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham: The world is meant for people without self-realization. (not exact.) And I am not a professor or intellectual or psychologist and I have no desire to be one.
Still, at the same time, you should never have to say “I wish I didn’t know that.”
There are still two crossed-out sentences here. The hardest part was to not be nasty. There are still probably signs. Anyway, that is a really bad part of narcissism.
By the last time I called it had already become a farce, but there was still something strong enough there to make me want to do it. Mine was a happy call to say hi and announce that I am going to lose 25 pounds. Catching her in Hawaii surfing, after lessons with a personal trainer, for a long-time trip to Australia to see her daughter, was not a good idea.
Have you ever looked-up the difference between “terrified” and “petrified?” I honestly did not know the exact definition of the word: