Thursday, June 17, 2021

Conversations

 


A while back, someone asked me not to mention our conversations.  For the most part, I have complied with this person's request.  Yet, the underlying issues we discussed go unresolved.  Today, I feel that we will sever the last link between us in the near future.  If that happens, I plan to discuss what I've kept under wraps only for courtesy reasons.

But enough of that for now.

One of the reasons I am concerned about conversations with women I've dated is to see if there is a natural give and take between the two parties.  I could never live with someone like TCL, as she runs on at the mouth sometimes, and rarely gives way to let the other person speak.  Women like FH are opinionated, and are not that open minded.  My former cruise partner appeared to be open minded until I screwed up our friendship, and then her true views started to come out.  As much as you can't judge a book by its cover, you can judge the quality of a person by the quality of conversation he/she is able to make.

There are many qualities of conversation.  For example, people feel most comfortable when chat flows easily, and that any "challenge" is within acceptable levels.  For example, guys bantering around talking sports may argue whether Babe Ruth or Willie Mays was the greatest baseball player.  (For the record, I say Babe Ruth is the greatest "all around" ball player, as he could pitch as well as he could hit.  If he stayed a pitcher, he likely would have achieved his place in Cooperstown on his pitching record alone.)  But when a person feels that he/she is out of his/her league, then things get awkward.

Friendly conversation does not come natural to me.  I do not have the social skills which attract many people.  Is it body language, conversation topics, or intensity of conversation?  That I'll likely never know. The one time I mentioned this issue to my former therapist, he dismissed it, focusing on my issues with food.  (He was an alcoholic in recovery, and saw everything life through that one lens.  I knew that there was much more to life than focusing on my food addiction, and was secretly glad when this man retired.) If I could live my life over, I'd have gone into therapy at an early adult age, focused on getting more education, looked for ways to develop my social skills, and looked for mentors to help me in my career growth.

My ex girlfriend's dinner group (the one she fought so hard to keep me out of) consists of a lot of single people.  So far, I've seen 3 of the regulars show up in my dating feeds.  Obviously, we wouldn't be good matches.  It would have been interesting had I been able to go there (in either of my modes) when my ex wasn't in attendance. That's water under the bridge, and I hope she's happy with the results of her campaign.  As for me, I'm living in the present and focusing on having nice chats with people from other groups.  At least in these groups, I've been made to feel welcome.

Will I ever be able to have a conversational style that makes me able to have a good chat with almost anyone?  I doubt it.  But it's a nice goal to have....


Monday, June 14, 2021

Sometimes, I look back and shudder....

 

One of the issues I've had along my life's journey is what happens after I reveal my authentic self to a person.  Does the person run away?  Does the person show disgust?  Does the person take things as a simple matter of fact?  Or, does that person keep his/her real feelings quiet until the bubble of civility is burst by a dispute?

I told two women I once dated with very different results.  One relationship lasted several years before I found out that she was hiding her real feelings about me.  The other lasted only a couple of dates, as she couldn't deal with the TG part of my nature.  For the most part, it's an albatross around my neck that I have to deal with.

Sometimes, when angry, people's real feelings come out, as in the case of FH.  And though a friend told me that I should contact FH to give her some closure, I haven't done so yet.  She may be thinking that our argument was just a simple argument that people normally have.  But I feel that her total lack of respect for me soured any feelings I might have had for her.  As a result, she can read into my lack of communication what she will. 

With one former friend, I'll never be able to make an appropriate apology to her, nor will I ever be able to demonstrate my bona fides to her.  Such is life.  I have lost too many people in my life because I have given them cause to go away.  Sometimes, I'm glad to get rid of someone.  WDJ is a perfect example of this.  She never demonstrated real friendship.  And her last communication with me was confusing at best.

My true friends and loves accept me for who I am, regardless of how I present myself that day.  I guess that in the end, my ex girlfriend never really loved me, as I was a transitional relationship between a separation and a divorce.  Unlike FH, I never even had the courtesy of having a healthy argument during the relationship, where important problems could be aired out.  If I could have given her some advice, I'd have told her read this article:  5 pieces of incredibly honest dating advice.  Specifically, I'd refer her to the section labeled: "Would you be friends with this individual if you weren’t physically attracted to them?"  If someone doesn't meet the requirements for being a friend, why date that person?  And if you can't be a friend to a person, how can you love that person with a love that will last?

So this gets me to talking directly about myself.  In the past, I chose people as friends out of an emotional deficit.  When one grows up without friends, one will accept "substandard" friendships and relationships as a way of making do.  As I've gotten older, I've inadvertently pushed many relationships in this category away.  Could this have been subconscious?  Who knows?  But I never wanted to push one ex girlfriend away, even though neither of us could imagine a future together.  At least, I can now focus on finding a relationship with someone who cares about the whole of me, and not just a preconceived image of what a partner is supposed to be. 

Do I recoil from some of the things I did in the past?  Yes.  I never meant to hurt anyone.  But do I regret anything?  Only those things that hurt people without cause.  That one former friend in a prior paragraph is one of those I regret hurting.  But that's water under the bridge.

 

 

 

   .....

Sunday, June 13, 2021

A tale of 3 dummy lights.

 

 
 (Dummy light in Canajoharie, NY)

Dummy lights are an anomaly in traffic control.  By modern standards, they are relatively unsafe.  They usually interfere with traffic flow, often being the indirect cause of many accidents.  Yet, three of these lights survive in New York State.  This is my tale of the three lights.

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(Dummy light in Croton, NY)

 
The Croton dummy light is very familiar to me, as I live in this town.  Unlike most dummy lights, it is not in the middle of the intersection.  Instead, it's off to the side, and tends NOT to interfere with traffic flow.  

I find it amazing that this light has survived so long.  Yet, keeping this light makes more sense than replacing it.  Installing a newer style of traffic control would ruin the character of the village, as the dummy light would need to be replaced by one (or more) hanging street light(s) whose supports would ruin the appearance of the intersection AND might make it even more dangerous.

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(Dummy light in Beacon, NY)

Like Croton's dummy light, Beacon's light also is an anomaly.  It does not interfere with traffic flow.  And, like Croton's light, adds to the character of the part of town in which it resides.  I've eaten at several restaurants in walking distance of this light, and consider it something that the town should preserve at all costs.

When I first came to the Hudson Valley, Beacon was a dump.  Thirty years later, it is one of those places that New York City residents have fallen in love with and have planted the seeds for its gentrification.  Of course, gentrification has resulted in problems for many long time residents of the valley - they can no longer afford to live here.  

I first started visiting Beacon on a regular basis when I first started going out as Marian.  First, I went to a game night meetup being held by a woman trying to draw new business to her restaurant.  (This meetup has since been disbanded, but that's another tale covered in my previous blog.)  Then, I attended a woman's meetup group for a while. This gave me needed practice going out as Marian, and gave me the confidence that I could live in the outside world as my authentic self.  (It's hard to believe that my ex girlfriend once attended this group, as she needed a ride from me to get back to her car being repaired the next day.) Eventually, this group died when the owner of the restaurant where we usually met decided to shut down the restaurant and to eventually move out of the region.

 - - - - - -

 


(Dummy light in Canajoharie, NY)

On Mother's day, I decided to take a drive up to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.  It was more of an excuse to get out of the house and distract myself from the boredom that has permeated my life for the past 18 months or so.   While on my trip (as Mario), I ended up seeing the one remaining dummy light in Canajoharie, NY on my way home from the HOF.

There was no reason for me to be in Canajoharie this day.  If I had a better internal road map of the area, I would not have even bothered being near this place.  But I saw a sign telling me that I could reach Route I-90 (New York Thruway) from a given road, and I made the mistake of taking that road as the rain was starting to pour.

Canajoharie is a town that time left behind.  The most notable part of the town is a large factory that shut down years ago, leaving the town with no reason for being.  And when I drove through the town, I became glad that I live in the Hudson Valley, a region which is undergoing a rebirth.

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Dummy lights are anomalies - just like me.  I'm glad that I've seen all three of these curiosities, as I expect that some law enacted in the future will cause them to be removed.  We will be losing something important when that this eventually happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...