10 Things I Still Don’t Understand…(Part 1)

New Start 2010, photography by Diedré M Blake

Okay, there are many aspects of life that I sincerely do not understand and perhaps will never make an attempt to do so.  This list is, however, focused on two areas of interest to me: relationships and modernity (and really how the two come together or not).

      1. Text messaging etiquette… No, really.  What is a good amount of time to wait for a response? Or better yet, how much time can I wait before giving a response?  Eric Charles, I know you know already-Honestly, I’ve read the articles in my inbox.  No one, however, seems to be following the same rules on this issue.
      2. Modern dating… Yeah, I am starting to feel like I am from the age of the Flinstones.  Yes, I am that old (in some people’s minds).  What happened to a simple thing like, “Do you like me, yes or no?” You know, stated or written, or carved in stone…  Now it’s all evasive text messaging, Facebooking, and whatever-else that is happening to be out there these days.
      3. Men… On personal relationship level. Enough said.  Next.
      4. Women… At least, on a personal relationship level, when it comes to dating men.  No, I really don’t know what happens to the minds of women that seems sometimes to become so sadomasochistic (more maso- than sado-) when confronted with the possibility (and perhaps not probability) of a romantic relationship.  It’s like the temptation to hit the either “Self-destruct” button OR the “Annihilation” button (sometimes both) becomes too great.

      5. Love… I remember watching movies like The Princess Bride, and thinking, Oh, how romantic that someone so wonderful and good-looking can come into your life and do everything to be with you!  Yeah, I bought into the Disney version of the fairy tales too and even thought myself a Princess Charming at different points (and probably was to some people).  I probably was a frog too and never quite changed into what was expected after being kissed… Ahem.

Anyway, the point is that we supposedly meet someone and for some reason or another we “click” with them or are (dreaded word) “into” each other… and then we imagine ourselves skipping happily off into the future together.

I mean, this is not a belief held only by girls or boys, teenagers and young adults.  Plenty of adults and elders still hold on to this idea of the “happily ever after.”  And honestly, I don’t get it.  What really is happily ever after?  Is it happily protected from facing the reality of the person with whom you are spending time, because you are both holding up your masks still… showing your best selves?

And then, once the masks fall (because they inevitably will), suddenly will one or both of you fall out of love too?

The reality is that we tend to expose and place into the hands of the person receiving our love our very vulnerable selves…  It is this vulnerable part that suffers the consequences of our pretense of “happily ever after.”

———–

You’ve got my whole world in your hands

I’ve had to put my whole world in your hands

I’m gonna put my whole world in your hands

I’ve had to put my whole world in your hands

Charlie Winston (In Your Hands)

To put this all together:  Here’s what I don’t understand.  I don’t understand a world in which men and women get together without even really speaking with each other and use text messaging as a method of making dates and expressing feelings, even to the point of beginning and ending relationships.

So many people I have met recently have told me about being broken up with via text.  No phone call,  No email.  No face-to-face meeting.  Perhaps not even full sentences.  This is the text-speech land of love that we are in now.

The “nice tm w u b4. gd lk. bye.” world

… and we are told to accept it.  That it is okay that we no longer give each other the decency to meet face to face to part ways…  What???  Hence, I am beginning to feel a bit old.

———–

You see, I still like to write letters.  I hate to talk on the phone and prefer to meet in person.  I rarely watch television or listen to the radio and am certainly not “hip” (yes, I wrote “hip”) to what is going on out there in the world unless I am told by a friend.  I like myself this way.  I am a pretty relaxed person as a result of my decision to be the way that I am.  My relationship with technology extends to checking email, because I have to and writing my blog, because I love to.  I go on Facebook, because I wish to be connected to my family and friends as I live far away from many of them and I can make new connections through social networks.

So, I am not saying “Down with Technology!”  What I am asking is “What is happening to us that we should choose to live in avoidance of each other?”  We speak of globalization and so much connection.

Yet still, I see people spending more time being disconnected while being in the physical presence of their fellow human beings, because they are too connected to their technological playmates in the shapes of iPads, iPods, BlackBerry’s, and whatever else is out there…

Until next time!

Best,

D.

P.S. A small disclaimer: I am a bit obsessed with the music of Charlie Winston at the moment.  😉

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7 thoughts on “10 Things I Still Don’t Understand…(Part 1)

  1. Eric says:

    Hey, thanks for the shout out.

    The funny thing about texting is that somehow we’ve given it way too much significance…

    It’s the fast food of communication – and the average guy isn’t typically one to drop everything for it.

    If it’s urgent or time sensitive… call.

    If it’s not, think of texts as something someone responds to when the time is good for them.

    Less than glamorous answer, but… it’s the truth. 😉

    Take care and happy 2012.

  2. BOB says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Diedré…

    As idealistic as I once was, I’ve now come to realise that modern society is advancing to the detriment of human relationships (platonic, sexual and romantic). Combined with disillusionment, human interaction is becoming even more challenging (and those “technological playmates” aren’t helping matters for sure). Sod Apple! 🙂

    As for your comments about women hitting the “self-destruct” or “annihilation” button, thank you so much for admitting this. Most women would vehemently deny this, while verbally lobotomising the man who dared to ‘cross the line’. PC gone mad? You be the judge…

    Which brings me to the following question: why are people (especially women) afraid of facing up to themselves and how they treat others? Insecurities and emotional scars can only go so far as ‘plausible excuses’. When did the human race suddenly became so weak and fragile?

    Btw, I used to write poems for some of my exes (but only when I felt inspired to). I can’t recall an occasion when any of them appreciated – with comments ranging from “That’s a little too heavy’ to “Are you sure you didn’t write this for someone else and decided to recycle it?”

    Romance?! Pfff…

    P.S. Text messages are fine, as long as there’s a balance between this and phoning / face-to-face interaction.

    • Diedré Blake says:

      Thank you so very much, Bob, for sharing your thoughts! I am truly appreciative not only because you decided to share your thoughts, but also because of the depth of your response.

      Two things: “Sod Apple!” and “verbally lobotomising” made my morning! 😉

      Yes, there seems to be a great fear in confronting the reality of ourselves and how we treat others–after all, why give up living in the pseudo-reality coded by 1s and 0s, in which pain inflicted on self and others is erroneously perceived as having less impact?

      Sometimes it appears to me that as we delve more into understanding the human psyche and create labels for behavioural and mental states, it provides for some a type of “shield” against accepting responsibility for present and future actions. I think this is where your statement “insecurities and emotional scars can only go so far…” would fit in. This is the “I had to stand you up for our date, because my mother once forgot to pick me up from school” folks.

        It is unforunate, because there are actually people who struggle daily with mental health issues that they work hard to overcome, regardless if these issues are organically and/or neurotically based.

      These people are trying not to make excuses for the harm they cause to others and to themselves, but are working hard to address their difficulties.

      I do not know if we are “weak and fragile” or that we have become so. I believe we perhaps perceive ourselves to be so in the face of human relationships… now our relationship with technology is a whole other subject. 😉

      I can dig anyone who writes poetry for any reason. I will say that I don’t write for anyone else though… I think I am a bit (ahem, a lot) selfish. I write about people, whom I have loved or rather the people who have flowed into and out of my life and their impact on me. So, whether or not I share my writing with them… and whether or not they appreciate it is not so important to me. 😉

      Thanks so very much again for writing.

      Best regards,
      D.

  3. BOB says:

    Please allow me to add a few more points:

    I think you really hit the nail on the head, with regards to those with mental health issues (which I believe ties back in with my comment about being “weak and fragile”). As you said, some are constantly struggling to reach (or maintain) a degree of psychological and/or emotional stability and yet many ‘sane individuals’ (and I’m deliberately using inverted commas because I do sometimes wonder!) are brushing their ‘issues’ under the carpet in the name of self-denial. Those individuals you mentioned may be ‘clinically ill’ but they’ve got more of a backbone from where I’m standing. And whether or not this is through choice, at least they are being proactive about it.

    It’s not easy looking into yourself or actively wrestling with your inner demons but we all have them to a certain degree. Improving who we are (especially from a mental, emotional and spiritual perspective) should always be a work in progress. I strongly believe in cause and effect and, although it’s impossible to interact with others without ever hurting anyone unintentionally, we should always be aware of the ripple effect (or the consequences of our actions) and strive to stem the flow. Easier said than done but if you can’t help yourself…

    The line about being stood up really made me chuckle!

    As for the poetry, I’m selfish about it too! Btw, I use the term ‘poetry’ loosely, as I prefer to be more direct than abstract about what is expressed in this literary form. However, being a man, you always feel that your intentions are constantly under scrutiny (especially during the first few weeks… should they not hit the ‘self-destruct button’ before things really get off the ground). I only write if I feel compelled to (in other words, there has to be more to it than physical or sensual nirvana to re-ignite one’s creative juices) and even then it’s usually in secrecy. But occasionally, you’d like to share these thoughts with your ‘muse’ as a gesture of reassurance or just out of foolish romanticism.

    Probably only 25% of what I’ve written has been presented to the apple of my eye at the time, probably another 25% never had the opportunity to be shared (because the ‘self-destruct button’ was by then firmly wedged in the user panel) and the remaining 50% was always intended to remain a secret.

    So, I’ve never looked for an audience and, like you, certainly have no need for one – it’s just an artistic impulse that requires to be satisfied every once in a while. But it would have been touching if at least one of those exes actually grasped what I was trying to do or say. After all, the last time I checked, these relationships weren’t just solely about fumbling around and booty calls…

    Great blog, btw! 😉

    • Diedré Blake says:

      Of course! Always feel free to post your thoughts. I do really appreciate knowing your reaction to my words as well as your own understanding on the topic at hand. Also, I simply have to put that I love the line “the last time I checked, these relationships weren’t just solely about fumbling around and booty calls…” There is something about the “fumbling around…” that just makes me smile.

      Yes, I imagine that you are right that the intentions of men can be perceived as being under constant scrutiny. After all, look at the litany of literature, especially in pop culture, that is devoted to helping women understand how men think, what men want, why men act as they do, where men spend their time, when men will devote themselves to one woman 😉

      I agree too that there can be an impulse to want to share your writing with your “muse of the moment.” 😉 Over the years, however, I have found myself less inclined to do so. I would be more inclined to share my writing with the general public rather than to say specifically to the person I care about (I am often into unrequited love) “I have written this for you.”

      Thank you so very much once again for taking the time to share your thoughts with me and also to express your pleasure in reading my blog! Again, it means a great deal to me.

      Best,

      D.

  4. BOB says:

    “…when men will devote themselves to one woman.” LOL! Well, what can I say apart from some men are less ‘primitive’ than others and, regardless of this, it’s all Mother Nature’s fault anyway (mother… feminine… she… :-P) Ha, ha!

    I totally agree with you about the poems – I burn them straight after I finish composing them…

    NOT! 🙂

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