Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The pursuit of friendship

One thing I'm still struggling to understand is friendship, perhaps particularly the nature of friendships between men and women. I use the terms 'men' and 'women' because children don't seem to have any trouble whatsoever making and keeping friends. It's only as we age that all our issues seem to get in the way. These voices in our head interfere, we second guess things...friendship gets difficult.

However it's also in the growing that adds the layer that seems to interfere the most, and I have no illusion that this is a new topic. The largest problem with men and women being friends is that sex seems to get in the way.

Although I often hate when people start throwing around the term 'daddy issues' to explain why a woman is doing something they don't approve of, I have my own daddy issues. The thing is, as I've gotten older, I don't deal with this problem by putting my body on display or trying to get sexual attention from men. Turns out I deal with it by trying to find guys who will like me in a nonsexual way. I find these guys who have a sense of humor that I love, and seem like decent friends, and for a while we have a pretty awesome friendship.

The pattern seems to be, though, that they're single guys. This may be partly due to my age, and the age of the people I tend to socialize with. If you're not single, you have kids and not a lot of time for socialization. If you are single, you're trying to settle down. As a result, the last string of guy friends I've had have basically fallen off the map once they've gotten serious with a girlfriend.

You're probably starting to ask yourself where my female friends are. I have them. Several, actually. Say what you will, but there is an inherent difference in the nature of female-female friendships. That's just not where I'm focusing this post on.

One friend that I lost in a particularly painful turn, was under the belief that I had blamed his girlfriend for the end of our friendship. That actually wasn't the case at all, but rather I blamed the fact that he had a girlfriend as part of the problem. You have to be careful with the semantics in this sort of discussion, but in essence, it seemed that once he had a girlfriend, he had little use for a female friend. Having no peek inside the head of these friends, I really don't know the truth. But the pattern seems to fit and to repeat itself. Correlation isn't causation, so perhaps I'm just likable in the short term...or people have forgotten how to have long-term friendships...or the barometer changed...

I can't stop my mind from wondering, though. I'm an analyzer. A dissecter. And I need to know WHY. This flies in the face of the Buddhist lessons I read through, but it's in my nature, so often I fall back into it in times of stress. So I start to wonder...was there ever a platonic friendship? Was I a safe placeholder, since I'm married and off the market? I tend to think of these guys as brothers, but it turns out I'm a disposable friend. Given that my father treated me and most of my half-siblings (and our respective mothers) as though we were disposable, this cuts me to the core.

I'm probably too old to not have had this lesson sink in. Or to even still be worrying about needing friends. I don't think we ever outgrow the need to be social, though.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The evolution of a blog

By the way, if you're a long-time reader of this blog, you're likely going to notice a change in direction. I won't be writing nearly as much about my life as a LEOW. I still belong to that 'club' but I got away from blogging from that slant. It's not the only thing that defines me, although I will probably still write about it from time to time. I moved it to the back burner and it dried out back there. It's kind of a raisin now.

If you're a new reader, welcome! You might be from Twitter. If you haven't figured it out...I'm a cop's wife. If I've given you this link, I probably trust that you are worthy of reading a lot more about my life than I've divulged on Twitter. I hope that doesn't drive you away...I'm quite proud of this life. In my previous twitter incarnation I wasn't comfortable sharing these details with the masses but I think you've seen a paradigm shift if you've been following me for any length of time.

Anyway, glad to have you along for the ride.


I have been on the internet long enough that it's becoming harder and harder for me to truly stay anonymous. There aren't a lot of details about myself that I am reticent to share, but let's be honest...some times there are things that are better left unsaid in certain circles. Your family doesn't want to know about your sex life. Your boss probably shouldn't be privy to your wild vacation escapades. Even your closest friends probably don't want to know that you pick your nose while IMing them.

Today a bigot-troll attempted to bait me on almost worked. I made reference to some 4chan attempt at making "bikini bridge" a thing. I won't link to it, but basically it's the new 'thigh gap' other words, some absurd anorexic-inducing beauty ideal. It may even be some sort of prank or inside joke. I don't really know or care to investigate or attempt to understand 4chan. All I know is I can't keep up with them.

Anyway, a friend of mine cautioned me not to interact with the troll, as the profile seemed to indicate a truly creepy personality. No 'selfie' pictures, 'fat is ugly' comments, and white supremacist/extremist talk.  It occurred to me that it must be easy to act that way under the guise of anonymity, but I believe that as 'drunk words are sober thoughts', so too that words spoken from behind a curtain are probably more honest than not. What I'm saying is that people are more true to themselves when they wear a mask, and there's currently no greater mask than a fake social media account.

On my drive home I realized that, although I prefer to keep my accounts separated from my work life, at least I'm not hiding anything truly despicable. And for that, I'm thankful.