i once met a man who (within days of meeting me) had read every public word i had ever posted on either of my blogs and who then decided that he knew me. it seemed that no matter what i said or did he could not get past the words i had written in the years before him.
his reading of my words caused him to stop seeing the real live woman in front of him. he started telling me what i was thinking and arguing with me when i informed him that he wasn’t actually reading me correctly.
he had somehow missed one of the essentials of the blogging phenomenon; that blogging is essentially a past tense activity, that posts tend to deal with completed thought processes. very few of the posts that i’ve written were current. almost always they were oblique references to the patterns in my life but very rarely were they questions.
well, rhetorical questions and wishes to the universe on occasion but not really looking for direction. often looking for input and an increased understanding through the eyes of others but rarely a plea for someone else to do my thinking or make my decisions for me.
sometimes when people meet me they see what i look like and immediately project a personality on to my cheekbones that has nothing to do with the woman in front of them.
they make assumptions about who i am and who i will be in their lives that have everything to do with their desires and very little to do with actual me. it never ceases to amaze me the things some people will say to me with an utterly straight face.
i remember one man telling me, when i commented bittersweetly about the unlikelihood of my dna being propagated, that he would give me babies as long as i was hot like i am. so of course i commented that after having said babies my body would likely look pretty different whereupon he felt okay saying that that was okay since he was a trainer and he would put me back together.
this, by the way, many months after he had blown his any chance with me by being a putz. he assumed that i wanted to go out with him again even though he hadn’t even bothered asking. it was as though my wants weren’t relevant because he had decide the universe meant us to be.
he felt comfortable telling me he wanted to find an alley and ravish me before ever ascertaining my willingness to romanticize him.
i wondered if my feelings or needs were relevant to anything in his world.
telling me that you know what i’m thinking (obviously if you’re joking around it’s not the same thing) and never bothering to even wonder if i might actually disagree with you? my own sentiments not relevant or worth pursuing or even hearing?
how does that happen?
i know that not everyone has been raised to consider the effects of their actions on other people. i see it even with simple things like the rules of the road. no one is considerate anymore when they drive and suddenly the world is a less pleasant place.
so if we stop looking at our effect on the world, if we stop caring about any needs but our own, don’t we then get to a place where others thoughts become irrelevant?
the very fact that you need me to be a certain way for you means that i will be because that’s what you want and in this world we are raised to believe that we can have anything we want. that we can do anything we want and the consequences be dammed.
this has affected my life in so many ways both profound and inane. from the man who knew me better than i knew myself because he read some completed thoughts on a blog to the man who loved me on sight to the man who believed that because he felt blissful when he was around me and i didn’t return the favour that i must be evil incarnate to the women who hated my guts for what? i still don’t know.
by the end of those and many other such interactions i have come to a point of great caution and slow moving approaches. i wait now and watch and see if they react to me or to imaginary me. if they care what i’m thinking rather than telling me.
if their assumptions are correct and continue to improve or if instead they seem less and less relevant to our actual interactions. if they approach situations with positive or negative expectations and if they think and want the best for themselves and for me… and they don’t assume THEY know best for me even if they want to share their ideas with me.
and yet then i consider the people i’ve tried to suggest things for and my response when they haven’t followed my suggestions and i just hope that i am more gracious. i like to believe that i would only ever get upset with folks disregarding my advice IF they didn’t even consider it.
if they simply shot me down without ever listening i think i might perhaps have been belligerent but if they listened and then responded with further discussion and the ideas evolved or they asked me to drop it i am fairly certain that i would let it go.
where does what you think someone needs or what you want to do for them become an imposition of your own desires? a doll making if you will.
at what point does help become oppression? where do you lose the clarity of vision and the ability to see the person in front of you rather than the filter of your own host of assumptions?
i don’t know, i just know i’m a little more leery of encouraging folks to read my *whole* blog.