Saturday, September 25, 2010


Before I get into the post proper I have to introduce you to my favorite distraction this week -- Harley!! This pampered, persistent, preening pooch is my parents dog and we're puppy-sitting this week while they are on vacation. She's a great dog and we -- being dog people without a dog right now -- love having her around. That said, my parents are beyond insane when it comes to how she's taken care of. We are the only people on the planet they'll entrust her to and even then it's with the caveat that we are barely acceptable and that they are sincerely hoping we'll rise above our usual level of incompetence to adequately carry out their detailed (and in some cases absurd) instructions. Seriously, my mother demonstrated how to cut up her hot dog treats before she left. Last time she left a diagram demonstrating how to hide a pill in the hot dog.

Anywhoo, demanding as she is, we like having Her Highness around.

But to the title: Disengaged. I've been feeling a bit disengaged from the blogosphere for a few weeks. Every day I cruise my favorite blogs and read your stories but I find that I have nothing of value to contribute; and since I'm one of those who tries to say nothing when I have nothing to say, there haven't been any comments on your posts. I've regressed into lurker. That sucks. Seriously. And I also noticed that I've started skipping a few blogs that held my interest before.

So being the over-analytical type that I am I've been pondering this phenomenon. The first thing I asked myself is "Is it just the blogs or is this a trend across interactions e.g. other 'vanilla' blogs, Facebook, swinger sites, email, real life?"

The first thing that was very clear was that it applied to my vanilla blogs as well -- mainly news and political sites. I just don't want to read them right now. And if I really want to lose faith in my fellow man in general I read the comments after pretty much ANY political article. I really feel as is I'm living in the land of Dumbfuckistan. And it's not just the vitriolic content of what people are saying -- I'm cool with disagreement and differing points of view -- but the complete and utter contempt people have for correct communication is killing me. I've said before, I'm a word nerd -- punctuation matters, spelling matters, capitalization matters. And that's just the bare minimum. Tenses matter, verb-noun agreement matters. Shit! I'm no grammar Nazi (though my editor for my pro-work definitely falls in that category and I'm grateful for her anal-retentive nature) but I just don't want to engage people who can't fuckin' string a fuckin' sentence together!

I next observed my ennui applied to Facebook. With the exception of Vince, I pretty much work alone so Facebook provides the "office chatter" that most people take for granted. The perky exchange of views, the joke shared in the hall, the idle chit-chat that forms a community or culture. And I keep a pretty clean Facebook presence and by that I mean that I don't "friend" or accept requests from every Tom, Dick, or Harriette that crosses my path. But lately it seems there's more inane crap than I can stand. Honestly, do you have to let the world know when you're going to the grocery store?

But I have been enjoying a few IM chats with some old friends who live farther away and with whom I've recently reconnected. No surprise, they are pretty much all men. But it's fun and flirty and delightful and they make me laugh. There are a few ladies -- very few -- but I've discovered they are more like me; almost masculine in our communication and debate/discussion styles. You rarely see "OMG this is just awful!" comments and instead have a list of observations and verifiable, or at least debatable, facts followed by a conclusion.

So yeah, I've been kind of stepping out of the FB world too.

The swinger sites are also boring me a bit these days. When we first started this journey I read forums, profiles, and enjoyed looking at the photos and info found there. These days I might check them every few days but only to check for mail. I've tired of the tire kickers. Of sending out emails without even the courtesy of a response. Of finally meeting people and having everything go great ("Hey you guys are awesome/just our type/let's get together soon/etc.) only to have the couple flake out or worse, get weird.

A&J have become beyond a disappointment. They're the ones we'd given up on because they would send "let's get together sometime" emails then every time we invited them somewhere were unavailable. Then we didn't hear from them. Then we did but it was J (the husband) sending me texts asking for pics. Constantly. Now Vince would like to have someone send him pics too but he's a little more reticent to just ask but has recently gotten over that. So he sent A an text and she responded but only with very plain texts. Still no invites or indication that they want to get together OTHER than J saying we should do it "sometime."

Then we met a couple that seemed pretty cool, K&A, but they had a few red flags. Now they were both sexy, funny and friendly but they aren't married and have only been together two years. Okay, we can deal with that and our date night with them was a ton of fun. No play, but we all had a great time. This time, Vince sent an email through the site telling them we had a great time, would like to get to know them better, and invited them to text us if they wanted. He also added that if she (K) was interested, he loved seeing sexy photos. She sent back a very nicely worded email that she and A had decided they didn't want to text or email with only one half of the couple and she was sure he'd understand because he's "cool like that."

No problem, we get that and it seemed to make good sense for a new couple who were finding their way.

The next fucking day he gets a text from her with a very sexy pussy shot and a note that basically says she'd love to share pics but they'd have to do it on the hush-hush. In other words, she was doing it behind A's back. Fuck. Vince let her know that as much as it pained him to turn her down, if A wasn't cool with it then he'd have to wait until A was. That's too big of a red flag for us, the idea that she's willing to deceive her partner and draw Vince into being a co-conspirator in her deception. So K&A are off the list too.

We went to great meet and greet but being the dumb (and in my case slightly drunk) asses that we are, we didn't get the contact info for the one couple we hit it off with. We sent a note to the hosts who said they passed on our info but haven't heard back and probably won't.

We had a great date this past week with an awesome couple -- K&M! Funny, sexy, smart! She's is a model (I kid you not) and he is photographer. Furthermore, she's a country girl (like me) and he's a city boy (like Vince.) And it gets better, he's from Long Island and has the personality to match! He and Vince got along like peas in a pod. On the downside -- they live about four hours away. The only reason we got to meet was because we were in their area on business. So we left it with "let us know when you're in town" and maybe, just maybe, we'll see them again.

Sigh. Vince and I sucked at dating when we were single and it appears we haven't improved with age. So yeah, true to long ago form, I find myself disengaging from the "dating scene" because I can't seem to make it work. Sigh again.

In vanilla life we're losing friends left and right. The neighbors we hung out with moved away; the couple that used to host our regular card game did the same. My best friend moved an hour away but even though we have no trouble driving that far she now finds herself in the miasma that is taking care of an aging and unwell parent. Another friend is preparing for the arrival of his first child and will soon, at the age of 45, find his lifestyle has changed forever. The last two are the ones who I've known for 18 or so years; the people with whom the conversations can go from deep to absurd to inappropriate to silly to supportive in a matter of seconds. I need them. Or rather, I want people like them in my life.

So for mostly positive reasons, our current social circle is disengaging from us.

The bright spot, at least for me, has been the personal phone calls and emails with my new and old friends, vanillas and swingers/bloggers. I think what I want now is more depth and less breadth. I want to know some of you better and that takes the sort of time and removal of barriers that reveals more of the inner being. I want to explore with a few people what lies beyond "friendly acquaintance" or sexual attraction or even simply shared interest to genuine connection. I want to know if what appears to be budding friendship can survive getting to know one another or if we are no more than a mutual audience for each other's somewhat narcissistic ramblings.

Maybe that is asking a bit too much of others? Perhaps it is beyond my capabilities? But either way I think that is the essence of my disengagement -- wanting less of the surface and more of the substance.


  1. I think, for people like you and me who don't want to litter the world with words just because, it becomes harder and harder to participate when we see others who do just that. And while it may feel like disengaging, I think it is simply being true to yourself. You are not a person who collects people and calls them friends. You are not someone who can exist only on superficial connections. And you know what? I applaud you for knowing yourself well enough to say no more - and to take a step back and focus on the kinds of relationships you want in your life. I think that is to be commended. :)

    And personally (because I'm the same way), I think others should ask themselves why they are okay with the hundreds of people they call "friends" when they know very little about them really.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with the notion of substance over surface. But as someone with a pretty wide circle of "friends" online, some admittedly of the superficial variety, I have to say, isn't that how all friendships originate? The shrinking of the social circle could be viewed as nothing more than learning which of those friendships are worth nurturing, for whatever reason, and which are not.

    Nice to see you Harley, you look like a good dog!

  3. Sometimes I find I just need a little break from things. Sometimes a few days away is all you need to clear your head.

    And Harley looks so sweet.

  4. I think I've commented before that finding good people you really connect with is hard work. Not in that you need to put a lot of work into it, that probably makes you look needy and crazy and will drive off the very people you're looking for, but in that you gotta keep plugging away at it. When I'm feeling snarky Ithink most people are jerkoffs and not worth my time. When I'm feeling more generous I say most people just got different enough priorities? Life philosophies? Somethings, that simply make it a better idea for us to spend our precious time allotted with someone else. In either case, it's worth the time sifting through the chaff, cause the wheat you find, and the flour you grind and the dough you pound and errr uhmmm I'm not sure what I'm discussing here anymore?

    Anyhoo, it can be tiresome and frustrating, but it's better than the alternative I say.

    The dog looks too big to put in a stroller. That's a good sign :-)

  5. And just in quick response to Emmy, I don't know about everyone else, but I think everyone's got SOMETHING to offer me by knowing them, I just think what most people got to offer me anyway, is explored relatively quickly and doesn't require a deep friendship. Doesn't mean it isn't worth knowing them or maintaining a superficial friendship. Sure, I won't ask them
    For advice in moments of spiritual crisis or ask them to raise my kids if I die or nothing, but I still like them.

  6. Nothing wrong with taking a break.
    And I think you guys made the right move with the woman sending pics behind her partner's back.

    On a lighter note, your post about the care instructions for Harley made me giggle. It reminded me of the scene from "The Muppets Take Manhattan" where the guy drops his little dog off at the kennel with Rolf. Have you seen it? I tried to find a clip for you, but didn't have any luck. :)