Sunday, January 9, 2011

Opening Scene: The Ego, The Id, and The Virgin

The depictions that follow are not based on real people but if they resemble anybody you know, keep it to yourself. For those of you who just joined my Blog Humbug series, these posts narrate my experience of being on a dating site but not using it for dating.

I try to hold myself to this principle of window shopping, but once in a while somebody comes along who piques my interest. When that happens, I wrestle my conscience to the ground until it screams 'give' and then go about trying to get to know someone despite the fact that I'm not ready for sex or a relationship.

About 6 months in, I contacted someone who declared himself to be a wallflower. His profile wasn't that well-written but that's generally the hallmark of someone who is honest and hasn't learned how to sell themselves to their target audience, at least on this site. At first glance, his humility appealed to me.

At that particular moment in time, I was recovering from an interaction with an Alpha Male I had conversed with on the site. In retrospect, the sting of feeling pushed around had subconsciously declared that it was time for the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction. "Let's try Beta Boy," said the Ego to the Id.

In my last post, I described my conditions for intimacy. The Triumverate represent my attempt to stave off lacklustre sex and empty relationships. The Virgin, as he shall henceforth be referred to in the most non-deragatory way possible despite my flippancy, seemed to have the je ne sais quoi I wanted in terms of Emotional Safety. I figured he wasn't going to twist my rubber arm since he was such a quiet, unobtrusive, humble type. Uh-huh.

I contacted him first, violating "The Rules" (as set out by some chicks in some book my mom had given me ages ago) and we got along great. There was a series of rapid fire, very long, very meaningful, very empathetic, very everything messages that titillated me with the possibility of this being a guy who understands me. "Oooh ahhh, he gets me," said an excited little voice. (The Ego was doing the talking here.)

After about two weeks or so of the ever-deepening daily conversations of him playing the part of an armchair therapist who delved into my psyche and me playing the part of the pseudopatient who was impressed by his uncanny psychological acuity, he revealed that he was a virgin.

Apparently, this had put some women off in the past. Of course, since we were getting along so fabulously, I thought to myself, "Ah, but they don't know him the way I do." (Again, this romanticized characterization of myself has since been attributed to the Ego although it prefers to cloak itself in denial.) Uh-huh.

Around this time, the plastic bubble with a rosy-coloured sheen that surrounds me and invariably allows me to form my initial, positive misconceptions about men who interest me started to shimmer and waver in some consideration of, "Does that mean he won't have sex with me?"

The happy response was "Thank God I won't have to keep him at arm's length because I can't get hurt if all we're doing is everything but." Uh-huh.

The inner dialogue really started to take off from here. I was faced with conflicting desires. Did you know it's been said that writing is a socially accepted form of schizophrenia? Since I have not yet successfully reconciled all the disparate parts of myself and they appear to have splintered into emotional states each with their own prejudices toward the other despite being in such close proximity, I thought this blog could be like one of those reunion shows on daytime television.

Y'know, the reunion show where everyone shows up, eyes one another suspiciously and sort of gets along until the camera is turned off during the commercials. The scene reopens with absolute chaos onstage like that infamous Geraldo episode (Yes, I am dating myself by making such an old reference, but I'm dating myself anyway so I might as well have at 'er.) That's exactly the kind of melodramatic tone I'm going for here.

The host introduces the characters to the audience by saying something like, "It'd be nice if we could all just get along since we're stuck with one another for the rest of our lives, but there is a disconnect that prevents us from developing the right kind of lasting synergy. Let's explore that."

First to take the stage is The Ego. (Typical, eh?) The Ego was adamant that The Virgin was a really nice guy who had been misunderstood. I remembered back to the days when I wanted to remain pristine and virginal and how upsetting it had been when people had wanted to have sex with me as if it was some attack on my moral centre. I felt I could identify with The Virgin's plight. I was going to be the first person who wouldn't push him, who would allow him to come to a decision when he was ready....

Blah, blah, blah. Nice guy, pfft! I really need to sit this woman-child down and explain a few things to her! And here comes the Id. Like the Bride of Frankenstein, the Id is the unhappy result of an experiment gone really wrong and crashes onstage a bit clumsy and a lot obnoxious. The Id represents our baser impulses. I want sex and I want it now. Delayed gratification is not the Id's area of specialization. Who is this freak that doesn't want to have sex? Being able to hold an enlightened perspective is mission impossible.

The host interjects, "Let's not have a full-out brawl." Camera turns off.

As you, my imaginary audience can likely predict, although I wasn't  in agreement, I moved forward anyway. Typical lust maneouvre. I don't completely absolve The Virgin of responsibility for the non-sex, non-relationship, what-the-hell-do-we-call-it-besides-non-dating fiasco. By the way, his term for our interactions was 'getting to know someone'. Sure, I thought, that sounds like something and nothing at the same time. Works for me.

So, the Ego, the Id (and the other pscyhological part of this trio I can't remember the name for which is perfectly a propos considering we're not supposedly aware of its existence but it has some kind of omniscient perspective), embarked upon getting to know The Virgin IRL.

As riveting as this may be, my time is up and we have arrived at the end of this scene. The next chapter will write itself tomorrow. In the meantime, any real or imaginary offense you may have taken as a result of my offhand comments is totally of your own making so go do battle with your own demons and leave mine to kill each other off in peace. Remember: Just Say No!

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