Don’t want : Want

Recently, an unhinged person went off on me with a giant rant about how I failed his expectations. He manufactured a Story to tell everyone and try to embarrass me; he called it a “failed date” because it was so obviously transactional. It wasn’t a date, actually; it was a first time meeting during evening hours to see who this weird chatty artist dude on the internet was. It wasn’t even time-confirmed, it was a preconceived meet-up at the end of the day. But that’s beside the point. Expectations to follow his lead and laissez les bons temps roulez (an appropriate term for this day, but not always) were shirked. I was transactional.

Well, I hate to break it to people, especially those who have infinite patience for meandering amusement, who may find this rant (two paragraphs and then the good stuff, I promise) amusing, but dates ARE a means to an end — beyond the covert goal-seeking of getting laid: the end is partnerships for aspirational projects and/or durable relationships. That means repeated meetings of a getting-to-know-you nature, and talk of tertiary subjects. I don’t want to date anyone I can’t collaborate with. I don’t want to Netflix and Chill. I don’t want to go to a bar after a restaurant after another bar. I don’t want to take charge of my life! to have a relationship with someone who’s just … blithely taking and passing on the bounty of others taking charge. (That still can be someone you can befriend and do projects with, but it’s not a real match for the heart.) I don’t want to audition to be someone’s copacetic sidekick. I Hell No want to have “that was a real swell thing we did, thx for ur help, now fuck off;” I am not a instrument to avail oneself of and then dispose. Moving on…

And don’t tell me that “interviewing” — asking questions to find out what someone is like, not to be confused with “grill” — is rude. The fear of being assessed, dropped, and gossiped about is completely, totally real and I empathize, because it always abuts some group-enforced preconceived notion about who one should be. This is why I dislike the “What do you do?” question upon meeting people, though it is actually necessary at some point. It definitely comes out rude, unless it’s gotten around to in an oblique manner. But if you don’t ask questions to let the conversation unroll in a derivative way, you’re … biding time. Don’t you ever get sick of biding time? I have.

(Derivative: relevant, tangential, useful. Non-derivative: a meaningless, amusing distraction.)

We all concentrate so much on what we don’t want, we often miss the kernel or opportunity of do-want within.

I like figuring out where people could fit, and launch from there. I want to collaborate. I do want to “hygge” and read books in company. I do want pointless walks in the woods (I care less about coffee shops and restaurants, but these are easier to access and others seem to love them). I can play the sidekick; I need sidekicks, no audition process necessary! I want people who go there first — so that I can respond. I want people who live free, but attach to the real, not just selecting for the deal. I want people who show how they evolve, whether in small enough increments, or leaps that they might be modest and minimize. I want people who have friends they don’t live and conduct themselves by, but appreciate and considerate in the true senses of these words. Those are the people I want around me. And most of all, I want to see courage in the face of uncertainty, an ability to flex without losing integrity.

Does this seem like a high demand? I don’t know. I think others can and do identify with this, and even more: this is where we are all headed. I’m going to work on building frameworks to help.

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