Interesting Care Instructions

King Richard’s Faire is in about a month and lately I’ve been thinking about including information and care instruction cards with my purchases. I wanted to see what other people did, so I looked around on the internet. This opened a huge can of worms as I’ve been reading all kinds of crazy things.

I know. Crazy things written by people on the internet!? Get out. That never happens.

I was hoping that I’d get some easy direction on what to include based on what others do, but instead, I still haven’t decided on whether or not to actually include care instructions. I am leaning towards yes, but I actually noticed that these are completely missing from the online stores and websites of some of my favorite potters. My guess is that they’re relying on common sense and answering questions on a ‘one on one’ basis when they’re asked.

Then there is are a lot of claims that I’ve never heard before, even in the most misinformed and superstitious circles. I plan to blog about it at some point… but I’m not sure I can handle that kind of angry and ranty post right now.

Instead, I want to share some of the other mind boggling things I found: the obvious.

Here are some examples of care instructions that I think would make even the most ignorant of layman face palm. I’ve started off with the worst and tapered off to some that you might see as being necessary when thinking of some people you know.

Maybe you have an Uncle Fred that put laundry detergent in the dishwasher or a friend named Sam who sets the stove on fire a couple times a month.

Avoid Dropping

Let that one sink in.

Hey there! I know you were planning on dropping your pottery ON PURPOSE, because why try to avoid it, right? You bought this specifically for dropping, and you expect it to hold up when you use it for this purpose. So, I’m here to make sure you realize that you’re actually NOT supposed to be trying to drop your pottery. I won’t tell you what happens if you do drop it, but I will tell you: Avoid Dropping.

Furthermore, if I include that, does that mean I need to also say things like, “Not recommended for juggling”? Wow. I’m going to need more space for all of these care instructions!

After I told someone about this, they also helpfully recommended the following: “Avoid throwing, hitting, punching, chewing, attempting to eat, dropping into vats of acid or lava, throwing at people, throwing at pets, throwing at dragons, using to stop cars, using to stop rampaging wild life. Not a substitute for modern medicine, clothing, transportation or travel. Please consult your local pottery expert before use.”

Wash before first use.

…because I would directly eat out of something people at a fair have been picking up all day.

Actually, this is really pushy. Technically you don’t NEED to wash it before your first use.

Maybe you’re one of those people who like to live on the edge. You are the type of person who won’t wash your hands before leaving the restroom. It only says ’employees must wash hands’, and you’re a customer, so that obviously doesn’t apply to you.

So are you going to waste perfectly good room in your sink or dishwasher!? Heck no. It’s a bowl whether or not you wash it before using it. It will hold your cereal just as well either way.

Ew.

Dry thoroughly before storing.

Wait. There are people who put away their dishes when they are wet!? Dishwashers have ‘dry’ settings. People who wash by hand use ‘drying racks’ or ‘drying towels’ (aka dish towels, as in, for using to dry your dishes).

Who are these people who need to be told both to wash their dishes AND make sure they’re dry before putting them away?

One friend of mine put it to me this way, “Babe. Common sense isn’t common.”

May become hot when used in microwave

Did you know that things become hot when you put them in the microwave?

But wait, ceramic bowls get hotter than a plastic bowl! Maybe we need to let people know that heating up soup in the microwave with their new handmade pottery bowl may result in a really hot bowl.

It is true that some ceramic dishes get hotter than others… but this is not a factor of handmade pottery by any means. For instance, a friend of mine mentioned some dishes she got at Ikea that get hotter than her other dishes. She was okay without the warning. Her first instinct wasn’t to cuddle her dishes full of hot food that just came out of the microwave and is careful when she takes them out.

Sad part is, this is one I’m actually giving some consideration and thought to. Thanks, internet. I think you broke me.

Do not use directly on stovetop.

Apparently some people are confusing pottery with pots. I can see that. These two words use a lot of the same letters.

Yes, I know there are special pots out there that claim they can be safely used directly on the stove top, but this is a special feature. There are also glass pots and pans that can go on the stove, but we know not to put any other glass on the stovetop. In general, if it’s not metal, why would you assume it goes on your stove top?

How are there not more fires and dead people in general?

Dishwasher safe, hand wash recommended…

…and it goes on to say how it’s safer to hand wash things.

Look, I don’t know how things work in your house, but I break more things hand washing. I honestly don’t feel comfortable judging if you’re someone like me, or someone like the people writing this care instruction. That’s right. I found this in multiple places.

Dishwasher means I pick it up and put it in the dishwasher. It stays in there safely washing and drying until I open the dishwasher, lift it, and put it away. I guess I could drop it putting it in the dishwasher or taking it out, but I don’t usually prewash stuff, so it’s not very slippery when I put it in. It’s dry when I take it out.

Hand wash means it soaks and clinks around with whatever else is in my sink being washed (don’t clink too much!). It gets picked up, soapy, and handled while slippery until it’s clean (don’t drop it). Then I rinse it (don’t drop it), inspect it to make sure it’s clean (don’t drop it), and put it on a towel or in a dish rack (don’t knock it off the counter).

It’s not just me either. I’ve had roommates break their share of pottery (and other stuff) handwashing. I haven’t had a single dishwasher casualty yet, and all of the pottery goes in there.

Someone even talked about things ‘clinking around’ in their dishwasher while it was running. Maybe it’s time you got a new dishwasher, or maybe you don’t load things right? If I put a cup in X spot in my dishwasher, it is in X spot when I open it. It’s not a clothes washer… If your dishwasher has a spin cycle, yes, I recommend hand washing.

Now, I do know some pottery is not suitable for the dishwasher and needs to be carefully hand washed, but then your care instructions should say “hand wash only”, and that’s it. If you think your pottery is going to ‘loose life and luster’ over time being washed in the dishwasher (whatever that means), maybe you should say ‘hand wash only’. More importantly though, let’s talk about how your pottery is alive. Personally, if I had sentient pottery, it’d be allowed in the bathtub and shower.

Note to self… Only use literal language when writing care instructions in case someone like me is reading them.

Honey, I’m Going To Kill You

The number one question I’ve been asked lately is, “How are you liking your new place?” or some variant of it. Really, what I am being asked is, “Are you ready to kill your boyfriend yet?” since I just moved in with him at the beginning of last month.

That question is understandable, since if you’ve spent any length of time with us, we might have slipped up and said to one another, “I am going to kill you,” while in your presence. If that is the case, let me explain.

I don’t know who started it, but it’s really an endearing expression of affection between us. If we start to drive each other nuts we say, “I’m going to kill you. No really. I. Am. Going to kill you.” Sometimes we accompany that with graphic details about how, when, and with what. Other times this will be punctuated with noises like “AAHHHRRGG!!”.

I’m sure that’s this is inappropriate. A couples counselor, if we saw one, would shake their head and put little notes in their pad. They may tisk and ask us, “How do you feel when she says she’s going to kill you?”

“With a super sheep,” I add helpfully.

“With a super sheep-”

“-from the game Worms,” I add to make sure she has the proper context.

“From the game Worms-”

“You know, that will probably just end up killing both of us, and maybe even the cat,” I muse out loud.

“…”

“I feel… frustrated,” admits the boyfriend, “It’s so easy to blow up yourself in Worms. The more fun the weapons, the easier it is to destroy yourself. It’s confusing. I don’t know if the point of the game is to actually win or just blow everything up. You know, either way I also feel like it’s kind of fun. So to answer your question, it feels frustrating, and confusing, but also fun.”

I squeeze his hand because I know exactly what he means, “We can play a different game if that makes you feel better, sweetie. We don’t have to play Worms.”

Our couples counselor, who we don’t actually have, scribbles down some more notes. I imagine it would have in all capital letters, with a lot of punctuation, a circle, and a underline. It is probably the word worms. I’m going to assume that is because she hasn’t played the game and is going to download it when she gets home, but I might be wrong.

On the bright side, neither of us ever make good on our threat. I feel like it makes me feel better to say it, and it makes me feel better to laugh in his face when he says it.

“I’m going to kill you.”

“Hee hee hee.”

“No really.”

“Aw, you’re so cute when you’re homicidal. Let me pinch your cheek!”

But really though, if he doesn’t clean whatever crap he spilled all over our stove I’m going to kill him. I don’t even know what it is. It’s yellow. What could he possibly been cooking that is yellow. It’s kind of gelatinous in some spots and crispy in others. So I asked him what in the name of names he spilled all over our stove that was freaking me out so much,

“Yeah. I don’t know what that is.”

“There’s a lot of it.”

“Yeah, hun. I don’t know.”

“You must have done it last night. But what is it?”

“I don’t know. It doesn’t look like anything I cooked. I don’t remember spilling anything.”

When I lived by myself I was annoyed enough about cleaning up after a cat. Now I have a big hamster with opposable thumbs to look after too. No, he doesn’t chew the sides of his house or anything like that. I don’t know why I’m calling him a hamster exactly. I just wanted to call him a pet of some kind. Otherwise I’d have to call him a child, and I don’t need a child that’s almost thirty. Then again, I don’t need a really tall hamster either.

He’d say something like, well at least this hamster can cook (if he’d ever play along and call himself a hamster).

And well, I like his cooking. However, cooking is fun. Scraping a yellow entity off of our stove isn’t. If I cooked, this inter dimensional being now attached to our stove would never have been called into existence. I am very good at both cooking and not summoning disgusting other-worldly beings that adhere to kitchen appliances. I’m convinced that when the boyfriend cooks, he opens a series of portals, and instead of being useful portals that allow him to reach across the kitchen while still standing at the stove, they are portals to other planes of existence which allow things like whirlwinds from the Elemental Planes of Air to come swirling into the kitchen and take everything out of all the cabinets and scatter them all over the counters. Air Elementals are notoriously messy eaters and will also taste everything and leave tiny bits of it all over the floor, counters, and stove.

I don’t think the yellow thing on our stove was from the Elemental Planes. I think we need to look in H. P. Lovecraft books for this one folks. This worries me because I have enough to deal with without Cthulhu running around our apartment fighting with the already present Air Elementals.

Did I just hear the yellow thing on the stove mutter Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn? I swear I did.

I mean, if someone said, “Hey, I’ll do all the cleaning if you do the cooking,” I’d say yes too. That sounds amazing. I’d be the next Master Chef. I’d cook even when I didn’t want anything.

On a serious note, I’m not saying that the boyfriend is a slob who sits around who does nothing. He does a lot. I know not everything is going to be a 50/50 split. It’s impossible, and we shouldn’t be keeping score anyways. But if I clean everything else, I do want to be able to say, “Hey, I did everything else in the apartment- can you clean the kitchen floor please?” and have him say, “Of course! After you slayed that ochre jelly monster (turns out it was a Dungeons and Dragons monster, not Lovecraft) and saved me, I am eternally in your debt. It is the least I can do. Let me also make you a mojito.”

He does make me mojitos, but so far the asking for help has been met with mixed results. I understand that Skyrim has been enslaving a lot of the geek race recently. However, what about my video game needs? If I’m spending all this time slaying real life ochre jellies who want to be the next Master Chef, when do I get time to decompress and play the new officially released Minecraft?

I’m also not asking for the privilege of redoing tasks later. “You want your floor clean? Here. I dumped some water on it. The cat even helped me. You know how he loves to knock over his water bowl. Problem solved!”

Maybe my cat isn’t being a jerk. Maybe he is trying to help me clean the floor. He has no thumbs. That’s so sad. I just realized this whole time I’ve been yelling at my poor cat who has a no thumb disability but still insists on trying to help me with chores. I’m a terrible person. My cat is the Tiny Tim of cats.

I also don’t want to hear, “I got the worst of it” meaning that all the dirt was swept under the rugs. We don’t have rugs, but I’m just thinking of those cartoons where people sweep all the dirt under the rug. Don’t they realize that they’re putting as much effort into carefully sweeping under a rug as they would to sweep it into a dustpan and empty it into the trash? This is doubly bad since we don’t own rugs. Imaginary rugs don’t conceal dirt at all.

I’m not asking for perfection. Depending on who you ask, I am either a neat freak or a slob, so taking an average, I think I’m moderately reasonable about how I want the living space. The boyfriend, however, has a sight disorder when it comes to whether something is clean or not. He doesn’t notice. He cares and knows how to clean. He just doesn’t know how to tell when it’s time to clean. I can help here. Honey, it’s dirty. YOUR WELCOME. And if you don’t help me, I’m going to kill you.

Why Pick Up When You Can Eat In or Take Out?

Why do I mind? Why is my open-minded brain unable to be completely comfortable with the idea of the open-ended relationship? Why does the prospect of him picking up women really get to me. …or as he asked,

“What are you so afraid of?”

Besides the obvious, losing what happiness I’ve gained, not being able to get closer and missing an opportunity to be closer, not being used to this position… Besides the negative connotations of pick-up with ideas of manipulating people for sex… There is more.

I was finally able to get the clarification from the boy on the subject of pickup. There are many methods of pickup apparently, and apparently one of them goes along with what I was thinking and Steve described in one of his quotes on a post:

“I compensate for my lack of self-confidence by deceiving others.”

The boy admitted that a lot of guys do that. He admitted he tried it, and it failed horribly. He wasn’t comfortable with being fake and it showed. It also wasn’t getting him what he wanted.

And what does he want?

According to him, he uses techniques learned in pick-up to break the ice and be able to display his best qualities to someone. He can project the kind of person he wants and what he wants from that person.

There are two camps of people in pick-up apparently. One of them is the people who use pickup to rack up their ‘score’ in the game, like notches on the belt. The other is the people who use pickup to learn how to approach and get the women they want and then move on to relationships with those people. These people are not necessarily lacking in confidence in other areas of their lives, they just have a hard time meeting and getting anywhere with women. The latter type eventually move out of pickup, while the former stay there and rack up their ‘score’.

So where does the boy fall in this broader picture? He says he will at some point fall into the latter, but is not done with the journey. He feels like he has more to learn and experience. He may stay in it for not much longer, he may stay in it for a while yet. He doesn’t know.

I do have to ask, with how close and how serious we’ve been getting, why pickup now?

He admitted he wasn’t seeing anyone else right now, the people he was seeing when we started out were long gone. He’s been going to his pickup meetings, but hasn’t been picking anyone up.

He admitted that his intentions were to use pickup to attract people he wanted to eventually settle with. The settling itself though still scares him. It comes down to the classic fear of commitment. Like, he could buy a house right now. It’s a good market to buy a house. His rent is too high, it’d be a good investment. He doesn’t want to though. Why? He’s afraid it would ‘root him to a place’. Even though he could sell or rent it later, he sees this as an all or nothing, as if he’ll die in the house he buys. It’s symbolic more than anything, and the metaphor frightens him. This is the all or nothing syndrome I talked about him having before.

This fear goes even deeper into his relationship history: fear of repeating old mistakes.

The boy has had two major relationships in his life and both of them: unhealthy. One of the girls he lived with, and even financially supported. He was needy and so were they. He expected too much from them and as a result gave more and more hoping for himself to get back what he wanted and be fulfilled. He didn’t know how to express or get what it was he wanted. There was no good communication, expectations were unreasonable, and there was too much too fast.

Even with only two relationships, he’s gone further than I have, and made some of the same mistakes as me only even more hardcore.

He has been very needy in the past and is now firmly on two feet. According to him, what we have right now is the most healthy relationship he’s ever had.

He told me what he was afraid of: afraid of repeating the past and slipping back into bring this needy person. This is something I understand all too well, a common theme in my own worries.

Now I at least understand why our official relationship status is what it is. He’s afraid once he relabels what we have, things will change and the worst may come.

Now that I understand his fears, let me come full circle on my own. I didn’t realize this until we started talking, but the big issue really is that I am following relationship rules that I didn’t make and I don’t fully understand. They’re becoming defined, but I didn’t define them: he did. I’m still expected to follow these rules or stop seeing him. That’s an uncomfortable bit of control I’m giving him. I know that in other relationships I’ve had, I didn’t exactly control the parameters either- they were defined by canned traditions.

Things weren’t one hundred percent defined at the beginning, and they still aren’t. In one of my last posts I talked about whether or not people we both knew were off limits or not. We never talked about it, but he told me one day that yes, people who we consider friends are at least. There wasn’t a discussion, it was just something he felt like he needed so: new rule. The rule itself I don’t disagree with, but I do take issue with these rules seeming like they’re being made up as we go along and he’s the one making them. I know they are being made up as we go along because this is new ground for both of us. Even if I were to find myself being fully comfortable with a non-traditional relationship, feeling like I’m following someone else’s rules feels like it is against every fiber of my being. I am fiercely independent and fear people trying to control me.

The other side of that is with these rules, I can see other people. I don’t want to, however. I could try to make myself do it, but doing it because he is? That sounds like a bad idea.

I can flirt with other people, but so can he. Another undefined place is how far we’re allowed to take that while with each other. I don’t want to do the drama jealousy game when we’re out together. I also don’t want to have a double standard. This is the next thing we need to talk about.

I hate that I feel like I’m always the one who says, “We need to talk.” even if I only do it once in awhile. Even if parts of me feel better after wards, I’d rather be having fun than these sorts of discussions.

I’m all set with reading the rest of The Game. Maybe I should have forced the issue of talking about PUA sooner. He asked me why I didn’t. I asked him why he didn’t bring it up if he was waiting for me to. We were both scared of where that discussion would go. We can’t let ourselves be afraid of communicating, though. This isn’t likely the most scary discussion we’re going to have. Really, if we are too frightened to talk to each other at all, that’s where we should break it off.

So what do we do? The obvious answer is we keep talking, and discussing, and figuring these things out. We’ll see where things go from there…

The Game

My biggest issue with my new love interest is that he insists on ‘just dating’ (rather than being in a relationship) even though we’re now going on three months.

I don’t take issue with much. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Snoring? I can deal with that. I wear earplugs.

I’m not the kind of woman that still believes that someday soon before I die some guy will come into my life that is perfect in every way including no snoring. Having flaws is part of being human. If it even were possibly to be that perfect, too perfect is ultimately unattractive since you can’t connect with someone you can’t relate to. How could you relate to an perfect person when you have your own baggage and regiment you follow for self-improvement?

So now that I’m entirely off topic, it’s not just that which makes me uncomfortable, hesitant, and slightly distant. The whole only seeing each other even though we spend a lot of time with each other and have become close is part of it. The other part is part of the why he insists on this.

Part of what makes up his self-improvement regiment is that he wants to learn to be good with women, and he’s got it in his head that he has to learn about women by dating a lot of women.

I didn’t know about this when we first started seeing each other, but he is part, or is learning to be a part of, a secret society of pickup artists. Really. I’m serious. Stop laughing. He goes to these meeting things every Tuesday night that I can only guess is where a bunch of guys sit in a circle and talk about how to figure out and get into womens’ panties and build their own self confidence to do so.

Life is so weird, I couldn’t make this stuff up.

He belongs to an online forum for them, they call them lairs (seriously, stop laughing). He has a bunch of books in his house on the subject of picking up women complete with workbooks and cheesiness. I raised my eyebrows at this the first time I was over his house and laughed:

“AD&D Players Handbook Third Edition… Oracle SQL Interactive Workbook… Visual Basic .Net Programmer’s Reference… The Art of Japanese Swordsmanship… Business Plans for Dummies… A Complete Hacker’s Handbook… Palmistry… How to Attract Anyone, Anytime, Anyplace…?”

…and there were worse sounding titles than that.

Until then, minus all of my art books, and a different flavor of programming books, the library reads similar to mine. I expect the nightstand to have porn, but all of the sex self help wasn’t as expected. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about self help. I’ve read interpretations of the Kama Sutra. I approve of that.

I picked up some and read chapters of some of the books he has, but I’ve been avoiding anything too sketchy looking. Anything with the implications that it’s one of those pick up artist (PUA) guides makes me a little leery.

It’s maybe like getting to know someone and getting real close and then finding out they belong to a cult. I’m trying not to judge, but anything that calls itself a secret society registers as cultish anyways. Anything that is dedicated to getting women in bed makes my feminist sensibilities hurt. The fact that I’ve gotten this close to someone who belongs to any kind of secret society makes me nervous. The fact I’ve gotten this close to someone who I guess is some kind of player in training is just… I don’t even know.

Like I’ve said, I’ve been meeting some of the friends. One of them I’ve been over his house a few times on my own to hang out, make cookies, and watch X-men. It occurred to me before I met him that it could be a fellow PUA. As I was meeting him, it didn’t take me long, I was sure. I didn’t see the tell-tale books about his house, but I did spy a magazine on his coffee table that told all. When I picked on him for it, he told me he read it for the cool gadgets they show every issue. I’m sure he also get’s porn for the articles too, right? I told him to stop acting ashamed about it- if you’re going to be something be it. I may not understand the scene at all, know much about it, or even approve once I get to know more, but if you’re choosing to be something, you better be okay enough with it to be able to say, “Yeah, so, and? Fuck you if you don’t approve.”

He asked me how much the boy had told me about PUA. I told him truthfully that I’ve been told nothing directly, but I did find his blog which talks a about it complete with thick jargon without a glossary.

What I didn’t go on about was that I’m smart, though. I read books. I surf the internet. I’ve read between the lines on things he’s talked about with self-improvement and groups things that have helped him. I even read between the lines when he tries something out on me. I know that some things are his own creation, and some things are from things he’s learned that he wants to try out (and some things a combination of the two).

Really, though, I don’t know enough about PUA and the more secretive people act, the closer I get to the boy, the more I want to know.

This friend of the boy’s was asking how much I was told as if he would then turn around and give the boy a talking to. It seemed like he disapproved that the boy leaves stuff around. Maybe he was just disgusted at the lack of style, or maybe he was worried he would reveal their secrets or something.

And yet, he was the one who gave me the idea where to start researching.

A book has come up a bunch, and the friend has it listed as his favorite book. I’m not going to read every book, system, and watch every DVD and video clip at the boy’s house. I’d rather read and study the SQL books, but I probably won’t do that either. Still, I want a better understanding of the thing that makes me uncomfortable about a person I am getting closer to as time goes on. He won’t talk about it, so this book seems like a good place to start.

Don’t get me wrong. Dating and meeting his friends and having him meet my friends and taking trips, it’s taking up a lot of my time. I don’t want to spend all of my time researching this and trying to understand him. I still need to focus on me and my goals. I know my blog has been hijacked by him in this indirect fashion lately, but it’s an outlet to keep it him from distracting me the rest of the time. If it doesn’t go into words on here or on paper, it stays in my head playing a bad game of Breakout. Boing, boing. Get the picture?

The title of the book is The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. Okay, now you’re laughing again.

I just started reading it, and am doing so slowly and hesitantly. It’s like the time I tried reading the Bible (Old to New Testament). I didn’t get far. I did it with the idea that doing so would give me a better understanding and respect for people who chose to follow it. At some point while reading, it started to do the opposite. Then I realized most people who call themselves religious or followers of the Bible have read snippets at best, so reading it wasn’t going to help me understand them anyways.

I hope this doesn’t do the same, but if it does, then I at least will be able to have a rational issues with it. Right now it’s more that I’m wary of it because I don’t get it, and I shouldn’t be afraid of it for those reasons. I don’t understand why when things are going so well between us, when he has no time for much else, when he has other more important seeming goals that he feels like he needs to spend time seeing other women or study being a PUA. Who knows if he actually does even see other women. If he does I don’t know when he has time to. It’s not something I want to ask about because it’s not something I think I’d really want to know the specifics of.

Maybe it has something to do with building self confidence and stroking ego. Maybe it has to do with exploring masculinity and breaking away from societies conventions and definitions of what being man means, though one could argue PUA is just following yet another ‘supposed to’ for men. Right now, though, I don’t have much of a basis for my ideas, so I begin to read.

My first impression of the book left me both impressed and disgusted:

If you are reading this, I want you to know I wasn’t running game on you. I was being sincere. Really. You were different.

I laughed and threw up a little in my mouth.

But then he quotes The Feminine Mystique:

Men weren’t really the enemy- They were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.

Food for thought, yes, I do believe sexism is not just an issue that women face. Men have their own stereotypes and issues to overcome that I will never fully know or understand having faced my own journey being a woman. I’m not sure what this has to do with the game exactly, yet, but the use of the quote does intrigue me. Is it a rationalization for behavior, or a statement that the Game is learning to breaking from it?

You might be wondering why I don’t discuss this with the boy, as communication is the way as I’ve said over and over on the blog. The answer is that it’s a secret society. I can’t even get him to say what really goes on Tuesday nights. The only reason I know he meets with a group was vague answers, and then once I’d assumed he was doing worse things, he clarified.

I have tried to push this with direct questions as well as jibes and joking and so far I haven’t been able to draw him into conversation on the subject, so I will continue my outside research.

Maybe you think I should leave this alone, but I’m not one for ignorance. If I’m going to be with someone who plays this game, I want to know what it is.

Forgetting the Basics

Sometimes you forget the basics when a problem seems huge and you get stressed.

Communication is very basic. Even if you’re afraid of what the other might say, even if you think you’ve talked about it before, bring it up. Thinking about what and how you want to say things beforehand is great, but don’t make any big decisions on what will come out of the conversation beforehand. The idea is to have a dialogue with the person and work through things.

You may be surprised at what the other person has to say.

For example, I thought I was clear that the boy was sure we would never be exclusive or be in a relationship. What I didn’t realize is that it’s more that he’s sure it can’t happen right now, but there are possibilities. He feels that more now. He feels that recently we’ve gotten closer.

I didn’t understand his point of view, and maybe I still don’t even after hearing him describe it- a sort of all or nothing. I look at relationships as the next step to being closer, but not a huge commitment. It could mean we’re together for a week, a month, longer, who knows? On the flip side, he thinks that he has to be sure of things to even think of going there. I clarified that I wasn’t talking about marriage.

I asked him about seeing other people and why he thought seeing people was important. He told me a long story about learning about all kinds of people, social interactions, and experiencing a variety of life. I told him he sounded like a fortune cookie- adding ‘in bed’ to after everything. I think you can do all of this while interacting with people without dating. For him, not being tied to a single person and working on his ability to socially interact is part of his self-improvement regiment.

I also think that you lose something in interacting with a person if you’re never willing to take things to the next level and have a relationship. He thinks he’s broadening his understanding of human interaction, where I think he is really limiting it in a different way.

Just because you discuss and communicate something doesn’t mean you’ll agree or understand.

What I’m starting to wonder is where he even has time or opportunity to see other people, or if he has the real desire. I also wonder if this works for him just because he knows I’m not seeing someone else and doesn’t think interested in seeing someone else. I have a low jealousy content, but even this has the potential to get to me. What about him?

I started meeting his friends lately, guys mostly. It got me wondering about how much we don’t have defined in this area. It got me thinking about what ifs and situations that could try to arise. Can I assume that certain things are off limits?

This goes back to the communication thing. It’s another conversation we probably should have, even if it’s not something I’m likely to test with the way I am. I actually like knowing boundaries, being able to rely on an agreement. I also would hope it’s a conversation he would have with his friends. Different people can have very different takes on these gray areas- from a recent conversation with someone:

“I dislike terms. They restrict relationships. You are what you are. Relationships flex back and forth in different stages.”

Some people apparently think I shouldn’t be making an assumption here about things being off limits since things are undefined. Alls fair in love and war? I don’t like the sounds of this. I hate drama.

With that sort of attitude existing, neither me nor the boy should be assuming anything here I guess. Communication is a good thing- and not just between us, but those around us.

These fine lines when there are no lines…

Can you steal something that isn’t yours?

Getting Jealous and Trying to Get Jealousy

I’m single now, but have been in long term relationships, one which was almost five years long. Even though been cheated on, abandoned, and I still don’t get the whole jealousy thing.

I don’t understand the purpose being jealous. Feeling threatened by other people or even (ahem) objects just shows a lack of trust in the other person and security with one self. It’s also a major turn off.

I equally don’t get it when other couples tip toe around, being careful not to make the other person jealous.

I’m not saying I haven’t done stupid things like neglected friendships when being in relationships. However, I have never thought to give up one on one encounters with people of the opposite sex just because of the status of being in a relationship. I (surprise) connect with guys. I enjoy their company in an entirely non-sexual way.

Many of them are gay and many of them have relationships of their own anyways. Sometimes I’m in a big group, and sometimes, one on one with a person. I don’t think you give up that right to have plans with your friends when you enter into a relationship, even if the friend is of the opposite sex and even if it’s just the you two doing something together. I have always been more likely to hang out with people one on one or in a very small group, so maybe that’s why I don’t see anything wrong with people keeping their other close knit friends no matter what their relationship status.

If anything, maybe a guy should take care with women having gay and bisexual women friends. It makes the same amount of sense.

If a boyfriend or husband ever tried to tell me to not hang out with someone, how would I handle it? I think I would have a hard time seeing their point of view, though I’d try. I’ve let guys come between be and friends too much in the past. There just has to be enough trust to allow that most important person in your life have other people be important in theirs. If your significant other isn’t worthy of your trust, what are you doing trusting them enough to be in any kind of relationship with you?

Do you worry about flirting? Anything can be flirting. Anything can be interpreted as flirting. Worrying about that is like worrying about a ‘your mom’ joke. It isn’t serious unless it’s serious, and really, how often is that?

I’d give any guy the same free reign I expect from them, to hang out with whoever. The guys who are going to cheat on me will whether or not I try to control their friendships. They are not worth keeping anyways. If I can’t trust someone without monitoring them, then I can’t trust them at all.

I guess the most important thing is to make sure you’re on the same page in a relationship. If you’re not, that could take some serious discussion. It’s probably a better discussion to have before hand than after the fact. Different people have different boundaries and limits, and for those to be respected, they have to be known first. Then, I guess, you can tackle the obstacle of trying to understand why and coming to some sort of understanding.