Saturday, November 10, 2007





Today was something of a kick in the ribs. Over the past two years I've tried to open myself to the possibility of some sort of Meaningful Relationship, and while this afternoon's last-minute text-message informing me that my would-be date didn't have time didn't precisely come as a surprise, it left me sour.

So sour, in fact, that I'm afraid I might have reached a psychological tipping point -- and an overdue realization that I'm no good at this. I lack the social prowess, for one thing. Without an "in," I'm at the mercy of arbitrary encounters arranged by so-called "match-making" software. Hooking up, never exactly a fun activity, has become an exceptionally tedious chore fraught with tension and, ultimately, soul-scalding disappointment.

I'll always be amazed -- and a bit unnerved -- at how (relatively) easily others manage to forge genuine relationships. Imagine waking to to find that everyone in the world has somehow acquired the ability to move objects telekinetically -- except you. That's effectively how I feel right now: excluded and freakish . . . and spending entirely too much time, in vain, attempting to levitate small objects by sheer power of concentration.

But the worst of it is the wasted commitment, the labored self-trickery, the precarious notion of hope. I've shared the same basic laments on this blog before, including my sincere wish to transcend (or enthusiastically ignore) sexuality itself, fully aware of how kooky or abjectly degenerate it might sound to the uninitiated.

But I can only countenance so much loneliness before I start to crumble; indeed, I have crumbled -- or, more accurately, imploded -- in the past, and no amount of antidepressants or espresso or binge science fiction-reading is enough to keep that particular horror entirely at bay.

So, in that spirit, fuck it.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a friend with a similar problem and my (politicaly incorrect) advice to you is the same as mine to him:

Learn to drink. Yes, I mean alcohol and yes, I mean fairly serious drinking -- at least a half-bottle of wine at a pop. (Brown bag optional.) This is not what my West-Texas relatives would call "real drinking" but it's a start.

I say politically incorrectly because alcohol has a bad rap. I was fortunate in that I had a (West Texan) uncle who, in the proverbial manner, "taught me how to drink." I can't tell you how often having a bottle of wine over dinner with a date has, shall we say, lubricated the process on both sides.

I know a lot of people have an absolute dislike of alcohol, I think, possible, for fear of "losing control," but that's kind of the whole idea. Or at least loosening control. Because it sounds to me, Mac, like a date is such a stressful encounter for you that your uptightness turns your prospective lack of success into a self-fulfilling prophecy....

So try the bottle of wine. Beer is unromantic and, anyway, its hard to get much of a buzz on with it. Given its low alcohol content. Also, think back to when you DID have a successful relationship, at least for a time. (I know this did happen for you because you posted a lot about it.)

I could tell you about unsuccessful relationships too.... Had plenty of 'em, believe me. Right now, I consider myself to be on an "extended vacation" from relationships and, as I've said before, it is a HUGE relief, believe me....

--W.M. Bear

totaw said...

its alright Mac, you're not lost. you've got your ways, your topics, your curiosity. brains. that immanently means you've got people who share those. including women. keep it up and fare well!

TJ said...

Sorry you are having troubles Mac.

Don't you live in Missouri or something? Perhaps you need a larger pool to draw from? I would imagine that for an eclectic/ intellectual guy like you, there would be a lot more suitable potential mates in a bigger city like LA, San Francisco, New York etc.

Also, I don't know if you are into lifting/working out, but whenever I used to be in a heart-ached condition, I found hitting the gym more often let me get out my frustrations and anger while at the same time whipped me into better physical shape (which never hurts). Something about the "mind over matter" nature of tough/painful physical excercise makes me feel empowered and in control of my fate. Endorphins make a great natural anti-depressant.

Times like these are also perfect for taking up a new hobby or setting some personal goals to accomplish since it gets your mind focused on something positive.

And don't underestimate the power of long night of Morrissey, junk food, and Half-Life 2 :)

TJ said...

One last thing.. Don't give up! It will happen when you least expect it. When the right person comes along, youll know it and the relationship will seem to steer itself naturally, as if by magic.

Once that happens, and it will, you'll look back, at that previous life you had before that other person came along and all this will seem like a million years and a million miles away.

mr. intense said...

"So, in that spirit, fuck it"

Or, maybe fuck for _now_. I concur with tj--if you really want a meaningful relationship, just don't give up. Having a long-term relationship with an S.O. is a natural human instinct. You're still relatively young. Perhaps you need to rethink your approach to the issues. I don't think the advice to "start drinking" and bathe in the bar scene is healthy. There are alternatives, and alternative venues.

It may be difficult for you, with your mind, to meet someone who will intrigue and delight you with equal intellectual and esoteric perspicacity, but if you really want it, it will be worth it in the long run. I know this from my own checkered past experiences with prior girlfriends.

If it's truly important to you, just do not give up. Check out gallery openings, transhumanist gatherings nearby (are there any?), or just plan in the long run to possibly move to a more culturally compatible area when you can or decide that might offer better prospects. Don't be driven, though, by testosterone or the desire for a life-mate unduly--it's crucial to maintain your standards, ethos, other priorities, and integrity of soul and mind.

It will happen if you keep your eyes open, but don't be impatient or pushy. If that date you had lined up cancelled via text message, maybe she's not the kind you would really find sympatico anyway. Her loss, not yours. You have to maintain a certain Zen attitude in these matters, I've found. My 2 cents worth...

Anonymous said...

Hey Mac,
Did you do the drawing? It is very good. In following this blog for some time I can make this observation.
You are very closed about yourself and your feelings, then suddenly, when things hit crisis (worldly or emotional, perceived or real), you go into explode or implode mode.
A terrific hitter in baseball will get a hit 1 out of 3 trips to the plate (not including walks).
Counting foul balls, I would guess that the very best hitter swings the bat at least 10 times before getting a hit.
A Rod, the best home run hitter in baseball probably takes about 30 to 50 swings of the bat before hitting a home run.
My point you ask?
You need to take a lot of swings, and if you miss, just take another crack at the ball. Striking out is not the end of the world, it is only one time at bat.

Stan

Jason said...

Re: trying... You gotta keep trying. It sucks, but it's true. I had years and years of loneliness and failures before meeting my wife, who I met when I was 30. There was a lot of luck involved, as well as some alcohol and strategic changes (below).

Re: drinking... I completely agree that it makes things a lot easier for a lot of people (it's been invaluable to me). But if you try it, you need to be very watchful. It has potential to create far more problems than it can solve. A lot of it depends on how your own particular body is wired, just like with any drug, and, and the effects can change over time.

Re: Where you live... A lot of my frustration came from the fact that I lived in Manhattan, KS. It's a nice town, but there just weren't enough people who were weird in the particular ways that I'm weird for that to work. I moved to Austin TX and immediately started meeting interesting folks of both sexes with much greater frequency. And, since there were so many more of "us" there, people were more likely to start up a conversation out of the blue, which helps if you are kind of shy yourself.

I'm not recommending Austin, per-se (although it is a great town!), but just restating and reinforcing the point another commenter made above.

Lastly, it's a combination of persistence and luck. The more you persist, the more opportunities you have to get lucky (um, that came out wrong). Anyway, good luck!

Dustin said...

Mac, I've said it before and it's come up here again. Try a new location. Kansas City isn't exactly what I imagine as the ideal location for an intelligent author. I can think of at least a half dozen cities where you'd fit in better than I imagine you fitting in with people in Missouri.

Odd coincidence, but true...my fiancee woke up this morning telling me that she had a dream her last name was changed to Tonnies on her business cards.

Katie said...

Don't give up Mac. When I first met my husband I thought he was the biggest asshole on the face of the planet.

We just celebrated our 13th anniversary this past July. :o)

I agree with the others above that a change of scenery might be in order. Start fresh, start hopeful, and explore some new surroundings.

It sounds like from what you write that you're much too intellectually sophisticated for your surroundings.

Cap'n Marrrrk said...

Hi Mac,

Lots of good advice that leads me to another thought.

How is your pool of local friends? I don't know if you've ever mentioned going out, or hanging out with friends.

There is a lot of value in getting out of the house, and mingling and leaning to laugh.

You ready for my suggestion? Meetup.com find some interests and go to local meet ups.

I think you draw very well. You should keep an eye out for your local Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School http://www.drsketchy.com/blog/ (I know they have them in KC), and drink and draw.

Get out to some art events. The key is practice.

You know that those of us who come here think you're awesome and totally capable of pulling this off.


Best of luck.

Capn

Anonymous said...

get out of kc - if you don't have the $ hit up friends to surf their couch for a week.

barring that find a decent "cool" local pub - sit at the bar, read a paper and have a couple drinks - eventually you will strike up convos with people there and get to meet people - possibly some interesting ones too - other writers (who LOVE to drink) and cute waitresses too : )

Paul Kimball said...

I'll introduce you to as many young actresses as I can find when you're up here in a couple of weeks. ;-)

Paul

dad2059 said...

I feel pain when a talented individual like you Mac feels isolated and hurt. And yes, being a human being in this aspect can be a bitch and sucks big-time. I myself have often thought that when I return in my next life, I'm going to be a celibate Tibetan monk so I can learn how to go without intimate relationships altogether and just meditate about Nirvana.

Take Paul up on his offer. He sounds like a good friend.

Remember that you're better than your perception of yourself.

Pisces Iscariot said...

don't over think it

Anonymous said...

mac, you are the only person on the internet (besides myself of course) that i have ever considered to be "the man". you should have accepted my facebook.com friend request.

wintermuse x9 said...

Mac, don't know if you have considered placing a personal ad in any free weekly that may publish in your area, but why not take the direct approach?

"Nice, intelligent, humble guy with interests in writing (published author), transhumanism, ufos, esoterica, advanced technologies, etc., seeks smart, cool, slightly eccentric but stable woman, 25-30, height/weight proportional, with mutual interests for dating, possible long-term relationship. Check me out at mactonnies.com and posthumanblues.blogspot.com. If this is you, and you would like to talk, meet for coffee/lunch to get to know me, and see if we might be simpatico, contact..." Or words to that effect.

Might not hurt, and you might meet some pretty interesting women. If you come across one you're interested in, and you sense a return interest, see what you can develop by inviting her to dinner and/or a movie, etc.

If you know what you want, and take a more direct, pro-active approach, I think you'd have better "luck" and may find a possible real connection.

Go on a part-time safari, great white hunter. If you don't go into the wilderness, you'll never find what you seek. She won't fall into to your lap.

Mac said...

Hi everyone,

I just checked my blog and am gratified by the good advice. Thanks for bearing with me.

Dustin--

Odd coincidence, but true...my fiancee woke up this morning telling me that she had a dream her last name was changed to Tonnies on her business cards.

Ha! Seriously?

Cap'n--

How is your pool of local friends?

Um, not good. That's undoubtedly part of my problem.

Mac said...

Oh, and no, the drawing isn't mine -- although I like to draw. The guy sitting at his desk is by Franz Kafka. It would make a good tattoo, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Positive spin post #819...

Mac,

"Love" is not easy and those who try to tell you any different are like soccer Mom's trying to gloss over the dark realities of living. "Oh my life is soooooo perfect!".

That said, finding that special someone cannot be forced. The old adage is true here "you'll find that someone...when you aren't looking.".

Good luck and don't lose hope. It will happen. Just try not to put your focus or intention on it ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to add to the above...fuck the internet while looking for that sort of thing. Supreme waste of time.

Denny

Chris said...

You seem fine to me, Mac, and if I may be so bold, I think you'd make a fine catch. Don't give up, and whatever you do, don't be so hard on yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the post comment above is rather strange--it goes to a Chinese website:

http://www.bestmishu.com/wenzhang/jihua/grjh/Index.html

My question is, how did the above person put in a live link in the blogspot comment section with these odd characters?

http://www.google.com/

Anonymous said...

...the end of the Chinese link noted is .../grjh/index.html

I pasted in http://www.google.com/
to see if would become a live link, which it doesn't. How was the cryptic comment/link from "wenzhang" done??

Mac said...

We seem to have some splogging going on. The post has been deleted.

TheUltimateCyn said...

jeez Mac - gonna go email you now... this subject sucks.
got the mail coming from G mail - look for it!

:)
Cyn

Greg Bishop said...

Mac,

All I can say is: I've been there, and I know. I have no advice, except that things will work out in a way you that you could never anticipate.

Ray said...

Mac:

“Fuck it.”

You figured it out.

That’s my solution to the bullshit dating scene. Being single sucks, but it sucks less than chasing after an illusion of happiness. If you think you’re suffering now, being shot down before you get to know someone, wait until a vamp sinks her fangs deep in your brains and starts sucking the life outta you, then drops your pale ass when you’re dry. If you think you’re walking wounded now…

I love advice people give to a single person, people who have no trouble finding a soulmate. “You don’t try hard enough.” Then, when you get repeatedly shot down in flames, they say: “Maybe you’re trying too hard…” Gotta hit the right setting on the emo-meter. It’s SO simple.

Apparently most people have to validate their worth by having a companion. And, if by some chance, you don’t have one – well, then there’s something wrong with YOU.

Do I rule out finding another girlfriend? No. But I don’t rule out rising from the dead and then sitting at the left hand of God, either.

It’s a matter of self-worth. Because I’m companionless doesn’t mean I’m valueless.

Why do you need a girlfriend, Mac? Don’t you have enough belief in yourself?


Ray

PS: Fuck Xmas, too!

Anonfan said...

Mac,
It is extremely painful to feel alone when one simply seeks simple companionship. Use your pain to further your art. You will only become much stronger as a result and your career will grow.
I find it extremely difficult to believe that you are having trouble in this arena. I have been a voyuer of your life for a while now and have become completely infatuated with you. However circumstances prevent me from even saying this aloud or away from the cloak of anonymity that the internet allows.
On that note I will sign off and recommend that you go do something fun and exciting for yourself. You will meet the perfect companion someday.

Mac said...

Hi Ray,

Why do you need a girlfriend, Mac? Don't you have enough belief in yourself?

Your point is well-taken. And, no, I don't "need" a girlfriend. I'm primarily galled at how elusive the prospect seems -- which makes me question my own sense of self.

Mac said...

It is extremely painful to feel alone when one simply seeks simple companionship. Use your pain to further your art. You will only become much stronger as a result and your career will grow.

That's good advice. Rise from the ashes, baby! :-)

I have been a voyuer of your life for a while now and have become completely infatuated with you. However circumstances prevent me from even saying this aloud or away from the cloak of anonymity that the internet allows.

*sigh*

Well, it's the thought that counts.