Please excuse me - I'm going to have a rant that really should be relegated to my private journal, but I'm in the mood for publishing it on the net.
Men are just not interested in me! Ok - a few qualifications: 1) When I say 'men', what I really me is 'a significant majority of the men I know' (no need for grose generalisations); and 2) When I say 'not interested in me', I don't mean 'not interested in me as a means of fulfilling their needs and desires'. I mean, 'not interested in me as a person'.
I just had lunch with a friend. I won't mention his name, because this is the internet, after all, and I'm about to say some things about him that are less than complimentary. Most of the time, we talk about HIM. He's not the greatest conversationalist in the world, so I spend my time with him racking my brains for things about him that we can talk about. Cricket, tennis, his work, his family, rugby, football - most of these themes I'm not actually very interested in, but because he is somewhat passionate about them, I grit my teeth and ask him questions, and then attempt to engage with the subject matter of his answers. He asks about me, but only out of politeness, or out of a conviction that he really SHOULD ask, as part of the universal 'give and take' rule of which he is vaguely aware. I usually give him short, slightly vague answers that don't really reveal must information about me at all. It's not that I don't want him to know - it's that I know he's not interested and that by revealing anything real about myself, I have to deal with the blunt reality that he doesn't give a flying fuck.
So anyway, today I thought 'fuck it', and I told him a few little details about how I was REALLY going. I kept it positive - told him about answering the buzzer to people desperate for a meal or a clean syringe, and how I responded. I told him how I'd run into someone I knew at Fed Square, who was watching the cricket, and that he was really angry because no matter what he did or how hard he tried, he just couldn't find a place to live, and was forced to camp in the Carlton Gardens. I invited the guy over for dinner, and he helped me cook, and I learned about his story, and it was wonderful. So I told my friend all of this. He wasn't really watching me as I was talking, but I kept going anyway. Screw it, I thought, I was going to tell him how I was! I finally finished my long, excited monologue, and sat quiet, waiting for a response. Nothing. There was five minutes of sheer silence and finally my friend piked up. "So do you mean to say that you were actually at Fed Square watching the cricket?" I confirmed that no - I hadn't developed a sudden interest in cricket beyond painfully boring conversations with my friend - and we left it at that.
I ate my Greek salad and he munched on his Hawaiian pizza all in relative silence. I continued the conversation inside my head. See, you're never interested in me, I thought, glaring at the thread of cheese dangling from his lower lip. The one time I actually give you any real information about how I'm going, your only response is to bring it back into YOUR realm - like the most important part of the story, or the only bit you actually heard, concerned the cricket. Your snide remarks about how I'm a 'bleeding heart'; the way you talk about my passions as my 'little causes' - well, you are probably too self-absorbed to realise this, but the only reason I'm friends with you is because of my fucking 'bleeding heart'! I should tell you that. I really should. Oh but I can't. You would be destroyed by the truth. My bleeding heart prevents me from telling the truth. You still haven't noticed that I'm shitty. Well, I'm not going to tell you that I'm shitty if you haven't figured out on your own that I'm shitty. I'm just going to sit here in silence, shoveling my Greek salad, and glare at the growing pile of pineapple on your plate that you're picking off your pizza.
We finished lunch and I asked him which train station he had to go to. He looked slightly surprised (how thick is the guy!) - I told him I had some things to do. We said goodbye, and felt instantly terrible. I should have told him. The poor stupid guy - he doesn't know what he's done. Maybe he has a right to know that the reason he has no friends is because he's not interested in anyone except himself. I should call him. No, dammit - he should call me! But he probably just thinks I'm being a weird woman - she's probably got her period, he'll be thinking. He won't call, until the next time he gets lonely, and then he'll pretend nothing ever happened. Sigh.
And that's just one guy. It seems like it's all of them at the moment! I've been on a couple of dates lately, and each time I get to the end and think, 'This guy doesn't know the first thing about me!' Even in the awkward silences, they won't think to ask, 'So, you know that interesting tit-bit that you threw into the conversation before about something that you seemed passionate about and might shed light on the fullness of you as a person - please tell me more!' No - they will either tell me something else about themselves, or else wait for me to ask them another question about themselves. And I usually do, and I really shouldn't. Maybe I should just launch into something about me. But that feels too weird - I feel like I should be asked the question first. And sometimes even when I am asked a question, I feel like I can't answer it properly - I feel like I've been given this little window in which to talk, and I'd better hurry up and explain myself, because it will be closed in a second. Not exactly conducive to bearing one's soul to a potential partner.
But I have faith that they're not all like that. In fact I know that they're not all like that - I've met plenty who aren't. And so, I suppose, I will continue to live in hope. Or become a lesbian. Not such a bad idea, I've been thinking lately.