June 15, 2011

English in a Strange Land

In my life, it's not unusual for me to attract attention.  Most of the time, it's in the form of stares or casual conversation with people when I'm out in public.  I'll have a friend spot me when I'm out and about and my phone will chirp with a text message "Hey, saw you in traffic.  What are you doing downtown?".  Or, I'll have someone walk up to me when I'm shopping for a replacement dildo and joke about how this is the strangest "Fancy meeting you here" experience ever.  (True story, by the way.)  While that's the norm, I have gotten a few  random friend requests or emails on my favorite social networking site.  Usually, I'll add a person because I don't have much to hide.  If there's something I want to keep restricted to a select number of people, I've set up privacy groups for that.

I tell you that to set the stage for what's turning into my most recent social experiment, starring, me!  This is not inspired by OKCupid or any dating site for that matter.  I got a random message from someone named "Bradley" asking if I was at the Steampunk booth at Contagion Outbreak this weekend.  Sadly, I hadn't been able to make it.  Over the course of the day, we come to find out we have  about 15 people in common.  This has since turned into an IM conversation.  Here's where I step a little outside the experience and watch from the sidelines, evan as I'm participating.

I have no idea how to respond to the first IM of a conversation when it's just a smiley.  I mean, I know it's just a marker for the beginning of a new discourse, but I get no meaning from it.  It's the same with "Hi".  Yeah, I know it's a greeting.  But, it seems like such and empty way to start talking to someone.  You have three sentences before you get to talking about what you wanted to; Hi.  How are you?, and THEN you get to the meat of the matter.  Were it me, and my purpose was to chat to kill time, I'd start with "I'm bored.  Entertain me!", "You'll never guess who I ran into this morning.  No.  Literally ran in to.  As in, with my car.", or something like that.  Give me an idea of what you're after.  I don't know your mood, where you are, or what you're looking for from me without a little direction.

I get the same thing from dating sites.  Honestly, I don't know how to respond to "Ur sexy.".  Thanks?  I get that it's a compliment.  But, I'm not one to be hung up on looks.  So, if you're looking for me to recipriocate the fawning, it more than likely won't happen.  Well, unless you're an adoniss.  Then you might get a "You will more than do.".  What can I say?  I'm more attracted to the mind than the matter.  (Don't get me wrong, I do need some physical attraction too, but I'm more likely to stare off into space daydreaming about conversations had than remembering glimpses of bare flesh.)

Let me give you an example.  This Bradley character sent me a photo of himself.  It was your average cell phone headshot, nothing explicit.  Now, he's not an unattractive guy.  The photo is a little dark and shot at a strange angle, so I can't really see his face in detail.  But, it's a face I could be fond of if everything else fell into place. Thing is, I have no idea how to respond to him about his picture.  I know people are proud of their looks, and I don't want to make the guy feel self conscious.  But, to me, it's just a photo so I can have a face for a name.  Most people give a reaction; a little white lie if they don't think the person is attractive or are just average.  I just...  Can't.

So, I suppose this experiment is one to teach me how  those outside of my hand picked circle act and communicate.  So far, I'm a bit lost.  It seems to be without much substance.  Sure, there are times when my whiny texts to my best friends don't say anything important.  Here's an example: "I think the last customer was on the shitter when they called.  He strained his bowels into my ear the entire time."  Nothing earth shatterinly important there, but it was a full sentence. It was something to grab on to and talk about.  Even if it was just to say "Jesus Christ E, that's disgusting!"  What can a girl add to a smiley?

I guess what I'm saying is that if you're interested in talking to me, I'd be happy to wile away the time.  I have a vast assortment of topics that interest me.  Just, give me a seed to start with.

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