I don’t talk much about love, sex or attraction very much around here, which I’ll admit is really kind of a shame. Love is one of the most interesting things that nature, man and society have cooked up for themselves, and it is one of very few subjects that can instantly cut deep into any individual. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say about the subjects. They all occupy my mind throughout the day just as much as they do anyone else. It’s just that, I feel my actions don’t accurately reflect what’s crankin’ away in the ol’ noggin’, and I think I just figured out why.
I have no love for shells and masks when it comes to people. One thing that I have always worked on within myself is making sure that everything I say, everything I do, everything I am passionate about, are all consistent. With this, I never try to act like someone I know I’m not. Sure, I am able to adapt to new and different social situations, and I can adopt differing lexicons depending on the people I’m interacting with, but I am always a wee bit conscious of how accurately I am representing myself.
I prefer to interact with the world straight-up. I’ll show my hand whether or not it’s the hand you think I should have. If I’m going to bust into Nada Surf lyrics at the Hook, or talk about drowning children in burlap sacks at the Event Site, or make up wildly improbable stories about installing decoy Gorges to throw off the invasion of tourists, that’s what you’re gonna get. I hardly concern myself with what you think may or may not be appropriate.
I value my Self more than I value your opinion of it.
And I realized, standing on the front lawn with a bottle of Rolling Rock, watching and listening to the fireworks explode down in the Gorge, that this is why consider dating to be an utterly dreadful experience. Dating is about putting on your very best shell and going out to meet someone else’s best shell. It is about romance, mystery and deception, not truth. It is fake. It is phony. It is professional wrestling.
The shell will never be as interesting as the real person. It is a distillation of their perceived ideals; how the person believes they are expected to act. The shell is like Play-Doh. When you have it in the jar it has the potential to be just about anything, but as soon as you cram it in the mold and start squeezing it can only come out as one long cylinder. Or star. Or smily face. It shaves off all the burrs, the flaws, the miscalculations. It burns all the herbs and spices and leaves you with saltines and Velveeta.
But don’t get me wrong. I like saltines and Velveeta. I think most people do. I know my eyes would be a lot less blinder if it wasn’t for tan skin, long legs and generous bosoms. I think the bikini is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Navels drive me absolutely wild, and I find belly-button piercings to be the sweetest cake icing ever to grace this fine Earth. But now, you can’t live on saltines. You could try, but it would be a miserable and tasteless existence. Same goes for shells. I’m fine if all that is asked of me is that I visually admire, but if it turns out I need to carry on a conversation and the shell isn’t up to snuff, I get real bored real fast.
Life needs content and substance to be worth a damn. Knowing how things “are” in the world is infinitely more interesting and rewarding than knowing how they merely present themselves. I like to get down in the nitty-gritty, to see the greasy gears, to pull them apart and stick them back together again. I’ve always enjoyed focusing my energies on learning things, creating stuff and producing content, and those who simply sit and prune away at the same old junk really have nothing to offer me.
I’m not bitter towards people who are more concerned with presentation than myself. Really, if that were all my beef was it would be easier on them than the reality: that I’m bored with them. The ultimate insult. That they aren’t even worth my time or consideration. They are sitting at the state licensing office. They are waiting in line at the bank. They are rush-hour traffic. They are boring.
But then, I am unduly harsh. You can meet all sorts of interesting people while licensing your boat, depositing a check or driving home from work. It is when people think that no one is looking that they truly become fascinating.
Then there are those of us who know that people are looking, and just don’t give a damn.
We’re called nerds, and we’re here to rock.