I met Crockett for delicious wine and a tasty lobster roll at The Empire after work today, because that’s kind of how we roll on Tuesdays post breakup. (Minus the lobster roll, because that’s a short term thing, per the head chef/owner (I asked)).
(I love lobster rolls.)
I wonder, now, what I would think of Crockett if we were going on a first date. When we met we were younger. (Duh, dummy, whatever.) I was coming out of a long period of time of being alone punctuated by really really terrible decisions. I dated that guy who was a friend’s younger brother, for example, that I barely exchanged words with and yet somehow we became boyfriend and girlfriend and then I kept canceling things and he got mad. Or those other guys. Whatever. This is not that post. This is a post about me making new friends or failing to do so.
I started to make a new friend recently, but it didn’t go very well. In this case, I made some serious comments about the implications of men calling women they date crazy (actual mental issues are serious business and not to be made light of. ‘Crazy’ as usually used by men in that context means that a woman has wants and needs that aren’t in line with his needs or aren’t within the boundaries of what a woman traditionally expresses on a date) and the difference between that and women calling men creepy (also not particularly fair, but when a dude presents as putting his desire to be near you above your own desire to be not-near him, that can turn non-safe faster than most men would believe possible, so early labeling is to a large extent a safety issue for us) and it wasn’t received openly. My prospective new friend thought I was lecturing/yelling/something something and said that I would be more convincing if I WAS QUIETER ABOUT IT.
The thing is, I was totally lecturing/something something. (I was not yelling). These are things that I care strongly about, and things that I will never talk about the way that I’ll talk about TV or that tick that turns people into vegetarian zombies or whatever. There’s not a place in my future where I’ll stop lecturing/something something when I talk about that stuff.
I was a grown up when I met Crockett, but I became the person I am now while I was with him. (Most of that is documented here, actually.) I wonder, if I met him now, if we would even be friends. I think we would, but I also think he would say some things that would make me mad. And I would say some things that he would think were stupid. And I would make him mad. But I would see that he is smart and funny and currently underutilized in his whole life. And he might see that I’m …. whatever I am.
My work friend, Coastie (see the recent post where he laughed at my dumb joke and no one else did), is sort of an exercise in opposites when compared to the friend who thought I was a yeller. He’s not aware that women calling men creepy and men calling women crazy is even a thing. He doesn’t know what reddit is. I could explain the crazy/creepy phenomenon to him and he would agree, because he wouldn’t understand that there was a subset of people who think that doesn’t make sense. My across-the-hallway-coworker, who has been online dating a lot, would think I was making a big deal out of something that doesn’t really exist. We are not going to be real friends. My friend Chewbacca would not necessarily agree with me, but would engage in honest discussion and would never accuse me of taking it too seriously. Most of my other friends (girlfriends) just let me say things and nod and smile and sometimes ask me to intervene when some dumbass is saying things like ‘yo that girl I met last week was crazy’. I don’t know what Crockett would have done if he hadn’t grown into this version of me with me.
I’ve been watching too much Sex and the City. But the question is: when you’re a fully formed adult person (in as much as that’s a real thing which come on, we’re talking 50% fully formed for the best of us), how much compatibility can you expect from the people you love? How much are they expected to agree with you, how much to humor you, and how much can you disagree on?