Introvert Musings

I’m work­ing out some per­son­al stuff here, large­ly think­ing out loud. Please feel free to just skip right on.

sam­bear meets peo­ple, I swear, while brush­ing his teeth in our very own bath­room. He’s just such an extro­vert, so lov­ing and friend­ly and out­go­ing, that the man talks to every­one. Online or offline, he is just con­tin­u­al­ly “on” in a good sense. It’s some­what intim­i­dat­ing at times to wit­ness the num­ber of ladies who are inter­est­ed in my man. I’m most def­i­nite­ly poly, but damn! And since it sel­dom seems that any­one is tru­ly inter­est­ed in me (yes, sev­er­al recent inci­dents say oth­er­wise, but I’m talk­ing about my per­cep­tions), I can’t help but be a bit envi­ous at times.

Sam insists that this is because I do not put myself “out there”—and hon­est­ly, I don’t. Until recent­ly, I haven’t gone out much, due to all the par­ent­ing stuff—but as I get out more, on cam­pus and so on, I real­ize that I’ve fall­en into a very intro­vert­ed pat­tern no mat­ter where I am. I haven’t actu­al­ly “met” any­one but my pro­fes­sors in an entire semes­ter of class­es, and I cer­tain­ly haven’t made any friends. (We will not dis­cuss the fact that I’m clos­er to the pro­fes­sors’ ages than my class­mates’. Or the fact that the pro­fes­sors are usu­al­ly more attrac­tive to me.) I walk into class, par­tic­i­pate as appro­pri­ate, and leave. Peri­od. I’m aware of my sur­round­ings in a per­son­al secu­ri­ty sort of way, but I don’t ever con­sid­er speak­ing to any­one unless it is absolute­ly nec­es­sary. I’m just self-con­tained, focused on tak­ing care of the busi­ness of get­ting my class­es out of the way and get­ting home.

At home, while we’ve enter­tained reg­u­lar­ly for years, it’s usu­al­ly gamers we already know, our kids’ friends, and their par­ents. Well, that and host­ing one or two filks a year. And now that we aren’t in Try­bal­a­ka, it’s less like­ly that we’ll actu­al­ly get around to attend­ing any gath­ers (haven’t yet, ever).

When we do go out, such as to the Poly SE cof­fee gath­er­ing a few weeks ago, I do talk to peo­ple. But we usu­al­ly just see peo­ple we already know at those—they’re safe. I can chat freely. We’ve only ever attend­ed one filk oth­er than the ones we’ve host­ed, but I did talk to a few peo­ple there who I did­n’t already know. As we move to have just one child in the house, we’ll be able to go out a lot more. I’m left won­der­ing how that’s going to be.

There’s also the fact that I only go out with Sam. I can’t remem­ber the last time I did some­thing social out­side the house with­out him. Wait, yes I can! It was a folk singing night at East Lake Com­mons, and it was well over a year ago. Maybe two. No mat­ter how many peo­ple know that we’re polyamorous, it’s prob­a­bly less like­ly that any­one who might ever be inter­est­ed would make any kind of approach to a woman who is very clear­ly WITH a man than if that woman were alone.

Since I seem to be damned near social­ly inert in the phys­i­cal world, that leaves the vir­tu­al world. I most­ly read the jour­nals of peo­ple I know per­son­al­ly. I don’t post a great deal in any LJ com­mu­ni­ties, or even read the ones I’ve joined very reg­u­lar­ly (except my recent addic­tion, dot-cat­ti­ness). I don’t ever enter any chat room any­where on the net. I sel­dom open a chat client, and when I do, I’m usu­al­ly invis­i­ble. If not, I only talk to peo­ple I already know any­way, and I sel­dom talk to them long. I just find chat­ting online to be too lit­tle band­width com­pared to face-to-face inter­ac­tions. I don’t even like talk­ing on the phone much—give me body lan­guage, expres­sions, tone of voice, a chance to see whether or not a smile reach­es some­one’s eyes and how deep the laugh real­ly goes.

I haven’t ever been able to do per­son­al ad sor­ta things very well, par­tial­ly because I’m not sure what I’m look­ing for. Then I real­ized that it’s because I’m not look­ing, or I don’t want to look, or some­thing like that—I want to be pur­sued. Doing the whole per­son­als thing is more pur­su­ing than being pur­sued. Sor­ta tawdry by those fucked-up dou­ble stan­dards that, yes, are in some ways still present in my skull. At least I’m way more con­scious of them now. That’s good, right?

Defin­ing what I find attrac­tive isn’t ter­ri­bly easy, either. I’m ter­ri­bly, ter­ri­bly spoiled by my roman­tic man, and I’m way past being the girl who is just flat­tered to have some­one inter­est­ed in her. (I’m still some­what sur­prised and flat­tered, but no, it isn’t enough to sweep me off my feet. Per­haps that’s because I wear more sen­si­ble shoes now? Not sure.)

Intel­li­gence, competence—they’re required. Def­i­nite­ly. But I recent­ly real­ized that just being smart isn’t enough. Being very com­pe­tent or knowl­edge­able, even gift­ed, in one nar­row field isn’t the kind of spark that gets my atten­tion. I’d just as soon try a chat with an expert sys­tem, thanks.

But some­one who is intel­li­gent and cre­ative and rea­son­ably well-edu­cat­ed, both wide­ly and deeply—that’s sexy. The kind of per­son who keeps push­ing on to learn new things and acquire new skills, who won’t ever get old because there’s just so damned much to be excit­ed about—that’s the kind of per­son who can give me chills with just words on a screen.

Words are impor­tant. Sam seduced me with his. I’m picky, okay? They must be rea­son­ably gram­mat­i­cal. I’m not capa­ble of get­ting past tru­ly hor­rif­ic spelling. Yes, it’s prob­a­bly shal­low. The words have to be sin­cere, believ­able, not con­trived like one creepy per­son­’s com­ments I’ve been see­ing in a few ladies’ jour­nals late­ly. If it sounds like some­thing some­body made up for a bad nov­el or the way a clue­less git imag­ines role­play­ing a ladies’ man, I’m gonna laugh. I can’t help it. I may not laugh out loud, or in his face—okay, if that par­tic­u­lar creepy guy were to be the clue­less git in ques­tion, I would indeed do it in his face. But I’ll laugh.

I have an inex­plic­a­ble weak­ness for men play­ing acoustic gui­tars. I don’t know why, but it was formed on high school band and cho­rus trips and I haven’t ever got­ten over it. Maybe it’s some weird-assed diva thing—ooo, he can accom­pa­ny me! But I real­ly don’t think so, because I’m quite con­tent to sim­ply lis­ten most of the time. And if he sings as well—(sigh).

If it seems some­one is look­ing for just any­body, well, blech. I’m not just any­body, I am SOMEBODY. And I want to know that some­one is inter­est­ed in me in par­tic­u­lar, not me as an avail­able female who just hap­pens to be present.

I’m a fair­ly assertive per­son. Okay, I can be a very assertive per­son. I don’t actu­al­ly need any­one to defend or pro­tect me. I like hav­ing some­one do so, though. Yeah, it’s more of that old pro­gram­ming. But it is very deeply ingrained in me that if a man per­mits a woman he is with to be treat­ed poor­ly or dis­re­spect­ful­ly in any way by any­one, it is because he does not val­ue or respect her. I will stomp on a trans­gres­sor, but I’ll be much hap­pi­er if a man beats me to him or her. (And yes, gen­tle­men who wit­ness a lady being treat­ed poor­ly step in to pro­vide this ser­vice because they are gen­tle­men and would want oth­er gen­tle­men to defend their own lady in the same way if they were not present to do so them­selves. It’s part of the polite soci­ety contract.)

(Yes, I’ve pret­ty much talked about men. I am bi, but I do lean towards men more than women. I haven’t been involved with many women, and I haven’t ever had a rela­tion­ship with a woman that did­n’t involve a man as well. In fact, I’ve only been involved with women in the con­text of a vee, tri­ad, or quad. That isn’t by design, but in my expe­ri­ence, women are sel­dom are aggres­sive about pur­su­ing oth­er women (or me, at least) as men are, so no woman has chased me down and tack­led me. There­fore I don’t know much about what one acquain­tance called “the bi babe mat­ing shuffle.”)

So, um, right. No, there prob­a­bly isn’t a point to this, nor is it some sneaky request to have artic­u­late gen­tle­man­ly gui­tar play­ers pur­sue me. I’m sim­ply try­ing to fig­ure out—do I even *want* the kind of atten­tion Sam gets? Well, yes, sor­ta. I recall enjoy­ing quite a lot of pur­suit many years ago when I was a slen­der young gal. Am I ever like­ly to become some­one who pur­sues those in whom she’s inter­est­ed? Nope. I sim­ply can’t see it hap­pen­ing. So I sup­pose I’ll have to sim­ply get out and enjoy myself in the real world more again. Per­haps I’ll meet some­one who man­ages to con­vince me that yes, he is in fact inter­est­ed in me and isn’t sim­ply being polite. (Con­vinc­ing me of such gen­er­al­ly requires appli­ca­tion of a clue by four.) If not, I’ll still have enjoyed myself, right?

Cur­rent Mood: 🤔con­tem­pla­tive
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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