Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three Little Words

 "The French like nothing better than to take to the streets. Doesn't much matter what for; one thing you learn quickly in France, there's always something to be against: the new government, the old government, the European Union, fewer teachers, fewer holidays, regulations about how much bacteria you can put in your cheese or how much wax you can put in your chocolate. You name it, someone thinks it's a terrible idea. Nobody is offering a viable solution. That, presumably, is next week's job. Today, it is just the joyful frenzy of a collective 'non!' "
--Lunch in Paris, Elizabeth Bard

Generally speaking, Luddites get on my nerves. I only know a few -- which stands to reason -- how would you even meet one, in an era where all Invitations to Socialize arrive via facebook or twitter, and then the pictures are posted there (where we all confer about whether or not we had a good time)? I like this system.

But in the last couple months, it's all been rearranged. And I have been out on multiple occasions with multiple guys, on multiple occasions, who don't have computers in their homes. On purpose. If you can imagine. They didn't get stolen or anything.

And last night I realized how lazily reliant I'd become on Social Media when one of them said, after an arduous evening of helping Chef DaveO and Jenn move a bookcase, seemingly appropos of nothing, "I'm Pro Same Sex Marriage, by the way."

I thought for a second, Well, maybe that's his way of telling me he's gay? God knows I've been wrong about that at least once before, that I know of. On the one hand, I was thinking I should probably say something supportive and affirmative in solidarity. On the other, I was thinking: If he was on facebook, I would've already known all this. Even if his orientation didn't specify "interested in Men," I would still be able to see if he was a fan of Bette Midler. I wasn't especially overwrought at this possibility. As far as I'm concerned, I can always use another homosexual in my life (and God knows, in my house, where I am very short on Design Gays). But my gay husband laid down the law the other night, after we were chatting up a lovely couple at the McSwankertons', "NO. You have enough Gays. You can NOT have ANY more." (We hardly have any Art Gays, I protested, but he still wouldn't let me bring them home.)

This whole getting-acquainted-in-person-like-an-Animal thing was clearly NOT working out. It's so ambiguous/ambivalent. In response to all my girlfriends' relentless quizzing, Nope, there's been no physical contact that would indicate clear heterosexual interest. This is something that bothers them endlessly, and me, not at all. He tracked me down and called me up the day after he met me -- and that was without the aid of facebook, or twitter, or blip, or LinkedIn, or anything else. Good enough for me. Because I would never have done that. Whatever the perceptions of my degree of forwardness... might be (vis a vis lucky halftime rituals, for example), I don't typically chase boys, and I am not a kiss-on-the-first (or fourth) date kinda girl. There's no intense moralism behind any of it -- it's just a combination of being insanely lazy and wildly commitment-phobic, crossed with my Rainman-aversion to most any human contact. Most of my Ex-es have been in my life a decade or longer, and they would be the first to tell you that there was nothing about me that came easy on that front (initially), and that they have earned their privileges.

So, he continued his thought, after a long uncomfortable silence. "You said you couldn't believe I was a Republican?"

That's true. It turns out, his comment was just another bullet point in this ongoing case he'd been making. Because he'd already explained that he was pro-choice, while clarifying his position on several other stereotypes he suspected I would find politically objectionable. What I was thinking was: Yeah, that's another thing Facebook would've told me right up front. It turns out, he's mostly just a fiscal conservative -- like me and nearly everybody else I know -- so big deal. I can't really think of an occasion where I've ever allowed politics to stand in the way of getting laid, but I didn't say that out loud. I suppose I seem like someone who has greater courage of conviction than I actually do. I wouldn't go out with anyone who watched Fox News, but beyond that, I have a keen respect for letting everybody vote their own conscience. As long as he's ok with same sex marriage...and the Food Gays running their fingers through his hair (since they've already expressed a keen interest in it, several times)...everybody should be able to agree to disagree at the polls, so to speak.

Last night, after walking back from bookshelf duty, we settled into the TV room, where I could open up the Pank, log onto Twitter, and make a cryptic joke to ChefDaveO -- while he flipped over to Rachel Maddow for the latest Arizona updates (see, he is a really bad Republican -- we both agreed we'd be perfectly ok boycotting the Grand Canyon this summer). I was giving him a hard time about how all the good updates on this issue were available on Facebook, complete with video links etc., when he picked up the remote and said, "hey, at least I know how to do this," and changed the channel.

He seemed so proud, I didn't have the heart to tell him he'd just canceled my "Top Chef" Tivo-in-progress. (No spoilers please.)

As I pulled up a few sites to show him that were particularly legally on point in Arizona, he then said the three magic words a girl like me can only dream of hearing, "What's a blog?"

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