“…the Spanish Inquisition!” Not sure that’s the best way to begin, but…
I suppose it is the most delicate irony that today is the day that, in 1663, Galileo was put on trial for heresy for suggesting that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not vice versa. In 1835, Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was finally taken off the Vatican’s list of banned books. But it wasn’t until 1992 that the Catholic Church formally admitted that Galileo was right. Hopefully, it won’t take me as long to admit when I’m wrong and should answer the right questions. You know, the ones that are asked, not the ones I’m afraid might be asked.
I have no idea how we got onto it last night, but the subject of Ms. NewGal staying over at my place on a “school night” came up. As I have a schedule in the morning and a routine that I really hate to have disrupted, I wasn’t so hot on the idea. Sure, I should be more flexible, but, well, I have so few things at my job that are regular and stable and routine that I have to build in my own routine so that I feel secure. Maybe it’s juvenile or whatever, but, hey, it works for me. I guess the way the question was asked punched some buttons for me because, suddenly, I felt that I was being asked to describe my Five Year Plan for our relationship and my life. Now, understand, I know that’s not what she was asking, but, damn if that’s not what I heard. Sadly, my reaction was less than stellar.
I gave the big sigh and the eye-roll a real workout on that couch. Ms. NewGal fled to the kitchen to cut her pie and clean up her heavenly manicotti and Ceasar salad. Yes, that’s the third pie in two weeks. Another apple pie that’s just as beautiful as the first. That pushed another button that she hadn’t found yet. I knew someone else who used to run away when she’d hit a soft spot. That never ended well. Thankfully, that’s not what Ms. NewGal was upto at all. She just felt insecure. Yeah, can you imagine? Felt as though she’d crossed a boundry and was pulling back to a safe distance. A safe distance for me, not her. When I finally figured that out last night, I melted. I just about disolved into salty puddle, but, instead, I held her. Or let her hold me. Or, maybe, a little of both. I honestly can’t remember the last time a woman was worried about violating my personal boundries. Really. For that matter, I can’t remember the last time a woman baked me an apple pie, not to mention two. (Actually, I can. It was college and my sister, but that’s another story for another post.)
But, here’s the thing. I read these blogs by women saying that they don’t want to seem “needy” or who want normal feed-back or who just want to get out with someone special more often. Or, as K-Dog wrote, “Need to have need and to be needy – how reluctantly we wish this to be said of us! Yet we pay the highest compliment
when we say of a poet, “It is a need for him to write.”“I mean, it seems like so little to ask, doesn’t it? So, if I get the sense that Ms. NewGal is looking for that, I do my best to give it to her. It’s the least I can do for her, after all. I mean, dinner and three pies in two weeks? Who am I that she should lavish that kind of attention on me? Well, I may not have a good answer for that, but, I can tell you what I’m not. I’m not the jackass that would have bailed on her for asking questions that, while perfectly reasonable, made me uncomfortable. I’m not the bottom-feeder that would use someone he met on the Internet for his own personal gratification. Oh, make no mistake, gentle readers, I have been that guy. Oh, yes, I have. But, even an old dog like me can learn new tricks.
New tricks, like “honesty” and “consideration” and “gratitude”. They seem like such little things, like so little to ask of me. I feel like I cheat her, giving just that. Like I should have something else to give. So, when I feel like I’m in thumb-screws and the hot irons are being put to my feet, I’ll try to remember that it’s just my “stuff” that makes me feel that way and answer the questions, simply, honestly, with consideration and try to be grateful that she cares enough to ask.
Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car."