This post is an elaboration of #6 from a list of things I learned early in life. Some friends think I’m crazy, but I’ve turned down more than a dozen offers of one-night-stands in Tokyo. And it’s not that I won’t take a girl home the first time I meet her if I find her fascinating in the required dimensions (no, not only those dimensions), but I need someone with whom I can emotionally connect.
I was a virgin when married at age 23, and was quite idealistic about the beauty of having sex with someone I planned to be with forever. A divorce and several relationships later, I still find myself happiest when I’m focused on only one interesting woman, though I acknowledge now that romantic love is not very obedient to expectations, and may not be as forever as I initially plan.
Not for everyone, but certainly for those who step away from the usual and expected.
Those who drop themselves in a current of change will soon lose count of the changes.
And each change stretches the memory of the series of dynamic selves ever longer until a year is a decade and a decade is forever.
I am everyday amused at the expressions of those to whom I reveal a former self quite disjointed from my current self: The disfunctionally shy and aimless boy, the sincere yet tormented young man of faith, the carpenter cowboy, the weaver of fantastical tales for my wide-eyed progeny, the euphoric academic late bloomer, the occupational dilettante, and now the curmudgeon-flavored connoisseur of the eccentric. Continue reading →
Have you ever forgotten your girlfriend’s name? Ever call her the wrong name?
I discovered early on during my decade in Tokyo that it normally took me about 4 months to learn my girlfriend’s name. This would have fallen within the range of respectability were it not for the fact that the average length of my relationships has been 3 months.
Let me mention just a few strategies I’ve used to mitigate my incompetence. Continue reading →
I‘m told that being jealous is normal. It follows then that I’m quite abnormal.
Last month, an ex-girlfriend got married, and she and her husband invited me to the wedding. Six months prior, they had visited me in Tokyo, and the 3 of us hung out for a fun weekend without so much as a scowl between us. I had not even a hidden pang of the emotion that many feel is normal.
The lack of jealousy can be ascribed to only one of two possible causes.
There is no real love. The person would not be missed were the relationship to end.
There is real love, but in addition, there is understanding, trust and goodwill.
I still care about my ex very much. She is a beautiful (the girl in the photo), talented and all-around wonderful woman. I would do nearly anything for her should she ever be in trouble. Except marry her. But that is only because, at this stage in my life, I could not marry anyone. And of course she’s already married.
I feel like an anthropologist. My ability to exude at will what looks like stupidity allows me to freely approach the natives of many tribes nestled within the jungles of Tokyo. This innocuous and noncompetitive persona is especially attractive to some of the more affluent and celebrated of the jungle who have need of a dependable side-kick now and then. And I’m not gritting my teeth when I assume that role. I’m about as competitive as a bulldog in a greyhound race.
The reasons for this are varied, but the largest is my belief that girls can make up their own minds. My type of girl can easily sniff out the single whiff of honesty through the stench of deceit in a room of 200 indistinguishable males. Whenever I have a new romantic prospect, I introduce her to my better-looking, more-affluent and sweeter-talking male friends. If she attaches herself to one of them because he’s a better match, I’m quite content to have introduced them. If she attaches herself to one of them out of gullibility, I’ll have passed her on without experiencing any of the drama that would have no doubt later occurred. I’ve had considerable success with this strategy. So this uncompetitive nature allows me to mingle with even the more aggressive alpha-males within most tribes.
A week ago a female friend asks me for advice on how to spot a “nice guy”. She asks this with a very sincere look on her face as if she really wants a nice guy, and I do not have the heart to tell her that I know all about the “jerk gene” that all women possess that makes a girl walk the full length of a bar past all the nice guys, and right up to the jerk who slept with her best friend the previous night. Continue reading →