A few months ago I met someone whose only understanding of me was my blog... Over a period of 3 days, he read every post that I've written over the last 5-odd years, all the comments, and figured that he really knew me. Three meetings over three months later, things have gone south in a very serious manner. Since I'm still working my way through my new-found sense of optimism when it comes to potential friendships, I would like to get a few answers to the following questions:
Q: You (a non-blogger) have met a girl - Searcher - for the first time ever at a coffee shop and surprisingly, end up having a fun time together. Do you..
a) Call her the next day and say, 'Hey, you wanna watch a movie?"
b) Start a new blog and dedicate your only post on it to her, with the sole intention of having her read your 40-years-in-400-words attempt at 'honesty' in the hope that she will decide to have a relationship with you?
Q: She reads the post and instead of freaking out about the too-much-too-soon-information in the post, she responds with restraint and an understanding of the compliment being paid. However, she says, "Don't write for me. If we have to get to know each other, we will, but it'll take time." Did she mean...
a) Oooh yeah baby! Bring it on!!! You are the ONE.
b) UH.. ok.. that was .. interesting.. but.. uh.. please don't do this anymore.
Q: She writes a post about dating on her blog and, in a text (probably your third or fourth after meeting her at the coffee shop), you say, 'So, how'd that date go?" She responds, "You don't get to ask about my blog posts. Either you genuinely want to get to know me, and respond to what you get to know of me from our meetings, or you want to just be a voyeur in my life." She meant...
a) Please, always, when you see me, discuss my blog with me, because i live to clarify all your questions about my personal life
b) Let's find out if there's anything more here than admiration for and curiosity about what's on the page.
Q: Some time later, you do invite her to a movie that's playing across town. She agrees to meet you but she's late for the film and the two of you miss it, instead enjoying a fun lunch. A few days later, you watch the same film but not with her. Do you...
a) Talk about the film with her thus having an enjoyable discussion
b) Tell her that you didn't pay attention through the film because in your head this was supposed to be a her-and-you thing, like there was already a her-and-you twosomeness.
Q: Over the three months since you first met her, you have sent her sweet little thinking-of-you gifts - including a to-be-returned personal copy of a book that holds a lot of sentimental value. She hasn't sent you anything in return. Does this mean...
a) You've won over her trust and she now considers you a dear and close friend
b) she's wondering if two meetings (NOT dates) isn't too soon to start giving things of personal and sentimental value to a total stranger
Q: Seeing her under-whelming reciprocation to your gifts, you up the ante and invite her to a weekend away in a beautiful hill station to 'break free from the bonds of relationship labels...' and to get to know each other better. She says, "This feels like you're pushing a fast-forward button to something that barely exists. Let's first meet a bit more in the city where we both live before considering an out-of-town experience." Did she mean...
a) Wow! I so want to go away right now...!
b) Woah! Back off a bit, please. thanks.
Q: After a pleasant dinner (where you couldn't resist referring to her blog which you've been following pretty avidly despite being asked not to) and a movie (this was the third meeting in three months), you surprise her with a gift - a paid-for flight ticket to a beach haven. When she says, "back the fuck off!", it means...
a) ofcourse you are relevant enough in her life to presume to have a say on if and where she takes a holiday, all because (according to you and your incisive reading between the lines of all her blog posts) she seems to be unraveling.
b) She's finally losing her patience with a person who's now so out of the picture that she doesn't need to bother much with being polite anymore.
The most astounding part of the conversation was when he said, "The reason I'm here and why I suggested the break is because when I read your posts, I feel sad. It's like you're stuck, revisiting the same things over and over and there's no forward movement. And I guess as your reader, I'd like to see you go forward." This moment was when I thought of Bob Dylan and thought the words he had uttered a long time ago. He had said, as I wanted to at that time, "Just cuz you like my stuff, doesn't mean I owe you shit."
A long time ago, I'd written about what it was like meeting another blogger. Fortunately, that blogger is someone I consider a friend today - three years later. It took time, a healthy respect for each others' private space regardless of what we are privy to on the e-page, comments from our monikers on each others posts, as well as face-time house parties, get togethers at nightclubs, late night drunk phonecalls, and an understanding that what happens on a blog stays on a blog.
I don't know why that's so hard to understand.