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"Like a graveyard...
... people dig me"
On mindfulness and the social beast 
9th-Mar-2008 07:35 am
Sex for Bandwidth
This post has been bouncing around in my head a lot, so instead of grabbing a book to read on the train yesterday, I grabbed a notebook and a pencil and went to town on it. See, I often think of good LJ posts when I'm on the train, but I cannot post from there. Well, not beyond a certain character limit. Anyways, on with the show.

I've noticed how easy it is to be pigeon-holed. The first time I remember this being shown to me was during my First Year at RIT. I was visiting BxSci just before Thanksgiving, and I found that despite my (mostly) successful efforts to combat it up at my new school, I was still "Peter, horny Peter"1 to them. The most interesting facet of that to me was that I began to act in accordance with this perception.2

I still notice this kind of feature occurring in newer social connections than my HS friends. For instance, when it becomes known that I'm somewhat smitten over a lady in a group, it is assumed that I cannot behave rationally or non-romantically around this person — even if they've consistently expressed a lack of interest and I've thus given up any designs on them. This is especially a problem because I have many friends that I'm attracted to in one degree or another, and just about all of them have shot me down. Which is fine, and expected: the chance of two people with mutual interest in each other is rather small in my experience. After all, not everybody's going to be attracted to me — most people are not and that's OK. In fact, it's probably for the best as I have some time-management issues sometimes.3

In fact, if one of these friends were to, out of the blue, suggest something, there's a good chance I'd say "no". Perhaps because after being just friends for so long, I've gotten used to the status quo. Or perhaps I've learned enough about this person that I realized it simply wouldn't work out as either a relationship, a one-off sort of thing, or even a friends-with-benefits situation. Please note, this does not change the fact that I find them attractive, and unfortunately, it does not much change my behaviors around them. I'm still the same overeager puppydog as always.4

Just to be clear, this post is not about any single situation, person, or thing, but rather about something that has been bothering me for a while. I hashed out a bunch of these ideas on the ride home from Arisia with glib_dichotmy, and really, this idea, half-baked as it clearly is, has been bouncing around in my skull since at least that experience at Thanksiving all those years ago at BxSci. Of course, I am sure I am just as guilty at pigeon-holing others as I accuse others of doing to me. Categorizing is something people do, and we do it well. I recently re-read Illuminatus! which throws this concept of categorization, and especially the concept of dichotomy, directly into the trash.

Now looking back at this entry I want to delete it all, because I'm afraid it'll be seen as passive-agressive bullshit. In addition, I don't feel I've actually accomplished anything by writing this out. I've posed no question, no solution, and only barely an observation.

1 Sung to the tune of "Sunday, Bloody Sunday"
2 And stil do to this day, despite my attempts at mindfulness.
3 You would too, if you had work six days a week, TKD six times a week over three days, and school two nights a week.
4 I've spoken with shoujo_mallet about this, and while she says I have gotten better about this, I have not completely subdued such behaviors. I'm not entirely sure I want to.
9th-Mar-2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking your point is that while pigeon-holing can sometimes be accurate, in other cases it can influence the pigeon-holed unduly and *cause* them to fit into that hole.

Puppy-dogish guys make for great flings. ^_^
10th-Mar-2008 06:14 am (UTC)
Peter, just because you've only made an observation doesn't make it any less valuable, or important. The fact that you're able to conceptualize your concerns, and how it affects you is really important and meas you're that much closer to being cool with an aspect of your existence, or finally deciding how you'd want to change (if at all), then doing so.

Cheers to you my friend. I have a feeling that I speak for others when I say, you give us hope man :)
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