Stationary Relocation ...
Another Holiday Weekend spent here in DC, my home for about two years. I no longer enjoy traveling at the same time as the masses. I travel during other weekends, when the roads and airports are not as congested.
Before I moved into DC I lived across the river in Arlington. Before that I lived a few miles further out in Fairfax Country. If you ignore these baby-steps, I've been living in the DC metropolitan area for 11 years.
I was 24 when I moved here. Now I'm 35.
At first I had no friends here, of course. I was lucky enough to have a long-distance boyfriend who moved in with me a year after I arrived.
Then I made some friends at work. Some of those persisted after employment changed. People move a lot, though, and when I entered law school I found it too difficult to keep track of everybody. It was all I could do to try to have a boyfriend. My youngest sister would repeatedly tell me to focus on my schoolwork instead of dating ... but I graduated in the top 5% of my class anyway :-)
However, boyfriends don't always last either. People move on, move away, or even die. The collection of people I consider my friends is not a static set. People who seem very interested in remaining friends find new things to occupy their time. I'm probably doing the same thing to people who'd like to hang out with me more often.
I've lived in the same place for 11 years, but the median age of my closest friendships is about 3 years. I probably make one really good close friend per year. But I also watch really good friends drift away, to the point where they don't return calls or e-mails.
Staying put doesn't help, at least not here in DC! Transience rules.
I was thinking yesterday about doing some more group socializing. There are plenty of Queer social groups in DC. I've sampled a couple of them during the past year. I want to do more of that.
If I'd only now moved to the DC area, how would I go about finding friends and dates? For years I relied on late-night trips to bars or trading pics online. I want to try different options now. If I'd only now moved to DC, and the Internet didn't exist, and I had to avoid bars because of my asthma (which is true, now), how would I meet compatible people?
Well, that depends on my definition of compatibility. Cruising online creates this finely differentiated market of typewritten verbal intelligence and picture quality, plus a great deal of ageism, racism, and risky casual sex. It annoys me. It wasn't like that 11 years ago, before most people joined the Internet.
I see other people draw up written lists of what they are looking for in a boyfriend. That seems logical.
And that's exactly what is wrong with it. Using the logic of market capitalism to find friends or a mate.
Doesn't it make more sense to mix up with a bunch of people in real life and experience who you like and who you don't like?
That is my task. It appears difficult, because I'm an introvert, because I've always relied on intoxication and/or the Internet to remove my inhibitions.
Mixing up in real life involves a direct attack upon my personality, my self-image, my beliefs about who I am and what I enjoy.
It will feel like I've moved to a new city, like I'm starting over.
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