The Beach Part
We're only a few days late here at the newsletter, but it was a holiday with amazing weather here in New York City. Also, we have to prepare for ConnectiCon this weekend. Don't worry, though. My calendar is completely empty from next week through PAX West. While everyone else is wasting this summer weather inside playing Overwatch, the only geekeries I'm doing right now are bicycling and content creation. Are you wasting your summer with video games?
For those readers living in the Southern Hemisphere, I've got nothing that you can't dish right back in my face six months from now. Enjoy the fact that your side of the world is generally warmer overall.
It comes as no surprise that the last newsletter generated quite a few replies. As usual, I don't have much to say in reply to them. However, I realized something. Why do I have to reply to them in the first place? I can just publish them the way newspapers publish letters to the editor. That's exactly what I intend to do, starting now. Just be aware, I'm only going to be publishing things relating to the most recent newsletter. This will not become a space for discussion between readers using me as your intermediary. If you want a discussion, we have a forum for that.
Telegrams to the Editor
Also, I want people to be aware that I may only publish excerpts from their messages. I will indicate with some ellipsis where content has been removed by me. Here we go.
The one thing I found most interesting about your email was your decision to force people to justify their conforming to social norms. As someone who sits outside the daily flow of social activities you find yourself asked why you don't participate in the thing everyone else is doing. Yet you stand firm in your conviction that the normal social activities are not good for our bodies and that it is the bulk of the population that needs to justify doing the thing that is counter intuitive from a health perspective.
I am glad there are people like you challenging our thoughts on these matters. However considering cigarettes have been around since the late 1800's and they are just now starting to be slowly phased out I have little hope of alcohol (around since 7000bc) getting sidelined for clean healthy living. There is just too much inertia. What I do hope happens is that people may choose to reduce their reliance on it for social lubrication just a little, and make a more friendly environment for people like yourself to be included.
Keep up the good work.
P.S. I forgot to add, I work in the beverage industry. We have a saying that when people are depressed they drink, and when people are happy they drink, so business is always good. Even during the 2008 downturn we continued to grow and hire new employees. I think that drinking is here to stay.
Since drugs were such a hot topic, and rock and roll won't be, I guess we're going to talk about sex. Without any question, sex and romantic relationships are the things people want to discuss most, but they don't because it's taboo. And as we discussed last time, people often use alcohol and drugs to help loosen those inhibitions. Let me demonstrate how it is possible to spill all the beans without any social lubrication (pun intended). This will be the longest newsletter ever since I'm going to have quite a few introductory stories. Is everyone ready for epic tales that are so true and too real? This is the final warning.
The Sex Part
Our first date was a long bike ride around the city. She was so geeky that she invited me to play Johann Sebastian Joust with her friends, and she was a MAGFest attendee. We only went out maybe a total of four times. Given how much we had in common, how did I not stay with this person forever?
It Didn't Last
The exact moment it fell apart was when were chilling in the park after a nice bike ride. She told me all about her sex toy collection, which was way hot. Then she told me about a sexy orgy/party she went to. Clearly she was trying to suggest something. I wonder what it could have been?
Can anyone guess what happened next? This is going to make some readers so frustrated.
I explained how I also had a sex positive attitude. However, despite having strong liberal beliefs, I have conservative behaviors. While my body very much wants to have sex, my brain is in charge here. We've spent less than twenty four hours of our lives together. If we keep dating, it's almost definitely going to happen, but there's nobody on earth that I trust enough to have sex with them after knowing them for only such a short period of time. I think we saw each other once more, but I could tell it was over as soon as I showed up to that final date.
The Football Game
This girl was way geeky. The kind who played Starcraft competitively. The kind who could hang with the FRC and get along. Rym went out of his way to say he liked her a lot. She was into Rooster Teeth, and went to their convention, but nobody's perfect. We saw each other a handful of times. She was even asking me out, so it went both ways.
One Sunday in the winter she wanted to meet up. The Giants game that day was particularly crucial. I told her that she could come over if she wanted to, but that I would be watching the game. She said she was OK with that, which I knew was a lie. We chatted while the game went on. She saw how I yelled at the TV. I wasn't going to hide it. It would have been much worse to hide it and then have it revealed on Thanksgiving with my whole family.
The game went on, and the Giants got a nice lead. Any Giants fan knows those bums can't be trusted. That piece of shit Matt Dodge still can't show his face in this city. We were going out to eat after the game, and she started asking if we could leave early, since the game was effectively over in her eyes. I knew she wasn't enjoying herself and just wanted to go, but I had to see the game end. That's just not how I do.
The next day, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, she broke up with me. This was not the only occurrence of a nerdy/geeky person rejecting me because they saw how important sports are in my life.
I met this girl a whole bunch of times over the course of a few months. I didn't have extremely strong feelings for her, but I just felt really comfortable being with her. I had none of that nervousness people get on most dates. She definitely kept wanting to see me. She asked me to make out, which is pretty much what it takes. I'm so afraid of being that creepy bad guy, that I never make a first move unless I'm 100% sure it's safe. We only went around a few bases, with no intentions of going further. During that, she told me she was a virgin. I can't know for sure, but I had no reason to believe she was lying.
We met again and things were a bit steamier this time. Because of the virginity thing, I was asking for consent even more than usual. I made sure to ask if she was ok every step of the way. At one point she made a suggestion that she wanted to go all the way, but she didn't state it directly and clearly. When we got around to it, and I asked if she was absolutely sure, she said no. That didn't end the fun, though. It just drew the line.
The next week we went on another normal date with no extracurricular activities. The day after that I got a mysterious text that she wanted to meet. I agreed to meet, but I was worried. I assumed most likely she wanted to break up, but it could be anything. Was this the moment people talk about when the hidden crazy comes out? I even thought for a second she might tell me she has cancer or something.
No, it was what I expected, she just wanted to break up. It was nice and cute that she insisted on breaking up in person. Most people these days break up simply by not responding to any messages. She actually said she was really happy with the physical activities, but not anything else. The exact opposite of the nerdy biking girl.
When Opportunity Stops Knocking
My aunt met my uncle in summer camp. My mom was friends with my aunt. My uncle was my father's brother. Because of that relationship, my parents spent a lot of time together, grew close, and the rest is history. My brother met his fiancee while they were counselors at summer camp. My sister's boyfriend is her co-worker. Almost every couple in the FRC were just friends who gamed, watched anime, went to college, and/or partied together before pairing up. People had opportunities to spend time together before realizing they want to take their relationship further.
It's not like I've not had opportunities like this. It just never worked out. There was a girl in high school I liked, and was 90%+ sure also liked me. We weren't friends, but we had quite a few classes together. I definitely didn't have the balls to say anything to her at that time in my life. She actually wrote in my yearbook that she was going to college in the same town as me, and that we should try to meet up. I never saw or heard from her again.
There was the time I went out with some other camp counselors. One of the female counselors, was literally playing footsies with me at the restaurant. Nerdy teenager Scott could not honestly believe that a girl was legitimately interested, and thought she was just trying to mess with him. He got annoyed and kept telling her to cut it out.
There was the girl I met on the trip I took to Israel between high school and college. We never officially became a thing, or even kissed, but 18 year old Scott would have married her. We hugged goodbye at Newark airport, and I had no way to contact her ever again. She is known in the FRC as "marrying girl."
Nowadays in my adult life, there are no more situations like this. I don't spend time with single women in a context where I can build a pre-romantic relationship with them. Co-workers are a big no-no. Even if they weren't, none of them are eligible. There are no single women left in the FRC. These kinds of social situations don't exist for someone who is thirty four years old.
I've seen a lot of people propose to each other at conventions, and claim to have met each other at those conventions. It makes sense when it's two staff members, but attendees? How did that even happen? With all the sexual harassment that goes on at conventions, I am definitely not going to be talking to any women I don't know about any topic even related to dating or sex. Best case scenario I could imagine is meeting someone playing a board game. Do I dare risk asking them to dinner after the con? As a staff member, guest speaker, and [E]nforcer, I have a lot to lose. Can't risk it. The only hope at a con is if someone approaches me first. In all these years, it's never happened even once.
The only reasonable option left to me is online dating. In New York City, it's way too easy. Without even trying, I have gone on too many dates. I guess my profile is really good? They say single ladies outnumber single men in NYC, and I believe it. If I tried harder, I could probably go on a date every single night. Despite such a large quantity of dates, the story is almost always the same.
Online in New York City
Hi, how are you. Nice to meet you. Let's make small-talk for an hour or three. Maybe we'll share a bike ride, a walk in the park. or a delicious meal. Uh oh, the conversation dried up. Let's awkwardly pause while we think of things to say until it's an appropriate time to part ways. Goodbye forever.
Occasionally a date stands out from the rest. There was the girl who could only contribute more than two words to a conversation if it was about her really boring desk job. I think she could also talk about Resident Evil, but no other games. I think she was into me because nobody else gave her the time of day. I felt bad turning her away. It was so sadly one-sided.
A couple times it has been one sided in the other direction. Just a few weeks ago I met someone who told me her favorite book is Hyperion. She is an anime/manga fan who was fluent in Japanese due to teaching English in Japan. Her apartment is a five minute walk from mine. Her favorite Final Fantasy is VIII, but nobody's perfect. We didn't run out of things to say even after spending a bunch of time chilling in the park. After meeting someone for the first time, at most I'll hug them goodbye. Usually I just wave and smile. She unexpectedly kissed me on the cheek when we parted. I texted her the next day, and she wasn't interested. It was perhaps the first time I was surprised that I got rejected, but oh well.
Even in a very non-observant Jewish family like mine, the older people keep pressuring members of my generation to get married and make babies. My mom at least knows we don't like that. She mostly controls herself, and only pesters infrequently. The last time she pestered I had to tell her to shut it. She's asking why I don't have a girlfriend, like I can just go to the store and buy one. It's nice that she's worried I'll be lonely, but I don't think that's a concern in 21st century NYC. She says she'll find someone for me. I tell her good luck with that.
Mind Your Own Business
My mom's childhood friend is someone who I refer to as my aunt, despite not being related by blood. I recently attended the wedding of one of her daughters. At the wedding I was seated at a table with my brother, his fiancee, my sister, her boyfriend, and one more person. This one more person was a girl I had never met before that very night when our mothers introduced us to each other. This is the person she said she would find. There was assigned seating. This was without a doubt, a conspiracy between our mothers and the mother of the bride.
Now, this girl was a perfectly nice person. She lived in the city, and was happy to be there and sit with our family. She didn't seem uncomfortable or upset to be sitting with us. However, she was what we nerds have more recently begun to refer to as "basic." Just a chill normal person. Not an interesting or nerdy bone in her whole body. After asking her about her job and her interests, there was literally nothing else to talk about. She spent the rest of the night dancing with someone who I think was her father. I spent the night standing around and waiting for a socially acceptable time to leave. For someone who doesn't dance or drink, a typical wedding is not a comfortable place to be after the ceremony and meal are over.
During that waiting time, my brother, the most bro-ish member of the family, got way drunk. That's how he does. What really bothered me was that in his inebriated state he now felt it was OK to pester me as well. "Why don't you get with that girl? She's hot! Don't you want to have a family? You're not interested? My fiancee is great right, you don't want that? You don't care? I just want you to be happy." I would be happy if he would stop drinking, and mind his own business. He somehow couldn't believe that this was a middling to low priority in my life, and that I wasn't even remotely interested in someone so boring, no matter how good looking.
If that wasn't steamy enough, sorry. There was a girl in college who I met in chemistry class. She came on strong, but was only interested in being friends with benefits. She was known in the FRC as "spy girl." That's about as hot as it gets. Here at GeekNights we specialize in the bait and switch, and this case is no different.
I Just Don't Care
As I said, I do everything possible to avoid being "that creepy guy." Otherwise, in my situation, I could easily have become a gamergater. Blaming all women, or blaming the world, for my lack of action. That's how those guys think. "I'm being nice. I'm doing things by the book. How come women still won't fuck me?" The answer, as I hope we all know, is that it's not the world's fault, and it's not women's fault. There are billions of people in the world who mostly all want to get it on. We almost all want to find a partner if we don't have one already. If someone wants action, and isn't getting it, the only person to blame is themselves.
In all these stories, the common factor is me, Scott. What is it about me that has resulted in me being single for so long? I'm not trying hard. It's not a high priority. It don't want it badly enough. Those are all factors. Yet, I still try at least a little bit. I definitely try enough to put success within reach. Why do I fail at this, when I succeed at so many other things in life?
I'm beginning to think the reason is that I simply don't care that much about other people. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I actually love all people in the same way that Mr. Rogers loves all his neighbors. I want people to be well and be happy. I care even more for my friends and family. They are the most important people.
When I say I don't care, I mean that I don't care about the details of people's lives. I don't care about what people have to say. I don't even care what Rym has to say. He complains about his co-workers like I'm supposed to care. He tells me about some game he likes, or some anime he watched, and my fuck field is extra barren. Rym can vouch for how often I have to ask him to repeat himself. Why? Because I stopped listening and read something more interesting on the Internet while he was talking.
The only time I find myself actually wanting to hear other people talk is if they are teaching me something new that I want to learn. This is perhaps why I have a reputation for being grumpy. It's perhaps why I'm not so happy to meet fans at a convention. I don't care if someone likes GeekNights or not. Nothing the fans say is something I want to hear, positive or negative. Go away kid, you bother me!
Even among my closest friends and family I often won't know what people are up to in their lives. Recently I found out that someone got a new job. I never knew they left their previous one. Since I don't genuinely want to know about people's lives, I don't ask. Unless people go out of their way to tell me things, I won't know. I have extremely close friends that I rarely talk to. I have a huge list of contacts, and 90+% of the time I only message Rym about what to do the show on.
What makes this even more hilarious is that as much as I don't listen, I love talking. I really like telling people shit that I care about. I enjoy it whether they want to hear it, or not. I honestly enjoy gabbing about some esoteric bullshit to someone who I know is just pretending to listen. All the better if they are actually listening. Despite this, I restrain myself as much as I can. I recognize that people don't want to hear what I have to say, and I like to follow the golden rule.
This is why when I date people I run out of things to say to them. Other people don't have this problem. I know people who can talk to complete strangers forever. They might be faking it, but they appear to be genuinely interested in what the other people have to say. Of course, people want to talk with them and be with them. It's the opposite of me.
Could I change this about myself? Maybe it's possible. I'm really good about changing other things about myself, but I don't know how to make myself care about something. If I knew how, would I? I don't think so. Changing who I am to make other people like me is pretty much the opposite of everything I stand for.
When people are partners, they are the most important people in the world to each other. Partners care about each other more than they care about themselves. By being together, they make each other better people. When they are apart, they are like the North and South poles of a magnet, desperately wanting to reconnect. They make each other happy just by being together. That's how it goes down when it's a good match.
When you take someone like me, who has my attitude and personality, who wants to be with me? Who would become a better person if they were together with me? Who would be made happier by being with me? And who would, in turn, be a person that I care about? What person out there could I care about so much that I would dedicate my life to making them happy? If I can't even imagine such a person, how could they possibly exist in reality?