Hanging out

Do most people only spend time with friends in the form of doing something together?

Growing up, we would sit on the phone together, talking for hours – or as long as our parents would allow us – or we would go over to one another’s houses with no specific plan in mind, and just sit around together, talking, exploring aspects of life, and then doing whatever struck our fancy within the realm of that house/yard/neighborhood, but mostly house.

We didn’t really arrange anything – we just said to come over, and the other person did.

Nowadays, I can tell if it is adulthood or changing culture, but it feels as though this is no longer an option, or, at least, and acceptable one.

There are people with whom I want to spend more time in my life, and yet it feels as though I must come up with something for us to go do together, not at anyone’s home…

And I kind of feel like this is because, if I invited the person to my home, I would be at extreme risk of sounding like I am sharing an invitation for sex, or something like it, be it male or female I invite over.

Do you ever get that feeling?

I make a really good long-distance friend, in large part because – okay, mostly because I remember to call and I make time for my friends, but also because of this – well, because I can hang out over the phone.

One of my good friends and I regularly call one another to talk while we go on walks, sometimes together and sometimes with only one of us walking… and we just talk about anything and nothing, as though we were walking side-by-side.

My mom and I set the phone on speaker, and then each continue doing whatever we were doing, working on projects at home, or running errands, or whatever…

I love just hanging out with the people in my life, no pretext; just simply a matter of wanting to know what he or she was up to then and for the rest of the day, and does he/she want to hang out for a while (via phone or in person)…

And I’m scared of doing that…

Is that a real concern worth having, or is it all in my head that this isn’t exactly normal behavior with adults these days, just to invite one another over to hang out and do nothing in particular but be around one another voluntarily?

I’m thinking it’s kind of a mix… perhaps only good friends do this, not people of varying degrees of acquaintance… you know what I mean?

Hmm… we’ll see what I manage about this… I’m curious to see what I’ll do and how…

::finger rolls/drumming

Post-a-day 2019

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Tough stuff

Just a curious thought that came up tonight – one which I have had many times before, thought usually only passively or, at least, without much depth of consideration – while at dinner: How are people within our society to learn to have healthy and successful and mutually satisfying physical and sexual relationships, as well as healthy relationships with alcohol?

When do we do anything real to teach our growing children and young adults (and any adults, really) this information, to give them concretes and explicit and specific information?

When do we create with them healthy relationships to the topics in the first place?

In my cave people era books, they talk about how females each had a unique ceremony, with a carefully selected older make, to give her the full experience of adult sexual intimacy…. there were people designated in different seasons who were to be guides for the growing adults to learn about sexual intimacy by voluntarily going to any of these people for the honest help and insight an older and more experienced individual could give.

I know these can easily go against various religious traditions of today…, though that does not change the fact that these were ways of helping people to build healthy sexual habits and relationships.

While avoidance has its pros, it also very much has its cons, one of which is the educational side of learning to have positive relationships to and using sexual interaction.

Do note: I’m not aiming to stir up any nonsense here – I’m just sharing the idea that came up tonight, and that I found very interesting and worth considering further.

Anyway, I see it very similarly with alcohol in the USA – we just don’t ever teach our children to have healthy relationships with alcohol, and yet we spring it on them in full power when they’re supposedly several years past being a legal adult, offering at no point any useful and practical guidance on how to approach and to have a healthy relationship with alcohol.

It doesn’t surprise me that we have so many issues regarding it, especially for the younger adults and teens… we ignore it and tell them to avoid it entirely, throwing them to the hungry lions on their 21st birthdays.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Sexy, not Sex

I think that I am afraid of being sexy, due to the risk of falling under the description of “sexual”.  I believe that there is a time and a place for sexy, and that it is an appropriate way to present oneself in the world… just not myself.  Or do I believe it acceptable?  …Yes, I do.  Sexy, not sexual, is entirely acceptable in my book, given the appropriate time and place.  As a teacher at school, no.  As someone at a dinner event, yes.  Being “hot” is not off limits to me, and yet I believe there is something deep inside of me that is terrified of it.  Of being it, I mean.

Perhaps I merely fear that it would be interpreted as a call for sexual intercourse, therefore not only labelling me as “slutty”, but also attracting unwanted advances by men toward that unintended message.  I want to be sexy, because I can be sexy, not because I want sex.  I want to have the body, because I can have the body, and I find the body entrancingly beautiful.  I don’t want it for some man, but for myself and for myself alone.  However, I do not want to have to hide it, to keep it only to myself and to avoid allowing others to notice.  I want to be able to go into public with it, because it is part of who I am, and I need not be ashamed of it.  Just as I have gone into public in my pajamas or with a towel in my hair, I want to be able to go out dressed in “sexy”: comfortably.

Yet where is that distinction between sexy and sexual for me?  i would say that it is intention, but I do not feel safe in such a distinction.  I do not want to have sex with the people around me, and I do not want them to attempt to or want to have sex with me.  But I am still terrified that I will come across that way.  Really, though, I must be kidding myself a bit here – I fear this regularly, not just when I dress up or want to dress up.  I have this fear present simply in the way I walk or the clothes I wear daily.  I envy the way some women dress, and cannot consider my actually wearing the same outfit… even though it is beautiful on them, and likely would be on me, too.  Why?  Because of this inner terror of coming across as sexual and desiring something specific (i.e. sex) from those around me.

What’s with me?  Is this really all just tied to one incident of things been utterly misunderstood about me?  I’d like to think that the one incident doesn’t have such power, if any, over me still today.  I’m not so sure, though.  I will consider this actively over the coming days and weeks…

Post-a-day 2017

 

As though in response to this post from last night, the world presented me with this article tonight, from a pile of my old papers through which I was sorting.

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Beer & Cigarettes

Chatting with an acquaintance recently, I sort of weasled some interesting information out of him.  The weasling wasn’t exactly intentional, – I was genuinely just curious – and it was more that he opened up after I shared information about my family and friends, as well as the general population in the US.  But it was still some info that he was obviously super-hesitant to share.

It all came from our chit-chat about nothing special, and our never-ending back-and-forth about his smoking.  We both agree that smoking is something terrible, both for individuals and the world at large.  And we both agree that he is 100% addicted, and doesn’t really feel like he’ll fall to bits in his early- to mid-forties.  So we occasionally have little goofy bits of conversation, which leave us both tickled and chuckling, usually as he goes off to smoke a cigarette.

A recent little anecdote was when he asked how I was doing, since he knew I’d been sick.  I commented that I was doing alright, but was tired and had a bit of a cough still.
“Oh, me, too,” he said, accompanied with a coughing gesture.
“Oh, you’ve been sick, too?!” I express, concerned.
“No…  Because I smoke.”
We both laughed.  And coughed, actually.

And so goes our acquaintanceship, for the most part.

Recently, however, as we were chatting about the browning of his teeth, and that it does not match the obvious effort he puts into his daily physical appearance, I happened to ask him when he even started smoking.  He smiled, and got real quiet for a minute, and I wondered if he was figuring out what to say.

“Twenty,” he finally said.
I raised my eyebrows.
“When I was twenty,” he repeated.
Really?” I declared with pure doubt.  (Think SNL’s “Really” skit from Weekend Update.)

He then reminded me unnecessarily that 20 is the age in Japan for smoking, I asserted my knowledge of the fact, and we moved on.  I talked about how I remember my brother discussing his secret first cigarette, shared with siblings in the backyard as kiddos.  I described the general standard for kids in the US with their first cigarettes and first drinks of alcohol, and how everything pretty much seems to happen around high school.

Eventually, this acquaintance, with a lowered voice, suddenly had a new story.  No longer was he the follow-every-rule individual he initially (albeit hesitantly) declared himself to be.  He was, in fact, just like all the kids back home.  First drinks (beer) were at 16, and the first cigarette was not long afterward.

Now, there are two main things I pulled from this conversation.  1) I wonder if this is standard for Japan, the way it is for the US.  2) Was this bit of honesty a step towards our becoming friends, instead of just remaining mere acquaintances?

I, of course, know the answer to neither of those inquiries.  However, I have a mind to figure them out!  Plus, I’m really glad he opened up to me with the truth of it all.  Not that it’s necessarily any big deal, but with how closed off people have felt to me here, it was really refreshing to have some openness, and on something that seemed rather sensitive.  (Okay, there’s a third things that came out o f the conversation: What is the Japanese viewpoint on breaking that law of ‘No one under 20’?  How quiet he grew and how unsure he was at first about answering my casual question really make me wonder…)  😀

 

Post-a-day 2017

 

Anticipation, and Standards of Normalcy

Two things, both brief:

1.  You know that feeling of waiting for something huge to happen, and you know it will happen quite soon, but you aren’t sure exactly when, and so your breathing is shallow and shortened, and it feels like a boulder is living inside your rib cage?  Feeling that right now.  Man.  Tonight is the night.  Tomorrow will be a different sort of life, starting at 10AM local time.  🙂

2.  A friend of mine told me that she wants me to write a book, specifically about my life.  When I suggested that no one would want to read it, she declared her desire to read such a book, as well as her hopes to learn more and more about my life, because I have such great stories to share.  I had never considered that to be the case about myself and/or my life.  However, I am starting to believe her.  I mean, come on – I’m living in Japan for a year just ’cause when I wanted to take a break from my last job.  I don’t see that as entirely standard for your average girl.  As I learned from my cousins last year, my idea of normal life is not equivalent to most people’s ideas of normal life.  (more on that another time!)

 

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