we disagree on many ideas about the interaction of men and women.
in order to support his friends who are single and happen to have struck out during any particular interaction, he says, “don’t worry, it’s a numbers game. you just have to keep trying.” in essence, he advocates that the rejectee shrug and move along to the next one. while i understand why this is a good attitude to adopt in terms of self-preservation, i get annoyed. i claim that this attitude is cold, that you’re not allowing anyone to be special. that if you really believe there is a spark somewhere, you don’t just give up, so easily. that there is something disingenuous about approaching an interaction as a simple “one of many” – it just feels to me like then there is nothing real in it, it’s robotic, metallic. it is false.
the more i see my own ideas written down, the more, sometimes, i believe i’m a silly romantic. but i am what i am.
now, though, there is a place where i’m seeing the numbers game – i see its value, even though i still think the whole idea is chilly. we’re not all meant to be friends. not everyone is going to like you. my greatgrandfather’s advice of “smile, and say, ‘my name is dominique’,” was pretty good for freaking out my first grade classmates, but does not last a lifetime.
it’s not easy to make connections in this world. once upon a time we were all bright and shiny and open and you know what? life happened. we all get a little tarnished, we have secrets, we have history and that history has weight, and somehow, it’s not quite as easy to lay it all out there anymore. there used to be a point in friendships that i always called “tell me your life story”. the prospect of doing that now, with new people, is not only exhausting, there is so much i just…can’t. now, i have my secrets.
but i try. i know when something feels off, and i’ve tried to fix it. i have reached out – i have made myself open slightly in the interest of new connection. i’ve learned to control the flow of things – i realize now that everyone doesn’t need to know my life story. the truth, though, that’s coming at me pretty fast? it’s a numbers game. i mention hanging out to someone and i get a shifty look, then a quick look away and i know i’ve crossed some line. not everyone is going to follow you back or respond to you on twitter. i get almost no comments on this blog, even though i know i have friends who read it and i make it a point to read and comment other blogs. not everyone will be open to your overtures. you will be excluded and left out, and sometimes, that will be confusing and hurtful. and i mean, sure, it’s entirely possible to just quit but – that isn’t progress, now is it? so, keep trying, keep going – put out x and get 1/20x in return.
perhaps i was arrogant to think i’d just stick my hand out there and people would grab on. when even doing that, though, was hard – i thought i deserved a reward. i forgot that we actually deserve very little in this life.
a numbers game. only a certain percentage of anything you do will be successful. to protect your heart and your ego – you assign it all some equation, and call it a day.
it’s rare that a part of me doesn’t acknowledge and accept his points. i do. i just always hope so hard they they are not true. and sometimes, i am wrong. sometimes, they are.