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Monday, January 14, 2013

Ambiguous Communication

If you're at all a  regular reader of this blog then you know one of the things I probably stress above all else is proper communication. And perhaps, the only thing more frustrating than a lack of communication is ambiguous communication.

Properly communicating does not mean we should be left to figure out what something means or what you "really meant to say." Out with it. Be open. Be more honest.

Recently I exchanged a series of emails with a female reader of the blog who I've only met in person a couple of times. She claims to be a "big fan" of the writing and has even been the source of one particular entry. The precise one is irrelevant for this discussion. I'll respectfully keep her musings confidential. So I casually mentioned in one of our emails about meeting up for a drink because I had some personal questions to ask her and I thought it might be fun to just shoot the shit with her. She replied with the most curious of answers.

"I am so not meeting you for a drink."

Now...if she had just said, "I don't think it's a good idea we meet in person because...." well, then there would be no reason to write this entry, would there?  So...I guess I should thank her for providing me with another topic.  I guess what intrigues the most about the rejection is the "so" part of it. For the record, I was not trying to "hook up" with this person...that's not my MO. Maybe she thought it was and maybe she never even thought it at all....but adding the "so" to the "not meeting" me part is rather striking.  What did she think could come from an in-person encounter? Was she worried she may become attracted to me? Was she worried because she's familiar from reading what transpires from "casual" encounters with women from Chicago?. Yeah...she's a Chicago that certainly makes me think twice....but again...this is more about what she's thinking....not me.....and of course, I have no idea what she's really thinking because of her failure to properly communicate.

So, I'm left with the proverbial bottom line. She doesn't want to meet up with me. Period. Whatever her reason is for not wanting to shouldn't matter. Right? Isn't that the point when you ignore someone or reject someone? Who cares why? The only thing that matters is the end result. Well, I'm not okay with it. And never have been. I think too many people, men and women, too easily brush the "why" aside in favor of the bottom line. The same reasoning is often used in sports, Winning is the only thing that matters. I disagree. How you win and how you act after you've won are every bit as important as how you got there.

We can't evolve and we certainly can't learn without understanding the cause AND the effect. It's just like when you break up with someone. Tell me why! I can get over it or adjust my future behavior if I know why.

In all fairness to this woman, she owes me nothing; certainly not an explanation or justification. All I'm saying is, that it would be nice to have one. If only for human decency. Then again, maybe that's too much to ask in this bitter world we now seem to live in. Not enough people care what others think. We should matter more to one another, shouldn't we?



So, it's not often I continue the discussion of an entry once it's posted. However, this particular one received some immediate feedback worth sharing.

Here's some comments from a female friend who reads all of the blog's entries:
Wow, another interesting topic!
I was glad to hear from your last that you are not giving up on love!
My point of view is that a lot of woman are not very good at being that open
when it comes to communicating. Females have a way of communicating that 
often is not open and direct enough for men to understand. What is interesting
we as communicate to other women, we don't have to be very direct. We seem to 
connect the lines without it being completely spelled out. I think we often forget
that we need to use and different method when talking to a guy. Thanks for the 
reminder. I'm sure it must seem that we want you guys to be mind readers.
It's kind of the way we are built…It has taken me a while to figure this out…
And you really have to be careful of those Chicago woman...
As a matter of relevance, this woman from above also happens to be yet another "Chicago" woman. I'm sure it's difficult to believe at this point, but honestly, I do not go around seeking Chicago women. If only it were that easy.

Another dedicated reader is my Uncle who not only offers well thought out wisdom and advice, but can also be highly critical of my behavior, assumptions and writing. On this topic, he figured the "so" meant exactly what I surmised, but just as easily dismissed. He thinks the woman who would not meet me is too familiar with my "game" about not trying or being interested in sex and isn't buying any of it. In fact, she down right doesn't trust my intentions as in "No way Jose am I going to meet you for a drink. I don't trust you." Once again, this was my 60-something Uncle's interpretation. And based upon his supposition, he also claimed my original question to be ambiguous as I did not clearly state what my "meet for a drink" intentions were. I assured him there were no "intentions" and he was wrong about the reason behind the woman not meeting me.  It's just interesting to dissect something as mundane as a simple rejection.

What makes this post even more enlightening now is the woman, in question, responded so feverishly and thankfully agreed to let me share it with all of you. And here it is:

Hey Diane Sawyer- in your "exposé" you forgot to mention I'm a busy single mom who lives in Manhattan Friggin Beach aka: Southwest Guam or approx as far. We are acquaintances, not close friends, and not dating so taking a minimum 3 hours (an hour too and from plus an hour coffee) out of my life and juggling is not an option. There are people that were at my wedding- that I did shows with- that I don't get together to meet with. I meet with a.) guys I plan on having sex with or b.) an audition or c.) a teeny circle of gays and girlfriends that I've had since my Chicago days. Exceptions for mommy friends I've known 6+ years and verrrrrrry rarely. Maybe that makes me a bitch. Or maybe just busy. But I know I'd give the shirt off my back and possibly a kidney to that tiny group so in the end....less is more. Love (for fear you read this as meaner then meant)

Ha! A simple:  "As a single mom, I'm just too busy right now to meet you to just shoot the shit. Sorry. Nothing against you." would have sufficed or to put it in Hebrew terms: Dayenu. It would have been sufficient.

In addition, my initial reaction to her explanation was..."distance and time" were never discussed, so that was all her assumptions. I later made it clear I was perfectly willing to come to her...and I already knew she was a single Mom, so I could have come down during the day while her child was still in school. Again, never discussed.  But the bottom line is...and I'm grateful to her for finally getting to the bottom line...which is, if this meeting isn't going to get her laid, paid or ain't gonna' happen. Fair enough. I get it. fairness, I did not provide full disclosure in my initial post. It seems as if I misled all of you (not her) into thinking I asked to meet her for a "drink"....which was not entirely untrue....the drink I suggested was "tea"...she wrote back to me that "tea was gay" then I told her I was just being gentlemanly, which I was, trying to assure her I had no intention other than a friendly meet up. But with her "tea is gay" comment I  came back firing and admitted I would have no problem drinking alcohol beverages with her if that's what she preferred. It is to this comment she said "I am so not having a drink with you."

With all of that now known and previously known by my friend Mark who  thinks there might be something else at play here....and for the record, I think Mark is just stoking (or is it "stroking"?) the flames...for argument sake. But here's his theory.  He says she's enjoying the attention this blog is bringing to her...and while she remains anonymous to some degree, she's at the very least amused, somewhat flattered, and even perhaps slightly turned on by me writing about her. She is, after all,...a Hollywood who seeks attention and approval for a, part of his theory is plausible. Here's where he stretches. He thinks she's "testing" me to see my reaction and if I "pass" then I may potentially become the "A" in her A,B,C's of meeting up with people. I would only be willing to possibly agree with him if we were, in fact, IN Chicago, Bruce was playing, and alcohol was involved. My perfect storm and irresistible tri-fecta. The Bing-Bang-Boom if you will.

One last note...the woman requested I go ahead and post a photo of her. I did not ask why and really have no inkling as to why...other than for people to say, "Well of course, she doesn't want to meet with you,. look at her!"  Maybe she's just curious which photo of her I might they're are plenty to choose from on the web.  What I did ask her was if her recommendation was sarcastic...which she quickly replied was not.'s the "so" woman for all of you to observe and do whatever else you feel may be appropriate in the privacy of wherever it is you may be. Oh...I chose 3 photos, rather than one because...well...just one could never do this fiesty Puerto Rican, Italian and Irish beauty justice. I guess I decided to find a collection that properly captures her spirited tri-heritage in all its least, the spirit which I've only known as an "acquaintance."......An outrageously charismatic, fun-loving sexual woman.

I got to add this last part or I wouldn't totally be candid. I'm listening to E Street Radio right now and Bruce's "I'm on Fire" is playing. Thought you all might like to know that one.  HA!