To The FemmeMobile! Away!

{May 18, 2012}   The hero archetype

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve posted here. Good golly, Batman! Um. Sorry about the sporadic posting. I have thoughts to say, but not as many or as insistent as they once were, and everything is so busy…

For instance: Last fall, a boom month meant I made about $3800. In January I made $7000. Β That was my biggest boom month to date (Jan is always a busy month — I blame new years resolutions to get the dogs trained, and all the puppies that were bought from fall onward that no one had time to train with the holidays, but NOW THEY DO), but things haven’t slowed down much since then, honestly. Average right now seems to be around $5000 a month. In some ways this is awesome (MONEY!) and in others, less so (time), but it is what it is, and I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth… even if it means less time for blogging.

Speaking of blogging…

Not too long ago I was sitting at a girls’ night with my girls, and somehow for some reason my sexuality came up. I think my friend Cullen said something about hating the term bi, and I laughed and pointed out that she WAS bi (which then led to a discussion of why we — because me, too — hate the term anyway), and I think someone asked me what my sexuality was. I said, “Well… I guess lesbian. I used to think I was bi, but I don’t anymore.”

My friend Kristin responded with, “I’m glad you figured it out and I didn’t have to tell you,” which might sound wrong to some people, but was actually really freakin’ hilarious. (Kristin and Cullen are my two best friends. If anyone’s going to know something about me before I do, it’s them!) Then I was laughing and saying I was masculine-sexual, as long as there was no cock involved, and it went downhill from there, as conversations soaked in wine tend to do.

Anyway. Jump forward to last week! Last week I was on a lesbian resort at Club Med in Cancun. IT WAS AWESOME. Tangent: if you don’t already know, you SHOULD know that Olivia Cruises is an all-lesbian cruise line. They rent out an entire cruise ship or, in this case, a resort and stock it full of lesbians. The Club Med staff was amazing and fantastic, and being surrounded by that many lezzies was a kick and a half. Though there were many other butches, I couldn’t help but notice that Q was the only one who wore men’s clothes, something that was commented on (favorably) by another lesbian there. Q thinks it’s because it’s an old school crowd, for the most part, but I’m not convinced. I see lots of old school butches at Sundance and whatnot. Maybe the San Fran area has more genderqueer butches in general? Maybe genderqueer butches aren’t comfortable with the term lesbian and therefore don’t go on lesbian cruises? Maybe genderqueer butches see all the other non-genderqueer lesbians and un-queer? I don’t know. Either way, she was the only one in a suit and tie on the fancy nights!

But all this is a tangent. Back to the point! While I was there, I went trapezeing! IT WAS AWESOME. More so because I’m terrified of heights, but one of the trapeze artists, S, took me under his wing and did the whole big brother schtik all week to help me along. It was perfect!

Toward the end of the week Q said, half jokingly, that I had a crush on S. I said I didn’t, which I don’t, but it did get me thinking. I like male friends. I have very few, mostly because I don’t make friends easily, I make male friends with even more difficulty, and my old ones have moved away. (I have a new one I’m striking up with, and an acquaintance I haven’t made friend with yet but would like to.) But I like them. I like the joking, physical banter you get with male friends that you don’t often get with female ones. I like the push to do new things. I like the sheer physicality — the go-out-and-do-it that I don’t see in my female friends often, as much as I adore my female friends. (There are pros to female friends that I don’t get in my male friends, so it’s equal. ;))

I also realized, when I knew I was leaving and would likely never see S again, that I was grieving. I was grieving the loss of this guy that I knew little to nothing about, because he pretty exactly fit what I look for in a male friend — which I realized is also exactly what I look for in a SO. Along with the usual ‘must be a decent person and must get along with them,’ stuff, I look for hero archetypes. S had it in SPADES. It’s what made him step into that big brother role — which even I could tell was only a big brother role because he knew I wasn’t interested in his bits. But he was rescuing and supporting the damsel in distress — me — and I totally am drawn to that. Q has it, but not as vibrantly as S does. (This is a good thing, as I’ll explain momentarily.)

The problem is that — and I know this intimately, because I always date heroes — they get stuck playing hero, and I get stuck playing damsel in distress, whether or not we want to. When it’s friends it seems to work out; if I don’t want to, I don’t visit for a while, or I whack them on the shoulder and say, “hey, I can do this, stop protecting me” and we laugh about it in a way you can’t with an SO, because you can’t be so blunt and … and blase with a SO’s feelings. I know that I make excellent friends with hero archetypes. It fulfills something in me, it creates a fast and lasting bond, and it strengthens both parties (me because I have the net, the hero because they have something that makes them feel strong and powerful).

I look for the same thing in romantic relationships, but it crashes and burns if it’s too strong. Q has it to a lesser extent, which means that sometimes we connect there and give each other what we need on that level, but it’s not so strong that it overwhelms/overshadows everything else and leaves us stuck in a power dynamic we don’t want to be in.

So when Q mentioned I had a crush on S, and it made her nervous (she’s been cheated on), I pointed out that he’d make an awesome friend and a lousy boyfriend for me, even if I were interested, which I’m not. But I do miss having a friend like that…

In the meantime… oh, hell, I forget what I was going to say. I got distracted by facebook. Anyway, those are my musings for the day. I pick friends on some of the same lines I pick SOs. Interesting.



{April 19, 2011}   Butches!

Oh, guys, this is awesome: Butches With Cute Animals. Awwwww! But my favorite month is April, because I just found out my boifriend, Q, is on there! Twice! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


{April 19, 2011}   Protected: Moving Forward

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So, first I was crazy busy, starting the editing process on my new book and trying to remember how to schedule time when training dogs and editing, and then I got a sniffle, and then I got the flu, and then I got pneumonia.

Healthy, fit 30-year-olds are not supposed to get pneumonia.

Anyway, I’m on antibiotics now, and after almost two weeks flat on my back wishing for death, I’m getting better. Woot! (I still have a cough that sounds like a death rattle. No, really. It’s starting to ease off.)

I haven’t seen my Q in quite a while. We both agreed it was in her best interests NOT to get the flu or to pass it on to her 7-year-old twins. Them’s not fun times (and I don’t think their mom would EVER forgive me). (Q is not their mom. Q is their butch-parent, and they also have a mom-mom.)

During our forever separation (it totally felt that way!), she sent me a lovely email about the first time I wore lingere for her. I remember that day, because I was scared shitless! I was so nervous. I mean, this was back last fall, when I was still a bundle of nerves when it came to doing anything a little bit assertive. I’m still not the most assertive person in the world, and I get flustered and embarrassed easily, but when I remember how I was even last fall I realize how far I’ve come!

Anyway, all this to say — last fall I pulled out my red negligee for Quin for the first time, and surprised her. And even knowing that she was going to love it, man, I just about had a panic attack doing it! So last week, when we hadn’t seen each other in so long, I got this fabulous email out of the blue. This is part of it:

I was just thinking this morning about when you asked me if I wanted to see your new shoes. When you finally walked out to show them to me, I looked up from cooking in the kitchen to see you wearing, much to my surprise, red negligee and red high heels. I about fell over in the kitchen. When you saw the enraptured look on my face, you released a belly laugh full of amusement …. and relief. You were so nervous that you were literally shaking in your shoes. Even after I came to you and had you sitting on my lap, caressing and enjoying the wonderful present of you in gift wrap — my approval and enthusiasm totally obvious — you continued to tremble. I showered you with praise about how gorgeous and sexy you were, and what a treat you were giving me. You threw your arms around my neck, while still straddling my lap, and gave me a big hug and buried your face in my neck — still trembling a little, still nervous, but so relieved to see how much pleasure it brought me. […]

That was right after my first trip to Colorado — early May 2010. I know because you sent me a picture text message showing off the new high heels you’d just purchased while I was still in CO (I still have that picture). You were very excited about them. And I’m writing all this to say that even now, ten months after the fact, I’m still so very proud of you for having the gumption to walk into the living room like that: defenseless and exposed, shaking like a leaf, and terrified that I might have a negative response. It was a brave and gutsy move that took a lot of courage on your part. It wasn’t just a big step for you…it was a *giant* leap of faith; faith that I wouldn’t let you down or be disappointed (and how could I be?); faith that you were sexy.

It was fantastic. YOU were fantastic. And I am proud of you and so honored that you trust me with so much of who you are and who you are becoming.

I can’t tell you how much this letter makes me puff up and feel good. It was probably one of the biggest leaps forward I took all in one night, and it was really hard. So to get something like this so long after the fact, that makes me grin and feel proud of myself, is pretty awesome.

I think one of the things that, a year after we first started dating, makes Q and I continue to have such fun is this constant love, praise, and appreciation we shower on each other. We’ve both been really careful not to just get used to things, to start to expect things. We make it a point to notice when one or the other is going out of their way and mention it, from simple things like getting a glass of water to big things, like Q coming down and surprising me this last week.

Oh yeah, she came down and surprised me this last week. I was napping on the couch, still sick, when I heard a knock at the door. I stumbled up and opened it, and for a moment could only look at the nice young man and wonder how he’d known to go through the gate, and gee, wasn’t he attractive… and then I realized it was Q! *laughs* What a gift to open the door and see her there, when I hadn’t seen her in so long and wasn’t expecting her at all. It made me feel really warm and fuzzy. πŸ˜€

Things are going spectacularly. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


{November 8, 2010}   Funny converasational snippets

I have my Q back. πŸ™‚ We’re sitting on the couch, and talking about her comment on my butch/boi post, and I asked her about transitioning, which led her to asking if we’d had that conversation. I was like, ‘No…’ and she said she thought she remembered having it, that I had said I wouldn’t care if she transitioned. I thought about it, and we had this brief exchange:

Me: Maybe we had it in the abstract? Because I wouldn’t care.
Q: *sleepy smile* This is why I love bisexuals

I nearly killed myself laughing!


{March 13, 2010}   Chivalry. Again.

It has just been a mind blowing few weeks, you know it? And this is kind of a long, rambly post as I work my mind around what I’m thinking. Starting with an update on Q, but then back to chivalry. ;-D

So I went back to Q’s last night for relaxed dinner, Harry Potter (which we’ve been trying to watch for three nights, now, and she keeps distracting me. …*griiiiiiins*), and making out. Yes, that was totally on the agenda. She got to read that protected post — I emailed it to her — and when I showed up she was on the phone with a distressed friend, so I headed to the back bedroom and made some business calls of my own. She came in a minute later, planted a hand on either side of my hips, and with a hilarious grin — I can’t even describe it — said, “You’re really messed up.” I nearly killed myself laughing. It’s hard to take offense at something like that when the person looks so pleased and amused. πŸ˜‰

Anyway! Good things. I totally have a cohort in getting over this, and the fact that she keeps taking my sex issues in stride makes me relax that much more. She also seems to get some things I’m not sure I even got — like reaffirming, “Yes, talking is a good thing, and here’s why,” and somehow doing it in a non-lecturing way (which doesn’t mean I don’t squirm — the whole topic makes me antsy — but does mean I can listen and use it as a reminder). Woo hoo!

I really am going to talk about something other than Q someday. Really.

So, a bit ago I was talking about chivalry, and then last night Q and I headed out to grab food and she was opening doors and whatnot. It caught my eye, so I started paying attention. UP argued the other day that chivalry could be any caring gesture. I haven’t responded to the comments from that post because, uh, I keep running out of time. Anyway, this doesn’t feel right to me, but at the same time as I was watching Q last night, some of the things she did that felt chivalrous to me were the same things I would do for someone else, and yet, when I do them, I don’t think they feel chivalrous. (She peeled an orange for me, because I dislike peeling oranges. No, wait. She remembered that I’d said two weeks ago that I didn’t eat oranges because I disliked peeling them, and then she offered to peel this one.)

So, I looked up chivalry on to see if I’d get any better ideas:

1. the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.

2. the rules and customs of medieval knighthood.

3. the medieval system or institution of knighthood.

4. a group of knights.

5. gallant warriors or gentlemen: fair ladies and noble chivalry.

6. Archaic. a chivalrous act; gallant deed.

Two things strike me here.

1. Knight. When I first started looking at butch and generally getting weak kneed, I recognized then that what I was reacting to was that knight energy. It was the queerness of it, too, the female-masculine, but that gut-tug is knight. DK has it, Q has it, Sugarbutch and G seem to, at least online. There’s a lot of butch blogs that are very interesting, but don’t show off a knight side of the butches writing — doesn’t mean they don’t have it, just means it’s not being put to computer. I read those blogs and I find them very interesting, but I don’t have that same “Yum,” gut-tug. (The guys I’ve dated have all had it.)

My uncle doesn’t have it. While I was visiting in GA, he opened doors for me, and it came across as very Southern-mannerly, and I appreciated that he was trying to treat me in a respectful way. My reaction was still more, “…uh, okay,” than anything, and even occasionally, “knock it off — it’s easier for me to get the door!” That’s not a reaction I have to people who do have a knight archetype. I didn’t have that reaction to Q, even the one time bags and people and angles collided and getting to the door was suddenly problematic. *laughs*

…Have I mentioned archetypes here? I don’t think so. Real life archetypes describe patterns in a person’s life — thought patterns, behavior patterns, patterns of desire, etc. Everyone has them. My dominant archetypes are storyteller, warrior, and femme, which I think of as an offshoot to princess/damsel.

So, what’s the difference between chivalry and a gesture of kindness? I’d have to say it’s, in part, that knight energy. Furthermore, if I look at those definitions of chivalry, something else leaps out at me.

2. It’s not about the person that is being helped; it’s about the action. Chivalry isn’t defined as, “helping someone because that person is special to you,” but rather, “Helping someone because it’s the right thing to do.”Β  Look at 1 and 6, here:

1. the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.

6. Archaic. a chivalrous act; gallant deed.

It isn’t about why or how much you like or love that person. It isn’t about the helpee at all: it’s about the person doing it, and the deed itself. It’s about taking the correct, gallant, action. Don’t get me wrong — how much you like a person matters, and I think chivalry crops up a lot more when you do like someone. But the intention, the feeling behind it, is slightly different when something is done out of chivalry rather than when it’s done out of caring/kindness.

One night, while DK and I were out walking, a car pulled up to the curb nearby. I was curbside that particular night, and as I was eying the car DK put her arm around my shoulders, lifted her chin a little, and watched as we walked. Was that because she cared for me? Of course. But I have the feeling if I’d been anyone else, she would have watched out for them, too. Maybe she wouldn’t have put her arm over their shoulders, but the intention was the same. It wasn’t about me, not entirely. Rather, it’s about the correct action.

Last night, Q peeled an orange for me. The fact that she remembered an offhand comment from two weeks earlier is impressive and tells me she like me, but the act itself felt chivalrous; it seemed like she was doing it in part because it was the correct action to take. Maybe if she didn’t like me she wouldn’t do it, but she wasn’t doing it only because she likes me.

If I peeled an orange for someone, it wouldn’t be because that’s the correct action to take. It would have nothing to do with the act of peeling an orange; it would be specifically because I was trying to show caring or kindness.Β  Two weeks ago I gave Q a back massage. Is this caring? Certainly. But I didn’t do it because it was the right thing to do; I did it to make her, specifically, feel better. Anyone else wouldn’t have gotten a back massage from me, no matter how much they were hurting. If I were of a chivalrous bent, on the other hand, I have a hunch they might have. Heck, Q mentioned she’d spent the other day giving out massages — chivalry. It’s the right thing to do. People were sore. I would never, ever have done that, not unless they were VERY GOOD FRIENDS at the very least. I might have offered tiger balm. πŸ˜‰

Nezu posted about chivalry in response to my earlier post, and I think some of the things she says actually show this off pretty well. For instance:

I did always sort of like it, though, when my dad saw me safely in my seat in the car before he took his seat behind the wheel. But what I learned from that was that when I was the driver, it would be my job to see my passengers settled safely.

It isn’t about who the passenger is: it’s about the act itself. Nezu and I haven’t talked about this aspect of chivalry, the deed-focused rather than person-focused, because honestly I don’t know if either of us had picked up on it — and yet she talks about it unconsciously.

Chivalry is changing. There’s a perceived inequality, now, and a sense you should do it only for those you’re dating. Again, from Nezu’s post, starting off still talking about opening car doors:

I always wonder a little whether I should do so for JB, when I am driving with her. It becomes a little trickier, somehow, because there is a power dynamic in chivalry, and it is at odds with the equality JB and I share as friends. I hesitate: should I go around and open her door for her? Should I not? If it is raining, do I hold my umbrella over her head? Or does this impose things onto the relationship that don’t belong there.

And this, I think, is where caring comes in. The action is the correct thing to do — now, though, the boundaries of who you are allowed to do that action for are in question. For friends? Only for SOs? Hmmm.

On a tangent, last night, when Q offered to peel the orange, we had a conversation thatΒ  made me laugh really hard. Q mentioned that she tended to do things like this to show caring, but it often became something that was taken for granted. (This is SUCH A SHAME. Never take this for granted, people.) I don’t remember what I said in response, but the comment she made then was, (paraphrased, I’m sure) “That’s right. It’s just like dog training. When someone does something right, you praise them. When your butch is good, you say so. Bad butch, no boobies.”

I nearly killed myself laughing! Ahhh, fun times. *grins*

One last comment on chivalry: I do think it’s shifting, that now it’s something people do for those they care about rather than just anyone. But I also think it’s something that a certain sect of people — those with a knight archetype — do in large part because it’s a sign of respect, and the right thing to do. But it still feels so malleable, something I can’t quite put my finger on. Comments? Thoughts? If you’re of a chivalrous bent, do you see anything here that sounds right, or am I totally off kilter? Is there something I’ve missed or something we can add?

…I love this stuff. πŸ˜€


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{March 9, 2010}   Chivalry: a dying art

So, G was talking about the Oscars, and mentioned Robert Downey Jr (a reason to go straight if ever there was one. As long as he stays clean. Please, RDJ, stay clean!) helping Tina Fey up the steps — a chivalrous gesture.

I have two sisters, at least one of whom seems to be alternately of the “chivalry is misogynistic” and “I like it anyway” camps. Personally, I have always liked it. One of the things that distressed me in dating women was actually my perceived lack of chivalry; I like someone who goes that extra step to see to my safety and comfort.Β  I can see how it can be misogynistic, but I can also see how it can simply be a matter of taking that extra step because you care for someone. Or for manners.

One of the things that I really enjoyed in dating DK was being able to take her arm, having doors opened for me, having help if I had high heels on.Β  Not all butches are chivalrous, and I’m finding it’s becoming an important thing for me.Β  I also find that it ties into a sort of caring mentality; butches who are chivalrous are, I find, more polite and… I’m not sure how to express it. More masculine, in that “Safety and family and manners are all important things, as are taking care of those who are important to you, let me help” sort of way.

One of the things that really attracted me to Q was the fact that she opened doors for me.Β  Such a simple thing, but it shows a thoughtfulness that will hopefully carry through in other actions, too.Β  It’s something I look for, when I’m looking for potential SO’s.

I sat around a table one night with DK, Nezu, and Phi, talking. Phi and I were talking about the thought of dating women — and how stressful it was, to think about having to reciprocate on the things we just expected from guys. How I like chivalry, for instance, but have no desire to be chivalrous. I had some idea that if I were in a lesbian relationship, we’d basically trade off — and that seemed exhausting. It was a relief to find that there were people out there who liked being chivalrous, and I could just be myself. Phew.

I like chivalry. It’s important to me, and it’s sort of a marker to me about how thoughtful someone is. I don’t believe it’s necessarily misogynistic, but can be done with compassion, care, respect, and not because women are the weaker sex. Not so many people do it anymore, and I understand why… but I sure do like it. πŸ˜‰


{January 26, 2010}   The fun of online dating!

So, I’ve been emailing several people back and forth in a maybe-we-can-date sort of way. A few I met off a dating site, one I responded to off craigslist. I’m noticing a pattern in myself: half a dozen emails get exchanged, and then I get bored.

Except for the person off craigslist. We shall now refer to this person as the Charmer. (This person is presenting as VERY masculine, but I don’t actually know if ‘he’ or ‘she’ is correct. I’m waiting on an email. In the meantime, I shall use them interchangeably! Heh.) (Yes, I could use ze, but unless told to I’m not going to. For me to use it on someone else feels… pretentious. Someday I’ll probably decide I was dumb not to use it, but that day isn’t today.)

I look forward to her emails, I totally have a crush, and I know less about him than I do the other people I’m email swapping with. I started analyzing (because that’s what I do best) what it was, exactly, that I liked so much.

Part of it is that the Charmer is much more butch than the other people, and I recognize that. (And mmm, butch.) Part of it is that he’s more put together, more grown up, than the others. Part is that the masculine quality comes through even over text — same written patterns as the guys I know, if that makes sense. Fewer emoticons and exclamation marks, less detail, less storytelling. Charmer is more likely to say, “I went to a play,” and then move on, whereas most of the women I email with say, “I went to a play, and it was about x, and I thought x,y, and z about it.”Β  But that doesn’t explain why I like her more. In fact, her lack of detail means I have to think more about what to ask, which is generally something I DISlike. All these makes me wonder what, exactly, it is that I’m reacting to.

I’ve got some theories. *grins*

First off, Charmer often asks questions. And not the typical FOR questions (Family, Occupation, Recreation!), but rather questions where he picks up on something I’ve said. For instance, I mentioned living in Toronto at one point. Instead of asking when and why, which is what people normally ask, Charmer said, (paraphrased) “The only reason I can think of for doing that is love. Or school.” It wasn’t even a question, but it was an invitation to talk about it. Another one was that when I mention I’d moved up from SoCal, most people ask me why I moved away. The Charmer asked that (or I just explained — I don’t remember, now), but then also asked why I’d chosen San Jose specifically. Very few people ask that question. It’s a question that takes a little extra attentiveness.

He also picks up on things I said in earlier emails and echoes them back to me. I mentioned at one point wandering city streets and smiling (don’t ask; part of a longer thing); later, he asked what part of the City I’d explored (ie, wandered the streets while smiling). It wasn’t much, but it told me that she’d marked what I’d said, and remembered it. This isn’t hard to do — we’ve got the former email sitting RIGHT THERE, but it still impacts.

Another thing is that she uses my name. My name is Jenna, but I sign everything J. When I start emailing people, they almost always ask what the J stands for. I tell them, and I explain that I’m just too lazy to sign my whole name, but I keep signing things J and they usually forget. I don’t have a problem with this; if I wanted them to remember, I should use my name! Charmer, however, always uses my name. It makes me feel like he’s paying attention.

She’s looked me up in a non-creepy manner. I write books. I have four published, and if you email me and I email back, my sig line says:
“Now available! [List of books] Check them out at [author website]”

So in a PS the other day, Charmer mentioned that she’d looked them up on Amazon. It was a quick little line — that she’d looked them up, and well done me or something like that. But usually people don’t even register the sig line, and if the fact that I write books comes up they ask me to send them one.

Okay, guys. Here’s the thing. If someone is just starting out, the likelihood that they have copies of their own books is slim to none. Small press pubs often don’t send you more than one copy, because it costs them money. I would rather get royalties than copies! I certainly don’t have a million copies sitting around. When I do get copies, I give them away in contests and things, to drum up reader interest. You are NOT doing a new author a favor, or even showing that you’re supportive, by asking to read one of their copies. Being supportive would be BUYING a copy.

But most people, upon hearing that I write, ask if they can (borrow and) read one of my books, or smile and nod and then not think about it again. Take into consideration that it takes a LOT of hours to write a novel in the first place. Prolific professional authors write two books a year. That means it’s six months to write a book, if you work at it full time. If you’re starting out, you’re carving out time in between paying jobs. You’re taking out time from seeing other people, hanging out with friends, relaxing. You love it so passionately that you’re willing to do this in the vague hope that you MIGHT get published. It’s safe to say that if someone spends this much time and effort on something, it’s a big part of their life! If you know someone who writes or does art or does anything else it’s difficult to get paid for, and you’re trying to court them, pay attention to that thing! Don’t ask if they’ll loan you this thing they slaved over, the whole time implying that you don’t really care, you’re just trying to pretend like you do. Furthermore, if the person you’re speaking with writes in a genre you don’t really like, don’t bash it. To put that much time and effort into it, they obviously do like it! The amount of people who belittle me or are disdainful because I write romance novels and gay romance novels… SERIOUSLY.

Anyway. End rant, really. So one of the things that impressed me was that the Charmer went and looked up my books. It was non-creepy, because I had the link right there. She didn’t even ask me about them first (this is good: I did no work to spark her interest, she was just interested because it was something I liked). She just went and did the footwork, I’m guessing under the assumption that if I wrote them I cared about them. And then she didn’t belittle or disdain because they were romance and gay romance — she said well done! And then we started talking about books. (We didn’t even have to talk about my books and plots and what I was working on to make me happy — the fact that she gave a nod to my success without any kind of “I don’t like romance novels, but good job!” made me feel so much better than anyone asking after my plotlines. Especially if that person hasn’t actually gone to look at what I’ve already done.)

I have another person I’m emailing with who asked me about writing, and asked if she could read an excerpt. See the difference, here? One person goes and does the footwork themselves, looks up my books (on Amazon, even, which is an extra step than just clicking the link I supplied) and makes a “go, you!” sort of comment. The other doesn’t do the footwork despite the fact that the link is right there, and instead asks me to do work — send her an excerpt. Not only is she showing that she doesn’t care enough to click the link, but that she expects me — subconsciously, surely — to do the footwork for her so that she can support me.Β  I would rather the former, who does the work even if we don’t talk at length about it, than the latter who expects me to provide her with what she needs so she can talk about it. The former did something kind, something extra. The latter is asking me to do something extra so she can look good.

…Okay, obviously I lied when I said I was done ranting. But now back to what appeals to me about Charmer’s email that I don’t see in other emails. πŸ˜€

The other thing that’s nice? Proper grammar and paragraph breaks! YAY! (I have one other person who uses this regularly. It would be nice if everyone did.)

There’s also very much the sense of the solicitous gentleman about the emails, but I haven’t quite figured out why, yet, or what it is I’m reacting to. I’ll let you know if I do. πŸ˜‰

Anyway. Obviously, I’m having fun. We have a make-sure-this-person-isn’t-crazy drinks date on Wednesday, and I’m really excited about it! I find it very interesting that I’ve responded so strongly to his emails, and not any others.

My little sister made a good point while visiting, that I’m going to have to remember for all future relationships. She said that she started doing for her boyfriend the special things he’d do for her, working under the theory that we do things for other people that we, ourselves, would like. Ergo, if he did it for her, he probably liked it. So she started mimicking back to him the sweet things he was doing — and sure enough, he was all pleased and flattered and so on. Something I’m keeping in mind, especially when it comes to things like “Do the footwork,” and “Ask questions that are the flip side of the usual question” (You know — “why’d you move from SoCal/Why’d you choose this area”).

Something to remember. πŸ˜€


et cetera