Monday, July 30, 2012


This is a story in several parts. As you might be able to surmise, it is ridiculous.

1. I met a girl, R, back in about March-ish — yes, the online dating thing (from which I'm taking a break, possibly permanently) — and we went out a few times. Things ultimately didn't work out romantically, but we stayed friends.

2. In April, R mentioned that she wanted to play baseball (i.e., slo-pitch) this summer, and hey, do you happen to know any teams that need a player? Turns out ours did; we're a co-ed team and we have to have a certain number of women on the field at all times, so I put R in contact with the people who run the team.

Now, I know what you're thinking: J, you asshole, you're dumber than a pillowcase full of Lego blocks. Why would you do this? The answer is, I don't know. Maybe I was drunk. Anyway, for the majority of this season, it's been very non-awkward, much to my surprise.

3. This past weekend a bunch of us on the team played in a tournament in Brantford on Saturday and Sunday. Most of those people stayed in a hotel in Brantford on both Friday and Saturday nights, as to facilitate drinking; I drove up myself instead on Saturday morning and stayed at my brother's place a short drive away, mostly because (a.) it's free, (b.) it's moderately fun, (c.) I don't get to see him and my niece quite as often as I'd like, and (d.) to be honest I don't really hang out with the rest of the people on my team a lot.

Let me qualify that last one a bit. I genuinely like everyone on the team. Lovely people, solid teammates, good camaraderie. We just don't happen to hang out together, socially; we run in different circles, I guess you could say. R, on the other hand, is blending in well.

4. I was chatting on Facebook today with R, and we were discussing some events from the weekend. Eventually it came out that she thought I was very "negative," I see the world as black-and-white, and that I didn't know how to talk to women. I disagree with each of these.

To the first charge: I would definitely say that I'm an analytical person. It's in my nature to take things apart, see what's going on, and if I don't like it, I'll tell you how I feel about it. Sometimes that's not going to turn out positively, because the world isn't all sunshine and roses. However, if I've learned one thing from my job in the past dozen years, it's how to be diplomatic about it. I would not say that, on the whole, that I exude negativity.

To the second charge: I wholeheartedly disagree. Yes, I see some things as definite — Nickelback sucks, beer is delicious, baseball is fun — but I'm definitely a shades-of-grey, grain-of-salt kind of guy. Life is a set of nuances, and devils lie in details.

To the third charge: I didn't really know how to talk to R, because she's a decade younger than I am. (For the record, she first contacted me; I rolled with it because frankly it was pretty flattering and I wanted to see how it'd go, but after a while I could see it just wasn't going to work.)

5. Perhaps most irritatingly, R did these two things on Facebook:
5a. Posted a vague, passive-aggressive status update along the lines of, "People who have too much negativity in their lives don't belong in mine" — which is worthy of perhaps a 14-year-old girl's diary.
5b. Didn't de-friend me, but made it so that I couldn't see anything except her most basic info, which essentially does the same thing.

In any other situation, I'd de-friend this person on FB and probably never talk to them again. But... y'know, we're on a baseball team together, through mid-September. And possibly next season. So, as much as I'd love to fire off one hell of a kiss-off email and dust my hands of the whole matter... R and this asshole still occasionally have to throw a sphere to each other.


thea said...

Well I'd rather be a negative person than a poster of passive-aggressive facebook statuses.

But I don't think you're negative.

u no who said...

perception of negativity is a tricky thing, because always sound sensible and normal to yourself.

it's hard to understand what she might consider negative, but she does and that's the main thing.

The key to understanding is to listen more and talk less. Just listen and ask leading questions. If you do this well, she'll see your point.

And you know that I don't do this that well either. We're both know-it-alls, but I have seen your readily adapt to the conversational/relational needs of others when you remember to.

Give less answers, ask more questions.

The next time we have big fat cigars we can bitch about this in greater detail.