Part of me is reluctant to blog about this again and part of me can’t stop picking at it. I’ll admit right up front that I am thin-skinned, a big baby and that by now I really should have applied all the positive thinking techniques I know and that I should simply move on. Whew. Pause to take a breath. But. Obviously I am NOT moving on. I’m not as upset as I was because I’m not as tired as I was. So let’s it hear it for the benefits of sleep.
Someone asked me the other day if I was wearing an AO because I looked “a little stiff”. Sigh. This someone, X for the sake of conversation, has been inworld a long time. I am closing in on 5 months, more than one of which involved horrendous graphics, router and laptop. You and I have already lived through the one incident back in August I believe when another “well-intentioned soul” told me that I could “at least try”. I am now quite happy with my hair, thank you very much. 🙂 Indeed, I have many old-timers asking me where I got my hair. So there. (And for spite, I think I’ll start emphasizing the word “old” when I talk about THEM!!) My skin was a gift from someone who is herself quite beautiful. She made this skin, I like it, it has what I need 🙂 and I don’t really feel the need to do that much to it. I’m presentable. I did go skin-shopping once. Nothing I saw seemed that much more “me” than what I had. I DO know how to dress up in RL – I can wear make-up, put my hair up, wear ball gowns, sway and twitch my way across the floor or down the street. Most of the time I don’t bother. And that’s how I feel in SL too.
So I was talking to X, who is quite the beauty. Knock you to your knees beautiful. Yes, when I grow up, I wouldn’t mind looking like her. 🙂 Assuming I ever grow up. Don’t get me wrong. yet again this is someone who was being very kind to me and is a friend. She did ask as nicely as I suppose one could ask. But of course, I did feel incredibly embarrassed and gauche and inferior and invalidated and all sorts of other not-good feelings. Especially when I looked closer and saw her gorgeous manicure and pedicure. Sigh. I bet she doesn’t garden in RL or SL. Anyway, I wasn’t wearing my “stand” AO at the moment and so I put it on and asked if that was an improvement. I’m sorry – but do you have any idea how humiliating this kind of conversation is for me??? So I guess I have to go shopping for an AO now. I’ve been wanting some “sits” for awhile. I guess I’m going to look for “stands” as well. Heck I may as well have my own dances, my own gestures. Where does it stop?????? We are talking about avatars, folks. Yes, I am overly-identified with mine. (Obviously, or this comment wouldn’t sting. But does how I stand matter? I can’t go there right now. The answer is that it did and it didn’t and that needs more thought.
The benefits and drawbacks of holding back a written entry to post at another time…. I’m no longer upset about this incident. Definitely the lack of sleep was a major factor. Part of me is still bemused by the idea that how I stand in SL is important. But in the meantime, someone wrote to me about my Oct. 30 post of “Appearances Matter”. So, okay, I have to stick with that conclusion. Appearances DO matter and how I stand DOES matter and so I will move AO Shopping to the top of my “to-do” list. And I want a manicure and pedicure too…
Which leads me to the theme for today. Where do you look when you are talking to someone inworld? We weren’t on voice – we were using the chat box. So I’m not going to compare this to where I’d be looking if this were a RL conversation. We were chatting. I was at her place. It was the first time I was visiting her there, we’ve hung out together other places. So *I* was looking about, checking out her art work and posessions and stuff. But mostly I was looking at the chat box, reading our words and, of course, monitoring any other IMs that may have been happening. So I was aware of where we were standing and what we were doing and the like, but my eyes were not fixed on her to the extent I would have noticed whether or not SHE was stiff. (Oh – by the way – she has a wonderful AO. It was after I saw hers for the first time that i began thinking that maybe I should get one also. So perhaps that also answers the question of “does how I stand matter?”). I keep side-tracking myself here….. 🙂
What are you looking at? What do you see? Where is your camera? What really matters? Is it the words? Is it the image? Is it the gestalt?
When I am dancing – it is the image. No question. Words are practically immaterial when I am dancing in SL. If I am dancing as part of a couple – my camera is back far enough that I can see us both in entirety. Usually there is sound but I think that often fades behind the image of the dancers.
When I am talking to a group of friends – it is the chat box. I can’t begin to remember how many times I have been confused by the text because I have been reading words while someone was rezzing something and I didn’t notice. I have the camera pulled back to show all the people at a level that shows me the majority of the faces. Rarely do I have the camera close-up on anything. And lately, unless I am at a party or bar or concert -I’ve been turning off the background music.
When I am dancing at a concert or a bar – it is the image and the sound. Not a close-up image and not far either. Basically I’m looking for that middle-ground shot where I can see myself and others dancing, but not concentrating on faces.
When I am hanging about with a friend chatting – well, now this does get more complicated. Just like RL, no? unlikely that I have the music on. Certainly if it’s me and Darcey sunbathing, I have the ambient sound turned up as high as it will go. I look long enough to take pics for the blog and then switch to chat windows and multitasking on other things as well. 🙂 (Sorry Darce!) With X, well, I was checking out her home and reading the chat. No music.
The most interesting aspect of the above paragraph is that I realize the great majority of the intimate chats take place in IM, when we are NOT in the same SL location. 🙂 Does that say something about when and how people open up? Certainly in RL one of the easiest times for open and frank discussion is when you are driving in the car. Neither of you has to make eye contact. Maybe that’s part of what works in IM as well. If we aren’t looking at each other face-to-face, it’s easier to bare our souls.
Okay, that’s it for being serious today. I am off to review duck names. And to start polling friends for what I “need” in the way of an AO. 🙂