Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I’ve told you goodbye. I’ve told you that it’s not going to work out for us. I’ve done the “drama queen” thing. I’ve raged to friends. I’ve wept. It’s been nearly two years. I was always so good at protecting my heart, until you came along. Would I roll the clock back and wish that I’d never found virtual worlds, found you? No. But I’m telling you – this on-again, off-again stuff is making me crazy.

Right from the start I was blinded. People warned me. I said, “Don’t worry. I’m a big girl. I know what I’m doing.” And I went right on. You came along a little more slowly, but soon you were as hot as I was. It was rocky at the start, but then we hit our stride. Every day was exciting. And then. Then. It cooled down. Things just weren’t “happening” for us. Oh sure, we were together every day. But there was no thrill. No joy. No reason to wake up smiling. But we never called it quits. We got lucky. The passion, the excitement, the thrill all came back. You were everything to me – sun, moon, stars, breathing. I thought we were really going to make it. This was IT. We’d beat those virtual relationship odds. We’d be the ones to prove to everyone that it DOES workout.

And then……. it died. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I expected more from you than you could give. Maybe you were never what I thought you were. This summer I realized that I was wasting my time on you. We weren’t going anywhere together. We were as so many others had been. Done. Used up. Over. So I broke up. I said goodbye. Unfortunately, I only did that logically. My heart still belonged to you. So it was a hard few months.

The last several weeks I’d found a new interest to fill the time that had been filled with you. I have begun slowly to do other things, reach out to different people. Emotionally I had moved on. I was, dare I say it, feeling “free”. Darn you. Darn you darn you darn you. You called me this week. You said “We’ll just meet. No big deal. Really. Just talk.” I can’t say no to you.

We met. Oh my word, the difficulties in arranging a place to meet. Setting the time, getting together. It wasn’t like old times – so much of our usual routine was gone. But….. we were together again. Yes, we slipped right back into the groove. It felt so right. It felt so good. How could I ever think that I didn’t still love you? That I was “free”? Free???? OMG – I would be chained, not free, without you.

/me smiles. You know, don’t you, dear reader? I am talking about my project. My beloved, infuriating collaboration tool project. I demo’d it to someone new this week. I had no hope of anything happening. I was asked to demo, so I would demo. The project is dead. I’ve lost my volunteer team – they’ve all moved on. I have other work I need to do. I found what I thought might be an interesting career path. But…. she liked the demo. She wants us to demo it to a technical group. She wants to discuss it more for the original concept we’d had. I know, I know. Calm down, don’t get excited. But oh the thrill. The joy. While I played the 1 minute video that was shown to 4000 people this past June, other folk from the building walked into the conference room. They stopped talking and watched the screen, rapt. They said something like “How come our stuff is so dull and you get to do all the exciting stuff?”

Yes. You are exciting. You make me come alive. You are my passion. I can turn and try to walk away. But I will always love you. I will always come back to you, given any faint encouragement at all. Even if we never go any further than what we do now – the occasional demo, I count you as my true love. I am grateful, proud and thrilled that you are a part of my life.

And oh world please…… maybe THIS time we will find a home?

Did I Hear What You Said?

When I was growing up, my mother gave me two wonderful books. I wanted to post a picture of the covers but they have the word “copyrighted” on the pictures on Amazon, so I’m guessing that means I shouldn’t cut and paste the picture. *grin* Both books are by Sesyle Johnson and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. They were books on manners or, as described inside the cover: “A Handbook of Etiquette for Young Ladies and Gentlemen to be Used as a Guide for Everyday Social Behavior”. The one book, What Do You Say, Dear?, explained the proper response a polite person would say for a given situation. The other, What Do you Do, Dear?, (Proper Conduct for all Occasions) taught the correct action to be performed. *grin* Oh my, I loved them. They were funny and witty. And they told me exactly what to say and do. I didn’t have to figure it out for myself if perchance the Queen fed me too much spaghetti to fit in my chair. If I followed these guidelines, I would always be secure in my interactions with others.

I bet you think this is going to be a rant on manners, don’t you? Hah! Fooled you.

Life was simpler then. I think. It could be reduced to formulas. But I suppose the meanings behind the words were as obscure then as they often are now. You see – I KNOW what I mean when I say or do something. So if YOU say or do that, well then, obviously you mean the same thing I do, right? Errrm, no. It has taken me a very long time, and sometimes I still mess it up, but just because we do/say the same thing, does not mean that we are attempting to convey the same message.

My father rarely said to my mother “I love you”. He used to tease her (and she used to joke) that he already TOLD her he loved her, she knew that, why did he need to repeat himself? Never mind that my mother would have loved to hear it many times a day, probably. (I don’t know – maybe she would have gotten bored of hearing it? Who knows now, right? *smile* ) But…. everyday in so many ways he showed his love through actions. You simply had to decipher his code and hear HOW he said it. He warmed her car and scraped the ice every day in winter. She always had the groceries she liked (he did the grocery shopping). He supported her acting career, taking over household chores without complaining to give her space. It was so clear to me.

I fret at times, get insecure. Yeah, *grin*, I get insecure about being loved, being liked, about people caring. It’s one thing to know this intellectually, it’s another to feel it inside always. Many of the people I have met in SL I’ve not met in the atomic world. I only know them through the written word, the occasional voice chat. I love many of them. On cold dreary fragile days, however, I worry that I am wrong, they don’t care, I shouldn’t bother them, it’s not reciprocated. The other day the proverbial light broke through the clouds. I got it. This one took the time to send me a one-line email/IM to say hi. I was focused on the shortness, missing the fact that time was taken not only to think of me, but to act on it. Not everyone likes to blither on and on (/me clears throat, abashed). That one pinged me after not chatting for a week and when I said “what’s up?” said “nothing, just wanted to say hi” and that was all you wrote. The other one, I realize, always responds extremely quickly when I IM. I could go on and on. So could you, dear reader. Everyone has their own way of saying “you are special to me”. Those responses seem to be such trivial actions. And, in a sense, if it were I doing them, yeah, I’d probably say a lot more if I were trying to convey importance. *laugh* But some people just don’t talk a lot. Some people are really busy. Some people are very comfortable with long periods of silence.

Is there a point to this blog? If there is any point, it really goes all the way back to one of Botgirl’s posts. Or it’s the famous don’t judge someone til you’ve walked in their shoes. Take a deep breath. Pause. Think. Try to hear what was sent and not what was received.

It can be said in so many ways. I love you.

I sat on this post for many days. I wasn’t completely satisfied or even certain that it said what I wanted to say. Not that I am sure what I want to say. But I think it needs one more paragraph.

I CAN hear you. As someone said to me on a different subject – we speak the same language but a different dialect. But. Sometimes it’s not enough to hear the message. Sometimes the medium is the message. And sometimes – I need to hear it in my dialect.

So I guess it comes full circle. I CAN hear your dialect. But sometimes, do try to use mine. I think we all need both sides of that equation.

Don’t Know Where to Begin

It’s been ages since I’ve posted. Not for lack of topics. Mostly because I’m lazy. *grin* But also….. I’ve been “outed”. It was a conscious decision on my part. I’d actually been “outed” last year, but it was very brief and you had to be listening carefully. I didn’t really think many people were. And the people who WERE listening already KNEW my RL name. But this time I actually walked about with both names displayed. It wasn’t quite as uncomfortable as I had dreaded, but it was still an odd sensation. It did feel a bit like walking around naked. So that is one slightly inhibiting factor now as I try to blog. I’m very aware that people may be able to identify OTHER people in my posts.

Another damper is that someone came to my SL home to spy on me. Oh, call it whatever pretty name you’d like, the fact of the matter is that person tp’d into my land with the sole intent of finding out information on me or on my guest. Since she directed all her questions at me, I’d have to say that I was the target. I didn’t realize all the details at the time, but the whole conversation was “off”. As I thought about it and confided in a few friends, I realized who the avatar was and why she was there. I’m not going into details but the whole conversation was a pretense and a sham. As I don’t really advertise where I live, that person had to work to rez right onto my land. Which means I now feel uncomfortable because someone out there is reading my blog for “information”. Sheesh. Next thing you know they’ll be trying to bribe Drake, Mallory and Bill to steal my friends list.

That’s two things in the same week that threw me off stride. The third was hearing of another sex scandal -the kind the media love to play up. What really annoyed me about this one was my sister’s reaction. And no – I’m not singling her out exactly. The thing is – I KNOW that I am in virtual worlds working. Doing serious business. Business applications. Working with people who are as serious and dedicated as I am (probably even more than I am) to creating successful, productive business environments and tools in virtual worlds. So when even my sister says (upon hearing the latest sex story) “well, everyone KNOWS that people come into virtual worlds for sex”, it just frosts my cookies. I’m trying to decide how to answer that. Something along the lines of don’t blame the venue, blame the people. Shall we get rid of cell phones because governors and senators text sex assignations on them????

I’m also tired of what I hear as “taken for given” presumption that people with attractive human avatars are uncreative, thinking in the box, narrow in their outlook, full of fears of exploration. Oh, take a hike. That one came up in conferences I attended in March and in the blog of someone whose writing I greatly respect. I’m having a hard time writing a good response to that because every time I start on it, I get really ticked off. I’ll grant you that I’m not a visionary. But I won’t stand for being called uncreative and cowardly.

See what I mean? I don’t want a negative blog. Life is basically good at my house. Work is going well, home is going well. Even Simba the cat is doing much better. Yes, he refused the insulin injections. I thought I’d lose him. But I’m getting the pills into him and he seems to be getting back to a healthier life. I can’t really write about my work, even though it excites me greatly and is such joy. I’m not doing much in SL except hanging about at live music and chatting with friends and floating in my pool. *grin* I LOVE my pool. So I’m struggling with finding the energy to write about the above topics in a way that is positive and useful, and not simply crabbing.

I’m open to suggestions, comments. Maybe I should just forget them all and go exploring.

A Positive Love Story

I’m cheating again…. directing to you to other people’s blogs and articles. But when I find something that is so articulate, so right-on-target, something that I wish I had written – well, then I figure it’s my obligation to send you there.

Dusan Writer’s Metaverse is one of the blogs that I follow regularly. He writes about virtual worlds, not just about SL. I have learned many interesting things about OpenSim and the discussions on interoperability. There have been posts on corporations doing business in SL, a topic of great interest to me.

But yesterday’s post is on a subject of interest to everyone – love. Specifically: Love in a Virtual World. Apparently Newsweek has posted an article, “A Geek Love Story”, about 2 people who met in SL, formed a partnership in SL, then ultimately became RL partners as well. Except….. SHE lives in the US and HE lives in Wales, and they have only met in the atomic world 3 times in the past 4 years. But it works.

Speaking of love, and seemingly impossible relationships, and physical barriers to meeting: Frenis is now a week old. πŸ™‚ He’s growing up, changing. He doesn’t look so much like a fluffy chick. I think Mallory approves.

Monday Morning Musing

It’s Monday. It’s gray. The inter/intranet connection in the office is c….r…..a…..w….l….i….n……g. My feet are cold. πŸ™‚ So I’ve gotten a cup of hot tea and I am thinking about all the things I don’t understand.

I still don’t understand land in SL. I’m getting better, but I still don’t understand all the big corporations and owning islands and if you pay tier to a corporation do you actually own that land or do they own that land and what does it all mean anyway?

I don’t understand why we don’t teach our children properly about love, being in love, loving people. So many of us make the mistake of thinking that love somehow equates to perfect understanding. Complete unison. Wholeness. It doesn’t really work that way. And so we get confused, and then hurt and then angry. As a wise friend always says to me: The agenda of anger is pain. Took me YEARS to have even a clue what that meant.

I do understand hate and fear, unfortunately. What I don’t understand is why, after all these thousands of years, we aren’t any better at dealing with them.

I don’t understand why all the lights in my house can’t work at the same time. πŸ™‚ I have 3 burned out bulbs in the dining room but it’s the sockets, not the bulbs. And a broken socket in the front hall. I just got the kitchen ceiling fan light fixed a few weeks ago. And the washing machine is making “noises”. Is there some unwritten law of which I am unaware that says at least one electrical appliance in my house must be in non-working condition???

I promise you this: When *I* rule the world, things will be different. πŸ™‚

They’ve said it better

I’m done commenting on the price increases. I don’t own land, I don’t fully understand land ownership in SL and I am not good at envisioning the future. I think that Landsend reflects most closely how I feel. I think that Dale may have the most realistic explanation for it all. I found Soph’s analysis both intriguing and funny. And Night (Yay! so glad she is back) discusses what should be done to prevent another drama like this in the future. That’s it. Read them and read Prad, Bailey and Honour. They are all far more informed and articulate than I. That’s why they are all on my blog roll. As for leaving SL for OpenLife… well, until I can have my hair and my boots, I’m not going. Yeah, I know – totally shallow. πŸ™‚ But as long as Bailey and Honour and Prad and Dale and everyone else are here, so am I.

Aribeth posted the other day about how she felt betrayed and deceived when an SL friend lied about their RL self. I thought about that a lot before commenting on her post. I know that a lot of people come into SL to role-play. As my last post states, that’s not my purpose. I may be picking which of my RL aspects are emphasized, but I am still me. There is nothing about me in SL that is not true of me in RL. (At least, I don’t think there is. But the mind is a funny beast….) The reason I mention this here now is because of Krissy’s comment on my post. Krissy’s statement “And when I make a friend in sl, it’s with the intention of making a real friend. Not friends that are playing a role along side me” has me pondering the subject. I am still not convinced that role-playing is such a terrible thing. I believe that SL is a place where you can and should explore yourself. Role-playing only becomes an issue when you begin to form deep, emotional connections with others. If those people are also role-playing, I suspect there is no issue. But if those people are more akin to me and Krissy and Aribeth, I think that somewhere along the path to emotional intimacy, the role-player needs to reveal the person behind the facade. There is a post in here somewhere, but I need to think on it more and clarify for myself what is troublesome and when it becomes problematic. Since it has never happened to me, I don’t know what I’d do or feel. In the meantime, you might want to see what Ari has to say.

Scavenger Hunt!!!

Whoo Hoo!!! My ducks made it to the scavenger hunt!!!! πŸ™‚ As part of the conference social activities, there was a scavenger hunt. The broadcast went out: “Scavenger hunt: I’ll give (prize) to the first person who can tell me where to find one of the following items: a teacup; a swimming duck; an insect playing a tiny violin; etc. “. I LOVE my ducks!!! πŸ™‚ During a break between sessions I took T over to see my ducks swimming in the canal. He, having good taste, also loved my ducks. So he arranged for them to be part of the scavenger hunt. I visit the ducks daily. Finally had to put a rock in so I had some place to sit while I watch them. πŸ™‚

Conference is still going well. Interesting talks, some minor glitches that get handled quickly. Really an amazingly smooth event. And it’s even fun. πŸ™‚

And now for something serious….. Bogirl has posted about a “One belief at a time” workshop. If you find that little setbacks make you angry or frustrated, if you find that you blame others for your emotional state, if you wish to face life with greater calm and control, GO TO THIS WORKSHOP. I learned this approach somewhere somewhen else, and it changed my life. I have never been as happy, relaxed, and confident as I am now, as a result of this kind of technique. Here’s how I was first introduced to this concept. You are driving down the highway. Another driver cuts you off and you narrowly miss having an accident. You:
(1) get angry and curse and scream at the other driver who is obviously an idiot, incompetent, selfish, etc.
(2) you freak and think oh no oh my I could have been killed, that was awful, so terrible, why do these things happen to ME???????
(3) you say “gee, aren’t I a good driver? look at that – there could have been an accident but I was on top of things. I really am a good driver and handled that well.”

Be honest. I know that I looked at my friend as if he was crazy when he posed this question to me. OBVIOUSLY #1 is the right answer. Well. πŸ™‚ It took a looooonnnnng time, but one day, I was driving down the highway and was cut off. I thought “Wow, that could have been bad. Didn’t I do well to avoid THAT?” And I realized what I had managed to achieve (thought-wise, not driving) and I literally laughed out loud. I was so free and happy and light. Go for it folks. You have nothing to lose but a lot of anger and stress and misery. πŸ™‚

Blurring Lines

Yet another confession.Β  I already admitted that I am totally addicted to SL.Β  It’s invaded my thoughts whether awake or asleep.Β  I haven’t had a day in weeks where I didn’t stop in at least briefly.Β  But now…… I’m very grateful and fortunate that my family supports me in this obsession.Β  Because I’ve begun writing down SL events in my FL calendar.Β  Yep, that’s right.Β  I am now arranging my FL calendar to accommodate my SL calendar.Β  So far I haven’t cancelled anything FL to attend SL.Β  But oh was I tempted once!!!!Β  So now I am putting SL events on the FL calendar in order to avoid conflict. LOL.Β  I’ve come a very long way from June 26, haven’t I???

And another mini-observation.Β  There’s nothing like a post about sex and love to increase your readership.Β  LOL.Β  I have a very small but loyal contingent of readers.Β  I very carefully did NOT tag my post Difficult Subjects.Β  After my Blogger’s Remorse experience, I resolved never to put anything suggestive or explicit in my headings or tags. But somehow even without tags word spread. Looking at my readership stats – more than double my typical daily readers. Hits coming in from new locations. Fascinating. We are ALL experts on love and sex. We all have opinions. We all know the truth. Love is vital to all of us. It’s a compulsion. I’m willing to bet that somewhere it is hard-wired in us: the need to talk about love, being loved, loving. I’m not being facetious – I’m very serious. Despite being an expert in the subject myself πŸ™‚ , I learn so much from what other people write.

I really love learning about people. I love seeing what moves us, what energizes us. I love trying to understand why we do what we do. The blog and SL are a wonderful opportunity for me to meet and talk with others who find people as fascinating as I do. Thanks to you all!


Let’s talk social etiquette. This is one of my pet peeves in FL and I can see that it will be an annoyance in SL as well.

We’ll start with the Prime Directive: Remember that there is a real-live human being with feelings and thoughts behind each avatar. I heard one of the official NCI welcome crew say this to a Newbie the other night. You would think this piece of advice wouldn’t be necessary. After all – aren’t YOU a real-live human being with feelings? Unfortunately, people can be as stupid in SL as anywhere else. Let’s go back to 30 BCE-10 CE and Hillel who said: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” Do you really enjoy strangers walking up to you and propositioning you in vulgar terms? Do you enjoy being shut out of conversations, ignored? Do you like being dropped because someone else more interesting has walked by? Do you like having people question your life choices? Do you like someone standing in your face?

Perhaps you can tell that I find the above behavior distasteful. As I mentioned in a previous blog, two dear friends of mine got married in SL. As it happens, they are both women. Maybe that upsets you, maybe it doesn’t. But guess what – it’s NOT your business, it’s NOT your problem. Anyway, as we all sat about laughing and chatting and celebrating and being happy together, a Newbie (only a few hours old) came and joined us. He saw the labels above their heads and heard the conversation. He said to one: “But you’re a woman.” And she said to him “yes, and so is my partner.” And he said “can you do that thing?” Okay, part of me is laughing out loud even as I type it. But part of me is still very annoyed. Would that person REALLy walk up to a group of strangers, listen to the conversation, and then ask one of them about how she has sex???? Please tell me that is NOT what happens. That is the first thing he wants to know about SecondLife – Can they do “that thing”??? On the other hand, as a very wise friend keeps telling me – “It’s all about sex”. I disagree with her. I DON’T think it’s “all” about sex and I think it’s incredibly rude to come inworld and approach strangers and start asking about their sex lives. So there.

Now let’s go to a gathering inworld. You’re hanging about with your friends, chatting, making plans to go and do something together. Suddenly another person TP’s into the room. One of the friends spins about and takes off to join the new person. “Bye, see you, gotta run.” Poof. Gone. The rest of you all look at each other. Again – you ARE all laughing. But you also are all a bit annoyed. “Excuse us, what are we? Chopped liver?” Yes – you DO get a pass for being newly in-love or for needing to touch base with the other person or probably for some other reasons as well. But you can only do that so many times to your friends before they get annoyed. No matter how in love you are, no matter how pressing the reason. There are real people behind those avatars. If you want it to be all about you, you are ultimately going to be very lonely.

Making Friends. This one is tricky. My first few weeks I never asked anyone if they cared to be friends. I felt as if I were pressuring them – that they would feel obligated to help the newbie. Even now I find I am somewhat hesitant to initiate the offer. I’m getting better. I did meet a lovely person back when Kate Linden was rescuing me. That person started the conversation, read my groups list, offered me land marks. We talked about many topics. I offered her friendship and she accepted. That is a bit sudden for me. But I’ve had people come up to me and say “Take Friendship”. Um, thanks, but maybe I don’t want to. So I changed my profile to say “I’m looking for friends but we need to know each other first.” Which I suppose is not strictly true, as I’ve made some snap judgments. But telling someone to “take friendship” is bad form.

My next one is probably silly. And way too picky. I don’t care. I’m allowed to be silly in my blog. πŸ™‚ I really disliked people standing too close to me. Like everyone in FL, I’m very aware of the boundaries of “my” space. If you cross that line, I will try to back away and fix the distance, But if you persist,I become irritable and edgy and mean. πŸ™‚ Some acquaintances simply have not figured this out yet. This carries over into SL. I understand when someone moves too close to me. No question that I still have difficulty on occasion moving myself about. I’ve bumped into people. Sort of sat on people. Even walked through people I believe. It happens. But once you are standing and chatting with someone – hey! back up a bit. You really CAN’T look down my shirt in SL no matter HOW close you get. I feel cornered and pressured. Yes – I am well aware that this is my problem and I take full ownership. LOL. But maybe next time you stand too close to someone, you’ll remember poor neurotic Ahuva and you’ll back up a little!!! πŸ™‚

And lastly, the most obvious one. Big sigh. Do you REALLY walk up to strangers on the street and ask them to participate in sex acts with you? For most of us, that is not part of our job description. Go away. Leave me alone. Trust me. If I want to have sex with you, I’ll let you know. But otherwise – why don’t you think about WHY you have to ask strangers for intimacy? Perhaps it has something to do with your social graces or lack thereof.


Some stray thoughts that didn’t fit in other blogs….

I’ve been promising a picture of one of my favorite friends. And I’m finally keeping my promise! I think she is one of the most beautiful people I’ve met in SL – inside and out!!

And I’ve made some other, more unusual friends as well. πŸ™‚ I was a little concerned for this friend’s well-being on the beach, but he assured me that he would be just fine. You do meet the most interesting people in SL.

Two of my SL friends got married yesterday – in SL. So I need to go back to my blog on July 3 (Scratching the Virtual Itch) and eat my words, so to speak. I was taken aback at the notion that anyone would ever formalize a partnership in SL. I’ve come so far since then that now I wonder how I could have ever written those words. LOL. My friends are SO happy! They are simply radiating joy to everyone around them. Obviously getting married in SL can be every bit as important as it is in RL. Of course every party has a pooper and that role was played by another acquaintance who remarked: “In general my impression is that monogamy usually works spectacularly badly in SL, for whatever complex reasons.” Let’s hope that for my two friends, that’s not the case. Everyone can use some happiness, wherever they find it.

But that does raise an interesting question. Do SL relationships flame out more than RL relationships? I suspect that may be true. I think the reasons probably aren’t all that complex. In RL, relationships are mostly pre-defined. By that I mean society has trained us all to think that “marriage” entails conditions a, b & c and responsibilities 1 to n, and so on. Everyone we know in RL has learned the same rules about marriage. So even if the couple wanted to change the rules, society is pressing in on them, enforcing the relationship. I haven’t seen that kind of societal pressure at work in SL. It may be that I am still too new. But I think that people form relationships in SL without clarifying the terms beforehand. If they are operating from different assumptions and there are no external forces keeping them together, the relationship flames.

Here’s my last fragment: I want to buy land. I needed some time alone to think and stare at the water and chill out. I tried to do that from “my” beach chair, but someone kept hitting on me. Sigh. So I fled to a friend’s house and sat on their beach. I want my own beach with my own view of the water. So where should I be looking? What should I know?