The first thing I'll take away from the long weekend is that internet chemistry can translate into real life, at least when it comes to platonic friendships. Matt and I had a genuinely good time together, and although there was some of the natural friction that occurs when you have two people spending most of their waking hours together for an extended period of time and not having sex (or the prospect of future sex) with one another. That was something that I was worried about, since he wouldn't have had anywhere else to go in the city and neither would I. Had things been unpleasant between us it would have been a difficult few dozen hours.
The next lesson I learned is not to backload your vacation with expectations. Matthew did just this, coming in for a good time in part but also with rather high expectations for the last couple of days when the girl would arrive and everything would be passion and joy. This both distracted him from the first section of time, and then basically invalidated it after the fireworks failed to ignite. We had fun together in those first few days, and we could have had casual fun for the last bit had the expectations not been so very high. He was looking forward to visiting the Bronx Zoo (as was I) but he wanted to do it with her and when she revealed that that would not be happening the prospect lost a lot of its attraction. We could have gone on Tuesday morning and still had time to meet with her afterwards had there not been so much importance placed on the endzone. I'm sure that given the distance of time Matt will look back on the time as having been overall a positive experience but for now he's cranky and dissapointed, and the trip feels like a bust.
I hope that Matt takes away a few "older and wiser" moments from what happened as well. One would be not to count on time with a woman until she commits to it. For him she was one of the primary reasons for coming and the instant focus of all his attention and activities. For her he was a pleasant and exciting side-note to an already well-established and important trip. This clash of expectations left him feeling dissapointed and unhappy even though she didn't do anything untoward. She hung out with him for more time than could comfortably fit into her schedule and probably would have spent more time with him later had he stayed (Going was definitely the right move though. For one it meant he wouldn't have to skip a day of work or come up wtih an excuse. For another any time they had spent together later would probably have been awkward and equally dissapointing. I got (not copped!) a feel for her in the time we spent together and she would definitely be the type who would be happy to have him around but would be focused on a dozen other things at once. She's a sociable outgoing person, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that, which would have meant that he could not have gotten the attention he wanted. Matt is an interesting fellow, he is easygoing and willing to work with the flow, but I would guess he's not overly fond of large gatherings, at least not all the time. Anyway, the primary issue here was expectation. If he hadn't had any then we could have had our fun, he could have had an amusing but not so pregnant with significance encounter with her, and everything would have been copasetic. I understant it's difficult to restrain expectations after 7 years of contact and especially given the emotional rollercoaster he had been through thanks to the malignant carcinoma known as Miri, but the results of letting your imagination run wild can be devastating.
This is a principle I've talked about before in this journal. People's expectations are often out of line with what they know reality to be because they have difficulty distancing themselves from their own lives. I'm sure that if Matt were in my position he'd have a similar viewpoint to the one I hold, perhaps a shade less bitter and negative, but similar nonetheless. He wasn't able to remove himself far enough from the situation to see it logically. You could argue that he made the right decision, that trying to grab something special and unique is worth the possibility, or even likelihood, of a painful fall from grace. That's fine, I would definitely agree that I am sometimes overly removed and focused on chances. You shouldn't just hang back and do nothing because the chances of success at a given activity are slim. On the other hand neither should you expect that you will be wildly successful at anything. Most great artists aren't rich or famous, and most artists who believe they are great aren't. Just because you think you can draw or write really well doesn't mean that that will lead to the sorts of rewards you undoubtably fantasize about. Personal, let alone sexual, chemistry is a really difficult thing to judge if you haven't spent time in person with someone. Sparks sometimes fly between people who don't like each other, they sometimes fly when it's not mutual, and they sometimes fly when you really wish they wouldn't. or fail to when you expect they will. It's a hard thing to pre-judge and we have to accept that and go in to these things with eyes open and realistic expectations. Realistic, not pesimistic (something I am guilty of.) Of course optimism may increase the chances of success, but you have to be willing to deal with the disappointment if you want to go the starry-eyed pie in the sky route.
The thing is, sex, love, and women complicate things. It may well be worth it, but it's a fact of life. I'm pretty sure that Matt and I saw and learned more in the museum together than we would have had we been a man and a woman in love (or two men in love for that matter. Homosexuals. Homos.) nitro_pb showed that by missing the Milstein blue whale on his trip there with his LOVER. I'm a very perceptive person and can spot telephones, garbage cans, and other objects that most other people would miss (My friend Aaron can attest to this, as well as the fact that I sometimes appear to be psychic as when I seemed to predict a telephone call Matt recieved 4 hours after someone had said they would call him back 20 minutes later) but I fully believe that the average person should be capable of spotting a life-sized replica of the LARGEST ANIMAL EVER TO LIVE ON EARTH hanging 11 feet over his head. The whale is 92 feet long and slightly higher than a basketball hoop. This is the distractive power of titties. Until we finally institute mandatory burkha wearing among American women (With John Ashcroft heading up the justice department this is less unlikely than you might think) it is probably advisable to travel to places of learning with unattractive male companionship.
I was also reminded of my profound dorkiness. When Matt came to town I was well-equipped to take him to places with interesting architecture and the like but not places with drugging, drinking, or easy pussy. I think I should be at least somewhat aquainted with such things, but my desire is really low and I'm not the sort of person who is accepted there. I would honestly prefer to make jokes about James Polk than to be surrounded by strobe lights and overly noisy music. Most people would not. I should be able to accomodate Polk-haters by offering them entertainments that are more to their liking. It'd also be good to have that kind of experience for writing experience. I should work on that issue.