I have three first names — my long formal name, my preferred recognizable nickname, and a short common nickname. I use different names in different settings, depending upon who I want you to know who I am. I also never ever ever give my last name upon meeting someone. I don’t carry business cards. I try to do what I can to maintain any small semblance of privacy.
This is increasingly difficult as I lead a semi-public life. I have an interesting job. I date men who are well-known in our city. I am actively engaged in social media … to the point where people happily tell me they watch what I do and/or have asked mutual friends to introduce us because they want to meet me. We have people show up places because we’re there. It’s awesome and creepy, and the ratio of awesome to creepy is constantly fluctuating.
If you follow me openly elsewhere, you have a sense of what I am saying. My life is lived in semi-public. Where I go, who I am with, etc. I carve out a lot of private things, but you probably feel like you know me.
There is a lot I don’t say. I date more than it appears, but I don’t identify the men. There are always moments where we stop talking.
Here are some things I am not saying:
I now live with FM. Through a variety of circumstances, it made sense for him to move into my guest room on Tuesday. It’s weird and wonderful and I love having him here. We dated briefly in October, and we made the shift to platonic friends after Thanksgiving — the volume and intensity of our public fights became too much to bear. We spent NYE weekend together with two friends completely platonically, sharing a bed, but we’ve been together the night before we left and since we’ve been back. We’re intensely attracted to each other, but we’re terrible together. Living together has given us a chance to be here for each other in lovely ways and I am very happy he’s here.
Last night, we were able to say to each other . . . as long as we’re both regularly seeing other people, we think we’re good. We are very much fwb, but that’s something we only admit to each other. Apparently YM, who introduced us, interfered significantly. I was not aware of this until last night.
Dating: I joke often that I am seeing everyone, which is sort of true. I am dating a few people, but I am sincerely crushing on a new guy who deserves his own series of posts. Except I have no idea what to call him or how to describe him. I will say I’ve not liked anyone as much I like him since BFD and LP. I had the same immediate “I am not worthy” reaction. Yet, he referred to himself as dorky when he said “yeah but you’re dating the second dorkiest guy here.” I realize that despite everything, he is very smart, and very dorky, and completely awesome. Downside: young. early 30s. We are 7 years apart. He could date anyone in the world. He is going out with me. I have awoken in his bed twice now and it feels amazing because he’s so present. He wraps himself around me as he sleeps. He seems to adore me, publicly affectionate, acknowledging me proudly from stage, but I am aware that his age will break us up within a few short months if we make it that long. I have been telling him “if I still know you in a couple of weeks…” which I should stop doing, but my point is, I like him now. And I am okay that we don’t have a future.
I am frequently photographed these days. My photo appeared in the local newspaper’s society column, for example, and my friends post my photo regularly. I am getting used to seeing myself and I am trying to get used to how I look.
In general, I am happy with how I appear. I am thin. Everyone but BFD thinks I am too thin, but I am up to 10 pounds heavier than I’d like. It’s difficult to be dysmorphic, but my friends are very supportive and intervene when they think it necessary.
I think a lot about my public perception and a lot of conversation I’ve had with FM deal with the differences among our personalities, our personas, and our presentations thereof. He’s sort of internet famous — a published author and entrepreneur with a huge megaphone. He likes to toss handgrenades into public dialog to see the carnage. And he’s one of the best, most loyal people I know.
I am aware of how I come across and I am paying more attention to the public image I am crafting. I need to be more careful, or at least, always aware, that people are watching.