where the writers are
My innocent stumble into an anthropological study, as both student and subject

First time readers, kindly read the first entry for October 27, 2012, when this story began: 

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For me, the most difficult aspect of writing is the certainty that no matter what I say or how it’s phrased, I’ll offend someone.    By now, you’d think I would have known better than to risk embarrassing, or worse, jinxing myself by joking that the fastest way to run off a guy you don’t like is to tell him you’ve just been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

What happens when you ARE diagnosed with a serious illness at the beginning of a relationship? I believe a lot of men close to my age, (i.e., just younger than Methuselah), have learned to bottle up their emotions so effectively, the knowledge someone they care about may be sick for awhile leaves them apparently unfazed.  They may be disappointed, angry, fearful, or even devastated, but you’ll never know.  They turn on the ball game, go into the mental man-cave, and, although they ask more frequently (albeit insincerely) if they can help with anything, then carry on like the solid guys they were raised to be.  Most importantly, they stick around.

There are those who won’t think once, let alone twice, about dropping off the face of the planet just after they promise to “call you.”  Though these guys may be jerks, they’re slightly more evolved than those who reply with, “NO WHINING.”   Believe me, there are worse examples than these, which do not bear repetition.

I underestimated how much I could learn about life, or myself, in just six weeks.  I have until the middle of February, when my subscription expires, to uncover even more.  In the meantime, I've met some interesting people and even made some good friends.

The jerks are more fun to write about, though . . .

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"By now, you’d think I would

"By now, you’d think I would have known better than to risk embarrassing, or worse, jinxing myself "

As a teenager, I used to try and impress boys by talking to them about Plato (see this post, if you wish) or Confucius.  They did not ask me out, and I thought it was because I didn't know enough about Plato and Confucius.

I've learnt my lesson.  After all, I am 47, now.  I no longer talk to men about Plato and Confucius.  Instead, I tell them I love Mediaeval and Renaissance Spanish music, talk to them about etymology, and tell them I speak four languages.  I know it's only a matter of time before my new system works.

 

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Very late post script

Katia,

I'm grateful to have survived that experience.  I had NO idea what I was getting into.  Never, never again.  :-)