I did some housekeeping recently, tossing out old posts that I did in the days when I put up stuff on a daily basis. This was initially for the purposes of having daily content ready, making a reliable schedule.
This was a mistake. I can certainly produce one solid article per week, but in aggregate I ended up having to toss out much of these because they hid articles that I wanted people to read. One series of articles that got deleted dealt with my experience in dating.
Much has changed, so much so that simply adding a new article isn’t going to help. My attitude on the entire subject has shifted, though not as completely as one may think. And of course, now that Rebby and I have been together happily for six months I can say that this phase of my life is over.
In my life, I have held serious doubts about my ability to perform in certain aspects of life, things like finishing school, holding down a job, or falling in love with a romantic partner. Neurotypical friends, well meaning as they were, didn’t understand my anxieties.
Some of these things were easier to accept than others. I regained my confidence with my triumphant return and successful completion of my degree at CCBC. I found out I could do journalism really well and kickstarted a freelance writing career. But dating and relationships? That was another story.
Whenever I go over to see my girlfriend, Rebecca, I can feel the excitement build as she opens up the garage door. She shares the enthusiasm and within seconds we are in each other’s arms. She says to me “I missed you.” Unless I say it first.
We have been together a little over two months, although we were friends since last October. When we began going out, it had been a few months since I broke up with my last ex and a few weeks since we stopped talking completely. At the time, I was unsure of what to make of it.
Now that I’ve managed to recuperate from post-exam exhaustion, it’s time for me to return to the blogosphere. I have a lot to talk about, and today I want to start with something topical.
I have seen the fidget spinner craze, and there’s been a lot of discussion on the toy in question and I want to approach a byproduct of that craze. Shortly after the fad took off, I saw the occasional odd post that voiced outrage at how neurotypicals were taking a toy meant for the disabled and making it impossible for the disabled to use due to the bans put into place after fidget spinners became popular and overused in the classroom.
These posts didn’t sit well with me. While the people who shared them probably just did so reflexively (which I admittedly find troubling, but somewhat understandable), it was because something unexpected happened.
Photo by dave @ Morguefile.com
So, I was inspired to write this due to a post that Suze had made. It began with a lighthearted non-sequitur involving sex education before she adjusted her glasses and noticed that the word was “ovation” not “ovulation”. But it serves as an excellent springboard because she asks the question:
ovulation: Well honestly, I don’t know why the daily prompter would come up with this particular word…I mean, don’t they teach sex education in schools anymore? We have to blog about it now?
Unfortunately for her, the answer is “no”. Perhaps a more accurate answer is, “Well, kind of but we do a piss-poor job at it.” Just a note before I go on, I’m trying to keep this in the bounds of good taste, but it will get a little personal. Onward!
Photo by marinapriest @ Morguefile.com
Well, if there were anything better to come back from hiatus for, I can’t think of it. It is a topic that I have wanted to write about for some time but never felt the impetus to write an article. But, after exploring the topic further and hearing some things floating about the cultural ether, I believe this needs to be addressed.
Let’s talk about virtual girlfriends, or perhaps more appropriately “synthetic relationships”. It’s a phenomenon most associated with Japanese culture, but has global implications, given that we now have more access to Japanese culture than ever before thanks to the internet.
Due to my status as outside of that culture, I can only speculate on the cultural factors that resulted in this rising trend. But what we can discuss is their impact.