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yep, i've been thinking again...
last night, i was reading my 'thinking about thinking' entry (here), and it got me thinking again...

i think there are two basic things, that hold true for all people. first, people want to love and be loved. and second, you're more likely to like somebody if you feel that they like you. marie understands these things all too well... marie is not particularly attractive, by most standards. nor is she extremely intelligent, witty, or exciting. at times, she can be downright mean. as far as likable people go, marie is probably slightly below average. however, there's a reason that guys fall all over themselves to get to her. she knows how to play the game. she knows how to flirt, and she knows how to make you feel special. she knows how to look you in the eye, and make you feel like you matter to her. she knows when to touch you, and when you're about to get fed up, she knows to back off. the special duty cops, who watch the store every night for 4-6 hours, have had conversations about the workers before... the general consensus always seems to be that molly and i are the hardest workers there, but that marie is the best at dealing with the customers-even better than jane, or any of the front end managers. she knows when she can press things, and when she needs to call a manager. when she wants to be, she's an excellent listener, and she knows how to read people... and she also knows how to manipulate people.

if marie wants somebody to like her, they like her. grant had a girlfriend, and he loved her... when marie hugged him, he would hug her back, pull her closer, and then remember his girlfriend and jump away, but he'd always come back to marie. kyle, a charming, attractive guy, who can have his choice of girls, always winds up looking for marie. why? because she knows how they think. watch her, and you can see it. when she wants to be liked by a black person, she talks 'ghetto,' and she sounds just like them. when she's with white people, she sounds just like a white girl. she knows who's comfortable with what topic, and she has a million different personalities, one for every person. she just knows how to make people like her. with the exception of christine, if marie wants to be liked, she is. it makes me respect christine even more, for being able to see through marie...
on the other hand, the people who don't like marie hate her. i've never met anybody who feels neutral toward her. for marie, it doesn't matter. if she doesn't want somebody to like her, she doesn't waste her time on them... she doesn't listen to what they say, or care about what they think. they can sit back, and watch the way she forces people into doing things, and listen to her boss them around like she owns them... they see her ripping a bagger's head off for accidentally forgetting a customer's eggs, and then turning around and turning her charm on for kyle. they watch her with kyle, telling him that he's the greatest, and then they see what happens when kyle goes home and tyrone shows up, and suddenly, he's the greatest... they call her a fake, a phony, a slut, and a ho. she's not trying to make them like her, and they definitely don't.

so part of the reason that i like marie so much is just because she wants me to. when i first met marie, before i had this journal, i was scared of her. she seemed abrupt and pushy... she just seemed mean to me... and now i understand why. it's because she was mean to me. she didn't decide to like me until she found out that christine liked me... when she started being nice, i just assumed that my first impression had been wrong, and that she was really a nice person. it's only now that i realize that i should have thought twice about that...

so why do i feel like i love marie? one major reason is that she wants me to feel that way. but it's not all marie's fault. a lot of this is me, too. she knows what buttons to press, but i let her press them...

things that i use as evidence that i love marie (and why i'm wrong):

1) physically, we're closer than i am with anybody else. she's always touching me, or grabbing me, or kissing my cheek, and even though she usually initiates it, i usually wind up touching her back. (i'm not talking sexual touching, here) i'm not a touchy-feely person. my friends aren't touchy-feely people. my immediate family is not touchy-feely. take one of those surveys, for example:
who was the last person you:
1) touched?
2) hugged?
3) kissed?
who was the last person who:
4) touched you?
5) hugged you?
6) kissed you?
before marie, i would have had a lot of trouble filling that out... i would probably have to think back to my last family reunion, to remember which old aunt said goodbye to me last... the first time somebody touches me, i usually feel a little uncomfortable about it. but you get used to things... marie constantly touched me, and gradually, i got used to it, and then i got to the point where i would hold out my hand for her to touch, and then i got to the point where i would touch her, and then she started hugging me. the first time, that made me feel uncomfortable, too. but she kept at it, and i got used to it. anybody else could make me comfortable touching them in the same way she did it-gradually, with a bit of patience and persistence. i'm only comfortable touching marie because she worked so hard to make it that way. so now, i'd say about 95% of the time, marie is the answer to 1-6, and i feel like that's evidence that we're close, and she's special, and i love her. but i think that physical intimacy can create mental bonds. maybe i touch her because i love her... but probably i just love her because i touch her.

2) ok, now i'm talking about touching in a sexual way. we slept together that night, and it was the first time i'd ever kissed a girl... she's touched me in places nobody else ever has (and i'm not trying to be deep; i mean that purely in the sexual sense). my good christian parents taught me from day one that sex was an expression of love... they were referring to heterosexual sex, but i assume it applies to everyone. i'm still a little fuzzy on what, exactly, constitutes 'sex' between two girls, but i'm nearly positive that marie and i didn't have sex... even so, that was definitely more than just an innocent sleepover... i've never thought of myself as easy... i don't want to be a whore, ready to sleep with any girl who comes my way. i'd like to think that i have standards, and that kissing and touching a girl is my way of expressing my love for her, not just my way of satisfying my sex drive. i think that night, i acted purely on lust. i wasn't willing to admit that to myself, so i convinced myself that we slept together because i loved her. but again, i had it backwards. in reality, i only decided to love her because i had already slept with her. i'm not going to deny that i'm attracted to her. but love is a lot more than just physical attraction, and i think when you sort it all out, physical attraction is all that's really there.

3) she knows so much about me... i tell her lots of things that i won't tell just anybody... and i feel like since i'm telling her all these things, i must love her... but maybe i'm looking at that backwards, too. maybe, like i said in that journal entry a week or so ago, i just want to love somebody, and marie's the logical choice. since i've decided that i love her, i tell her things that i wouldn't tell most people. it's the same as that 'thinking about thinking' post... the more i think about that, the more i think that i only came out to christine because that's how i wanted it to happen. i say that christine is special because i came out to her, but in reality, i think i made sure that i came out to her because i wanted to make her special. the same thing is happening with marie. she's not special because she knows all these things about me; i tell her those things about me because i want her to be special.

4) when i'm upset, all i want is to be held by her. when i'm lonely, i want to talk to her. when i'm scared, i want her to protect me. i can't imagine anybody else making my problems go away like she can.
...but maybe my problem is just that i'm not very imaginative. imagine sticking your big toe into a tub of bathwater. ok, now imagine sticking your big toe into a vat of quicksand. which is easier to imagine? i'm guessing it's the bathwater, because you've done it so many times before... when i'm upset, i want to be held, and i try to imagine being held. and when i try to imagine it, it makes sense for me to imagine something i've felt before. i could try to imagine what it'd be like if the attractive girl in my history class gave me a hug... but i've got a lazy brain, and it's going to be a whole lot easier to just remember the way marie's arms feel. what i want, in all those cases, is a girlfriend... and when i try to imagine a girl holding me, or talking to me, or being there for me, it's hard for me to imagine somebody who i've never met... it's easy to imagine marie doing those things, because she's done them before. so i want to imagine myself with the perfect girlfriend. since i don't have one, my lazy imagination fills in marie. then i put the two together and decide that i want marie to be my girlfriend... but i only want that because she's familiar, and i'm not creative enough to imagine that there's somebody better out there.

i don't think that i love marie. and i think that if i could get over her, i wouldn't like her, either. i know that tomorrow, or the next day, i'll start to feel lonely, and i'll miss her again, and i'll start crying that i need marie to hold me, and that she's the perfect girl for me... she's not. please remind me of that. she's only the best out of the two i have to choose from, and as soon as i get my butt out of this closet and start meeting more gay girls, i'm sure i'll find somebody better to fill that spot. i know it'll take a while, and it will probably be quite frustrating. for a while, even if i meet new people, i'll want to slip back to marie, because i like familiarity more than anybody i know. two years is a long time to know somebody, and one and a half years is a long time to like somebody, and no random girl will erase that in one night... it's going to take time. it'll take time to get out of the closet, and it'll take time to meet new people, and it'll take time for me to feel comfortable with them, and it'll take time for them to write over marie, even once i'm comfortable with them. but, hey, i'm young. i've got time. right now, i need to work on coming out of the closet. every time i talk to molly and aaron, i get closer... i've been editing my lj, molly-proofing it... i'm going to do it. maybe i'll mess up the next time i try, and maybe i won't quite do it the time after that, either... but as long as i keep trying, i'm going to get it eventually. that's the first step, and i think i'm getting there...

as for marie... physically, i'm still attracted to her, and i'm not going to try to stop that. when i get over her, i won't want her body any more, but right now, if she was here, in my bed, you can bet i'd be right there with her... if that makes me a ho, then i guess i'm a ho. her body feels good against mine, and as long as we both know that it's just a little flirtation, or just some meaningless sex, what's the harm in that?
how about the non-physical aspect of our relationship? i don't love her. but right now, i still like her, and i don't think there's anything wrong with that, either. we have fun together, and when she feels like it, she's there for me. at this point in my life, i somebody to be there for me. some of the time is better than none of the time. she's mean to other people, and she puts on acts, and i don't appreciate that... but as long as i realize that, and as long as the goods outweigh the bads, i can still be her friend... i feel like i like her, and i'm not going to bother to fight that.
what i am going to fight: the jealousy and the idea that i love her.
the jealousy: sure, she's hanging on paul now... but later, she'll be hanging on me. so what if she hangs on him more? eventually, i'll get my turn. if it bothers me that much, i should just get a backbone and hang on the side of her that paul's not on... that's what she would do...
and love? i don't love her. i honestly don't.