The short answer to the question if I’m really so different, is yes. Yes I am. I’m not better than anyone, but people are also not what I desire or hope or expect. I understand and respect that people can be of different mind and approach and everything. So they’re not better or worse than me. Even if they don’t adhere to my personal morals or ethics.
A few days ago I was at work (surprise). I was particularly philosophical. I was asking my coworkers things like “If an artificial intelligence was achieved, what would motivate its actions and what do you think its actions would be?” I did this in an effort to get people to compare their own motives and why an artificial intelligence would be similar or dissimilar from themselves. I had some other questions too of course, I’m always pondering at work.
Amidst these thoughts and discussions I help a customer. She learns about what she needs and expresses appreciation for not trying to sell her the “newest thing”. I explained that people are entitled to different values and beliefs, and I try to accommodate that, even if it means I sell nothing. In an essence, I tell her, I’m honest. She talks a bit about personal matters and I listen. This is a role I fill quite frequently actually in retail. Guess I just have one of those personalities that people can confide in. I am pretty awesome after all!
Anyway, she notices a little boy, about 8 or 9 waiting on me by the cameras, and says “I think you have a gentleman waiting on you, I’ll stop borrowing your ear. Thank you so much for your help, I wish everyone were a little more like you.” I reply with “Thank you, I appreciate that, you have a wonderful night ma’am”. “You too” she says “and a better tomorrow. And a wonderful blessing on your life”. I laugh and say “you too”.
I’m touched after that. Some days don’t have interactions like that, but I think to myself, “Now this, this is why I’m okay working in retail”. And I turn to the boy.
“Yes sir, you look like you been waiting on me, what can I do for ya?” (I often change my language or demeanor to better fit the person I am talking to, I guess maybe that’s my “hip” approach, I don’t know haha) He wants to know if “this” Godzilla is the new Godzilla. I tell him it’s the newest one I know of, but I haven’t seen it, because I am partial to the originals. He pushes and asks about certain scenes from the one he’s pointing at, trying to figure out if it’s the one he’s wanting. I shrug with a smile and tell him it’s likely but I haven’t seen it. His dad comes up at this point. “I see you found someone, did he tell if it’s the right one?” I laugh, and I tell him the same thing I just told his son. We end up having a discussion about the older Godzillas. The father seems genuinely impressed and asks if we carry any of the old ones. I tell him we used to, before the new film released, and that it’s still likely to find the multipacks online. He gives a hearty laugh and says “We might just have to do that.” looking at his boy he continues “Then you can see what real Godzilla films are like” and tousles his hair.
I get this warm feeling. He shifts his shopping contents all under one arm and presents his hand for a shake. “Hey, thanks for helping my boy, most people don’t take the time. I want you to know I appreciate it.” Taking his hand to shake, I tell him it’s not a problem, I’m here to help, even if my higher ups insist that I’m here to sell. He laughs and I excuse myself, letting them know to find me if they need anything else.
They find me several more times. Each time looking for an “old” or classic movie that I happen to know about. And each time the father says something to the effect of finally a person who knows movies and likes the good ones. I’ll be honest, for two of the requests, I was familiar with the title, but had to use my equipment to look up certain facts or actors or other things. He didn’t seem to notice, but I let him have the appreciation, it was nice to feel gratitude.
And I’m enjoying the night. Talking about philosophy, great interactions and gratitude with these people. But then at one point another coworker joins my current assignment. So there’s three of us altogether. The discussion I was having previously about ethics and morals and my view on respecting people’s views, is shifted to partying. Let’s say I was talking to John, and Sam joins us. Sam starts talking about how John should go with him next spring break. I laugh as my intellectual conversation has come to an end.
Sam starts talking about how easy it is to get women to show their “Bs”, pronounced “bees” talking about their breasts obviously. Maybe the kids just say Bs now? I don’t know, immediately I get uncomfortable. Despite being a huge pervert, I not only have no interest in hearing about this matter at work, I have no interest in engaging in this activity. I feel like that’s disrespectful towards women.
Eventually Sam catches on that I’m not talking on the matter. And starts asking things like if I like to party. Only with close friends, I clarify. The matter of sex comes up. I explain I’m not interested in meaningless sex, I find an intellect much more attractive. Briefly I give in to the stories about girls and explain that I have had offers of sex from random girls, not that it was so blunt, but it was pretty obvious. One in particular had clung to me at an event I was participating in and tried insisting I escort her to her hotel room. There was some more subtext among other things, but it was obvious she wanted to get me in her hotel room. I declined, she pouted. I have a few stories like that actually.
I guess I think more of girls and women. Go figure, didn’t think that was so rare, a tragedy, that. “So you would decline if a girl asked to give you head at a party if you had a few?” Sam asks. “yes, definitely”. I think to myself that in my manic episodes it might be possible, but I’d rather not entertain the idea, given that I respect women. They question if I’m even straight. I explain I can find women gorgeous, but that doesn’t mean I’d have random sex with them. They ask me to name 3 celebrities I find attractive. First one I name is Scarlett Johansen (she’s gorgeous). They both nod in agreement. I couldn’t name any more I tell them. I don’t usually do that whole thing. They create a scenario in which I’m now being offered sex with her, being the honest person, I say, probably, but that’s an extreme circumstance and I would probably be uncomfortable with it.
They leave me be. Keep talking about how you just need a cooler of beers to get girls to show their “Bs”. Quite frankly the entire discussion and exercise frustrated me. I guess I respect people more than that. Women aren’t just something to ogle. And yes, I do ogle them. I don’t feel bad for that, it’s more or less nature. But I don’t make that the focus of my interaction with women. I certainly don’t aim to make that the focus.
So, night started strong and ended terrible. I don’t like being confronted by people about being an outcast really. I especially don’t like my perception of romance and respect and interest more in the mind, being challenged. Yes, there is a certain “type” of woman I would find attractive, but that’s not enough. Maybe attraction starts it, but I wouldn’t just have sex just cause. And I wouldn’t have a relationship with someone just because they were gorgeous.
Guess I’m just different. Not better, as hard as that is to say. But different. I like that I’m different though. I appreciate who I am and who I have become. Maybe I’ll stumble into some girl soon that would be ideal for me (unlikely, but you can’t blame a guy for hoping).