Thursday, December 27, 2007

i should be relaxing

isn't it weird that you desperately crave downtime and then go stir crazy? i guess xmas downtime isn't really downtime though. it is kinda a fake break. you still run around like an idiot buying gifts, then doing everything until you can open the gifts, then open the gifts and in between see everything you know, cook and eat countless meals and generally do everything christmas-y imaginable like (deep breath) watch movies, eat chocolate, roast chestnuts, drink eggnog, drink rum and eggnog, drink copious amount of beer and wine, drink hot chocolate (i think i've mentioned i like to ingest stuff), spend time with friends and family, travel to see friends and family, shop some more, pay bills, go to fantastic holiday movies, and see lights, trees, and more lights whenever possible. and eat and eat and eat.

so i guess it isn't surprising that when you get a second to yourself, your head is still spinning. so today, when i should be relaxing, i am thinking about how i will be presenting at the Northern Voice Blogging Conference in february. a year ago this february, i attended the 2007 installment Northern Voice and marks my inauguration into the world of blogging. i had no idea it could/would be this much fun. it also marks a little over a year since the official start to my fieldwork (which is sadly done now. which is why i am supposed to be writing. not procrastinating. by writing a blog. a blog i thought i'd never have. anyhoo). so of course, to come full circle, i am going to talk about online dating at this conference and i gotta tell ya, i'm pretty friggin' excited about it.

over these fine holidays we visited with our lovely and talented friends L. and D. they are academics, have interesting topics of research, and generally treat life like a challenge. that is, they never run from the difficult. as top athletes and top minds, they will not be swayed from goals. taken off course. dissuaded. we talked about our dissertations (and collectively tried to avoid the always sickening "is it almost finished" question that NO ONE should EVER ask a phd student. EVER). while talking, i've realized that my educational journey has taught me one thing. that although it seems that nothing is getting done, that progress is stalled, that there is no end in sight - there is because i am just marinating. stories for me come from a place inside that i do not quite understand. probably will not ever understand. but i have learned to be patient. to wait. because they are coming. in a burst of what i would like to call inspiration, but rather resembles a kind of anxiety-induced near-expiration, it comes out. all flowy-like and rapid.

so knowing this one thing about myself, i have decided to call on my blog readers if, indeed, you are out there and are yourself cautiously awaiting the inspiration to expirate, to tell me your burning questions about online dating. to remind me what is the most compelling part of the oceans of data swimming in my head. what would you like to hear about the how tos, the practices, the processes of online dating of you were, in fact, attending the 2008 Northern Voice Blogging Conference? because this is a "non-academic" conference, i want to tell stories. and with your burning questions, maybe my marinating can turn into cooking. or grilling. or whatever one does with marinated stuff. you know what i mean.

i know it is a lot to ask at christmas. but consider it a gift. yes - ask yourself why you haven't gotten me a gift already. yeah, that's right. where's my friggin' gift?



Shells said...

My burning question as a failed online dater:
What do men WANT?
My burning question as an engaged academic:
How different is online dating really? How are the practices shaped by and through what we already know about dating? How are they not? Is online dating a 'place' to meet people, or is it simply the 'vehicle' that gets us where we want to go? How do we construct our own (and others') identity differently in the online world? Do men construct themselves (or their ideal dates) differently than women? Once you are in the online dating world, how the hell does one get out?
Is failure at internet dating a reflection of failures at dating in general? Am I pathetic for asking?
Can I stop now?

jacks said...

thanks so much shells! i knew you'd come through with good present-questions! these are fantastic and i will do my best to turn them into answer-stories asap!

for the moment - and off the top of my head - men don't want: to be rejected, to be told what to do and what not to do, be judged or criticized, to go unnoticed in a sea of other potential dates. they do want to be flirted with, but apparently not in an overly aggressive way.

in just that small, off-the-top-of-my-head answer i have like two chapters about gender and the similarities and differences between online dating and conventional dating.

i don't know whether to hit you or kiss you. i'll let you know what i decide. ;)