I didn’t care for the tone of the comment that you’re referring to. It felt passive aggressive to me. If it had been honestly curious more than subtly accusatory and threatening, I may have responded more seriously…maybe. I generally don’t like to talk exactly about what anything I write is really “about,” but usually am more open than I was in that response. I just don’t go for passive aggressive bullshit.
When I write first person, I often try to inhabit someone else’s head-space. What amazes me about doing this is that, if I really, really try, I can actually start to plug into someone else’s form of thinking. I find that fascinating. It also helps me see that the vast gulfs individuals feel between each other are often caused by just a couple different a priori assumptions about the world and about ourselves.
That ankle observation, I can’t claim as my own…a guy I served with in the Army told me that once (though it’s certainly quite astute).
He was the biggest womanizer I ever knew, obsessed with womanizing I’d even say, but the really funny thing about him is that any rejection from a woman would send him into an instant spiral of madness. He’d just completely lose his shit and obsess over it. He could not bare to be rejected by a woman. It was interesting to observe the pattern in his life, because the two things (the womanizing and the aversion to rejection), I think, were connected.
Anyway, if that fellow had asked with actual curiosity, I would have said, “Look closer. There’s more going on there.” And I’d also say that that advice goes for every single human being you meet.
I have no desire to spend my time acting self-righteously or exaggerating my own virtue. I want to actually understand people and myself and maybe find a way to a better human being (easier said than done). So no, I can’t really say I’m a very romantic person, I guess. I’m just trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and really don’t have time for charades.