A couple of incidents where I wonder why I value the things that I value:
First, the reason that I am home today, Sunday, when my work schedule says that I should be at work, is because I used the one sick day that I have accrued by being at J.P. Morgan Chase for a month because I wanted to take part in the live fantasy baseball draft for the free online league that my friend "Jacob" and his friends and I have every year. I hated the idea of trying to rank every player in order of preference for a 12-team, 20-plus-round draft and letting the computer pick automatically for me because I always wind up with guys that I didn't want. I'm very glad that I was there live because I had the #1 pick and I was so proud to be able to click on Alex Rodriguez and take him live instead of getting home and seeing it later. Not the same feeling, not by a long shot. I was also happy to chat with the guys and Jacob's mom and girlfriend and talk shit with them. I think the best line this year occurred when someone drafted Alex Gonzalez. There are two different shortstops in the major leagues named Alex Gonzalez, and neither are All-World or anything, but one used to be a Cub and he sucked, so Jacob the Cub fan really hates him. So he says: "I hope that was the good Alex Gonzalez that got taken," and I said, "There's a good Alex Gonzalez?!?," and Jacob said, "Uh, there's a better one," to which I replied, "That's like saying one of my exes looks better than the other--they're still all crap." His girlfriend didn't appreciate that one.
The other measure of my priorities comes in the fact that I am once again planning a trip out of state to meet a woman from the internet. My aunt didn't like that idea, first obviously because of my poor track record with these encounters, but also because she isn't charging me rent to stay in the dungeon here and she wonders if I'm taking advantage of her by using some of my money to make this trip when I'm supposed to be saving up to get an apartment. I completely understand her feelings, but I'm actually not using the cash that I'm saving for the trip. I have always put those trips on my credit card, so technically, my actual cash flow is not affected at all. But my aunt knows that if she asks for money to help cover the costs of me staying down here, of course I would oblige. At least I'm not flying somewhere for a booty call. The woman that I am meeting is actually a virgin and prefers to wait until marriage to change that, so this connection is completely driven by our attraction to each other's spirits and personalities, and not our bodies. Hell, the most recent picture she showed me is a very conservative shot from four years ago, so I'm definitely not going there for the lust factor that has governed so many of my past poor decisions. This is about a potential soulmate and seeing if the spark and chemistry is as strong in person as it seems to be over the telephone. Of course, I have to wonder how much of it on my part is the soulmate factor, and how much is simply me prioritizing happiness and acceptance from a woman over everything else. And I have to hope that this does not turn out bad like all the other relationships I've had. No matter how much love and passion and caring I poured into the women in my past, I always came out hurt and heartbroken in the end. This should be different because my motivation is so different. Instead of looking for love and acceptance in the vagina of a woman, I'm sticking to matters of the heart and spirit, and so long as there's honesty and openness on both sides, whatever the outcome, it should be mutual and drama-free. And I'm at a place where I will not place all of the value and all of my joy on her shoulders, because I finally realize that I can't put that burden on anyone's shoulders. I am in charge of my happiness and joy from life. This lady, should she choose to accompany me throughout life, is only a potential partner sharing that joy, NOT the sole source of my future joy. As long as I keep that in mind and keep the pressure off of her, I anticipate things will go smoothly. At least, as smoothly as things can go between two shy, intense, passionate people who want a future with each other very badly.