Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Venus Rising

Today there will occur a rare astronomical event, a Venus Transit. When the Earth, Venus, and the Sun are all in a direct line, our neighbor will be seen travelling across the star's surface. Venus Transits always come in pairs; the next one will be in 2012. I live in California, which means that I won't be able to see this year's at all, but I'll have a good view for the next one if I'm still here in eight years. If I miss the one in 2012, I have to wait until 2117. I'd be 137 in 2117, so by then I figure a transit will be the least of my concerns.

In case you aren't as versed in Roman mythology as you should be, Venus is named for the Roman goddess of love. Like many Roman dieties, she is actually an amalgam of other figures in Greek, Etruscan, and Near Eastern mythologies. Her actual responsibilities were more sweeping than simply meddling in people's business, but today she is remembered best for her romantic patronage. Accordingly, I figure there wouldn't be a better occasion than her planet's transit to talk briefly on the subject of women.

For those of you who have been reading thus far, it should be pretty obvious that I have a rather low opinion of people in general. I'm afraid to say that women are not an exception. Of course, it's important to note that this is a personal opinion. By that, I mean it is an opinion I hold towards other people, as opposed to women as a specific group. Socially or politically speaking, I'm exceedingly progressive in most issues traditionally thought of as "women's issues." Just trying to be clear before someone calls me a misogynist. My problem with women isn't that they're women. It's that they're people.

Were all the alternatives not so lousy, I think I would have given up on girls completely. I mean no disrespect to those of you who have selected one of those alternatives, we all have to make it through as best we can, but to me they all seem cures far worse than the disease. Still, as I may not be able to abandon romance, I have taken as my recent practice its avoidance. Even so, every once in a while I am coaxed out of my hostility.

Though I am by no means Don Juan, I've been on my share of dates. Most of these encounters are one time things, and more than one has been motivated by baser instincts, the urging of a friend's friend, or simply to round out to an even number. I think on the whole that I'm probably a pretty good date. I may not be especially attractive, but I can be charming when I want to be, and I have a memorable, if unforgiving, wit. As long as I need do no more than make a few hours pass, I get by pretty well. It's when things are more serious that I have a problem.

I've only really had one serious girlfriend, and that was an exercise in personal and moral inadequacy that I'd sooner not repeat. Other than that, I've been out with a few people for a length of time during which such a relationship might have formed, but I never really pursued the option. I guess there just hasn't been anyone yet that has brought out in me that kind of yearning.

I mean, I've had my share of attractions and infatuations, but as of yet, the more enthusiastic sentiments haven't appeared. Not that this really bothers me. Where I'm at right now, I don't even really want to have to deal with this kind of stuff. It seems to me that, until you're set with yourself, other people are just complications.

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