Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Doctor Andy Does NOT Speak...

In service of my attempts to convince even my own circle of friends that I have the emotions that you humans call love, or hate, or glory,  I offer a moment in time from a recent date.  This moment has been altered enough to disguise the woman, and if I were smart, I would have disguised myself, too.  For good measure.

It started off with her bringing a motivational book along.  The book made an appearance early in the meal, but I just assumed it was a book that she didn't want to have in her purse or that it had somehow made itself an obstruction between her and something she needed: where better to temporarily get it out of the way than the table?

We were immersed in the "chatting phase" of dinner when the topic turned to relationship likes and dislikes.  Various things were discussed, and at some point the sentence I'll never forget was uttered by her:

SHE: "So, would it bother you if I said I was asexual?"
In the intervening time, I can tell you that the proper response to this is straight out of Douglas Adams.

ME (IN MIND): "I don't know; is that the sort of thing you're likely to say?"

I was struck dumb, however.  Absolutely speechless, and without speech for I-don't-know how long.  I have the impression that I sort of sat there, intermittently opening my mouth with a tongue click while failing to make any words.  It must have gone on for a long while, or possibly she wished to kickstart more substantive answers because she said:

SHE: [annoyed] "I don't know what your problem is; it's a perfectly simple question."

I made that sound one makes when someone asserts that punching a dog is a natural recourse to not having a writing implement.

ME: [hedging] "It doesn't seem like a normal question..."

HER: "Do you even know what it means?"  This was delivered, not with an air of contempt, but with an implied long inhale that precedes receiving the history of the Republic following the chance uttering of "what's the deal with deGaulle, anyway?".

I recovered my sarcastic wit first:

ME:  "I assume it means that if you go into your bedroom to masturbate, you leave as twins."

That earned me a smirk.  Turned out that what she meant was that she wasn't really interested in sex, which I have since learned is known as "asexuality".  I'm perfectly happy admitting that I didn't know what it meant when it was used regarding people.  The only time I've ever heard asexuality discussed was in high school biology, paired with "reproduction" to describe an entity's ability to simply divide to reproduce without the use of a distinct partner.  It's basically nature's method of cloning.

I have since learned from Wikipedia that asexuality is a human sexuality that may effect 1% of the population.  It's characterized by a disinterest in sexual behavior not caused by abnormal physical or mental states.  Asexuals have their own flag and symbol so they can fit in with all of the other sexual identities and their iconography. 

It certainly took me by surprise.  It also created a story sure to be discussed by my circle for years.

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