Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
livredor

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Relationship retrospective

When bacteria want to have sex, they don't bother with things like gametes or reproductive organs or intercourse or any of the baroque eucaryote business of bringing into being offspring with some random assortment of their parents' genes. No, instead they just exchange information directly. I think my relationship with lethargic_man could well be described as the memetic equivalent. A lot of the way we related to eachother was rooted in deliberately exchanging memes and culture and incorporating this into each of our ways of thinking; it was on a different level from the sort of general memetic exchange that happens just as a side-effect of spending a lot of time with someone.

See, I wanted to write a post about how wonderful this relationship was, and how I'm really, really glad that it happened, and that this grateful happiness far outweighs the fact that breaking up is no fun. But such a post would probably be boring or annoying to a lot of people, not to mention the fact that it would be exceedingly long. So instead, I'm going to make a list of the new stuff we've introduced to eachother's mental landscapes.

Just to make it clear (since some people were confused last time I used this metaphor): just because bacterial sex is pure information exchange, doesn't mean that all possible exchange of information is bacterial sex. Or any kind of sex, for that matter; I certainly don't imagine that I am sexually involved with everyone who ever lends or recommends me a book!

Music: lethargic_man made me a wonderful mix tape when we first started going out. This introduced me to the Afro Celts, Mike Oldfield, ELO and a bunch of others, but the really amazing thing about the mix tape was She cries your name, which has become one of those life-defining songs for me, and was the start of my becoming a huge fan of Beth Orton. The tape also convinced me to like Pärt, but failed to overturn my prejudice against Vaughan Williams. (In return I failed to convince lethargic_man to like Stravinsky.)

lethargic_man also introduced me to the War of the Worlds musical and some guitar music called Aranjuez, which includes a very cool version of Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte. And I can't exactly credit him with Pink Floyd, since I obviously knew of them already, but he did lend me The Wall which I hadn't previously heard in its entirety. I don't have the technology to make compilations, but I did introduce lethargic_man to Tori Amos and Sisters of Mercy (I think he'd already been primed in favour of the latter by rysmiel, but didn't actually know their stuff).

Beyond that, he also told me about a whole load of background about all kinds of pop music and artists. I tend to be extremely ignorant about the context of pop music, I interact with it on the level of 'that sounds nice' and don't generally go into much more depth. So I quite often don't know whether an artist, even an artist I like, is a group or a person, for example. I also don't find music particularly defining, so I'll move on to the real important part of this post, the book history of the relationship.
I introduced lethargic_man to the following authors And he introduced me to these authors
  • Mary Gentle
  • Chaim Potok
  • GB Edwards
  • William Horwood
  • Karen Armstrong
  • Dodie Smith
  • Melanie Rawn (The Golden Key specifically)
  • Josephine Tey
  • Dorothy L Sayers
  • Alice Walker
  • AS Byatt
  • Salman Rushdie
  • John Steinbeck
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Charles Dickens


There may be stuff missed out of those lists, particularly because I started going out with lethargic_man in October 2002 and didn't get an LJ until the following May, so there's several months when I wasn't keeping a booklog and I'm reconstructing from memory. Anyway, on top of that, an email correspondence which, at a very rough estimate, amounts to approximately half a million words over the course of two years.

It may not be everyone's definition of romance, but it works for me.

Edited 1.1.05 to incorporate comments
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  • 28 comments

  • Full

    So this weekend I went to two synagogue services (in two different cities) and one church service, and I had a quiet going out for lunch and talking…

  • Climbing

    So my OSOs' middle kid is about to turn 8 and she very emphatically wanted to continue the nascent tradition from last year that I'd take her out…

  • Catching up

    Things that are awesome: It's spring, and we used our barbecue set and our garden to have a spontaneous BBQ just because. And before it we played…