Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Times and Tides of SL Romance

So this evening as I was hanging out in Draven's Airship just hoping for him to pop on, my sister Jhai showed up. We sat and chatted, compared RL notes, talked about work a bit, what I have been writing, what she has been up to (she has a poem in a new anthology just published this month--you go girl!). I was just telling her my latest story of dancing with Draven in Steelhead in the ballroom when Jinara stomped in all upset. "Men. I hate Men! They are never there when you want them. Never around unless they want something from you!" She threw herself onto the couch between Jhai and I.

I could see Jhai rolling her eyes, but I asked what the problem was anyway and Jinara launched into a diatribe about Hawk. It seems she has been IMing Hawk again with no response. I don't know if I've told you all about Hawk. He is quite the man of mystery. Big, bad, and biker looking kind of guy, doesn't say much, but, oh my, what a hottie. Tall, dark, eye candy!

Hawk joined our little clan together with Heron, a tall leggy blonde (well to be honest we Serendipity girls are all blonde except for Wren who is in a goth phase right now) who has attitude in spades. Now Heron may be Hawk's GF, or wife, or ex-lover, or sister, or something else entirely to him. No one seems to know but those two and they aren't telling. All I know is that that they were together a lot, and they do seem to know each other in RL as well as in SL. Of late, though, Heron has been hanging out in Club Vicious and Hawk has been taking Jinara out. Well, when he is inworld that is, which isn't often at all. Hence Jinara's pique.

Jhai, as usual, launched into her Mommy-mode and immediately began telling Jinara how she didn't need a man to make her complete. How the world doesn't revolve around sex, not what Jinara wanted to hear at all. "I love him," she wailed, "I want him so much, but he is never here when I am! I don't think he loves me as much as I love him!"

Now I have been through several men already with my friend Jinara. First it was Malcolm, but she doesn't talk about him much anymore, and in fact none of us have seen him on in months. Then it was my own Draven she had a crush on, but he treated her like a kid sister. And there were brief flirtations with a guy named Jordan, and the DJ, Hotflash, at Blue Noise. Now it is Hawk. But is it really true love this time for her?

"You have to have some faith in your man, Sweetie," I told her, "I am sure Hawk cares for you." I tried to explain that the thing about SL is that it really is--and it has to be--secondary to our various realities. I paused to look at the clock and realized how late it had gotten and that I would not be seeing my Draven either that evening. Still I wanted to be supportive of Jinara so I said, "I am sure Hawk has just been really busy. I am sure he'd be here for you if he could be."

"No! That's just it! He was here. I've been messaging him and messaging him. And then he came on when I was AFK and when I didn't answer he left again! It is just not fair," she cried, "Why don't I ever get a break in love!"

Jhai laughed out loud at that one and I shot her a look hoping she'd get the clue that this was not funny to Jinara. "Kid," Jhai said, "It is all just the turn of the wheel. One day the universe spins all your way, the next it smacks you in the face and dumps you on your ass. You just gotta pick yourself up and move on. Send him another message. If he gets it and if he feels the same way about you that you do about him, he'll be back . . . eventually." Jhai stood up and left then, telling us she had to get out of this den of raging hormones and that we should both try to "focus for once on something other than men, for heaven's sake!"

I just shook my head. I was thinking of all the couples in SL who think that they have found true love, but then give up on it in a matter of weeks, or even days. I thought about Draven and I who have been together almost 18 months now. Will we last? Can an SL only relationship really stand the test of time. I heard Jinara say it again, "I love him so much! I really, really need him!" I know just how she feels. But I told her I was calling it a night, and I left her there. To be honest I didn't want to think about how often our connections in the virtual world are messed up by the real world getting in our way. I left her sitting in the growing dark. Waiting and hoping that the man she wants so much to be with will return to her if she is just patient enough, for long enough. I sure hope he does. I hope it for both of us.

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