Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Finding one's Swagger

If you recall a while back I mentioned I was going to take time to find my Swagger while on vacation. I'm sure you were wondering what that was about. Well I promised to get back to it one day and today is that day.

Okay I know this might be a shock (a bit of comedy to lighten the mood) but I'm am terrible when it comes to talking to women. I'm talking like 40 Year Old Virgin terrible (in fact I'm only 11 years short of that milestone). But seriously one of my biggest problems is that I seem to be oblivious to the advances of a woman.

Case in point one night of my vacation I was at a mall with a friend of mine and his girlfriend looking around and killing time. We headed into an FYE to look at some movies and music and I started to chat up one of the girls working there. And I say girl because after a few minutes of conversation I learned she was still in high school (a senior to be exact). So while I enjoyed the conversation there was no way I would try to pursue someone that young (being a high school senior would make her about 18 to my 29). Now while that may seem all fine and well I managed to miss someone doing the same to me a few minutes later.

When I was at the checkout line was this woman ringing me up. She didn't get straight to ringing me up and we actually chatted for a few minutes about vampires (she was setting up a box of packets of energy drinks that looked like packs of blood). From there we were talking about games (found out she played WoW and told her I played Lord of the Rings Online and tried to nudge me to try WoW out). I payed with a debit card and she asked for my ID and, as best I can tell I was too shocked to react properly, she smelled my ID. I finished the purchase chatted for a few more seconds and I ended by letting her know we had to go because the my friend's girlfriend wanted to hit up Cold Stone and she asked me to bring her some back. And I kinda, in hindsight, just brushed her off.

Okay when the three of us got back in the car to go home the two of them proceeded to basically ask me if I noticed that she was openly flirting with me. Frankly I didn't notice any flirtation and just wrote it off as a woman that is interested in vampires and games and had a weird quirk about smelling IDs (weird quirk? yes that sounded odd to me even as I said it to my friend and his girlfriend later on).

As I said before I am oblivious to the flirtations of women. In fact there is a good chance I've failed to notice quite a few women that were interested in me as well as plenty of romantic opportunities during my days because of this. Looking back on my life I have to say that this is a result of stunted social growth when it comes to talking to and dealing with women. I wasn't the usual young guy that tried to date as many girls/women as possible during my high school and college years (going back to that gender expectation that guys are supposed to be chasing as many women/girls as we can in pursuit of the ultimate prize). It could be some sort of shyness that I have never gotten over. Maybe fear of rejection. It could be the result of simply being emotionally empty (I'll get back to that another day). Really not sure but it is something I have to get over if I ever hope to start dating (yes you read that right, at 29 I have yet to start dating).

Later that week I called up a friend of the friend I was crashing with so that we could go out (it was Friday night and I really did not want to be sitting around playing video games on such a night). She came over and we actually spent about an hour trying to figure out what to do/where to go. We settled on a burger joint called Ray's Hell Burger and we were off. We got a bit lost and ended up parking and walking like 2 miles to the place, which was packed. But we decided to try it anyway. The conversation was much better than the food but what was really interesting was that we got snowed out. Yeah while we were out a snow storm started. She was driving (because remember I'm visiting her city and I am the last person whose sense of direction you want to trust) and thought it might be best to go ahead and call it a night and I agreed. I kinda wish it hadn't snowed but even if it hadn't she had to work the next day and since she was driving she could not drink but all in all I still had a good time. (Funny that the closest thing I've had to a date got snowed out.)

Odd I know. On one hand I missed what seemed to be according to my friend and his girlfriend open flirtation but on the other when I'm not trying to talk to a woman the conversation seems to come naturally.

So back to what Swagger is. It's some mixture of boldness to take a chance, confidence to accept the possibility of rejection, and just enough fear to keep one's ego in check and prevent the boldness and confidence from becoming arrogance. Sex is not the desired end result (at least not for me). The desired end result being able to talk to someone in more than a social manner with people that match our romantic preferences regardless of the outcome. Rejection, one time date, one night stand, long time relationship whatever. Just as long as you try. That's where I want to be one day.

I know this may not be some top level conversation but this is a place for simple thoughts and basic conversation so bear with me.

(PS - Okay I know that this sounds a bit callous or almost mean to be talking about talking to women like its some sort of experiment. As I said I am not an emotionally healthy individual so I tend to get very analytical when emotion may be what's called for.)