Once upon a time, long, long ago, I was single. In fact, I dare say I was beyond single. Back then, my single self couldn't seem to get a girl to notice me if my life depended on it. It isn't that single me was bad looking or anything. I'm actually of the opinion that I was (and still am) pretty cute. Sure I was (and currently am) slightly overweight and only a bit vertically challenged but I managed to get rid of most of the weight (albeit temporarily) in my late teens, during the years I spent taking Thai-boxing. The height thing couldn't really be helped, but I made it work. My problem wasn't my looks. My problem was... basically everything else. I was extremely shy, ridiculously awkward and severely lacking in confidence. Luckily, I eventually outgrew all that...
Well... Most of it.
Anyway, my social ineptness was so extreme, it counteracted my passable looks and made me instantly undesirable to the girls. This persisted all through secondary school and into my initial forays into the world of work. Until the day I was asked out by this one girl.
I was seventeen, working in a cloth store as an office messenger. She was a new sales clerk, working in the store downstairs. She was about my age, shorter than I and even better looking, dare I say. On top of that, she was confident and outspoken. All of this made me suspicious and I actually wondered what her true motives were since, obviously, I was long ago relegated to the reject pile and she clearly did not belong there. Then a friend and fellow coworker, we'll call Swagger, warned me that he suspected she had... issues... of a psychological nature and she might have had a... less than healthy obsession with me.
I decided I could live with that.
So we went out. Things seemed normal enough. In fact, things were normal. I later found out that Swagger's "friendly" warning I received was his attempt to dissuade me from going out with her until he could figure out how to get her to notice him. The thing is, in the store where we all worked, no woman rejected Swagger. He was a smooth talker, confident, athletic and always well dressed. His mind could not comprehend such a concept even existing of a woman not being interested in him.
Even funnier is how things changed for me after this girl and I started dating. Gabe, another friend, my best friend at the time, in fact, was bringing me almost daily messages from other girls in the store who suddenly "liked" me and were interested in me asking them out. He had reached the ninth girl when I told him I wasn't interested in knowing anymore. Even though Gabe was my best friend, I wasn't about to take any chances after my experience with Swagger, so I found... subtle... ways of confirming these reports myself.
Me: So...um... Gabe mentioned you said wanted to go out? *nervous laugh* Is that guy a big joker or what?
Girl: No, it's true. I told him to ask if you were interested.
Me: Oh... um... Sorry. I'm with Diva now.
Girl: I know. Are you going to ask me out or what?
That's basically how it went. NINE TIMES. Nine. All of a sudden, there were nine girls working in that one store who were declaring their interest in me. Some were more persistent than others, some already had boyfriends but were, let's just say, open to exploring other options. Some were constantly arranging to get me alone in the storeroom when things were slow in the office and I was helping downstairs.
Had I been more like Swagger, I'd have taken advantage of all the attention, but I wasn't. I was satisfied with the girl I had and I've always been loyal (kinda like a puppy). I could never bring myself to play around. Before that one date, I had resigned myself to a life of solitude, now it was like the ending credits to that old Beatles cartoon series. Of course, for those of you who never saw the show, I found the closing credits on YouTube:
In case you're wondering, yes, I am talking about the woman who one day became the Mrs. C I'm always yammering on about today. I did, at one time, describe the circumstances under which we met in one of my earliest posts.
You know how people say as soon as a guys no longer available, it's like every woman he knows suddenly notices him? I can say first hand, I believe it. I don't get it, but I believe it.