Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Desktop Confessional

I'm a terrible flirt.

I don't mean that I flirt all the time, aren't I so bad. I mean that I'm really crap at successfully flirting with girls. I don't know why it is, but it's infuriating.

Case in point: At a meeting today, where I was in charge of keeping the record (typing the minutes), there was a new girl in the room, one I hadn't seen before. Brunette, dark eyes, a bit of a pout, really cute. Our eyes met once, about halfway through.

Did I wink? Did I raise an eyebrow, showing curiosity or interest? Did i roll my eyes in a mischievous, 'geez i wish they'd give it a rest' sort of way?

No. Dave went into sixth-grader mode, and immediately looked away.

I can't figure out why this is. Possibly goes back to the middle-school, self-esteem thing, but really, that's old news and I'm pretty sure that I'm over all that, at least enough to function as a single twentysomething man-about-town.

There is the concern of creeping people out. I have done that. "Oh, yeah, the creepy making-eyes-at-complete-strangers guy. I've seen him."

But it's not just the eye-contact thing. A few days ago, at Metro, a girl walks up and sits down next to me, asks what I'm reading, starts to make conversation. Her name is Lauren, as I recall. She asked if I was in school. Where I worked. What I did there. Basic getting to know you questions, right?

And you would think that I would realize what was going on and engage in it. You would think that I would be polite and friendly, and ask her the same questions. But this was not so. Dave panics when strangers start talking to him, especially cute, blonde strangers. Dave stutters. Dave answers in as few syllables as possible.

It was like the Eddie Izzard bit about talking to girls in middle school: "Hello Sue! ...I've got legs! ...D'you like bread? ...I've got a French loaf! *THWACK* *running away* Bye--I love you!"

It was that bad. I reached that level of complete ineloquence. Finally, inexplicably, I said, "Um, I'm supposed to meet some people." "Oh," she says, "well, they're probably inside. Or just running late." "Right," I say. "Well, it's good talking to you." "Yeah, nice to meet you." And I walked away.

Gaaaaah. I even thought, the thought even crossed my mind, "Invite her to sit with you, idiot!" But I didn't. I lost my cool. I freaked.

This is a weird thing for me, beyond reasonable explanation. You who know me well know that I'm loud, I'm gregarious, I'm rarely embarrassed in public. I'll be the one to do silly, embarrassing things, just to embarrass those around me.

So why is it that I have such a problem lately? This crippling shyness when it comes to meeting girls?

Reminds me of a great exchange from a really awful movie. A guy and girl talking about the night they first met:
"You were interested in me?"
"Of course I was. Didn't you notice the way I ignored you all night?"
"There *was* something compelling about your indifference."
What I'm saying, right? (Bonus points for anyone that can identify the awful movie this is from.)

That's me. Roughly the same MO since sixth grade. If I'm really into you, I'll completely ignore you for a while, then maybe say hi to you once in a while after that. Because the worst thing is to be the guy who just follows a girl like a lost puppy. That's just pathetic. Right?

Yeah. Pathetic.

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