I know I blame my HIV status on my subpar dating life. But in reality there are much bigger factors at play that have nothing to do with being positive and everything to do with me being socially awkward.
It all comes down to one simple fact. I don’t know how to talk to guys I am attracted to. Stupid, I know. There are two things I expected to get better with age - my complexion (which has it’s good days and bad) and social competency or the act of talking to men. I am two years shy of forty and I find myself living in a perpetual junior high school hell.
When I meet someone I am attracted to, generally one of two things happen. I become dumbfoundly shy, shutdown and will not speak. You might assume that I am mute or worse completely uninterested, snobby and bitchy. When actually I’m in the corner trying to talk myself up.
My introspective pep-talks usually sound like “I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” or “You is kind. You is smart. You is important!” or even “Nobody puts baby in a corner." Yeah yeah, so what? I get all my inspirational quotes from film and television.
The other thing that I do is much worse. So SO much worse! I become the exact opposite. I become loud, obnoxious, and yes I will even show off. This is something I am not proud of and most of my friends will hang their heads in shame and yet they never even try to stop me. They enjoy watching these little train wrecks. Once I start in this direction, it is too late. There is no coming back from the land of annoyance. Once you are pegged as the annoying, loud show-off it's over. It is like wearing the scarlet letter, but not as fashionable.
Almost a year ago, I drank the Kool-Aid and I joined a Crossfit gym. Recently I started trickling into the experienced classes. In the first experienced class I took, which was all about the gymnastics element, I saw this incredibly handsome guy. True to form, I didn’t talk to him but I hoping he would notice.me. The class focused on mostly muscle ups and handstand push-ups. Earlier that week, I just got my first muscle up and handstand pushups so I just knew I would kill it in class.
Well the class didn’t go quite as I expected.
I tried and tried and TRIED but for the life of me I couldn’t get one single damn muscle up. That handsome no name guy was failing at them as well, so I didn’t feel that incompetent. Then we moved on to handstand pushups. This was easy for both of us, so the coach suggested that we moved to doing them on parallettes. We introduced ourselves and we talked a bit but I really couldn’t focus on anything because when he went upside down, his shirt crept up and all I could see was his six-pack. The class ended, he left and he said “See you later…” To my deluded brain, this meant at our wedding.
Everyday after that I would go to Crossfit and look for him. Alas, he was nowhere to be found.
After a month or so of not seeing him I had completely given up on him. Then out of nowhere he was at the gym again! This time he wasn’t in my class but in the class next to mine. So I tried to catch his eye to say hi. I mean, we were both upside down together - how could he forget me? Either he didn’t see me or our experience together didn’t mean as much to him as it meant to me because he barely acknowledged me.
When his class got out, he stayed around to practice. And what was he practicing, you may ask? Muscle ups. Well! Wouldn’t you know that in our time apart I had mastered them. OK… maybe not mastered… but I could do them at will (even though my face was looking like a woman having a breeched birth). It doesn’t matter … I could do them.
I don’t know what made me do this, but when my class finished I got another friend and we started doing our muscle ups next to where he was working out. I am quite sure he saw me now because we were loud and obnoxious. At least I got him to notice me, right?
Wrong. Now I see him almost every day and he has yet to acknowledge my existence. Can I blame him? If I were him, I would think that I was a complete douche bag show off that no one likes. Really I’m just socially awkward – maybe I should get a t-shirt made.