Some of you who read this may not know me as well as some of the people with whom I have personal connections. In case you haven't noticed this about me (and you'd have to be a simpleton not to), I am very socially awkward. I wouldn't say that I'm backwards or anything, but I don't take social cues well. For me, being around people means my complete concentration on my setting and struggling with the great question of "How do I not fuck this up?" This is around just the people that I know. Getting to know someone is like terror about normal interactions times ten. (Or one hundred - it depends on the day.)
Imagine the horrors that dating holds for me. Regardless, I keep on doing it.
I know what you're thinking by now - if you're still reading. You're asking, "When is this bitch going to start trying to be funny again?" How about right now? Does that work for you Mr. Impatient-Wants-It-All-Right-Now. Yeah, I said "Mr." You're the ones that say "now now now now now now". Aren't you? Huh? Huh? Huh?
I'll walk you through what dating is like for me.
1. Meeting someone
I know it's the first stage, but I don't get past this part very often. I give off this vibe that says "She's a little crazy, sir. She's not entirely in this reality. She will also eat you for lunch because she's a aloof, snobby bitch." I don't know where it comes from. I'm not that bad. Hey! I'm not! I will admit that I have a look on my face that is speculative, at best. I always feel like a guy that is interested in me is either playing some horrible practical joke or is too dumb to breathe. I'm yet to be mistaken. Except for the breathing part, but they are pretty damn dumb. For the most part, the ones who do introduce themselves to me are adrenaline junkies who want to climb Mount Everest (no fat or short jokes, please).
2. Getting Asked Out
This isn't always the same as meeting someone. Most guys cut and run after getting a taste of what I have to offer. I don't really try to mask the crazy anymore. To do so would be false advertisement - I live in my own little world and I like it here. I also have the Bug, who I schedule my life around to make it convenient for her. If a man can't work around her hours, I don't want to work into his.
3. Going Out
This part is often fraught with Shenanigans. Here's an example from a quasi-date that I went on recently. Gingerman decided that he wanted to take me out to a bar. It only took two months because he's a busy man. Too busy for me? Of course, but I'm a sucker for being put on the back-burner. I'm a frycook like that. Anyways, back to the Shenanigans. We walked into the bar and sat down. I was scoping out the draft selection, when I caught a glance of the bartender. I was thinking to myself, "Wow, that girl looks really familiar." I smiled at Gingerman and was about to say something to him (I was blocking out whatever he was saying because I had too many things processing at once: beer selection; bartender; Life, the Universe & Everything) when all of a sudden my blood ran cold. I told him that we had to leave. Right. Then. I didn't even explain to him what was going on as I dragged him bodily out of the door (that was a feat in itself because he's much bigger than I am).
Why did I drag him out, do you ask? Well, the bartender - we'll call her Carmen for the story's purpose - used to be one of my best friends. We met through a mutual friend who I worked with at Bass Pro back in the day. I had just turned twenty-one and I enjoyed partying as often as possible. She did, too. Her husband liked to have her out of the house, so he financed our field trips. He was significantly older than Carmen, who was significantly older than me. He was a grandfatherly type who liked to dote on pretty young girls, and hoo boy were we. Carmen and I were pretty inseparable until I started having trouble with the Italian that I was dating. In the midst of one of Italian and my fights, he admitted to me that he had been getting b.j.s on the sly from Carmen. I called her to confront her about it because I knew it as soon as he admitted it. I'd seen her naked and he knew something only nudity would prove. What I did next, I am not proud of. Her husband answered the phone and wanted to know what the Hell I was doing, calling the house so late. My red-haired and betrayed woman temperament caused me to fill him in on everything. EVERYTHING. After I finished my confessional, he informed me that Carmen had just called him from the jail because she had been picked up for driving while intoxicated. He decided that she could stay there and think about what she'd done. Of course, things were ugly between us after she spent the holiday weekend sitting in jail. There was also an incident shortly afterward where she got a steaming hot chili cheese hot dog smashed in her face, resulting in second-degree burns. I didn't do it, but I would have if I had gotten to it first. We hadn't seen each other since.
Imagine trying to explain this to a man who wants to be called Master Dr. Gingerman (it's a joke) because of his massive education and he's from a good family. Here is me, former frycook from the southeast of Hell, practically dragging him out of bar to avoid an asswhooping. (Carmen went from being a pampered housewife to someone working at a sleazy bar - yeah, I would've deserved it.) I can honestly say that it's never happened before, but I was a bit of a tramp in my early twenties, so I can't exactly guarantee that it won't happen again. See why dating is terrifying? You can't take me anywhere!
I don't mind this part as much as the other. I like the consistency of knowing where I stand. I don't get to this part very often, even though I've only dragged a guy out of a bar once. Once guys see my quirks, they're either too damn dumb to care that I'm odd, or they're too busy banging the next one to mind.
I guess you can see now why dating is a little scary. Now I have to throw in the possibility of my past coming up to bite me in the ass (or kick it), in addition to my insecurities about being different than everyone else. So it's hard, scary work to find someone who sees me for what I am - a former frycook with a past, who isn't scared to drag a grown man out of a bar.