Only recently have I started to question the origins and continued use of the term "grab yourself by the balls and..." I have pictured myself having to do some courageous thing like slay a dragon or spit game in a rap-off with Eminem. I gotta say that in every instance I thought about, where I have to do anything, I only see benefits to having both of my hands free.
Of course being a soccer player I considered the "wall" players make to defend a free kick. I know that in that instance, grabbing oneself is done to protect the tender organs, and by virtue of protecting said organs one has more courage to stand there and take it. Really though, the soccer scenario involves waiting for something to happen, and not going and doing anything. This curiosity, of course, stems from what you, our readers, seem to think passes for advice in my dating endeavors regarding my nervous demeanor around attractive members of the opposite sex. (Unless I pull off a very smooth and confident encounter) It gets repeated time and time again that I should proceed to grab myself and "...just ask her out." or "...tell her how you feel." or "...kiss her."
I admit that I do envy those of you who have the courage to just do those kinds of things without fear of rejection. I do not have that luxury. Call me names. I don't mind really. Tell me how I am pathetic, weak and chicken. I'm sure that those are the kinds of things you could say that will best help me to change my ways and suddenly become calloused to the fear of rejection. Regardless, my number one fear is the fear of rejection. I am sure that it probably branches out to all aspects of my life, but it is most noticeable when interacting with women.
If you actually read this blog you might remember how I almost missed my first kiss after the mish, because I passed up on three chances before she had to basically make the move for me. Or how I had to trick Andrea into going out with me through an over complicated yet clever ruse. You might also take note that Becca, Harper, Sanders, and Daisy either kissed me first or gave me ridiculously obvious green lights. Then there is the whole Claire thing. Psh, that's the best example.
The evidence speaks for itself. I have no game. None. The situations where I shined with some level of courage were those when I was on a mission (Sanders), already dating someone (Becca, Harper), or totally into someone else (Daisy). So basically if my history means anything, unless I fall into something... I ain't getting anything. I know that I am a pansy. I know that I need to care less about getting rejected. I kick myself before, during and after every meaningful interaction with a potential female where I don't do what it seems obvious I should do.
I guess that is really the point of this whole blog though, right?
I was driving to our final day of Census training, and I still hadn't asked Shaleese out. I was thinking about how badly I needed to ask her out. I was lamenting the many missed opportunities so far. I had planned something pretty funny that I could say to ask her out, too. I was going to say something like, "It's too bad you don't wear pink more often." To which she would of course say, "Uh, I wear pink everyday, and I am wearing pink right now." My response would then be, "Oh my gosh really? I am totally color blind and hadn't realized that was pink. I find pink so attractive on girls that if I'd know that was pink, I would have asked you out by now." To which she would start giggling adorably. I would then say, "So, what do you say, a date? Are you comfortable being seen with the color blind?"
I ran the scenario through my head over and over planning for that to somehow come out.
This is what actually happened.
Shaleese was wearing this white top (love white on chicks) with a fat pink belt thingy. So far so good.
JAKE: Cute shirt. You ever think about incorporating more pink into your wardrobe?
SHALEESE: (laughter) Uh, yeah, like, I don't really like pink. It's sooooo pop diva.
Uh oh. She was being sarcastic. It was totally in character for her, but somehow I didn't plan on it.
JAKE: Well, that's too bad. Too too bad.
JAKE: Because pink is awesome.
SHALEESE: Yeah well, wait oh look! (she looks down at her belt) Somehow I ended up with a pink belt. Weird, but hey, it's pink.
Phew, back on track. Now things were going according to my plan. She had set up my whole "color blind angle" perfectly.
JAKE: Wha- well I guess that makes you awesome.
SHALEESE: Yes, it does. I mean I already knew that, but I'm glad you realize it. (she looks at the lady across the isle from her) Jake says I'm awesome.
JAKE: ...yep, awesome...
I paused for a long enough time that Shaleese changed the subject... I never got another opportunity.
Well, while she was looking at her belt, I got nervous. Really nervous. I started to doubt my script. I thought, "How cheesy, she'll see right through it and think it's retarded". When I say "nervous" I am talking about an actual tangible feeling. My chest cramps up and I can feel something in my neck getting tense, kind of like all the muscles in my neck are flexing simultaneously without actually flexing at all. My mind called "abort, abort". For a moment, I thought about improvising some "save", and I even thought about just saying, "We should go out" but with each modification I considered, that knotting feeling intensified. I chickened out.
I was frantically trying to talk myself into figuring out something else before the end of training that day. I even entertained actually physically grabbing myself by the balls to see if that would do something. Anything.
Training ended and everyone was saying their goodbyes and what not. I was standing about four feet away from Shaleese. She finished saying goodbye to one lady and turned and saw me. I didn't have anything planned, I started feeling that same feeling and realized that I wasn't going to do anything. She jumped with both feet and landed right in front of me with one hand outstretched. I said, "Whoa, that was athletic." She ignored me and as she vigorously shook my hand she said, "I was really pretty nice to you through all this. I think you owe me dinner."