“Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.”
St. Louis Week I:
So my plan was to tell you all about my road trip to St. Louis but other than the traveling zebras and attacking wasps and that blonde moment when we couldn’t figure out how to pay for our free wi-fi it was rather uneventful.
So in effort to keep your attention and do my good deed for the day here’s my first Public Service Announcement:
Do Not Go on Dates With Boys in White Pants
I should clarify that I wouldn’t really qualify this as a date (that would be too socially damning) rather it was an innocent effort on my part to accept more invitations and put myself out there. I was hoping he’d at least serve up enjoyable conversation.
He failed with flying colors.
We met in the morning at a coffee shop and I stupidly assumed we’d be having breakfast and/or coffee. Clearly only insane people do things like that because he looked at me like I had five heads when I got in line at the counter. He finally pulled himself together long enough to say “Uh…I only planned on buying you lunch.”
Clearly this man was a catch.
In only seven words he simultaneously insinuated that I was both presumptuous and unworthy of a meal until I survived a morning with him.
Also, I must have missed the part where I agreed to have lunch with him.
After clarifying the fact that I did, indeed, need to eat on occasion and after assuring him I’d probably (just barely) avoid bankruptcy by buying my own eggs (just this once) he agreed to let me eat.
Then he promptly demanded that he pay the bill because his “mother would be disappointed otherwise.”
Wait, does this mean I don’t get lunch now?
So he inappropriately starts the conversation by asking me what kind of relationship I would like to be in. (Um, one that doesn’t involve you?) I didn’t have to bite my tongue for long because he jumped in with his own answer.
“I like to be in charge of the woman.”
I’m not sure what planet he’s from but I am fairly certain that it’s inhabitants all suffer from oxygen deprivation.
Typically this would be my que to leave but he was such a fascinating catastrophe that I couldn’t help but rubberneck a little bit longer.
My look of utter astonishment must have been interpreted as a sign of genuine interest because he continued on without missing a beat.
I was hoping that if I looked down at my shoe long enough he would just assume I was catatonic and leave.
When that tactic didn’t work I had to resort to more direct measures.
He proceeded to tell me how beautiful I was and ask me how long I worked on my outfit before I came to meet him. Once again, he continued talking before I had a chance to defend myself. Apparently he spends a lot of time on his outfits when he is meeting someone who “counts” and chastised me for not feeling the same way.
In a moment that surprised even myself I blurted “Yea, well you don’t count yet.”
I could tell that his huge, burly ego was stammering around trying to regain it’s balance like a drunk who just got sucker punched.
But his ego must have short-term memory loss because he collected himself and went off on a long dissertation about politics and how he teaches old people things and where he gets his really awesome style from. Judging by his white linen pants, beige fedora and brown leather shoes I could only assume he was referring to a 60-year old Cuban man.
At this point I was running low on eggs and patience and was getting bored with the fading spectacle when he finally acknowledged my existence again.
“What kind of music do you listen to? Do you like Justin Beiber? You look like you’re the kind of girl who would like Justin Beiber.”
“And how’s that? Like a 12 year old?”
He said yes, then backed up his idiotic statement with another idiotic statement. “Your eyes are so beautiful but you know that don’t you because you probably have a lot of mirrors at your house. Do you have mirrors at your house?”
WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE COME FROM?
At this point I was completely exhausted and because I have the worst poker face ever, he looked at me and said “You look like you could use a drink.”
In one swift motion he waved down the waitress, pointed his bottle of Perrier at me and demanded “She is having a mimosa.”
I wanted to put his fedora through a shredder.
My eggs were gone but promising to make an uprising if I didn’t leave the ever-sickening scene immediately. I told him I was going because I had other things to do. I made it clear that I was not a good candidate for a submissive, half-brained girlfriend. Hell, I wasn’t even a good candidate for someone that would wave to him from across the street.
He started surveying me for feedback as to how he could make future dates more enjoyable. In my head I was replacing him with Johnny Depp but to his face I just said “Why don’t you just start with talking less.”
And with that I shut my car door and trusted that he’d get out from behind the car in time.
My point in all of this? (You thought I’d never get there didn’t you.) As someone who often has trouble articulating my defenses, I stood up for myself without even realizing it. I put myself out there because I knew I would grow from it. What I didn’t expect to discover was that I had already grown in that respect. I spent a lot of time in the past hiding behind emotional walls and “protecting” myself from a world that seemed unfamiliar and scary. We’re afraid people won’t like us or understand us or that we’ll endure some insufferable embarassment. Yes, sometimes we’ll have to put up with obnoxious men in white pants who grill us over eggs. And I could have retreated back into my safe little shell of defeat. But who would I be then? You can’t expect to attract the kind of people that you want around you if they don’t know who you are. It’s true that I’ve come a very long way from the shy little girl I used to be. But going through this journey over the past year has really put things in dramatic perspective. I’ve witnessed myself at a stark contrast to the person I once was.
And you know what? I’m absolutely loving her.
Here are pictures from my first week as a St. Louisian (?).
P.S. I’d like to give a BIG thank you to my parents and sister for helping drag my arse (and all of my junk) up here. If they hate moving even half as much as I do then they’ve done an immeasurably unselfish thing. I appreciate them more than they know.
UPDATE: September 4th, 2012, White Pants Guy shows up at the Greek Festival in, you guessed it, linen pants and a fedora. My entire family was working the festival and it pretty much took 30 seconds for word of his presence spread like wildfire. Poor guy left in a hurry with his tail between his legs. You can’t make this shit up.