I was that guy.
You know the type. I was the one that was nice and kind to all but not that kind of guy that would be boyfriend material. Don’t tell me you don’t know what I am talking about. I know. I have seen it many times. But, there will be more on that later.
Let me just say that it was not a great time in my life going through the whole puberty and raging hormones thing. Of course, I would doubt that anyone that looks back at their life as a teen would say it was great and full of roses either. I had a hard time for lots of reasons. Actually, it was my own little piece of hell most of the time.
First of all, I went through a huge change in a very small amount of time. I hit my growth spurt early around 7th and 8th grade and have not really grown since . . . well not taller anyway. Rounder? Well that is another story. I was awkward in every sense of the word. My limbs were long and unfamiliar. I was tripping on flat ground for goodness sake! How embarrassing is that? My voice dropped to a resonance of a creepy stalker which made me feel like a stranger was usurping my mouth when I talked. And most of all, girls confused me. No really. I did not understand how they thought, how they decided anything, or most of all – how they chose to be a girlfriend to anyone. For a guy who had a body that was a complete stranger to his mind, this was a nightmare to have all these wants and needs but have a body that rebelled by shear change in hormones. I . . . was . . . hopeless . . . and lost.
To add to this, I really hated how the whole process of getting into a relationship worked. It was complete craziness to me. There were times when I watched how these guys played out their role in getting girlfriends thinking that I was watching two roosters fight over hens. For guys to have these competitions over a girl seemed liked the stupidest type of male silliness that there was on the face of the earth. I just didn’t get it. Then there was the whole idea of the girl actually provoking the behavior even more. It was insane. On top of all this were the couples that abused each other with purposely hurting each other’s feelings with either deception or gossip or some kind of obsessive control. All of us know that kind I am positive. In the end it seemed as if they would be on a trampoline bouncing in and out of a relationship falling apart and getting back together when to every outside sane observer it obviously was not meant to be. In some ways it was like watching a movie that had no plot or a game show that had no prize with everyone losing.
Well, I was not boyfriend material obviously. I learned early on that girls just did not like me in that way. I did not see relationships like other kids did. To me it was not a game or a competition. It was emotional and should be intuitively simple and straight forward. I talked to them to see if I liked their personality but to them it was too subtle I guess. I was not aggressively pursuing. To be honest, I had no idea how those guys in my school actually got a girlfriend in the first place. It was not like there was a book laying it all out for us. I honestly thought being nice and kind was the way to get a girl to like you. I guessed wrong. Then I saw how these guys treated the girls and I was sure that the world was insane.
And then there was the my annoying habit of being extremely shy. No one who knows my teacher personality would describe me as shy or introverted, but I am, and it was to the extreme back in my teenage years. I have gained a lot of confidence and esteem over the years with my wife but back then, nothing made sense to me. I had a hard time talking to girls and asking them if they would like to spend time with me. I would be the stag in the herd that hung out on weekends separated while the rest were all hooked up. I would say only a couple of words when spoken to or stumble my words. I was embarrassed easily and girls giggled at the way I acted. I was that guy.
It was not until junior or senior year of high school before I actually had the nerve to ask out a couple of girls. And that is when I learned a phrase that I would hate and loath for years – “You’re nice but . . .” I was not the kind that girls wanted to date or were interested in. I was the kind that was a good friend and nonthreatening. I had no ulterior motives nor was I looking for more or some such stuff that put all girls on their guard. I was just the nice guy. Trust me it only took a couple of times before I knew I was blackballed in my school. I had no chance. I mean really – we only had 90 some kinds in my whole graduating class. Think about it. I had no chance what so ever. I was a permanent “friend Zone” kid. Ugh, it was depressing.
It was hard to even decide who to date. With such a small class in school, there was a very limited amount of choices. The girls were either too freaky or scary or they were the very essence of Mean Girls, or they were too snobby. The girls that I considered good were seeing these guys that were treating them bad. I thought they deserved better but darned if I knew how to change that. Man, my teen age years figuring out the whole girl and guy thing were an exercise in confusion and lost causes.
I had all the same wants and needs of a teen too. I wanted to be close to a girl and be a boyfriend. Hey, I am a red blooded boy after all. Damn if I could figure out how to get out of the stigma I was in. I had crushes like normal kids where a look or a word from a girl would set my tummy fluttering. Of course my shyness was my enemy and I had no idea how to respond or get the girls to notice me in some other way than “friend Zone.” I was pretty hopeless and I am sure that the adults around me just shook their heads. Have you ever seen Big Bang Theory? Yeah, I was like Leonard – all hope and too much nerd. I just couldn’t figure out what the other guys did to get girls. Even if I did, it would not be my style so I would not have done it anyway. It was all just too complicated for me.
I guess I really never changed from that guy in high school. I am still very much like that. I am still pretty shy and would never know what to do if I was looking for a girl. Just the thought of dating again sends fear wracking my insides. I lucked out though that my wife saw in me the type that would be faithful and steadfast. To this day I really don’t know what it was that drew her to me. I was still that geeky nerdy shy guy that was stuck in the friend zone. It was meant to be I guess.
I learned a lot about the motivation of people and how they really didn’t know what they wanted. I remember thinking that girls sure do like to be sad and misguided a lot. I just was not one of those people that wanted to get into all that drama. I wanted to find a good girl and stick with her awhile. Even though I was lost most of the time back then I did know one thing – I was not going to change who I was to join in on the craziness I saw all around me. Not that anyone was that interested in me anyway. I was that guy.