CLUELESS IS AS CLUELESS DOES

I suppose it may seem, from some of my past entries, that I am quite the ladies man. That I have these women, both available and/or taken, wanting a chance to experience The Jak.

“WTF, why does Jak gets all the ladies?” a friend recently asked. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should take it as a compliment... or insult. It was humorous, nonetheless! I assured them it was nothing more than imaginary.

Another friend likes to call me the Ladykiller. Sounds pretty creepy and serial-killerish. I always have a “story” to tell, and while true, I feel a false impression is made. They apparently believe that women adore me, or some crazy shit like that.

After all the “fluff” shouldn’t I feel pretty badass? Perhaps I really am some lady-magnet?

I assure you this isn’t the case. No where close. In fact, I am very much - what I like to call - an acquired taste. I am not exceptionally handsome, out of shape, lack strong financial backing, and am pretty awkward in most social situations. My humor definitely sounds a lot funnier in my head, compared to when spoken. All that and a cup of tea. Except that tea isn’t for everyone.

So what attracts some women to take a sip?

I would like to think deep within I am a bundle of awesome. I have some fucked up quirks, and may be a little OCD. Awkward, possibly a bit too passionate about some geekery things, and a touch of random. Okay, who am I kidding... a lot of random. At the core, though, exists this pulsing, positive source of awesome. Love. While, I may not always be utilizing it, it is always there; allowing access whenever the inner-self critic isn’t blocking it out.

Unfortunately, throughout my life, that shadow has been cast over it more often than not. This naturally causes self-love, and confidence, to waver quite often.

On those rare occasions that someone does become interested in me, there awaits another problem. I am pretty much clueless to the fact if someone has any romantic feelings for me.

I am a people watcher. I used to partake in it all the time, and still do on occasion; especially when at my Thursday night hangouts. If feeling silly, I may do voiceovers for them; maybe try to guess what they are like or what their lives may entail. Whether out and observing strangers or friends, I feel I get a good sense of their connections. Body language being a huge indicator. You can usually tell if a woman has no interest whatsoever in the man attempting to pick her up.They look around a lot. Forced smiling. Sometimes they are leaned back or away from the individual, and fidgety.

A swift slap or beverage splashing is a scenario I’ve yet to see, but I know I would enjoy it intensely.

I think I am a pretty good in intuitively knowing when someone is digging another too. I have to admit, though, commentary is way better on those awkward encounters you witness. One issue with knowing if someone is interested in another is all the mixed signals. Flirting is a big culprit. Some men and women just like to flirt, love attention, and have no real romantic interest in who they are engaged with. It’s almost like a game for them.

This has played a large part in my avoidance of “making a move” and taking a chance with a handful of women in my past (and present). Those flirtations can, and are, done between both romantic partners, possible romantic interests, friends, or strangers. I am usually able to discern them when observing others. When it comes to myself, though, I am completely dense.

The Proof is in the Pudding

During high school I had a crush on someone. Didn’t we all? We had became friends and spent a good amount of time together; spent even more time talking on the phone until the wee hours of the night. We clicked fairly well, enough to justify exploring more definitely. What eventually happened was me suggesting her dating various friends of mine. That seems pretty logical right?

So after one of these relationships just didn’t work out, her and I had a talk. She explained the reasons why, and we discussed a variety of things as we always did. Suddenly the urge to man up, and let my balls drop occurred. Now, it has been so long I can’t remember exactly what was said, except the very last statement and the eventual outcome.

“What would you say if I asked you out?” I asked shyly.

“Yes.” was the almost immediate reply.

A pause... was I thinking? Was I about to take the risk of asking her out? Wait, what risk? She had said yes already! Nope... I was just verifying my balls had retracted.

“Cool...” I returned.

We then said our standard cordial goodnights and were on our merry. We still hung out a lot and talked, but never was the discussion or topic brought up again.

This is, in turn, also an example of the confidence issue of course.

You all may be pleased (uh... those bothering to read) to know that I did eventually “man up” and made the decision to ask her out shortly after she broke up with a newer boyfriend. That boyfriend choice confused me, I remember, but hey... Who was I to judge?

So I was on the way to take the chance; it is fair to say there was legitimately more risk after time had passed, since my last smooth performance. I had a wingman even, of sorts, who I had explained it all to. So we had our pep talks and encouragement going, you know... the Ball Droppin’ mantra. Ok, that isn’t a real thing.

So we arrive at the party, where I was to make the play, and was psyching myself up. I then ran into someone I would have called more an acquaintance than a friend, at the time, being I didn’t know them very well. He seemed, and I had heard he was, a decent fellow. We talked a bit, and I wasn’t sure what to say considering I didn’t know much about him; just randomness from friends and family, nothing in depth.

It was here that he revealed to my friend and I that he planned to ask someone out. Who was that someone? The same nameless someone I was working up the courage to ask out.

I am Jak’s deflated sense of hope.

So I did what anyone would do... I cited the choice as being good, talked her up some, and encouraged him to go for it.

Then I went on my merry.

This is one of those things in life that just seems to happen for a reason; if not everything. The two of them hit it off and over time got married, had children, and are still together to this day; very happily from what I gather. I am extremely happy for them and, when I think of it, send out love in their general direction. I miss the friendship that eventually drifted over time, but that is how those things work sometimes.

So there is at least a happy ending to this story.

How Can You Eat Your Pudding...

Now my first serious relationship... well, that was interesting. An online thing. Go figure. I will spare a lot of the details leading up to meeting and such. Basically we ended up dating, and would meet once in awhile, when able. I lived up north in the stix, her down in the cities. During one of my first visits to her house, on the way out the door at the end of the evening, there was a conversation that went something like this:

“I had a great time with you tonight,” I said.

“Me too, it was a lot of fun.”

That pause.

“Do you think you would mind if I kissed you?” I asked.

“No, I want you to.”

Another pause.

“Okay.”

Then, after a few moments of me standing there like an idiot she took the initiative and kissed me. Halle-fucken-lujah! Thank god some women can take charge or I would have never gotten anywhere in the dating world for a good portion of my life.

Now sure, I was shy, and some may even view this situation as cute. What sucks is I know that, even though the girl and I were dating and said she wanted me to kiss her, I felt like maybe she wasn’t genuinely interested.

No reason to go into the mess that ensued after that point. Needless to say, it didn’t work out in the end.

...Where’s the Beef?

Throughout most of my life, there are similar instances like the above. These give a lot of evidence to just how lacking my self-confidence was.

Worse is when I can’t even tell a girl is interested in me to even allow my self-confidence to fail. I’ve gotten a lot better about knowing, so I am not a complete putz anymore. A lot of times close proximity and touching (non-sexual...) is a good indicator. Uh, okay, sexual touching is likely a good indicator too. I also no longer question if someone directly states they are okay with/want something or state they have romantic interests in me. As long as it is direct and not hinted at. Hinting just leaves me wandering aimlessly in the dark.

Regardless of having a better grasp on attraction and the signs, though, I still run into problems. I am not sure how to become better receptive of positive romantic attraction offered in my direction. All I know is I have likely missed out on a lot of opportunities, that I was mutually interested in, due to failure in correctly picking up on the signs given.

Considering my current semi-reclusive lifestyle and solo job, the opportunities to run into those chances have decreased exponentially. Outside of the whole internet dating that is. It would be nice to just meet someone while randomly out some evening, now that I am attempting to be a lot more social.

For now, I will just go on as I have; eventually I should be able to get a clue, right?

One can only hope. Sweet Mother Mary Jesus nuts, one can only hope.