“Till now I always got by on my own. I never really cared until I met you. And now it chills me to the bone. How do I get you alone?” ~Heart
I was never quite as good with the ladies as I thought I was. In fact, I would bet you that 90% of the women I hit on at some point or other never even knew I was hitting on them. Either that or they just didn’t care, and ignored the gesture, because it wasn’t like I had my own “champagne room,” or anything.
I’ve always been a little bit awkward, and you happened to be a lady who liked that sort of thing then I was golden. If not then you would have given me a “sucks to be you” look and gotten away as quickly as you possibly could. I used to try and pretend I was my favorite casanova — MC Hammer — that I was cooler than the average guy, but I don’t think I ever really pulled it off as more than simple caricature.
Besides, when it hit 1994 and Hammer was no longer cool I had nothing to hang my hat on anymore. I mean, there was no way I could be Lenny Kravitz, was there? I used to pretend it didn’t matter to me, when the ladies rejected me in increasingly more creative ways as the years went along, but it obviously. Every one who walked away was another reason for me to dislike myself, because as much as I pretended to be independent, I was all about how others saw me.
Sometimes I think I still am. At least on some level. I’m a work in progress.
And I really don’t like being alone. I never have. It’s one of those things that makes me nervous just knowing I’m going to be alone ahead of time. Maybe that’s why I hit the ladies with my charm so early and so often back then. I knew if I could just snag one, for however long, it meant I would be part of a “we,” a member of an “us” that was so much more important to me than money ever would be.
See, being part of an “us” meant I didn’t have to go to the movies alone. It meant I didn’t have to go out to eat alone. It meant I didn’t have to watch my favorite TV shows alone. It meant I never had to BE alone… you know, unless I really wanted to. Because it’s not really being alone if I know I have options, if I can choose it for myself instead of someone else deciding it for me.
Odd how that works, isn’t it? But it’s still true. And luckily for me I found a lady who doesn’t mind the awkwardness, who didn’t dismiss me just because I’m not the typical guy, who understands my issues and who lets me be myself without judging. She laughed at what I perceived was my “game” when we first started talking, but she gets me in a way that I’ve maybe never even gotten myself.
Even if I’m not MC Hammer. Perhaps precisely because I’m not MC Hammer. And I can live with that.