It’s an unspoken rule of society that the male almost always have to make the first move. I don’t know who Sadie Hawkins was, but she had the right idea. Every once in a while, it’d be nice for a lady to initiate something. However, that’s mostly just me whining. I’d be lying if I was telling you that I enjoy initiating all the time, but every once in while you get to feel something that’s fairly incredible.
I think it really starts when you’re a little kid. Puppy love always holds a certain place in your heart. When you’re that young, you just have an incredible sense of purity and earnestness in everything that you do. I don’t think you’ve learned yet to hedge your bets or to manage your expectations, so you go all in on everything. Romance at that age is quite a ridiculous concept, but it happens.
One of my strongest memories from when I was little was when I asked out the girl I had a crush on. Now, this wasn’t my first crush. Back then, you always had a friend of a friend of a friend find out what she thought of you before you did anything stupid. Little did you know, you had already done the stupid thing because by using the “friend of a friend of a friend” method you just exposed what you thought was a secret to about a dozen people. As a pretty chubby kid (the excuse my mom gave me was ‘baby fat’) who got good grades, you could pretty much estimate my probability for success.
Then, for some reason, the summer of 7th grade, I stayed the same weight, but managed to grow three or four inches. Apparently puberty was the antidote to baby fat. It was around that time when I discovered the stupidity of the hearsay method, and just decided to swing for the fences.
Now, back then, this was a premeditated act, rehearsed in my head over and over and over. I have a knack for over planning and over thinking, this practice didn’t help at all. Now, no matter optimistic I was, the impending embarrassment of “NO” and the subsequent shame as you sat through lunch/recess was enough to deter me most days. To add insult to injury, this wasn’t something that you could discuss with your friends. We were young, these things just weren’t talked about. Power Rangers were the hot topic of the times. With all of this ridiculousness, one day, you would just decide to pull the trigger, and I remembered the most amazing feeling of all time, which was kicked off by one single word:
Now, if my life depended on it, I couldn’t tell you the question that I asked. I have zero clue, my brain probably overheated. But damn did I remember how I felt afterward. I felt like my smile shone brighter than the sun, I could boot a kickball to the moon, if I spit the spot where it landed would start growing candy. I can’t exactly put a phrase to describe it, but “Euphoric Smugness” comes close.
What I said about learning to hedge your bets and controlling expectations as you grow up is completely true. I have to say, going to ‘hang out’ with a bunch of people is just sometimes a way to feel out the crowd and see if anything interesting comes up. Dates? They are few and far in-between, and again, most of the time, it’s about managing your expectations. I struggle to remember the last time “Yes” had anywhere near the same effect as it used to have.
Does that mean that I should invest more in the girls I’m interested in? Probably. Does that mean that I should wear my heart on my sleeve? I don’t think so. The people that do that usually cause drama and draw attention to themselves. I can’t stand that. I think at the end of the day I just need to be more honest, and be willing to risk more. It’s funny, I remember being willing to risk looking like an ass for a one in a million shot, but I guess your ego recovers more easily when you’re little, and when you’re older, you start to value your vanity over your own satisfaction. Mistake made.
Next time I hear “Yes”, I want it to mean something, and when push comes to shove, I guess I don’t really mind having to initiate, because I get to hear “Yes”.
Which is something pretty incredible.