Tongue Tied

I don’t know what’s happened to me.  I’ve never been a proper extrovert but there was a time, a long, long time ago now, that I could zoom in on the nicest looking man in the room (or the nightclub, or the youth hostel, or the wedding reception) and make him mine.

I’m serious.

I was 17 and at summer camp when I first laid eyes upon he-who-would-become-my-first-boyfriend.  I can still remember watching him walk down the hill to the dining hall; I decided then and there that he was hottest boy at the camp and even though I’d never previously thought myself deserving of the hottest anything (being too tall for my age, flat-chested, and well aware of my large average nose) I did then.  And it worked.

Then came London.  I was ridiculous in grad school. Then came the Great Date Experiment.  Even more ridiculousness.  By the time TWD and I finally met, I’d dated so many men that my confidence was at an all time high.

But that confidence is gone now.

I don’t remember how to flirt.

I freak out when a man catches my eye and either run away or say something stupid.  (Or I just smile like a moron and resort to Facebook stalking instead.)

Last week, my company was invited to perform at a benefit at Philadelphia’s Trocadero Theater.  I had eight potential wingmen at my disposal, we were all in full makeup and the audience loved us.  You’d think I’d have been in my element—and I was, sort of—but when a soloist from Pennsylvania Ballet caught my eye and smiled a warm, genuine, no-I’m-not-just-seeing-things sort of smile, I just smiled back, left the theater and hailed a cab (forgetting both my makeup bag and half of my costume in the process.)

I kicked myself the whole way home.

Why the hell couldn’t I talk to him?

It’s not like he was asking me to marry him.  For all I knew he was already married, or gay, or both.  Maybe he just wanted to say “nice job” or “Great hat!” or “Do you know where the restrooms are?”

But I’ll never know.  Because I just ran away.

And it wasn’t just the ballet dancer.  It was the cute guy in my yoga class.  The man with the nice shoes in the salad aisle at Trader Joe’s.  The awkward but nonetheless friendly dude from the art museum who asked if I was there for the “Etsy Event.”

I couldn’t talk to any of them.

It’s like I’m back in third grade, harboring my very first secret crush.

I should be better than this.


10 Responses to “Tongue Tied”

  1. Meg

    Hey now–don’t go “should-ing” yourself. That leads nowhere. Speaking with ease and flirtation will come back to you once your brain and heart normalize again. Less than 3(?) weeks is hardly enough time to fully process a break up from such a serious relationship… Be kind to yourself. From where I’m sitting, you’re doing great.

  2. becky119

    What you need is to be caught in a situation where you can’t help but talk to the cute guy. Ever watch friends? Chandler became friends with Jill Goodaker (sp??) when they were trapped in an ATM vestibule during the blackout.

    I think you need to get trapped in a similar situation (or hey, snowstorm) with cute guy from yoga class. The weather does seem to be on your side at the moment. 😉

  3. becauseimsingle

    I feel ya girl. All too well. If I ever figure out how to keep myself planted (a.k.a. not bolting out of the room because an attractive male asks me if my retriever is a rescue) you’ll be the first to know!

  4. Chicago-Style Girl

    You literally smiled back, then turned and left? Oh honey. Did you at least get your makeup bag back? A good wingman collects your left-behinds if you have to make a fast escape, even if that fast escape isn’t really warranted.
    There is, however, a silver lining to your crazy behavior. At some point, you’ll come across a guy and won’t want to run. After chatting with him for quite a while, it will dawn on you that it didn’t even occur to you to run.
    But I get the feeling we’re not there yet…

  5. Katie

    Kat. That just means you’re not quite ready to date yet. Don’t worry so much — you’ll get your mojo back when you’re ready. 🙂


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