Sunday, January 01, 2006

Taking The New Me For A Test Drive

I went to a bar with my dad for New Year's Eve. No, me and the old man didn't go bar-hopping--he is a drummer in a band. After contacting several different people for New Year's plans and not having any success, I was prepared to grab some sleep and stay home. But I remembered my dad inviting me out earlier in the week, and his band has been at some wild places the two or three times I've come out to see him before, but I've never joined in the wildness because I was so afraid of embarrassing myself. Not last night.

The place was called Murphy's, but I have no idea what town it was in. It was some Irish bar in a south suburb, so I fit right in with my White Sox jersey, and the only black person in there besides me and the other band members was a black girl who came with her white boyfriend of six years. But it was inclusive and fun; in fact, being the only black guy on the dance floor probably worked to my advantage, as I danced with several women, none of whom I had ever met. Now, that's a big deal to me. After I got home, I tried to remember a time when I danced with someone I didn't know. And I had never done that. Actually, I could run through all of the times I ever danced in public with someone and figure that out because that's how few times I've ever danced in public. And not only that, but the first time I danced, I actually approached someone and took her out on the floor! (Insert shocked gasps from the peanut gallery...) Yes, I found someone that I deemed approchable enough for me to ask to dance. Now, the reason mostly was because she was the biggest woman there, so I still have some work to do on self-esteem issues, such as choosing a dance partner or any other kind of partner because I legitimately want to be with her and not because she seems to be the least attractive woman in the vicinity. But it wasn't all because of her size--she was also easily the happiest, most spirited person there, flittering around the room all night talking to people she knew and didn't know, trying to cheer me up because I had the same sour look on my face that I usually have (my smile muscles actually are out of shape--no lie, when I try to smile, it hurts because those muscles are hardly used by me), giving me my first (and second through fifth or so) hug of the new year. It was funny, my very first impression when I saw her was not good. I thought she was ugly in the face. But as the night went on, she became more attractive because of her personality, and that's exactly what I have been trying to do--see people for who they are, not what they look like. I completely stunned myself when that happened. I had to ask myself, was this the same woman I turned my nose up at when I met her the first time? And it was, it's just that she shined with the joy and carelessness and freedom that I admire in a person and want for myself some day, and I found myself attracted to her. (No, it wasn't the booze talking--I had no booze, save for a glass of champagne at the midnight hour.)

Now, it was a good starting point for me to start to come out of my shell, because I probably will never meet any of those people again, so I could get on the floor and shake my ample rear without fear of embarrassing myself. Still lots of bugs to work out, though--I debated asking that woman to be my first New Year's kiss because I had no idea if kissing a stranger is cool in the normal world or if I would have to join one of "Karen's" swingers clubs to find someone willing to do that. I should have just either grabbed her head and done it at midnight, or at one of the many times I had a hold of her ass and tits while dancing, or just asked her if I could. But like I said, it was a starting point. Maybe next time, whenever next time I find myself dancing with a woman I've never met but who's willing to allow me to put my hands on her ass and tits. I also displayed my incompatibility with the tastes of everyone else, because when I was asked by the woman's sister-in-law to choose a song from the jukebox, she dissuaded me from picking a Kid Rock song before allowing me to play "Legs" by ZZ Top, which cleared the dance floor almost immediately. But I was okay. I have weird taste, I'm aware of it, but I'm not ashamed of it because it's part of who I am, and there's nothing wrong with who I am. Okay, maybe being so out of shape that my eyes burned from all the sweat flowing into my eyes is wrong, but hey, if the chick I'm grinding doesn't care, I don't care. But the biggest thing I have to work on is my self-image. Yes, I opened up and danced, but almost every comment I made was wrapped in self-mockery and deprecation. When I approached that woman to dance, I actually told her: "I can't dance at all, but I'll try to move with you out there." When she tried to talk to me afterwards, I huffed and puffed and said: "Whew, I'm not used to all this exercise." And when anyone asked if I was enjoying myself because I looked so depressed/tired, I explained how little sleep I had and how swollen my knees were from my temp job. I will someday learn to shut the fuck up and display a sense of self-worth that shows that not only can a woman dance with me, but that I deserve it. Because the next step is to meet someone that I would want to maybe see after the club closes for the night, or as my dad eloquently put it, "Why didn't you ask that woman if you could take her home?" And I can't get up the gumption to ask a stranger out if I can't stop making excuses for my dancing and my shyness and my weariness and my inferiority complex.

But that's a lesson for a later date. The point is, I went out for New Year's and had fun. I didn't have to find a chick online willing to let me fly to her and screw her, I didn't have to sit around waiting for someone to call me, and I didn't have to stay home and feel sorry for myself. I actually had fun. A different feeling for sure, but a feeling that I want to feel more and more. I hope everyone has a great New Year. Mine can't be worse than last year or the year before. I won't let it.

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