I honestly can’t say. I do remember that when I was a young fellow full of himself an so very shiny I had few reservations about meeting anyone, ok so I might have been an asshole but what self confident young man is not?
So I decided that if I were to learn anything in school my local high school was impossible. I took the test for a technical high school in Brooklyn, I only took the single test, and I told you I was self confident. I was accepted and strangely enough my guidance counselor was pissed off, I had missed so many school days that regardless of my marks I could be held back. Since I had scored so highly on the entrance exam I did not need to officially leave Robert H. Goddard Junior High, I was accepted and did not need their permission, so I was allowed to graduate.
One small problem, that amazing technical school was a single gender school apparently girls were not appropriate for engineering education. The classes were not all that challenging I held all the records for most missed days in any period month, quarter or term and still managed to be somewhere in the top third of my class. But the only way that I had met girls before was in school, this was a definite blow to my social calendar.
Where do you find women I asked myself, the answer was so clear college! So one night me and a wingman walked, there was no way either of us could have a vehicle even a POS, out to a university on Long Island. I lived in Queens so it wasn’t that far. On the way I purchase a pint of vodka at a liquor store, I was not old enough so sue me, with a bit of liquid courage we wandered onto this campus and found our way to the Fraternity houses.
There was one with a party, big surprise there, and we walked in bold as brass and started the hunt. I approached quite a few young women that night and they treated me very nicely, like a friend’s younger brother, in hindsight it was condescending of them but they were nice to me. Despite my obvious youth I was not mistreated in any way considering that I was trespassing, but after a couple of hours it was apparent that my performance was under par, I did not do enough research to be able to talk like a college student, and we left discouraged and disappointed.
So just what happened to that self confident prick? After relocating to the West coast I did just fine economically, I lost everything I had in a fire, I just escaped with the clothes on my back, and the damned ER cut off my pants, less than three years later I had a brand new car in the driveway of my own house. A year later I was the highest paid manager/engineer in the company that I was working for. It was not exactly rags to riches but I was satisfied with what I had worked very hard to accomplish.
Somewhere during these years I developed a paralyzing fear of rejection. I did not try to meet women because they might reject me. Now I can see how pathetic and ridiculous this was but except for my customers I met very few women. In older parlance you might have referred to me as a bootlegger, but I always managed to have the very best. So what was it a phobia or just paranoia at this juncture I can’t really say.
I can understand the fear of certain things like high places or spiders, both scare me, but being phobic about rejection seems a pretty far stretch. Just what could possibly go wrong? I could be called a bad name or someone could make fun of me, nothing there exactly life threatening, life falling 10 stories, but I had walled myself off effectively for many years. My marriage may have the final and last expression of all that fear, after all there usually isn’t much dating after getting married.
So why am I saying all these things. I mean this as a cautionary tale to those younger than myself that might benefit from my mistakes and maybe even learn from them. I know how hard it is to put yourself out there but the alternates really suck, a lot. Take a chance, be yourself, I know there is no way that you should be yourself if you listen to any expert on dating and relationships, but the best possibility to connect with another human being in any truly meaningful way is to not start out with a lie. If you aren’t going to be accepted for who you are then how can you get to know anyone else, unless you are a complete dweeb like me, then lie your ass off.