Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Just in case you weren’t aware of that fact. It’s not a day that I generally look forward to. But when you work in an elementary school full of children who expect a lot of fanfare related to days like these, you have to fake it a little bit. No, I didn’t buy cheesy Superman Valentines with corny lines like, “My love is more powerful than a locomotive!” Wait, that’s pretty good.
Anyway, I was having a conversation with one of the teachers with whom I work. Inevitably it came around to, “Are you getting flowers for anyone tomorrow?” Now, I’m not a fan of flowers. This is just my personal view, but I think they’re basically a waste of money. They’re dying. And after a few days, they start to smell really bad. Could be I’m just cynical. But I think a potted plant would make a much more practical gift. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be willing to purchase flowers for a significant other if she were the kind of woman who really liked to receive the occasional bouquet.
I let this teacher know that, no, I would not be getting flowers for anyone. For one thing, I don’t have a special someone for whom to buy flowers. And even if I did, see the above paragraph, because it’s basically what I told her as well. Then she asked, “Well, if you had someone, and you didn’t want to buy her flowers, what would you get for her?”
Then I just sat there. I thought. And when the silence was just beginning to become uncomfortable, I laughed and said, “I think we just figured out why I’m still single.”
This has been somewhat on my mind lately. Not in an I-need-a-girlfriend-or-I’m-gonna-die-alone kind of way. But I was recently thinking of real reasons why I’m still single. It all boiled down to one incontrovertible fact: I’m single because I never take action to change that status.
The other day, I saw a girl who I’ve seen before. I know nothing about her. I don’t even know her name. But she is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. I know there are people in this world who would be able to walk up to her, a complete stranger, and generate a deep and meaningful conversation out of nothingness. I am not one of those people. I just know that I would not be able to just walk up to her and say, “You are one of those most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.” I’m sure there would have to be some sort of icebreaker to come before that. The thing is, even if I had an ironclad script to go by, I still would not ever approach her.
And that’s why I’m still single. I don’t take chances. I don’t meet new people and I don’t ask girls out on dates. I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve asked a girl out and she’s said yes. And I wouldn’t need my entire other hand to include the times I’ve been on arranged dates, which round out the lifetime total.
I’m not bad with words. But that’s when I’m writing them down. When it comes to speaking words to a woman I’m attracted to, it’s like, what’s this language I’m speaking? And if I do happen to string together a coherent sentence… even a fragment… I’m wondering if I’ve said the right thing. I usually don’t get that far, though. Before I can talk myself into having a conversation, I’m usually responsible for talking myself out of it. I allow those whatifs to whisper in my ear. They tell me that she’s out of my league. They tell me there’s no point in asking because she’ll probably say no. After all, a lifetime of experience has taught me that the odds are not in my favor.
Maybe that means I lack self-confidence. Not in all areas of my life. Just when it comes to relationships. Or, at least, potential relationships. I don’t think I completely lack confidence. I know I’m awesome. I just wish I could tell if that special someone thought so, too.