Monday, August 27, 2012

Upon further reflection, as usual

Quite possibly one of the most awkward, but refreshing, dates I have been on in a while (OK, I don't date a lot [read: at all] so let's call it ever, just to be fair).

I met up with an acquaintance I'd met at a friend of a friend's birthday party in Lima last week. Our first encounter was him trying to teach me how to dance and saying that I needed to move my hips more.

Except, he didn't know what the word was and even though I told him, he kept pronouncing it "tips."

So, Miguel spends the evening telling me I needed to move my "tips" more for Latin dancing and I tried my best to comply, but mostly I just stared at his feet and tried to match his steps.

Later on, he pulled me over in front of his friend with a camera, so thankfully the whole disaster was documented for posterity:
Nice shoes, hombre.
Before I left, he called me over by gesturing with his hands in a way that usually means, "Shoo! Go away!" But, he kept saying, "Come, come!" So I walked over to see that his friend has already uploaded the pictures to his laptop and Miguel wanted to show me because he was "so happy that I have pictures of you now!"


Despite my better judgement, I told him my actual name so he could find me on facebook and, lo and behold, I had a friend request from the guy who kept telling me I needed to move my "tips" more and was so happy to have pictures of me.

I met up with him for coffee (in broad daylight and after telling Ursula a million times where I was going and exactly when I would be back) and it turns out most of the phrases from our facebook messages that I took to be awkward were so mainly because of the language barrier.

We got to talking and he asked me whether or not I had a boyfriend. When I told him no, he asked why not, which I took to be a cheesy pick-up line, so I laughed at him.

But, he insisted that he honestly wanted to know why not.

I resisted every urge to roll my eyes and appear as the superior sex and then began my well-worn (but slightly politer, for purposes of international relations) tirade against single men in general, but found that the more I tried to explain their issues, I was faced with a blatant avoidance of my problems.

I tried to explain how men just don't know what they want and never take the initiative in relationships. Fair enough, but do I even know exactly what I want? And when have I ever gone out of my way to actually invest in a relationship (to an appropriate extent, of course) with a man for interests other than romance?

At one moment, he asked me point blank to tell him something about myself and I just came up with nothing and changed the subject. Sure, that could be chalked up to prudence, but, more likely was a result of fear. (Perhaps this point will require a separate post later).

Then, I went on to realize that even now, when someone was asking me to tell him about myself, I was avoiding talking about, duh, myself. I realized that even though I want to be known, I have a very hard time letting anyone in for fear of you name it (rejection, judgement, misunderstanding, pain, all around awkwardness in general) to the point that I will only let anyone in once they have proven they are absolutely-without-a-doubt-totally-100%-trustworthy to me.

So, Miguel, to answer your question honestly, I am not seeing anyone somewhat because of outside circumstances (travel for work, just haven't met the right guy), but mostly because I have operated from a position of mistrust of others for most of my life and am still trying to break out of it (and probably always will be).

Furthermore, I have an extremely difficult time being vulnerable (I should probably note that "vulnerable" for phlegmatic melancholic introverts like me is probably the same thing as daily interactions for extroverts ... or so I imagine) with anyone save a few close friends and family members (and now apparently anyone reading this blog ... double yikes) which makes it, in turn, difficult for others to open up to me in a way that goes beyond surface level.

So, thanks for the cup of coffee and self-revelation.


  1. you look adorable in that picture...bring him to Denver for a second date!

  2. Alas, our relationship was fated for just one date. I failed to mention in this post that he is also an atheist who kind of believes in re-incarnation and is "old enough to be my uncle." But, still a fine gentleman.