Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Why do I never notice these things?

I'm about to reveal something absolutely shocking. No, it's not pasty-white pictures of me in my underwear again.

Sometimes I can be totally dense. Sometimes there are these nonverbal things going on around me, and for some reason my receptors just aren't on.

So we went to dinner at Outback tonight to meet some guy we've been chatting with online for a couple of years now and had to flake out on this past weekend. Finally this waitress comes to our table and makes this silly small talk about how nobody was waiting on us and it wasn't even her section but here she was.

I didn't think anything of it except "good, we have a waitress. Now let's tell her to bring us a steak." Then Tyson was sort of flirting with her (or chatting her up, really, I can never tell the difference), but she just kept looking over at me and looking away.

The long and the short of it is, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, that I was being big-time flirted with by the cute waitress and had absolutely no idea. No clue. Every time she came to the table, Tyson would start to giggle, then she'd start to giggle, then I just felt like a giant doofus.

See, there's a reason I shut off my flirt receptors a long time ago: when I try flirting back, I can actually feel myself growing. I don't mean in a cheesy seventies "opening like a flower" sensual bullshit, I mean physically getting bigger. My teeth somehow get bigger until they take up my whole head, and my hands get long and spidery and my feet grow to a spectacular size and my whole body just balloons up until I threaten to completely overwhelm the person I'm trying to talk to. One time, in the seventh grade, I tried to wave hello to Blake Gafford, my lab partner and the guy I had a monstrous crush on, and I actually banged my fingers on my front teeth. No kidding. I felt like Nosferatu with giant bunny choppers.

So, Heather from Outback on Pecos and Flamingo, I'm sorry I didn't notice. It was nothing personal. I thought your braids were really cute. I left my phone number, but I can't begin to imagine the awkwardness if you actually call me.

1 comment:

David Harmon said...

Hmmm... Have you considered the possibility that you have Nonverbal Learning Disorder? There would be other associated signs and symptoms, (i.e., were you a very early reader?) but that sort of obtuseness, and physical clumsiness, are classic. (I was walking into signposts as late as high school, and never could make sense of the signs and signals of courtship/dating.)

The disorder was defined back in the early 80s, but it's only now percolating through "the system" so it's not unlikely that you haven't happened to encounter a shrink or guidance counselor equipped to diagnose it. On the other hand, there are more and more books and other material giving useful advice on dealing with it.

Check out for a starting point, and see if it looks "familiar"....