When I first met my wife in college, I’m embarrassed to say that I thought she was out of my league.
She lived in a big co-ed house in Austin, where we went to school, always full of people and parties. I loved going there, and Kelly was the prettiest girl to move into the house. I was dazzled by her.
We chatted for the first time (kind of drunkenly) and I quickly came to realize how cool and friendly she was … but I knew that would be the case ahead of time. That whole group was pretty good at screening out haters.
Actually, we didn’t just chat. Now that I think about it, I had a pair of leather pants that I was super proud of, and I stumbled beers-in-hand from the kitchen, shirtless and leather-pants-clad, singing a Smashing Pumpkins song at the top of my lungs. Ahhhh college …
So that was Kelly’s first impression of me.
We became Facebook friends and messaged back and forth pretty frequently. I had graduated and moved to Dallas by then and was working my 9-to-5, and she still had a few more years to go, but I still came back and visited Austin pretty often.
I thought her responsiveness was a good sign, but I still didn’t get my hopes up too much.
See, I was never the guy who got “picked.”
Chris Rock said it best when he once described the way women react to him (and I’m paraphrasing a little here): “If you’re good-looking, a women will have sex with you and then get to know you. If you’re not good-looking, a woman will get to know you and then have sex with you. I was always ‘get to know first.’”
Right there with you, Chris. I’ve come around to the notion that I’m not bad-looking and I don’t smell bad, but there’s something about me that just doesn’t scream “sex” to most women.
I always had to work for my dates, my sexual encounters, my relationships. Whereas some of my guy friends would just walk into the room, and every woman in there is like “Oh, I want him.” Then the guy has his pick of the bevy. Or just works his way through.
These were the guys who hooked up every night.
Because I had to try so hard, I had to be kind of choosy about who I put my effort into. I was terrified of rejection, so I only really played to win. I tried to gauge that a woman was pretty solidly into me before making a move. And frankly, I always attempted to bat a little out of my league, because for a woman I wasn’t into, it wasn’t worth the effort and the heartache. I mean, who wants to be rejected by a woman you’re not even into? *pulls arrow out of heart.*
So there’s an argument to be made that while I didn’t have quantity in my dating life, I did have better-than-average quality. That’s something I could hang my hat on.
And yet I always resented how much I had to try, when other guys (seemed to) just show up and fall into sex.
I felt like a peacock whose plume was just a little to short or dull.
If you haven’t studied the mating habits of peacocks (and if not, I commend you for having an actual life), basically the male peacocks in the area line up and display their tail plumage. The peahens inspect them, then decide which ones to mate with. 95% of the peahens choose the male with the brightest, biggest plumage. They’re not creative at all. Maybe one goth peahen is like “I’m mating with someone different,” but most of them just follow the herd. (Or whatever you call a bunch of peahens.) The #2 male in plumage maybe gets a few of the leftovers if the Alpha peacock gets tired from all the peacock sex and wants a moment alone to smoke a cigarette and watch the game.
… and the rest of the dozens or so peacocks are just shit out of luck. No pea-nookie for them. Just slump your tail feathers, go home, and put on some pea-porn.
That’s how I felt. Kelly has been pretty clear to me that I was just clueless. To prove what a cool chick is, she cut that reveal by soothing me “Don’t worry, though. Every guy is clueless.”
I came back for a visit to Austin about a year later. I had been single for awhile and decided it was time to get back in the game. I had a huge crush on Kelly, but stupidly decided to aim lower. There was another girl in the house named Yasmin. She was cute and outgoing in a kind of ball-busting tomboy way, but she wasn’t really my type.
I hope she doesn’t read this, figure out I’m talking about her, and become insulted (I’m using a pseudonym for her). I didn’t think, because I found her less attractive, that she would be easy. Maybe I just thought I would be easier on myself if I struck out.
Anyway, strike out I totally did. I chatted her up for the whole long weekend, but in the end, on my last day in town, she decided to hook up with my friend Brad, who had barely talked to her all weekend. Ow, my pride.
I was leaving that very night. I sat feeling somewhat miffed and dejected … and Kelly was returning to the house. She had done a night on the town with her gay friends, and she was dressed VERY provocatively.
Her friends cruised back into the house, but she saw me on the porch and sat down right next to me. We talked a little, and then, in a tour-de-force of courage, I put an arm around her shoulders casually. She immediately lay her head on my shoulder and put a hand on my leg.
We had our first kiss ten minutes later.
I found out after the fact that she had been trying to get my attention all weekend. She thought dressing extra-sexy that night would close the deal.
It took a leap of faith for me to make the move, but once I did, for the first time in my life, I felt picked!
Heading back to Dallas, I felt like I was walking on a cloud.
I was already pondering leaving the rat race. Kelly encouraged me. We dated long-distance for a few years …
… but when I took my other big leap of faith, to start the DVB site, quit my job, and work remotely, I knew exactly where I was moving …
… back to Austin, to be with the beautiful woman who picked me.
Love you, Kelly.