I’m a natural born extrovert that is extremely loquacious…However, I have now idea how to talk.
Yesterday, I went on a “coffee date” with someone that I knew before I even sat down was my equal or totally out of my league. And all I wanted to do was ask questions and compliment. My brain wouldn’t allow me to process how to speak casually and just be “natural”. Is this a “problem” that I need to “work” on? Or is the result of the world we currently live in?
We all have that friend that will always remind us of our past while being dismissive of their own; don’t we? My past may be more dramatic than others while being tame in comparison to so many more. But our past is our past, and for some of us, it not only haunts our future but dictates our present.
My divorce from my wife happened on 9/27/14. Which really sucked, not because it happened 18 days after our two year anniversary. But because it happened just over a month after my 36th birthday. When I moved out of our house, I moved into a luxury apartment down by the Hudson. Like how I threw in luxury? The reason I mention where my apartment is located is because my divorce papers came just over a month from me being able to say:
My name is Keith Hannigan, I am 35 years old, and I live in an apartment down by the river.
For those that get it, good. For those that don’t, I provide you with why I think this is hysterical:
Was this thought process a defensive mechanism that I created after years of burying negative thoughts and building upon them with humor? My therapist would probably tell you so. This is instinct for me. Back when I had no idea how to talk to women, I would drink. Which was obviously quite successful… Because of that, and many other reasons, instead of describing myself like this legendary character created by the late, great, Chris Farley. I have to describe myself in a way Farley would have to if he were still alive:
My name is Keith, and I am an alcoholic and an addict.
For over 11 years I have that as my “Scarlet Letter”. Like being divorced after technically two years of marriage, there is a shame and embarrassment, sometimes humiliation that comes with these “labels”. But those labels don’t define me. Never will, however, they have created someone that is still a work in process, like all of us until the day we expire and reflect on the life that was.
I’m not good at relationships, and unfortunately, I need a willing participant to become better at it. And I know I bring a good amount of substance, humor, and not bad looks to the equations. But confidence when initially meeting the other sex…not so much.
“There is silence, do I compliment her for the 14th time?”
“She just said something very thought provoking and all I can think about is what she looks like naked”
“She just asked me about where I’m from and all I can think about is what her shimmering painted lips taste like”
Funny thing is, I’m sitting with a woman that obviously finds me attractive, however I struggle to simply converse. Meanwhile, my email just exploded with a woman having a meltdown about the upcoming fair for work. And with a smile, I can easily talk her off the ledge.
I don’t know how if I will ever be able to talk to a woman that I just met with confidence and ease. But like those aspects of my life where I have improved by myself; who knows if this one, this amazing woman I just met, will be the willing participant to teach me so much more that I never knew existed within me.
Here is to hope, or faith…