Monday, October 09, 2006

Growing Up Optional

Let me just start this post out with a disclaimer: My wife is a smokin' hot babe. (You can tell I'm about to get myself into trouble.) Somehow, I tricked her into marrying me, and the Devil hasn't even shown up to collect my soul yet.

Men are often accused of living in a state of arrested development. Much of this is purely optional - I don't have to use the top of the pizza box as my plate, I simply choose to. The vacuum cleaner sitting in the middle of the living room floor is just fine with me, as long as it's not in the way of the TV. But sometimes, there are things simply beyond our control.

My wife and I took our daughter in for a checkup recently. My daughter's pediatrician is, to put it diplomatically, a fine looking woman.* (Men only - please check the end footnote for translation.) So she starts doing the usual tests on my daughter, and begins asking me questions. Suddenly, I got really clammy and started stuttering. I could feel myself breaking out into a cold sweat. I assume words were exiting my mouth, but I don't know what they were. There's an equal chance that I was either answering her question or telling her how much I enjoy tuna salad.

After a couple minutes of this, my wife shot a look at me, as if to say "ARE YOU COMPLETELY RETARDED?" And the answer was, well, yes. For some reason, despite being happily married to the woman of my dreams, I still have a complete inability to talk to other pretty women - even when my wife is in the room. Even though I'm a grown-ass man, I still expect every conversation I have with a pretty girl to end up with her beating me over the head with a Trapper Keeper, as most of them did in high school. And this time, I can't hold on to false hope that getting my braces off is going to turn things around.

So how am I supposed to get over this? Should I not leave the house? To make sure I don't run into any pretty women in public, should I just hang out at Democratic Party events? (Hee hee.) I know that I now shouldn't care what women think about me, but it feels like I'm on the spot - and I don't know what to do, other than carry out conversations with my shirt pulled over my head, which may or may not send the wrong message.

And at what age does this stop? Is there a certain point that you reach where you just don't care anymore? Does this point roughly coincide with the age where you decide to wear sweatpants exclusively?

Are there shy 70 year old men at the nursing home that get nervous about talking to Mabel in the room next door? Does he keep getting up to shave and comb his hair every day, just on the chance that he might get to see her? Does he sneak her the occasional extra bran muffin in the cafeteria to get on her good side? Maybe hide behind a bush to force a "chance encounter" when she goes out for a walk? I would think that at that point, most of your day is spent trying not to die, so I don't know how much time old guys actually have to pursue romance. Then again, God did the hard work and took care of making this woman single, so it was meant to be, right?

Mostly, I just wanted women not to be too tough on their husbands or boyfriends if they suffer from the same affliction. If your guy can't spit out a coherent sentence when talking to the ladies, it doesn't mean he doesn't think you're the greatest person alive. It just means that maybe he isn't necessarily convinced that he is.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

* - Bootylicious

P.S. - At some point, everyone's going to figure out who I am - when that happens, if you are a female who I have had a meaningful conversation with, don't be insulted. I was likely drunk when it happened. Who are you again?