This is a fair warning alert. The following post contains excessive angst and more than a little self-pity. Persons who are angst-intolerant or have exhibited tendencies to attempt "pep-talks" should not read this post as any comments made by the aforementioned may well be deleted. This is simply my way of blowing off steam on a situation that I am tired of being in. And at the moment I am not feeling very generous toward snide remarks, pity parties, or unsolicited advice.
At my church's evening worship service today, a fellow we'll call L sat down beside me with his family before service began. This gent is about my own age and is one of the few in the congregation who has made an effort to engage in conversation with me beyond simple pleasantries. After talking about my company's latest layoff, he motioned me a little closer so we could speak without having to raise our voices above the murmur of 100 other voices in the auditorium. He pointed out a young lady seated one pew back from us and told me that he had it in mind to play matchmaker. And apparently he thought that this young lady, tall, quite attractive, and probably 90 pounds soaking wet, would be a good fit for me.
Now, for the record, I'll give you a brief description of myself. I'm about 6'2" with brown hair and eyes and a heavy bone structure that is pretty much eclipsed by being substantially obese. Despite this, I still manage to have a head that is noticeably larger than proportional to my body along with ears that are larger still. Even when not grossly overweight (which happened for all of a year during college) I'm not much in the looks department. I had pretty much stopped even considering the possibility of further dating around two years ago. I realized that it just wasn't going to happen. To paraphrase a quote from the movie Gone in 60 Seconds: "I can't swim. I know I can't swim. So you know what I do? I stay out the pool!"
I tell you this because I have to wonder what exactly was going through L's mind when he came up with this oh-so-crazy idea. I realize that some of you may try to make arguments about physical attraction being of no or little consequence. Frankly, you can save your breath (or keystrokes as the case may be). While I will agree that in some cases personality can somewhat make up for unattractive features, I firmly believe that in the main, such attitudes are mainly reserved for young female pop stars acting in badly written movies intended as modern day morality plays for teenagers. For the most part, an attractive woman is not going to give serious consideration to an unattractive man unless she is: 1) desperate; 2) looking for a rich husband/boyfriend; or 3) he has a personality such that he could sell electric space heaters to desert nomads. I cannot see any of these items applying much in this situation.
However, L did mention one thing that made me think. He noted that it was very difficult to find unmarried members of the opposite sex in our town who were also members of the same church as we are. He expanded on that saying that he believed most folks our age had gone to college and, if they did not get married in or before college, they usually stopped attending services altogether.
That is the only thing he mentioned that held out even the smallest sliver of hope that she would take serious his suggestion that she and I might give it the old college try.
The problem with hope though, for me, is that getting one's hopes up means they are that much easier for life to send crashing back to earth. Left unchecked, it tends to soar ever higher, like a paper airplane thrown at just the right angle into the wind ... before nose-diving ignobly into the water-filled ditch. I once again found myself pondering the possible implications of a woman actually being amenable to the idea of dating me. Thankfully, I think that I managed to catch all such thoughts before they could climb too high and quickly slapped them back down to earth before they soared high enough for it to hurt.
L had made the remark that he would introduce me after services were over. I saw him speaking with his wife afterward and am pretty sure he pointed my way at least once, after which I am sure I saw her shaking her head. When services concluded, he shook my hand and we exchanged pleasantries before gathering our belongings and leaving. I'm hoping that maybe his wife talked some sense into him.
This concludes today's angst-laden rant. Thank you for your patience. We now return you to your regular blog posts.