I wear my heart on my sleeve. Or, at the very least, don't own a poker face. Except maybe sometimes when it comes to men. Then I am an actress like no other. What was it E said to me once? Stoic. I had to look it up.
I hail from the philosophy of, if I'm hanging out with you, I like you. (Also if I bake you cookies and such. see below) But actually SAYING anything about it? that borders on terror.
I'm pretty sure that the fear of coming out of the "I like you" closet stems from 7th or 8th grade when I dropped the note on Evan's desk. Let's hop into the way back machine for a bit, shall we?
It must have been 8th grade because I was just starting to become aware of how other people percieved me. I started reading YM magazine (my sister subscribed). I made a new friend. Then three. Taking my total up to 4. (one fell off when she found a new clique) I read that boys liked long nails, so I stopped chewing mine into ragged stumps. I read that if you liked a boy, you should tell him.
I saw Evan for the first time in 7th grade. We had PE together. He was cute. Big blue eyes and a nice smile. I was not a blip on his radar. I always did get along better with the boys so in PE, they were the ones I hung with. Evan and I had a mutual friend, Eric (Eric is now a commercial Airline pilot with kids of his own!) I got to know Eric because I kept up with the boys when we ran the mile. I think I had an 8 minute mile back then. You know, before my boobs grew.
By eighth grade, I still had my crush. And on the advice of YM Magazine, I wrote Evan a note. I wish I had a copy of it. It would be a facinating read almost 20 years later.
It could have been worse. The note could have made its way across the school. I could have been made fun of, he could have been mean. Instead, he ignored it. But I'm pretty sure Eric told me he didn't like me back. At the very least I never heard whether anyone was making fun of me, if I did, I have forgotten.
It doesn't take a whole lot to send me back into hiding. It was years before I approached another boy, preferring to sit back and hope they noticed me instead. Sometimes, I would reach out only to get slapped down.
Even now, I fear that rejection. When it comes to men, I'm still a wallflower in many ways. I tend to try and be a friend first and interested second so that if the man in question isn't interested, then I haven't made a complete fool of myself.
What is the point of all this? I'm at that crossroads again. Of needing to know what is going on and trying so hard to build up the courage to ask, regardless of the consequences. I'm at a point where I'm getting mixed signals and very likely giving them too. Because I'm hiding behind a mask of indifference and I don't know how to stop.