*This post first appeared as part of the http://fiveinfive.org.au/ project.
Let me be straight with you. I have NO game. Like zero. I’m 32 and yet have all the reservation of an overzealous puppy.
I also have very little filter, am far too honest and sometimes just don’t ‘get’ why you wouldn’t tell someone they are fun if you think they are. My version of playing it cool is telling someone they’re only ‘sort of ‘ awesome if I think they are.
I think it has something to do with the fact that, up until the ripe old’ age of 26 my only male relationships essentially were those with band-mates and pseudo brothers and no such filter was needed. It did mean that when I eventually did start to suss out the non-platonic side of men I was a little behind the eight ball and have been clumsily making up distance since. Oddly enough it’s been the very platonic friendships I formed in the early days that have often been the people I go to with ‘ I don’t get it’ queries.
When friends suggest to me that it’s impossible for men and women to be friends I scoff. Of course you can and sometimes they’re a girls best weapon in figuring out where you’re going right and more importantly – where you’re going wrong. Every girl needs a wingman , every girl needs a Goose.
In high school it was Gus, handsome, intelligent and popular. I was one of the few girls who didn’t fancy him and to be honest I think it was the fact I didn’t flick my hair or giggle at him every 5 seconds that cemented our friendship. At the time I was a drama geek, chubby and horse obsessed and yet somewhere there we found companionship that crossed genders, was strictly platonic and which I’ve always remembered fondly. He answered my questions about teenage boys with such honesty that I largely avoided them at the time.
Then there was B.
B. probably copped the hardest leg of wingman duty. I was fresh into the world of dating, having lost a ton of weight and gotten fit. He was also the one who christened me Shezbot (Sheridan the Femmebot I think because I was the most stacked athletic girl around at the time).
Here I was a relatively intelligent 27 year old who had no clue about men and who had all of the excitement and experience of a 16 year old. Essentially I was an idiot with ovaries. I would call him from bathrooms, relaying situations and conversations in whispers and more often than not the simple command would be ‘ Time to bounce Bot, get outa there, dude is playing you’. Sometimes I would listen, sometimes I wouldn’t. The times I didn’t I would almost always regret it.
Sometimes he would need to tell me things that would make me cry, but he always did, bravely risking my outpouring of emotion, my misunderstanding that human’s could be cruel and men confusing. He taught me more than I could ever thank him for.
Then there is long standing ‘brother’ Quogs, who would prefer to pull out his own teeth than talk about relationships but who has sucked it up every-time I’ve needed him and who can always been relied on to call any dude who made me cry a ‘Man-child’ and then self depreciatingly compare it to some perceived short-coming of his own.
Most recently has been Ferdinand (*not his real name*) who in the same way sometimes looks at me in a puzzled way – utterly unsure of how I’ve gotten so far in life without developing the ‘game’ skills that others have.
Ferdinand has hypothosised that I do in fact have ‘game’ however unfortunately that it’s only brought about by two Negroni cocktails and has a window of about 30 mins. Needless to say he uses this as his yardstick when trying to explain attitudinal aims “ Remember two Negroni sass kid, two Negroni sass”.
Recently I’d met someone I thought seemed kinda fun and was looking forward to hanging out with again- thus there was some text communication. However somewhere along the way it went wrong prompting panic and in attempt to make it better, I made it worse.. and so on.
I showed Ferdinand, my part in it, explaining I’d panicked.
As he read, he nodded.
Yup, flirt, flirt, cool, yup , yup .. good chat…. Then ..
“What? Is it the bit where I wigged out and made no sense with the hashtags?”
“No dude, it’s this bit here.. “
“What’s wrong with that?”
“You’re giving post shag girlfriend chat in flirt stage – no need for it”
“But I just was trying to be nice, I am nice – he was teasing himself so I wanted him to know I thought he was ace so far”
“Yeah, I know that and you know that, but he doesn’t know you yet, all you’ve done is ruin the game – he knows you think he’s ok, otherwise you wouldn’t have written to him the first place“
“Crap, how do I fix it? I didn’t mean that, I really didn’t, I was just trying to be fun !!”
“ You can’t – just leave it, it will be right, just leave it alone now “
As I put my head on the bar – he laughed and patted me on the head.
It seems that even when I think I’m finally I’m ok to fly solo, I realise that really I know nothing and am just one overwritten text from a crash and burn.
Luckily for me until such time as I earn my wings, truly and properly, I’ve got some decent wingmen to pull me out of the death spin and send me on my way, a little wiser if not yet at the heights and flights of sophistication I aspire to.