Saturday, September 5, 2009

People find me attractive

When I was growing up I nearly always had a girl friend. I remember being as young as 6 years old and ‘dating’ the Minister’s daughter. Every day, after Sunday School, we’d go across to her house and play with her brother’s Lego. Then, of course, there was Jane and Nanette in first grade who continually fought over me and my affections. Jane was the smart one who knew how to engage me on an intellectual level, but Nanette was just so very cute. In second grade I met Cheryl, a girl who could have easily passed off as my twin sister. We got on like a house on fire and spent every day together. But then things started to change.

After changing schools almost every of my childhood I was always the outsider. No sooner would I make friends and then find myself moving somewhere else. By the time thirds grade came along I found myself in a hostile classroom where I was instantly disliked by the girls for no apparent reason other than I had previously come from the ‘B’ class and they had always been together in the ‘A’ class.

By the time I reached high school we had moved about a dozen times. I was an awkward teenager, shy, skinny, not athletic, ears seemingly bigger than they should be. I didn’t really have any friends and sort of floated between peer groups. I was the obvious outsider. As you can imagine, there was a lot of teasing and a lot of bullying, and I felt unwanted and ugly. It’s something that is still with me today. It’s something that I always struggle with.

Things seem to have changed now though — and that’s what I have to focus on and remind myself.

A new colleague joined me on a project a few years ago. She was loud, flamboyant and lots of fun to be around. At one stage, when together with one of her friends on the project, she referred to me as ‘eye-candy’.  It was something her friend repeated on a number of occasions several times during the year and still reminds me of from time-to-time when we see each other. When at a conference not too long ago, one of the attendees kept looking at me from across the other side of the table and smiling suggestively. Eventually, she came up to me and introduced herself. After walking with a friend they asked whether I had seen the stare from a passer by, noting that she gave me ‘the look’ and couldn’t take her eyes off my crotch. There was even a time when I felt a little nervous about making a presentation to my peers when someone humorously suggested that “I picture myself naked” (obviously making a joke given you typically picture the audience being naked). A conversation then ensued, followed by an enthusiastic vote amongst some of my female friends about whether I should do the presentation without my pants.

Yes, things have changed. I’m older and wiser, and definitely attractive to the opposite sex.


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