Sunday, October 18, 2009

Things I actually have noticed:

I don't know if I can explain this well, but I'm going to try.

Before my weight loss, people barely payed attention to me. I didn't notice it then because it was normal and I was trying to be invisible anyway. I shut myself into my own little world and hoped no one noticed me most of the time. I was still friendly and talkative to people I interacted with, of course, that's the way I am, but it was different in a way I'm having trouble describing. It was like they made less eye contact with me. They talked less. A lot of times I would see that look in peoples eyes that they had already dismissed me as unimportant in their minds. Seen. Judged. Dismissed. But again, it didn't bother me because I just thought that was how people are. I was friendly and most people weren't. The end.

But now, it's different. People keep noticing me. The remember me. They comment about me to other people. How do I say this? Like the people at Chipotle that remember me coming in. That never happened before. Or the man at the smoothie place that remembers my order and how long it has been since I last came. And now the people at the gym. First it was the trainers there that all of a sudden notice me though I've been going there for almost a year and a half. And now other people that go to the gym recognize me and talk to me.

I don't really know what to do with all of it. I can handle the women just fine, but men make me nervous. Men rarely talked to me before. And I don't know the difference between friendliness and interest. And mostly the only "interest" I've ever experienced from the opposite sex has been the creepy kind of interest. Creepy, creepy guys.

I was just thinking about this because one of the trainers at the gym was talking to me today. And last Sunday too. Now when I come in he says, "Hey Skinny" and tells me how good I look. And his eye contact kind of lingers longer than I'm used to. He watches me approach the desk to scan my card or leave the gym when normally they only look up and back down again. Notice. Register. Dismiss.

How does this all work? It's all kind of new and scary. I know so little and I feel like everyone else has years more practice in dealing with the opposite sex. I've missed all those little lessons I can't even articulate. How to flirt. How to convey and decode interest. How to approach. How to hold hands the first time. How to do that moving-closer dance that people do. How to walk away gently when it isn't right.

I'm not interested in that guy at the gym. Or the smoothie place guy. Or anyone in particular that I haven't already talked about. But when the time comes, when I see someone I'm interested in and he is interest in me, I want to date. I want to find out what this is all about. Even if it is wrong. Even if I'll get hurt in the process. Because I want to learn and experience and try. Because I'm curious and impatient. Because I don't expect my person to be the first person I date. Unless I'm some crazy kind of lucky.

Some part of me seemed to believe that I wouldn't have to worry about any of this till I reached my goal weight. I mean, I've been hoping and hoping that someone could somehow fall in love with me the way I am: overweight and all the other things. But I still believed that it wouldn't happen. That no one would possibly even look my way until I was there at the end. I've always wanted like I think many, many girls want, to find my person. To be wanted. And desired. And loved. But I thought that wouldn't happen till later. That elusive day when a switch would turn and someone would see me as attractive. And then that day I would know all those lessons I don't know. Just like magic.

I'm not saying gym guy or smoothie guy or chipotle guys find me attractive. I can't know that. But they see me when before I was invisible. And they talk to me when before they just followed to cursory script. And it makes me face the idea that maybe there won't be a day where the magical switch flips. Maybe it will happen sooner.

I've been ready for the idea of falling in love, but I haven't thought about the details. The parts that aren't clear and might hurt and might be awkward and might be surprising and fun. Just in my head there was this person that would be next to me and with me and he doesn't have a face (because I don't know what he looks like) and he doesn't touch me (because I don't know what that feels like) and now I see that one day there is going to be a face and hands and voice to my person.

I was watching a movie with Jeremy the other day and someone killed another person by hooking up electrical clamp things to her ears. And before he did that he sucked on her earlobes to get them wet. Jeremy said something like, "Now you're going to think twice before you let someone lick your ears."

And one day I confessed that I flush the toilet with my toes at home because I think the handle is just too gross to touch and he said, "What if someone wanted to suck on your toes?"

And both these situations sent my mind to this new, unfamiliar place. People do that? What would that be like? Would someone want to do that to me? Would I want to do that to someone else? I don't know the answers to all my questions but I know that when I find out I'm going to be that nervous kind of shaky where my heart races just a little too fast and my arms feel like when I lift weights too long and they start wobbling in my hands.

I'm just grateful I have this place here to write. These are things I want to talk about but I don't know how. At least I express some version of what I'm trying to say here. Even if I get no response, I feel better having said it.

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