Among my many varied and spectacular personality flaws, I believe the most prominent is my inability to take a hint. Although it’s true men are notoriously well-known for this personality defect, I have taken it to new heights of cluelessness.
It’s not intentional, it’s just that subtle hints are about as effective on me as a pea shooter on a Bull elephant. I’ve wondered why that was and suspect it’s because the information I received as a child is in conflict with the realities of the real world.
I was a kid back in the day when men were respectful of women. They tipped their hats when a woman passed by, held doors, the ‘ladies first’ rule was in play and sex was something that was only done after marriage.
Women were taught that having sex before marriage got you labeled as a whore.
(Where I grew up it was pronounced as ‘who-wah’) and men didn’t date promiscuous women because they were considered ‘damaged goods’ and poor wife material.
At this point I would like to respectfully ask my female readers to take a deep breath and remember I was a kid at the time and also a victim. Please note the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ rule was in effect, therefore leaving me powerless.
Moving right along.
When I discovered rock and roll it became my obsession. I taught myself how to play guitar and immediately headed to New York’s Greenwich Village to join the music scene. Now here’s where it gets weird. Especially if you keep in mind that as a kid I was programmed by nuns and priests in a parochial school and heavily influenced by the heretofore mentioned chivalrous treatment of woman.
The girls started hinting their interest in me but I never picked up on it. They’d say things like, “My parents are going to my Aunt’s house Friday night, probably won’t get home till late.” And I’d reply, “Hey, that’s great. We can go to the late show at the movies!” And then pat myself on the back for maneuvering her into some back row kissing action.
Once I was on a date with a girl and as we sat down at the restaurant I noticed these black marks on her arms. I mentioned it and she waved it off and said, “Oh that. Well, sometimes the voices make me do things I shouldn’t.”
I nodded, said “ yeah” and asked her what she’d like to order.
Another time I started dating this waitress in a club I worked at and she took me home. When I got there I noticed articles clearly belonging to a man throughout the apartment. When I mentioned it, she said “That’s my boyfriend’s stuff. But don’t worry about it, he’s a hustler. When she noticed my concern she added, “Really it's okay. He brings dates here all the time.”
The next day when I mentioned this to my prostitute friend, Lori, she said, “Idiot. A hustler is a guy who has sex with men for money. She’s banging a guy who’s banging guys.”
Then there are the times I THINK I’m being hinted at and am completely wrong. I was dating this woman who, I thought, was into me. She was calling me at work to say hello and was doing nice things like inviting me over for dinner. But when I made a move while we were sitting on her couch in her apartment, she reacted like I was some pervert who had groped her on the subway.
Then there was the girl I was very much attracted to but who made it clear (at least that’s what I thought) she wasn’t interested in me romantically. We’d play tennis, and check out bands and go for drives, and during these occasions she’d regale me with tales of what guys she was dating or involved with and how she couldn’t make up her mind who she was serious about. I wasn’t the least bit interested so I tuned her out.
I met her years later after I had married and she asked why I had never made a play for her. Stunned, I reminded her that every time we’d hang out she complain bout some guy she was dating. Clearly startled by my answer, she stared at me and said, “Yeah, I know. I was trying to let you know that I wasn’t happy with them so you’d make a play for me. Duh!”
And so I am seriously considering buying a cape, and a spandex shirt with a big letter C on the chest, then, when entering a room filled with women, I will paraphrase Underdog’s catch phrase and say, “There’s no need to fear, Cluelessman is here!”