24 August 2007

Thanks for the electronic goods…how about dinner?

Let me preface with one tidbit about myself: I do appreciate beauty when I see it and sometimes see someone I think it would be fun to have my way with…or vice versa, but I don't really consider actually doing it. And I’ve never actually felt a real desire to ask someone out who I didn’t know. …until my friendly neighborhood sales boy at the local office and electronics store smiled at me with absolutely adorable eyes.

It didn’t happen immediately, mind you. I went shopping for a certain electronic device a couple of Saturdays ago, and the salesperson who came to help us was a breath of fresh air compared to my other experiences of the day. He was forthright, down-to-earth, non-pushy, admitted when he didn’t know something… And cute. Well, to me anyway. His smile, his peaceful, unassuming eyes, his endearing demeanor. But he was just the salesperson in the electronics section.

So a couple of days later, I went back to check the sales. He was there again. I was pleased. And he smiled and said something like, “So you’re back!” I smiled and tried to disguise the semi-giddy grin I really wanted to display if only to gauge his response. I talked electronics with him, got some input, went on my way.

I bought the product I had been looking at but from another location of the chain. When I encountered a problem with it, I called the original store where I had met the cute salesboy to find out about refund policy and, totally unexpected (yes, honestly), spoke with someone who sounded a lot like the same kid, though I couldn’t be sure.

So I went back to the store after work one night to buy an accessory for the product. It was late, so I truly didn’t expect to see the same guy I had seen the other times because that was always in the morning. But life has a quirky way of teasing me sometimes. There he was. We talked a bit about electronics-related things, but it was mostly just friendly banter, and I was enjoying it. Not obsessively so. Nothing sexual. Nothing needy. Just enjoying it and thinking we could be friends, or if I were looking for more, maybe we could be more. …assuming he swings that way, which he probably doesn’t. I mean, there was no wedding ring, but still. And besides, I wasn't looking for more, but still.

Anyway, as he went to the back to grab the last of the accessory they had in inventory, I got in line to check out. When he returned, he stood in line and waited with me. Granted, he may have been waiting in line to assure I was going to be OK purchasing a previously opened product, but he just stood there and talked about how it should be in good shape, it was only tested, etc. He repeated the same statement a few times, and I thought, “Oh, he’s kind of adorable.”

Yes, I was smitten in a way. For the first time ever, I actually had the urge, even if only for a moment, to ask a guy I don’t really know out to dinner. I thought better of it and decided against asking a probably-straight boy out for the small chance we might hit it off and be friends, and the even smaller chance he’s inclined towards boys and would be my new boyfriend if I decided to go that route… Folks, the mind of a moho is strange.

So I haven’t seen him since, and unless something fails and I have to return the product, I probably won’t again. Too bad.

But for the first time, I finally understand the whole, “Hey, I like you. Would you be interested in dinner?” thing. I never got that before. I always just found a desire to deepen relationships from my circles of friends. I didn’t understand how people could ask someone out without already knowing them. It seemed totally shallow and image-based. Though I didn’t do it, I understand now. He seemed sweet. He seemed real, kind, fun. He seemed…interested on some level. And I could have asked him out and not felt weird about it or afraid of the rejection. I felt like a regular person. Ironic, isn’t it?


iwonder said...

Ironic and really really sad in my opinion.

Sad because you feel you aren't allowed to do what comes so naturally.

Chedner said...

I remember the first time such happened to me (not the picking out electronics -- though electronics have always had a very special place in my heart). In a way, it felt extremely fabulous, and in another way, it totally sucked sewage.

P.S. Using my magical powers, I would assume you are also an INTP.

Kengo Biddles said...

It's always a breath of fresh air to just feel normal. I like those moments. A lot.

jimf said...

> His smile, his peaceful, unassuming eyes, his endearing demeanor.
> But he was just the salesperson in the electronics section.
> There he was. We talked a bit about electronics-related things. . .
> I was enjoying it. Not obsessively so. Nothing sexual. Nothing needy.
> Just enjoying it and thinking we could be friends, or if I were
> looking for more, maybe we could be more.

So much I could say here. I know situations like this work for
some people, some of the time, but I've got to think that for
every 250 instances of "asking the checkout guy to dinner", 249
result in rejection, and maybe even a vehement and unpleasant
one. Moving ahead despite such rejections no doubt depends on:
1) how good the gaydar's working that day ;->
2) how appealing one is oneself, which no doubt changes the odds
somewhat, and 3) how thick-skinned one is. And being **too**
thick-skinned, or **becoming** too thick-skinned, is itself
a personality trait that has its own down sides -- it tends
toward the trivialization of one's own pain in the face
of interpersonal rejection, and at the extreme is probably
even indistinguishable from sociopathy or psychopathy!

There's a waiter in a restaurant where I often have dinner after
work, who is both physically attractive and quite sweet and
friendly. He's not there every time I stop by to eat, but
when he is, he smiles at me and makes small talk, and once
he even asked me if I live nearby and chatted about his own
living situation. In fact, I'm 89% sure he's gay -- not that
he's a flamer or anything, but he **is** a waiter after all ;->
and there's just something about his manner that triggers
the 'dar. BUT, I'm also 99.99% sure that his friendliness toward
me is just about **being a good waiter** (and getting a good
tip, which he does, at least from me), and having a personality
which allows him to perform that role well. Corroboration for
this is that he's similarly friendly to the customers at **all**
the tables he's serving, young or old, male or female.

Similarly, I would guess that your cute electronics salesman
is simply **doing his job** unusually well, helped along by
a naturally friendly personality (and if he's cute too, that
probably means that his personality was shaped to a certain
degree by the positive social feedback he gets from that).

If I were to make a pass at my waiter (if I were even
**capable** of such a thing :-( ), I'm certain
it would result in an embarrassing contretemps that in **my** case
(as sensitive as I am to rejection) would probably make it
impossible for me to eat there anymore.

In your case, as you've already as much as admitted, asking
the salesman out would probably also lead to an embarrassing
contretemps. Undoubtedly you're thicker-skinned than I am
(almost everybody is), but there would be some unpleasantness
on both sides, and you might well feel less comfortable going
back to the store (and he might well hide in the small-appliance
department if he saw you shopping for a new laptop).

> I do appreciate beauty when I see it. . .

Oh, God, don't we all. That leads into another topic --
interpersonal relationships as economic exchange (or in vulgar
language, "the meat market"), but I'll leave that for another