I remember when I committed to abstinence from drugs and alcohol I pretty much wound up doing what old Neil sang about in that song. I remember one memorable night in September of 2009 when I sat on my couch for what may have been hours trying to figure out which of four young attractive female employees at a food service business that I patronized would make for the best love interest.
I've decided, after putting myself through that process enough times, the search for the girl with the heart of gold amongst the women in my environment is not a fruitful way to go about finding whatever one is looking for when one does that sort of thing. Do it enough times, come up empty handed every time, and one thinks about different ways of doing things.
Throughout my adolescent and adult life I never really wanted to dress, get tattoos, or style my hair in any way that would make me stand out. I remember as late as twenty that I would get nervous and intimidated when other young men or older men would give me shit about a t-shirt I was wearing. One t-shirt had a picture of James Dean, and one time in the UT student union a punk rock kid my age said, "James Dean, wasn't he a homo?," and then he an his friend laughed. I don't think I ever wore that shirt again. The same thing happened a year later at a bar called the Beach, when I wore an Elvis Presley shirt and I went to the bathroom and a big, older biker type said derisively in a gravely voice, "Look at the neat shirt he's got on." Again, I maybe wore that shirt one more time after that. So I was not like those punk rock types who could handle gangs of frat boys wanting to beat them up because of the way they dressed and styled their hair.
I thought about that recently, and I thought about other romantically obsessive type guys I've run across through the years, and the same seemed to be true of them as well. They all seemed to dress and style themselves in a safe-as-milk manner that guaranteed that no-one would pay much attention to them.
I think this also totally ties into my own tendency to get caught out staring at attractive women. I've gotten a lot better at this lately, I think. My long needed improvement stems from the realization than, no, I am not invisible, and so yes, they can see me staring at them. I think romantically obsessive guys seek to disappear into another person, which is why it was so critical for me in my younger days to learn how to separate myself mentally from the women I desired- and hey, no criminal record as a result.
In that book, "Feeling Good," Dr. Burns states that people typically get what they want in life through negotiation and compromise. I keep this in mind when I go about my day and try to figure out which attractive young or youngish women might or might not be "nice."
I think male attention is like a drug to a lot of these women, and therefore going on some sort of expedition to uncover a heart of gold in any of them is not the way to go about it. If they can do not much at all and get a boatload of attention in return, they'll do it every time, nice or not.
I'm not judging them when I say male attention is like a drug, either. I've had art openings and stage performances that have given me a kind of attention that can be hard to take in stride. I recently read in a book about the Rolling Stones about how musicians and performers who toured around and played everything ranging from the Chitlin Circuit to Carnegie Hall to football stadiums get addicted to the applause and recognition and will get out on the road at every given opportunity and face all of those hardships just for that. I bought a Steve James CD that featured a cut of a black guy leaving a message on Steve's answering machine pleading with Steve to get him back out on the road (CD title:Boom Chang).
Well, that's about it for this week.