As I get older, I have started to realize just how oblivious I probably was when I was a young whippersnapper, especially when it came to girls and then women; although, if you asked young me about it, I thought I was damn savvy.
[Insert Anderson Cooper eyeroll and laugh-track here]
For no particular reason, I started thinking about the time I saw Akira at the cinema back when it was brand-spanking new. And it wasn’t in one of those oversized big-screen television theaters they put into theater complexes these days (yay. stadium seating. woot. yawn.), but an honest-to-god theater from built in the 50s, with useless mermaids and impractical balconies and chandeliers and all that cool and groovy stuff. It was a huge theater.
I remember being blown away at the time, as 90% of the accessible anime coming to the US at the time was stuff like Speed Racer, Voltron, Robotech, Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato, etc. While Star Blazers will always hold a special place in my heart, Akira‘s art and animation blew away everything else I had seen. Plus, it had an adult-themed storyline, which I always craved to see in anime (when I could find it).
I was completely absorbed, mouth open, probably drooling.
The only thing — as I reflect back on it — was that I was there with a woman who’d asked me to go with her after we saw a different movie at the same theater a few weeks before. I forget the name of the first movie we’d decided to see together, but it was likely something artsy or foreign with subtitles that most theaters would avoid as money-losing enterprises. Prior to the film, they showed previews of movies coming to the theater soon and I was hooked on the idea of seeing Akira and said so. She said she was enthused by the movie as well and asked I would go with her. “Sure! Let’s do it!” I’d said. Anyway, I had been completely focused on the foreign or arty film afterwards, oblivious to the world as it sucked me in.
Most guys… I’m thinking being asked to hang out and see a foreign film because you mention an interest in it at a party (or maybe out on the street — we had folks who hung out, not at the mall, but on a busy street) would suggest some kind of interest in you. Me? Well, it never occurred to me. See Ug-Mug from yesterday. First, I always felt more that an interest in me was due to the fact that I stood out like a sore thumb Robert Smithing it up and the the make-up covered up my more grotesque features. Or that I played music (which seems to be like spanish fly for some women, regardless of how fugly you are). Because she’d never batted eyes at me, I assumed it was just a friendly invite.
In retrospect, I probably pissed her off by not paying more attention. She seemed disinterested in hanging out on the street corner after watching Akira together and I never understood her reasons, but just assumed she had decided I was someone she’d rather not be seen close to. Maybe I smelled? Uncool? I dunno. I was used to people deciding I might be bad for their image, largely because I had the audacity to not follow whatever fashion convention was currently popular in the “punk” scene (Blond goth? ABSURD!)
I tended to see girls and women I hung out with as my friends growing up. While there were a few love interests, I largely assumed friendship was preferred, especially when I was included in “girl-talk”.
Guys… if you don’t know what I mean by girl-talk, let’s just say that whatever you think women are thinking is probably not what they are thinking.
It was often forgotten that I was from Mars, as most of my friends were female and they’d just start talking until they realized some guy was there and clam up until they realized I wasn’t gonna share anything I heard with the other guys. And then I became a source of advice about men.
Clueless men, like myself.