I used to be cool

And now I`m just embarrassed. Let me explain.

A lifetime ago I used to be confidant, almost egotistically so. No guy was immune to my charms (mostly because I wouldn`t allow him to be) and I didn`t care about silly things like whether he liked me, how I looked or how it would look if I made the first move. I was unstoppable and unflappable.

Scenario: 1996 and I`m in a bar (The Garage @ the Neelsie on Stellenbosch campus) with my girlfriend, Ingrid. We`re both at Res and basically do everything together. We know each other`s deepest darkest secrets and share pre-adult angst like only a professional first-year student can. We`re both sporting dubious 1996 hair-do`s, denim dungarees and doc martin`s. We KNOW we`re looking cool.

I`m drinking a Hunter`s Dry (it`s all I can afford) and she`s drinking a coke (straight up because she disapproves of my alcoholic flirtation with said Hunter`s Dry – on a week night no less). We`re two peas in a pod but SO different. I smoke, she doesn`t. I drink, She doesn`t. I dance barefoot in the rain, she watches from the safety of her room window.

I blabber on to just about anybody I meet, the social butterfly of note (not much has changed then…) and she sits in a corner at parties and watches. She`s a watcher. Now Ingrid has this crush on a guy that comes to the Neelsie and the Garage in particular. He is cute. Not just a little cute…Uber-Cute. I`m-gonna`-get-you cute. But there is NO way she`s going to drum up the courage to approach him. A secret crush is supposed to be secret, she claims.

But that night, in the Garage, Mr. Uber-Cute happens to be sitting at a table with a fellow Res-mate of ours. So, I go a bit crazy. This is her chance to meet and speak to him! Approach our friend and ask if we can join them. He won`t say no. We`ll be at the table with Cute Guy and you can work your magic mojo on him. Uh-huh…No. Not going to happen with Ingrid.

Oh Hell No…you want me to make a move. So, what do I do…And this is the point of the story. I take my dungaree`d, dodgy-haired self over to the table, casually dangling a cigarette from my fingers and, looking straight at Cute Guy I ask, Anybody gotta` light?. He has no choice but to proffer a lighter under my nose and I quickly inhale, exhale and drag Ingrid from behind a pillar, Oh, by the way, this is my friend. Her name is Ingrid. What`s your name?Ok. So they got to meet each other and although it wasn`t true love, she at least got an opportunity to speak to him and decide for herself that`s he`s a right idiot and not worth her fawning admiration.

All of this because of my ballsiness. I was cool. I was confident. So, what`s happened to me?Sigh…ok. Reason for the whole why am I not cool enough thought process is that I`m not cool enough to hook myself up these days…never mind anyone else.

You see…. there`s this guy (not British Eddie). He works here. He`s gorgeous. Not pretty. Just sexy and manly. He`s got this whole cool, aloof vibe around him and he makes me go silly whenever I see him. Lately, he`s been making a point of greeting me.

He waves, He smiles and says, Hi. And what do I do….*gulp* Half-wave, look away, scuttle off very fast. Aaaarrgggghhhh…. How uncool is that? He`s my secret crush. And I don`t know hot to leverage off the fact that he`s making an effort to say hi to me lately…because I become so damn shy and awkward.

What to do…what to do…I wish I could be my suave self again…

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