Last night I was reminded of my life rule which I sometimes abandon.
Caitlin’s Rule: Give everyone the time of day.
My first mention of this is in I Dare You, but the wrestler reminded me of it last night as we were sitting in his backyard spying on these weird birds and discussing Alan Watts. We went on to recognize how vastly different our lives would be had we not randomly started talking to one another at a bar one evening a long time ago. I hate to give him this pseudonym, because he is so much more than just a wrestler, but for the sake of writing, it’s the easiest and most concise way to identify him.
A few years back, I was at the height of my insanity. I was about two steps away from becoming Miss Havisham, so I made a conscious decision to break my funk. I was going to force myself to be social, because when we want to shut everyone out, is usually the times when we need someone the most. I had a whole list of things I needed to do to help myself crawl out of my self induced lair of misery, and one of them was to try to meet someone new everyday for thirty days. This was day one, and I had just got done with work, so it was an excellent time to attempt to do something social. I’ll start tomorrow, I thought. Because what I really wanted to do was grab a beer and a bite to eat and read my book alone. I went to a restaurant, sat at the bar and did just that. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I think simply by making the decision to try to be more social, I was naturally a lot more friendly and receptive to others without consciously trying to be.
I did notice that the boy a few seats down from me was hot, but I didn’t think about it more than, “oh that guy is hot.” Then it was out of my mind and I forgot about him as I escaped into The Last of the Mohicans. I’m kind of immune to hot boys. In my experience, the socially awkward kid with a pot belly is usually more interesting than the quintessential “hot guy.” However, I have learned to give everyone the time of day because they do usually surprise you. The wrestler is what I would describe as a quintessential hot guy, but he turned out to be one of the most interesting people I know.
Him being hot would later prove to be a detriment to us (unbeknownst to him) romantically speaking. I have a pot belly, I’m perpetually pale and I often forget to shave my legs. He has perfect hair and a perfect smile and like a 20-pack abdomen and legs that are so toned that you wouldn’t even have to remove the skin to study quadriceps muscles. What am I supposed to do with that?! Anyway, as Hawkeye and Uncas were taking me through the French and Indian War, I was interrupted by the hot guy to my left who started laughing really loud. He was all by himself and started laughing very hard for what seemed like no apparent reason. At first I just smiled to myself, but then he kept going so I couldn’t help but to start laughing as well. He was only a few seats down from me, so naturally, we HAD to start talking because now we were both laughing, though I had no idea as to what. To be honest, I can’t even remember what it was he was laughing at. He told me, and that’s what started our whole relationship, but I honestly can’t remember what it was because that wasn’t the important part. The important part was that we continued to talk, and had a really fantastic conversation which resulted in me sitting at that bar for far longer than I was intending.
Due to my state at the time, I would not have normally been so friendly, but there was something very innocent about him. He was absolutely in no way the typical kind of guy that begins talking to you at the bar. The conversation flowed and I was not dreading in the back of my mind when he would pull the “let me see that beautiful smile again” line, or the “when can I see you again” question. I can tell when someone is trying to pick you up, and he had no intentions of trying to sleep with me that night. He was like me, just one person enjoying another’s company and open to doing that again. So we did. The following week, I met up with him and we attempted to play trivia but desperately sucked at it.
We went on to date for a while, and that tale is worth telling one day, but this is not that day. However, I do hate when writers fail to recognize the most interesting part of a story. So, I will tell you a little about the beginning and tell you more about him because I can imagine you are all wondering what the hell kind of a wrestler he is. Yes, he is a full on, professional wrestler who was with WWE and on Monday Night Raw. The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize that until our third hang-out session.
During our first conversation on that first night, our “jobs” did get brought up, but we were not having one of those annoying small talk type conversations, so I believe it was just a subject that got brought up momentarily and not really discussed or thought about much. I do remember him saying, “I’m in the entertainment industry,” which did segway into him disclosing that he was a wrestler, but for some reason I did not really think about it or think to myself, oh, that’s weird. I think our jobs was just the B roll of the conversation, and we were actually discussing something else that was related. Point being, I left him that night not even a little bit thinking about what he did for a living.
The following time I saw him, again, it didn’t really get brought up. He is very interested in a lot of things, just like me, so the conversations were always excitedly jumping from one conviction to the other without pause to discuss the simple things like, where are you from? or, how is work? Those questions were replaced with, “if there is a minimum wage, don’t you think that there should be a maximum wage?” and “how much of the Simpson’s do you think is a social commentary?” At some point during the third date we hopped into his car which I discovered to be the type of car that I would never imagine myself in. Basically, a very expensive car. At this point, it finally fucking dawned on me that this guy is a real, professional wrestler and how in the hell have I not realized this yet? I remember I said, “do I need to google you?”
He responded with a laugh and, “No! Please don’t google me. Everything you need to learn about me you should learn from me.” I respected that notion, but of course the first thing I did after leaving him that night was google his name. First thing I see on the search is all of these pictures of him flying through the air and his wrestling name (which was nothing close to his real name) and lots of spandex. I literally started laughing out loud and shook my head with an, “oh my god,” and then exited out of the internet. I didn’t even click on anything and was probably only on the search page for fifteen seconds. He was right, I didn’t want to get to know him that way. After all these years, I still have never read anything about him on the internet. Everything I know about him I learned from him.
We have somehow managed to keep in touch, and we have been just friends for quite some time now. The main point of this is that the wrestler has profoundly made an impact on my life. I would be very different, and I know he would be too, had I never given him the time of day at that stupid bar. We have both grown a lot I think, since that time when we were first dating. The way I have grown I know that to some degree, is influenced by him. His knowledge and interests and attitude towards life has rubbed off on me and I know that I have to some measure, done the same for him.
So my friends, give everyone the time of day even when you’re feeling antisocial. You never know what could happen. I think this is my way of reminding myself.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anaïs Nin