Subtitle: I need to grow a pair.
Last night I was out on the local running/biking/dogwalking trail, and I saw something unusual. There was a good-looking guy walking a pair of dogs using one of those Y-style leashes. Which is not really that odd, I know. But he was walking with a good-looking buddy, lover, brother (my gay-dar sucks, so I try not to make assumptions). I desperately wanted to know why there was a pair of guys, but one of them was walking two dogs, instead of each guy walking one dog.
Maybe the second guy was afraid of dogs? Or the dogs didn’t like him? (They were pretty happy-looking pitbulls, but it’s possible, I suppose.) Had they just hooked up at the Petsmart and this was the dog-owner equivalent of going for a cup of coffee? The speculation was driving me crazy but I just couldn’t stop to ask. I had some excuses—I was running (but I run like a turtle, so it’s not that hard to stop), you’re not supposed to talk to strange men (but the trail was unusually crowded and they didn’t seem like bad guys, I swear), but ultimately I was just afraid of rejection.
They were somewhat younger (and good-looking, as I may have mentioned already), and if they were just a couple of friends, I didn’t want them to think I was some kind of cougar. If they were gay, I didn’t want them to sneer at me—my outfit looked a lot like I picked it out with my eyes closed (almost—I picked it out before I had coffee, then forgot my sweatband and improvised with a horribly clashing bandana). If they were older than they looked, I didn’t want them to be obviously grossed out by my red-faced, gasping, gross sweatiness. Sigh. So now I’ll never know why there was a pair of guys, but one of them was walking two dogs. All because I was worried about what two strangers that I will probably never see again would think of me.
And the truly stupid thing is—I know better. I know that the people who like me, do so because of who I am, not what I look like. That people who can’t be bothered to look past the window dressing aren’t worth my time. That it’s the things in life that you don’t do that you will regret, not the things that you have tried to do. I know all that, and I know it from experience, and I still acted like a twelve-year-old. Dumb old fears—now I’m gonna have to wonder about those guys and those dogs for the rest of my days.