Several years ago I had a crush on a girl that I had originally known back when I was in college (the first time around), who had since moved back to Atlanta and become actively involved at my church.
Now, crushes are no fun. And this one was no fun, especially at the end. It all ended when she told me, through a close and well-trusted mutual acquaintance, that my presence was making her uncomfortable and I needed to give her space. She has moved on since then, and is now happily married to someone else.
But while this crush was in progress, there was a huge upside. This was the possibility (in my mind, at least–however remote it may have been in real life) that she might, at any time, on any day, throw herself into my arms and say, “I’m yours, Joe, take me away!” or something to that effect.
This crush occupied a lot of my mental energy while it was in progress. I devoted lots of time to imagining what a relationship with her would look like–the things I would say to her, the places I would go with her, the things I would do with her and for her, to provide a meaningful relationship experience for her if I should ever be granted the privilege of attempting that. I even had a full-length speech prepared by which I would ask her for the privilege of entering into a relationship with her, and I would run through this speech frequently in my head. I thought constantly about what would be an appropriate time and place to give this speech to her, and I obsessed about how I should be acting toward her to convey my interest without threatening her, so that she would one day find me worthy of the honor of being in a relationship with her.
Yes, that was an awful lot to worry about. But at the end of it all was that huge upside–the possibility (however remote) that she might, at any time, on any day, throw herself into my arms and say, “I’m yours, take me away!”
Much has changed since then. I am now a college student trying to manage the demands of work and a challenging academic program. This leaves very little margin (mentally, emotionally, financially, or otherwise) for me to even consider pursuing a relationship with anyone or anything outside of my classwork.
Another consideration: Given my autistic condition, it doesn’t take a whole lot for me to make other people uncomfortable in social situations, unless they know me well and know the whole story. For that reason, if I were ever to pursue a relationship with someone, it would have to be someone who knows me well, someone who has known me for a long time and who knows the whole story.
Still, as Valentine’s Day approaches, I miss that upside. I miss the feeling of knowing that there’s someone out there that I’m interested in, and that if I play my cards right, she might–just might–throw herself into my arms and say, “I’m yours, take me away!”
So bust out that Cellophane Dion, cause by golly I’m gonna go out and have me a crush on somebody!!!