In choosing not to ask a girl out on a date I assumed many times that the pretty girl must have a boyfriend already. I feared rejection for this and other reasons. I suppose I imagined that something bad would happen if I did ask a girl out. What's the worst thing that could happen? I never got that far in my thinking. I guess I wanted to be sure that the girl would say "yes" but I never knew that so I never tried to ask a girl out.
Mainly I was invisible in Junior High and High School. There is an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" where a high school girl gets ignored so much in class and in the school that she literally becomes invisible. Sadly, this girl ends up becoming rather obsessed with violence, power, and revenge. I say that this is a sad portrayal because it doesn't reflect the thinking of people like me who were invisible. I wasn't angry and resentful at others. In fact, my greatest desire was to fit in and be just like everyone else. Also, I had no "enemies" that I could single out as out to get me or hurt me. We were all just a bunch of kids trying to adapt to the rules - the social rules - that were not even written down anywhere for us to read.
A guidebook would have been helpful.
To be honest, there was no one that I was really into. I'm not saying there were not girls that I thought were very attractive. Also, the attractive girls would be popular and would tend to make you feel like they are out of your league. I am inspired by the song "At 17" by Janis Ian. It is interesting that in her performance of the song, she says it is for the cheerleaders. I would like to ask my fellow female classmates from high school, "did you have a better life than me?" "Did you find greater happiness than I ?" You know who you were. Simone, who earned your love? I found someone just like you, eventually. I don't know what part of me actually believed I deserved a woman, a female, as beautiful as you. If given the chance, I would ask Simone Donahue what a woman like Lynn saw in a man like Bruce. But I hate to put you on the spot. I also hate to suggest that physical beautify is all that matters.
A brain isn't sexy, though, or is it? I wasn't an Einstein, though. In early IQ tests, I didn't score as high as I expected. I mean everyone told me I was like this genius. I did go far in school with very little difficulty. I graduated 13th out of 550. Yes, they told us these things. I feel sorry for the person who graduated at rank 550 or even number 500. Hopefully, they never told that person. I had been groomed for college with the Advanced Placement classes that prepared us for college. These classes were counted higher than in other classes. In other words, on a scale of 1.0 to 4.0 an A in an Advanced Placement class could get you a value of greater than 4.0 on your GPA.
I think all of the top 15 or so graduates had a GPA of 3.85 like me. Someone can correct me if I am wrong. My parents told me that my lack of extra-curricular activities kept me from graduating with as valedictorian. After elementary school, I wasn't number one in anything. Actually, there were classes in which I couldn't avoid being singled out as the top-scoring student in the class. I was saying earlier that I wanted to be invisible. I wasn't trying to be noticed or draw attention to myself.
This is a confusing situation. I was trying to be the best possible in each class but also to not stand out and to be "normal." Those are two contradictory approaches and attitudes. If I had been valedictorian I would be asked for the first time to speak in front of a crowd. Yet, I never consciously chose to be less than number one in rank. I tried my best to be the best possible. So, being the best is not the same as being "normal." By implication, the nerds or geeks had much better grades in much more challenging classes. Right? We all rise to the success that matches our social situation. If you are a Jock, you will be the best jock on the team, maybe. If you are a nerd, you strive for perfection on tests.
I'm just guessing and I do concede that this is a subjective view of social life. Since I did excel in academic matters that challenge the mind maybe my insights are not without accuracy.
I never did date at all in high school and that in itself made me feel like I was weird and "different." In fact, this sense of not having had any dates or girlfriends at all in high school or earlier made me feel like I wasn't normal and I would be rejected, definitely. "What is wrong with me," I wondered. I mean never, not once, did I go out with a girl in all the years until I graduated from high school and after that. That's not normal, is it? My own feelings of a lack of normalcy became a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, my feelings of not being normal kept me from doing the kinds of things that normal people do when they are growing up.
My mother would give me very contradictory messages that were not very helpful. Sometime she would tell me that any girl or woman would be lucky to be with someone like me. Other times she would tell me about my shortcomings and what a female expects and I lack. These ideas still affect me today decades later.