Not popular – Just the Watcher

I was a little flattered by a couple of the comments relating to the photo of me as a 17 year old in the Sun Days post. Actually I was very flattered because even with the David Cassidy haircut I wasn’t the most popular guy in the school. In fact throughout my entire school life I had one girl friend for a period of a couple of months in Fourth Form – Year 10 in today’s language.

I was actually extremely shy and had a lot of trouble even talking to girls – in fact I was one of those blokes who hung around in the background and if we were ever seen in a mixed group of boys and girls it was because the girls were usually the girlfriends of my mates not mine. There was only ever one girl who showed any interest in me and I was terrified when I was told out it. What should I do? How should I react? If I opened my mouth would she run a mile?

Thinking back on it that shyness was a huge social liability. I was scared to go to parties and when I did I tended to stand in the corner as an observer rather than as a participator. Some of you who have been following my blogs for a while will know that my Dad was an alcoholic and as a result of that I remember promising my grandmother at a very young age that I would never drink, a promise that has held true to this day. That meant that in social situations I never got to the stage where my inhibitions and hangups were ever forgotten.

From a very early age I kept a tight control on emotion and whilst my mates were doing the things that teenage boys generally did I became the Watcher. I struggled to read out loud in class when asked, and didn’t put my hand up to answer any questions unless I was absolutely sure I was right and even then it terrified the life out of me. This fear of public ridicule manifested itself in a shyness so that I think I appeared more the shadow of a school kid than one the girls would look at and think I might have been worth getting to know. I wrote a post about my first kiss a few months ago and again looking back the fears associated with that never really went away.

So to the two ladies who commented on the photo, that young man from 1974 thanks you, it was a nice and unexpected ego boost. If only I knew then what I know now maybe the watchers alarm clock may have gone off a little earlier.

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