Shall I compare thee to a salesman?

I’m terrible at selling myself…

You may not think so. Generally I come across as pretty confident and ballsy, but deep down I’m shy. I generally assume you don’t remember meeting me and will wait for you to greet me before I greet you even though this may appear aloof. In fact, I’m painfully shy. I’m the guy who sits psyching himself up in the car before a social event, hoping like hell you don’t see the stuff I dislike about myself…

I know I’m not alone, so don’t feel sorry for me… we’re all scared in some way… damn joys of being human…

I think it comes from school… I was never one of the popular kids at school. I could blame it on the fact that I was skinny, but I think it was the fact that I was incredibly geeky. I was in boarding school at a very sporting school…. I’ve posted before about my fabulous sporting skills… so you should know that somehow I just wouldn’t fit in. And I’m gay… so when all the boys were checking out the “chicks”, I was wondering what the appeal was and totally confused by their responses…

So I learnt quickly to retreat, rather than to appear different… and to be confident when necessary…

That’s all fine for school, but when I grew older, it manifested rather differently. I just could never and still can’t sell myself… I tried to freelance as a writer for a while, and realised I needed to change focus after I convinced a potential client that someone else was far better than I was… and promptly lost the job. I also tried to be an actor for a while – at least that way people would know who I was and I would be affirmed by the multitude of Oscars I would win, and the flashes of paparazzi bulbs affirming my existence. And while Charlize and I share the home town, we certainly don’t share the same acting success. Largely due to my lack of belief in myself and the fact that she’s a supermodel and probably the most beautiful woman in the world, and well, I’m not… beautiful or a woman… so I can’t really compete…

I have a cousin named Gerda though, so Charlize and I more similar than she may realise…

Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnyyyywaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy…

I sucked as an actor because I knew I wasn’t the best one out there… and as a freelance writer… but do we ever think we’re the best one out there? That’s probably when we’re worst at our jobs…

My point and I do have one, is that FJ and I have been together for over a year now (which may seem short to you, but feels like a lifetime to me… longest damn year of my life ….. kiiiiiiiiiiddddddddddddddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnggggggggggggg!), and this year has taught me so much about myself.

I know that I’m grumpy in the morning – especially when I get woken up at 4am because he has to leave to make the flowers grow or pick them or something. At that time of the morning, flowers are my enemy and represent something far different to those of you who occassionaly receive them (if this is your first time here, my partner FJ is a flower farmer).

And I also learnt that i sell myself short…

In all my past relationships I have never really allowed myself to be vulnerable. I have never told partners or even friends that I love them unless they have told me first – for fear of over selling where I stand with them, and assuming that they’re feeling the same zeal for having me in their life as I feel for them… except FJ. I decided to risk all and tell him how I felt before he told me. I spoke to my sister about it first and thought for weeks about how I could slip it into the conversation appropriately…

I mean how do you tell someone you love them?

Rambler: Hi FJ

FJ: Hi rambler. How was your day?

Rambler: Fine thanks and yours?

FJ: Fine thanks.. growing flowers all day.. you know how it goes…

Rambler: [LAUGHS] Oh FJ, you’re so funny… love you

Or…

FJ: Hi Rambler

Rambler: Hi FJ

FJ: How are you?

Rambler: In love with you and how are you?

Or

FJ: Hi Rambler… ‘sup with you?

Rambler: Nothing, FJ… but shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

FJ: Okaaaaaaay… if you wanna… but then I have to change the irrigation system in the greenhouses, because it’s winter and we’re totally reliant on the correct temperatures to grow the buds which then get sent out to the Middle East when appropriately budded…

Rambler: Ok, love you…

So I had no idea how to throw this into the conversation without sounding like a turd or someone who had planned it… badly…

I actually have no idea how I first told him… I have no idea what came up before I told him…. but I remember throwing it in… and hoping like hell I never got a ‘thanks’ back…

It went something like this:

FJ: blah blah blah

Rambler: I love you

FJ: [blank]

Rambler: [breathes heavily trying to control panic]

FJ: [eyes widen as he takes in what has been thrown at him]

Rambler: [wipes sweat from brow]

FJ: Um, I think I’m aware of that…

I THINK I’M AWARE OF THAT!

I’m not sure FJ realised just how much I put myself on the line… but that’s the thing… I decided that it wouldn’t sway me… A few weeks later Idecided to remind him of what he was so apparently aware of and this time I got the correct response… and felt totally relieved… and loved…

And I realised that I needn’t feel insecure.. or feel that I don’t make the grade… I need to start being like the rest of the world and go after what I want and make sure I hold onto the good stuff that’s in my life, even though it may simply be aware of my passion and not necessarily equipped to return it.

I could have run… and given my track record, I generally would of, but in this last year and a bit I have learnt that I am worth more than I give myself credit for, that I have more to offer than I realised, that I may not be the best at everything, but someone else’s adequacy doesn’t mean my inadequacy. I learnt that I can be loved, even when I put myself at risk… and that risk often has the best dividends…

And most of all, I realised that my butt looks amazing in skinny jeans…

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22 comments

  1. I am told that I sell myself very well, upon hearing that I thought (insecurity slipping in) what does that mean? that I am not as good as I make myself out to be for whatever I am selling myself for?You are a master story teller.

  2. Wow – really interesting. Never would have thought that you would be a shy social stresser. A lot of people think i am really confident – but i dont think i am. I also stress a lot at social events. Although last year i did prove to myself that i dont need booze as a crutch to survive social soiree’s – so that was cool. I think its also about who you surround yourself with. My best friend – who I havent spoken to since i last visited SA (we have that kind of relationship where its no worries!) once told me that she would never meet anyone like me again in her life and for that reason she would never want to not be in my life (this was after i felt particularly disposable at the hand of a MAN! they are evil!)…Anyway – personal question if you dont mind answering. How did you and FJ meet? I am always fascinated by these ‘happily ever afters’ in the gay community – or even the ‘happily ever after until you forget to take the trash out and then i pop a cap in your ass.’ I would settle for the latter right now – but i kinda feel (and this is serious) that i am going to live and die alone with a face eating cat (and I hate cats). I feel incredibly hopeless at the prospect of love and actually quite annoyed. Yesterday i was really irate – so your post about making yourself vulnerable to someone is something that I think I cant even comprehend as right now i feel like a lump of stone. (and not some fancy precious stone – just a bog standard piece of charcoal that wont light withough some ‘BLITZ’).*jealous and sexy face*….oh f***k it *cookie eating face*….*schizophrenic face* 😦

  3. *amused face* CM from DL – FJ and I actually started chatting on facebook if you can believe… there’s more to the story… we chatted for months and I refused to meet him… I’ll post about how the actual meeting happened… it’s a fun story (or at least I think so)…You won’t always feel like a lump of stone – stop being hard on yourself… enjoy your single time… it’s there to add to your relationship time, instead of being the inbetween time…

  4. Greetings from the occasionally challenged FJ… *blush*ALl I have to say is at least I didn’t say: ‘Thank you’…Seriously though. If one is not quite ready to reciprocate with: ‘I love you too’ – Then what on earth can one say, without abruptly terminating the relationship…Thank you Rambler for putting yourself out there and saying it first. I heart you too… or do we rather say: “elephant shoe” ;0)

  5. i wrote a long and very insightful comment. probably my best ever. and something went wrong, and it got lost! *frustrated face*i’ll pop in again later, when i have a little more time.

  6. omg – is that what the elephant shoe thing is?! cos it sounds like the three words?! Finally! So did you guys just start chatting randomly? did you know each other? I cant believe you chatted for months, without wanting to meet. The guy i just met seems to want to do the same – just freaking chat! that is why i am getting annoyed – not because i want to hop in the sack with him – but because ‘hey what are you doing’ is not freaking enough for me at this point! In all fairness to him he doesnt know i am leaving in a matter of weeks – and i know he wants to stay in London – so he maybe doesnt see the urgency to fall in love with my charming self just yet (which is inevitable – lets face it) – anyway this is why i am freakking annoyed irate and pissed off right now!!! My timing sucks! Add to that work, moving, travelling (ok i know no one is going to sympathise with the fact that i am off to portugal and greece) and i know that this ‘acquaintance’ will probably never develop into a relationship. (I have actually met him before people start thinking i am a complete A1 psycho – and i can see myself liking him… a lot.)Is it too soon to be thinking these thoughts after one date? Am i crazy? Is it because the whole gay scene hasnt been the best outlet for my development? OMG! rambling once again!!!! I AM crazy! Im gone! *moody face*

  7. FJ – hehehe, you gave ‘elephant shoe’ away… aw.. I suppose it was about time… Jacki – aw, I hate when that happens – hope you can remember it and repost. Always love reading your comments.CM from DL – it was kind of random – we had never met. We chatted from January and eventually met in May, so emailed for about 5 months… I was so over blind dates, so kept saying no… until the corner of eighth and eighth…

  8. I got a smile and a Thank You!But then again, he apparently knew the night we met that I would be his wife.I guess its true to our characters – I am a BLURT NOW, Think Later kinda chick.He is a ‘let me think about it for a gazillion years and potentially get back to you’ kinda guy. But in the end it works pretty dang well.

  9. Mel – yep, I think we’re pretty similar in some respects… shy but outspoken (a combination which leaves me cringing at night when I think about the day I’ve had…And you know, at least we can say we said it first – we have the power!

  10. To avoid looking like a nutcase – my comments shall now be restricted to two paragraphs. Dagnamit already used one up…Congrats to all of you for finding and holding onto love (must engage upchuck reflex). And to skinny jeans – the only one who knows me intimately.

  11. I normally hold back on multiple comments but…@CM from DL, if you stop bloging here – how will we ever know what you’re up to??Anyway – NEVER give up on love. Maybe stop ‘looking’ for it, and it’ll find you… or make like I did eventually and make an effort rather than none at all.If it wasn’t for the FB search (suddenly ‘search’ sounds like such a stong word)and susequent contact – I would not be blogging… and a whole bunch of other stuff too.Hmmm – now I’ve used far too many paragraphs here… oopsCiao4Now

  12. ok, i’m back…what i said before, is that there are actually a few things in this post i wanted to comment on.first: i met mike rather short after ronnie died. and soon after we started getting to know each other, we knew that what we had was great!but, it felt too soon, and disloyal, to be ‘in love’ again, so i was holding back. so, when he said ‘i love you’ i also said something like …um… thank you…then, when some weeks later i told him i loved him, he cried!he cried! wow! needless to say, i have told him i love him every day since. he doesn’t cry anymore, though.of course, he now tells me he cried because he realised at that moment that his days of freedom were over. 🙂

  13. Rambler. How entertaining was this post?!?! Loved it. You really have a way with words and building brilliant images in one’s mind. I’d call that a gift Mr Writer!!!!!! Anyhoo, enjoyed this sooooooooo much because I am currently battling with the same concept in my professional life at the moment. I am struggling to sell me to myself! How is that for a bit self loathing?!?!?! But will press on knowing that there are more on the same path.Take care ;-)PS: an amazing butt does go a long way to feelin great. i must get some skinny jeans and see how that works out for me! Thanks for the idea.

  14. second: i am also terrible at selling myself. i too spend ages creating an opportunity to promote myself, and then blow it by convincing myself and the client that anything/body else is better.somehow, i find it a little easier to ‘sell’ myself online. i am more assertive, braver and funnier on the internet than in real life. the moments it takes to check and edit, and take a deep breath before pressing that enter button, seem to make all the difference. i have appearance/body issues, so maybe the fact that the internet takes physical appearance out of the equasion has something to do with it.i have been working on a blog post about this, but never got really far with it. maybe it is time to dig it back out of the drafts folder…

  15. FJ – I have no problems with your facebook search – now go home and cook me supper…Jackie – that’s hysterical… and beautiful… FJ also cried the second time round, so he made up for the first time round… and I hear you re: the cyber thing… I’m more confident online too, and on the phone… it’s in person that I crumble…CB747 – glad you enjoyed the post – seems like I’m not alone in my insecurity… had loads of fb comments and mails saying the same thing – glad we’re not alone in it… good luck with the business stuff… you can do it!

  16. Oh my word that had me laughing. And it is better than “thank you” and a lot better than my now husbands response when I put myself out there. He said “I need time to process this”. Uhmmmmm – ok then….. Although in all fairness 3 weeks before I had told him I did not think the relationship was going anywhere. (not very smart)He recovered well and 3 weeks after “processing” the information we told our parents we were getting married.

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