When I was twenty, I fell in love with a man I mostly invented. I say “mostly” because there was a guy that definitely looked like my invented man, and had the job of my invented man, but whatever else he was…. I can’t really tell you.
I fell in love with a guy I called “Hot Comic Book Guy”, named so because a.) he was hot, b.) he owned the comic book store, and c.) I didn’t know his name.
I seemed to me it was fate that we met. I walked into the comic book store he owned to start a pull list, and there is really nothing more fateful than that. I mean, what are the chances he would be in the store he owned and working right when I needed to read New Mutants?
A few months after this, I moved up north to go to college, and rationality dictated that I get my pull at a closer store. But love, especially this kind of love, is irrational, so I kept my pull list with hot comic book guy and tried to get back every few months to pick up my comics, and sort of surreptitiously stare in his hot comic book-y direction and ask how he felt about Young Avengers.
Needless to say, I didn’t really know anything about him aside from how much I was in love with him. Then, in between those times where I saw him for about five minutes as I handed him my money, I toyed with all sorts of ideas in how to get him to date me, such as leaving my phone number on a receipt, or just plain old asking him out.
I did none of these things.
Let me paint you a picture of me in my twenties. When I saw my reflection in the mirror, or a store window, I saw a misshapen Tweedle Dee waddling from one place to another. My mother kept pointing out to me that I should really control my mustache problem, so I spent hours looking at a face I didn’t really like looking for more hairs to pluck. It’s probably no surprise that, seeing as I thought I was probably the ugliest creature to walk the earth, it was difficult for me to find the courage to profess my absolute and totally true love for the man I knew nothing about aside from the things I made up in my head.
I totally did…
Instead, I did what any scatter-brained girl would do in this situation. I got flustered and accidentally left my wallet on the counter after paying for Runaways… There was no way to contact me aside from my dentist’s business card, either. So, imagine my surprise when I got a call from my dentist telling me that they had my wallet, and that a nice young man from a comic book store had dropped it off for me.
Imagine my further surprise, then, when at my next appointment I find out the horrid, terrible details of my temporary walletlessness.
After dropping off my wallet, Hot Comic Book Guy scheduled an appointment with my dentist… and then he went on to meet a very charming young lady in the waiting room. So charming, my dentist tells me, that the two got engaged to marry.
And that is the sad, wholly pathetic ending to this story. I had inadvertently introduced MY Hot Comic Book Guy to his wife… and his wife wasn’t me.
And this is why you don’t build up fantasies around people that make them so perfect you never act because you are afraid you are not good enough.