Yesterday I had the fortune of meeting a 40-year-old virgin orphan. Let’s call him Joe. Poor Joe was more screwed in the head than a baby-eating Marine fresh from the spring blossoming bomb fields of Baghdad. You couldn’t come within 2 foot radius of him without experiencing his rather convincing impression of a nuclear blast victim. My attempts to shake his hand were largely met with the moans befitting of the people under the stairs; still despite this awkwardness he was all too eager to unload his life story on my unwilling ears. My conscience, however, afforded him an amount of time that I would have rather spent pulling out my chest hair. In summary, Joe had very clear goals for his life, but he wasn’t able to accomplish any of them. Not being able to fulfill his hearts greatest desires pained him beyond belief, and in talking to him it made me think about how I too had an inability to “pick up the can.”
Now upon meeting Joe, it was clear that something was wrong with him, maybe it was the way he gazed curiously at everything that crossed his line of vision or the way he cocked his head — whatever his problem was I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it… I am a nice guy, and will engage with just about anyone that seeks my attention.
According to him there were two things in life he wanted more than anything else. On one hand he wanted to know his father’s ethnic background, and on the other hand he wanted to have his first intimate experience with a woman. But neither of these things could he accomplish because all the cosmos had aligned against him. These were his greatest desires, yet they eluded him.
His birth records were sealed by the state of New York and they would not reveal to him any information to him other than his parents were average people, with average lives and his mother was Jewish. How marvelous… Joe swore up and down that there was a library in New York City that had handwritten records of every birth since 1904, and that if he could just find someone to go there to look it up for him, he’d have his answer. I asked him why he didn’t just go to New York himself and do it. His excuse was that he did not have the money to go — that’s understandable, but being as this is one of his greatest desires you’d think he’d find a way to save up $300.
I continued by asking him, “Joe, why is it so important to you to know your father’s ethnicity?”, he rambled on about watching all the Mexican and Filipino festivals and not being able to be a part of something like that. “There’s a Jewish Center not even 3 blocks from here”, I told him, “I am sure they have plenty of things for you to do and be a part of.” Joe immediately dismissed this idea. He didn’t like my mention of American heritage either. I suggested to him that he could do a DNA-Mitochondrial test and get a definitive picture of his ancestry, and he declined that as well. I started to get the feeling that he just really wanted to “belong” as most humans do, but then again he wasn’t willing to look beyond what he thought was the only answer. He seemed to hold on to the thought that finding his actual ethnicity was the only way to have a sense of self worth. To me it seemed clear he was a Jewish American.
A Brotherhood of Men
Next of course he made his case for his desire to be intimate with a woman. “There are no women around here”, he proclaimed. “And what a likely excuse for an over-aged virgin”, I thought to myself. He then quipped, “And the one’s I do see don’t come up to me.” I had to keep myself from laughing — every guy knows that if you want to meet a girl you have to go to them (usually). So I didn’t hesitate to share this bit of knowledge with him. Joe hesitantly replied, “Every time I try to talk to a girl they ignore me.” And my response to that was, “If you treat women similarly to the way you treat people that try to shake your hand I’d imagine they’d be bothered. No sir, you have to be smooth, calm and collected”; all of which he clearly was not.
Before I had a chance to say anything more he interrupted, “I wouldn’t feel right trying to find a prostitute. I shouldn’t have to pay for sex.” I just sat there thinking about how he’d probably been suggested such a thing a number of times already. He then went on to tell me about an experience he had at a previous job, “There was this woman that would stalk me and try to lure me into private rooms to feel me up.” And to that I could only inquire, “Why then did you pass up on that opportunity?” Joe had an excuse for that one too, “It didn’t feel right.”
Nothing ever freaking feels right with you does it!
Trying to give him a reasonable solution, I placated him with advice straight from the brotherhood of men, “Getting a girl, bro, is a numbers game. Sure there’s plenty that will reject you, but the more you put yourself out there the more you learn how to talk. The more you learn how to talk the more chance you’ll have at finding a winner.” His eyes glazed over for a minute and tilted his head like a curious cockatiel pondering the origin of the universe. I never thought I’d be giving this kind of advice to a 40-yo.
Finally a light goes off in Joe’s head, “I can’t just tell some girl to come over and let’s go at it!”
I’m like,” and why not? Plenty of girls out there want to have sex, they just aren’t up front about it as guys are.”
So he’s started to put two and two together, “So I should just walk up to a girl and tell her I want your P****.”
I burst with laughter and he took to thinking to himself again.
I started to lose my patience with good Ol’ Joe; I told him, “bro, you’re not trying hard enough plain and simple. It seems like you’ve got these two big goals for your life, but you’re creating these mental roadblocks for yourself. Just freakin’ do it.”
Pick up the “can”
I got on one of my anecdotal trips, and pointed over to a can on the sidewalk. “You see the can over there”, I asked him, “How hard would it be for you to go over there and pick it up?” He looked at me confused, so I walked over and picked up the can. “You see how easy that was? There was absolutely nothing stopping me from going over and picking up that can, and it was completely my decision to do so.” By now I really wanted to give him a nice backhand to the face and I said to him, “Most things in life are like picking up this can, bro; exceedingly simple. Picking up the can isn’t hard, but convincing yourself to do it, well that’s another story. Everything you want to do and be in life, it’s all up to you! But you keep making up all these excuses not to pick up the can despite your desire to the contrary!”
After 20 minutes of philosophizing about a can, I convinced poor Joe to concede to the fact that he was indeed making excuses and that he was afraid.
I think I might have annoyed him for reminding him how foolish he had been acting; he concluded his whining by patronizing me, “are you a psychologist?”
“No, I’m not.”
And having said that it was time for me to leave.
So I’m walking home, and I felt like I had just given myself a nice kick in the ass. Afterall, I too have a problem picking up the can every now and then — despite my desire to the contrary.
I hope you don’t think this post is about ‘why are some guys still virgins’ because it’s not; rather it’s more so about ‘why do we create mental roadblocks for ourselves that hinder us from achieving our goals?’