Who am I?

That little blurb on the user homepage isn’t big enough to describe myself, and I’d rather someone put forth more effort than reading a blurb to make their decision. So…

Who am I? I’m a guy who gives an honest answer to questions people don’t want honest answers to. I’m a guy who sees the world, for the most part, in black and white. There are gray areas, sure, but I usually pick a side and stick to it. I’m a guy who comes across as cold and unapproachable while being one of the most loyal and caring friends you could ever hope for. I’m a wolf and I’m a teddy bear. For a guy who doesn’t like gray areas, I sure exist in a lot of them.

I was born and raised in South Carolina by two of the most wonderful parents one could ask for. Being an unholy child terror, I can’t blame them for not having another one. It did make it hard to pin my crimes on someone else, though. I always viewed my father as the strong, silent type. My mother was strong, but she was a talker. (She was notorious for talking to herself in the kitchen. I used to explain to my friends that my little brother was actually imprisoned in a cupboard and that’s who she was talking to.)

Like many men, I grew into the man I perceived my father to be. I’ve only seen my father cry three times in my life, and it was a rare occasion for he and I to exchange the words “I love you.” We may not say it often, but we certainly hold no doubts about our love for each other. His father, a country farmer, is the same way. Every year we get the family together for Christmas and the three of us will quietly sit in the den while the women of the family chatter on endlessly in the kitchen.

It’s a comfortable silence. I think that’s a foreign concept to many people. So many folks think that if you aren’t talking, you’re pouting about something, or brooding about something, or up to something. You can’t just be quietly happy.

I’m not going to downplay my mother’s role in my upbringing, though. She stayed at home and raised me well. Not once did she ever need the threat “Wait until your father gets home.” She was plenty capable of spanking me herself. (And I deserved all but one of them.) Her influence shows amongst my closest friends, where I’m unafraid to show my emotions. I might save crying only for whoever I’m in a relationship with, but I can show my other friends I’m upset without crying in front of them.

Anyway, I’m not a talker. This has the tremendous downside of making new social situations awkward. How does one approach a girl at the bar if he doesn’t believe in small-talk? (Or maybe I just don’t know HOW to small-talk.) Almost all of my conversations in these situations have been started by inserting a witty remark into their conversation with someone else. (Thank you, God, for blessing me with a quick wit.) I’ve found that making someone laugh is the quickest way to break into a conversation. Not to mention that it’s incredibly satisfying to hear the laughter of someone else.

This “Strong, Silent Type” thing has also caused its share of problems in relationships. I’ve had complaints that I don’t say “I love you” enough, or that I’m always pouting/brooding/etc because I’m so quiet. Worse yet, I get those “So what are you thinking about?” questions more than any other man in existence. Once and for all, ladies, there are times when we simply aren’t thinking anything, and usually, those times result in our being quiet.

To compensate for my silence, though, I go out of my way to show how I feel. I’m a very big fan of hugs for no reason, holding hands, just sharing warmth with the woman I love. (The Teddy-Bear Physique™ comes in quite handy for that.) If I’m not saying it with words, I’m certainly showing it with actions.

The other good side my lack of talking brings out is my desire to write. In fact, the only reason I started blogging was because I wanted to force the habit of writing daily. There is a novel in my brain begging to find it’s way to print. The biggest problem I have is that I get to the point to quickly, and epic tales become short stories. That’s another benefit of a blog. It’s much easier to wander around the point.

So, anyway, that’s me. The quiet guy who’s loud in print and in action. The emotional bundle that rarely shows it. The gray area that tries so hard to see the black and white of everything.

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