Don’s Story

Through a sentence, or two hours into a date, I have always wanted to say or do
something else. Inattention, brazen impulsiveness and rampant hyperactivity
have all been detrimental for me to establish any long term relationship, or even
friendships, with women.

That is not to say that I haven’t developed close bonds with women
throughout the years. In fact, my unique personality and some of the things that
come out of my mouth seem to intrigue certain women. I have been told time and
again by my peers that they were amazed that I hooked up with certain women.
Some went further with the old axiom, “I don’t know what she sees in you.” It is
not what they see, or saw, it is what they can’t perceptibly grasp in my nature and
disposition that intrigues them. It is all of the ADHD components neatly unfurled
in their presence that raises their interest level, and conversely, bedevils their
conventional outlook on the behavior of men in general. Sometimes, it is pure
fascination with my mind that motivates women to try to get to know me better.
I have always had a difficult time asking women out on a date.
Particularly when I was younger, my low self-esteem and unrestrained self-
doubt precluded me from making the first move. Women have often been the
ones to ask me out, as a Prom date, to a fraternity party, or just a romp on the
floor upstairs in my apartment, as my friends sat downstairs bewildered and
asking themselves, ‘what does she see in him?” Meg Flynn saw something on that
Thursday night of my senior year, and it was me she led upstairs for a steamy hot
groping session. My fraternity brothers, whom she repeatedly shot down, started
to see that I was more than a label they had given me as a “psycho”.
Amy Wallace was different. I was infatuated with her throughout high
School and intermittently asked her out over the course of the two years we
were in school together. I was always shot down, and the more I asked, the more
adamant she became in her responses. There was just something about her, the
sultry Irish look that has always struck a raw nerve in my Cupid-like bones. I
actually looked forward to being shot down; it was one of the rare chances I could
speak with her in a private setting. I ran into her in 1989 while imbibing at a
downtown Bar. I kind of grinned and went up to her and before I could speak,
Amy was quick to say “Not in your lifetime.”

Overall, rejection from women has further eroded my social competence
as I have lost complete confidence in my conversational and empathic skills.
Women love a man who is empathic and I used to have that natural inclination to
delve straight into what a woman was saying. At times, however, my mind would
wander and that got me in trouble, because there is nothing more a woman hates
than a man who seems inattentive, or worse, crass in his response. And I could be
crass, very crass.

I dated a woman during two different interludes in the early nineties. The
first time was kind of a rebound thing for her and we stayed together for a short
period of time. By chance we started working at the same place about a year later
and ended up in a more developed relationship. She had her issues with the brain
as well, and at times, the clashing of our idiosyncrasies caused immeasurable
strife in our dating relationship.

I didn’t help matters with one of the more crass things I have ever said to
anyone, let alone someone I was with in a dating relationship. We were enjoying
a few libations at a friend’s party, sitting off to the side of the main gaggle of
people. I blurted out, “you’re not as fat as the first time we dated.” I felt her icy
stare, a look that reminded me of stares I have received in the past for making
a totally uncalled for and hurtful statement to someone else. It is like the great
conveyor belt in my brain moves my thought packages at warp speed without
stopping at any of the normal filtering stations. The second the thought emanates
from whatever part of the brain thoughts emerge from, it hits the conveyor belt
and goes directly into my mouth and out of my lips. I stammered for the rest of
the night trying to appease her, to no avail. I even tried to comfort by saying I
speak like that to men as well as women, as if that made any difference. Needless
to say, that relationship started on the downhill ski slope of romance.
Comparing men and women in that flippant remark doesn’t negate the
question of a behavioral difference, if any, I have towards either gender. Someone
once asked me if I preferred a male of female boss. My vast experience with both
genders suggests that neither has a monopoly on incompetence or malfeasance. It
is my unbiased approach to both genders, one in which I exhibited similar ADHD
components, that leads me to believe that I am an equal opportunity offender to
men and women alike.

So how do I explain the fact that, at the age of 46, I have never been
married or have any children? Marriage is a commitment; hence that negates
any chance of matrimonial bliss in my future. Marriage takes patience. I have
little. Marriage requires sacrificing selfish needs for the benefit of the union. I
live in my own little world, where what I think, say and do consistently drives the
engine of my dating relationships. Marriage requires passion for one, while I have
passion for the flavor of the month. Marriage is not meant for everyone, as we see
in our ridiculous divorce rate. But I do fear the day when I’ll regret that ADHD
obliterated any chance of me finding a meaningful soul mate, someone to confide
in and, in a reciprocal manner, listen intently while my partner confides in me. I
don’t want to die lonely, but that looks more inevitable as the years pass.
Marriage and the subsequent child rearing would have reaped disastrous
results, especially when I was in my prime years between the ages of 21 and 40.
My mind then was a doubles handball match, the thoughts bouncing around so
fast I had to duck just to miss the more ignominious ones. The best decision of
mine has been not to force the issue of marriage in order to appease the masses.
I would have been divorced in a couple of years and who knows how my venting,
vindictive ADHD mind would have handled that. I wish I had the chance to raise
a family, since I love children and they love being around me. Tom’s family is a
perfect model, at least from the outside, on how to raise a family. I would have
been involved in the antithesis of that had I tried to marry and start a family.
The most meaningful relationships I have experienced have been
with women. I open up more to them than men. I am more apt to express my
unfettered disgust with my life and more likely to seek comfort from the mounds
of confusion which is, and always was an integral part of my ADHD.
Women have an uncanny compassion for doing that, at least that is my
experience with women and friendship.