Ah, West Virginia. Did it really impair me that much?
When my family moved, when I was 2, we moved into the Frontier Trailer Park. The trailer was purchased from the Fogleman family, who had a daughter my age: Cammy. (Or, at least at that time, Cammy; at that time, I was Sammy. I guess it's a little kid thing.) So our families, brought together by this transaction, got to know each other.
Cammy's grandmother's house had a pool. Our family was invited over from time to time, to enjoy the private pool. For the longest time, our families did things together. Cammy and I went to the same pre-school and schools. We were just friends, and I think it set me up to be "just a friend" to about every female I have ever known.
Not that we were frequent talkers at school. But we knew each other, and were cordial to each other. Even as I started becoming "a geek" and getting put aside by a lot of people, Cammy stayed the same. Granted, she didn't defend me, but just seeing someone not go evil on me was good.
I think Cammy is one of the reasons that I tend to be "cool" around women. Most boys leave any female friends behind at the "cooties" stage, but since I moved from the trailer park about the time that was supposed to happen, and ended up without many "hang out" friends, I never got the "cooties" routine.
But then I might just be stroking my ego.
Cammy and I even went to college together. Well, not together, but we independently ended up at the same school. I was her computer tech support a lot of the time, and I didn't really mind. I never did ask for much in return (although I'm sure I could have). It was nice having a familiar face hidden in the 25,000 attending Virginia Tech.
And there was the small benefit of her joining a sorority. One of her sorority sisters was a cheerleader, whom I was introduced to. One day, at a basketball game, the cheerleaders walked by me and some other guys from my dorm, and (I hate it, but I don't remember the cheerleader's name) she said Hi to me, by name. This earned me much adoration from my dorm buddies; but they didn't quite seem capable of grasping "cheerleaders are normal people too."
There was a time where it was odd. When I was looking for a girlfriend. I just felt that it wouldn't work, that I was "just a friend" and would never be more. It was a hard thing to deal with at times. In high school, I envisioned myself as an 80 year old man who never had a girlfriend. (I was depressive even then.)
But having Dee in my life changed a lot of that... being "just a friend" to women isn't a bad thing when you already have the love of your life. It's awkward at times... I like hugs. I'll hug girls or guys. I just don't know what people expect, or will accept. So I'm still sorta timid with some people. Uncertain of their boundaries. I just know that, so far as hugs and other physical contact is concerned, I don't have much of one.
(How the *hell* did I get to that point?)