I am writing this post in a coffee shop and I think the two people sitting across from me are on a match.com date. It doesn’t seem to be going that badly, actually. They both appear to be in their late thirties, and the guy is pretty cute (He’s almost Matt Damonesque, in all honesty. If he came over and asked me out right now, I’d say yes. Especially if he got up right in the middle of his date to do it, because as we all know, there’s no faster way to get in my pants than by being a total fucking prick.) but still– he’s talking non-stop about his work which I think involves radio stations and there’s some awfully long silences going on and my butt is clenching so I think I will put on headphones. I guess I’ll just have to console myself by downloading Katy Perry’s entire new album. (Also: where can I get a giant cotton candy cloud bank in which I can lie down naked? I’m guessing that’s the kind of thing that makes itself available only to the rich and famous.) Ooh– someone just left the coffee shop and dropped their glove on the way out and she pointed to it and he got up and took the glove and went out of the shop and found the person on the street and gave them their glove back. I mean just reel her in buddy.
I saw the hottest guy in Harris Teeter yesterday. There’s always a lot of hot guys at this particular Harris Teeter, which, obviously, is why I shop there. You know where there’s not a lot of hot guys? At the Shell Station in my neighborhood. This is the only gas station even remotely conveniently located to my house, and so I go there out of necessity, and it is THE WORLD’S WORST GAS STATION. No matter which pump I pull up to, it always, without fail, is the pump that has a haggard “Cash Only” sign crafted from a piece of torn-out notebook paper taped over the credit card slot. The air machine has never worked, and literally every single time– every single time!– I’ve stopped there, someone has asked me for a dollar or some spare change. Oh and after 9pm it becomes a prostitution hub. Twice I’ve gotten gas on my way home from work and BOTH TIMES a cop has pulled up to me and told me that it wasn’t safe for me to be outside my car at that time of night in that neighborhood. Ah. Okay officer. In that case, after I drive the two and a half blocks up the street to my house, I’ll be sure to stay in the car when I get there. Wouldn’t want to run the risk. And also– if both times this happened I was the only white person at the gas station, and everyone else, including the three prostitutes leaning against the air machine, was black, does that mean the cop was doing some sort of bizarro racial profiling? But I’m too lazy to go anywhere else, and anyway, it still sells Four Loko, which is clutch for when I’m on the way to work and need a boost!
So the Harris Teeter guy. He looked like Aaron Eckhart but bigger and less clean cut and without the whole cleft chin and Guy Smiley aura and with a red plaid wool coat and work boots. He was, in a word, manly, and I think I’m going to do a Craigslist Missed Connections post for him. The Catch-22 here is that the more manly the man, the less likely he is to ever check Missed Connections, or even to know that they exist, am I right?
The question I want to posit to the universe is: how ballsy should you be when you want to talk to a stranger? Would you be freaked the fuck out if someone left a Missed Connections post for you? And if you posted a Missed Connection and someone actually responded to it, would you even want to date them, because doesn’t the fact that they were trolling Missed Connections in the first place make them the tiniest bit vain? And for that matter, creepy? Unless of course that one time you saw that person you locked eyes and both instantly knew it was true love forever and so you both went on Missed Connections specifically in search of each other which is neither vain nor creepy but just charmingly hopeful and also totally exactly what is going to happen with me and Harris Teeter guy.
In the same vein: how about giving out your number? Is it super-duper tacky or slutty to leave your number for someone when they don’t directly ask for it? I work in a restaurant, and when girl customers leave their numbers behind for their waiters, the guys are usually pretty psyched but also tend to then refer to such girls in less-than-savory language. Women’s magazines are always doing “What Guys Want!” issues chock-full of rejoinders from “real men” begging women to make the first move, but let’s get real here folks. We all know that any quotation attributed to a “real man” in a woman’s magazine should actually be attributed to a really real female staffer of said magazine who is heating up her Lean Cuisine lunch and imagining exactly what she wants to hear that guy who stopped calling her last week to call her and say immediately. Guys want to be the pursuer. Pursuing– hunting– is the male pastime. As my friend Jimmy said once after a hookup, “The best thing you can do is completely ignore me after we have sex. If she had just ignored me after we had had sex, I would’ve wondered what was wrong with me, and gone after her to find out. But no. She’s calling me all the time, and now I’m wondering what’s wrong with her.” You won’t be reading that advice in a women’s magazine any time soon.
I had the most enormous crush on this guy I sat next in an algebra class I took over the summer after freshman year in college. I was chubby and totally shy and not confident in myself and barely talked to him all summer and on the last day of class I left my phone number and a note on a piece of paper under the windshield wiper on his car. I don’t remember what I did to figure out which was his car if I had never talked to him, but I’m sure it was something sufficiently stalkerish. Of course he did not call me, but that is the problem with leaving behind your number or doing a Missed Connection. It shows some lack of confidence, I think, and it’s also way less likely to work than, you know, actually talking to the person. Like what if I had come up with some bullshit question to ask Harris Teeter guy about, say, organic milk, as a way to start conversation? Instead of extremely bashfully looking down into my grocery basket of full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Helluva Good French Onion dip, which is totally exactly what happened immediately after I locked eyes with Harris Teeter guy. I for one get kind of freaked out when strangers talk to me, and so am totally disinclined to be the one to initiate such a conversation, but when I’ve actually taken the time to relax and just go with it, I’ve ended up having some really lovely conversations with perfect strangers, even some of the strangers who have asked me for a dollar at the Shell Station. I suppose the lesson here is: being afraid of people is stupid.
Well, while I was writing this post, I did the Missed Connection, and to my delight, I just received a reply. It’s not from Harris Teeter guy. It says this, verbatim:
“I don’t think I’m the one your looking for but if your interested in hooking up I might be your type”
In the spirit of being more sexually irresponsible, do I respond to this message, thereby breaking my Number One Dating Rule: Never ever ever go out with someone who spells “your” where he should be spelling “you’re”? I mean the dude didn’t even take the time to punctuate his e-mail. Like there’s literally not even one single punctuation mark. So what, I ask you, are the chances he’s going to take the time to find my lady comma?
“I don’t think I’m the one your looking for”– buddy, you have no idea.