I Saw Her Standing There

It seems to me that people come online to write sort of an amalgam of observations of the world they live in – eg college. A lot of it focuses on the same issues: dating, parents, work… dating. I am not too proud to fall into that category. So, in case you haven’t read enough Xangas on dating, here’s another one.

SO MAYBE you’re walking along, minding your own business, and across the lawn you see the most beautiful creature of the sex you are currently attracted to, also walking along and minding their own business. You come up with elaborate plots oh how to actually meet them that you never execute; you write them sonnets in your bedroom when you are up late tormented by their exquisite wo/manliness; you make cute little sighs to yourself whenever you catch a glimpse of them. You loathe yourself for being too chicken shit to walk up and say hi, yet you do not change your behavior. Then one day, as you are checking them out you lose control of your bicycle and hit them (albeit not very hard). You apologize profusely. You look into each other’s eyes… and you just know it’s meant to be. If you identify with this story, you are not my intended audience. Go frolic in the fields of happiness. Bring your allegra.

HOW ABOUT you live next door to this great person, and you became friends on the third day when s/he had an extension cord you could borrow. You have the same taste in movies/music/food/television. You talk to each other 500 times a day about nothing and still have everything to talk about. You have the same computer, or you both ran track in high school. Suddenly, it occurs to you one day that you are very attracted to this person, but you have painted yourself into a corner, so to speak. Every day that goes by you are less likely to be seen as a sexy and desirable individual and more certainly seen as a friend, the last 6 letter four letter word. In an awkward attempt to draw attention to this situation, you joke about dating and sometimes make vague hints about how close you have become and you can tell them anything. This is bullshit. You would have admitted that you think they are hot stuff if you really could tell them anything. But you don’t want to jeopardize your take-out-and-elimidate-watching marathons that you have grown to love. You have an internal battle every time you speak to them instead of enjoying yourself like you used to. But finally one day, as you’re betting on the blonde or brunette and checking your chow mein breath, the person sort of casually takes your hand. You subtly gawk at your hand in theirs, trying to figure out if this is actually happening, and when you decide that in fact it is real, you are higher than that time you tried those Brazilian jungle mushrooms. This is also not for you.

WHAT ABOUT IF you’re at a party, and it isn’t even a particularly good one, but the booze is free and you’ve imbibed a little more than you really should have. You’re rightly drunk and feeling fine, and you just love everyone to pieces. Then you spot him/her. It’s a friend of a friend, someone from class a year ago, or the person who works the shift after you, or your cousin’s roommate… the kind of person where you see them every once in a while, you kind of know them but not very well, you’ve always thought they were attractive but it never quite seemed like the appropriate context to express it. But you’re drunk and the party isn’t that great and suddenly you are SO HAPPY to see them. You begin talking to them animatedly, and they seem pretty happy to see you. You’re dancing and kissing in this sweaty hell hole, you don’t know what time it is and you don’t care… the only way this could be better is if you weren’t quite so drunk and desensitized. This is what I am talking about.

Firstly, this is about the familiar. They are close enough to you that they aren’t total strangers, yet they might as well be. A friend of a friend isn’t YOUR friend. Unless you have a mutual contact who relates stories between you two constantly (which begs the question, is your friend a gossip fiend?) you probably don’t know that much about them. However, you do know them that much more than any other given person at the party who you have never seen before. You know their name. You know maybe one or two things about them: who they used to go out with, how much they’re making, where they live. You also know your chances of getting rejected are lower – if your flirting attempts fail, you can always disguise them as a friendly hello to an aquaintance and then hitail it out of there with minimal ego damage.
Secondly, alcohol, everyone’s favorite social lubricant, is in action. You aren’t feeling too self conscious right now – you’re happy and friendly. Chances are, so is the other person. So, with the modern miracle of fermentation, you both are in a position to be a little more open to getting to know someone a bit better.
Finally, you’re at a party. You’re supposed to be a little drunk, you’re supposed to say hello to people you haven’t seen in a while, and you’re supposed to get your freak on the dance floor. In fact, in your drunken state, it seems a crime not to do all of these things.

So we’ve set the stage for a random encounter. But what happens after this?

  • Your friend grills you for details and starts wildly plotting your wedding as you are wondering if the other person is feeling the exact same way – confused, pressured, and hungover.
  • You pass them on the way to class two weeks later and you give each other a sort of mumbled ‘hey’ type nod as you go on your self-conscious way.
  • You stay at work extra late but when someone finally comes in to take over the shift, it’s a sub with the annoying voice.
  • You tell your cousin to start visiting you more often.

Or maybe you managed to drunkenly exchange phone numbers before you parted ways. Sure, their name has an “h” instead of an “i” in it and you’re not even sure if the number is right (the buttons get so much smaller and harder to press when you’re drunk) but you have their number and now the power to contact them is in your hands. Do you do it, or do you wait for one of the above scenarios to happen?

The choice is yours.

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