[Note to mods: I know the language is a bit harsh at first, but I really don’t intend for this to be a rant, so please don’t move this unless you really feel it’s warranted. Thanks!]
To the curly, blonde-haired girl I saw at Barnes & Noble tonight:
Jesus H. Fucking Nonexistent Christ!!! How is it possibly for someone (i.e., me) to be so goddamn egotistical and self-righteous and still manage to have such low self esteem that he, at the age of 21 (days from 22), still cannot manage to go strike up a conversation with a total stranger?!?!?!?
So, yes, to carry on…
Dear curly-blonde-haired girl,
I first saw you in the periodicals section of the book store; confidently mounted on a bench, hunched over the Wall Street Journal. Your golden locks flowing down over your shoulders, not quite masking your very attractive face, with your beautifully pouty lips just slightly parted. You were a very appealing sight to me, completely unlike most of the young women reading fashion magazines with a completely blank look in their eyes. You were also totally alone at a book store not only on a Friday night, but on Valentine’s Day! As I’m sure you noticed, I sat down relatively close to your bench and began to read one of several magazines which would fall under the “Geek” genre. (e.g., Freshwater and Marine Aquarium, Discover, Scientific American, Nature) Unfortunately I couldn’t help but occasionally look up and steal a glance at you. Occasionally you were glancing at me as well, or so it seemed to me. I desperately wanted to go over and talk to you, but unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. You finished the Journal and moved only slightly farther away in order to browse thorough a romance novel, sitting so you wouldn’t be out of my line of sight. Whether your positioning was intentional or not, you didn’t just wander away. You kept glancing at me and I kept glancing at you. Eventually your spot on the floor got old and you walked over to the cafe and started writing on your notepad. I wandered around a bit more, desperately trying to come up with a way to go and start talking to you. I finally just bought something at the cafe, sat down a few tables away from you and read Wired, occasionally looking up to find you looking at me as well. One time our eyes met for a bit longer than usual and I made the attempt to smile and wave just as you started to look down and that inevitably awkward moment occurred where you started to look back up just as I started to lower my head down in embarrassment. I looked back at you and you seemed to be a bit flustered as well. It was then only a few minutes to closing time and I was out of ideas. I just stood up and threw my empty cup away, put my magazine back on the rack and stood around for a while trying to think up something clever to say. Eventually, I just gave up and left with you still sitting around alone in the cafe as they began to close up for the night. I then sat in my vehicle in the parking lot and tried not to cry. I finally just drove off, feeling as though I missed a wonderful opportunity. I regret not getting to ever even learn your name.
Seriously folks, how do people do it? How is it possible to go up to completely random strangers and strike up a conversation? I don’t go out to clubs or bars or parties or anything social like that. My life basically revolves around my job, the book store, and lots of other solitary pursuits. Every person I’ve ever been friends with/dated/slept-with/anything at all since high school have been people I meet online. I enjoy meeting people online, to be honest. It’s great getting to screen people and see if they are interesting/interested in me before we ever even meet. I think that’s another reason why I am so scared to talk to random people…I know little to nothing about them beyond their appearance and I hate feeling so superficial because I’m interested in talking to someone because of their looks. I mean, obviously you can occasionally play detective work before you say “Hi” but that doesn’t make it much easier. Of course the benefit of talking to strangers is that you’ve already met them in person and thus don’t have to go through the whole “mini-courtship” of establishing online trust in order to move the friendship from the internet to reality.
Let it be known that I don’t have any trouble maintaining conversations once they have been established. I work in a small retail store that caters to a specific hobby and I can chat with one customer or an entire group at length and I’m well known for being the most charismatic employee here. If anything I often talk too much, but unless I have a legitimate reason for establishing a discussion or I already know the person, I am usually at a total loss. I feel like I have to come up with some great opening line and I literally tense up, my pulse increases and I practically start to hyperventilate. Anyway, just thought I’d share this bit of a rant and hopefully you all can share some similar situations or advice or anything at all.