Monday, April 18, 2011
In college, I was not what you would have called a “ladies man.” I say “in college” because it makes you think that it was the only time I wasn’t one. Stick with that assumption. I would have been happy to date a lot, but I didn’t have the necessary skills. I never wanted to make the first move. I always wanted the girl to make the move. This rarely happens in our species.
One day, I came home from class to my apartment above John’s Grocery, a little corner market. Was it the best location ever for an apartment? Yes. It was built in 1848, and sat above the grocery store owned by the same family since the 1940’s. My roommate, J.J., and I kept the messiest apartment you can imagine. Imagine a messy apartment. Now, laugh at your naivete.
When I approached our apartment door I noticed an envelope with my name on it sitting on our welcome mat. I opened the handwritten note and it said, “Jeff, you may not know me. I’m in one of your classes. I would like to go on a date with you. If you’re interested, I will be at Brother’s Bar at the end of the bar at 6:00 on Thursday night. I’ll be wearing jean shorts and a red and white checkered shirt.” I thought, “Whoa! This doesn’t happen in real life, right?!” Then, I began going through all of the attractive girls from my classes in my head. This is before Facebook, so I could only stalk from my memory. I wasn’t entirely convinced that it was going to be one of the attractive girls because I don’t think attractive girls do that trick, because they don’t have to. Plus, an attractive girl wouldn’t have put up with the noxious fumes coming from the other side of the door.
After much deliberation, I decided that I had to go. Curiosity wouldn’t allow me to stay in. My plan was to get there at 5:30 and hang out in the back of the bar, that way I could see her when she arrived and determine if I wanted to talk to her. Six o’clock rolls around and I’m hanging out by the kitchen watching the door and I see her. It’s definitely a girl from my Communications class…and definitely a girl I don’t have any interest in.
I have to escape.
I look through the kitchen doors and decide against it. The only public exit is right behind the girl. I decide that my only way out would be to sneak along the wall and hope she doesn’t turn her head. I decide against that as well because I tend to sneak like an old timey cartoon burglar, it’s pretty obvious.
I have to have a drink with her. I sit down and have a pleasantly awkward conversation. She says, “Wow, I’m surprised you showed up.” I say, “Yeah, me too.” She’s a nice enough girl, wearing her promised red and white checkered shirt and jean shorts. She’s from Mechanicsburg, Iowa, a small farming town. There’s no love connection. When she’s dropping me off at my apartment in her white Grand Am, she inquires about another date. I say, “Ooh, I just got out of a long relationship, I don’t think I’m ready.” People interested in facts may contend that this was made up completely. I contend that it depends on what your definition of relationship is. Seinfeld had just ended and that relationship meant a lot to me.
I thought that was to be the end of the story.
But, she kept e-mailing me to hang out with her and her friends, and wasn’t accepting my excuses. I had to do something drastic. I had to do something that would make me less attractive to her. So, I wrote her what would prove to be my last e-mail to her. Before I sent it, I went through and made a bunch of spelling errors, because misspelling is unattractive.
Sorry, I cant go out with you to tha Union Bar on Sarturday night. My parent’s our coming into the town, and I am supposedly to hang out wyth them. I hope you haf a good time tho. I’m soor it will be fun.
It worked. I didn’t hear back from her.
Now, I can relate to her. Now, I am her. I’m approaching agents and casting directors with a hint of desperation. I’m ignoring their noxious fumes and just putting myself out there. I may not be the most attractive one out there, but they’re not so suave themselves. They’re making excuses, but I won’t accept them.
I’m sending them e-mails.
I’m using spellcheck.