July 4th is a special day in the history of the free world. July 4th is the anniversary of The Cutest Story I Have Ever Told. And so, as it’s July 1st, I’m kicking off a five-part series of TCSIHET. Go get some pudding or comfort food of choice; it’ll complete the warm fuzzy feeling.
Story time, kiddies! Please imagine me all perky faced, speaking in my excited 12-year old voice. If you have not met me before, imagine someone who’s just come out of a screening of Wall-E, glowing with giddiness.
Part I: The encounter.
So I’m walking down the street on the way to lunch at Thirsty Bear, a Tuesday afternoon ritual for the cool kids from my old company. The lone female among a handful of males, I’m walking between two men down the sidewalk. One of the guys is married and has a really cute Eurasian kid. The other guy, Sydenham Spaniel, is close to my age, and I think the first time we connected was when he saw the Coachella 2007 lineup as my computer’s background image.
As we turn the corner I look up from the shimmery San Francisco sidewalk and see this boy man sitting outside of an office building. He’s looking off into the distance enough that it’s clear he’s waiting for someone and feeling somewhat “new” in his space. Aww. I look at his face, look at his jeans and hoodie and brown Puma sneakers (an automatic 10,000 cool points), and think, Man, if I was with my girls, I would totally tell them “That guy just looks nice.” There was something about this boy man that captured my attention. If we were teenagers passing each other in a mall (and if I were somewhat ghetto) I would have lingered and slowed down my gait. As fate would have it, though, I was not with my girls. I was with my married coworker and the soon-to-be-married Spaniel, and they probably would not have appreciated me exploding girly giddies all over them.
So I tried to humbly walk by this boy man and absorb him through my peripheral. I looked at his hoodie again and had a fleeting thought of Hmm, he has a University hoodie from the same East Coast school that Spaniel went to. Weird! – When I heard my coworker say, “Oh, by the way, my friend Bongo is coming to lunch with us. [To Bongo:] Hi, Bongo!”
OH MY GOD, WE KNOW HIM?? WE KNOW HIM! OMG. (In my mind I’m allowed to think in txt.)
Bongo fell in line and there was an exchange of walking introductions and all I could do to keep myself from hyperventilating was think OMG RUN AWAY BECAUSE IF YOU STICK AROUND HE’LL JUST SEE THAT YOU BLUSH REALLY REALLY BAD! I probably waved a hasty “Hi, I’m Mayka,” as I forced my feet forward – Just get your damn lunch and don’t say anything stupid.
Like a well-timed bolt of lightning, my cell phone started ringing. Hooray! Maybe I’ll come off as popular and socially desirable to this Bongo character. I answer and it turns out an old coworker who I interned with is in the area. I am thankful for the distraction as we coordinate a way for her to meet up with us for lunch.
We arrive at Thirsty Bear, enough in our party that we could ask for a table, but since I’m with a bunch of men who already know they just want the hangar steak sandwich, we opt to take up half the stools at the bar. I save a seat for my old coworker and she arrives shortly. Meanwhile, clear at the other end of our line of people, Spaniel is sitting next to Bongo and I accept that my chances for any sort of interaction are shot.
Feeling oddly bubbly, I order a glass of Thirsty Bear’s Golden Vanilla (That’s beer, not ice cream.) to go with my lunch. I don’t even get through half of the beer, but I’m somewhat of a lightweight so I’m feeling kinda “warm.” I also don’t drink a lot, so it’s not long when I have to go pee. I excuse myself from my old coworker and our catch up session to head to the restroom. (God, I’m grinning as I write this. How sappy is that?? I’m also listening to “Mo’ Juice,” really old Dr. Dre, so maybe that evens it out. “Juicy, juicy!”)
Thirsty Bear’s restrooms are on the second floor of the restaurant, so as I descend to reapproach the bar, I’m confused because my seat is gone. Spaniel’s sitting there catching up with our old coworker, turns around, and says “I stole your seat.” Full of Liquid Confidence, I say “Okay!” and take what’s remaining of my Golden Vanilla.
If I was sober, I probably would not have done this. I allowed my feet to take me to where Bongo was sitting, allowed my hand to set down my glass, allowed my other hand to pull out Spaniel’s empty stool, and allowed my ass sit down and face Bongo. “I’ve been uprooted,” I said.
So I’m there, talking to this boy man, the very same person I was eyeing on the street, and we’ve already exchanged names and we’ve already got one degree between us AND WE’RE TALKING! I know this is all too good to be true and the gods must be playing tricks on me, so I search for cues of “girlfriend” or other hints of disinterest. I talk about Fremont, he talks about moving to the Bay. I talk about blogging, he talks about his female friend who blogs about techie stuff. I’m pretty sure that might mean he’s taken, because it sounds like he at least has healthy relationships with female friends. Even if they’re platonic it means someone more serious will find him quickly in the Bay, and thus I’m affirmed. After all, nobody meets people like this.
I’ve already filed the entire (sweet) conversation into No Future, though I pine over the encounter with my friends plenty of times later, “I have a crush on my coworker’s friend!”
Editor’s Note: This is my 100th post. Hooray!