Everyone is in search of that “special someone.” That one person who will listen to every stupid thing you say. That one person you call immediately after something fantastic happens to you. Or something terrible. You know, that one person you can call your companion.
The last time I’ve ever said “I have a girlfriend” was when I was in the sixth grade. Actually, I think I had about four different girlfriends during that school year (if that counts for anything). Don’t get me wrong, I have dated women and been on many dates since then, but I haven’t been a part of a serious relationship. Personally, I date with an intention to eventually get married. I just don’t see the point in frivolous dating. Especially with the pressures of college, this place is considered the time when I’m most likely to meet my future wife. What if I don’t? I’d be screwed if I graduate a single guy.
However, I’ve been self-diagnosed with high standards. I’m very picky about the women I pursue. I tend to unintentionally look for flaws in the women I’m interested in. Then as soon as that flaw is discovered, *boom,* the switch has been flipped to “off,” and now I feel like a jerk for leading this girl on. Also, the opposite tends to occur. I would assume that things are going well between me and a girl until *boom,* switch flipped. And she’s gone. Like a thief in the night. Did I do something wrong? Am I too short? I knew I lost her the moment I said that “I’m a Heat fan.”
I’ve always expected to see clouds parting and a spotlight of sunshine on the woman that will be my future wife. Flawless and doubt-free. She would also be interesting enough for me to learn something new about her every day. And she would find me just as interesting, and tell me when my jokes aren’t funny, and at least appreciate my obsession with sports. I want my future wife to be a woman I have to fight for; a challenge. One that needs to be rescued in a world infested with dragons. My princess. Oh, and also my princess would also love the Miami Heat as much as I do.
• • •
We met at a karaoke bar. Well, actually she Friended me on Facebook over a year ago due to our enormous amount of mutual friends. So I guess it’s kind of like we’ve been friends all this time, but not really. Eric, my roommate, and I had been saving a large table for a large group of people he was expecting to arrive. A few minutes later, a group of four girls and one guy entered the bar. She took her seat right next to me.
“Hi, I’m Bailey,” she said with a smile.
“I’m Adrian. I feel like we know each other,” I replied.
“Yea, we’re definitely Facebook friends.”
Not to sound like a creeper, but I’d already known a good amount of information about her by knowledge of Facebook prior to actually meeting her in person. For instance, I knew that she is a dancer, she’s into indie music, and is from Tennessee. “You were in New York last semester, weren’t you?” We went on and on about things about each other, particularly her where she’s from, because I’m always genuinely interested in the lives of people who are from a different state than me. We had a great conversation among beer and poorly sung karaoke songs. When Eric was finished singing Will Smith’s “Miami,” the group decided to call it a night.
Before we parted ways, Bailey and I exchanged our goodbyes. “It was great to finally meet you,” she said.
And with an intoxicated reaction, I grabbed her hand with both of my hands and said, “Yes, it was great. We will talk again soon.”
As Eric and I walked back to the car, I turned to him and said, “Man, I’m intrigued.”
• • •
Trial & error is how I looked at it. Go on a date with a girl you’re interested in, and if it doesn’t work out then she’s not the girl for you; Trial & error. So then I decided to ask her out because the worst case scenario was that she would be one more girl that I know I’m not supposed to marry. So I sent her a Facebook message. Classy, I know, but I didn’t have her number. She messaged me back and we had arranged a little afternoon outing for the both of us. Friday afternoon was the date, and I couldn’t wait for it.
My roommate Jordan and his girlfriend Jessie were in the living room watching TV when I walked in, “Hey, question: if I’m going out to lunch with a girl, do I pay for her or not?”
“It depends on your intentions with her,” Jordan replied, scratching his chin, “Not paying for her says you want to be friends. Paying for her says that you want to be more than friends.”
“Interesting,” I said.
Jessie excitedly partook in the conversation, “You have a date?”
“Yea, I guess you could call it that.”
“Aw that’s so exciting. Just remember: do not look for flaws,” she said. That was probably the best pre-date advice I could ever receive. Thanks Jessie.
• • •
Friday afternoon finally came around, and my stomach was full of butterflies. I met up with her in front of the dance building and we walked across campus to a nearby Greek food restaurant. As we walked, we talked about her Tennessee lifestyle, how she started dancing, and her college experiences. In my head I was quickly formulating more questions to crank out so there’d never be a dull moment. But this was bad because it prevented me from fully paying attention to her. At the same time I was doing my best to be as 100% as I could possibly be; trying not to slouch, say something stupid, nor accidentally stick one of my fingers up my nose (it’s a bad habit I’m trying to break). Then my mind began to look for flaws. I started to examine her face to find any one little detail that I might find to be a turn-off. And then I heard Jessie’s voice, “Don’t look for flaws.” So I stopped and carried on with our conversation to the best of my ability.
Bailey finished her entire meal that I had paid for, as I left a good quarter of my pita in the basket. Side-note: Is it me, or is it extremely difficult to talk while eating on a date? Like when you’re on a date you’re asking each other questions the entire time, but when the food comes you need to time your question/answer/bite ratio. The last thing you’d want to do is show your date what your food looks like when it’s chewed.
After Greek food, we walked next door for some coffee. “I’ll have a hot chai latte and a… What do you want?… And a caramel macchiato, please.” We sat at a table that positioned us face to face. I sipped my chai latte. It was shitty.
“How’s your drink?” she asked.
“It’s pretty good. How’s yours?”
“It’s really good, I love it. Wanna try it?” I reached out my hand for it. I sipped it. It was shitty too.
We continued to talk on our walk back toward campus, but at this point I kind of got that feeling that she was all talked out. “Which way are you going?” I said.
“This way,” she said. Then we hugged and went our separate paths.
• • •
The next day, I had spent the evening in the company of good friends over some banana-flavored sheesha. Throughout the duration of our hooka session, I was in constant meditation. I’d realized that my date with Bailey had taught me one thing: Bailey is NOT the girl for me. She is a very pretty girl with a lot going for her, but she’s not my type. She didn’t have that sun shining down on her through the parting of the clouds, nor did she appear to me as a challenge. Yet I still find myself thinking about her. It was more like I was going through the motions of it all. My mind was preoccupied with the thought of what was going to happen between Bailey and I, that I didn’t pay attention to the friends around me. We were planning on heading over to midtown to celebrate a friend’s birthday after we would finish our hooka.
She had performed in a dance show earlier that evening, so I sent her a text message asking how it went. Bailey responded saying that it went well and asked me how my day was. I then responded with an, “It’s been going great,” and asked her if she wanted to go out again this week. She had not yet responded when my good friend Mike asked me “What’s the matter?”
“It’s this girl man,” I said.
“Who is it?”
“I went on a date with this girl yesterday. You know her. It’s Bailey.”
“Oh man, she’s awesome. Are you guys gonna go out again?”
I looked at my phone to see if I’ve received a response from Bailey. Nothing. It’s been about five minutes since I asked her out for a second date. “I don’t know yet. She hasn’t responded to my text yet.”
Mike grabbed his cell phone and his keys in gesture to get up to leave, “Well maybe you can ask her when you see her later because apparently she’s gonna be at where we’re going.”
“Wait, what? She’s gonna be at the Filling Station?”
“Yea, that’s what Eric texted me. A group of them, including Bailey want to go dancing in midtown after her show.”
“Man, I wish you would’ve told me this ten minutes ago before I texted her! And now we’re going to the same place so I’m totally gonna look like I’m creeping on her.” Now my internal frustration was centered around whether or not she would respond to my text message before I see her in person. If she says “yes” then we’re good. But if she says “no” then I will be in awkward city.
“No man. Don’t believe that,” Mike said. “With that jacket on, you own the world.”
• • •
When we got to the Filling Station I was nervous, so I bought a beer to calm myself. My heart pounded through my chest as my eyes constantly landed at the front entrance, anticipating Bailey’s arrival. Eric walked in, pumping his fist like he was ready to rage. “Let’s go dance!” he said to me.
“I need to drink first,” I said.
“You don’t need that stuff to dance!”
“I need this stuff to talk to a girl.” Then Eric walked away.
Behind Eric followed a group of familiar faces, including Bailey. I greeted each of them in the order they arrived in, which made Bailey last. “Hey! I was just about to text you!” she said to me, then walked up to the bar along with every one from the group, trying to get drinks. “I’ll just catch a minute to talk to her later on,” I thought. As soon as everyone had a drink in hand, we all migrated to the dance floor. About five minutes later, Eric looked at me and yelled, “Irish Car Bombs! Let’s go get some Irish Car Bombs!” I really didn’t want to leave this bar and ruin my chances of talking to Bailey, but the thought of more alcohol helping me have that conversation swayed my decision. So Eric and I made our way out of the dance floor and outside, toward the Irish bar next door.
When we rounded the corner of the bar, I was face to face with something unexpected. I felt like I was watching a shiny unicorn, drinking water from a pond in the middle of a forest. Something so rare that one may never get to see this ever again, especially in Tallahassee. “That’s Justin Blackmon!” I yelled, pointing at a man standing on the other side of a glass window as if he were on display.
“No way man, that’s not him,” Eric replied.
Justin Blackmon played football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and was arguably the best wide receiver in college football for the 2011 season. He was also on my favorite team to play with in the newest college football video game. I would use his team whenever I would play against Eric. “I’m going to throw to Blackmon every single play!” and I would. One day ESPN presented a short documentary based on Justin Blackmon and the charity work he is involved in. In all, these components have formed a personal appreciate for him, so I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him. His reason for being in Tallahassee was beyond me. I might have even squealed like a little schoolgirl.
“Bro, that’s him! I swear to God that’s him!” There’s something about seeing a celebrity in person. They have a sort of glimmer that catches your eye. I know Justin Blackmon isn’t quite the household name, but he is a future NFL athlete and bound for a Hall of Fame career. I mean, this guy is going to be a millionaire in a month, so this is a huge deal. Justin Blackmon is the equivalent to Justin Bieber in the eyes of the common sports aficionado. “Eric, come take a picture with me and Justin.”
Eric and I walked back into the bar and traversed our way through the flood of people in hopes of capturing a still image of my moment meeting God’s gift to sports. The bar was thick; full of people slamming Irish Car Bombs, talking at an absurd volume, and (for some odd reason) a group of middle-aged men wearing suit jackets. Needless to say it was chaotic. We approached Justin as he was towering over the suit jacket club that was surrounding him. He was bent over talking to a girl when I tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around to face me, preoccupied with everyone around him trying to talk to him at once. “Hey Justin, I’m a huge fan of yours,” I reached out my hand for a handshake and his met mine, “do you mind if I get a picture with you real quick?”
“Hey thanks man, really appreciate it,” he said as he was looking over my head and all around the bar.
I moved over next to him and Eric snapped the picture. Then I told him, “Thanks a lot Justin. Good luck in the NFL,” and walked back to the Filling Station feeling like I own the world.
• • •
Bailey was sitting on the barrier outside when I saw her. Perfect. This was my chance to finally talk to her, one-on-one, and get an answer from her. I approached her and caught her eye, “Hey.”
“Hey! That’s my dance instructor.” She pointed to a hipster who wasn’t even looking at me.
“Hi, dance instructor,” I said and waved jokingly.
“And this is my friend Amber. She’s a dancer too.”
“Hi, Amber,” and unwillingly, Amber and I began to have a conversation. As soon as she introduced us, she began to get the attention of Dance Instructor. In my head I’m thinking of how much I did not want to be talking to this girl whom I’d already forgotten her name, and how much I’d rather be talking to Bailey. Then Bailey had gotten up and walked over to Dance Instructor.
I walked away from Amber not remembering whether or not I rudely ended our conversation and walked over to my group of friends.
“I think we’re gonna head out,” Eric said.
“Alright, just give me a minute. I’m gonna try to talk to Bailey before we leave,” I said.
“Okay, just meet us at the car.”
When I went back to where Bailey was, she was sitting on the same barrier as before, next to Dance Instructor. She didn’t see me as I approached her. She was looking down, almost like her eyes were closed, sleeping. Normally, I wouldn’t approach women if they’re around men, but I had made an exception for this case. As I got closer to her she suddenly placed her head on Dance Instructor’s shoulder. I took it as if she said, “I’m sorry Adrian, but you need to back the Hell off.” It was the sign I needed to move on. The sign that said, “Bailey is not your princess.” And I knew it all along. Next time I just need to man-up and do something about it.
• • •
The car ride home consisted of a good conversation that led to all of this clarity. “She’s just not the girl for you, man,” Eric said.
“Yea, I know.” I began to wonder if it was something I had done during our date. Was I oblivious to something she said? Was she able to tell that I wasn’t 100% invested in our conversation? Well maybe if she didn’t talk about boring stuff so much I would’ve payed more attention. Or was there something on my face? My nose was pretty runny that day so I probably had a few boogers crusted around the inside ring of my nose, that I picked. Oh God! I picked my nose in the middle of our date, didn’t I? Did I talk too much about the Miami Heat? I knew I should’ve saved the LeBron talk for our second date! Then I said, “Well who cares? I met Justin Blackmon!” So I guess in the end, I did meet a “special someone” after all.