At a coffee shop somewhere near you, Thomas, 22, sits at a table decorated with textbooks, loose-leaf paper and his laptop. He takes a break from his work to browse various Doge memes online. Actually, this “break” began 47 minutes ago, but who’s counting? At nearby table, directly in Thomas’ 12 o’clock vision, Unknown Girl, 21, takes a seat. Thomas finds Unknown Girl aesthetically pleasing. Nice hair, symmetrical face, tanned, glowing complexion and eyes that are, at the very least, not not stunning. Also, much to Thomas’ liking, she’s wearing form-fitting pants that reveal a rather rotund backside. “Damn,” Thomas says to himself, “datass.” Thomas decides that he likes what he sees so much that he’s going to engage in interaction.
Unknown Girl empties her belongings from a messenger bag, many of which were similar to Thomas’. Papers, textbooks, a laptop – even index cards and highlighters. “So school, much educate, very learn, wow.” thought Thomas, still stuck in Doge meme mode.
“Christine! Your mocha blah blah blah is ready at the bar!” shouts a barista.
Thomas doesn’t care to listen past the announcing of Unknown Girl’s name, which he casually enters into a Facebook search. There are hundreds, even thousands of Christine’s listed nearby. This is too broad of a hunt. Plus, what if her name is spelled K-r-i-s-t-i-n-e or C-r-i-s-t-i-n-e or K-h-r-i-s-t-i-n-e, or the barista misheard and her actual name is Kirsten or Kristin or Kerstin.
Thomas decides to seek eye contact. Only moments later, while sipping from her mocha whatever, Christine looks up and her eyes meet Thomas’.
Oh hey, that guy is looking at me.
Christine smiles a friendly smile at Thomas. Thomas stares in awe of Christine and her not, not mesmerizing eyes.
Nice – we just made eye contact and she smiled! Awesome!… Shit, I was so preoccupied with the eye contact that I think I forgot to smile back.
Rude, how hard is it to be cordial and smile back to a stranger? Anyway, time to get to work.
Dang it, we’ll have to make eye contact again, but next time I’ll smile.
For the next 18 minutes Thomas aimlessly surfs the internet, not even really paying attention to his laptop as he persistently glances up seeking eye contact a grand total of 87 times. Christine never looks up.
She’s really focused over there; I wonder how I can get her attention.
Thomas clears his throat. Christine’s eyes remain glued to the pages of her textbook. Thomas clears his throat again. Nothing.
C’mon, Christine, you smiled at me so surely you didn’t think I was like, hideous or something — just look at me again.
8 more minutes pass.
Time for the heavy artillery.
Thomas fakes a sneeze. Christine says “Bless you.” Thomas says “thank you” and remembers to smile this time. Unfortunately Christine never looks up.
She must be shy and doesn’t want to get caught looking at me again, I know she wants to so bad right now…
…f (x) dx = F(b) – F(a)
Thomas continues glancing at Christine for the next 32 minutes and eventually Christine, while naturally looking up as humans sometimes do, makes eye contact again with Thomas. The glance lingers for 2.3 seconds. Neither of them smile, her because she’s caught off guard by a staring face, him because he’s bad at flirting.
She’s looking over here, she’s interested!
Geez, has stone-face-guy been looking at me this entire time?
We need to make eye contact one more time, but this time I’ll smile and maybe say hi? Not hi, but like ‘sup or something casual. How goes it? Nah. Working hard or hardly working? Dear, God, no, don’t say that. We’ll just go with hey or how’s it going or you look so familiar, do I know you from somewhere?
I’m going to look up again in a minute and if he’s still looking, he’ll officially be labeled weird.
Moments later, Christine looks up. Of course Thomas is still staring. Thomas smiles a big, arguably over enthusiastic smile. It looks like that one iPhone emoticon that’s smiling hard with closed eyes and showing all of its teeth. Yeah, that one.
Boom! Message sent with the smile, good job man! That was smooth as heck and we’re making epic eye contact, there’s definitely a vibe here.
Yup, this guy is officially labeled weird.
Hmm, what now? We’ve established that we both like looking at each other, what’s the move from here? Think, Thomas, think.
Thomas is unable to concoct a decent plan, so he continues his routine. Over the next 52 minutes, Thomas spends 48 of them looking at Christine, catching her glance 3 times and her irritated glare, 14 times. Thomas never distinguishes the difference between the two.
As Christine appears to be putting away her belongings and preparing to leave, Thomas decides that it’s go-time and he’s got to make a move NOW. He hastily begins packing his things as well, but first, takes a sheet of paper from his notebook and scribbles down his name & phone number.
Thomas gets up and walks towards Christine.
Thomas’ Mind: Don’t slouch, be charismatic, you can do this.
Christine’s Mind: Oh God, is he seriously coming my way?
Thomas leans over to a seated Christine.
Thomas’ Mouth: Hey – I just wanted to give you this.
Thomas hands Christine the paper.
Christine’s Mouth: Oh… (Politely & nervously chuckling) Thanks, that’s… thanks.
Christine’s Mind: Seriously, guy?
Thomas’ Mouth: Of course, text me if you want to hang out sometime.
Christine’s Mouth: Yeah I might just do that.
Christine’s Mind: I’m never going to do that.
Thomas exits. Christine remains seated for a bit, long enough to be sure Thomas is gone so she won’t have an awkward encounter as she departs. Thomas looks back for one last glance and sees Christine tapping away at her phone, presumably entering his freshly acquired phone number.
Thomas’ Mind: Nailed it!
On her phone, Christine snaps a photo of the paper with Thomas’ unwanted number and posts it on Instagram. The caption reads as follows:
Creeper at coffee shop stared at me for over an hour then gave his number. Uh, wut? #Lurker #Weirdo #RUSerious #NoThanks #ByeFelicia (she also adds that one iPhone emoticon that’s smiling hard with closed eyes and showing all of its teeth)
Thomas anticipates a text or call for the following 14 days before reluctantly accepting on day 15 that it likely isn’t going to happen. Christine’s photo gets 32 likes on Instagram.