It just happened to me. Right now. Just before I started writing a different, rather more pretentious post on how to order the ultimate “that guy” Starbucks drink. This, however, is much more interesting. Life can trundle along at a slow, mundane pace until one day, out of nowhere; someone pops your bubble in Starbucks. They grin at you and ask “if you ever wanna get coffee some time” whilst offering/thrusting their business card to you. It’s the stuff of Nicholas Sparks novels.
There are two types of people in the world: those who ask strangers out and think absolutely nothing of it — no harm in asking right? Then there are those who splutter and spill coffee on themselves a lot. Namely me. We are the one’s who get instant amnesia when asked of our names, we are the one’s who trip up the stairs in public, the one’s who have to buy expensive accidental insurance for our electronics.
So to the former type of person, here are the seven things that will go through the mind of someone you’re asking out who is in the latter camp.
1. The Excuse To Sit Near You
“Hey is this seat taken?”
This is when you look up, grunt, spill coffee and try to smile all at the same time. You didn’t hear what the stranger said.
You’re ripping your headphones out at light speed.
You sort of splutter whilst wincing at your now sodden and scolded groin. He smiles and repeats the question.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you — I just wondered, can I sit there?”
And then you see it. You just know it. They’re the one. You really bloody well fancy them. He’s all tall, dark, handsome. The cliché. So you respond in the dullest manner possible. Trying to keep your cool. You imagine an air of nonchalance descending over you. All the while subtly hinting at the fact that you are single and ready to mingle and don’t mind turning this into a first date:
You inwardly smack yourself on the forehead over and over until you’re barely capable of smiling again as they shuffle around and de-coat themselves and settle. That sexy tiger purring within you suddenly turns into one of those god awful hairless cat things.
2. The Second Exchange
“Are you finished with that newspaper?”
You’re screaming inside as they sort of look at you blankly and expectantly.
“Erm, yeah sure go ahead. Keep it if you want.”
Again, you’re having several thousand heart attacks all at once and are sweating profusely as they smile and say thanks. When really you hadn’t actually finished with it. You’d just placed it down to check your phone. But you’d do anything for them in this moment. Even so far as give away the Sunday Telegraph that cost you a whole £2.00. You think these three lines of conversation are spewing endless amount of meaning. That they’re hopelessly in love with you.
3. You Wonder If Them Glancing Is A Twitch Or Legitimate
There is goes again. Repetitive Strain Disorder, or does he think you’re cute? I can’t tell. You look down at your iPad. You see him shift in the corner of your eye. You glance up. He’s looking at you. You’re looking at him. Your eye’s lock. You feign a coughing fit, an extreme interest in the empty road outside or scratching your head. You glance up again. He’s smirking. Definitely smirking. Or was it a funny article he’s reading in you’re newspaper? Perhaps he won’t find your writing interesting or funny. Well, you couldn’t date someone who didn’t like your passion.
He’s looking at you again as he reaches for his coffee. Your eyes are looking as close to his knee’s as possible to allow peripheral vision to see if he’s still looking. He’s still looking. You realise you must look mentally disoriented. So you find yourself reaching for a pen cap you can see on the floor underneath your shared table. It’s not a pen cap. It’s a black crayon that’s been chewed relentlessly by a child. You have nothing to pretend to do whilst you’re reaching on the ground. You’re in no man’s land. You see him looking at you. His eye’s burning into the top of your head.
4. He Offers You His Trust
It’s been 27 minutes and you’ve done precisely no work since he sat down. And then the silence breaks. He’s leaning forwards as if he’s about to go. Don’t go, you inwardly plead.
“Hey, do you mind watching my stuff for a moment?”
Your mind races. Is there an appropriate answer to this question? Obviously not. The only answer is yes. Right?
“Where are you going?”
Why did you say that why oh why. You may as well of asked him when his grandparents had died or if he was into roses or carnations.
“Um, the bathroom. So, do you mind?”
“Oh, yeah sure of course.”
You’ve had your first real conversation.
5. You Text Anybody You Think Will Care
He’s in the bathroom so you analyse every single one of his possessions. His wheel-ey case — is he going on holiday? His laptop — perhaps he’s a writer too. It is a Macbook after all, his scarf-tartan. You start composing an IM to your mum, brother, best gal pal and best gay pal:
“In Starbs VxHall. Cute guy sat opposite. Lot’s of glancing. Deffo into me. What to do?!??!?!?1?!?!!!!1111 x”
The replies are immediate and are exactly what you expected:
Mum: “Be safe. He might be a rapist luv u xx” – obviously.
Brother: “Get in there lad. But what happened to Jake? Thort U 2 were 4eva :P :P” – not spoken in three weeks, does he not know Jake was a total asshole??
Best Gal Pal: “Omg babes. Just ask for his number. Nothing to lose!! Is he cute? Get a sneaky pic ily xxxx” Definitely expected response. She’s probably in bed with her ex-boyfriend dreaming of double dates too.
Best Gay Pal: “HOW BIG IS HIS DICK?? Did you follow him to the bathroom?? Make sure it’s not that freak Aaron he cheated on Michael and he’s always in that Starbz u know that xo.” You reply reminding him that this is a group chat with your mum.
Best Gay Pal: “Sorry Jan xxx”
6. He’s Leaving
Your heart sinks to the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
Unrequited love. He says thanks for looking after his stuff. But his eye’s linger again. You’re both sort of staring. Your coffee stained trousers probably. He grins. Says goodbye. Your brain goes into meltdown. You contemplate writing a blog post about him and lying about the outcome as you stare at his bum as he walks out, those suitcase wheels clacking on the floor, the soundtrack to your life. Perhaps it was never meant to be. You tweet about it.
“Deffo just got checked out by a cute guy in Starbucks. Do I run after him Breakfast At Tiffany’s style?!″
Out of the corner of your eye, you see him re-emerge.
His wheel’s are clacking faster than before. He’s holding something out in front of him. A business card. He thrusts it towards the side of your face as you barely get time to look up from your iPad. He’s nervous.
“If you ever want to get coffee sometime. Soon.”
You grin beyond stupidly.
You’re playing it cool and grinning and exploding all at the same time. You see his grin, too, before his wheel’s clack off in the other direction again. It’s all a blur and you can’t even remember what he looked like.
You look at his card. Alumnus. Cute, cute and cuter. He has a card? Why don’t I have a card?
How long do you leave it before you call him?
You get out your phone to text everybody else until you figure it out.