Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Always be ready for an encounter

When I was a teenager, men often flirted with me at the laundromat, of all places. That always boggled my mind. My hair was a mess. I was dressed in old gym shoes, jogging pants and an oversized winter coat. So not-sexy. Plus, I was fifteen, and have always looked three or more years younger than my age. I thought, "Eww, dirty old men!" Although laundry day provided me-time to listen to my Discman and finish my homework, on those days, I liked it when my father stopped by the laundromat a bit too early.

No one had approached me at the laundromat since high school, until Sunday.

I saw a young-ish man checking me out. Well, I thought I did. I am notorious for misinterpreting signals. Anyway, he was kinda cute, to me anyway. It was hard to fully gauge his cuteness as he was dressed in ratty laundry-day clothes, but he had a cute face. I walked past him a few times to verify my suspicions (and give him something to look at in case he was checking me out...).

This laundromat has a room with wifi where you can work on your laptop. I sat in there and net-surfed while my clothes were drying. The young man stopped in and asked, "Do you think my clothes are dry yet?" I replied I didn't notice when he started the dryer but it was seven minutes per quarter. He glanced at my laptop and then said, "Let me show you something. Go to youtube." He showed me a variety of silly youtube videos that he liked. Some were funny and some were mindless time wasters, but he was cute and had a nice smile and pretty eyes, so I didn't mind the company. :-P He showed me some clips of his favorite anime too. Wow, we anime fans can sniff each other out anywhere, huh? I have been out-of-touch with all things anime since high school, however.

Of course, I was taking mental notes of said boy as we talked, well, he talked, rather. He had a specialized knowledge (plus), he was friendly without being all "hey baby, hey hot stuff" (plus), he could hold a conversation (plus), he took the initiative to approach me (plus). Oh, and yeah, he was cute. I was playing "makeover" in my head, imagining how he might look when he wasn't in laundry-day gear. I wasn't sure how old he was, knew no details like job, school, or whatnot, and didn't want to go there, really. All I knew was he was a friendly, youngish guy in my neighborhood who knew how to do his own laundry and shares an interest with me.

He eventually said, "Hey, do you have facebook?" It was one of the tabs on my computer screen so I had to say, "Yes." He said, "Here, friend request me." Twitter is actually for my professional stuff, which I would have been more comfortable giving, but he didn't have Twitter, so I facebooked him. Whoa, how did he manage to get a facebook friend request out of me? This guy's good. I figured if the guy turned out to be weird, I could always delete him later. I guess this was his equivalent of asking a girl for her number.

I googled his name later (of course) and found out that he was actually twenty-years old. Ew, he can't even drink legally yet? That's almost a ten year difference. Darn google. Why did I have to google him and spoil my fun? Anyway, I have to give the young guy kudos for doing what guys my age don't do (anymore?). I know I was giving off "leave me alone" body language, though I was consciously trying to be more approachable.

But this boy did exactly what any match needs to do with me. The guy needs to approach me, but he needs to do it in a friendly way. No "hey beautiful, hey baby girl, can I talk to you?" Just come and talk to me, maybe talk about a "prop" I'm carrying. He needs to actually be able to talk about something other than work or school. He needs to be persistent, even when I'm giving off "leave me alone," signals (like me saying, "I have to get going"). Is it a lot? Yeah, maybe. But he got a friend request out of me, which gives a lot of access to my personal, inner world. I don't even give that to guys I contact on okcupid. I don't even give out my phone number until right before I meet a guy! So his persistence worked.


  1. Hey, age is just a number! A friend of mine just married her boyfriend who was only 17 when they started dating - she was 24. Everyone thought they were both nuts but he was always mature for his age.

    My uncle used to tell my cousin to go to the laundromat to meet guys. Sounded like terrible advice at the time, maybe I'll have to show her this blog post and prove that it can happen!

  2. for a guy who can't even legally drink yet, he's got game and the good kind. seems like a genuinely nice guy. keep in touch with him, maybe the age gap won't seem so vast 5 years from now (my 35 year old girlfriend just married a guy 10 years her junior) or maybe he has an equally nice and hot single older brother :P