[This story involves me unknowingly running game on a girl when I was in Undergrad. The dialogue is going to be thin on this one, since it has been almost 8 years since it happened]
Location: Governors E Lot, University at Buffalo, Amherst, NY
Time: Early September 2004, Around 8.30
It was a nice early September morning, just warm enough where you didn’t need a jacket. The sun being out helped too.
I grabbed my messenger bag from behind the driver’s seat in my car and shouldered it. I was in for a bit of a walk, since I had gotten to campus much later than I would have liked. Again I cursed the Freshman Long Island JAPs and Tools that rolled out of bed in Richmond, drove the short distance over and took all the closer parking lots on the Spine instead of taking the bus. The only thing I wanted to do that morning was to get a coffee and try to read a few pages from my P-Chem textbook in Lockwood Library before class.
The long walk didn’t make this prospect sound any more interesting or fun at all. I shifted my shoulder-strap so my heavy P-Chem textbook and empty water-bottle fell in a more comfortable position over my butt. I then began the slow trudge to the other end of the Spine.
As I was walking down the line of cars to the sidewalk, a car drove by looking for an open spot. I looked up.
A girl, brunette.
We met eyes briefly and I kept on walking, thinking nothing of it.
I got to White Rd., waited for the traffic to clear and then crossed. There was plenty of time before my class and I wasn’t in a hurry. With an even pace, I started walking in the direction of the Hamilton Loop and Capen Hall.
As what usually happened, I went on autopilot with my walking and went inside my head. Thinking how difficult this semester was going to be studying-wise, and when I would leave later this afternoon to go home and get ready for work. I was rolling this over in my mind, when I heard the unmistakable sound of flip-flops behind me. By the sound of it, the person was hurrying.
[Note: Buffalo only has good weather about 5 months out of the year, so I’m not completely anti-flip-flop for girls in certain occasions.]
Beppo (thinking): “Someone’s late for class.”
Again, thinking none of it, I kept my pace up. I was almost near the entrance to the Governors A/B lot when the flip-flop sound was just about to overtake me.
The girl from the parking lot stepped into my peripheral vision.
Girl (smiling): “I’m [Girl’s Name], what’s yours?”
Girl: “Pleased to meet you Beppo! Would you mind if I walked with you? Walking while talking to someone makes the long walks go by quicker, don’t you think?”
Beppo: “I guess you’ll get to where you’re going either way, alone or accompanied. But I don’t mind.”
Girl: “Great. Now…”
We started talking. All of the normal getting-to-know-you questions. Major? Where are you off to first? Where are you from? What year are you? Et cetera.
It was interesting when my major came up, since, unlike most people, she didn’t wince or say “I hated chemistry in high school.” It seemed like she was genuinely interested, so I told her about the research lab I was working in and a general overview of the stuff I was doing, even going so far as to stop her to point out the exact window of the lab in the NSC.
I can only speculate, but I believe that she was tingling at this point.
Girl: “Wow, you must be pretty smart.”
I hated when people said this, since most responses seem to come off (in my mind at least) as bragging. Plus, I knew a bunch of people who were way smarter than I was.
Beppo: “Yeah, I guess so.”
Girl: “It’s pretty cool that you’re doing all this stuff and in a difficult major too. It’s impressive.”
By this time we had gotten to the front of Capen and made a left down towards the Union, since I was going to Lockwood and she to Baldy. I was about to ask her something when she broke in.
Girl: “Would it be alright if I smoked? I don’t want to be rude and light up without asking you first, like, if you have allergies or something.”
Beppo: “Sure. Most of my friends and a couple of girls I dated were smokers, so no problem.”
She lit up. I for the most part was just having a conversation with a random girl, and really had no investment other than the time of the walk so far. From what I remember, the girl was very cute. Our conversation so far was pretty decent and she was engaging and interested (genuinely, not patronizing).
We talked for a bit more, coming to where we had to split and go into different buildings.
Girl: “See? Now didn’t the time go by quicker when you’re talking with someone?”
Beppo: “Yeah, actually it did. Well, it was nice to meet you. I’ll see you around.”
Girl (dejected, I think): “…Yeah, see you around.”
It didn’t dawn on me until later that day that I should have gotten her phone number. I kicked myself for about a week with the missed opportunity to meet a new girl.
I never saw the girl again, and to boot I had forgotten her name by that evening. So even if I wanted to, I wasn’t able to look her up either on Facebook (College-only at the time) or the Student Directory.
So pick your own sports euphemism for this event:
“I ran a 99 yard kickoff return, only to fumble on the 1 yard line!”
“I shanked a shot off the post on an open net!”
“My drive put me on the green, and I still ended up over par!”
I picked myself up and learned from my mistake, never again letting an opportunity slip like that through my fingers. Also, I try to pay more attention to the body language cues from the girls I talk to.
I make a mistake, but then I learn from it. Then I don’t make that mistake again.