Random Act Of Outgoing-ness - 11.21.97

On the 14th, I released a story / essay about a cool experience that I had happen to me several years ago. During the process of writing and editing that story, a very funny thing happened; The opportunity arose for me to actually try and do what I had been sitting and writing about.

It was a couple days before my birthday and my dad and step-mother were going to take me out for lunch. They came and checked out my apartment one Sunday morning and then we left for the restaurant. We got there at just about noon and were told that it would be about a 20-minute wait. While we were standing around talking, I noticed that one of the waitresses was particularly pretty. I watched her for a little bit, then continued on chatting with my Dad. Finally, they called our name and the host took us off to our table.

We sat down and started looking at our menu. It ended up being random luck that our waitress was none other than the one I had been looking at earlier. The restaurant was packed and everyone there was super-busy. We ordered coffee and some other drinks, but someone else ended up bringing them out to us. We ordered our food and it came, but I only ended up seeing her a couple more times over the course of our eating. In this time, I tried to gauge her a bit (as if one could in that amount of time).

The time came for us to pay for the meal and leave, but I couldn't muster up enough guts to write down my number and leave it on the table with my dad and step-mother there. I instead thought of another plan and checked out the name of our server on the ticket when she left it at our table.

When I got back to my apartment, I was all ready to roll. I had her name and I knew the restaurant that she was working at. I knew they were busy, so I decided to put off my call until a time when I thought business would have settled down a bit. I finally built up enough strength to make the call at about 2:30pm, but she had already gone home for the day.

I got home from work the next day (Monday) and decided I would once again try. It wasn't so hard doing it the first time, but then again, I hadn't spoken with her. I wrote and did some other things until about 7:30pm when I once picked up the phone again. I called the number and asked for her, but this time I was told that she had called in sick for the day.

When I came home the next day from work, I was very unsure about whether I should make the call for the third time. I had been very stoked just the day before, but I was starting to feel like it just wasn't meant to be. The whole act itself was something totally unlike anything I had ever done, and I was beginning to feel a lack of confidence once again. After eating some dinner and listening to a bit of music, I decided that I would go ahead and make the call one last time. I told myself that if she wasn't there this time, I would simply stop calling.

After talking myself out of it several times in, I put just the right music on the stereo and once again psyched myself up to make the call. I picked up the reciever and dialed the number from memory. When I asked this time, the host said, "just a second, I'll get her." I got put on hold and the moments started ticking away. I was only on hold for about half a minute, but my mind went through about a hundred different thoughts in that time. Should I simply hang up? What if I sounded like a complete idiot? Here I was, a college graduate, but I was feeling the same nervousness I had in junior-high when I wrote silly poems and thought about making radio dedications.

All my thoughts came slamming to a halt when the incessant hold music stopped and she picked up on the other end. Even though I had thought about what I was going to say, I know that I spilled everything out in about 30 seconds. I told her that she probably didn't know who I was, but I was at her table on Sunday when it was very busy. Without taking a breath, I asked her if she would like to go out and get some coffee or see a movie sometime. After I had burst everything out, there was a split second of silence. I took a deep breath as she started responding. The first thing she said was that she did remember me, even though they were busy. Then she said that she was very flattered, but she was already seriously involved with somebody.

Instead of feeling upset or rejected, though, I actually felt kind of good about it. She was very nice througout the whole conversation and never once sounded annoyed (although I thought she would be) or upset. I told her that I was sorry for bothering her, and ended the conversation by saying, "Have a good evening." Instead of directly hanging up the phone, she told me not to be sorry and then said, "maybe I'll see you around." With that, the conversation was over. I hung up the phone and just kind of sat in my chair thinking about it for awhille.

Although I technically got rejected, I wasn't feeling too defeated. I was actually quite surprised at how relaxed I was feeling. I was in a fairly decent mood so I went over to my stereo, put on some different music and pondered it all over a little more. I was glad that I had made the call. It was something that I would normally never do, but I suddenly didn't feel so introverted. I wondered about what would happen if I did see her again as she had mentioned. I know that I probably won't be going to the same restaurant for awhile, but what if I ran into her some other time? What if I ran into her and her significant other? The answer is that nothing would probably happen, and that's what's so excellent about it. At worst she pretends not to notice me, and at best she passes a friendly smile. Either way, it's not a big deal.

I can't answer the question of whether I'll do anything that random again sometime soon. In some ways, I think it was just a random act of outgoing-ness, but I also think that it may have helped me out a bit in the social department. Even though we didn't go out or anything, nothing bad happened either. I didn't get yelled at and I didn't get hung up on. The initial call was the only difficult part. After that, I just rambled on and hoped that I didn't sound like too much of an idiot. Yeah, I should definitely do it again sometime.