Flashback: July 1994.
When I first started at the store, my first day, my new boss gave me the orientation. We were both young, early 20’s. It went very well. I was excited. I’ll never forget one thing he said:
I think you’ll find that it’s hard work, but rewarding and fun work. You get to listen to music while you work, the discount is really good, and you’ll meet so many girls here. Trust me, this is the best place to meet them.
That proved not to be the case.
Flash forward: June 2004.
In the 10 years since, I had not once — not even once! — dated a girl through work. Granted I’m kind of an idiot when it comes to girls. Never did know how to talk to them without sounding like the biggest idiot in the world. Also I somehow pick up a stutter when talking to them.
Anyway, year after year, I stuttered my way through a decade of probably talking like an idiot in front of hundreds of female customers.
One sunny afternoon in June, I was working the late shift. It was a really nice day, a “windows open” kind of day.
I was working with this guy Matt. Around 6 or so, I had to step out to pick up some boxes from another location. Rush, “Summertime Blues” was on the radio, the first time I ever heard it. When I returned to the store about 45 minutes later, I said, “Matt! Holy shit man, I just heard the new Rush from their covers album. It’s amazing man!”
Ignoring me, he said,”Did you see those two blonde girls in the store before you left?”
I said, “Yeah, the two hot ones?”
Matt responded, “Well one was hot, the other looked like the Angry Walrus. That one left you a note.”
He handed me a piece of yellow paper with a kitten on it. It just said “Paula” and then a phone number.
“Seriously?” I asked him.
“Seriously. I wouldn’t make something like this up, man.”
Good enough for me. The one he referred to as “the so-so one” looked good to me! The glorious prophecy of my boss has come true!
I called the number on the paper and we agreed to go out for coffee. I asked her about the note she left, I told her that’s never happened to me before. She told me she was there with her friend, she noticed me there, but I left before she could hand me the note personally. So she asked Matt if he could give me her note.
We went out four or five times, but it clearly wasn’t happening. And that’s where it gets weird.
When she sent me the “Let’s just be friends,” email, she added a double whammy for me. She told me that the story about seeing me in the store and leaving the note was actually a frabrication.
See, she’d see my profile on some site somewhere, and I must have said that I worked in a record store in the tri-city area. Rather than get an account and send me a message like a normal person would, she tried something different.
“Well,” she began, “in your profile you said you worked in a CD store. You said you were from the KW-Cambridge area. There was a picture of you there, so I figured I could just checking stores until I found you.” Pardon? “I’m sorry I lied about just walking in and seeing you there. Anyway, you’re cool and I’m cool but it’s just not happening, so…”
So…that was mildly creepy and I didn’t feel so bad about it not working out after that!