I was going to ask someone out to dinner today. She was at GameStop. I went in to buy some Pokemon plushies for my niece and nephew (tyrunt for my nephew and eevee for my niece) so that I could get the legendary Pokemon poster. And win points with my niece and primarily nephew. I was surprised they had a “dinosaur” Pokemon, as he puts it. He’s really wanted one.
The girl at the counter was really cute. She asked if I wanted to reserve Pokemon Moon or Sun. I said no, these were for my niece and nephew, and I didn’t know which games they wanted.
What was I doing? Yes I wanted to pre-order the Pokemon game which was announced yesterday. I currently had a Twitch stream of Pokemon movies running at my apartment and I only stepped out due to it being a movie I had seen before. I was working on completing my Pokedex basically all Sunday. This woman works at a gaming store, and I’m denying I play Pokemon?
“Yeah, I’m getting the eevee for my niece and the dinosaur one for my nephew. He wanted a dino Pokemon.”
“Out here, tyrunt is probably the closest you can get.” I really didn’t remember his name. “But in New York City, they have a Pokemon Center. So many cute Pokemon plushies.” And she kept talking. She knew I was spouting crap.
I fell in love within the next three minutes talking to her while buying the items. Maybe two minutes, it was still a long time for purchasing two plushies.
As soon as I got into the car, I looked back at the GameStop. “I’m in love.” This is an exaggeration. I drove to the Panda Express a half block away, and while eating thought on it. I was going back tomorrow. I was pre-ordering Moon and Sun, and I was going to challenge her to a Pokemon battle. Over dinner. That’s what I would do!
On my way back to my apartment from an early morning meeting, my stomach was in knots. I hadn’t asked someone to dinner in a long time. This woman was beautiful and charming. I hadn’t asked a woman like that out in even longer. She would say no. That’s okay. We’d both have a story. But there was that chance she was flirting, and would say yes.
Then I froze up. What if she was just being nice? What if she plays hard to get? What if….
It dawned on me how many crappy rules we have in our society for dating, and how we don’t actually mean them, unless it avoids the awkwardness of turning someone down.
1. I was just being nice
We get upset when being nice is mistaken for flirting. Yet there are some people, myself included, where generally if we’re flirting subtlety, it comes off as just being nice. On top of that, if you’re nice, you’re someone I’d want to date. If I don’t say I want to date you, I will never have a shot.
This cashier is paid to be nice to me. I get that. But there are degrees of nice. On top of that, what if she is single, and the cleverness of challenging her to a battle opens the door, even if the thought hadn’t crossed my mind? Obviously I’m a little weird, I’m thoughtful, and so on. Could even just become a curiosity date, and I’m okay with that. Yet if she turned me down, society would tell me she was just being nice and I read too much into it.
2. No means no
This isn’t a sex reference, though if we look at the popularity of 50 Shades, one really wonders what no truly means.
In college there was a woman I was interested in. I never went for her because she had a boyfriend. The one opening I had was gone so quickly that by the time she was dating my friend, I didn’t even realize the first relationship was over. Years later she told me all I had to do was ask. She waited two years for me to ask.
In another case, there was someone in high school I wanted to date. She thought of me as a brother. I persisted. We dated. It was horrible and ugly in the end, but it was a nice three months. No meant “convince me” not, “not a chance in hell.”
There are countless stories out there of women telling a guy no, but the guy keeps trying. They end up married. It’s a story of perseverance and adorable love. Yet I’m told no means no, I take it to mean no, while the guy who didn’t take no as an answer is married.
3. I swear I had another
Wow? A two point list? That’s lame. I really swore I had a third point. You know what’ll happen? I hit publish, and suddenly my brain’s all, “Hey, this is the third point!” Thanks, brain. Choke on spaghetti. Poorly chewed spaghetti.
It just feels like a no win. Often times the difference between “He’s awkward/stupid” is the difference between if you like him. I’ve had stalkers. The difference between them being a stalker and an endearing romantic interest is if I like them. I understand this. Standing at my doorway when I can’t wait to see you is very different than standing in my doorway when you’re the last person in the world I want to talk to.
Anyway, I went to issue my challenge and she wasn’t there. I’m going to write it up as a sad but fun daydream.