Friday, May 13, 2011
The 5-Minute Meet: How I met a girl and got her number on a walk
However, in my experience, this is an inefficient use of time and money. Why meet her in a very high-energy environment where everyone is dressed to the nines and often not in a mood to meet people, when you can go for a walk and meet a real woman, in a real moment as she's walking her dog? That's what this story is all about:
My mood was down in the dumps. I had just finished listening to an audiobook called "Why Him, Why Her" by Helen Fischer that details four distinct personality types based on biological and evolutionary study and research and how those types of people think, act and even date. I am primarily a Builder who is someone that is traditonal, likes scheduling, is cautious risk-taker respectful of rules and authority, socialable and a good host. As I sat in my car listening, the author described the faults of the Builder and every one of them hit home, like a thunder storm of tough love. It was dramatically elevated my awareness of who I am, who I am most compatible with and the variety of other people out there for me to meet.
In the midst of this epiphony, which I took in with an overbearing amount of self scrutiny, a female friend called and I opened up to her. We shared insights and I liked how she sees self-critique in a totally different from me, with fascination and vivid excitement, so that she can learn how to be a better person.
My mindset shifted and I drove home in anticipation of meeting some old fraternity buddies from my UCLA days at a nearby bar in Culver City. (Yep, I'm a planner, and we like to create and host fun events!)
Post-shower, I felt much better. Even looking in the mirror I saw that I had a nice tan, a pleasing smile and looked good in the outfit I had chosen: a bright green and white checkered shirt with a tan, well-fitted jacket. I had on a pair of brown and black very classy shoes, with dark Neam jeans and a brown belt. I looked handsome and the optimistic, fun-loving self that I know and love had returned.
Out the door
The bar was a 15-minute walk away and I had decided to go by foot so I could drink and not worry about driving back. It was about 7:30pm and while the sun was disappearing there was still a good amount of daylight left. I had heard from a David Wygant podcast about the power of being a source of fun energy for the world around you. To walk down the street and so "Hi" to everyone so that you bring them a moment of joy and to connect with them for a moment.
Two kids rode by in scooters with their dad behind.
"That looks fun!" I said, "I gotta get a scooter and start hitting the road on it." I high-fived the kid and made small talk with the dad.
A woman walked outside with a huge bag of laundrey. With a grin I said, "That is a HUGE bag of laundry" she smiled, I smiled and I walked on.
A guy with a backpack, probably a student walked by and I gave him a casual "Hey."
A half-block away I saw a woman, with a small golden-brown dog, walking toward me. She was petite, with blonde hair and even from a distance I knew she was cute with her workout outfit and running shoes ensemble, out and about just to give her dog a walk.
My heart raced a bit as I got closer. "Should I say "Hi" to her?" I thought. When we got within talking distance I went straight for the dog, as I am a dog person. In a big, goofy voice I said, "Hello! How are you?" and patted the dogs head. I bended down to give the happy canine more attention. I'd do this for any dog that I run into, but this particular pooch had a leash attached that led to a slender hand and pretty face.
I asked her about the dog, what kind was it? It was not hers, she said, and she was not even a dog person. She was watching the dog for the weekend. The dog barked at me for a moment, but then went up and started sniffing me. He decided I was a friend and then was very affectionate as I scratched his ear.
We chitchatted about living in Culver City and I immediately started talking about the new place I was about to go called City Tavern, which had just opened a few weeks ago in downtown Culver. I playfully said she should come check it out. With a grin she said, "But American Idol is on tonight!" I smiled and we talked about the show, which I don't watch but I am aware of those huge billboards all over town that keep X-ing out people's faces until one of them wins.
With an easy, "it was good meeting you" we parted ways. I walked for 20 seconds and the big thought hit me, "Why didn't I ask her for her number?" Was I afraid that we hadn't bonded enough? Would I really ever "see her around" like I said she would? Most likely not.
For a split second I imagined turning around and walking straight up to her and asking her for her number, so I we could get to know each other more and over a coffee or drink some day. While I didn't run up to her with romantic fervor, I simply turned around and watched. She (actually, I did get her name, but we'll call her Ella) had went over to her car, picked up a big white bottle and started walking back toward me.
"What luck?" I thought. As she came near me I inquired about the bottle, and Ella said it was filled with cat litter as she is a cat person. We took a few steps together before stopping in front of her apartment building. As she got to her door I bluntly said, "Hey, it was good meeting you, would you like to get a coffee or even take that dog for a walk sometime? She smiled.
I asked the dumbest question, "Do you have a phone number?"
Yes, she did.
I beckoned her to come over, and as she did I showed her the picture on my phone: that of a large beautiful golden retriever that has been the dog I grew up and is my favorite animal of all time. I am a dog person, through-and-through. I entered her digits into my phone and as she walked inside I told her I would call her. And then I walked away, awaiting the night out with my friends at the bar.
A block away I had the hugest grin in the world! I was so excited and in complete shock of what had happened, of how I had met a girl and got her phone number as she was walking her dog! People go to bars to meet girls, and I met one on the walk over. I figured the night had just peaked and, funny enough, it hadn't even officially started.
At the bar, I was excited, but my friends hadn't arrived. In fact, they wouldn't make it until 30 minutes later. So, I made friends, tried new beers, and met 6 or 7 awesome, very friendly people. I feel like I put out a good vibe to the world, and the world gave it back. In fact, one incredibly awesome guy bought me a shot of vodka! I was having a ball.
I think I learned that sometimes you just need to clean yourself up and get outside of the house. Put on a good outfit, a nice smile, stretch your legs and go for a walk. Smile and be friendly, and the world will return the favor.
If you had told me when I was a shy nerd in high school that later in life I would have had this moment: meeting a girl and getting her number on a walk, I would have given you a look of completely disbelief. But, years later, I've found my way. I'm now very open to the world around me and make an effort to improve my social skills everyday.
They say Luck is where Preparation meets Opportunity and my years of socializing combined with that one lucky moment, created a great memory. I'm going to followup with Ella, who I barely know, with a phone call in a day or two and if we have a good chat, we might go for a drink. I'm excited, and incredibly optimistic on what the future holds.
So remember, look good and go for a walk. Say hi to people and and observe the world. Who knows what cute girl awaits you.