Today was the day. After a year of subtle conversation with intermittent flirtation, and vague questions on tea preferences – I gave the man at the cafe my phone number. I liked this move – in theory – because it didn’t require me to actually ask him out but merely giving him the opportunity to ask me out if he was interested – a modern day dropping of the handkerchief, if you will. I had attempted and failed to work up the courage over the course of two months, always chickening out. I felt that in itself, a humiliating defeat. I was almost thirty, I can give a man a number. So that morning, I picked out a casual but cute outfit and even woke up early to iron the pair of cotton pants. I did my hair just so. My lips were cherry, and my lashes long. Today was the day.
When the moment came there was no denying it, none of the previous excuses I had before that enabled me to rationalize my way out of doing the deed – the cafe was empty, we had just exchanged friendly banter and cheesy dad jokes. In my head I had imagined being cool and confident, like one of the women in Sex and the City. In reality my palms were sweaty, my fingers fidgety, and my neck became concave into my chest much like a turtle. I walked up to him, put a tip in the jar and started to speak. At least I meant to speak. He had to ask me to speak up because I tend to mumble at lighting speed when I’m terrified. I said it again, “If you ever wanted to have a conversation over something stronger than tea….” and I handed the slip of paper with my boldly written digits. He took it and said okay …..twice. I didn’t breathe until I walked out. I exhaled and cried, but just a little. I did it! And nobody laughed at me, or told me I was ridiculous or questioned what I was doing. I was feeling pretty good about myself, proud of how very adult woman that was. Like a check on a list of how to be an independent lady who goes after what she wants. It wasn’t until I got into my car and looked into the mirror and realized I had frosting in my bangs. And to think – I was so careful not to spill any food on my shirt.