So as I write this, it's Thanksgiving evening. The turkey has been eaten; the pans of Hawaiian rolls wrapped and stored away; the stockings have yet to be hung by the chimney with care (because let's be honest, that's a job for tomorrow). I snuggle up, blanket and hot chocolate in hand (because I can't be healthy on Thanksgiving--the fattest day of the year), and stream Leap Year on Netflix.
This is not the first (or I daresay the last) time I've seen Leap Year. It has everything I could possibly want in a rom-com. And by that, I mean Irish accents. But c'mon! It's impossible not to get swept up in Declan's delicious Irish trills, especially towards the end: "I don't wanna not make plans with yah. I wanna make plans with yah."
I mean, just stop.
What's the point of me bringing up Leap Year--other than it being an poorly veiled attempt to force you to rewatch it? It's a movie that brings back my old favorite plot point: the meet-cute. Anna needs a ride to Dublin. Of course Declan is the taxi driver. It couldn't have been a more perfect meet-cute if it had been scripted. Oh, wait...
Regardless, the meet-cute is iconic. It's that moment that begins what could be a perfect relationship. What's so great about the meet-cute is that nothing has been tainted yet. The beginning is such a hopeful time for a blooming relationship. So that's what I'm going to focus on today: a perfect beginning.
My friend and I meet for waffles once a month at this café near my apartment. We both always order the same thing: a savory waffle with a bottomless mug of coffee. (By the time we're done eating, I'm usually buzzing with caffeine.) Because I lived in Nebraska this past summer, our September waffle date was the first time I'd seen her in almost four months. Needless to say, we had a lot to catch up on. So even after we were done eating, we hang around to chat about the randomness that makes up this thing we call life.
As our conversation starts to wind down, a guy settles into the table beside my friend. He's facing my direction but just one table over. My eyes take him in, blonde, bearded, and bespectacled, and I glanced wide-eyed over to my friend, gesturing towards him with a head tilt ever-so-subtly. She glances to her left and smiles in accord: totally cute.
We keep our conversation going, though my eyes continue to wander towards this mysterious blonde sipping black coffee. He pulled a book out of his backpack, along with a highlighter and pen, and started annotating as he read. I'm surprised I was even able to contain myself. Why? Because he seemed like the kind of guy who might do this:
(Has anyone else seen this Tumblr post floating around?)
You know how people buy drinks for girls at bars? Why can't people do that in book stores? Like if I'm looking at a novel in Barnes & Noble and some person walks up to me and strikes up a conversation and offers to buy the book for me, there is a lot better chance of that working out in their favor.
Though I didn't know this blondie in the slightest, his studious, determined demeanor lead me to believe that he might just be the type of guy who would buy a girl a book instead of a drink. And I found that super attractive. He also had great style: black crewneck sweater, corduroys, and thick-rimmed glasses--kind of an off-brand J. Crew look. He was positively adorable, and I'm not ashamed to say I simply could not stop staring at him.
My friend, too, noticed my obvious infatuation. She pointedly smiled at me and loudly announced that she was going to the bathroom. She shot me a look as she walked away from the table that screamed, "Talk to him!"
Alas, I couldn't muster up the courage to say anything. My mind was a total blank. I just sat there, scrolling on my phone until my friend returned. She looked at me quizzically, and I replied with a slight shake of the head: "No." After another 10 minutes or so, my friend had to return to work.
"Are you going to stay and work for a bit?" she asked me, gesturing towards the blonde with her eyes.
"Yeah. I think I'm going to stay and answer some emails," I replied. Unfortunately, this was the one time I went somewhere without my laptop. So I sat there, scrolling through Instagram on my phone, pretending as if I was doing something relatively productive, rather than killing time until I worked up something to say to this adorable stranger. There were a few moments when I contemplated just walking out. I did have an exam that night, after all. And I hadn't yet started studying. (Oops.)
Eventually, the blonde guy started packing up his book and utensils. Panic rose. He was too cute; I couldn't not say something, but I still couldn't think of anything to say that might be a good conversation starter. Then he caught me awkwardly staring at the title of his book, which was something like "The 7 Steps of Highly Effective People." I'd been found out; I had to say something.
That's all you could come up with? Really? You've been sitting here for like 15 minutes, and that's what you go with?
"Yeah. It's pretty good," he smiled back. As he started to describe the book, I noticed how intelligently he spoke. Eventually (and I'm not entirely sure how), Harry Potter was introduced to the conversation, then The Cursed Child, which spawned a 20-minute debate of pros and cons of J.K. Rowling's latest HP adventure.
"So, do you come here very often?" asked the bespectacled blonde. I explained how my friend and I had a standing waffle date.
"Well, if you ever want to get coffee and talk about books, let me know. Those are two of my favorite things."
Excuse me while I go die now.
I agreed and offered him my phone to plug his number into. He handed it back and bid me goodbye.
He looked down at the floor and smiled at me one more time before he walked out the door.
I swear I grinned like an idiot for the rest of the day--might've even woken up with a smile the next morning.