I step out of Starbucks holding my Venti Cold Brew 4 pumps sugar-free mocha 2 pumps sugar-free vanilla (no water added) precariously by the lid. I spot this striking young woman pacing in front of the store, listening with palpable agitation to what I assume is another party speaking to her from the other end. Her hair was long and the deepest shade of brown, making me wish I had added an extra pump of mocha.
In the uncomfortable humidity, she is dressed unseasonably in a black v-neck tee and tight black skinny legged pants. Her skin is a few shades too pale and she is as slender as one could be while still appearing healthy. She doesn’t take notice of me, and says angrily into the phone, “You’re like every other guy! I just hate when guys do stuff like this! Why are all guys like this? You’re all exactly the same!” There was a tone of revelation in her declaration.
I stop mid-step, a lingering eye on my beckoning PT Cruiser. I feel magic in the suspended moment, and before my foot hits the ground, gravity takes a moment to let me think. Letting impulsivity guide me, I turn on my heel and land the step towards the striking pacing girl.
“Excuse me. I can’t help over hearing you. I have to ask: if you are fully aware of this flaw among men, why do you sound surprised? Why do you keep trying?”
The woman looked appalled, with a hint of degradation, and buried the cellphone into her neck. Her eyes looked like tennis balls pelting between an obnoxious retaliation and a purge of stress to a stranger. She put the phone back to her ear and said “I’ll have to call you back.” She blinked several times as if that would help her see me as something other than the intrusive freak I was being, then said, “I’m sorry, what?” despite the fact that she had heard me perfectly fine.
I reworded my thought. “From the small clip of what I just heard, I deduce that you are having boy troubles. You seem absolutely beautiful, and yet this situation makes you look highly frustrated with a twinge of cynical. Why put yourself through this?” I was genuinely asking.
I think my audacity truly caught her off-guard to the point where she couldn’t help but entertain my questions. “All women know that men suck. That’s just the way it is.”
Unacceptable response. “Yes, and yet we keep putting ourselves back into these situations. Why?”
“Well I guess it’s different for everyone.” She rationalized.
“Well what is it about your particular situation? Is it your need for this particular man? Any man? Why put yourself through this frustration?” Yeah, I was just being flat-out meddlesome now, but I had to know. I had to understand.
She thought for a moment. “Isn’t the end result worth it?”
My head exploded with more questions. “What? What’s the end result??”
“I don’t know…marriage? Kids?”
“So you want to get married? Are you even in love?”
“So how can you know you want to get married if there isn’t even a specific man in mind?”
“Well isn’t that what dating is for?”
I was not seeing logic in her frame of mind. “It sounds more to me like dating is for feeling bad…”
The girl looking positively stumped, like I had pulled her by the hair from a dark cave into a blinding light. I had to push her further. “Why do you want a man so badly?”
“I…uh…well I’m not a lesbian…”
I refrained from face palming. “So it’s sex then? Well honey, you don’t need to have all the relationship bullshit and disappointment for that.”
“Well it’s also companionship…” She was losing steam.
“Don’t you have friends?”
“Yes! But it’s different!”
“I DON’T KNOW!!!”
I let my eyes burn into hers for half a moment before giving her a cooler look. “Well take some serious time and think about the differences between what you want, and what you think you are supposed to want.”
I spun around quickly enough to feel a breeze ruffle my short faded brown hair at the silver roots. I stepped confidently towards my PT Cruiser and climbed inside, feeling every ounce of wear and tear in my shoulders, back and knees. I placed my Venti Cold Brew 4 pumps sugar-free mocha 2 pumps sugar-free vanilla (no water added) in the cup holder and started the ignition. I took a moment to close my eyes as I gripped the steering wheel tightly.
I pulled out of the parking lot with two very strong thoughts:
- I hoped the girl would really think about it, but I knew she wouldn’t.
- I wish I had really stopped to talk to the girl.