Last night I was searching for a bad-ass-boss-lady-office chair for my new addition pottery barn desk when I stumbled upon the solicitation section of Craigslist. I know what you’re thinking, and if it’s any consolation I was able to stop myself from putting my ex’s name and number under “men seeking men”— for the first hour. Truth be told, I found myself idling my cursor over the “missed connection’s section”; finding sadness in the cords these moments struck in one person’s life and how incredibly naïve another human was to the power behind their presence.
It made me stop and think. About all of the people I’ve momentarily engaged with and then forgot about so quickly. And all the people who aren’t courageous enough to reach out.
Life is scary; strangers are terrifying, but failure as I’ve always said is far easier to swallow than regret. You’re only as weak as your biggest fear. Be bold, be brave.
Fearlessness is found in so many unappreciated moments. That soldier fighting for our country, or the mother on her third round of chemo, even the guy who just walked up to a table of women he’s never met to tell a woman he finds attractive that he’s interested. Ok, so the last one may seem a little overzealous, but sometimes you just gotta grab the bull by the horns. And that’s exactly what he did.
I’ve never felt so uncomfortable in my life. I was rooting for a football team I didn’t even like, at a bar that was packed, in a city I’m still getting to know. My girlfriend was in town, and I wanted to show her how much fun Denver can be. When a duo of frat-like-boy-band-wanna-be’s asked us if we wanted to play volleyball in front of the ENTIRE bar, I immediately obliged. Redemption reared it’s beautiful head as memories of being picked last for four square in fifth grade came flooding back. “Yes, yes….we’re in…yes”. And that was that, us two awkward women in the middle of about 400 people, bouncing around like a bunch of hooligans trying to not catch our faces on the net. Go big, or go home right?
Well, I wanted to go home. But instead we met up with two of our other girlfriends and sat at a bar top table just inside the restaurant as the Bronco’s began their fight for victory. I had just finished telling my best friend how ironic it was that even in the middle of all the good sportsman- like chaos, I felt so small and unimportant. That in twenty-eight years, not a single man has ever approached me at a bar. That, I was most likely always doomed to utilizing the powers of the internet and this hell of an online dating portal.
And then he walked up. Note in hand. It read:
“Smile if you find me attractive.”
The table of women coo-ed. My girlfriend snapped up at him in excitement: “Did you just grade-school pass her a note at the bar?” He laughed modestly and answered: “Yea, I found her attractive so I thought I would ask her if she felt the same”. Meanwhile I’m DYING. He must have seen me in the middle of the bar playing volleyball. Had I not agreed to those tool-bags request, I would have just been another un-noticed patron in a bar full of potential partners. This is the bravery I could only dream about. These are the missed connections that happen EVERY day because someone is too chicken shit to make the first move. Thank god I put my game face on, and thank god he swung it back to elementary school with that sick pick up line.
There aren’t enough men in the world who know what they want and go after it. I bet they can say the same for us ladies. Sometimes there are missed connections, and sometimes there are unexplainable relations. And sometimes we wait our whole lives for neither. But when either one of those moments arises in all of their glory, you know how important it is to have both. Redirecting your fears and appreciating the bravery.
Don’t spend the rest of your life wishing you had gotten her number, or that you had told him you thought his eyes were filled with the greatest sense of home you may ever know. But most importantly, never forget to smile if you find him attractive.