People Have Expiry Dates

Apr 11, 2015 by

          In early March, as I approached the mall to head to the gym, the guy walking in front of me held the door behind him so I could pass through.

          “Thank you,” I politely smiled.

          “It’s colder out there than I thought it would be today,” he said.

          “I know, that sun is deceptive,” I responded. “I just pumped gas without my gloves, thinking it looked as warm out today as it was yesterday. Bad idea.”

          He laughed, and we chatted until we were standing outside of the change rooms, at which point he mentioned that he takes martial arts classes.

          “Have you ever tried anything like that?” he asked.

          “No,” I said. “I just started pole dancing a couple months ago. It’s a great upper body workout.”

          “Yeah, that takes a lot of strength,” he agreed.

          “Which I don’t have yet,” I laughed, “but I’m working on it.”

          “You should come try a martial arts class,” he suggested before quickly followed with, “I’m not trying to sell you or anything. I just really love it.”

          I was pulling out my phone and clicking to the notes section as he spoke. Realizing that it may have looked like I wasn’t paying attention to him, I assured, “I’m just going to my notes. I’m not doing something rude, like texting while you’re talking to me or something,” I said. “Here,” I handed him my phone. “Type in the name of the place.”

          “I’ll find you on the floor after you change to show you the site,” he said as he entered his studio’s details.

          He caught me on the elliptical later.

          “How long do you go on that thing?” he asked.

          “Half an hour, five days per week,” I said. “I also do strength training stuff.”

          “You should come to a cardio class at my studio,” he said. “You’d definitely be able to handle it. It’d be completely free.”

          Friends, you know I’m all about free. I nodded in interest.

          “Let me know when you want to go,” he smiled before leaving me to finish my cardio.

          Wow, a social invite just from chatting with some guy who held the door for me, I thought as I continued to force my arms and legs back and forth. The benefits of talking to strangers never cease to amaze me. He’s pretty cute too, I noted.

          As I changed after my workout, I considered getting his number. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue his offer to go to a free class, but then I thought about why I was hesitant: He’s not coming for you, I sternly told myself, thinking of the guy I cried about the Eiffel Tower. At least try to move on.

          Following my self-lecture, I decided I’d walk around the gym once to see if this guy was still there. I did a quick scan, kind of hoping not to find him. Of course, I didn’t, but I was satisfied with my half-ass attempt. Then, after exiting the gym, as I was about to step on the escalator, we caught sight of each other.

          “Hey!” he called out to me.

          “Hey!” I smiled. “I have to go to an aerial class, but here,” I said, passing him my phone again. “Put your number in. I’ll give you a call about that class.” (By call, I meant text.)

          “I don’t have my phone on me,” he said as he entered his contact information, “but write down your number.”

          I went to the front desk to grab a piece of paper and a pen, amused at how old-school it felt to literally write out my phone number.

          “I’ll call you about the class,” he said, making the same promise I had made.

          I doubted this number exchange was going anywhere, but it was nice to get a reminder that it’s that easy to meet someone new.

          “You have a thing about saying yes, so say yes to this guy,” a friend encouraged me when I told her about the brief interaction. “Ask him about the class.”

          “I’m not sure if he’s interested in hanging out with me or if he’s just so passionate about martial arts that he invites everyone to a class,” I said.

          “There’s no harm in finding out,” she rightly stated.

          I sent him a text, mainly because I do have a thing about saying yes and I wanted to abide by it. My message went undelivered. He had given me a landline number. Building up the motivation to send that text took me over a week, so I definitely didn’t have the desire to call. I put my phone away, and quickly forgot about him.

          I’m recalling him now because I just came across the note I wrote down quoting my friend’s words: “You have a thing about saying yes, so say yes to this guy.” I’m going to keep that in mind with regard to other guys going forward, along with something Olivia told me this winter in response to my boy apathy: “People have expiry dates.” They’re not going to wait until I’m ready.

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