Tuesday, January 01, 2013

I May Have Met Mr Collins IRL

Not too long ago I went to a contra dance at State. Once upon a time, I went with a a big group of people so it was quite the social event, but in later years that group has dwindled and often I go alone. When that happens, I like to bring a book to read during the twenty-minute intermission because a) I don't want to talk to anybody and b) books are awesome.

This time I had Fahrenheit 451 laying face-up next to me as I sat during the first waltz of the intermission. I was on the floor, huddled over my cell and obviously not interested in human contact. Mid-text, I noticed a pair of sneakers walk up purposefully and then stop, facing me. I gave it a hot minute, hoping the sneakers would go away, but after a moment I realized I shouldn't be rude. I glanced up with my practiced combination of a winning smile and a questioning quirk.

"That's some pwetty heavy weeding matewiel," said the person attached to the sneakers -- a somewhat acneic, soft-featured manboy that had gotten lost in the gap between puberty and adulthood. I wish I could say that I'm making the lisp up, but I'm not.

Stunned by his gracious opener, I fumbled for words. "I...? enjoy... it?" I finally managed, every syllable a question.

"That's pwetty sewious weeding matewiel for yow fwee time," he elaborated, as if reading classic novels outside of school is either to be commended as high learning, or shunned for pretension.

Still reeling from the sheer awkwardness of the whole situation and struggling to control my wild fight-or-flight instinct, I too attempted to clarify my side of our conversation. "I'm... re-reading it?"

"That's pwetty sewious weeding," he said again with a sanguine nod. "I myself am mow into manga."

In that moment, time slowed down and everything came into crystalline clarity. He is actually chatting me up right now. This is genuinely his actual real-life pick-up line. Bless.

"Ooh," I said slowly, closing my eyes and tilting my head back in a thoughtful yet mildly horrified gesture. I have to emphasize the fact that I closed my eyes for no more than one second, because in that second that it took me to close my eyes and then open them again...



He didn't acknowledge me for the rest of the night.