30 to 1, that is not ratio of girls I had asked out and how many accepted. It is the statistic that reveals how many post-it note sheets it took me to write in order to get the one I was happy with, placed on the box of candy. I am not sure if it was because I made it too difficult on myself or that it was a difficult task to complete, but an hour and half later I had finally assembled the gift inside the box and sealed it. When I went to address the box my mind reacted and body followed – anxiety and sweat. What I wanted to do at that exact moment was take my head and repeatedly strike it against my dining table. Where was I going to send the package to?
Being the computer literate person I am I quickly recovered and thought of Peoplefinder.com. Then – in what I can only claim to be an act of God – I considered what if she asked me how did I know where she lived? Again anxiety and sweat returned because I knew that my answer would be truthful and that would have to sound creepy to her. In fact it would probably open the door to questions along the line of “was I researching her on the internet?” I quickly closed my internet browser. I knew her last name because that was the name of the grocery store so I thought of a phone book. Guess what I do not have in my home? (Really – how many of us actually use a white pages anymore.) I grabbed the package and jumped in my car and went hunting for a pay phone. Do you know what else I learned this evening? Pay phones are not everywhere anymore. Guess where I did find a pay phone; correct, at the grocery store.
I pulled into the parking lot and the lights were still on but the store was closed. The pay phone, located on the left corner of the building, away from the entrance. I pulled out my little note pad and pen and looked up her name only to realize she was not listed in the phone book. I looked up her father and he was listed with his home address. I jotted his address down and jumped back into my car. I was about to write the address on the box and stopped. What if she had her own place and was like me, just had a cell phone? If I sent it to her parents would they open it? Was her father the overprotective type? Her mom the nosy type? I stared at the store and got a glimpse of her in the front customer service area. She was putting on her jacket, looking as if she was getting ready to leave. I just watched her. The way she flicked her hair out from under her jacket. The way she tilted her head when trying to get her bangs in the right place. She moved elegantly but simple. Fluid, very comfortable in her own skin. She was talking to a woman, an employee, and they were both laughing. Wow – her face beamed with radiance. They got to the doorway and the lights went out. That is when I jumped out of my skin and slammed my head into the roof of the car. My mind finally broke through my daze “She is coming out!” I started the car and was about to put it in reverse when I watched my hand – or what use to be my hand – reach for the keys in the ignition and turned the car off. My eyes looked at this strange hand and then to doors where Tessa, a woman, and a man were coming out the front door. Tessa was locking the door. My eyes frantically looked and pleaded with my strange hand but it was busy scooping up the package off the passenger seat. WHAT?! Anxiety and sweat returned to their norms when the unlikely happened. My mind which has been with me all my life, which has done its best to watch out for me and guide me along life’s journey – relinquished the anxiety. My eyes (clearly the only part of me that was actually “me” now) stared in terror as the other hand became an accomplice to the strange hand and opened up my car door. Thank God my legs reacted faithfully to my eyes because they lost all strength as “the mind” worked vigorously to remove the body with package in strange hand out of the car.
My eyes then looked over and saw Tessa and again what could only be claimed as act of God (since “I” was running around inside this now foreign body screaming “run away” like in Monty Python) my body got out of the car – package in hand.