Monday, September 21, 2015

A Whole Meal of Food

In the brisk autumn air of October 2011, I was planning yet another trip to Raleigh to engage in varying degrees of idiocy with Mike, Nick and many, many others. We were planning an extensive agenda of football on TV, football in person, tailgating, Bojangles, drinking and dancing.

As the Raleigh excursion drew closer, I'd begun exchanging messages on eHarmony with a delightful young woman named Emily. Our messages were fun and witty, and I hadn't been that excited about meeting someone in quite some time.

By the time I got to Raleigh, we'd exchanged phone numbers so we could text. She fancies herself a woman of mystery and had made her Facebook profile unsearchable by conventional means. But I'm anything but a conventional researcher.

With any budding eHarmony relationship, very little is typically shared in the way of personal information. I knew she lived in Washington, D.C., but I didn't know where she was from, I didn't know where she worked, I didn't know where she went to school and I didn't know her last name.

On the Saturday night of my Raleigh trip, we were texting as I watched football with my friends, and she mentioned she was at a bar to watch a football game with her friend Holly. I asked her how it was going, and she told the score of her game and that her team was winning. Armed with the score of the game and the clue that her team was winning, Mike and I immediately began scouring the college football scoreboard to figure out what game she was watching.

That's how I learned she went to Oklahoma State.

The drive from Raleigh to D.C. can be tedious – especially as you get closer and the traffic picks up. Emily and I had continued to text throughout the weekend, and I felt like it had gone well. I then made the stunningly poor decision not to prepare my thoughts before I called her.

I can do this, I thought. I've been witty so far; I'll just keep it up and be funny again! Oh okay.

The phone rang and rang. OK, I said to myself. Voicemail isn't a bad outcome. I can leave a funny voicemail. She'll play it over and over again and giggle and marvel!

Voicemail picks up, "Hi, you've reached Emily Lampe..." (LAMPE! I now know her last name!)

Here's my chance, I said to myself. Make it count!

"Hi Emily, it's Brian. Grossman. So I was wondering if maybe you'd like to go out sometime. For like some frozen yogurt. Or maybe even a whole meal of food..."

It's a rocky start, but we're still in the game. Going with the 10-year-old movie reference was a bold choice. I did not, however, stick the landing.

"Ha…you know, from Old School? Jokes? Oh God. Anyway, call me back!"

The "Oh God" is the highlight for me.

As I sat in the car for the remainder of the drive home, I gave myself as much of a pep talk as I could, telling myself she'd find it charming. We'll see!

A few hours later, my phone started to ring. Oh boy. It's Emily. Here we go!


And then I heard nothing but laughter on the other end, and I knew it would work out.

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