This is the second in a five-part series. Check out the first entry here.
About four years ago, I was sitting at an airport gate in Southern France, after vacationing with one of my closest friends and his new girlfriend. I happened to be single at the time, and traveling with a happy couple really made me wish I had a girlfriend of my own. In fact, I was probably thinking about just that when, lo and behold, as I sat down at the gate, I found myself staring into the eyes of a beautiful girl. She was with her parents, clearly returning from some family trip, had wholesome good looks, a warm smile, big eyes and was wearing leggings that showed off her curves. I was won over almost immediately, and even impressed by how well she seemed to get along with her parents in nice easy conversation. Maybe this is the one, I thought. Maybe she’s finally landed in my lap. Were my lonely days about to end?
She and her parents boarded the plane first, and since they sat ahead of me, I made sure to use the opportunity to cast an extended glance toward her as I walked by. To my surprise, I ended up making eye contact only with her mother, who smiled at me, and was clearly aware of what was going on. In any case, the next time I would see the family was after going through customs, at the baggage carousel. I hadn’t checked my bag, so at this point I was creepily hanging around waiting for an opportunity to make an overture. Needless to say, approaching her right in front of her father was not an option, so I was unsure what to do.
Then came an opening. As they were walking toward the airport exit, she lagged behind her parents ever so slightly, so I ran up and tapped her (lightly) on the shoulder. Nervously, I said, “Sorry to bother you. I just thought you were very pretty.” “Oh,” she said. I asked her “Do you live…?” But before I could finish my sentence she had turned away and rejoined her parents, clearly flustered. I was shocked, dismayed that she denied me, but, hey — at least I had tried. I walked away toward the trains with at least that bit of comfort.
A few moments later, I felt a tap on the shoulder. “Here’s my email,” she said, and handed me a note. “Oh, thank you” I said. “Do you live around here?” “No, I live down in Dorset on the coast.” (We were in London.) “Oh,” I said. “Long trip!” “Yeah,” she said. “Well, it was very nice to meet you,” I said, and gave her a kiss on the cheek. We left each other smiling, and I was beaming with a sense of accomplishment.
When I got on the train home I of course immediately looked her up on Facebook. It turned out that she was still in high school, and I had been fantasizing about a 17-year-old — I was 27 at the time. I did send her an email and we had a brief exchange, but the cold hard truth was obvious: this just wasn’t going to happen.
Check out the next entry in this series tomorrow.