File Under: Going for it
My previous post reminded me of something I did this morning.
Every day, my morning starts at Starbucks. I have been a customer of the Starbucks at Clark and Berwyn in Andersonville for (at least) 10 years. Monday thru Friday, I walk in at about 7 am, hand the nice person behind the counter my washed stainless steel mug, and they fill it with the magic elixer known as coffee. On those mornings when I'm working at my office in the neighborhood, I have time to sit. I see many of the same people every day.
One customer is a handsome guy who comes in and orders an iced coffee drink. After seeing him enough times, I started making eye contact and he would return it. Then it became eye contact and a smile, also returned. Some mornings I'd throw in a nod and/or a "hi." But I knew nothing about this guy. Was he just some polite guy who was comfortable with these exchanges with a stranger? Was he gay? Was he single?
A couple weeks ago when my friend Dave was in town, a bunch of us went to Jackhammer, a local drinking establishment. Dan and I met there 6 years ago and have spent so much time there, we should have a section of the bar named after us. But I digress...back to the night we were all out with Dave. I looked up again and iced coffee drink came in with someone. At least I was comfortable in believing that he's gay. I was near the service area so he saw me as he approached to buy a drink. We both smiled and said hello. I was a bit tongue-tied so I think I tried to make some sort of small talk. Later, he returned to where I was and stood by me so we chatted a bit. He said "I see you at Starbucks, don't I?" I said "yes, and I was going to say that's not coffee you're drinking!" We laughed (nervously, perhaps?) and talked a bit. His friend came over, I turned away a bit to chat with Patrick and Dave and turned back as iced coffee drink was kissing his friend, who then walked away. We continued to chat and I said something like "So your boyfriend had to leave?" He said "Oh no, that's just my best friend, he's leaving with someone and I was telling him to have fun and be careful." (YAY!) So there was more chatter, then he looked at his watch and said it was time for him to go.
The following Tuesday I saw him at Starbucks and we chatted a bit more than our previous morning encounters. Later that day, at work, I wrote on the back of one of my business cards "Let's have coffee, a drink or perhaps dinner sometime." I included my cell phone number. I didn't see him for over a week.
Today, he walked in while I was ahead of him in line. This meant we'd be at the cream and sugar station together. I took my time opening sugar packets and pouring cream. He approached, we chatted and I handed him the card and said "You know, you should call me sometime. Here's my number!" He said "oh, thanks!" and then proceeded to spill his coffee (he was attempting to swirl the cup to stir his drink but the lid wasn't on). It wasn't a full spill, but he sloshed some on his pants (yes, the front) and down his leg. I felt horrible but he quickly said "isn't the first time I've done that, guess I need to clean up." I helped tidy up the counter and he thanked me. I then went to sit down and he went into the bathroom to try to get some of the coffee off of his pants. When he left, he shrugged and smiled.
I feel a sense of accomplishment that I gave him my number, but he probably will associate me with spilled coffee and never call. But...you never know.