I realized today that this is the strangest advice anyone is ever given. You have to talk to strangers; otherwise, you’ll never meet anyone. It’s like that conversation in Forrest Gump where Forrest rides the bus after he’s introduced to the driver.
I’m babbling right now, just because I had a very strange thing happen today. Not only did I talk to a stranger, but I gave her a ride. Now, don’t get all freaked out for my safety; she goes to my school, and I didn’t just pick her up off the street or anything. That’d be sketch, and I’m a good person when it comes to that.
I finished Grammar class five minutes early and I left the classroom towards Lot 13 to drive myself home. And as I was about to cross the street, I noticed a girl was walking barefoot, carrying her stilettos in her hand. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t figure out why. Where had I seen her before? I’m usually really good with faces, but I couldn’t figure it out.
Whatever. Then, I’m not sure why exactly, curiosity mainly, but I asked her why she wasn’t wearing her shoes.
She said the obvious, because her feet were hurting. Then I laughed, and asked her where she was walking to. She said back to her apartment; I asked her if she meant the dorms, which I thought she did. But then she told me that she lived at The Palms, or whatever it is. Now, the
crazy Indian I mentioned a week or so back (the one who is not acting sane because she doesn’t want to make my “girlfriend” angry) lives at the Palms, too. So I knew where it was, the basic area.
And from where we were, the Palms is a long way; we’re talking a mile and a half, at least. Walking a mile and a half barefoot at six-thirty in the evening sounded a little unsafe. Not to mention that it was actually starting to get cold. So, I did the only sensible thing I could think of. I offered her a ride.
She told me that she usually drives herself to school, but her car’s battery had died a couple days ago; she had been walking to school every day since. I laughed and said that that was a very nice story. And then I offered her a ride, again.
She was reluctant, so I laughed and reassured her that I wasn’t some creepy stalker; I even promised that I wouldn’t abduct her or anything like that. She laughed and said she felt bad because I would be going out of my way and all of that. Which was true, in all honesty, I did have to go out of my way to drop her off.
But, nonetheless, I convinced her that it was only necessary. Because, let’s face it, it’s gonna get cold fast. And walking would be ridiculous.
I walked her to my car, which is always fairly clean these days, thanks to my Dad’s obsessive need to make sure all the cars are clean. By the time we got to my car, she had gotten cold. Her feet did, at least. I opened the door for her, like my parents taught me, and then she asked me if it was okay if she didn’t wear shoes in my car.
I laughed out loud and told her that Riley and I handle dirt very well. She laughed and asked who Riley was. For those of you who don’t know, Riley is my car. The Matrix, anyway.
The Malibu is Charlie.
Riley might as well be my girlfriend, since she takes such good care of me. But ignore that because I didn’t say that.
Her feet were cold, so I turned the heat on full. Then I got to use that “feet warmer” air-conditioner mode,
or whatever it’s called. Honestly, do people ever use that when they have their cool air on? Like, who the hell needs to make their feet cool off? Don’t normal people want their feet room temperature?
Back to the story.
So, I asked her what she wanted to listen to
because I’m such a damn good host sometimes. She said she didn’t care; so I did the only logical thing I could do.
I busted out my “Road Trip” playlist, also known as the songs I listen to with Shasta and Sherlene when we drive places.
For those of you who haven’t been graced with the divine blessing that is this playlist, it’s pretty much a collection of songs that are beyond fun to jam out to.
What Makes You Beautiful, Call Me Maybe, Spinnin’ Around, All I Can Do, Bouncing Off the Ceiling,
songs off the Lizzie McGuire soundtrack, and many, many more.
She laughed at my musical selections and couldn’t believe I even knew about these songs, let alone had them on my iPod. She and I didn’t talk much, because I told her the one rule I have for people I drive:
If you are going to ride with me, you have got to sing with me.
So we sang along to several old school party songs: The Tide is High, All I Can Do, and C’est La Vie.
Yes, I have those girly songs, I’m still very straight, trust me.
And then I got to show her What Makes You Beautiful, which she loved.
Big surprise, right?
Then I dropped her off, and she said she couldn’t thank me enough for giving her a ride. She said she’d “maybe see me around” after class again; I doubt it, though. It’s the end of the quarter, so, oh well. Things happen, life goes on.
The point of this story is that sometimes, it pays off to get out of your comfort zone. Yeah, I got home three minutes before seven instead of my typical twenty minutes before; but I had a good time. Yeah, I used gas, and it’s pretty costly these days; but I don’t mind spending gas money and helping someone out. Yeah, she was pretty and she had a nice smile; but, I didn’t get her number and I didn’t ask for it.
Girls, not every single guy is going to do something for you only because he wants to get with you. Actually, I can’t say that. Because I don’t know all guys. But basically, if I compliment you, you should believe me. Because as far as I’m concerned, complimenting a girl won’t get you anywhere near
“her pants” or whatever the correct metaphor is.
I compliment you when I feel you deserve a compliment. If I’m interested in dating you, I’ll spend every second I can talking to you and learning about you and making you laugh. Compliments are just what you get from being friends with me; everyone has times when they deserve a compliment.
My whole point of this story is that your comfort zone is there so that you know where your boundaries are. Just because they’re there, it doesn’t mean they should hold you in. It’s more like a state-line street-sign that marks where your boundaries are; your comfort zone is not an electrified barbed-wire fence.
Leaving your comfort zone pays off. Doing things that scare you is terrifying, yes, but adrenaline kicks in immediately, I promise. You have to talk to strangers; everyone on the planet was a stranger to you at one point or another.
The following people might still be strangers:
- Someone you’ll fall in love with
Someone you’ll hook up with
- Someone you’ll become
best friends with
- Someone that changes your life
- The person you marry
But then again, they might not be strangers.
Just food for thought.
And by the way, for everyone who has read this far, I feel like you’ve earned the right to know her name.
I told you she looked familiar.