Today I was eating lunch, and these two hot girls came in to The Pub. Because I'm trying to work on my friendliness, plus I like to meet women, I waved at them from across the bar. Even though I'd never seen them before. Hey, you never know, right?
The more exotic girl didn't even see me, but the girl with the flowing dark hair, that girl gave me a weird look and kind of stuck her hand up at me in a semi-acknowledgement. A pseudowave.
I watched them eat together. The girl who'd pseudowaved at me was just so lively, and so pretty, and so expressive, and so happy. I developed a ginormous crush on her. She was just fascinating to look at, even though she was sitting at least twenty yards away from me, and I had to squint a little.
Every now and then she'd catch me looking at her, and then she'd either give me another pseudowave or she'd smile or something.
After about a half-hour, she went to the bathroom and then when she came out she walked right up to me and said, "Hi. Do I know you from somewhere?"
What I was supposed to say was the truth. That I'd only waved at her because she was pretty and I wanted to meet her. That meeting her had become my goal for the day. That I'd have loved a chance to talk to her and get to know her.
But that's not what I said.
What I said was, "I'm sorry, when you first came in I thought you were someone else. My mistake."
Why would I say such a thing? A beautiful girl smiles at me, and waves at me, and then walks up and talks to me, and I blow her off?!?
What kind of pickup artist am I, anyway?
Well, I'd been thinking, as I watched her eat with her friend. Thinking is, of course, always a bad idea. But I'd been doing it anyway.
I'd been thinking about how much she reminded me of MixedSignalGirl when we'd first started going out. And of MixedSignalGirl the last few times I'd seen her. And how starkly those beginning and end times had contrasted with all the times in between. I'd been thinking about how I'd made MixedSignalGirl so sad, and I'd been thinking about how the last thing I'd ever want to do would be to do the same thing to this pretty girl with the incredible smile and the flowing dark hair. Turn her into some brooding and sulking thing.
It would have been an unforgivable sin.
I'd been thinking that I couldn't do it. That I'd gotten lucky once. MixedSignalGirl had recovered. I had no way of knowing what harm I'd cause this new girl, if I were given that opportunity. How permanent that harm might be.
So, I blew her off.
And she accepted my explanation. And she walked away smiling. I hope that her life keeps her smiling for a very long time.