Asking a girl out – the high school edition

This one is for my buddy Rik, who said I must have described his high school experience, too.

Here’s the average play-by-play of every girl I asked out in high school. Okay, it’s exaggerated…but not by much.

I get her phone number on Monday…probably from a friend of hers. Even the act of getting her number in my hand makes me sweat. Her friend will surely tell her I now have her number. Now the pressure is on.

Monday, 6pm. “I can’t call her tonight, that would look too desperate.”

Tuesday night. 6pm. “I’ll call her at 7.”
7pm. “Some people eat dinner later, I’ll wait until 7:30.”
7:30 I grab the phone. I put it back down. Stomach is doing cartwheels.
7:31 Begin pacing the room.
7:37 I grab the phone. I dial the first three numbers. I hang up again.
7:45 Slap myself in the face. “Dial the freakin’ number, you stupid coward.”
7:46 More pacing.
7:53 I grab the phone. I dial the first 6 numbers. I hang up.
7:55 I put on some music and attempt to get myself psyched up.
8:05 Music not working. I attempt to read something to calm down.
8:20 I finally give up; can’t concentrate enough to read. Slap myself again.
8:27 Go through every possible way I could ask her out. Go through probable
rejections for each one of those. Start over again.
8:41 I put my hand on the phone, and then take it off.
8:43 Mentally go through every interaction I’ve ever had with this girl. Surely that
time she smiled was at me, right? She likes me. I should call her.
8:45 No, you damned idiot, she wasn’t smiling at you, she was smiling at Jake
McJock at the next lunch table. You’re a pathetic nerd with no hope of getting
a girl interested in you.
8:49 More psyching-up music
9pm “It’s too late to call somebody at this hour, I’ll wait until tomorrow.”

Wednesday, 6pm. Berate myself as an abject coward.
6:30 Look myself in the mirror, swear to self that I’ll call tonight.
7:00 Put on psyching-up music.
7:15 Still not psyched enough.
7:17 Running through possible asking-out scenarios again. As if I haven’t
done this constantly since last night.
7:21 Take deep breath, grab phone.
7:22 Hang up phone. Curse myself.
7:23 Grab phone. Dial first five numbers. Hang up.
7:24 Slap myself.
7:27 Take deep breath, dial the entire number. Start to hang up…shit, too
late, it’s ringing now!
7:28 No answer. I say to myself “Clearly, they’re not home. I shouldn’t
call again tonight.” Fail to completely convince myself that that’s the
reason, not that I’m a gutless, pathetic excuse for a man.

Thursday, 6pm – Swear to self, “Tonight’s the night.”
7:00 Psyching up.
7:15 Grab phone. Put phone down. Sweat.
7:16 Start pacing.
7:23 Grab phone. Deep breath. Dial number.
7:24 Oh, shit, her mother answered. Swallow, probably audibly. Croak
out, “Is _____ there?”
7:25 Damn, her mother was talking to someone, asked if I could call
back around 8. But now _____ will KNOW I CALLED. There
7:31 Utter panic. Consider suicide.
7:33 Suicide clearly not acceptable, I contemplate packing bags for
7:34 Decide I can’t afford a plane ticket, and can’t swim that far. Try not
to puke. Go to bathroom for hand towel to mop up the sweat.
7:43 Mother comes by the room. Takes one look, asks if I’m okay.
Unconvincingly try to reassure her that I’m not coming down with
the flu. Can’t explain the real reason why I’m pale, sweating, and
to borrow a countryfied phrase, as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a
room full of rocking chairs.
7:47 Absently ponder how much more pacing the carpet in my bedroom
can survive.
7:48 Deep breaths.
7:49 Okay, deep breaths, but don’t hyperventilate, for God’s sake.
7:59 Hand on the phone.
8:00 No, dipshit, don’t call RIGHT AT 8 o’clock, how desperate does
THAT look?!?
8:01 Now? No, dammit, not yet.
8:03 Would it be cool now? No. No. 8:07. 8:07, that would be OK.
8:07 Pick up phone, put it down. Slap self. Curse self for cowardice.
8:09 Pick up phone, breathe deeply, dial the number.
8:10 Her mom answers again. Dammit! Oh, wait, could be worse, could
be her dad! Stammer out again, “Uhh, hi, it’s me again, could I
s-s-speak to _______?” I hear her mom call out, “_____, it’s for
8:11 ______ is on the line.

What happens then? In the context of this blog, it really doesn’t matter. The point being that an adolescent has spent basically four full days questioning his worth as a man. He is seeking some sort of validation from _____, knowing full well that he may get gently put down, condescendingly put down, or outright laughed at.

You want to grab him by the shoulders and shake the hell out of him, screaming “Damn it all to hell, kid, don’t make so damned much out of this!” There’s just no good way to convince him that his self-esteem is reliant upon himself and himself alone, and not upon what comes of this one phone call (or others like it). He just can’t see through it.

It’s sad that we just don’t know at the right times what really matters and what doesn’t. For every guy that’s screwing up the courage to call some girl up and ask her out, there’s probably a girl sitting at home wondering why her phone’s not ringing. If they’d both just accept that whether they do or do not make or receive that phone call tonight, their lives will be no better or worse than before…well, they might both be a little less uptight. But it’s not happening tonight, or tomorrow night, or the next night either.

Maybe one day we can figure out a way to impart wisdom and understanding without harsh experience. But that’s not happening tonight, or tomorrow night, or the next night, either. So until then, I just wish courage upon that poor guy, and patience on that poor girl. They need all the help they can get.


14 Responses

  1. […] a clue. For every guy out there sweating over how to talk to a girl like he’s a remotely intelligent human being without making her […]

  2. Dudes: If you’re here because you searched Google for how to ask a girl out, maybe you should try this blog of mine instead. And good luck, man.

  3. Oh, and gentlemen, click the link above to read the Overeducated Nympho’s take on the whole situation. She’s an actual GIRL. A hot one. And smart to boot. (In case the blog name didn’t give it away…) Listen to what she’s saying, insight into your quarry is gold, I tell you, GOLD!

  4. This is awesome. And girls wondered why our faces were so red and bruised by the time they actually went out with us (all the self-slapping). Was Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” on the psyche-yourself-up music list?

  5. No, but “Heatseeker” by AC/DC was. How’s that for embarrassing?

  6. Hmm, always wondered about the gap between the getting the phone number and the actual calling. This could explain why I didn’t get a lot of phone calls from the guys who asked for my phone number.

  7. It may not explain them all, but I would bet money it explains at least a few!

  8. In all fairness I’m sure that my dad accounts for a few others. He was a weapons collector and liked to take his collection out when I had a date and be cleaning those when the guys came over, I’m sure the rumor made it’s rounds.

  9. Okay, that is just damned funny. So teen-movie!

  10. hahahhhahaha. this is so true. i literally have been there.
    but, hey im still not over it. all the self slapping…..

    Give it…oh, 20 years and it suddenly becomes funny!

  11. Wow. I remeber when i been there. Reminds me of the times i had my first girlfriend. That was when she gave me her number.

    Yep. If you’re 18 or older, surely you’ve been there before.

    Thanks for stopping by, man, come back again soon!

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