Thursday, March 10, 2011


The Best Time I Passed a Note to an Attractive Stranger

Senior year of college I was in a special special state of boredom and romantic starvation that made me do some delusional stuff, like burn incense and lay on my bedroom floor listening to “The Girl From Ipanema” on repeat, thinking about how it wouldn’t be so bad if I turned out like Jennifer Aniston’s character from that movie Friends With Money. Anyway, on the walk from my Tuesday/Thursday afternoon class to my work-study job, I started regularly crossing paths on the library steps with a really attractive guy I had never seen or met before, which was a rarity — almost an impossibility — on a small, self-contained campus.

I later pointed him out to friends, who agreed he was a babe and suggested I just GO FOR IT and find a way to talk to him. I’m mostly bad at that kind of stuff, so I didn’t for a while — until one day, when I got a GChat from my friend telling me that she had spotted him in the library, alone, working at a table near her and that this was my chance. “It’s now or never,” she said. I got out of class, walked to the library and found my friend so we could conspire and locate this guy (I nicknamed him “purple backpack” because he ... carried a purple backpack and that’s how I could spot him from a distance). I found him, and in the wimpiest but most library-silence-appropriate way, I wrote on a piece of scratch paper: “Hi. Do you have a girlfriend? — Carrie” and put down my phone number, then dropped the note on his desk and left the library without saying anything.

Within a half hour he texted me, telling me his name, thanking me for the note, and explaining that he didn’t have a girlfriend. He also suggested we “go out for tea sometime” because he “didn’t like coffee” or something (in retrospect: hmm). I was like, “Of course! Give me a call this weekend.” I sensed that it was the beginning of a fairy tale. We were definitely going to go on a date, and then another one, and then fall madly in love and I’d be one of those girls who’d say, “Seriously, you have to make the first move, it’s so easy and empowering! Boys LOVE it when you hit on them! Just try it. Trryyyyyy it.”

But a few weeks passed and he never texted or called me, and I never texted or called him. I started switching up my routes so I wouldn’t ever pass him at the usual spot, and I stopped listening to the songs I’d found on his high school band’s PureVolume after Googling him. (Oh by the way, anyone reading this feel like going out on a date with me RIGHT NOW?) I sort of forgot about him.

And then one evening I was heading home from class when I saw him walking toward me, deep in romantic-seeming conversation with a girl I sort of knew. Before I could do an emergency about-face, the girl saw me, waved, and called out my name, soliciting me to come say hi. So I walked over and straight-up shoved my foot into the back of my throat. It was like this:

Her: Heyyyyy! What’s up? Do you guys know each other? This is—
Me: I’m note girl!
Him: [Confused stare] Note girl? [Confused stare, total lack of recognition]
Her: [Confused stare]
Me: Yeah, I’m the girl who left you that note at the library a few weeks ago.
[Several moments of confusion and more staring]
Him: Oh, shit! Oh, right! Haha! Ummm … what’s up?
[About a minute of small talk and awkward shuffling, including me dropping something I was carrying on the pavement.]

Him: It was nice to meet you!
Me: OK, bye!

On the plus side, I was wearing a good outfit. I never saw him again.

Carrie Battan is a writer living in New York City.

Photo via Flickr

116 Comments / Post A Comment


ummm...i can top that..how bout the best time i friend requested a dude i banged like 7 years ago on facebook and he didnt remember me.

"we did it on an '81 silver Cadillac in the woods....still no recollection?....wow...um, nevermind i guess"


what--seriously? not even a "that was YOU?!"?! how lame.

Anna Marquardt

My friend Sarah was sitting next to a babe on the subway one time, and they were "making eyes at each other" (her words) via the window across from them, so she made a plan: she would write her name and number on a piece of paper and then DROP IT on the seat as she left. There are a LOT of possible fail points of this plan - he gets off before you do, he doesn't see the note, someone ELSE sees the note, etc. - but somehow IT WORKED. And he TOTALLY CALLED HER. And they totally went out on like three dates and made out on a roof or something. But then he went back to Canada or something? I sort of forget the end of this story.

p.s. When I was reading this I totally wanted to go on a date with you RIGHT NOW except just as friends who talk about how hilariously awkward they are.


I did almost this exact same thing, except different ending. Note to cute guy I saw in the library.

We actually did go on a few dates. I don't think we ever did "it" but I do remember being really turned off when he referred to condoms as "rubbers" (gross). Everything ended when we watched "The Hours" in my apartment one weekend afternoon. It had a deeply profound effect on me at the time (everything is terrible, human relationships are meaningless, whatever else you think when you are 21) and I asked him to leave because I wanted to be alone and I didn't think we should see each other. Yeah.

And I had pretty much forgotten about the whole thing until I read this. After that I graduated to drunken making out to show my interest. It had about the same efficacy rate for meeting someone worth knowing.


Good lord, I watched "The Hours" on my way to London to study abroad 8 years ago. It was the first time I'd ever gone overseas and I was totally by myself. When we landed I was certain I was doomed to fail/hate everything just like this movie said I would. WRONG CHOICE OF INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT.


Watching any film on an airplane is a major gamble, can't even imagine what the Hours would do to me in-flight. I bawled during "Spelling Bee" on a transatlantic flight. Something about being up in the air at night makes one (me) highly susceptible to Emotion.


I once watched PS I Love You. On an eight hour flight home. From Iraq. Where I'd been for three weeks. The flight attendant and I become great friends, because I needed an entire box of tissues through the duration of that movie.

Needless to say my boyfriend at the time was excited to see me after three weeks in Iraq, but wasn't quite sure was I was still sobbing for three hours after I got home.

Katie Walsh

You guys hear that recent This American Life about the crying on planes phenomenon?


I was stuck between two strangers in the middle seat and cried at the end of Definitely, Maybe even though I had already seen it.


I haven't heard it, but sounds promising. I think the combination of a) general travel anxiety (which I am guilty of) b) being crammed on a giant tube with strangers and c) even the smallest emotion brought on by a movie definitely = BREAKDOWN.




I watched "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" on the trip back from France and started bawling. It was unfortunate that the classmate I had been pining for the whole trip was sitting right next to me.


@fierce_pierce http://youtu.be/lUcTEGJKRPk

Liz Lemon would agree


when I was in college this girl passed me a note saying "a drink?" and I called her and we dated for like 6 months!

the thing that comes clear in these stories, though (and true of mine too) is that when you think you are having constant, intense eye sex/closeness/mutual check-out with a stranger, a lot of times they have never even noticed you. Which bums me out, like when I finally said hi to my Library Boyfriend in grad school after something like YEAR of darting eye contact (he worked at the reference desk), and he looked at me like he had never seen me before ever.


"go out for tea" - oof.


I was thisclose to doing this once. During a marathon study session in the library my sophomore year, I couldn't take my eyes off of this gorgeous man 3 tables over. I think I actually wrote out the note but didn't have the guts to drop it. Props to you!


omgggg I registered to comment JUST so I could say that I ALSO did this with a cute library boy. I did it because he had met me at a party a week prior and told me he liked how I dressed, and by virtue of that fact, we were going to fall in love forever. Then I told everyone I knew about the note I sent and my crush was the talk of campus for approximately three weeks.

Anyway, eventually we went out for coffee (Carrie, he also drank TEA not coffee! Loooooser.) at the cafe where I worked as a barista. It didn't work out because we were at a house party and my little brother ran into him and told him he should make out with me.


Edith Zimmerman

When I worked at a deli I once wrote my phone number on the butcher paper we wrapped sandwiches in, and then brown-bagged it before he could see. After I rang him up and he left, I did one of those bent over, hand-on-face, silent-scream type things. It did not work out.

Carrie Hill Wilner

The mention of butcher paper makes me wish you had done this while actually working at a butcher, and at home he unwraps this sodden, bloody package and there are his turkey giblets and your phone number. SHE'S THE ONE. Let's pretend that's the story?

Meredith L.

Ha! "Bent over, hand-on-face, silent-scream" was pretty much my entire sober college experience with guys.


One time at mock government a cute boy intercepted a note I wrote about how cute he was. THEN, he wrote me a note that said "I think you're cute too call me tonight" and I was so mortified I never did and I never told any of my friends and I definitely never told anyone about how I pasted it into my diary and drew hearts in glitter pen all around the border.


OH MAN I did Model United Nations for two years at high school and (I don't know how it works in the rest of the world but,) at our conference there were students employed as runners so that the countries could pass notes to one another for totally legitimate purposes like getting support for votes or whatever but my friend and I (who were Greece one year and Honduras the next) always used them to send TOTALLY SCANDALOUS notes to hot boys-school teams. Sometimes they would send notes back. It was the best. NB: nothing ever came of these notes, nor did we ever imagine anything would.


Yes, yes, yes! This story probably would have made more sense if I had mentioned the 8th grader who gave my note to the wrong person who then sent it to cute boy. Bad storyteller! Bad!

Emily Kaye

THE HAIRPIN WRITES MY LIFE. This is example number 8,000,000,000. I mean not exactly. But remember when facebook first first first came out and only like a few people from your college were on it and you "poked" some cute boy who had figured out facebook before other cute boys and then you went on two dates with him and then you found out he was going on dates with a girl you kind of peripherally knew and then you decided you were going to start running because you were SO MAD about it? I could only run on the treadmill for four minutes but the moral of the story is that then I started running and now I can run like 3 miles at a time! Happy ending.

Hot mayonnaise

I was acquainted with the cute person who lived across the hall in my first post-college apartment. After work one day, I put a Post-it on their door with "Wanna go get a beer?" on it. Now, we've been married for almost 9 years.


looove it!! <3 <3!!


omg you pulled a Reverse Burger!


Why is everyone hating on tea?


Because it's for weenies?

Just kidding, I have, on occasion, had tea. When I was out of coffee.


Yeah screw you guys. I dont drink coffee but love green tea. And also beer.


Tea is delicious, but for a first date it just screams 'we'll never be having sex, ever.' It's the most neutered beverage.


Tea is awesome.

When my sister was dating her husband, she suggested meeting up to get coffee. He replied saying he wasn't a coffee person but that he'd love to get a cup of tea with her. Obviously they're happily married now and he still drinks tea, she still drinks coffee. So basically, tea = Not Dealbreaker!


@melis: What is the 'we will be having sex, early and often' beverage? Just for my edification.


Triple expresso, no sugar, no cream.

tea tray in the sky.

Ah! "Espresso"! It's "espresso"!

Sorry, pet peeve of baristas who aren't allowed to have teachable moments with customers to their faces.


@TMI: Pretty sure it's beer?




Each other's blood, obviously.


@sp8ce "Weenie" is precisely how I feel about anyone who asks me out for a coffee date. Alcohol or GTFO, what society do you think we're living in?

BUT it is definitely weenie-ish to say "I don't drink coffee, let's have tea" to someone who asks you out for coffee. I have definitely said "I don't drink coffee, let's have wine" before, but if you insist on coffee everywhere that has coffee also has tea and I just order that. You don't need to make a big stink about it, it's not like tea houses are common.


I wrote my phone number on a ticket, walked up to the open kitchen window where there was a cute chef in the kitchen, and put it up in his window.

Would have been totally adorable had I not been too shitfaced to write properly, and scrawled some weird number that looked nothing like my own on it.

This was more recent than I care to admit. He never called, OBVIOUSLY, but has sent me drinks ... so maybe there's hope?

Katie Walsh

I really want to do this now. Including the shitfaced part!


When I was a junior in high school I had to go to the town library for a book for some paper, my first time there since I was 5 years old probably. I picked up the book I needed but a very hot girl, probably from another town, was two tables down and so I literally sat down and pretended to look through the book, for sole purpose of trying to figure out a game plan. So then I got up and asked her for a pencil– dead serious, I was that lame– and we flirted a little and she gave me one, then I brought it back and sort of pretended to write in the book with it, and then I got up and returned it to her and it was like, uhhh… not much else to say now.. so I sat back down. Killed 10 more minutes, then she got up to go to bathroom, I grabbed a scrap paper and wrote "Hey cutie, my name was Dan, you should call me." and my number. and left it on her book. Story makes me sound pretty smooth until you find out she actually did call, we went out, and it was a DISASTER


Tell it to abadcaseofthedates.com.


UGH it went badly because you called her 'cutie'. UGH.


Me and a friend were at this restaurant with paper on the table, and crayons to draw with, and we both thought the waitress was hot, so I wrote a silly poem in French on my side, and he drew a representation of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and we wrote our numbers on the paper next to where we were sitting, and we decided, like Troy and Abed, that whatever happened was cool, but she never called either of us. Good times.
Anyway, according to this article and thread, I need to hang out in libraries more. Y'all are too cute.


UGH, I fell in love with both of you as soon as I got to the Troy and Abed comparison. Want to arrange a meet-cute at some nearby twee establishment? How would you describe your position on tea?


I can drink or not drink tea all day!

This happened, like, 10 years ago, too, so we were the prefigurement of Troy and Abed. Unfortunately (but good for him), he is in a long-term relationship now, but, sure, let's get hot beverage: username plus @gmail.com


Aw, good luck you guys!!


... Macaroni Grill?


Not that I want to come off as easy, but I'll meet pretty much anyone for macaroni.


The crayons and tablecloth, they (Macaroni Grill) have that deal. The waiter/waitress writes their own name on it upside-down (right side up to your view) as a neat trick.

Donald Rogers

This reminds me of the days when my best girlfriends and I (their best gay) would write hikus for boys we would lust over from our small, Midwestern liberal arts college--boys who would later become indistinguishable from homeless people after graduation.


This was the best story, and all the comments were the other best stories, and now maybe I will do this! Hahahahahaha, just kidding, I'm going to continue never communicating with other people ever ever, but keep telling stories please.


I've been not-talking to people I am interested in and, besides the crushing loneliness, it's worked out! Fist bump for you.


Yep, me too. "WINNING!"



I moved to a new neighborhood last summer, where my version of this happens to live and still cannot leave the house without serious outfit calculation. Because when I happenstance run into him I want him to uh re-pursue me so I can say um remember what happened last time? I dunno.


My first thought too. My second was, Hey, at least she didn't keep running into him around campus for years after that.


Ha, guess what? Unless you're wearing something memorably horrible or slovenly, the guy likely won't care/notice the outfit calculation!


PS: I, too, like Julia (third commenter) had completely forgotten about this incident of brazen, ballsy note-writing until I read this post. Think I had blocked it out since she had turned out to be two years below me, I picked her up in my car and had to see her mom come to the door and yell at the girl to "be safe," then it turned out the girl was like 5x more 'hardcore' than me and wanted to get high in my car, I said no, she said I was a pussy. hahaha aaaand FIN.


I wrote a note on someone else's behalf, does that count? I'll just tell her story. My best friend and I hung out in this bar on Friday and Saturday of EVERY weekend because she had a crush on the bartender (who was, in retrospect, not that cute at ALL) and no guts - her method of seduction was to just BE in the area and hope he fell in love with her - so I finally wrote him a note that said, "My friend likes you, are you single? [ ]yes [ ]no [ ]maybe" and then walked out of the bar.

I never got the note back so I don't know what his romantic status was, but BFF and I DID continue going back to that bar Friday and Saturday of every weekend for a year until my bestie went off to grad school at STANFORD, so she wins anyway, even if she didn't get laid by Bartender (who had a beard the same colour as his face).

In case you're wondering, the payoff for me was that the drinks at this bar were especially cheap and strong, and being a regular has - as I'm sure you know - its own side benefits.


I actually wrote a note to a customer back when I was still waitressing, which in retrospect goes against every waitressing trope ever. This adorable baby butch was sitting with a girl who (again, in retrospect) was probably her girlfriend and I spent a good hour with my coworkers behind the counter agonizing over whether or not they were dating. Finally I brought them their receipt, made some brief, terrified eye contact, and left my number on a napkin under the receipt. I never heard from her again and it was the worst idea ever.

Natalie Rosen

Oh, M. I'd know this story anywhere. I feel like this was maybe somewhat my fault.

Meredith L.

Mixtape left in the mailbox with only a quick note of how cute the guy is and an email address that didn't have my name in it. Fuckin' creepfest I was at 17.


anonymous valentine's day card left with a single red rose on the windshield of his truck parked in front of his house (like, not at school) the morning of vday. sixteen year old me was both cheesy and a stalker! oddly he was flattered and spent eons trying to figure out his secret admirer. when i finally fessed up at a party months later we went out a few times, until he called me drunk from the bathroom of our local red onion bar to apologize before leaving with a girl we both knew to spend the weekend doing blow with her at her vacation home. creepfest with EXCELLENT taste. ah, high school.

Meredith L.

Oh, they get SO FLATTERED! But it's all awks from then on out. I was so mortified after he found out that even six years later (one of many problems when you go townie for college!) he came up to me at a party and was like "I'm about to move to Chicago, so I gotta know, why did we never become friends?" "Uh, the tape. I think it had Bob Dylan's 'I Want You' on it. S'cuse me, gotta barf on my own dweebiness."

Lily Rowan

My freshman year in college, I was taking someone's laundry out of the dryer so I could use it, but I felt a little bad about doing that, and also some of the boxers were cute (I forget how -- hearts or some shit) so I left a note in them that said "Cute boxers." Luckily I didn't sign it, because of course it turned out I knew the guy and heard him talking about it later, and was totally mortified, even though he thought it was funny. I just, I don't know, thought I was putting this note out in to the wide world of strangers! Strangers who lived in my dorm.


Great, now I can add "never got a note from a girl asking me to call her" to my long list of failures. Thanks


Call me.

- a girl


Ha! re-revising list.

Shirley Temple Of Doom

A few years ago I was riding the Amtrak back to Grand Central from the Catskills. There was a boy sitting a row up and across the isle writing in his notebook with his left hand. Cute! I drew him a picture of my left hand holding a pencil and inside I wrote, "Did you know that only 13% of the world's population is left handed?" Nerd! I gave it to the ticket puncher and he wedged it into the seat in front of the boy. I fell asleep.

I woke up at Grand Central to a note! It was a drawing of a boy on his knees clutching his left hand. Behind him was a fat teacher with a ruler raised to strike. Behind the teacher were two snickering kids. ALL INSIDE A PENTAGRAM. Text: It hasn't been easy.

I made a Craigslist missed connection but never heard from the guy. I still have the drawing.


This story is TOO INTENSE for the low-key way you recounted it!


Welp, I have this friend who did the exact same thing not even a month ago! Except that she actually was employed by said library, so propriety and/or HR lines were perhaps traversed? As I understand it, she gave him a secondary email, in case he was a psychopath with a scanner and a list-serv (it made sense as a legitimate fear at the time), but forgot that she didn't update her POP/IMAP settings after she changed her passwords, so she spent a whole day doing the silent scream thing unnecessarily, because it turned out that he responded right away? And even complemented her on her penmanship? So it went, she popped a couple of beta-blockers for their first date to quell nerves (they had never even spoken before!), but forgot to take the eventual three beers and her inherently low blood pressure into consideration. By the end of the night, she was in an extreme hypotensive sleepwalkingish semi-conscious stupor, but the dude was a total gentleman and walked her home, so she didn't end up walking into oncoming traffic. They have a fourth date on the docket, and the whole thing is super-casual nbd, which she and I agree is rather uncanny. I mean, right? I'll She'll let you know how it goes.

e.h. cotton

I once got a note on the L train. It was around 5 or 6am on a Wednesday night, I had just left the bar, and I was well on my way to blackout #4 for the week. I passed out when the train was about 3 stops before my own, just me and a girl at the other end of the car. When I woke up at my stop I was alone, with a note on my stomach: "girls name" + the number. Considering my state of being at the time, I wonder if she was trying to Save me? Had I called, would it have been "If you died tonight, where would you go?"

one cow.

ohhh, man, a few years ago when I was still waitressing, my best friend's family came in to eat, including his older brother from out-of-town who I'd had a crush on for TEN YEARS. he hadn't seen me since I'd left my awkward phase & was a bit flirtatious as I waited on them. after they left, the busboy came up to me with a folded piece of paper that said "please give to [my name]." Inside was written, "[my name], you intrigue me. -[his name], [his #]" !!! pitter-patter went my little heart! the next day, my best friend was all, "haha, did you get the note from my brother, haha? isn't he hilarious, haha? we put him up to that! good one, riiiiight?" and I had to be like, "yeah, totally! I was LOLing all over the place!!!" heartbroken.

sounds like a sad story, but turns out he actually did develop a crush on me that night, which he revealed to me a year later when we dated for like a month & it was so perfect & romantic & over way too soon because, turns out, he's an ass. success!

hairdresser on fire

Oh my god, that first paragraph is EXACTLY HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW. Maybe I should drop off a note for some hot guy? Probably? Or maybe I should continue to sigh/get drunk on Mondays until I graduate (the specials are soooo good it's like you're LOSING money if you don't drink then!!)

Katie Walsh

For my best friend's 16th birthday in high school, our group of girlfriends decided to be VERRRRY grown up and sophisticated and go out to dinner at a nice restaurant. Of course we had an OMGSOCUTE waiter that we mooned over the entire night, and when the check came, we decided to write our friend's number on it and handed him the check envelope giggling like a bunch of hyenas. In retrospect, I'm sure he was some 24 year old kid feeling awkward about the gaggle of 16 year olds laughing and screeching giving him furtive glances that he had to wait on, and the phone number was just the icing on the awkward cake. Hope it made you feel good, Mr. Waiter!


When I worked in the public library I had a customer that I flirted with all the time. One day I got ballsy and slipped my number into the book he was checking out. We texted and facebooked, but nothing ever came of it.


I never passed him a note, but my last ex-boyfriend and I met by me getting all smiley at him whenever we passed each other at the same time on the same days at the same place on campus. Once he said Hi to me and I creamed my pants. We ended up meeting at a party at the beginning of the next semester, and we dated for a little over two years. As it turned out, he was an opiate addict and more than a little insensitive. So we're better off not being together, but the story of how we started is way cute.


In my expert opinion, the best thing you can do is this:
Write a note that says "Will you go out with me? Check one:" But then you make the "Yes" box real big and put a little "No" box inside of it.

The Secret Sharer

once i got a note from a girl who sat in front of me in English, with a condom attached. I wish i could go back in time and adjust what happened next.


It went poorly because she stapled the condom to the note, didn't it.


A girl in my college (remedial I guess we're both dolts) math class used to make eyes at my constantly. One day after class I went into the bathroom, she followed me in and locked the door behind us looking at me like a rare steak. I got so scared and ran out. I too wish I could go back in time and adjust that situation. Meeow.


In a completely different vein of note-passing... I once spent a summer working as a hostess at a small deli-type restaurant, and a girl who was probably about 10 passed me a note on her way out telling me she thought I was pretty! (Awwwwww <3 <3 <3) I still have that thing somewhere, and it's a tremendous pick-up when I'm feeling down.


Once I sat down on the L next to a super cute girl. This equally super cute boy got on after me and they commenced glancing and smiling at each other from across the way for four or five stops. Then just as he was getting off the train he threw a little note into her lap and ducked out of the doors as fast as he could. Everyone sitting in the vicinity looked at her to see her reaction and her grin was so big it could have split open her face. We all grinned back and then immediately became depressed because nothing like that ever happens to us. Or maybe that was just me.

I do wonder whatever happened with them, though. I hope she called him!


That is precious. I hope she called him too. I like that everyone else knew what was going on.


When I was in college a few years ago, my best friend and I were at a bar one night having a drink and there was this SUPER HOT dude sitting at the other end of the bar. I was like OHMYGODHOTTESTGUYEVER and my best friend was like "Dude! Go talk to him!" He looked like Elvis and was so so handsome and I could not get up the balls to go do it. So I wrote my name and number on a napkin, and as we left, I dropped it in front of him without EVEN MAKING EYE CONTACT. I was so scared. I literally threw the napkin at him and ran out of the place. Anyway, he called. And we dated for almost a year! It was such a fun relationship because I was in my retro phase and people use to scream out "ITS ELVIS AND MARILYN MONROE!" when we would go out together :)


Another entry for the Library Hotties category: He worked at the reference desk at the campus library and was SO PRETTY. So pretty, in fact, that when my new friend Mike asked me if I was into anyone on campus, and I told him about my crush on the reference desk guy (RDG for our purposes), I was bummed but not wholly surprised when Mike informed me that RDG was gay. LITTLE DID I KNOW that New Friend Mike had actually decided if I was going to ride any bone it was going to be his, and it was a stone-faced cockblock. So I dated Mike for three months and gazed wistfully at RDG from afar. I continued renting snobbishly Important Films from the reference desk that I never watched, because even if we were never to make passionate love, I wanted RDG to think I was Smart and Cultured. After all, I had gone to all the trouble of sussing out his work schedule, and I still wanted to look at him (GAZE) and make very small talk.

It was pretty unfulfilling, until I became friends with a girl who also worked at the reference desk, who informed me that RDG was both single and straight. WTF? She took it upon herself to ask him if he ever noticed me. "She's foxy," he apparently said.

Armed with this new revelation and a shot of vodka, I looked RDG up in the campus phonebook and called to ask him out. This approach was based on the assumption that hyperventilation, flushing, and excessive palm sweat would be less off-putting than if I asked him out and then vomited on his Converse. At any rate, it worked, and I had a Thursday night date.

I was so nervous, and running late, as per usual. After frantically shaving my legs (something one really shouldn't do in a rush - the blood puddles!), I threw on my Demure But Sexy outfit (one should always attempt to physically embody the Virgin/Whore dichotomy, I sprinted to the dining hall for some take-out dinner and went back to my room to eat and finish primping. Sadly, tilapia was on the menu that evening, and I discovered when I returned to my room from applying my make-up that the place STUNK of fish. I took out the trash in a panic, opened the windows, sprayed perfume around, and it still smelled like the dumpster behind a Louisiana seafood restaurant in July.

So I poured some wine, put on some Nina Simone, and practiced looking alluring while breathing through my mouth until the knock on the door announced his arrival. Please bear in mind that, although we'd had months of lingering glances (in MY mind) and had exchanged entire sentences over the reference desk, we had never formally met.

So I let him in, and he says two things. One: "Oh... You're not who I thought you were." I think the shooting pains started in my left arm at this point and additional heart attack symptoms were bolstered by his follow-up. "Is it... fishy, in here?" So at that point I basically died.

Happy Endings: It turned out that the first bit was a joke, because he was just as nervous as I was and had worked out his "ice-breaker" on the way over. Ha bloody ha. We dated for two-and-a-half years and are still friendly and affectionate years later. Mike moved to LA and is in a band. I ignore his Facebook updates.


Ahh this story is like a movie the ending makes me feel so fuzzy and warm. I don't even like romcoms!


I spent a summer volunteering at a library where I was in charge of what was basically a bribery program to get little kids to read. One day, an adorable little girl came up with a bundle of books to collect her reading prizes with her equally adorable older brother trailing behind her. I started ribbing the brother for not carrying his sister's books which led to some flirtatious banter and much twinkling of his deep blue eyes. He slipped a note in one of his sister's books with a nice compliment and his name. But no number...wha...?

I spent the remaining days of the summer hoping he'd walk back into the library, daydreaming of how magical it will be when we fall in love, and as more days passed without a sign of him, frantically trying to fish for personal information about him based on his sister's library membership.

So. Dudes. No drive by noting, k? Not remotely cool.

constant reader

mine was a darkly bearded shoe salesman. a hallmark card with a photo on the front of a monkey in boy clothes and a monkey in girl clothes sitting on a couch eating popcorn. inside: hi I have tickets for the baseball game tonight do you want to go? phone number. on the envelope: blackbeard. he texted, he was sorry, he had to work. we texted more. but then I stopped because I felt stupid. the end.


I'm so sad that this is the first day in weeks I haven't been obsessively refreshing the hairpin, because I missed the boat on this and now my perfect story will only be read by a lonely few.

Four years ago, I was single and bored and out at a bar with my friend Jenn. We were drunk, and nothing exciting was happening, and I said, "Jenn, I'm sick of this. Pick out the hottest dude in the bar and I am going to give him my phone number. So she decided on a tall, gangly British gentleman who'd shared a round of darts with us earlier in the evening. I wrote my name and phone number on a piece of paper, folded it into a square, and at the end of the night, I went over to him, said, "It was nice meeting you!" and shook his hand goodbye, palming him my number.

He texted me a few times to hang out, but I was a little stunned by what I had done, and he was busy, and I was travelling a lot that summer, so we never quite managed to connected. I was slightly sad about it, but whatever.

Flash forward two years later. That same friend calls me all excited about this new dude she's started seeing. Turns out she met him at the bar we always hang out at. Turns out he's tall. Turns out he's British. Turns out he looks vaguely familiar in the photo she sends me so I can check him out. Turns out, when she asks him, that he still has my number in his phone. She'd had no idea.

We laughed over it, decided it was slightly weird, and then never mentioned it again.

They're getting married on Saturday. I'm the maid of honor. Sometimes I think it's just a strange silly quirk of the universe, and other times I think it is a good sign, because of all of the dudes at the bar, she picked him, years before she even knew him.

And that's my story!


Awwww. It's a good story! Isn't it weird to discover you're not actually the romantic lead, but the quirky best friend, though? I have had this thought a few times. Maybe I'm NOT the hero... maybe I am actually the comic relief. This must mean I will get wasted at the wedding, make a zany speech, and have an implied hookup with the groom's unconventionally attractive best man (short, fat, bald, glass eye, whatever the studio feels like picking on) while the cheery music plays out and the actual leads fly off into the sunset to drink champagne and have jazz-accompanied sex for the rest of their lives. This would make my Judy Greer. Who is awesome and deserves her own movie, anyway.


Very nice.


She had her own movie - it's called "Marmaduke," and it's AWESOME.


That sounds like a wonderful movie! If this weekend goes that well, I will be more than pleased.


That's a great story.

tardi to the party

i was in high school and in the midst of a weird self-confidence streak. i worked concession at a movie theater. one day, a cute guy comes in w/ some kids he's babysitting. we make eyes at each other, which inspires me to make a "pop quiz" (thank you seventeen magazine, for the tip) for him: what's your name? what movie are you seeing? and give it to the kids to take back to him. and it totally works! he comes out and chats we w/ me and we decide to meet up later at a TCBY.
we get our ice cream and go hang out in a park. we're just getting to know each other when he wonders aloud what i'd do if he kissed me. i go to put a little distance between us, but he gives chase. this ends up freaking me out, so i run for my life to my car, where i stay for the remainder of the "date". end of relationship.
and that was the first and last time i sent a note to a stranger.


My story does not even come close to some of the legit GEMS on this board, but I'll throw my two cents in. Being new(ish) in town and not all that super happy with a bomb the guy I was seeing had recently dropped on me (I was in totally into him but he'd recently told me he didn't want anything serious … side note, seven months later, we are still seeing each other, are in love, and it IS serious. HAH.), a few girlfriends and I rolled out to the bar, only for me to spot our cute-as-hell waiter who I'd never seen before. Between small talk, I learned his name and made some flirty eyes. I left my name and number and a "call me smiley face" on my check right before I left (completely drunnnnk.). The next afternoon, he texted me, and at first I didn't know who on earth this person was until he texted something like, "remember that cute waiter you had last night?" And I was all, "ohhhhh riiiiighhhht," while thinking to myself, I can't believe that shit actually WORKED! He took me out to dinner that night — and while not life changing (obvs, I'm still w the other guy.), he's a super nice guy, we're facebook friends, and he still waits on my friends when we're at that particular bar. He knows my drink


About 18 months ago while in line at Trader Joes, this little 7-8ish year old girl behind me asked the cashier for a piece of paper and a pencil. The cashier tore off a strip of register receipt tape, grabbed a pen and gave it to her. Her Mother and I looked at her daughter then at each other. I noticed her eyes were green with specks of brown at the edges, we smiled to each other in that flirtatious kind of way. The kind that is usually reserved for sometime after your second libation of the evening together. Being inquisitive, we both watched her daughter start to write something down. The cashier asked if I would be paying with cash or credit card. not realizing he was waiting on me I apologize, and as I was paying the daughter proceeds to write a number on said slip of paper, and sign it (mommy). Her mother who was watching with great surprise takes it from her daughter as she is handing it to me and says with a laugh, "Oohh darlin, he can't call me that." She's kinda of shocked and embarrassed for an awkward moment. The cashier and I look at each other in that are you checking this out, did that just happen kind of a way. Then she looks at me and says "hey" brushing her hair behind her right ear. Looks at the exit and pauses for another second, and with a coy smile a ton of confidence jotted her name down after scribbling out (mommy) and handed it to me. I introduce myself to her and her daughter, she offers some kind of apology for her daughter's actions. I tell her not to worry, and start to head towards home.
This is the point where something go's wrong, or maybe not Who knows. I somehow managed to loose he number by the time I got home. I checked my bags at least 4 times and kept turning my pockets inside out to see if I could find it. I checked the car, garbage, recycle, compost, sidewalk and even went back to the store and asked the cashier if he'd seen it? He was even kind enough to tell the cashier next to him what happen between the time I left and when I returned. I can only assume that's why she said "Dude, you lost her number? YOU Totally Screwed That One Up"...

Grrrrrr factor X 1 Gazzillion


oh man, that's killer! you may very well be the 1 and only guy i've ever heard of that can validly use the "i lost your number" excuse. wow.


One time a guy left a love letter in my mailbox after he saw me handing out candy on Halloween dressed as Marilyn Monroe. It turned out he was over 30 (I was fifteen) and mentally disturbed, so yeah.


these are all so amazing! I'm regretting that I never got the courage to drop a note to my Library Hottie, and instead remained married to my routine of careful outfit checking, hair fluffing, and requesting obscure and seemingly erudite movies to impress him. Next time!


I felt it necessary to register so that I could add my note story to this awesome collection.

When I was a freshman in high school I had PE at the same time (but in a different class) as this boy who totally fascinated me, which may have been because he was always reading alone instead of exercising (oh high school). One day I recognized the cover of his book as one of JD Salinger's and asked him which one he was reading. Apparently he went home and obsessed over my nerdy alternativeness. A few weeks later he passed me the world's most-folded-up note. It was a super intense poem he'd written about me, which included some words I had to look up, and a reference to dying for me. Needless to say, we dated for about 4 months, he introduced me to all of the drugs I've ever tried, and then we broke up after he decided that I would never truly love him (I was 14). I still have a collection of poems from him and I believe he's a high school music teacher now.


Make that into a movie. Hipsters will fucking love it.


Shit! This made me remember the couple times I received notes in the library in college from strangers. Once the dude dropped it off and then backed away slowly, making meaningful eye contact. I think he wore a trench coat. Ballsy, slightly creepy.

I passed an anonymous note on a pub "note night" in Italy. It was poor Italian, as I had only been there for a week or so, and I called the guy "Signore Jack Daniels" since he was wearing a Jack t-shirt. He thought it was cute, and then I'd awkwardly run into him all over town for the next 3 months. Nothing ever happened there, sadly.


Even though it has now harmlessly passed into time, I can totally feel that looong pause after you said, 'Note girl" and, then, nothing. Excruciating.

Ironika Leigh

i guess i'm glad there wasn't texing/email/cell phones back when i was in college. no one could let me know cute guy was in library (an open target) ... so i was spared this kind of humiliation.

sitting around waiting for the phone to ring because i'm not even sure there were answering machines back then was way way better.


In grade 8, there were two boys who were best friends who shared the same name. One day the tall one delivered a note written by the short one. He wrote that I was beautiful and so intelligent. There was also something about positive prospects for my future? I think I was meant to go far in life and excel. I totally kept it in this box of mementos and would re-read it whenever I was sad and it is hopefully there to this day. Of course, nothing happened because he was shy and I was shy.

And then with an ex-boyfriend, this is the series of events that occurred: I initiated contact by sending him a message on facebook after we met at a bar one night. And we messaged back and forth and then nothing happened.

A few months after that, I saw him at a bar again and he asked for my number and asked me out on a date. And then cancelled the day of- because his amp had been fixed and he had to go jam with his friends.

Attempt 3: Months after that we became acquaintances and he asked me out on a date and then we dated for a few months. But the strange thing was, those facebook messages were never referred to. Nor was that first date/stand up remembered. It was as if they never existed for him.

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I passed a note once. I was working as a temp for a week at a marketing firm, and my supervisor at the job was a stone fox. Just as I was leaving on my last day I awkwardly gave him a note with my number on it, all "You should have THIS." I bolted, and never expected to hear from him.

He did call me, but then we got in to a texting conversation. This was in 2007, when the dark ages of texting required me to type in the letters using the number pad on my Motorola Razr and it was just exhausting. So he was terrible at talking on the phone and I was terrible at texting, and he just didn't really seem that in to me, but he still asked me out for the following Saturday.

I ended up cancelling on him at the last minute to go on my first date with the guy who I married just last year.

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