One Ordinary Tuesday: The Most Perfect Non-First-Date Ever
I’m a big fan of Hollywood moments. Those moments that feel so special and so magical, however fleeting they may be, you can think of nothing else to compare them to but a movie. I think because I’m such a fan of these moments, I often attract them into my life without meaning to. This happened to me Tuesday night. A crazy, almost unbelievable series of events plucked me from my intended plans of the day and placed me right smack dab in the middle of my own romantic comedy. As least that’s what it felt like. I can’t swear that this is EXACTLY how it happened…but this is how it felt for me.
I had a day packed with meetings, and had just wrapped up my third meeting of the day at a coffee shop when I looked up and spotted him walking through the door: A guy I once had a brief flirtation with a few years ago. He waved, I waved, he made his way over to my table, and I invited him to sit down and hang for a few minutes. He accepted my invitation and went to fetch his coffee. His great big Venti giant-sized hot cup of coffee. A cup of coffee that literally and inexplicably leapt from his hands as he was sitting back down at the table and flew EVERYWHERE. My computer and iPhone were sitting on the table and I reached to snatch up my computer while he grabbed up my phone…both of us trying to rescue my devices from the tidal wave of coffee. Coffee that somehow, inexplicably, flew all over the table, window, and floor…but not a drop landed on me or my clothes.
As a barista ran over to mop up the mess, I inspected my phone. It had some droplets dotted here and there, but texts and emails still continued to flood in, so I assumed it was fine. Me and Former Flirtation sat back down and had a proper catch-up for about a half hour. It was only after he left and my friend Jaime rang my phone that I realized: Everything about my phone was still in working order…except for the phone itself. There was nothing but silence. We tried again and again to connect, and though Jaime could hear me clearly – I could hear nothing but deafening silence. Sigh. My phone was broken.
Since I’m pretty much helpless without a phone, I knew it had to be replaced ASAP. The rest of my work day now a wash, I made my way down the street to the Keeper of the Phone Store (a store that shall remain nameless to protect the identity of…well, you’ll find out soon enough). Though the day had robbed me of my phone, it had been an immensely encouraging and positive day in so many other ways…so when I walked in the Keeper of the Phone Store, I was flying high. I felt like I was in The Zone. I was excited and happy and in great spirits.
Which is why, in all my blissed-out glory, I didn’t really notice right away that the Phone Guy who worked at the Keeper of the Phone Store was totally adorable. I explained to him the situation with my phone and told him all about Former Flirtation ruining it with his gargantuan-sized latte. He laughed and went to check his Super Secret Computer to see if I was eligible for an upgrade. Unfortunately, the machine came back with the message: “Not eligible til March 1st” flashing in a rather unfriendly shade of red. But I need a phone NOW, I explained. I can’t wait til March. What else can we do?
It turned out my only option was to either purchase a new phone at full price to the tune of $500-$600…or plead my case to Sprint in the hopes that they would have mercy on me and my coffee-logged phone and give me an early upgrade. “But…” Phone Guy went on, “This rarely happens. You can try, but you probably won’t get anywhere.”
In stubborn determination, I asked him to dial up Sprint from his Super Secret Phone (since mine was still housing the remains of Former Flirtation’s super-sized latte.) With an incredulous look, Cute Phone Guy dialed the number and handed me the phone. A very nice man named Donald listened to my appeal before telling me he would have to check with his supervisor to approve an early upgrade. I was then placed on hold for a solid ten minutes…during which I finally took a moment to inspect my surroundings and realize that Phone Guy was actually Cute Phone Guy. Some might even say Really Cute Phone Guy….
“Mandy?” Donald from Sprint suddenly interjected in the midst of my observation. “I talked to my supervisor and we’ve gotten the approval to go ahead and give you an early upgrade!”
I literally leapt in the air like a crazy person. I hung up the phone Glee-fully to report back to Cute Phone Guy, who looked honestly shocked. “Wow,” he said. “I’ve honestly never seen that happen before. Especially with Sprint. This is like a miracle!”
Not a miracle, I was quick to point out. God’s favor. God’s favor that seemed to be flowing like Former Flirtation’s latte, because a few minutes later and a few more entries into his Super Secret Computer…and Cute Phone Guy informed me that not only would I be upgrading to a new phone for free…I would also be receiving $93 BACK! What?!? How?!? Why?!?
Once the transaction had been made, all that was left to do was transfer my contacts and pics and other data from the old phone to the new phone. A process that should have taken maybe 20-30 minutes.
Instead it ended up taking TWO HOURS.
“What?” my friend Anetra shrieked when I repeated the story back to her. “What did you do? Go shopping?”
Nope. I didn’t.
What I did…was stand there and talk to Cute Phone Guy. For two hours. For 120 minutes. For the rest of his shift at the Keeper of the Phone Store.
And it was one of the best conversations I’ve had with a guy in a very long time.
We talked about faith, and our careers, and our dreams, and my crazy life…and we laughed and joked and had more fun than I’ve had on most first dates I’ve been on recently. Which I told him. After he told me that it was one of the best nights he had ever had at the Keeper of the Phone Store. It just felt like that for those two hours, during that wrinkle in time…away from my hectic schedule…away from my constantly buzzing phone and emails and deadlines and responsibilities that the phone represents…away from the world in general…I connected with another human being in a very real, very pure, very innocent and authentic way.
And it was nice.
And the truth is…I don’t know Cute Phone Guy beyond the two hours I spent with him at the Keeper of the Phone Store. I don’t know if I’ll ever know him. For all I know, he had someone waiting at home for him. He did ask for my number before we parted ways, but whether or not he’ll ever really use it is a question I don’t have the answer to. And maybe…just maybe…I don’t need the answer. Maybe that one, almost perfect, two-hour interlude at a department store on a Tuesday night was enough. It was certainly enough to restore my hope in the possibility of meeting someone around the next corner. As a single woman, it can sometimes feel like life is a giant game of musical chairs, where everyone around me has paired off and sat down cozily in their chairs with their significant others, and I’m left standing alone and uncertain and convinced that all the good ones are gone.
Tuesday night was proof that they’re not. An ordinary Tuesday night at an ordinary department store where a really amazing and unexpected connection with a guy I don’t know served as a little “God wink” to let me know that you really can, on any given day, at any given time, at any given place…encounter someone who has the potential to change your life.
Or at least your night. 🙂
I don’t know if I’ll ever see Cute Phone Guy again. And I don’t know if he’ll ever find his way to this blog. If he does…the words I would say to him are really quite simple:
“It was enchanting to meet you.” ~Taylor Swift
Have you ever had a chance encounter with someone like this? Sound off in the comments below!