By staff writer Simonne Cullen
November 22, 2006
I wish Facebook was still only available to college students. That way we could still have our cell phone numbers and room phone numbers on there without the threat of a potential stalker calling. And more than that, no college student would ever have to participate in one of the most difficult social exchanges of our time: the phone number exchange.
It sounds simple enough, but I have seen grown men fumble, trip, stutter, and flat out fall, and I have witnessed women spit, spill, and develop scary high-pitched giggles—all while just trying to pass off their phone number. It’s like we’ve turned ourselves into a two-dimensional figure with our own show on the Cartoon Network, tumbling and slipping about. It’s a pretty convincing theory that the Coyote was never trying to kill the Roadrunner. He was just trying to give her his phone number; and yes, sometimes it takes of case of dynamite.
“The bottom line is, if you’re truly interested in someone, it’s worth the potential rejection.”
The scene starts out so casually: you make eye contact, he comes over, the conversation is going well. Then your girlfriends come over and insist they have to leave for some stupid reason (an ex shows up, Carolina’s had too much to drink and got kicked out, it’s bar time, whatever). Now you’re wondering how to say, “Hey, you should call me sometime,” without the fear of rejection or salivating too much, causing small flecks of spit to fire out of your moth so that he’s so grossed out he rejects you anyway.
I can’t imagine what life was like before the cell phone. You had to locate an unused napkin, and then ask everyone in the joint if they had a pen? Ever ask a drunk girl for a pen? She’ll start launching out every entity in her purse, and then make you stand there holding them in the middle of a bar while she propels tampons, lip glass, key, and checkbook into your hands—only to find out she doesn’t have a pen after all. Meanwhile, you’re stuck there holding a miniature CVS Pharmacy.
I still don’t know how I feel about guys handing out their business cards. Sure they want to show off their craft, the fact that they have a legitimate job and that the position at that job is a big deal and people answer to them. But then there are the guys who leave their cards everywhere—on the bar, in the women’s lounge, under your table—guys with names like Merv or Marv, who always seem to be in the photography business that give off a distinctly creepy vibe.
That’s not to say that all men out there are creeps or complete stuttering fools when handing out their numbers. There’s always the confident guy who whips out his Razor/Blade/Venus three-strip nick-proof cell phone, even asks how to spell your name correctly, snaps it shut, and says he’ll call you sometime this week. You’ve bagged a good guy—unless he doesn’t call. Which means he didn’t save your number, which means he’s an asshole for making you think he’s going to call. But then, why ask to spell your name correctly? Why is the sky blue? Ladies, we may never know.
Guys: When a woman doesn’t call you and she seemed interested, chances are something bad happened to her phone. It got lost, it got dropped, it fell, it’s dead. I’ve dropped by cell phone down an elevator shaft. My roommate watched helplessly as hers vibrated off the bathroom counter and into the toilet. And finally, I’ve seen it accidentally flung out of a purse landing unsafely five stories down from the roof parking lot. So if you see her again and she says she couldn’t call you because her cell was damaged, chances are she’s telling the truth.
Freshman have it pretty easy with the phone number exchange. Everyone is always eager to make friends, but you’ve got to be cautious about your opening line. There’s nothing quite like the humiliating rejection when you ask an upperclassman for their number and they reply with, “Uh who are you?” or “Do you know who I am dating?” or the ever so popular, “For what?”
So it’s better to stick with getting the numbers after class. Nothing works better than, “I hate philosophy. A tree has always been a tree until I came to college, now it’s not a fucking tree unless it falls down in a forest and no one fucking hears it? You seem to know what you’re doing. Maybe you can help me out sometime….” See? Smooth, simple, just funny enough to make the prey smile. Much better than the now predatory, “We should watch a movie sometime.”
The bottom line is, if you’re truly interested in someone, it’s worth the potential rejection. That way you’ll never have to wonder or watch them make desperate eye contact with you as they walk away. Don’t use a middle man either. God, this weekend two people I knew wanted to exchange phone numbers and kept pulling me to different sides of the bar to make sure that if an exchange was made the other would accept it. Here we are, a bunch of collegiate alums reuniting at our alma matter for one night only and we’re acting like your typical 6th graders passing notes that say, “Do you want my number, circle one: yes or no.”
On a somewhat related note, I have received several emails asking me if I am the girl in the Verizon commercial where the girl asks her entourage of a network to hide behind a building to convince the creepy guy her mobile network is unreliable. No, it’s not me. Sheesh. I wish it was. Then I could interview the “Can you hear me now?” guy and ask him if he has a hard time getting chicks.