Oh, hey. I didn’t see you there, until precisely this very moment, when I climbed off my Harley-Davidson Freewheeler, removed my vintage leather bomber jacket, and shook out my helmet, revealing my a) long curly red tresses; b) short blonde pixie cut; c) Zooey Deschanel bangs. The helmet probably made you think I was “one of the guys,” although a bit less now that it’s been covered in stickers from my favorite a) bookshop; b) cafe; c) bookshop cafe.
But, by the way, when we bumped into each other accidentally? Thanks for picking up my a) leather-bound books; b) paint palette; c) ukulele; d) monkey wrench and spark plug pliers. I’m sorry if I seemed out of breath, or left our meet-cute abruptly. Mysteriously.
You wouldn’t understand. You see, I’m late for my favorite, not-classically-feminine activity. I only have about 30 seconds in my meet-cute calendar for a bumbling, well-meaning man-child who a) I will teach how to enjoy each moment; b) will teach me to enjoy each moment.
Don’t worry, though, because tonight I will definitely recount the entire interaction in gushing detail to my singular female friend — particularly the sight of you fumbling to pick up my quirky impersonalized possession, sweating ever-so-perceptively in a delightfully boyish, male, masculine way. That’s right, I’ll recount the whole shebang to my a) older, more practical sister; b) sluttiest, most vulgar friend played by Judy Greer; c) Aidy Bryant.
a) “This is just like you!” b) “This is so unlike you!” she’ll say.
And then she’ll a) toss a pillow at me at the sleepover; b) demand we go back to work at our consignment shop; c) “shhh” me so she can go back to reading Proust at our favorite dive bar.
“Shut up, a) Erica; b) Donna; c) Karen! I’m not in love!” I’ll shudder and look out the rain-streaked bay window, a single tear trickling down my cheek before I close the curtains. “I don’t do emotions anymore, remember?”
Flashback to the boy that broke my heart last a) summer; b) summer; c) season after spring. He looked just like you, you know? The resemblance is striking: You both have the same a) calves; b) number of arms; c) ability to respire. I used my full 18 years of wisdom to swear off love for good. I’m certainly not going to break that now! It’s too soon!
You, new boy, you wouldn’t get it. You’re no a) Brad; b) Ryan; c) Bryan. Do you know what me and a) Brad’s; b) Ryan; c) Bryan’s first kiss was?
He played me a track from this really underground band that we both loved and totally bonded over, a) The Beatles; b) The Strokes; c) LMFAO; d) Hoobastank.
He put one earbud in my ear and one in his, and we shared our first kiss right there. Sitting right there, right on top of the a) hood of his Hyundai Sonata; b) Coney Island ferris wheel; c) world.
You wouldn’t get it. But wait — what’s that t-shirt that you’re wearing? Is that the logo of a) The Beatles; b) The Strokes; c) LMFAO; d) Hoobastank? You’re also a fan? Of music?
Wow. I’ve been waiting to tell you this, new boy, whatever your name is, ever since the first moment I laid eyes on you, five whole minutes ago: I think that I was running from you, because I knew that I would fall for you. Because I think that this thing between us … it could be real.
I know it’s crazy, soulful brooding male hero, but you need me to snap you out of your joyless existence. Who else will teach you to blow dandelion seeds, scattering them to the wind, and then make poignant, existential, definitely believable John-Green-writing-as-a-teenager commentary: “And aren’t we all a little bit like this dandelion?”
Who else will project onto my highly specified, underdeveloped, blank-slate excuse for a personality? Who else is as self-aware and mature? I mean, what other 18-year-old knows herself well enough to be into a) calligraphy; b) old cars; c) Nihilist philosophy; d) all of the above; e) none of the above?
Without you, who else will I pull into my wacky antics and enjoying the-moment idiosyncrasies?
You see, a) I’m not like the other girls; b) you’re not like the other boys. You and I? We’re a) different; b) the same. And the highest praise I can offer you is that you are also not like your gender. Because what a tragedy that would be!
Julia Usiak is a senior in the College. MISS-TAKES appears in print every other Friday.