Let me paint you a picture: It’s 10:55 AM today, and I am going to Starbucks after a doctor’s appointment, before I head back to the office. The line is almost out the door, which never happens, but nothing shall stand in the way of me and my coffee. So I get in line, and the man ahead of me starts talking to me. He has a thick accent, but I can understand his words perfectly. What I can’t understand are the sentences the words make up–they were basically gibberish. From what I could understand, today was the first time he had been late to his class and his teacher was upset at him? [And WHY do I care?] It was like he started speaking to me mid-story, as if we were friends picking back up a conversation and I knew what the fuck he was talking about.
Then he went on to ask me where I’m from (I told him Colorado, which he later referred to as a “country”), and I tried to converse pleasantly as the line proceeded, thinking an end was in sight and I could be friendly until then. He said he was from Dubai, and came here three months ago to study English. I THOUGHT he was maybe in my tribe when I asked him if he liked LA and he shook his head, and then just repeated “I can’t” a few times–because that is me in a nutshell. But when he explained WHY he doesn’t like it here–because “everyone here is from Iran”–I thought, mmmmm that’s a little bit prejudiced, if not also completely untrue. So I just tried to smile and nod–my go-to with people who I don’t like [everyone] and crazy people. But apparently he took that as genuine interest in him, because he continued the conversation after we had both put in our orders, and after I heard my drink called at the bar but was too worried about rudely interrupting him to get it and leave.
He asked [stated], “what is your number” as he handed me his phone to enter it. I froze–I didn’t know how to get out of giving it to him (despite having JUST posted AN ENTIRE ARTICLE with A BILLION OPTIONS for what to do in EXACTLY THIS SITUATION a FEW HOURS prior)–so I just put it in his phone, thinking, “I’ll just ignore him if he ever tries to contact me.” But then he called me right then and there (TOLD YOU) so I could have his number, too. He said to contact him if I ever wanted to try an Arabic restaurant, go for coffee, or “just talk.” He also said, “please don’t forget me.” At this cringe-worthy point, I just wanted to leave. But then, he asked me if I have a drivers license.
“…Yes…” I said, hesitant about where this was going.
“I need your help,” he said.
“I need you to go to the DMV with me, because I don’t have a license and I need someone with a California ID with me in order to get one,” he went on.
STILL nodding and smiling, and now laughing nervously, I said, “That doesn’t sound right…”
“Trust me,” he said.
At this point, with the paranoia of an immigration attorney’s daughter, I thought “IS HE TRYING TO GET ME TO MARRY HIM SO HE CAN GET A LICENSE WHAT IS HAPPENING I DON’T EVEN BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE I AM SO CONFUSED GET ME OUT OF HERE.” So, like a rambling crazy person, I continued in the most upbeat of tones, with a psycho smile plastered on my face, and said about 40 variations of, “That can’t be!/Are you sure!?/I would ask them again/That’s so weird!” and ended with, “It was nice to meet you!” [read, “I’m trying to be nice so you won’t find me and try to murder and/or marry me!”]
And then, a couple hours later, I got the texts we all knew were coming:
And while that is the first rose I’ve gotten in a while, and he is correct, I do have the face of a perfect angel, I would have much rather never given him my number than now be in this position, because this is my neighborhood Starbucks, so like I HAVE to be able to go there, and the baristas knew his name, so he’s apparently a regular, and now if I see him there again I am going to have to pretend to be my own twin, or have amnesia, or be engaged (LOL), or wear a disguise. So let this be a lesson to you–JUST SAY NO BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE A VERY FRENZIED AND CONFUSING TEXT CONVERSATION WITH YOUR MOTHER AFTER SENDING THIS SCREENSHOT TO HER AND SEND HER INTO AN OVERREACTIVE FREAKOUT AND HAVE TO ASSURE HER THAT HE WAS LIKE 90 LBS SO YOU COULD TAKE HIM IF IT CAME TO THAT.