Meet them at a house party, a grocery store, fighting over the last packet of sugar at a coffee shop. Give them that second look—the look that objectifies them and says, “Wait a minute here. I could possibly want to sleep with you, fall in love, and raise tons of babies together.” Have a few moments of nervous conversation. “Nice to meet you. Do you like sugar or do you prefer Splenda?” or “Aren’t you in my Politics of Psychology in Education class?’ Exchange these warm smiles that trigger a dormant feeling of excitement. Exchange numbers and promise to text one another. “Text me, k? SO SO nice to meet you. I’m going to go now. Like, not right now but soon. I mean…” That’s another thing. Lose the ability to speak with any degree of articulateness. Actually start to wonder if you’ve temporarily become mentally deficient.
Walk away from the experience feeling euphoric. Call your friends immediately and gush about the person who could potentially raise children with you. Fail to realize that you know nothing about them. Your chemical makeup enjoyed the way they looked and the way they spoke. That’s it. Regardless, hold them in as high of a regard as your best friend or parents. Like them, this person now has the power to make you either sublimely happy or devastatingly insane.
Begin the dreaded texting game. Text them knowing that you will spend every second obsessing over whether or not they’ll respond. Write a text that’s amiable but not too desperate. Make a reference to something you spoke of during your conversation, and propose a meeting for drinks. Consult an army of friends to make sure the text message is perfect. Ask things like, “Should I say “wonderful to meet you the other day?” or “it was great to meet you the other day?” Which sounds better, dammit?!” Press “Send” and be reduced to a puddle of nerves.
Have four hours pass without a response. Get nervous. Almost hysterical. Go out to eat with a friend to distract yourself, but end up obsessively checking your phone. Feel it vibrate and and get extremely hopeful. Discover it’s just a friend making a joke about Ke$ha. Text back furiously, “I thought you were my crush. WHAT THE FUCK? AHHHHH!”
Eight hours pass with no response. Start to make bizarre excuses for them. “Maybe they’ve been at work. Maybe they lost their phone at a party last night. Maybe they are trapped in a well somewhere. Maybe I wrote down the wrong number. Maybe!” Take Nyquil to go to sleep. In the morning, wake up in a daze and notice you have a new message. It’s from your crush and it reads, “Hey! Great meeting u the other day too. How’ve you been?” HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? Waiting for you to validate me with a text message, idiot. Get discouraged that they didn’t make mention of getting drinks. Write back, “Great. What is your schedule this week? Would love to get together!” Worry that you’re coming off too aggressive. Send the message anyway.
And so begins a very painful text message dance. They respond to your messages a day later with significantly less enthusiasm. Show the correspondence to your friends and be like, “Maybe they’re just really busy. Maybe they’re a bad texter!” Nervously laugh and make everyone uncomfortable. Have your friends gently tell you to calm down. After all, you don’t even know this person! Intellectually, you are aware of the absurdity, but it’s still a crush. Crushes trump logic. They trump a PHD. They trump old age. They trump an otherwise logical personality. Crushing behavior > Everything else.
Spend the next few weeks coming to the epiphany that the person you met briefly and chose to obsess over is probably not going to materialize. Begin to shake off the crush. Rub it out of your clothes. Get craniosacral therapy to cleanse your brain. Slowly become a normal person again.
A month later, find them on Facebook. They have their favorite bands listed as “anything but country!!!” Ew. Get over it completely.