When I lived in the UK, there never seemed to be cute girls around. Or maybe that’s not true, but I never noticed them, and if you believe my friends, I never noticed them noticing me either. Fast forward a few years and change continents, and they seem to be everywhere. Downtown Montreal is as full of Brits as a Monty Python convention, and they all seem to be attractive.
Enter me: shy, fairly awkward, still noticeably British but with an accent many find hard to place. Is it too cliche to hit on British girls just because they’re British? More to the point, do I have any greater chance of not ‘dying on my arse’ as we’d say?
I put this question to the test yesterday. There I was in Second Cup on Parc, reading my Creative Writing book (dyed hair, tattoos, creative writing, I must have looked ridiculous). I noticed that the pretty girl opposite was British. She was talking about her exchange program and picking courses for next term (semester) and which Profs she liked and hated. I liked her voice: sometimes a British accent can be soothing. It’s like a nice warm steamed milk (which btw doesn’t exist in this city).
Anyway, in an act of uncharacteristic bravery, when her friend went to the bathroom I got up and asked her where she was from. It turned out she was from an area very close to my own. In fact, my parents and her grandmother live in the same town. As my father is a doctor, there’s a good chance that means she knows the family name, but I didn’t think of that. Anyway, after that I sort of hit a mental wall. What to ask about next? Was she showing any interest, or just being polite? I forgot that I have no ability to read emotions, so I wasn’t sure. The conversation sort of petered out and got awkward when I asked if she was enjoying her exchange year, to which she replied that she was, thank you.
I watched her leave a little later without turning to look at me, in my book a sure sign that she wasn’t interested. But on the way home I couldn’t help thinking about all the things I could have said. Like asking her out, for one. And then I thought… what’s the point?
The evening turned into a depressing one, probably as a result of a conversation with my ex (I referred to her as J earlier). Luckily that allowed me to at least forget my earlier failure, and do the mental equivalent of eating a tub of ice cream, by which I mean letting her tell me about how great her life is at the moment. Sigh.