So something happened to me this week that has never happened to me before. EVER.  I was asked out by a boy in writing. A Japanese boy.  At least…I think that is what happened…I am not quite sure that this is his intention however, because I don’t really have very much experience in the asking out area.  But I do know a little something about Japanese boys, and that is they do not ask girls out, just to hang out ALONE, especially at our age, late 20s, unless there is something other than friendship implicated.

The reason I am not exactly sure whether this is a date or not is because I’ve only had a handful of people ask me out before, and as sad as this sounds, this coworker of mine is the closest to a normal person out of all the other people who have asked me out.

The first guy to ask me out was this kid who was sort of a project of a few of my friends when I was a sophmore in college.  He had a lazy eye and was a down-and-out-of-luck kind of guy, so the three of my friends decided to help him out a bit by driving him places and hanging out with him.  And then the phone calls started.  He used to call me and want to talk for hours about his ex-girfriend, how she had treated him, how she had left him, etc…I sooort of listened while playing tetris on the internet or watching Asian dramas on the tv.   Anyhow, I learned my lesson never to be a guy’s psuedo therapist, no matter how much you want to help a person, the line needs to be drawn somewhere if it is a person of the opposite sex.  Anyway, I was driving on the floating bridge towards Seattle, giving this guy a ride home, when suddenly ON THE MIDDLE OF THE BRIDGE- where you can’t stop or park- because you will get a $500 fine, he goes “Hey. (dramatic pause) I have to tell you something.”

Oh crap.  I think I said something like “Jesus, help me,” under my breath, because I knew what he was going to say, and I really didn’t want him to say it.  Also, I was completely unprepared of how exactly to respond.  He proceeded to pour out his heart to me, about how he had developed feelings for me, and so on. I listened patiently, while my hands gripped the steering wheel intensely as if my life depended on it, my shoulders tensed up, and alarms and sirens went off in my head. 

Somehow, I managed to mumble something like, “I’m not looking for a relationship right now, but lets still be friends.”

I said this optimistically, but I think we both knew that we could never hang out normally again.  I think we were both a little immature at the time as well and  that was the end of our friendship.

The second time a guy asked me out was when I worked as a barista at a little espresso stand.  He was a skateboard kid, who used to skate to the stand, except for he was not a kid at all.  In fact, he was like in his late 30s, or early 40s or something.  I was a teenager at the time.  He was one of those California surfer type guys who was forever young in his heart, and wore large dark sunglasses to cover up the wrinkles on the corners of his eyes.  He asked me out and I had to say no, since if I was two years younger or something, I’m sure it would have been illegal. Plus, I’m pretty sure this guy was a pothead.

The next two times I was asked out were both when I worked as a teller at a bank (why do boys DO this?…its like they find the place where you are least mobile and try to TRAP YOU). I was sitting at my desk one day, when out of the corner of my eye I could see a guy lurking behind the potted plants area, waiting for the moment to pounce.  I was dealing with a business customer who had multiple transactions, so it was quite a long time until I could be freed up to talk to anyone.  Finally when the business customre left, the guy walked right up to my counter and point blank asked me out.  I was trying to remember who he was, and then I recognized him as a customer who had come in previous that week and had asked me a few questions and had commented on the weather saying how awful the weather was, it had been raining, which was kind of strange for Hawaii.  I had remarked that I enjoyed the rain that day, because it reminded me of Seattle, where I had last lived.  He kind of looked at me admiringly and left.  I had no idea that he would come back, but I suppose my atypical answer had struck a fancy in him for me.

Anyway, impressed as I was, that the guy just sauntered up to my window and boldly asked me out in such a manly way, I replied that I didn’t give my information out to strangers…and to let him save face I told him to give me his email address, which I later googled of course.  I found his myspace and discovered that he was a obsessed with horror movies and had a picture of frankenstein tattooed on his arm.  Needless to say, I let him down gently, since that kind of freaked me out.  I did not want to be found chopped up into pieces in some Hawaiian valley, my parent’s being unable to identify my body.

The next guy to ask me out, was a Chinese guy, who I should mention was 80 years old.  I am not even kidding.  He had a heart problem, but he was the sweetest man.  He used to wait for my window to open, and even if I was busy with a customer and all my coworker’s windows were free he would wait for mine to open.  He would even make kissy faces at me and say things like, ”Man, if I was only 60 years younger….” Obviously, that would have been a short lived marriage.  (Because he would have DIED- he even passed out at my window once, well twice actually, and I had to call 9-1-1.  It was very traumatic for both him and me.) He had over 1 million dollars in his bank account alone, however I am not the gold-digger type, even if he was in love with me.

I got asked out once in London by this guy whose name was Ben.  I met him in the park of Hampstead Heath, actually a very beautiful place.  He had brought his dog to the park and a bunch of us started petting him.  As Ben and I began to have a conversation, my friends mysteriously disappeared (I yelled at them later on for this…)  Ben told me that he was an ex-drug user who lived at his parents house.  A little too much information for a first time conversation.  Anyhow,  I kindly continued the conversation on and towards the end he asked me for my number.  I smiled and told him politely, that I don’t give my number out to strangers.  I seriously thought that would be the end of it, but he kept insisting.  I think he asked me for my number about three times, I felt embarrassed and wished that he would stop.  He finally (thank the Lord) gave up and left the park.

So, that was in 2009, and for three full years I have managed to avoid the awkward asking out, until this morning. (Let me clarify something however, I wouldn’t mind being asked out, if I actually LIKED the guy, just wanted to put that out there, but so far it has only been a handful of the most bizarre sort of guys…)

(I am also not counting the time when one of my students, a high school girl, yelled out the window asking if I would go out with her please at the top of her lungs…) 

I opened my email this morning to see in a message sent by a Japanese coworker at a visitation school.  His words were so formal, but so genuine.  I already know my answer will be no, I feel there are just too many differences between us.  My plan is to let him down gently and easily, but, I feel terrible for knowing that I will have to refuse him.