Many years ago, I was out shopping with a few of my friends and we went into a sporting goods store so I can try on and purchase a new pair of sneakers. I don’t remember much about the footwear, other than the fact that they were Nike and I liked them and made my purchase pretty quickly.
Months had passed since the day of purchase and I found myself cleaning out a bunch of junk from my closet one evening. I discovered the Nike box that my sneakers had come home in and opened it to see if I had put anything inside of it before throwing it away. Right before I closed it, I caught a glimpse of a small piece of thick white oak tag – the kind of material used for price tags – with some writing on it. Here is what it said, scribed in block letters with a Sharpie marker:
“If you free, beep me at 917-123-4567. Your code is 0123.” *
I had no recollection of the person who helped me with my sneakers, nor did I have any idea if that person was actually the guy who slipped me this romantic message. Come to think of it, this person may not have been a guy at all. The note may have not even been for me – maybe it was a code written for someone else. In any case, I was completely horrified that someone had taken such a chance with love, and never did beep that…person. I had forgotten that this even happened for a long time and the memory recently came back to me, and got me wondering.
This sneaker salesperson wasn’t taking much more of a risk than anyone ever has when presenting their photos and personal details within an online dating site. He might have done this with every pair of sneakers he sold and just waited for someone to actually beep him. It’s an easy way to meet girls without having to look in their eyes and subject yourself to rejection. Kind of like the proverbial “wink” on match.com or sending the menorah of interest or whatever people do on jdate.com these days…
I should have kept that little piece of paper. It would have been fun to see if the beeper was still hooked up.
* Sorry, I don’t remember the actual numbers written. But yes, I do remember his impeccable grammar.