In my last year of uni I had a crush on this guy I saw everyday for what seemed to be the longest period of my life spent in the library. I would see him in the mornings, afternoon, and even whilst pulling a late night . I had no idea who he was and he never associated with anybody remotely familiar. It seemed that not even the reliable Six degrees of separation theory was applicable here. The intrigue turned into one of our many library obsessions as I shared the victim amongst my friends. Anything to distract from the misery of our academic holes was a plus. I dubbed him Seth Rogen, not least because the poor guy was nameless, but also because he looked uncannily like the actor Seth Rogen. He was my guilty pleasure.
Sure enough our frequent breaks on the library sofas were spent having intellectual discussions over Sophocles’ stance on state versus divine authority in the Antigone, which were promptly interrupted by a Seth sighting. “Seth’s gone out for a smoke, shall we go?”, or “Seth Rogen’s walking up the stairs….Don’t look…He’s coming towards us…No! Don’t turn around…Yeah he’s looking over…Dammit I told you not to look!”. I saw him so often that although we were mere strangers, we became strangers that knew each other precisely because we so obviously were not acquainted. In short; he kept staring at me because I kept staring at him. Awkward.
Fast forward to the end of the year at our pre-graduation party at a club. Everyone made it out: all those people I saw but never knew in the library, all those people I knew but wished I never saw in the library. Seth Rogen. I didn’t think I would see him there, if I had I wouldn’t have been so brazen just hours earlier when I declared I would speak to him if I saw him. It was too late. I couldn’t unmake my promise even if I wanted to because within seconds of spotting Seth at the bar my best friend Nate practically pushed me through the crowd and positioned me right to the left of Seth. The air took on a new heat around me as I contemplated striking up a conversation with a guy I literally did not know. Of all the possible ways to start a conversation I started like this, “Oh sorry, I think I pushed in front of you”. He looked at me, uncomfortably I might add, and replied “No its okay, I’m with them anyway”, indicating to the guy and girl actaully being served. I was sweating, my hair frizzed and I just wanted to bolt but I wasn’t quite ready to admit defeat. I groped for some support and found Nate’s arm within good reach. I pinched her, I figured she deserved to share in the pain that was passing through me every time I opened my mouth to speak to Seth. Then I said something really incredible. Incredibly because for 0.1 second I thought it was witty, than I was prepared to settle with funny, but as my lips breathed the words to life I realised it was just god damn ridiculous: “Oh well” I began, “You know it’s a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to the bar”. Inside I died. And as if that wasn’t humiliating enough, Seth singalled he had missedthe punch line. I had a second chance to pretend I never said the lame dog-eat-dog line and say something actually witty this time around, but alas I flopped again. Perhaps the line was so excruciatingly cringe-worthy that he had actually heard it and wanted to give me the benefit of the doubt. Who cares. I surrendered to my failure and delivered the same line again looking on to see the realisation of what I had said settle onto his face. He managed a terse laugh “Uh hah hah…”, and then walked away. Luckily I was already at the bar and it was a no-brainer what I needed then and there. Shot please!
The only thing that made this episode bearable was sharing it. I was the source of much laughing and gasping for air with a stray finger pointed in my direction. My sisters said I must have been adopted because this was no family trait. And I at least learnt that feminism can prevail onwards, women can grow penises for all I care but I will not be hitting on a guy again. Let chivalry work its charm.