this one time, i accidentally kind of got tricked into asking this boy to a dance. it was embarrassing, to say the very least. there was a new kid in school who had a really goofy grin and really goofy ears that i thought was kind of cute and maybe someone i wanted to become pals with, that is, if i could get past my awkward tendencies to act really awkward around people i've never talked to. that was the disadvantage of a small high school, i suppose. essentially, at some point in my life, i had probably shared a class with or talked to every single person in my school. everyone did. everyone just knew each other. so talking to someone new was not a practiced skill (and i quickly realized how out of practice i was when i got to college)(mom and dad, how do you make friends!?!?).
so the annual girls-ask-boys dance was around the corner my junior year and when my friends asked me who i wanted to ask i jokingly said goofy grin and goofy ear boy just because i really wanted to befriend the really funny kid that also stayed after school to do trig homework in mrs. mckennon's class and i had that silly wanting-to-be-friends-with-a-person kind of crush on him but not in a i-actually-want-to-date-you kind of way. anyways, on the monday before the dance (i repeat, the MONDAY before the dance), one of my friends who had a class with him texted me saying that someone else had asked him and i had better get on it if i wanted to ask him because he hadn't given the other girl an answer. um, okay? five minutes later i get another text saying, "WE DID IT!" in my mind, i kind of imagined the entire scenario of me asking him being really awkward and i could never do it because we had never actually spoken and for that matter, i doubted that he even knew who i was but in reality, it was so much worse. i freaked out and sent her ten texts in a row not even bothering to hide my phone in my sweatshirt during class demanding to know what she meant. what she meant? they had written all over his next teacher's board in class with dry erase markers asking him to the dance... with my name attached scribbled with hearts and flowers and bright pink writing. i could have died right there in my math class. there was no undoing it. he had that class the very next period. i was screwed.
so of course he saw it and of course i was more embarrassed than i'd ever been in my life because i was certain that he didn't know who i was and he'd only been at our school for maybe a few weeks so i only imagined what he was thinking about this totally strange girl asking him to a dance. i avoided the hallways for the rest of the day and hid from him at lunch. unsuccessfully, i ran into him, and i mean, i literally ran into him while trying to sprint through the hallways after school to get outside and go home but he thankfully did know my name and stopped me nicely. i tried my best to regain some sort of composure and play the whole thing off like it was just a "friendly" gesture. in the end, he was super nice about it and thanked me for asking him (i'll be honest, mormon boys can be some of the sweetest boys around and while i don't like to stereotype people, that is one stereotype i feel okay acknowledging because some of the most respectable boys i knew in high school were mormon) but said he was going to go with the girl who first asked him because she asked first. but he suggested we hang out sometime and over the semester, we were friendly and while we weren't really "friends" we shared a lot of mutual friends and ended up hanging out with our groups of friends at times.
anyways, to make a very long winded embarrassing story short, i never in a million years would have asked a stranger to a dance, but afterwards, it felt really good, even if i couldn't take any real credit. i thought he was going to think i was a freak. i thought he was going to take things the wrong way. and while i didn't do it, "i" took the first great leap to make him my friend and i've since learned that if you want to do something, you should just do it. 95% of the time, a person won't think you're too weird for approaching them first and getting all awkwardness out of the way right off the bat has a huge pay off. you always think something is going to be way worse than it turns out to be. i made some of the best friends i've made in college by just taking the plunge and striking up a conversation with the girl holding a book i like on the elliptical next to mine or sitting by the cute kid on your soccer team in genetics (*cough* that's actually my next plan of attack).