I’m in the passenger seat. My mom and I are driving the 200 mile stretch of Highway 5, North, where everywhere feels like nowhere and the only indication of our exact location is the number of minutes that have passed since we got off the grapevine.
I’m glued to my phone, furiously exchanging text messages with my best friend. We’re planning the last week of the summer through rapid, six word exchanges. We’re in the heat of it when I notice the email icon on the screen of my pink blackberry.
I check to see if it’s an update on the LA housing I (think I) landed four hours ago.
It’s a message from my new friend, Nick.
Nice of him to take a break from boning up on intellectual property law to send me a note. Maybe we’ll be friends after all.
Nice to finally meet you. FYI, when I was checking out the law school
yesterday, I noticed a couple of bulletin boards when you walk into
the main building, entering from south side on the right hallway. Not
sure of the building name, but it’s not Dodd Hall, its the one with
“UCLA Law School” out front. The boards had notices for apartments
for rent and also grad students looking for roomate.
Hopefully your search is going okay. Let me know if I can help at all.
The email must be hours old. It’s clear my first impression left him less than confident in my ability to find a place to live on my own.
I don’t blame him, I guess. I had messy hair and messy speech and a confusing oral biography of myself that could have easily suggested lack of self-direction and self-sufficiency.
There is the part where we got into the same law school, though. Twice.
His tone wasn’t particularly friendly but I’d need at least one new law school friend to help me with the outlining, so I did my best to further our connection.
You’re such a sweetheart, thanks for looking out for me. I found a place yesterday so hopefully the move will be a smooth one from here on out. I’ll be down next weekend, maybe we can meet up for coffee or a drink or something before class starts.
Good luck on your interviews!!!!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerrry
I hoped the five exclamation points at the end of my good luck wishes would negate any possible reading of sarcasm. I remember proof reading the message before hitting send. It sounded friendly, but not flirtatious. The perfect amount of enthusiasm mixed with sincere appreciation. I nailed it. I thought.
Move-in weekend came and went and Nick never responded back about meeting up. I figured he was worried I was coming on to him and that his possessive girlfriend back in Sacramento was anxious and jealous. He had clear boundaries in his relationship with women and his initial message was simply intended to be informative, not friendly. Certainly not an invitation to further communication.
A cordial, future-preserving gesture just-in-case hell freezes over and we wind up working at the same law firm some day.