Ah yes. The title grabs your eye, doesn’t it? Isn’t that the dream, to be asked out by someone in your favourite place at a perfect time, surrounded by books and the sense of adventure?
Let me tell you a story, one that I wish I could deny as mine but also feel the need to take responsibility for.
It happened in a bookstore, where all good stories should begin. An adventure in Sydney city, on a day off with my parents.
Dymocks Sydney. A great place. A place full of books and coffee.
And boys apparently.
I was relaxing, in my element. Holding a copy of Finnikin of the Rock in my hand, trying to justify owning a second copy purely for sentimental reasons, and salivating over a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (on a side note has anyone seen the really cool illustrated versions of that book? So gorgeous!)
I spend about two hours in Dymocks, looking at all the YA which is on a different level (so many good books!) and at all the classics (so many beautiful covers, so little money) and just enjoyed looking and admiring. I wasn’t in the place to buy so I was content to be filled with coffee and browse.
My parents were in various sections, my Dad looking at the fantasy and science fiction novels and my Mum up near the fitness section. I’d had enough looking at this point and was kind of ready to move on from our bookstore adventure (with empty hands no less!)
My mum wasn’t ready to leave and there was a man standing beside her when I went up to her to say “I’ll just be in the travel section, come and get me when you want to leave.” And off I went.
I’m in the travel section, looking for a specific book called Wanderlust and admiring all the pictures from these books and I see the guy who was near my Mum walk over. Thinking nothing off it, I stay where I am and continue browsing when I hear the guy say “They have beautiful pictures don’t they.” Confused I look up and see him smiling gently at me and I nod and say “Oh yeah, they’re gorgeous.”
And so begins a conversation. An ACTUAL conversation in a bookstore about travel and travel books. Honestly, this stuff only happens in movies but I just remember feeling so overwhelmed by why he could possibly want to speak to me and just going with it.
“Have you travelled much?”
“Oh yeah, I’ve been to some of South America.”
“Oh that would have been great.”
“Haha. No. Where have you travelled?”
“My parents are from Europe so I’ve been around there.”
The conversation continued! We had a full conversation about travelling and family, while looking at various travel guides.
“I’m Oliver by the way.”
“I’m Maddy.” (I think we shook hands at this point, I can’t remember!)
It was about ten minutes of talking and inside I was sort of confused because he was really nice, but I don’t understand why he was talking to me, I was just looking at books. There was no sign or ‘come hither’ look from me. I was just looking at books!
It doesn’t sound too bad at the moment, right? A guy in a bookstore, just chatting about travel and stuff, what could possibly go wrong at this point?
WELL BUCKLE UP EVERYONE AND WATCH MADDY FAIL AT LIFE.
I see my parents come up out of the corner of my eye and watch my Mum stop my Dad from walking over, seeing that I am talking to someone and they wait. (How awkward right?) I mean I love my parents but imagine if they had walked over at that point. There would have been no point in continuing. (Not that what happened was perfect!)
Realising that we were leaving, I turned to Oliver and said “Oliver it was nice to meet you, but I have to go now.”
I smiled at him and went to leave when he said “Would you like to grab a drink sometime?”
I looked at him, panicking, and said “No, probably not.” And walked away towards my parents.
NO PROBABLY NOT.
NO PROBABLY NOT.
WHAT SORT OF MANIAC SAYS ‘NO PROBABLY NOT’ TO A GUY WHO ASKS THEM OUT?
IN A BOOKSTORE???
AN IDIOT THAT’S WHO!
The first time I was asked out, EVER, and I said no.
As I walked away and exited the bookstore with my parents following behind me, I couldn’t believe that had happened and desperately wanted to a) either crawl into a ball and die or b) turn around and find Oliver and say YES, like a normal person.
BUT WHAT DID I DO? I just kept shaking my head and saying “I can’t believe I said that. Did I actually say ‘no probably not’?” much to my parent’s amusement and surprise.
It took me 48 hours to stop mentioning it and the words ‘No, probably not’ echoed in my mind for hours.
It’s been three weeks and I still can’t believe it, hence why I am writing this blog post.
In my defense, I was unsure of the guys age and not in the flirting mode which may have done me a favour as it meant I was super comfortable in the bookshop.
A note to Oliver, the guy from the bookstore, if for any reason you come across this.
I’m sorry that I panicked and said no. I regretted it within five minutes because I actually love coffee and could have gone for one. I hope that you weren’t too disappointed and assumed I had a boyfriend or something to lessen the blow. I’m sure you’re not even thinking about this at all but please know it had an effect on me. If at some time in the future we run into each other again, please know my answer would be very different!
So there you have it. The time I was asked out in a bookstore, and how I failed at succeeding at it. I hope this has made you laugh and believe in something romantic and fantastic. Here’s to hoping next time is less drama!
To finish, I want to share a few things I have learned from this trip:
- If someone starts to chat to you in a bookstore, take it as a compliment.
- If someone asks you out in a bookstore, BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING, take a deep breath and then answer him.
3. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WHEN YOU’RE STANDING IN A BOOKSTORE.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
xx Maddy xx