Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yes, No, or Maybe?

I've always loved the idea of the "Do you like me? Yes/No/Maybe" note. Making the note's usage acceptable for sane adults has been one of the most prominent, passionate goals in my life, right in front of saving diabetic puppies from puppy hating neo-Nazis.

I used to pass these kinds of notes all of the time in kindergarten and first grade when I was attending an international school in Bahrain. I met the love of my life (up to that point) at that school. She easily beat out both Ms. Patterson (a super-hot, but probably out-of-my-league preschool teacher of mine) and Sarah, who I'd also met once in preschool when we shared blocks (she was really cute in a down-to-earth kinda way).

This girl's name was Lotte (pronounced low-tuh, pictured above), and she was an incredibly cute Danish girl. We held hands at storytime, and she would kiss me on the cheek. But, after a week of passionate hand-holding (which is like months in kindergarten time), she fell for another man. Apparently my accent wasn't Australian enough for her, and the floozie started holding hands with Michael (pictured right). Michael was obviously less interesting and far less attractive than I was (see ladykiller Shawn below), but apparently Australian accents multiply your attraction factor by 10. But whatever, I was over her. Or so I thought ...

Along came first grade, and Lotte and I were in the same class again. This shouldn't have come as a surprise, since the school was so small that each grade only had one class, but I was just a naïve first grader, and I didn't notice things like that. She'd moved on from Mike, and I felt like, with an extra year of experience under my belt, I could re-woo her. We stood in line every day to go various places as a class, and I would invariably have an "I like you" note in hand each time to pass up through the line to Lotte. I didn't understand the concept of checkboxes at that time, but my note sufficed as a precursor. Her silence was its own answer -- a "No" checkbox marked with my bleeding heart.

But I grew older and wiser. I advanced to checkboxes by the time I was in third grade in California. By that time, though, I'd become socially awkward, had just gotten glasses, and lacked fashion sense. As a result, a flood of "No" checkboxes became my persistent reality.

I shelved my notes for some time after that, at first worried about getting more "Nos," and then realizing that the note's time had passed. But why? Why had it passed? All through high school and college I longed for a simple answer from any of the innumerable women I pined for. Were society less judgmental, it could be as simple as a sheet of paper handed along and then recollected later with but a mark's difference -- and that would be all I'd need.

In college, I finally took a stand and set out to try applying the concept once more. Of course, I was still a bit worried about looking like an immature fool, so I revamped the idea such that it was less recognizable. Thus, I conceived of "The Survey."

People were always giving out surveys on the quad at the University of Arizona, so I figured I wouldn't look out of place. I'd simply stand there with pens and clipboards and hand out my survey to attractive women.

Here's the list of questions that appeared on my survey (and an image of the actual survey itself, as it was given to girls, is on the right-- enlarge by clicking):

"Survey Guy" Survey

1) Do you think the guy who gave you this survey is cute?


(If Yes, proceed to question 3; if No, go to question 2.)

2) Since you are not attracted to him physically, does it seem like he might nave ANY characteristics that appeal to you?

(If you could not think of any, please return the survey now; if you wrote something, continue to question 3.)

3) Really? Great! He thinks that you're attractive, too, or else he wouldn't have given you this survey. Next question: Are you in a relationship at the moment?


(If Yes, continue to question 4; if No, continue to question 5.)

4) Is your boyfriend (or girlfriend) big enough to beat the living crap out of me?


(If Yes, please turn in survey and never mention this to boyfriend/girlfriend; if No, continue to question 5.)

5) Let's say that, hypothetically, there was a national emergency and someone very important to you needed to call you about something very important; what seven numbers would he have to dial to reach you, and in what order should I dial them?

Phone Number = _____________

(If you leave a number, please proceed to question 6; if not, please turn in survey.)

6) I congratulate you for reaching the final question! Based on the positive responses thus far, would you be interested in going on a date with the guy who gave you the survey if he called you?


(If Yes, please include name at the top of survey.)

The Result -- The Struggle Continues

The survey garnered mixed results. Women who took it fell into a few categories:

  1. Confused

  2. Creeped the fuck out

  3. Annoyed

  4. Entertained but not interested

  5. Entertained and interested

  6. Plants; Ridiculously attractive women I already knew who would humor me by filling out the entire survey publicly to engage other women's interest (Wendy, I'm looking at you)
Alas, category 5 was the key, and only one girl fell into it. And, inexplicably, I believe I chickened out on ever calling her. What the fuck?

Nevertheless, one day this method will be repopularized. I feel like Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg are doing their parts to glamorize the cute-in-a-socially-awkward-and-dorky-kind-of-way guys, which the note system certainly applies to most. One day ... one day.

-- Shawn

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