“I went to UCI too,” he said as he whipped out more sushi behind the counter. “Whenever I say Zot-Zot nobody understands me,” he continued, holding up the UCI Zot-sign with his hand.
He smiled. My table continued our various conversations. And that was about all I ever heard from him throughout the remainder of the night.
There I was, a young baby-faced looking college student at a Yelp Elite event. Surrounded by the countless other businessmen, women, schoolteachers and salesmen who are about as food-savvy with their food as I am, I was probably the youngest one there.
Trays of innovative sushi-tacos and tuna-tostadas came out served with smiles and attentiveness by attractive waitresses. Each bite was equally delicious. Two free drink tickets were exchanged for tasty sangrias, sake or beer.
This is pretty cool.
For a poor college student, free food is an act of love (or at least, that’s what it feels like to us). The idea of not having to buy, make, or set aside study/social/extra-whatever time to simply eat is so precious! Free food really is the way to make a college student turn his/her head.
As I made friends with fellow Yelp Eliters who had been to these events for more than four years, with one being a newbie with me, I was distracted by all the free endless sushi revolving around back-and-forth to my table, ready for taking, ready to be consumed, ready to be eaten with no expense or being mindful of a budget.
I stayed ‘til the event’s close at 11:30pm. My small table was one of the last to leave. Since this was a no +1 event, I had asked Mr. Sushi Man to watch my stuff as I went to the restroom.
He said, “Sure, I’m not going anywhere,” with a kind smirk on his face as he washed his hands behind the counter.
I came back to all of the workers cleaning up tables and putting the dishes away. I grabbed for my stuff before the waiter took it and said, “Oh, he was watching this for me.”
I motioned towards Mr. Sushi Man who assured me, “I watched it,” with a charming smirk of a smile on his face.
As I said my thank you’s to all of the workers to head out, I had this feeling to want to chat with Mr. Sushi Man more, but there was no reason for me to be staying any longer. The waiters and waitresses were all around cleaning. As I said my byes he said “Bye” and watched me walk out.
After just a couple of feet outside of the door, I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, he was really cute.”
This enflamed feeling in my gut made me REALLY want to talk to him. I couldn’t stand the idea of leaving and not seeing him again! Something stole me.
I looked down at my free $20 gift card to come back to the restaurant and thought to myself, “Oh my God okay, I have to come back here!”
Just to see him again. I felt pathetic.
I got home around midnight, posted a small “tip” to the event’s Yelp page (so friends would be able to find me), and called it a night.
I woke up the next morning, still so anxious about Mr. Sushi Man. He was soooo cute, I was thinking. This was such a foreign feeling to me. I’ve NEVER crushed on anyone before.
I checked my Yelp app the next morning, curious to see if any of the new friends I had met posted any updates or reviews of the event.
I saw a new friend request with this message tagged along:
“Saw you at blue c last night and thought you were cute.”
My heart stopped for a second. IS THIS THE GUY?! I thought.
I looked at his profile which seemed empty. I messaged back to confirm and I was so anxious to get his reply back. It was indeed Mr. Sushi Man and we messaged for a bit back-and-forth about UCI, his having studied Art and one of his painting’s hanging in our Chancellor’s Office.
Let me remind you that I NEVER feel this way. For any of you who know me well enough, you would know that I NEVER really crush on anyone or like anyone back (after all the hopeless attempts you all have seen friends do to woo me). I am just NEVER interested in anyone I know or meet, or just don’t feel the same way in return. I’m not the type to convince myself otherwise. If I know, I’ll know.
But GOODNESS GRACIOUS, was this guy a game changer!
He asked for my age eventually and it probably wasn’t until then that he wanted to be the “good guy” and not bother with me (a 21-year-old college girl who should enjoy her youth). But, the girl inside of me, knowing how rare this feeling is, just wants to let that go. I had this immense feeling of really wanting to get to know him, to talk with him, hang out with him or go on a date. He just seemed like a nice, easy-going and boyishly charming guy. Someone I could see myself having a lot of laughs with. And plus, I’ve always just naturally felt more inclined to those older than me.
My age was about the last thing we talked about.
Whatever is to come, all I know is that this experience has taught me that I am such a sucker for a good smile! This guy had one of those charming smiles where the eyes just kind of squint… That sort of carefree, relaxed and easy-going smile. (Wow I am gushing just thinking about it!) It makes sense as to why I’ve always loved Ryan Gosling for his charming smirk, and Zac Efron’s casual charm… It’s that sense of character that I can sense and relate to and am just so swoon-fully attracted by!
At least I am assured that there’s nothing quite wrong with me (I think) when it comes to my incessant never-being-attracted-to-everyone-I-meet kind of deal. I just have to be surrounded by different—and perhaps the right—people. There are people out there… The feeling is rare to come by, but it’s out there. 🙂
What are the chances that this sushi man and I would barely have a conversation with each other, merely glance at each other, and end up feeling the exact same way about each other? Oh my gosh.
I had that all-consuming feeling to see him again. He took the action to go on the event page to hopefully find and reach out to me.