Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley.
OK, so there is this girl at my college and she been giving me crazy eye contact. Like if she sees me in the hall, she stares at me. Or from a distance, I’m catching her eye on me. We never speak. I don’t know if it’s because she too nervous because I’m know I’m definitely too nervous.
And when it comes to anything else, I’m very outgoing, but with girls that seem to have an interest in me, I freeze up. It’s probably fear of rejection, but I guess maybe I’m waiting for her to approach me and not the other way around. Also what doesn’t help is that she has a kid so I’m not sure if she is gay or bi or just bi-curious. I have known of her since middle school and haven’t seen her since then. We aren’t friends and have never been friends. My question to you is should I just let it go or is it worth approaching even though she has a kid? Also, if a person is nervous to approach someone in person, do you think e-mail is OK to use or is that creepy?
Anna Says: I’m pretty sure sending an e-mail hasn’t been creepy since about 1977, when “e-mail” was actually morse code. But, regardless, who needs email when you have an in? You went to school together. Sure, it was when everyone was wearing headgear and scrunchies, but still, that is a perfectly acceptable conversation starter and could be —wildly outrageous guess here — why she’s been staring at you in the first place. She probably recognizes you but doesn’t know how she knows you. So yes, talk to her, woman!
Ask her if she still remembers the words to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. Ask her if she hated geometry as much as you did. Ask her if she ever used the word “mack” to describe making out with someone — or whatever ridiculous middle school reference you can think of. The possibilities are nearly endless!
One suggestion, don’t start the conversation off with “So what’s with all the eye contact, Starey McLooksalot?” A simple, “Hey, we know each other, right?” will work just fine. And it’s OK to be nervous — that’s part of the thrill.
In terms of the dating-someone-with-a-kid equation, that’s really up to you, but I think you’re putting the U-Haul before the horse a bit, or whatever the expression is. Don’t even worry about that now — focus on forming actual sentences in her presence. Step one. Once you’re acquainted, then you can ask intrusive questions about her sexuality. Step two. If she’s never “tasted the rainbow” so to speak, don’t worry, you are in college after all. Everyone knows that lesbians go with college like IHOP goes with hangovers, like hipsters go with skinny ties, like Tegan goes with Sara, etc. Catch my drift? Good.
Now sally forth, my young co-ed, into the wild blue of awkward hallway conversation. And prosper.