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Getting to Know Someone  by Peter (an experiment for RCM003 1/30/97)

Before:
There is a Japanese girl that I always see on campus for the past three years. She lived in my apartment complex the previous two years. Now, I always see her getting on the bus at a different stop since she has moved. In addition, I also see her very frequently waiting for the bus at the Silo. I had always wanted to approach her, but never did, as I often talk myself out of it. One of the reasons was that I thought she had a boyfriend. For this assignment, I finally sucked in my stomach, and approached her.

In my plan to approach her, my first objective was to make eye contact. Since we had seen each other so many times, I didn't think that it would be hard to get a "facial hello". Once we established the eye contact and acknowledged each other's presence, I would walk toward her and ask a stupid question. I thought the hardest thing would be the initiation of conversation after the first statement or question. My opening question was going to be, "Do you know when the bus is coming?". If she was at the bus stop(Silo) before me, I would ask, "Has the G line left yet?". After her answer, I was contemplating on an ice breaker. I would try to ask her if she is a senior or graduating senior. If she gives me a warmly reply, the conversation would continue, but if I receive a cold reply, the experiment is over. Concentrating on a positive scenario, the conversation would probably be about school, our experiences in Davis, and our future plans. I don't think I will ask about her love life unless she shifts the conversation in that direction. I would also mention this assignment to get a few cheap laughs.

During:
I approached her one day when she was waiting for the bus at the Silo by herself. As planned, I asked her if the G-line had left yet. She replied in a normal gesture without any signs of positive or negative feedback. I wasn't sure if I should continue with my plan of initiating a conversation with her since she did not seem to acknowledge me. Ultimately, I decided to continue, so I asked her if she used to live in my apartment complex. That seem to work as we started talking a little. The conversation was slow in the beginning as she answered my question with a yes answer. But, when I started talking about the new laundry room in the apartment complex, the conversation took off. We continue to talk in the bus until the bus reached her stop. Basically, after the ice breaker about the new dryers in the laundry room, we talked continuously about the bad experiences we had with the old dryers. We also talked a little about ourselves. Unfortunately, our conversation ended abruptly when her stop came. Overall, our conversation lasted about 10 minutes.

After:
From our brief conversation, my plan went quite well. I was surprised by her willingness to talk because she seemed like the shy, quiet type. Instead, she was very friendly and polite. I guessed she felt comfortable talking to me since we've seen each other so many times the past three years. I could not tell if she was interested in me or just being friendly. Nevertheless, I am very satisfy with this experience as the wall between us is finally destroyed. In retrospect, based on her behaviour during our conversation, I think she is just a friendly person. I would definitely be interested in talking to her again. I still need to find out her name!