When Men Exchange Numbers

Kristi Barlette recently lamented that it wasn’t socially appropriate to strike up a conversation, ask for a person to exchange numbers, and become friends after a single brief interaction in a store, but I beg to differ. (Well, that’s my extravagant extrapolation from a single FaceBook post of hers.) The point is that I just saw the exact described scenario play out the other day at Colonie Center.

I was browsing the clearance section of Barnes & Noble (don’t judge – they have hidden gems there! I once found discounted hard-cover versions of one of my favorite books – ‘The God in Flight‘ by Laura Argiri – for $2.97 or something ridiculously cheap and bought them all for friends). As I wound my way around the celebrity dish stuff and then the calendars, I happened upon a conversation just struck up by two strangers. I hovered nearby, listening to see if it was a pick-up because once in a great while I’m nosy like that. (As a general rule, I’m not.) The days of randomly picking people up in person seem quaint now and I was intrigued – it’s rare for two guys to just start gabbing, right? Or is that a gross and unfair assumption? Guilty for making an ass of myself if so. Alas, they were both straight, at least one was, based on his ready revelation that he had just gotten married (to his girlfriend) in Jamaica. The other guy offered his congratulations. They talked about destination weddings for a bit, then jobs and careers, and then the other guy extended his hand and introduced himself officially. 

By this point I was invested, like in some stupid reality show that comes on after a decent Real Housewives episode, and you don’t want to watch and you say it’s so stupid and then you just have to know why the girl with the lotus tattoo is SO MAD at the guy with the mopey slacker vibe. 

Eventually, though, their talk about mundane things like job satisfaction had turned dull and I was ready to bring my ‘Vogue’ and ‘Vanity Fair’ to the register (I’m an old school magazine-reader for road trips). As I was about to take leave of my eavesdropping expedition, I heard them reintroduce themselves and saw them taking out their phones and exchanging contact info.

“We should get together over a coffee sometime,” I heard one of them saying as they typed their numbers into their phones. “I’ll text you.” So yes, Kristi, apparently people do this sort of thing and it’s not entirely socially unacceptable. If you’re a straight guy, that is. I guess neither of us can relate.

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