You Get the Girl

This is how you get the girl: you ask. Nicely. After she's begun to think about it herself. Like any good stage magician--if a magician says "pay attention, now," you know right then he's already done his trick. You make yourself visible, you make yourself noticeable, you make yourself intriguing, you make yourself adorable, and then you make yourself available.

The lady in question stands like five-nine with longish coffee-brown hair she ties back; she's a couple years your senior, nose probably a bit too big, forehead too high, eyes too close together but big and dark and she smiles a lot. And she's in phenomenal shape, which may be the best part. A physically powerful woman seems to be something of a rarity.

Her name is Helen Mary McAllister, a biology student at the University, originally from Austin, but you don't know all that yet. What you know is that she's cute, that she runs laps in Battlefield Park, and that you can't often look at a woman and say to yourself, wow--nice biceps.

Scenario begins one day when you're walking by Battlefield and she's running there. It's just a big empty field, the park, with a tall white colonnade attached to nothing at one end and a busy road running through the middle. You're just on the road, headed back into town, and there she is at some distance, running toward you. She's actually still quite a ways off when you've recognized her; you've seen her around, and you're pretty sure she's a student. But that's about all. You never really looked at her before.

Today you look. It's not really summer any more, but it's warm, and her forehead is beaded over with sweat, dark wisps of hair loose at her temples. She's got a nice figure, you've noticed that before, slender without being skinny--but today, she's wearing a sleeveless shirt, and there are those arms, just skin over muscle, tight and rounded all the way up to the shoulder. You slide out of her way a little as she flashes a smile, one of those friendly unknown-person-who-might-be-in-my-way smiles, and that's about it; you slow down a bit and turn your head as she goes by, and her ponytail lashes from one side to the other.

So, the breakdown. She: an attractive woman, powerful and athletic, friendly, maybe twenty-eight; no knowledge of name, residence, or lifestyle. You: friendly, twenty-five, six-foot-nothing, permanent resident of the shabbiest neighborhood in Princeton proper. Face pretty good, got the curly-blond-hair thing going your way, running the tiniest bit to pudge around the middle here, generally well-dressed, sociable. Match believable but not really likely.

Both parties resident in the same smallish town, which helps. Most likely she is a student, which means she's smart--a potential obstacle--and likely sought after regularly by other smart students. That's the standard you have to meet. In a way it might work for you; you can break the monotony. Still, it's a town full of the young and eligible. Odds like one in forty. That's considering she's seen your face and you're trying.

Now, the case isn't even worth the effort until you can improve the odds a little bit. First she has to see you more often, get used to seeing you; also she'd better take note of you as early as you can manage, and for that you have to be in top form.

The only thing you know about her really is where she goes to run, so barring chance sightings (of course you keep your eyes open for those) your first goal is to work a ride through the park into your schedule as often as remotely feasible. That's a little tough if only because there's nothing much down that way. But duty calls; you can go read there sometimes while it's still warm, and at least you can make one trip past there to scout possible excuses for going again.

That evening you take twenty minutes to patch the bike tire, out on the porch--you've been meaning to for weeks anyway. Next time you get a chance, as it happens that's two days later, you bike through the park again. Before you head out you clean up, of course, in case the lady happens to be around; too warm for your nice clothes, but you can go with an athletic look and bright colors that make your hair show up. You see to it the hair is behaving properly, as best you can. You wear sandals, your snazzy little silver watch, your good glasses. You pick up your room a little bit; your objective is not at all to try and secure her attention right now, but you never want to rule anything out. You memorized most of the movies showing in town, that morning; you know what bands are playing for the next week; you're carrying a yo-yo, and you've brushed your teeth.

All this is important, and you'll be sticking to the regimen every time you leave your apartment. You make sure you look good, you're always shaven and clean, you carry gum, that kind of thing, right? Make sure you always have at least four places to ask her out to, just in case conversation gets started by accident and then goes well; on the same grounds, try not to be out in public if you're feeling even a little stupid. Against the even more remote chance, not only that you meet her accidentally and find yourself talking to her, but that things proceed very well indeed, you make sure at all times that your shoes won't be hard to take off. That's a good rule in general, anyway. More versatile.

Now, there's one crucial element you can't neglect. To catch somebody's eye, you need a gimmick, almost a routine, to be noticed. On-the-spot origami is good, you know, juggling golf balls, and playing harmonica is better. Wearing bad hats, if that's what you've got to do, but something. Something portable. Probably the best thing you can do is have a really friendly dog you walk everywhere. Or a baby, even better, if that fits in with your lifestyle. It doesn't, of course; no baby, and no dog, and very little talent for gimmicky things. That's why you're carrying the yo-yo. It's your lucky yo-yo, hand-made probably out of varnished wood, the one you picked up maybe six years ago and learned to use specifically in order to have a gimmick. I mean, no tricks, or anything. You can pretty much make it go up and down as long as you want. The rest turned out to be too hard; on a good day you can pull off walking the dog but you'd never try it in front of anybody so that's a moot point.

Right. You're ready. You haul your bike down the stairs to the street and shove off, standing scooter-style on one pedal down the meager length of Bank Street to the corner of Nassau. Traffic is heavy--BMWs and Jaguars for blocks, either way, you know? You fish in the wire wastebasket on the corner pole for a free newspaper. Just checking. It's always good to keep up with the news, and you're kind of an information junkie, after all. A relatively clean front page shows nothing of immediate interest; kids playing around a sprinkler, the usual picture of the mayor. You make a note to look it over later and drop it back in the basket. (Always keep your hands free.)

Across Nassau and down a block you speed up, following the Pike at an angle away from the center of town. Quaint little houses on the right. Quaint little campus on the left. Quaint little students getting in your way on the sidewalk. You switch to the street.

It's still real warm, and there are a few people out in the park with frisbees and stuff when you go by--you almost drift into oncoming traffic, looking around for the girl, but she's not out. That's okay. You're only hoping because you're smitten, anyhow. It's too soon to try to meet her.

All the cross-streets look residential, as far as you can see as you pass them. Upscale, faculty-looking ones, which is even worse--it's hard to find restaurants and shops anywhere near money neighborhoods. You don't, either. Things look a little more promising after a while, poorer and sparser, but when you come to I-95 you still haven't seen anything, and it doesn't seem reasonable to go over the highway. She's never going to believe you go halfway to Trenton on a regular basis for pizza.

So you start little forays away from the main road, working your way back. There's still not much. By early evening, at the end of it all, you've found exactly one place, a little one-of-a-kind convenience store called the Lawrence Grocery. Inside the Lawrence Grocery you look all over the shelves for products you don't remember seeing anywhere else in town. There isn't much; there are three you're sure of, maybe eight more that seem possible, that you might reasonably have any use for. You buy a sample of each, which comes to above twenty dollars, even though you're able to pocket all three candy bars right under the clerk's nose while she's ringing up the rest of it; and you tie the little plastic bag under the bike seat, where it swings around and thumps all the way home.

You check the WaWa that night; all three of the things you were sure you hadn't seen before are sold there, and all but one of the other things as well; you're left holding some iced tea with ginseng in a spiffy blue bottle, and when you try it you don't care for it one bit. You finish off the bottle over the course of an hour, brooding in front of the TV. This iced tea is your only excuse for riding by the park again, and you're going to learn to like it.

This goes on; it's about probably late October. Most nights, now, you ride out to the little store. After a month and a half you still aren't getting along very well with the iced tea, and you haven't been able to figure out how the young lady's schedule works; you haven't seen much of her. Six or seven times you've seen her running, and most of those times you're pretty sure she's seen you; you're careful not to look at her, mostly, you're just trying to get a foothold in her head. Once you looked her in the eye and smiled absently--you're pretty proud of that--and you've been walking instead of biking, lately, even though it takes so much longer. You can't use a yo-yo on a bike.

So far, though, you haven't run into her since you started walking--until tonight. Tonight is when you're going to learn her name.

Evenings have been getting decidedly cool, and you're on Palmer square wishing you'd brought your jacket when you spot the two of them--your lady and her little blonde friend, dressed for a night out, stopped on the sidewalk on Nassau. You're not sure right away, but you ease closer until you can see for sure it's her. Her hair is down (it hangs to the shoulder), and she's actually wearing a dress, first one you've ever seen on her. You're about to fall over, just looking at her, and you have to walk a little too quickly to catch them because they're about to cross the street.

In fact you lose them for a minute, but you allow yourself to jog to the street and skip across traffic when you really shouldn't, to try and catch sight of them again. As soon as you're on the south side of the street you're on the Princeton campus, and you're in her territory.

They're halfway across the quad when you get through the gate, a little winded, and just as you spot them the little blonde (who is also pretty cute) is heading away to the left, leaving your quarry alone. You follow at an inconspicuous speed, trying to close the distance just a little--

Helen, you hear, and the lady turns her head. And you're grinning like a fool right in front of everybody, because now you know her name.

"What time tomorrow," Blondie wants to know, and Helen holds up a hand with (you think) four fingers, and that's that. She walks off again with her energetic stride and you have to fight to keep up without losing your casual appearance.

Before very long you begin to have a peculiar certainty about where she's headed, and you're right; she cuts a diagonal across campus, past the ugly metal doughnut that's supposed to look like Richard Nixon from some angle, right on by Mathey College and down to Forbes, at the bottom of campus. You're trailing her by sixty feet and you start to slow down behind a hedge when she reaches the lower door, figuring that's all your fun for the night, right? But she gets to the door, tries it, and turns around, and in a split heartbeat you spin on one toe and head nonchalantly for the next door up. You're not looking back: you walk up the steps to the door and you rattle it, look impatiently at your watch, rattle the door again, and crane your head to look inside. You're just barely starting to back away from the door when, right on schedule, a sweet strong alto speaks up behind you saying, wait a minute.

"Wait a minute," with a rueful little smile, digging deep in her purse. "I've got a key."

"Oh, great. Thanks." You look grateful.

Her key has an ID card hanging on it that you can't get a decent look at; she opens the lock, and makes some meaningless conversationy comment about not liking locked doors--the sort of thing you only say to make conversation. You chuckle a little and keep smiling like an idiot. She's got just a hint of dialect in her voice. Then the door is open, and there's a brief unspoken dispute over who is to hold the door for whom. At last she smiles, lowers her head, and sweeps in before you saying merçi beaucoup. Your mind, for one moment, is totally unable to call up any way to say "you're welcome" in French; you come dangerously close to saying de nada and smiling suavely. As it is you keep your mouth shut.

Inside, she puts her key away, and you're almost sure you see Mc-something written on the card. You're already frustrated and embarrassed about the French, so when she turns to key the elevator, you just cross the foyer and step through another door.

Now, if you were thinking, you could have kept playing on the you-have-a-key-and-I-don't theme and hitched a ride up in the elevator with her; surely some conversation could have been made. She'd been noticeably friendly already. And if you requested the top floor you'd see what floor she lived on, if not what wing. Hell, if you'd been quick enough to swing around to her right and walk in first, you could just have asked what floor she wanted and pulled a really-me-too face, and found her room. Potentially, if she noticed you watching, you might even have made a sufficiently likable embarrassed face, turned away and apologized--odds maybe one in four that she'd be flattered, and if you seemed harmless enough it's not unreasonable to imagine you might eventually have been invited inside for a minute. Anything might happen from there.

Anyway, that's not what you did, and you just leave the building on the other side. You're dejected, you're ashamed, and you're thinking about those legs, athlete's legs in a black dress--the woman is all muscle from top to bottom and you can't help but wonder what it would be like, being with her.

Nevertheless. All is not lost; you've almost got a name, Helen McSomething, and you're definitely a point on her map by now. This you can work with; odds are more like one in twenty, maybe better. But this is when you can't stop. Before she forgets you, before she decides you won't remember her, you have to catch her interest; if at all possible you ought to make yourself look likable. That's the real trick in the whole mess.

So it's time to adjust strategy. Crucial locations have shifted; Forbes College is right next to the Dinky, which is Princeton's only connection to any other train, and you do take the trains fairly often. The Dinky is also right next to the WaWa, which is a mixed blessing; now you have to be careful about going to the WaWa unless you forsake your iced tea habit, which means giving up the park. It's probably the best choice, still. You shouldn't need the park now.

There is more immediate work to be done. The very next morning you drop by Stanhope Hall, right at the center of campus, which, you have been told, houses the lost & found. On your back is a knapsack that isn't closed, containing only one spiral notebook to make the bag keep its shape. You ask two different people inside the building before you find the right office; a round and friendly lady looks up from her computer screen as you slide up to the counter, swinging your bag from your shoulder and setting it open on your feet. On her desk you see a stack of four different phone books under a potted plant.

"Can I help you?"

"Hi," you say, in your most urbane charm-the-middle-aged-lady voice. "Is this--is this the lost and found?"

"Are you losing or finding?"

"Um," you say looking perplexed, which helps her amuse herself--"a watch? I'm looking for my watch," and you're looking right into her eyes as you fold your arms belatedly to hide the one you're wearing.

"What kind of a watch," she intones with her arms in the air, turning her head around and down to find the right drawer.

"A little black one," you say slowly, leaning far forward. "With a lot of little buttons--"

Your hands are furtive, your hands are quick; they slip the Student Directory from the middle of the stacked directories without a sound, and drop it with an inoffensive rustle into your bag as you stand straight. As a last-minute afterthought you whip your good watch off of your wrist and drop it into the bag as well; when the woman turns around you're standing with your left arm still in the air, hoping she won't notice her aloe plant is swaying. Vaguely, you mime pushing little buttons over your arm.

"This it?" She holds up a watch and you look anxious, shaking your head.

"No, it was more--"


You let your face just light up with relief. "Yes! That's it. Hey, how much--is there a fee? Or..."

"Oh, now," she says, with a dismissive little wave. "You just sign for it, here."

Horace P Deathstalker you sign in an illegible blur, and thank her earnestly.

As soon as you're out of sight of the building, you stop to change watches; you might meet Helen at any time, and the little plastic digital one looks like a real computer-addict instrument. Not at all the impression you want to give. You leave it on a marble bench and seek out a restroom in the next building.

In the privacy of a quaint little stall, with wooden walls and dim lighting, you finger through the Directory. There are a lot of Mc names, so it takes a while to skim them, but there aren't many first names beginning with H and only one Helen.

Helen Mary McAllister. Junior. Biology. The room number in Forbes; the phone number. Permanent address in Austin, Texas. You feel like you've got the Holy Grail on your knees.

A junior, though? She's got to be older than you are. You do know there aren't any grad students in Forbes, but it's hard to believe. You yourself, of course, have at the age of 25 attended three colleges without graduating any of them, but at Princeton?

So be it. You have a phone number, and that though thrilling is no use to you at all. Her full name is more helpful. And now you know her major, and that might help. At the pay-phone outside you call the campus information desk to ask where the Biology school is based, and the same operator you asked about the lost & found tells you Louis Thomas.

"I'm sorry, once more?"

"It's in Louis Thomas," he says more clearly. He sounds annoyed, and you suffer a moment of anxiety that he might recognize you.

"Louis Thomas? Okay, where is that?"

"On the edge of campus, on Washington Road."

Your shift at Radio Shack that evening ends at 10 PM; Louis Thomas Hall, not surprisingly, is closed at that hour. There are lights in basement windows, though, and a little surreptitious inspection teaches you that bio students study late into the night in labs they have their own keys for. This is interesting.

A glass double door away from the street is sheltered by hedges and low walls; You've already seen a student leave, when you first approached, so you take a seat on the wall near the door and look boredly away from it. Time goes by, maybe ten minutes, which is beginning to be boring time, and finally some guy walks out. You barely look up at him as he leaves, nodding. As soon as he turns the corner you erupt from your seat, planting your hand on the dividing bar to prevent the door from closing.

And then you're in. There's a staircase right by the door, because they always put staircases right by the door, and you head down to the basement, where you walk resolutely to your left. (Always walk like you know where you're going when you're where you probably shouldn't be.)

Down here is an awful maze of hallways; it's close to deserted, and you peer in through the windows of the labs one by one. Soon you notice white tags by the doors, with names, and so begins a long night. You follow the left-wall rule, to make sure you get everywhere--that's the most surefire way through any maze, you just stick your left hand on the wall and never let go, but it usually means you see most of the maze before you get out. In this case you see a lot of boring sterile-looking hallways, a couple of students and a couple of custodians, as well as some disturbing mollusk exhibits in glass cases on the walls. And at the door of every lab, you read the names, not sure even if hers is anywhere. You have to check maybe twenty labs, no kidding. Finally it's there: MCALLISTER H in a list of five names. Nobody's working there now, which is for the best, though it means you can't see inside.

What you can see is the door, and the door is an impressive collage of photographs and postcards. There are a lot of faces; here and there are photos of Helen, mostly either from some tropical country or from somewhere in the Southwest. Smiling group photos. Helen in a tree. Helen in a dance contest, apparently. Then: Helen casually waving a live snake in front of the camera. Helen grinning amiably over a mad-as-hell little brown lizard chomping furiously on her finger.

You stand awed. This is when you have some brief second thoughts. It may not be wise to fool with a woman who catches reptiles in her bare hands and stuff; she might be genuinely dangerous. Then again if you get her on your side she could beat up your enemies. It's a mixed bag.

Under the name on the placard is the real prize of the whole affair; Tuesday and Wednesday, 2:00-4:00, it says.

At this point you're on patrol. You get out around town as often as you possibly can, wherever you think she might turn up, and you're looking your best, in your more expensive clothes. Almost all the time now you have your yo-yo in hand, carelessly letting it slide down, and up, now and again as you walk. Your shift at work makes Tuesdays impossible at the lab but you try to wait around there on Wednesday when she ought to be leaving. In three weeks, though, you see no sign of her. During that time you pass by the movie theater at the endings of most of its evening shows, and you have ice cream at Thomas Sweet's half a dozen times, eating outside, practically posed in case she might happen by. You attend a University basketball game, and let the crowd rush around you afterward, looking for Helen, walking slowly, until somebody in a tiger suit fixates on you and makes dancy victorious gestures in your direction until you have to leave, just to preserve a little dignity. (You half wonder if the mascot is actually her but it really is too short; you're just obsessed.)

When you finally do see her it's when you least expect to, of course. You're about ready to pack it in for the day and you drop by the WaWa for some orange juice (it is aggravating to you that you feel an insistent craving for ginseng iced tea, and you will not listen); you don't even pay attention when the door opens behind you, and you're paying the old Indian man behind the counter when you finally catch some glimpse of Helen, in the store, poring over soft drinks with her running clothes on, looking magnificent.

On impulse you turn back to the old man and lean over, saying, "and whatever she's getting." He looks you over in his baleful way and then glances back to see what she's chosen, and rings it up. You smile boldly, not wincing at the price, and scuttle out of the way before she really gets a look at you.

You watch her reflection in the storefront windows as the old man cranks his face into a forestalling grimace and ostentatiously wiggles his fingers in front of the poor girl's nose, stopping at last to point one heavy hand at you for explanation. Miss McAllister is first bewildered and then disgruntled, and she walks out through the door you're holding without looking one bit pleased, muttering thanks without verve.

This qualifies as a crisis; it is not yet disaster, but you have very little time to save the situation. What's happened is not totally unexpected. In the age you live in there is always a danger implicit in chivalrous behavior; a lot of women still appreciate a good gentleman, but a lot are actively insulted by the simplest of politenesses. You take a chance, every time, and on this occasion you've gone the wrong route.

So, option one. You can let her go and try to ignore it, acting as though this is just routine living for you, but the act will be wasted; at this moment she associates your face with annoyance, and it'll settle into permanence within moments. Option two is follow her and apologize. That's the best bet; apologizing is almost always the best bet. The third option would be an attempt to vocally defend yourself, which is suicide. You're not Clarence Darrow. You settle on apology.

"Please," you call out in a tone of self-deprecating humor, "forgive me my chauvinism. It's a bad habit, I know." Down goes the yo-yo, and up again like it's the easiest thing in the world, and she looks at you without saying anything. You keep pace with her. "More than anything else, it was easier to make change that way." You try a tentative smile, and she rolls her eyes in a sort of acceptance. "If you like," you offer brightly, "you can pay me for it anyway?"

She snorts and shakes her head; she's stopped walking. You flick the yo-yo away from yourself again, without even looking, and summon it back. "Thank you," she says again, more sincerely.

"You owe me one."


"Hob Dobson." The yo-yo drops and dangles bobbing at the end of the string as you shake her hand; you pocket it.

"Hi." A little plume of hair bobs over her eye, and you remember she's just been running. All in all, things are going rather well; she's beginning to be content to stand talking to you. So you call it off.

"You ought to get inside, miss," you say, marshalling your features into sudden seriousness. "It's getting a little chilly." She nods absently, and without waiting for her to move you turn away. You hold your parting shot until you hear her feet moving behind you.

"Hey." She's looking, so you cock your head adorably. "What's your name?"


"Good night, Helen."

"Good night." She smiles big, and you return a fond little smile, and walk away with the bashful drop of the head, trying not to look smug.

Success! The way things look, you've gone from the brink of total ignominy to an actively favorable mood on her part--and at the moment of parting she was more willing to talk than you were, or so she thinks. Reverse psychology, pure and simple. Only problem: it is imperative to follow up before you lose the ground you've gained.

Which brings us to tonight. Not quite tonight. It brings us to this afternoon, because at 3:45 this afternoon, Miss Helen was leaving her biology lab.

So: it's Wednesday, and you've been waiting around the sidewalk on Washington Road for maybe twenty minutes, and suddenly the clouds open up and there she is, emerging from Louis Thomas. Blue jeans and a sports coat; very snazzy. She sits for a moment on the wall by the door, organizing things in her bag, which is perfect. In the grip of a sudden monkish calm, you approach her, and stand quietly by her side a second before speaking.

"Helen what?"

She looks up frowning, and mouths oh. You smile reassuringly, a little playfully.


"Hm?" You drop to a squat, pretending not to hear.

"McAllister. Helen M. McAllister." She straightens a little and looks glad to see you. "And--um--"

"Hob Dobson." You smile without offering another handshake. "You study here?"



"Yeah--my second degree, though."


"What about you? Grad student?"

"No, I just live in town. Where are you from?" This is good; you've gotten that out of the way without giving her time to fret about it.


"Really. I don't know anybody in Austin."

"You do now," she returns sassily.

So you smile. "What's M?"

"Excuse me?"

"M. Helen M. McAllister. What's M?"

"It stands for 'Middle Name'," she says, with studied patience.

"Oh. Don't like it?"


"Tell you what," you say, calm as ever, your brain seething with genius. "Bet I can guess it."


"If I can guess it in three guesses," you say, fixing her with a look both challenging and flirtatious, "you have to let me take you to dinner--"

"Now, wait a minute--"

"--at Winberie's, tonight. Okay? You have to." You say it like it's a law of physics.

"No, that's--"

"Six, or seven?"

"No, not six, and--"

"So seven. Dinner at Winberie's at seven tonight. My treat, okay? If," you hold up a hand, "I can guess your middle name." That stops her, and then she's starting to laugh, helpless. "Okay?"

"Well--hm. Okay. Right. If you can guess."

"Okay." You smile, not too wide. "Three guesses."


You stand up straight again, peering at her sidelong, and she shakes her head laughing. "Michelle, maybe. You look like a Michelle. Sort of." She's already saying no, shrugging. "No? Not Michelle," and you frown thoughtfully. You stare into space; you stare back over the Nassau traffic, working your jaw slightly.

"Marilyn?" You look cautious.

"Nooo," says Helen, and she looks at the sidewalk.

"Nooo," you echo, in the same tone of voice, and then again. "Nooo..." You're doing your very best to look piercingly intelligent, like the sort of person who could think to himself, "nooo" isn't exactly a no, it means no not Marilyn but something similar to Marilyn, something uncomfortably close, like--


Believe me, the reaction is one for the books. Her head shoots up straight, and all the air rushes out of her open mouth, and she's staring at you like you're a certified prophet. "Yes," she affirms with her next breath. You smile and look pleased with yourself, as if you weren't sure, and she is just plain stunned that you got it right.

"What's wrong with Mary?" you tease her.

"Everybody is Mary. Everybody's middle name is Mary."

"I like it. It's pretty. Helen Mary."


"Better than Hob."

"I guess. What's your middle name?"



"Well, no."

"I can't believe you guessed that."

"Ha." And, then--"so, tonight?" you prod, when you think it's safe. For a second she looks stunned again.

"Uh. Okay, what--what was..."

"Seven, at J. B. Winberie. I can meet you at your place, whenever you want."

"Okay. No, I can meet you there. At seven?"

"It's no trouble."

"No, I'll meet you there." She spreads her hands. "Thanks--I guess--"

"My pleasure, Helen Mary."

"Okay. Well, okay. See you then. I should--"

"Yup." And you walk away, right back to your place, where you sit and pat yourself on the back for fifteen-twenty minutes before you panic and start trying to clean up.

So that's where we stand. There's nothing you can do at this stage of the game; you sit, and you wait, as long as you have to. At this point she's half an hour late, which is not unreasonable. Think about it: she's a college student, after all, and you don't even know her. Maybe she's always late. Or maybe she got nervous.

But listen to me, now. You use your head and you will be rewarded. She's interested, at this point, and when you've done about all you can do, you have to let her make a move. And she will; there's no reason she wouldn't. She's somebody you can trust. And it's not even seven-thirty, yet. Within the next--five minutes--she's walking through that door, right there. Believe it. You have to have a little trust.

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