Hot Boy: The One That Got Away

I am not a huge risk-taker. I don’t like roller coasters. Spicy food is not my favorite. Jaywalking is bad. I am traditional. Men need to step up and take initiative. People should date for the right reasons, not just to hook up.

Conclusion: I am the LAST person who would ever give a stranger a handmade Valentine on the basis of looks alone. But last year, that’s exactly what I set out to do.

During fall quarter last year, I sat in the same seat three days a week in American history. And so did He. Me, third row center, Him, first row, far left.

He was tall, well dressed, had brown hair and an East Coast vibe about him. His smile completely lit up his face, and he respectfully answered questions our somewhat batty professor asked the class. He seemed genuinely kind. My friend and I were infatuated.

I (cleverly) nicknamed Him “Hot Boy.” I told all my friends about Him. Anytime I texted anything about “HB” my friends knew who I was talking about. His side profile is what got me through that class. HB was the definition of eye candy. Of course Hot Boy always sat with Hot Girl. But it didn’t matter, I knew how to appreciate a good thing while it lasted — the quarter was almost over and I would never see Him again.

Until winter quarter, when he appeared in my English class, that it. Someone who began as a fun bit of spice to my day quickly became a staple of conversation. My roommates told me I had to talk to Him. They were dissatisfied when I returned home ecstatic that I learned his name from his Starbucks coffee cup. My story of how I dropped my pencil and He picked it up for me was unsatisfactory.

“If you want to have a hot boyfriend,” one of my roommates stated, “you have to TALK to hot guys!” And I supposed she had a point.

Talking to HB became my mission. I planned out conversations in my head. “Hey, you were in my history class last quarter, right?” or “Hi, my name is Melanie, glad to see you survived that history class too…”

Countless times I would be a half step behind Him on our way out of English class, about to speak, when my frantically beating heart and I would chicken out and walk the other way. I was terrified. But pressure from my roommates and the laws of attraction won out: Valentine’s Day was coming up, this was my chance.

A trip to Michaels yielded the raw materials for what would become an epically handcrafted Valentine: a heart shaped puzzle complete with romantic witticism referencing a comment our teacher had made in class (I know, I’m a dork). I put the puzzle pieces into a clear craft Chinese take-out box and packaged it with dove chocolate hearts and magenta tissue paper.

Upon putting the puzzle together, not only would HB be amazed at my wit, but he would also be the lucky recipient of my phone number conveniently placed on the back of said puzzle. It was genius. My roommates watched in awe as Valentine’s Day approached and the Valentine slowly took shape. They were so proud.

I decided to skip class the Thursday before Valentine’s Day weekend and give it to Him after class. My heart raced in unpredictable spurts as I waited outside. What if class had gotten out early? What if HB hadn’t gone to class that day? I anxiously scanned faces as people began filtering out if Steinhouse Hall.

In classic girl form, my roommates stood at a distance taking photo documentation of everything. Yes, people like us still exist.

Then I saw HB walk out of the building…with the professor. Panic. What do I do? My mind raced, I had come so far to give up now. HB and the professor parted ways and in that instant I called His name.

He stopped, turned around, and walked towards me. Only then did it dawn on me that this was the first time we had really spoken, the first time he had really looked at me, and I was about to introduce myself, profess my love for him and give him a gift. No, nothing about this was weird at all.

I delivered my speech as eloquently as possible, he graciously accepted the Valentine, I said something about having to get to class and walked away with as much dignity as I could muster. My roommates ran to meet me, and we booked it down Ring Road, away from everything that had just happened. As we ran I yelled, “Oh my gosh! I did it! I actually did it!”

Valentine’s Day came and went last year, nothing too exciting. Oh, HB texted me and thanked me for “the sweet gesture” and signed the text “Your Valentine.” It put a little spring in my step for a day or two, but only when I began telling the story to other people did I realize what I had done.

Turns out HB wasn’t just an ordinary UCI student. In fact, a lot of you may have known him, and I am throwing myself under the bus right now with this public confession. (But I guarantee, you thought he was hot too.)

In an effort of self preservation, I will leave it at this — HB was a pretty big deal in Greek life here on campus, won a few awards and was all around pretty well known. I think seeing him as one of Peter’s People on the UCI Web site was finally what convinced me that I had made a complete fool out of myself.

The best part? Walking into my journalism class Spring quarter, only to have the only open seat be right in front Hot Boy. You know, sometimes all you can do is laugh.