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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Procrastination is Risky Business

<ocrastination is risky business. Recently, I received an email from a friend of mine who graduated last year. She revealed that she is currently dating the guy she had a crush on in our spring term history class. Though she always liked him, she never made a move, because she was worried things might be “awkward.” Though they’re together now, I’d say she’s lucky it worked out. For me, similar hesitation has only lead to catastrophe.

Sophomore year of high school was rough. I weighed over 200 pounds. One day I woke up and made myself a promise. I was going to lose weight, and I was going to do it without my mother’s Richard Simmon’s tapes (trust and believe, she did offer them to me). So, I did what every red-blooded American high school male does to get in shape: I bought a Dance Dance Revolution, and danced like I had never danced before.

After many months of dancing to “A Little Bit of Ecstasy,” I had lost 50 pounds. I felt good. I was ready to make some changes in my life. My first priority: parlay my new found confidence into dating. At the time I had a huge crush on a counselor at the Jewish camp where I worked (my grandmother said working there was a “mitzvah”).  I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to ask her out, but I was scared.

One night, my family decided to go out to The Cheesecake Factory. The place had just opened up, and it was like a 5 hour wait for a table. While waiting, my family headed to the Sam Goody music store across the way. The store was empty, barring an elderly man looking at a display of Yo Yo Ma CD’s. Suddenly, I heard someone scream my name from across the store. I looked up and saw the girl I have a crush on. She literally runs over and gives me a hug. So far so good. We have a few sentences of awkward banter (“What are you doing at the mall? Shopping. Yeah, that’s cool.”) before I realize I have nothing at all to say to her. I’m sweating. I looked around, and my entire family, and the elderly Yo-Yo Ma fan, was staring at us. I did the only thing I could think of: I reached into my pocket, pulled out my phone, and answered it. It wasn’t ringing. It wasn’t vibrating. It wasn’t even on.

“Hey man, there’s a party going on, seriously? Are there gonna be beers? Tight.”
Then, I put the phone back in my pocket, told the two girls I had to leave. Then, I did the worst thing you could possibly do to a girl you had hope to ask out. I shook her hand, and I squeezed it, hard. I then, quite literally, sprinted out of the store.


I’ll never forget her saying that. The confusion in her eyes, the look of utter disgust. Clearly my strong, sweaty, handshake had not won her favor. Needless to say, I never asked her out. Had I made a move earlier, before the handshake incident, my odds would probably have been better.

It’s an important lesson about why he or she who hesitates is almost certainly lost. It’s also a reminder, whether you’re a freshmen or a senior, to not be afraid to put yourself out there. If nothing else, you’ll have a story.

-Dustin Goldberger is a Carletonian columnist

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