Beautiful, blond hair.
Striking blue eyes.
Long, perfect legs.
A smile that could make a linebacker weak in the knees.
She was physically beautiful, and I was not the only person on campus who took notice. Veronica was THE girl at Johns Hopkins University when I was a student there. All the girls wanted to be her, and all the guys wanted to date her. We met briefly in a class at the start of my sophomore year (when she was a freshman), and I was blown away by her appearance. The thought of dating her literally never even crossed my mind even though she sat near me for months in 2 of my classes.
In hindsight, I had a decent amount going for me at the time (other than a horrendous wardrobe consisting largely of t-shirts and sweat pants), but I had barely talked to girls in high school, and I wasn’t much smoother during my freshman year in college either.
Fast-forward to the end of my sophomore year, and I found myself waiting for a bus ride on campus. Veronica walked up to the bus stop with a friend, looked at me, and said “Hey Pete,” as she gave me a look and eyebrow raise that seemed to add “Didn’t think I’d remember you, did you?”
She was right. As she gave me that look, I thought to myself, “Wow, I didn’t even think this girl knew my name.” We talked for a few minutes as we rode the bus, and then we went our separate ways. The following week, school ended, and I went home to New York for the summer.
She crossed my mind a lot over the next few months. As summer came to an end, and I got ready to go back to college for my junior year, I thought to myself: “Why not? She remembered my name. That has to be worth something.” More importantly, I thought, “What the heck do I have to lose by asking her out? What’s the worst thing that could happen? At least I wouldn’t wonder what might have been.”
When I got back to campus, I still lacked the confidence to ask Veronica out, especially since I didn’t even know if she had a boyfriend. However, I realized that one of my friends was friends with her, so I asked him if he knew what her deal was. Unbeknownst to me, he asked her what she thought about me. She told him to tell me to call her.
The day after learning this, I excitedly mentioned it to one of my other friends, who responded by saying, “Dude, she’s totally out of your league. You could never get that girl.”
I thought about what my 2nd friend said and nearly blew her off, but I reminded myself that she had told my other friend that I should call her. Still somewhat shocked by this development, I told myself again, “Why not?”
When I saw Veronica at a party the following weekend, I asked for her phone number, and magically, she gave it to me. Several weeks later, we started dating.
Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have the happy ending you might have expected, as Veronica and I only dated for a few months. However, that experience was one of the best learning lessons of my life. I realized that when you say “why not?” and are open-minded, anything is possible. Even a shy, quiet guy who had barely dated could get THE girl on campus.
As crazy as it sounds, it was that experience that ultimately gave me the confidence to go after my dream job to work in the NBA when I was an inexperienced, 21 year-old kid lacking any relevant work experience or connections. When other people doubted that dream, I just said to myself, “Why not? They were wrong about Veronica. Maybe they will be wrong again.”
-President of Idealize Enterprises
-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour
-Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day