Georgia Tech student Mark Steeples is spending the summer at home in Atlanta, Georgia, where he’s lifeguarding at the resident country club. Steeples had hoped to work for his Congressman in Washington, D.C. but was unable to secure the highly-coveted unpaid internship. Like so many undergraduates, Steeples has become one of the recession’s many unintended victims.
He explained, “I really thought I’d get [the internship]. I mean, my Dad knows the Congressman, and he’s been to our beach house a couple of times, but I guess no one's that interested in a college history major with a B- average.” Steeples went on to say, “I think they hired a Harvard law student instead.”
Initially disappointed with his lifeguarding job, Steeples’ ambivalent attitude turned a corner when he noticed his high school crush hanging out at the country club pool. Sally Beasley, a fellow sophomore at UGA, is also spending the summer at home in Atlanta.
At first glance, Steeples was intimidated by her—“She’s filled out since high school. She looks pretty hot now. I think she might even be a B cup…”—but finally got up the nerve to talk to her from his lifeguard post. The two chatted about the weather and traded gossip (Beasley just got a “pretty legit” fake ID) and he eventually became courageous enough to add her on Facebook after 2 and a half weeks of spontaneous poolside interactions.
His search, coupled with extensive Google stalking, failed to return an exact match. He tried again, hoping in vain that her profile was hidden among those of overweight, 50+ women. Steeples became increasingly desperate, and started searching for her through friends and friends of friends, but he eventually concluded that Beasley is one of the few people his age who refuses to partake in social networking sites.
“I mean, it’s kind of cool, I guess. But I don’t really know where to go from here. She’s not on Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn.” Steeples sought advice from his older brother, who recommended that he ask for her number. The idea seemed old-fashioned, but Steeples concluded that he had no other way of moving the relationship forward.
Steeples asked Beasley for her digits, and she obliged. He waited roughly 5 days before reaching out via text, having seen “Swingers” a few times with an older cousin, but was surprised to discover that Beasley wouldn't write him back. Steeples began with “Hey, what’s up?” and ramped up his efforts by asking her, “What are you doing this wkd?” Neither of his texts received a response.
Steeples became nervous but refused to give up all hope: their in-person conversations suggested that she was at least interested enough to meet up at a party, and possibly to make out. He asked his friends, fraternity big brother, and parents, several of whom proposed that he call her to invite her for a date.
More persuasion ensued, and the now-very reluctant Steeples decided to do it. He’d call her, just once, to see whether she had an explanation for not responding to his text messages. At the very least, he’d know that he had properly entered her number into his iPhone.
Steeples planned it out perfectly. He came home from lifeguarding on Thursday night and snuck into his parents’ liquor cabinet. He poured himself “about 3 vodka shots” and enjoyed two Heinekens before picking up the phone.
He scrolled through his contacts and clicked on Sa-mantha. SH*T. He was fumbling. He tried again and this time got it right.
“Hello?” answered Sally, in her sweet Southern drawl.
“Something took over from there,” explains Steeples, “I didn’t really know what to do, but it came pretty natural, I guess. We talked for about 10 minutes and planned to meet up the following night at my friend Andy's party.”
The two have been hooking up ever since, although Steeples still hasn't been able to convince Beasley to try Facebook.