Mystery Girl – Knoxville Gaze

Jun 16, 2015

During the first day at Destination Imagination Globals 2015 I had a run-in with another “Mystery Girl.” An experience that lasted only a few seconds.


A Mystery Girl is any lady that I’ve come across, seen or otherwise came into contact with … and completely wussed out on an opportunity to meet her or ignored my inner drive to get to know her. These are usually born as a result of recognizing that I could have, and wanted, to do or say something. Even if it’s just a simple ‘hiya!’ or complimenting something about her. As a shy guy, women outside of any professional environment or any event where introductions are made (and therefore, most situations where I’m by myself), are always a bit of a social challenge for me.


An excerpt from Day 1 at Globals 2015:

“On our way back to the vehicle, people were pouring out of the arena where the ceremony took place. Lots of people running about, trading pins, talking with one another, and so on. Thousands of people. On the way back, I had a mini Mystery Girl moment with one of the people we were walking past. I assumed she was a photographer of sorts, but that momentary gaze we had was alluring in such a way I couldn’t describe. I wish I said something.”




I wish I said something. That girl’s gaze was unlike anything I had experienced by simply looking into someone’s eyes. As we were walking by, she just happened to look my way as I looked hers. We locked gazes for less than a couple of seconds; very short, but still much longer than briefly locking eyes with a stranger as you pass them in the street.


That look was in a way, very inviting. Alluring. A natural tug. I can’ really explain it in detail because of how it made me feel, but I can’t ignore it either. It was as though she was trying to invite me to say or do something. But I didn’t. Why didn’t I?


Looking back, she might have just been looking for various subjects to photograph based on the high-end camera she had strapped around her neck. Maybe I didn’t qualify as what she was looking for, and that’s fine. But would it of been different if I had said something? I don’t know what exactly about the experience stands out to me so much; likely the fact that I saw her, felt the inclination to do -something, anything-, and kept walking without reaching out. Within seconds, I had that deep pit-in-the-stomach feeling of regret.


What if? What if I said something? What if I just smiled? Would the outcome be any different? Would we of just said hello and I kept walking anyway? Would she ask to get a picture? Would I of been able to get a picture with her? Would I get to learn her name? More about her? Would I have made a friend? Would I have been able to stay in touch?


What if? Even unspoken, the ‘what if’ feelings are damn infuriating. Recognized opportunities that were lost. Squandered. But at the end of the day, if she became a Mystery Girl it means I’ve remembered that experience and it encourages and inspires the next experience with a girl to conquer that Mystery.