At least four or five times a day, we get an email, phone inquiry, comment on our blog, or other form of communication that goes something like this:
I met a girl last night and I didn’t have the courage to ask her for her number. I got the impression she wanted me to ask her out, but unfortunately I missed my opportunity. I don’t know her name, but wanted to see if you could help me find her. We were at the 7:30 p.m. showing of Jurassic World in Park City, Utah. I don’t think it’s going to be such a difficult case.
And 99.7 percent of the time, we’re hearing this from a man trying to find a woman.
About 86.4 percent of the time, they were in a bar, nightclub, or movie theater; the rest of the time they were on vacation in a faraway place.
Most of the time, they don’t even have a name, only a description of the person; and if they do have a name, it’s only a first name.
They usually have a few more details, like “she was from the Midwest somewhere.”
They never think it will be that hard to find her, either.
And it wouldn’t, if we could just get the DNA from all the popcorn scraped from the floor so that we could match that up against the FBI’s national DNA database, if we can figure out a way to hack our way into that.
Or if we could just hack our way into the movie theater’s computer database to access all the credit card receipts to match the girl’s name (e.g., “Jenna”) with first names on the cards.
Or a photo of every tattoo from every person on Earth, so we could match what they thought they saw to a national tattoo database (which only exists on television shows).
The same holds true for “this girl from Chicago who was on the Grandeur of the Seas last week.”
Or “Bethany from New Jersey,” who was at Fat Tuesday in Cancun and had an affinity for frozen Dirty Monkeys.
Those of you who have been watching too much CSI are probably not catching the sarcasm here, but finding the 20-to-25-year-old Jenna who was at AMC Cinema in Utah last night is just not possible.
Actually, I take that back.
It might be possible if we spent hundreds of man-hours combing through social media, interviewing people at the movie theater, and revisiting the movie theater every night for the following few weeks in the hope that she would show up again.
But even then, we probably still wouldn’t find her, and our client would be out tens of thousands of dollars.
Unless, of course, this girl posted a desperate message all over the hundred or so social media channels she uses, trying to find this guy she met at the movie/nightclub/bar or on vacation who she was “sure” was going to ask her out, he will never, ever find her.
I hate to sound like an old fart (I’m not all that old), but in my day, you couldn’t ask someone out on a date by text, or anonymously Snapchat a message, or dump someone via a post on Facebook.
You actually had to have some guts — and you had to put yourself out there.
So until you get over your fear of rejection, people like Jenna will just be a distant memory.