Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Matt's Basic Mis-Guidance to Dating

So you want to lose with the ladies? Looking to have them run away in fear/uncontrollable laughter? Well you are in luck, because I have the insider knowledge that will have you on the fast track to a restraining order in no time!

To bring you up to date: I was sort of intrigued by my boss's flatmate recently (update: I am living temporarily in my boss's apartment while he is away for a week in Paris). After building up my courage like the cowardly lion I am, I got up the guts to ask her out for a drink. That's what I do. We "go out for a drink." It's very neutral. There aren't any expectations. She knows it won't be a candle-lit dinner, which could be very intimidating. But at the same time it's not "2 for 1 Ladies Night" at the local honky tonk saloon. No, it's "a drink" which, to me, usually means a nice, dimly/perfectly lit restaurant or wine bar, where there is audible music (preferably a light droning electro/mood music) to cover possible awkward silences, and the possibility of conversation is very high. The wait-staff is wearing all black and the bar area is under-lit in soft neon glow. You know the place. Right there.

But first... the pitch. You need to seal the deal. Here's how I did it this time (and, unfortunately, how I all too often do it): I ask what she is "up to" tonight. Innocent question. Here's where I totally f*ck it up:
"Hey ____, what are you up to tonight?"
"Oh nothing much, my..."
(interrupting)"Cool, would you want to maybe get a drink?"
(overlapping) "...Dad is coming tonight to help me move a sofa."
(recovering too enthusiastically)"Oh cool! (voice raises an octave and sweat appears on the palms) Do you need a hand?"
(getting weirded out)"No thanks. That's sweet. We'll be..."
(interrupting)"Rockin' {one of my favorite phrases that should have stopped being used in the late 80's}. Maybe afterwards?"

Here's the problem. At this point, any of my "game" has gone out of the window. Oh sure, before this I was full of charm and elegance. I knew the perfect moments of when to look her in the eye and when to cast my glance aside. I knew that precise instant where it would be killer if I just jokingly nudged her on the shoulder, breaking the touch barrier. I owned that. But now there's a problem. All the energy that I built up in the pre-pop-the-question minutes is now finding rapid release. I am losing it! My cool is gone.

I am no longer trying to ask her on a date.
I am solving a friggin' problem.
And that problem is me wanting to get her to say "yes" to a drink.

Unknowingly at that moment, my only goal was for her to say "sure." Or even a "I'll let you know." Her indecisivness/polite rejection was coming up on my radar as "First option destroyed. Proceed to Plan B."

After a few awkward moments she agreed to "have a drink" that night, and we did and it was nice. But that's not what this story is about. This is about how freakin' funny it is when I get as rambunctious as a seven year old with ADD eating a sleeve of Fun Dip. Social norms? Forgotten. "Game"? Out the window. Self respect? In the gutter.


ps. In case you aren't aware, self-deprecation is one of my forms of humor. I am certainly not down on myself. It's just in good fun. However, she didn't know that. She asked me why I put myself down. All I could do is chuckle to myself, hope this was just a cultural thing, and basically explain this was just my awkward way of breaking the ice. Which leads me to "Matt's Basic Mis-Guidance to Dating, Part II: The Over-Share." See you next time!

1 comment:

P said...

are those the cubans in your picture?!?