Part one of an indeterminately long and brutally honest series on learning to grow a pair. Probably more useful for me to chew the cud with than for you to learn from, but what the hell. For the moment, consider this an excruciatingly detailed how-not-to guide.
Today’s lesson, tl;dr:
- Follow up on numbers. There is always a good date idea. Use Yelp if you can’t think of any.
- Does she look unapproachable? She is, and you should still approach. She will remain unapproachable until you say something that catches her off guard.
- Not all Russian-sounding girls are Russian.
- A great opener can be sabotaged by not thinking about or knowing how to transition to a new topic.
- I can’t speak for everyone, but it would be a lot easier for me to be confident if I had my shit together before coming out today. Girls might be at the top of the list of people you want in your life, but you might benefit from getting test rest of your life together (school, fitness, health, employment, finance, etc.) before trying it. I never listened to this advice growing up, and I still regret it.
- A fantastic way to guarantee a girl never follows up is to call her in the mid-afternoon and leave an awkward, supplicating message.
- Iced hot chocolate is a real thing, and legit. This applies equally to Peking duck scones.
- Make the approach. Just do it, lest you wind up like me and let the world know how much of a pussy you are for all the approaches you don’t do. And potentially miss out on a Mean Girls-era Lindsay Lohan lookalike.
It's beautiful and unusually warm out in San Francisco. Since I have only two days left in the city to either enjoy myself or develop further my cave fish-like complexion in job hunting, I decide to venture out into the wild seeking garlic fries, skin cancer, and poontang. But before I do...
I currently live in a hostel-turned-apartment complex, dorm-like, with a lot of other young people. One of them is this tall, leggy, nicely-endowed redhead with bangs and come-hither eyes. At one point, months ago, I awkwardly got her number, then never followed up on it, leading to occasional brief and awkward exchanges in the hallway thereafter.
I'm walking out of the building when she walks out of her room. Eye contact. Shit.
"Hey," I volunteer, unwavering. Outwardly.
"Hey," she smiles back. She’s actually genuinely polite, which I’ve always liked. I notice the semi-transparency of her shirt. Stop. Recalibrate.
"What've you been up to?" Nice job.
"You know. Working." She hasn't stopped moving since exiting her door.
"Babysitting?" followed by a wry smile. I've no wits to spare today.
"Yeah..." She reaches the bathroom, shuts the door. Body language on the way in is hasty, avoidant.
At least I look good in the mirror at the end of the hall?
I crunch out the door and stride down to Yerba Buena, eventually spending a solid three minutes walking behind two girls, neither of whom I open (Fails #2 and 3). When I get to where I'm going, everyone and their mother is laying out on the park, including a cute-looking blonde with cheap wayfarers that set off her hair. Intimidated, I walk around for a bit, and
finally get around to opening her. My body language is odd; shortly after she catches sight of me, a look of half-what is this on her face, I’ve leaned on a pillar nearby despite being obviously unrelaxed. I hesitate a moment.
“I like your sunglasses.” Words kindergarten, but the delivery is calm, collected, butter-smooth.
“Thanks?” She turns back to her-
I notice her sketchbook. I persist, leaving the pillar and crouching on my front feet next to her.
“I noticed your drawing. You’re an art student, then?”
“That’s interesting, I was wondering if you know . He’s also in art school.”
“No, can’t say I do.”
“Really?” Very slight pause. ”A big old Scotsman, big beard, got a battleaxe and everything?”
She smiles, runs a hand through her hair. The Bitch Shield is dissolving.
“No. I go to . Which one does he go to?” hook.
“. What’s the difference?”
While my unconcerned, nerveless tone continues, what follows is a clueless verbal derailment question train from me that quickly devolves into an awkward meta-discussion about not knowing what my next move should be (NB: If you ever talk to girls about this sort of thing – Just speaking from experience here – they will tell you that what to talk about is not talking to them about how to talk to them), and what she would suggest. In any case, the lads might find it interesting that she said she didn’t know, because guys rarely approached her because she thinks she gives off an unapproachable vibe.
Me, shortly after: “…got to run, because , so I was wondering if you could give me your number.”
“Well, I was going to mention earlier that I have a boyfriend. I didn’t. I mean, I have a boyfriend, but I didn’t say it. Sorry…”
“Oh. Yeah, that’s cool, no problem. Have a nice day.”
I pick up, gracefully dust my pride off, and move on, before failing to approach two more girls. This adds up to four (#8) by the time I’ve finished the next block and reached the Embarcadero. Women who are apparently wealthier and/or older intimidate me; I was wearing a (shallow) v-neck and jeans while gorgeous, sophisticated-looking finance workers sat in the office mini-parks.
I make it to the pier. The San Francisco Bay and attendant Bridge stretch out languidly in front of me. I notice two girls, chatting animatedly in a Russian-sounding language, whom I don’t approach right away. I talk to one of the fly fishermen on the dock, quickly end the conversation, and think to myself while staring into the water. I’m a chicken shit for not approaching. That water is a nice green. I wonder if I can swim to Oakland.
The girls are laughing. One of them has an evil laugh. They leave. I follow shortly after. Walking toward the pier, and then for some reason not walking toward the pier, is fail #9, another non-approach. She’s better-looking than both the Russian-sounding girls, which is saying quite a lot, and turned around and walking fast. I decide not to follow. Instead, I hook on short Russian-sounding’s laugh. I put on my best air of mock terror.
“That’s a really evil laugh. Are you guys plotting to take over the world?”
They laugh. “No…”
“I don’t believe you. You guys are Russian.”
Unfazed: “We’re from Serbia.”
“Yeah? What brings you to the States?”
“We’re au pairs.”
“I see, so the evil kids are rubbing off on you.”
They laugh some more. Great reaction, but now my mind is fumbling. They’re on a day off, as am I, and then I hit a wall. After too long of a pause:
“I’m famished. Do you guys know where I can get some garlic fries?” Legitimate question, bad timing. It doesn’t help that they don’t know what I’m saying.
“You know, like a big plate of chips.” Still no clue, while the spark has vanished. I beat a friendly, hasty exit. They unintentionally trail me for blocks up the pier, me silently kicking myself for not being able to get the taller one’s number.
A thirsty and hot half an hour later, I make it to the pier’s resident chocolate factory. The factory has a little café where they serve up coffee and chocolate drinks. I buy myself probably the most amazing hot chocolate with ice in it that I’ve ever been served in my life, courtesy of a cute, friendly blonde barista that I make no attempt to open (fail #12). Two other girls I find pass through the shop, whom I also don’t open (#14).
I call a girl I met last weekend at a karaoke bar. She doesn't pick up, and I leave an embarrassingly bad phone message. T-Mal is right: If you send shitty texts early on, you will regret it.
Pier 39. I open fail #15 about the unusual choice to enjoy her In-N-Out on the pier. It goes nowhere after two lines. Some strangers talk about Somali pirates taking over an American ship. A cute girl with a boyfriend is among them, who is nonetheless highly amused by my eavesdropping pirate impression.
Nothing much happens on the tourista pier; I count two more girls whom I fail to approach (#16/17), two more on the way back (#18/19), one of whom is so beautiful that I literally stop and stare after her for a moment and- Hey, this restaurant looks interesting. I wonder what’s insi-
I catch eye contact. With the girl from my apartment. Working behind the front desk. A look of what I interpret as creeped-outedness crosses her face, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long time. I quickly move on, double-taking, almost positive that was her.
My vibe is dead. I miss another one (#20), then make one further approach on a girl with a very unusual but quite feminine style.
“Excuse me. Hi. I just wanted to say that you look nice.”
With a don’t-waste-my-time expression on her face, she gives me just the slightest moment to continue, then realizes I have nothing more to say and beats on.
I see one more decent-looking girl, whom I just don’t have it in me to open along with her friend (#22), and then the biggest regret of the day.
Remember when Lindsey Lohan was in Mean Girls? Now give her, say, dark pink hair, with flecks of purple and blonde, bunned shortly behind her head. Make her face look even better. Before today, I had little idea of what my ten actually was. Now I know.
Add a point. I shit you not.
Dodging a beggar, I follow her and her friend for a minute or so, caught between my cowardice, my inner drive to not pussy out on one of the hottest girls I’ve ever seen, my not knowing what I will open with, and the sheer creepiness of having followed her for this sole purpose. After a quarter block, I give in, turn around, and head back home to bury myself back in my room, wondering if I will ever redeem myself.
Q. Why would some loser take the time to write all this?
A. It's cheaper than therapy, and I'm unemployed.