Pick-up Lines 101 Monday, May 31 2010 

“You have really good posture. No, I’m serious. I’m really impressed.” (2005)

“I want to be President of the United States…and you, my First Lady.” (2006)

“When I become a state trooper, I’m gonna arrest you for reckless driving and bring you back to my place…” (2008)

state trooper or not, I ain't going anywhere with you!

I’ve been fed some hysterically bad pick-up lines, but the worst attempt was not without a dash of good ol’ reverse psychology:

Once upon a time, I was hanging out (it wasn’t a date) with a new friend TT, when he tried to…you know what, I’m not sure what he was trying to do. Instead of being straightforward and telling me something along the lines of “hey, I like you”, TT expressed the sentiment in an incredibly roundabout fashion.

The background scoop – during a girl’s night out a few months prior, my entourage met and befriended TT and his friends. TT put the moves on a fellow gal pal, but he was sent on his not-so-merry way when she told him she was in a committed relationship.

Fast-forward: after a sunny day of hanging out, i.e. exploring the cultural sights of the city, TT and I literally stumbled upon a seedy, Chinese karaoke watering hole and decided to enjoy an apéritif.  Oh come on, I have to class it up a little! Once perched atop bar stools cracking open peanuts and nursing whisky gingers, TT and I start to chat about our mutual friends.

Fast-forward another minute into this tête-à-tête, and TT broaches the night we all met:

TT:      “So, I don’t know if you know this, but that night, I tried to ask your friend out.”

Me:     “Yep, I know.”

TT:      “OK, well, when we first saw you girls, we were calling dibs, and I had dibs on your friend. But once she told me she had a boyfriend, I backed off. I’m not that kind of guy. I would never get in the middle.”

Me:     “ok…”

Me: “…………………………….why………. are you telling me this?”

TT: “I want you to know that after your friend, I thought you were the next most attractive. I still do.”

Lord, I crack myself up just reliving these moments. Pure comedy. And I swear I’m not clever enough to make this stuff up. Now onto the serious business:

Look Ma, I got SECOND place!!! And boy, what a great build up!! Menfolk – how you square away your wooing arrangements “amongst the guys” is your business, so DON’T tell the object of your desire how the nitty-grit went down. Although TT gets points for truthfulness, they’re revoked because he was unnecessarily frank.

TT and his crew objectified the crap out of me and my friends. Dibs! How about a bidding war for the flock of sheep? Or stock of chickens? Shiny bales of hay? Who’s the shiniest of them all? At least now I know I’m second shiniest. And of course, we do not have any of our own thoughts and feelings to form an opinion about the men zeroing in.

I'll take the redhead on the far left

Oh darn, I’m coloring outside my own lines. I can’t care about the objectifying because I’m not supposed to know about it! So objectify your hearts out. You’re entitled to. Just don’t tell your…target…that you did with her. Understood?

Alright, I’ll amend that rule just a tad. I suppose you may share with your primary objective that according to you, she’s the most attractive of her group. It’s flattering, but not the classiest maneuver since you’re pitting her against her friends and vice versa. Show exclusive interest in her, and everyone will know you are attracted to her “best”.

The rule, however, stands strong for your secondary objective, if you’re going to have one. Don’t tell her about the rock paper scissors, pulling straws, or what have you that occurred beforehand. Don’t tell her that you ranked her and her friends and only moseyed on over because you were shot down from the reigning rank. Don’t tell her she’s second best because any self-respecting woman will see right through the compliment-cloaked jab.

In this case, I just wanted to stay friends. Ultimately, it wasn’t possible because TT’s intention from the start was to get with someone. Anyone. He’d aimed for best, and played a hand with runner-up without getting to know either one. Of course I thought that he genuinely started to like me, but we were still strangers to one another and he didn’t appear interested in getting to know me for me. If ever the case, direct your efforts towards cultivating a solid friendship to determine whether a potential (and reciprocal) romance could result. If so, don’t mention previous attempts with her girlfriends, bite the bullet, and disclose your warm and fuzzy feelings.

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The Outlier Friday, May 28 2010 

Before moving on, I am going to butcher one final thing CO said to me. And move on, I shall, or I’ll become a hypocrite for talking the money talk while expressly forbidding it in the previous post.

I’m well aware that I have a tendency to overanalyze things just a touch, but I truly believe that CO dug himself into a deeper grave with this non sequitur stunt. He messaged me on-line and after about a minute of your average pleasantries, I became preoccupied with another matter. What does he cleverly do to hail my attention?  Out of nowhere and thus sorely out of context, CO writes, “does the [your] company reimburse you for lunch?”

Upon my word, I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous! I only wish you could have witnessed the incredulity splayed across my face. I wanted to ignore him, but he’d already piqued my interest, so I responded, “no. Why?” He answers, and I kid you not, “it adds up haha.”

my sentiments exactly, kitty!

I’ve decided to dub CO as an outlier because he hasn’t a clue as to what consists of socially appropriate behavior. I’d be willing to bet he could ask me how much I make without batting a lash or blushing. I’ve never, ever thought to inquire even my closest friends for such irrelevant information, nor have they asked me, because perhaps, just perhaps, there are SCADS more less mundane things to talk about. Just a thought.

We’re not going to discuss how he broke the “don’t talk money” rule, but is money all he thinks about? Is that the best ice-breaker he’s got? Was he honest-to-god sitting there, mulling over whether my company reimburses me for lunch, and if not, that my buying lunch everyday adds up? And most importantly, WHAT of that question, exactly, is any of his business?

It adds up? Well, it certainly does not subtract down. Do you care to include any more scintillating insight, CO? By all means! And what’s with abusing the “haha”? Unless we point out the hilarity of this having occurred, I don’t find the exchange remotely amusing. I’m out.

UP NEXT: The worst pick-up line!

(Don’t) Show me the Money Friday, May 21 2010 

MONEY.

Don’t talk about it, plain and simple. It’s fickle. Uncomfortable. Private. Impolite. Sensitive. Rude. Gravely personal. Potentially embarrassing. And probably the most disputed over thing ever.

There are three rules that I learned while studying in Paris, of which I have proclaimed my loyal allegiances to ’til the day I die:

  1. “Préservatifs” are not preservatives, so don’t mention it at the dinner table. It’d be in your best interest to look the word up because you actually want “la confiture”.
  2. Keep your hands visible at the dinner table. The French like to see what their guests are doing above, rather than below (saucy!).
  3. More relevantly – DO NOT TALK ABOUT MONEY IN POLITE COMPANY. Discuss the stock market? Fine. The technical details of Madoff’s ponzi scheme and not the sum of your embezzled loss? Go ahead. You’d also be a keeper if you follow the euro – gotta look out for that reasonably fiscal opportunity to return to Paris!

BUT, steer away if conversation gets even a smidgen monetarily personal. Each individual’s relationship with money is unique. Therefore, do not drown the person you’re dating with details of your financial character until you are truly getting close to him or her, like maybe after 5-7 dates. Maybe.

You should be familiar with CO from my previous post. Well, we begin to chat about what we like to do in our free time when out of nowhere, he looks me dead in the eye and says verbatim: “I’m actually very frugal. I don’t usually spend money, at all.” WOW…on so many levels! But the worst is that CO verbalized this to me on the first date. Holy book of etiquette, how did Uncle Scrooge segue into that?

Please do not ever tell anyone that you are frugal. Social Sacrilege! Dating Sacrilege! It doesn’t matter if you are indeed frugal; it is an awkward association, since frugality is not necessarily a commendable trait. The word is a level above “stingy”, hovers below “thrifty”, and its antonym is practically “generous”. If you have to mention a $ related characteristic (you don’t and shouldn’t), “financially conscious” would be more appropriate.

TB had the opposite malady – an insufferable habit of bragging about his and his family’s wealth. Case in point: during a conversation about life in college, he told me that his father once asked him for his checking account balance, to which he’d responded, “around $10,000”. TB then informed me that daddy Warbucks fretted over the small amount. The end. That’s the story. Wait, wait…SERIOUSLY?

Money speaks volumes, but please do not speak (of) money. It’s incredibly poor taste. I was mortified because CO and TB obliterated their respective conversations. I am not going to try and fathom what compelled them to share, or what purpose they’d hoped to achieve because I don’t know how their thought processes, or lack thereof, work.

How did CO and TB expect me to respond to their gratuitously gauche commentary? Gaze at CO in  awe and gush, “it’s so awesome that you’re frugal!” ? Swoon over TB? Or ring up some homies to mug  the guy, because he’s trying so hard to tell me something…oh…that he’s RICH, right? I seriously  considered the latter.

BORING. These two did not present themselves using colorful language and positive  terminology. In  CO’s case, being “frugal” doesn’t reflect well: is that all he can think of to describe  himself? I’m  ambitious! I’m happy! I paint! I run marathons! I watch action movies! I cook a mean  lasagna! I  follow sports, politics, the weather channel! No, no. I’m……frugal. Pfffffffffffffffffttt. Way to  deflate that balloon.

The same goes for TB. Instead of telling me about something interesting and engaging, like maybe how he found himself passed out in a bush with whipped cream in his hair after some raging kegger, he attempted to show off and mask the fact that he is very boring. Having 10k in a bank account tells me nothing. Point is, you don’t have to lay all your dollarz out on the table. Humans are perceptive; we can put two and four together (6) and deduce a persons’ relationship with money vis-à-vis their actions.

Pilot – Dating Rule #1 Friday, May 14 2010 

No cappuccino love from KJ!

To Pay or Not to Pay?

Terrible question, isn’t it? Oh, precious dollars and cents. Parting with it is such sweet sorrow…

However, parting with a potentially worthy girl will guarantee regretful sorrow, so it’s worth the initial investment to pay up, especially on the FIRST DATE. Here are two personal examples of epic fails :

Last year, I agreed to a coffee date with KJ, whom I met through a dating site. We chatted for a bit and he seemed cool – a biochem Ph.D. student at Cal who enjoys biking. The following ensued chez le cafe : KJ ordered first, and moved off to the side. He did not ask me what I would like to drink, so I proceeded to order. As the barista said, “that’ll be $3.25”, I hesitated for a fraction of a second, sneaking a quick glance over to the reality of KJ playing with his Iphone. I stalled just a little bit more by digging for my wallet and reluctantly handing over my sleek black credit card. Oh yes, I put the coffee on my card to see if KJ would actually let me do something that absurd. He did.

Last week, I went on a coffee-turned-lunch date, initiated and amended by CO. This time, CO let me order first. However, as I proceeded to the cashier, I noticed that he did not accompany me. While I was ordering, CO finally arrived by my side…and ordered from the next cashier over. Sun dried tomato and goat cheese pizza? $8. Charging it to my Mastercard as a reminder that no, he did not pay or offer to pay for my lunch on the lunch date that he suggested? Priceless.

No second dates, though they’ve asked. Why? Because gentlemen,  you reap what you sow. Among other disqualifications, KJ and CO sowed nothing, so they will reap nothing. From me, anyway.

Disclaimer (finally!): I am not a gold digger, lookin’ to hook herself up with a flush sugar daddy. I have a career profession. I’m independent. I’m a feminist (holla to my women’s college alma mater!), and I’m proud that I am financially able to care for myself, e.g. pay for my meals. In any case, we can perhaps discuss equality on the going dutch thing when womens’ salaries match mens’ across the board. In the meantime, CHIVALRY SHOULD NOT BE DEAD.

Isn't that a steal for 8 dollars?

  1. I met KJ and CO on dating sites. DATING. This typically means people are not looking to become “just friends”; they’re searching for potential girlfriends. boyfriends. romantic partners. that special someone. their other half. This hikes the standards up just a notch. So it ain’t casual son, there’s a protocol.
  2. Am I going to go there? Yes. Coffee – $3.25. Pizza – $8. For god’s sake, my concealer costs $13. My mascara? $13. Nail polish? $9. And all this from Walgreens. What about the ladies that purchase their go-to items from department stores? NARS bronzer, $40. Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadow, $36. Perfume, $90. My point? The lady invests in the fact that the gentleman is attracted to her. And honey, no matter what anyone  says, attraction ain’t free to maintain. The gentleman should pay for the first date because he appreciates her and her efforts.
  3. If the gentleman asks the lady out, he has a responsibility to follow his invite through.  I wasn’t the one who initiated – KJ and CO pursued me. If I’m special enough to catch their eye, I’m special enough to merit a cappuccino. Sorry, but it was not a privilege for me to just bask in their presence.
  4. Not only did KJ and CO not pay, but they also did not offer to. A casual, “hey, I got this,” or “don’t worry about it, it’s on me,” is the polite thing to say. That way, you can justify having been generous. It is now her decision to accept or refuse from the guy with good manners.
  5. Again, I’m not on a dating site to find new friends. I have enough friends to go dutch on the town with. And guess what? Even my “just friends” treat me to a drink on occasion and pitch in for my birthday dinner. A date is a special occasion, even if it’s “grabbing coffee”, so make an effort to acknowledge that.

To wrap this up, KJ and CO were so smitten that KJ suggested getting lunch at one of his fave restaurants, and CO wants to go on a mission to try different cuisines. Sorry boys, but you’ve both left me wondering whether I’ll have to shell out again, and your other qualities didn’t redeem from the original faux pas.

Golden Rule – You must invest in order to yield a return.

Last thing: the opposite issue occurred with TB (more lessons from him in future entries!). He e-mailed to tell me that he would be paying for our first (lunch) date. Please do not do that. Though considerate, it is impolite to directly address money matters. When the bill comes, just reach over and take care of it.