So, I need to hear some tales of woe. More accurately I need to collect some good anecdotes for purposes that will become clear at a later date. Use that there comment button to give me your worst pickup lines or best stories of phenomenally awkward attempts at hitting on someone in a social situation. It can be something that was tried on you, something you witnessed, or something you've done (or perhaps something "this friend of yours" did. Yes, that should stick.)

The best story I can recall at the moment involves me and another member of the original trio, Erik M., having some drinks at the Hideout in Chicago. A woman in her mid-twenties, not terribly attractive or unattractive, decided that Erik was the ideal candidate for a rapid handshake-to-intercourse transition. So she attached herself to our table and after discovering that he is pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry, she pretended to be a huge fan of biochemistry. For like 10 minutes. It was like watching an adorable puppy being run over by a car. That bad. I mean, a reasonably astute adult can fake his or her way through a number of conversations, pretending to share a generic interest with someone for the sake of being sociable. Properly motivated, I could reasonably bullshit my way through ten minutes of talk about Radiohead, for example. I detest Radiohead, but I have enough pieces of information in storage that I could say something coherent. Blah blah Kid A, blah blah OK Computer, blah blah etc etc.

People do this all the time. That said, one cannot fake being a biochemist. Especially someone of (what appeared to be) substandard intelligence and above-average levels of insanity. Needless to say, Erik derived no insights into the nature of his chosen field from this conversation. After bluntly telling her to leave us alone several times, she spent the remainder of what quickly became a depressing evening bouncing around the bar reeking of desperation.

As best I can tell, I have never been hit on (undergraduates soliciting unearned grade increases aside). As such I must rely on the tales of others with more first-hand experience. I'm sure it blows to be female and receive this kind of unwanted "attention" regularly. At the same time, my inner anthropologist would enjoy being blown away by how delusional, inept, and unintentionally hilarious people (especially dudes) can be in these situations.

Don't let me down.

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64 Responses to “NPF: SMOOTHNESS”

  1. 10thgrade Says:

    A friend of mine wanted to be ironic by giving a "Will you go out with me? Check one: Yes/No/Maybe" note to a girl he had been flirting with for several months. Turns out, she didn't get the irony and he was typically conflict-averse anyway, and it was just as awkward as it would have been if he wasn't joking. They never went out.

  2. RosaLux Says:

    Why is it that failure is so much more sublime than success?

    I don't have a story this thread reminded me of something Woody Allen once said:

    "Some men are heterosexual. Some men are homosexual. And some men don't think about sex at all. They become lawyers."

  3. RosaLux Says:

    For Christ's sake, when has a "pick-up line" ever worked? They're so lame. They're like Zen: once you begin to say it, you've already lost the way.

    Why is it that most men think of flirting as alchemy, a matter of uttering just the right magical words. Like they're transmuting lead to gold or some shit like that? The best advice to a guy who want to pick up a woman is to confidently walk up to her, have a spontaneous conversation and not act like a douchebag.

  4. Eric Says:

    I read all of these stories, terrified that I might recognize myself in them somewhere.

    Not that small of a world yet.

  5. Steve from Canada Says:

    Rosalux, you're surely right that no "pick-up line" will have a magical effect and do all the work, but one needs *something* to say when one walks up to someone one has never met and has no real business addressing. It's better if that something is interesting, provocative, or funny rather than otherwise.

    I was drinking with a female classmate in law school, and once we'd established that we were drinking, not flirting, she asked me what I would say if I were hitting on someone. I said that I would just walk up and say, "Hi, my name is Steve." She scoffed and replied, "You can't just walk up and say, 'Hi my name is Steve.' You just give up all your game if you walk up like that. Who cares what your name is? You've got to walk up with something that catches her attention." I think that's the best, most straightforward advice I've ever received with respect to hitting on women.

  6. Ike Says:

    (Me, monstrously drunk) "Hey, how old are you!?!"
    (She, cleaning up the salad bar on the other side of the restaurant.) "17 but my birthday is next month."
    I hurriedly finished my drink and got the hell away from that piece of trouble.

  7. azzura Says:

    I suppose this isn't, like, hideously awful, but this stuff weirds me out every time it happens. The most recent time, I was standing waiting for a friend to pick me up from the metro, listening to my ipod, pretty absorbed in my own stuff… And this middle-aged guy came up to me and started gesturing. I took my headphones off, and he goes, "I just have to tell you, I've been watching you for some time and you're a very beautiful lady."

    So, of course, now I'm thinking, "You've been WHAT?" but being conflict-averse, I smile and say "Thank you," and hope he will leave.

    No such luck.

    "So…" He leans over, apparently checking my hand. "Not married? Don't worry, you won't be for long… Your boyfriend will be giving you a ring real soon!"

    I almost — ALMOST — blurted out that I didn't have a boyfriend (I'm quite happy with my girlfriend, thanks) but self-preservation dawned. "He'd better."

    On the other hand, this guy was still better than the one who stopped me and a (male) friend in downtown DC, asked us for change, and then proceeded to get my friend into a whole conversation about how beautiful I was and were we a couple?

  8. kathequa Says:

    I was at a party and met this guy. We hit it off and decided to leave. He had come with his friends so he didn't have a car. I drove. After a few minutes driving, he asks me to pull over. He then asks if I mind if he shoots up. A bit surprised, I said no and I watched him pull out a spoon, cook some crack, tie off his arm, shoot up, and then I dropped him off and I went home. Interesting to say the least. Don't know if that's what you are looking for.
    Worst pick up line used on me – Are those space pants, cuz your ass is out of this world?

  9. Simply Sutton Says:

    #1. "Would you be offended if I said I'd like to fuck you?"
    #2. "What's your sign?"
    #3. "Would you like to come up to my [dorm] room and see my etchings?"
    #4. "Have you ever tried crossing over?" (Black adult male to me, White teen)

  10. Anonemouse Says:

    A couple years ago my girlfriends and I were in Chicago having a grand time, when one guy comes up to my friend, puts his arm around her, and says, "you have the perfect body. Well. Maybe a little backfat."

    We made him buy us drinks all night to atone.

  11. Peggy Says:

    me: [knitting]
    him: That's some nice knitting you've got there.
    me: ?!?!?!
    him: Bet your boyfriend likes it when you knit things for him.
    me: [thinking, he can't POSSIBLY be hitting on my via my knitting…. right??] Uh, I don't have a boyfriend.
    him: O RLY! I'm an awesome boyfriend. Girls tell me all the time how awesome a boyfriend I am. I love to shower people with attention. I sent flowers to my last girlfriend in the middle of her giant lecture class and everybody was SO jealous.
    me: [mesmerized, like the prey of a boa constrictor] That sounds really really annoying and embarrassing for her.
    him: What, you don't like flowers?
    me: …?
    him: What DO you like? Teddy bears?? I'll get you a teddy bear that's five feet tall!
    me: …

    I should've said that I liked money, but my wits had failed me (tragically). He didn't ever get me a teddy bear, but he DID stalk me via the dorm's front desk, call my room and try to ask me out some more, get blown off multiple times, and then insist on buying me lunch one time when I ran into him the student union ("I can lift my current girlfriend with only my pinkie finger. I bought her $2,000 worth of chocolate from Sweeden [sic] for Valentine's day."). I let him buy me a kids' meal at the Burger King, but I ordered it to go and ran away with it.

    He lives in infamy, known to my friends as Knitting Boy. I'm sure there was more crazy stuff involved that I have since forgotten about.

    The most embarrassing time I tried to hit on someone else was when I went to umpteen frat parties and cock-rock shows over a two year period, including the time I drove for an hour to hear his band dedicate "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" to me ON VALENTINE'S DAY… and then got a hug and a declaration that I was "SUCH a good friend."

    The best time I got picked up was the time that a (British, while I was in London) man asked if he could buy me a drink, then turned before ordering it at the bar and demanded that I name the Prime Minister before he'd buy it for me. Two thumbs up for guys with high standards!

  12. Ashley Says:

    I attract creeps.

    1. "Hey, I like your shirt!" (it was a white tank top)
    2. "What time is it?" (I turned around to tell him, and he had his penis out, and was stroking it as he gazed at me sultrily….this happened on the street at 2pm)
    3. "Hey, what's wrong with your hand?!?! {Panicked, I check my hand to find there's nothing wrong with it} ….There's no ring on it!"
    4. "Damn girl, you got a big ass! Can I touch it?"
    5. "Have you ever been to [bar across street]? No? Well, I just got kicked out of there…for building a wall." {proceeds to mime wall-building for an uncomfortable amount of time}
    6. "You're a trifecta!! You're nice, you weigh less than 300 pounds, AND you have all of your teeth!!"
    7. "Want to get a six-pack, get out of here, and go shoot some rats at the junk yard?"
    8. And, my perennial favorite: "Does the carpet match the curtains??" (I have red hair)

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