Failing To Pick People Up: A Case Study

So, when Liam was on the way home from downtown not too long ago, some chick tried to take him home. While Liam was passing by, she dropped her cigarettes, stopped him, and told him to pick them up. So being the sweetheart he is, he did. As he handed them back to her, she looked at him and said “You know, my friends tell me I shouldn’t do this… but do you want to come home with me?” Nothing like putting it all out on the line! Obviously, Liam said he had a lady waiting for him at home, and left her in the stairwell, with a broken cigarette, and I assume a broken ego.

   It got me to thinking: what goes through some people’s heads when they try to hit on someone? I’ve seen some pretty brutal attempts.

When I worked in a clothing store at the mall, we had undercover security guards coming into our store regularly. One of them was a short, stocky, awkward guy. He wore thick glasses and looked like he plays Dungeons and Dragons. He liked to strike up conversations with me when he came by, and I was always polite and kind. One day he came in the store, not his usual awkward self. And by not his awkward self, I mean he brought himself up to me, leaned against the counter and feigned confidence—very awkwardly. I was unboxing and hanging new clothes, so I didn’t think much of him being around. He started asking me about my schedule. I explained that I only worked part time, mostly evenings in the week. “So,” he then started his smooth as silk pick up line (if he had a Beiber bang to flip, he would have done it here) “what do you do when you’re not working?”
Really?
Well, my boyfriend and I usually go downtown. We’re both musicians, so we’re either playing or watching shows.” I decided to let him down casually, as if I hadn’t caught his suave attempt at asking me out. Unfortunately, I stunted his confidence. As in, I kicked it, then stomped on it, then spit on it. He started stuttering, trying so hard not to look like a deer in headlights. “Oh… uh… yeah? Cool.” Then he bolted. Without closing the conversation, without acknowledging that he was leaving, he all but sprinted out of the store. He only came into the store while I was working once after that, even though he was supposed to be in once an hour or so. The day he found out I had taken a job at the CD store upstairs, where he didn’t have to check in, must have been a huge relief for him.

More recently, I played a show downtown, and then stuck around the venue watching the other acts by myself. A couple of people came up to shake my hand and compliment me, but one guy was super enthusiastic. Whatever the first guy lacked in confidence, this guy was hoarding. He sauntered up to me and put his arm around my shoulders. He complimented me on my set, and probably told me his name too. I don’t remember much about what he was saying. He stuck around for about five minutes, trying to carry on a conversation that clearly wasn’t there. I’m just trying to watch the band, man. After a while, he got the hint that I appreciated his compliments on my singing but not his douchey attempts at picking me up, so he walked away. So that was fine.
A little while later, I was texting a drunken Liam to see if he was going to come meet me. Next thing I knew, douchey stranger was at my shoulder, pretending to poke my phone about two dozen times. He then proceeds to pull out his own phone and explain to me in technical terms why it’s probably the best android phone ever hands down period. Keep in mind: we are at a show. There is a live band playing loud music and it is hard to carry any conversation. Why are you telling me about your super complicated phone with your arms around my shoulders STILL when I am just trying to watch the band! After another few minutes of watching me politely nod while clearly watching the band, he took off. I decided that was my cue to leave as well, and go find my friends.

Then there was the customer who tried to ask me out at work. I was working at the CD store, and we were having a buy 3 get one free sale. So this (pretty attractive) guy came up with his 4 items, and when I told him his total, he realized he was a two dollars and change short. So I pulled a toonie out of my pocket, and told him I’d let the change slide. He was very gracious and asked if he could bring me a coffee. Completely oblivious, I laughed and said “Oh, I don’t drink coffee. But if you showed up with a diet Pepsi I wouldn’t mind!” He smiled and said casually “Well, what if I take you out for dinner sometime?” I don’t know if it was a you-had-to-be-there kind of moment or if the swoon-worthiness is translating well in written word, but the flattered girl in me immediately wanted to cry yes to this handsome stranger’s request. However, the girlfriend in me audibly replied, “Well, I don’t think my boyfriend would appreciate that much…” It was the only moment I was ever sad about being in a relationship. He even took my comment in stride, adding to my swooning.

So yeah… I guess they’re not always bad.
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