-or- “Terrible Flirt, Terrible at Flirting”
Our second installment for Dating Week is based on the same conversation with the two men we will refer to as Adam and Paul, because those are their real names.
As the evening wore on, Adam, Paul and I continued to bond over tales of what it was like being 28 and single. As was touched upon yesterday, we discussed the folly of trying to pick up a potential mate in bars and how we still try anyway.
Talk then turned to the last time we found ourselves at that same establishment. It was the same large group of people: a mixture of gay and straight folk who pursued theatrics as a profession or obsessive hobby. Oddly, we also ended up in almost the same exact area of Oh Bar on Lark Street, except the seating arrangement was different.
The last time we were there, I sat next to a girl with whom I’d struck up some swell conversation earlier in the evening. Through a friend of a friend of a friend, I was brought in to perform in a staged reading that she was also cast in. We ended up sitting next to each other. Since I didn’t know anyone there, I got down to the business of getting to know her. Also, she had these incredible eyes.
For the sake of maintaining anonymity and not embarrassing myself fully, we’ll refer to her as Redacted. Would you believe that’s her real name? Good, because it’s not.
After the performance, we ended up being dragged to Oh Bar. My friends and I talked about a lot of things, including my passive interest in her. We ended up, just as in the performance, sitting next to each other. Not by design, but rather because of the placement of people we knew and with whom we were most comfortable. I had intended to make a play by striking up some more playful conversation with Redacted, and talked to a couple people about her unusually striking eyes. Unfortunately, I ended up getting shut down.
“No, you totally chickened out with Redacted,” Paul interjected.
Wait, that’s not—-okay, yeah.
I swear, I was within seconds of telling Redacted what fantastic eyes she had, but then she gathered her stuff and was saying her goodbyes. Okay, not within seconds, but I was about ninety percent towards working up the courage to tell her. And with such a large group and not enough chance to transition towards the compliments and flirting, I thought it’d be awkward to say “hey, it was great meeting you and you have fantastic eyes, can I have your number?”
…okay, I chickened out. I would have worked up the courage, though, honest! Well, most likely I would have. Maybe.
But probably not.
Some of my friends have said I’m a terrible flirt when it comes to women, but not enough to have me convinced that’s actually the case. If anything, despite my occasional prowess, I’m terrible at flirting.
Sure, it’s really easy for me to flirt when there’s no pressure to do so. If I just happen upon a person and strike up a conversation and/or if I know the exchange won’t lead to anything (because they’re not available or interested), I’m golden. Put me in a social situation where I’m just being casual and need to entertain multiple people throughout the course of an evening, and I’m Cary freaking Grant.
When it comes to someone that I actually meet or see and then get interested in, however, I’m the furthest thing from Cary Grant (Skeet Ulrich?). I find trouble locating a common ground for conversation, distract myself with the people around me, and ultimately end up driving her away with what appears to be a shy aloofness but is actually just brazen incompetence.
Now, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, in fact, I’m pretty good. The mood will strike me, I’ll get my confidence at just the right time, and I’ll be able to…well, maybe not charm the girl, per se, but at least keep up my end of the conversation. For the most part, though, I find myself in a true quagmire: when I try to flirt, I fail. When I don’t intend on pursuing anything, I end up being a super flirt.
The solution: I have to make a conscious effort not to flirt, so that I can flirt.
Oh my God, I’m going to die alone.
Tomorrow: FLY THOSE RED FLAGS HIGH
- Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye…
- Listen to me LIVE as guest co-host of Alternative to Sleeping tonight at 10pm!
- Realtors: “WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” George Hearst III: “NONONOO SSSSHHH IT’S OKAY, it’s okay…here. Here’s a pacifier.” Kristi: “#oops.”
- Open Mic web series premiere tonight @ Lark Tavern
- Trust Me, You’re Going to Want to See This