Sometimes I’m wondering to myself as I post these posts – are these really that awkward? I mean, some of the things I’ve posted seem kind of normal to me. I make them worse by emphasizing how awkward I felt while saying them, which pretty much means I just describe the everyday workings of the interior of my mind. But honestly, who hasn’t walked up to a girl and said that it was their job to distract that girl while their friend hit on the girl’s friend? Who indeed.
Then again, maybe I’m still not yet fully aware of the fact that my internal awkward-scale isn’t a highly calibrated precision instrument. I don’t have to be thinking “holy crap, this interaction I’m having with another human being is a disaster” for what I’m saying to be, empirically, absolutely ridiculous.
Here’s a good experiment. I’ll describe what I felt was an entirely successful (I felt) interaction with a girl just last evening. You can judge for yourself whether or not it was its own little disaster. I really don’t care whether you think it’s hilarious or not, because, “them apples” and so forth, she gave me her number.
I’m out at a bar where a friend’s band is playing a show. I notice a strikingly cute girl a few tables away. I make what I think (through her hot-girl glasses) is eye contact with her a few times, then she decides to come sit down at my table.
Wait. Hold that thought for a second.
First, to set the scene properly, and in the interest of full disclosure, I must mention a few facts. Fact one: I spilled beer on myself about 2 minutes before the event I just mentioned. It wasn’t my fault, unless you blame me for nursing my beer so slowly that I spent literally 30 minutes walking around with a 95% full beer until, finally, someone elbowed me right in the pint glass. So, maybe it was my fault.
Fact two: I was uncomfortable, what with the sopping wet shirt, so I unbuttoned my shirt all the way. Sue me. I had an undershirt on, the t-shirt kind with sleeves. It was totally fine. Maybe it was a fashion faux pas, but it’s not as though I was firing on all fashion cylinders to begin with. I was wearing pants and a shirt. Lets not nitpick.
She’s now sitting at my table. I am almost delusionally convinced that this is due to me being ultra-hot. Maybe I lured her over with my unbuttoning. Uh, no – actually, she already knew two of my friends, and really didn’t want to pay attention to me much at all.
But I mean, I played it cool. I waited for pauses in the conversation so I could say a few natural, normal things to her, like:
“So, what’s your scene?”
To which she responded various sweet nothings, like so:
Which, really, isn’t as bad as it could be. I’ll take a solid “what?” any day. But then, before long, she’s gone. Gone! Back to two tables away before I can work up the courage to say anything coherent.
But really – who needs coherent? Not me. I don’t need planning, foresight, or deliberation either. Action and results, those are what I’m interested in. I mention to the friend that knows her best: hey – seriously, what IS her scene? Could she be the girl for me?
Maybe is all I need. As I said: action. Instantly my beer is set down (why do I take my beer everywhere in a bar, but set it down when I go to talk to a girl?) and I’m on my way. I stop next to the girl. And what follows is the (annotated) conversation in its entirety. Awkward? You be the judge. Here we go:
“Hi, so, do you like Richmond?” I have no idea what to say, ever. That’s all I could come up with. Sorry ladies. If you want creativity, read the blog.
“Yes.” Okay. Fantastic. So far, so good. It doesn’t take much to impress me. But by now, this conversation has gone on much too long. I could screw it up any second. Lets start cutting to chases.
“Would you like to go on a date with me?” Whoa, there. Lets slow that gallop down to a trot. Clearly I’ve gotten a bit too excited about being alive.
“Uh, maybe?” Don’t blame you one bit, sweetheart. Frankly, I have no idea where that burst of exuberance came from. Maybe it’s the beer. Most of which is on my shirt.
“What about if I called you?” Now we’re back to the right speed.
So at this point I reach for my cell phone. Maybe a better man would be celebrating at this point. Me, I’m thinking: oh no.
Now, longtime readers of this blog, those who’ve been around for more than, oh, a week, know that I can’t operate my cell phone under pressure. In fact, that has been a disaster for me in the past. Judging by my blog posts, I have a 50% likelihood of ending up with no phone number at all.
Plus, I have a new cell phone. I barely know how to answer calls. This drops the probability of me having the ability to ever call this girl to practically nothing.
So I get out the phone, I fumble for a while, I push some buttons, and meanwhile I keep a monologue going. “Wait – I don’t know how to put a number in. Is it this button? No? I just got this phone, see, is the thing. Oh god, what just happened. Wait. Here we go. Hold on, how do you spell your name? By the way, I just spilled beer on myself, which is why my shirt is unbuttoned. And wet.”
“Listen, I’ll do it. Give me the phone.” Saved! I don’t have to operate machinery while drinking and under the influence of extreme cuteness. It’s like an answered prayer. If answered prayers are supposed to make you feel embarrassed.
“This is slightly emasculating.” Wow – way to precisely describe what everyone is thinking. Great work. It really is fabulous how easy it is to think of exactly the right words at the right moment only at the most embarrassing time.
“There you go.” It takes her, oh, 0.8 seconds to put in a name and a number. I don’t think I could dial my mother that quickly. Maybe I’m easily impressed, but now I kind of want to know if she plays video games.
But by this point, I’m out of ammo. I’m entirely spent. So all I’ve got left is:
“I’m going to go talk to my friends now. Goodbye.”
Am I awkward? Maybe I am. Awkward like a fox!