Up until now, all of the stories I’ve told in this blog have been depressing tales of misery and woe, where awkward failure has inevitably brought a quick and hilarious end to any asking- or making-out that I had been trying to accomplish.
Recently, though, a conversation I was having with a girl in a bar rose from the ashes of awkwardness like an adolescent phoenix to end up being kind of cool.
I was at a bar with a few friends, who themselves had a couple of girls with them who were their friends. We were introduced briefly, and I think one of my friends wanted me to hit on one of the girls, but I really wasn’t paying much attention to them.
Before long, two guys came over to talk to the girls whose names I had already forgotten. I was on the other side of a table in a crowded bar, so I couldn’t hear anything.
Now, I’m instantely fascinated by what is happening. What are these guys saying? Are they failing horribly, or is it going kind of well for them? Judging by the body language, I think it’s going well for one of the guys and the girl he is talking to. What is the girl saying back? The guy seems like he’s hanging in there for quite a long time. Oh, look, the guys are consulting with each other – well, dude who was doing well, you need to ask for her number now! There he goes – the cell phone’s coming out. Oh, awesome. Great job, buddy. Good work.
But then I’m thinking: I kind of want to know what he said to her and how she felt about it. I’ve never hit on a girl before when I wasn’t there, so how would I know what other people do? But here’s a girl who I’ve been introduced to, but who I barely know. She would have no reason to not be totally honest. What’s stopping me from asking her about it?
Other than decency, common sense, and the trappings of thousands of years of human civilization, nothing.
So I walk up to this girl and I ask her,
“How did that go? That guy who was hitting on you, how was he? What made you decide to give your number to him?”
“The guy you gave your phone number to. What was it like when he hit on you?”
“Oh, well, it was really flattering.”
“Well but see, the thing is, I’m awful at talking to girls I don’t know. I always say some terribly awkward thing that my friends think is incredibly hilarious when I go back and tell them. So I just saw that guy hit on you, and he looked like he did a good job, so I was just curious about how it went, what kind of stuff he said, that kind of thing.”
What you have to believe is that I was totally honest about this stuff as I was saying it. The entire reason I was talking to her is because I thought she had something interesting to say about getting hit on by a guy, but that’s it. I mean, sure I thought she was cute, but I think everyone is the cutest girl I’ve ever seen. I was interested in facts.
But before long, we were deep in conversation about what it is and isn’t good to say when you meet a girl, what kinds of things we wanted in relationships, and how tough it was to find those things, sometimes. And as I looked at her while she talked, it was as though her eyes had softened somewhat into the sort of liquid empathy that absolutely slays me when I see it in a girl’s eyes. Then I started thinking how incredibly sweet she was to actually take me seriously and legitimately want to help me hit on girls, which she seemed honestly to do.
I guess I decided that I liked her a little.
So, after maybe 20 minutes of chatting about, you know, emotions, and after a natural break in the conversation, I said, “Listen, I didn’t come over here to hit on you at all, but can I call you sometime? Would you think it would be fun to go out with me?”
And, after a nerve-wracking few minutes when I spelled her unimaginably common name horribly wrong into my phone (I need to practice putting new names my phone, because, seriously), I had her phone number. Obviously I’m not the only one, but hey – even if we never go out, she thinks guys who ask for her number are flattering, and I think girls who want to help me out are sweet. That’s a more than fair exchange.