Awkward Things I Say To Girls


“Do you like science fiction?”

I think it’s time to admit you have a problem after you watch five Veronica Mars episodes in a row. In your underwear. While eating ice cream. On a Friday night.

Actually it’s hot, and I am still wearing the very nice shirt which I happened to wear to work today and which I personally like a lot. Bright colors are the new blue shirt (in my closet, at least). Seriously, I have a lot of blue shirts. But I think we’ve discussed previously how freaking colorblind I am, haven’t we? The sheer cornucopial variety of blue tones attracts me so much more than other stupid boring colors do.

Plus, Friday night is the new Sunday morning. I’ve been going out all week, and last weekend was spent travelling. I’m tired!

Oh wait – is this not a personal blog? Sorry, I forgot. Awkward things I say to girls, right. Okay, fine. Here: I predict you’ll really enjoy this one.

Exactly one week ago I was just arriving at a massive beer hall outside Cincinnati. It was a bachelor party. Imagine a massive wooden table with bench seats upon which danced a dozen twenty-something ex-frat and sorority kids sloshing massive liters of beer around in huge steins, then multiply that by about a thousand, and you’ll have an idea of the scale of what I am trying to describe.

So, in other words, I’m out with the guys, we’re drinking and laughing, people are hitting on each other all around me, and it’s about time my little mourning period ended and hitting on actual real live girls began again. So I say to the guys,

“You know what I really want? A girl who likes science fiction. I want a really nerdy girl. Let’s be honest.”

Then I start to think. Why not just ask?

“Hi, are you a bachelorette party?”

Interested, sweet, and slightly suspicious yet enjoying-the-attention grins are flashed at me from around the table, and I hear a chorus of “Yeah, we are!”

“Well, I’m in a bachelor party. Here’s the thing: are any of you girls nerdy at all?”

Interest turns instantly to dismay. Faces fall faster than the French Directory in 1799.


“No, sorry.”

One girl shrugs at me and answers hopefully: “My favorite TV show is Jeopardy.”

“Sorry to bother you.” I respond, and retreat to my friends.

“Hi, I have a question for you. Do any of you girls like science fiction?”

These three girls are way too cool for me, the bar, and just school generally. They’re leaning against a wall sizing up the room. They are hot in a way that has gone beyond attractive and become un-, because a key element in attractiveness is attainability. I do not voluntarily approach girls like this, ever.

“Excuse me?” one replies.

“Wait! I like Michael Crichton!” chirps another, while the third motions with her hand for me to scurry off.

I ignore Lilly Allen and Pink and respond to the Crichton fan. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve really been into that guy’s stuff, and I feel like he jumped the shark the same time that Kurt Cobain died, which, when you think about it, is at least eerie and at most tragic. But I can roll with this.

“What’s your favorite book?”

“Actually I like his movies. I don’t really like books.”

Oh. Yeah, this isn’t going anywhere. “Sorry, that’s not good enough,” I say, and I walked away.

“Hey. Are any of you girls nerdy?”

I’ve found another bachelorette party. Those are the most fun to talk to.

“Yeah! We’re engineers!”

Be still my heart.

“Wait, do any of you like science fiction?”

“I do!” shouts a cute bridesmaid with short hair. “I like Frank Herbert!”

“Wait, why?” asks another, painfully adorable brunette. “If I don’t read, does that make me not smart?” In my entire life I’ve never seen a girl that empirically attractive feel the need to justify herself to me. But it won’t do any good, because I know she’s not for me.

“No, it doesn’t make you not smart. It just means you won’t like me.”

“We’re all engineers! Isn’t that good enough?” says the bride.

Hold on a second. Back up the tape. Bride, get the hell out of my way. I am not interested in you tonight.

“Wait, you like Frank Herbert?” I say to the cute short-haired one.

“Yeah! I read all of the Dune books!”

At least I’m honest. “Uh, you do like science fiction. That’s never happened before. Now I don’t know what to do.” Say something smart, Justin! “Um, you can come talk to me if you want later.”

But, then, we’ve already established that I am not good at this.

There she is.

In the midst of hundreds of raucously tipsy people, in the dimness of the bar’s light hazy with smoke, an absolute vision in thick-rimmed glasses was making her way slowly from right to left towards the bar’s exit. My nerdar and cuteness-dar go simultaneously insane.

The beer in my glass is still sloshing on the table after I’ve caught up with her. She’s spectacular – long brown hair framing a face that betrays a softness and lack of the un-self-conscious composure I swear these other girls must practice in a mirror. I’m not even nervous, strangely.

“Excuse me, can I talk to you?”

“W-what?” she fails to make immediate eye-contact as she peers through the glasses up at me. In the cutest way ever.

“Do you like science fiction, is the thing?”

“Why do you want to know?” Genuine puzzlement. The other girls had known I was trying to get something from them, and they had a pretty good idea what. Not this one. This fact encourages me.

“Because I want to talk to nerdy girls,” I reply hopefully.

Embarrassed, she laughs a little and rolls her eyes. Like, how did you know, you caught me. My heart yells, “Yahtzee!” and swells.

That is, until she looks into my eyes and crushes my hopes. “Oh. I’m sorry. I’m engaged.”

Are all the good nerds already gone?

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