There Is No Middle Ground
Recently, I read the following in Slashdot:
"Never before has something so human and primitive as dating been reducible to such discrete values. A study analyzes the data of an online dating service…. [Some interesting] findings are: men initiate 73.3% of messages, but their initiations are 17.9% less likely to be reciprocated; 78.2% of messages are never responded to."
A comment titled “That’s Odd….” was posted by a Mr. Samuel, saying,
“100% of my messages are never responded to.”
Amen, Mr. Samuel. That’s why I don’t use online dating services. I just go out and chat up the potential Hulles prey in their native habitat: bars.
As I have mentioned before, I used to be quite shy when I was a young man, but no longer. Now my tongue is plated sterling, particularly when it comes to introducing myself to attractive women.
The way I do this is not to care if I make a fool of myself. I just walk up to the person in question and wait to see what cubic zirconiums (zirconia?) come out of my mouth. Usually they’re pretty funny, or so I think. The thing is, these phrases that I seem to dream up not only serve to break the ice, they also immediately cast the person to whom they are said into one of two categories: women I like because they have a sense of humor, and women with whom I would be wasting my time because they just don’t get it (or me). This is what I call the “Razor’s Edge”, because there is no middle ground. Someone immediately either finds me funny and charming or they find me déclassé and obnoxious. It works great either way.
One phrase I seem to use a lot is,
"I love only you. These other women mean nothing to me."
I like this because I think it sounds witty and clever, and I enjoy it even more if I can say it immediately afterward to another woman at the same table. It just rolls right off my tongue like I mean it. In some sense, I think I probably do mean it.
Sometimes I don’t even say anything. I recently mouthed the words,
“I love you,”
to a pretty cocktail waitress. She snorted so hard she almost dropped her tray. By the way, you can always claim you were saying “olive juice” when it turns out that the cocktail waitress’ boyfriend is the huge bouncer at the door.
A while ago I heard myself say,
"Hi. Are you the swine before whom I was casting my pearls the other night?"
This one requires a little thought on the part of the recipient, so I don’t use it on obvious political conservatives or blondes.
Once I heard myself blurt out,
"The purple owl hoots at ."
I went on to explain to the attractive young woman that I was a Soviet spy sent to meet a mysterious and lovely fellow agent at that particular bar. I ended up in a really fun conversation with the woman, both of us pretending we were spies.
The following line was used by me recently when I wandered into the Saint Paul Curling Club with a couple of friends:
"Excuse me; I just came in to sniff the curling shoes. You do have racks of curling shoes, don’t you?”
While this line is pretty specialized, it certainly broke the ice with the woman standing at the counter in the curling club. It turned out that they don’t have curling shoes, if you’re curious.
I really like the next one, which I came up with just last week:
"I'm going to go home and thank God in my prayers that you showed up tonight."
This is another one that reflects some sincerity on my part. The woman to whom I said it told me later on that I made her birthday; she glowed all night with the compliment.
Another recent one ran as follows:
"I'm thinking about adopting you and leaving you my fortune."
This of course only works with younger women, but it’s actually pretty funny to see a brief flash of cupidity in the eyes of the listener before she realizes that I’m joking.
That’s it for the Razor’s Edge for now. And if you use these wonderful lines, who knows, you may find that the promise of the directions on the chopsticks package comes true:
"Now you can pick up anything."
It hasn’t worked for me yet, but I have fun trying.