Ur doin it rong
Or, how not to chat someone up. I don’t want to come over all “ugh, stupid men and their stupidness” here; rather, this post was inspired by a very nice man chatting me up in a very nice, non-intrusive way – followed by him politely trotting off when I mentioned my boyfriend.
There are so many men these days lamenting the stand-offishness and bitchiness of women when they approach them. I think that’s an awful sad state of affairs. It’s a vicious circle – boozy, lairy blokes hit on women; women develop defensive attitude to anyone who approaches them; nice blokes give up on approaching bitchy women; women only get hit on by boozy, lairy men.
But that’s another post. I’ve had two dire experiences recently of attempted wooing — both disastrous and vaguely menacing. Exhibit A: While walking home from the bus stop in dark, deserted Blackrock, I realised the bus driver was following me, “for a chat”. To his credit, he didn’t say anything particularly sleazy, he seemed nice and genuine enough — apart from the late-night stalking down an isolated lane. To my house.
Exhibit B will be somewhat more familiar to any female who’s ever darkened the door of a nightclub. Me and the boy were having a drink in a well-known cocktail bar when we noticed a hugely drunk guy plonk himself down on a sofa with a group of girls. Rather than attempt to speak to them, he draped his arm around one, leaned into her, and gave her what I presume he intended to be a seductive look. Girl was unimpressed and asked him (politely) to leave them alone, as they were on a girls’ night out. Of course, to his drunken brain, “leave us alone” meant “try harder to get into our pants”; and so he simply moved on to another of their group. And another. And another. The girls — who took the whole thing humourously enough — studiously ignored him, at one point building a wall of handbags to block him off from the group. And he just didn’t get the hint.
When I went off to the loo, the boy offered to sit in with them in an attempt to get rid of him; and by the time I got back he’d wandered off. After a few minutes listening to the group of ladies telling me how lovely my fella is (I know, right?); our budding beau returned. This time his target was a lone female at the bar. Again, there was no attempt at the niceties of chatting up — he just started feeling her up, albeit around the waist and arms. This lady (being on her own) was unimpressed, and while forcibly removing his hands from her body, she asked him repeatedly to leave her alone. This time, a (female) bouncer stepped in and told him to cut it out or he was being thrown out. He left a few minutes later.
Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. See Exhibit C:
Recently, a lovely bloke struck up conversation with me in Eddie Rockets – let’s call him Eddie for convenience sake. Eddie began by asking me how I liked my iPhone, was it worth getting one, as he’d been thinking about buying. Of course, he first apologised for interrupting my (solitary) dinner. From there, he admired my skill at having completed the Guardian crossword, and we nattered a bit about the good old UCD vs Trinity rivalry. Upon learning that I had a boyfriend, he told me to enjoy my evening, said it was lovely to meet me, and toddled off. Charming on all fronts. Gold star for Eddie.
What’s so amazing about that, I hear you ask? Well, Eddie managed to avoid the usual faux-pas that potential beaus commit. He wasn’t threatening or pushy, as Exhibits A and B were.
No matter how nice, lovely and articulate you are, approaching a woman, on her own, in the dark, is not ok. It’s creepy and scary and even if you mean no harm… well that’s just what someone who did mean to harm me would say, isn’t it? Following on from this point –- take no for an answer. We’re not living in a Jane Austen novel. When a woman says she’s not interested, she’s not being coy, playful or modest –- she’s not interested. Don’t presume you know better, don’t presume you can win us over with your charisma and wit – if you don’t listen when I say “no thank you” then you’ve automatically classed yourself as a pushy prick. And nobody likes to date pushy pricks.
Third up – be polite. Shockingly, many women go about their day thinking about other things than being chatted up by blokes. We don’t just sit about looking pretty til a man comes along to entertain us, so a little “excuse me”, “do you mind if…” or an “I hope I’m not interrupting” goes a long way.
All these bases covered, Eddie’s technique was pretty damn good, and if I weren’t totally smitten with my lovely boy, he’d have enjoyed his dinner with my number in his pocket. If only more blokes would follow his example, we women might realise we need to to give them a bit of a break.
Filed under: musings, ranty | 2 Comments