Tag Archives: pick-up lines

Ms. Fountain of Youth

There are many reasons why pulling at the gym is a risky and ill-advised endeavor.  Included among these reasons is the fact that it’s an environment in which everyone is presumably wearing athletic clothing, the construction standards for which are fairly uniform.  Without the normal cues provided by personal style (e.g. dressing up vs. dressing like a skanky ho) and social context (e.g. being at a wine bar on a Thursday evening vs. being at the Dairy Queen on a Thursday evening), it’s very difficult to get an accurate read on a young to youngish person’s age.

I had never considered this to be a major problem until I started training regularly at a climbing gym just outside of DC.

But before I continue, let me first make one thing very clear.

I don’t go to the gym or undertake athletic activities for the sole purpose of meeting men.  In fact, I would prefer that all romantical expectations to be removed from the equation entirely, especially whilst doing relatively serious things like attempting to cling to a deep overhang with only a rope, a belayer, and a dusting of chalk preventing me from decking 40 feet and breaking my back.

And I would like to think that my fellow climbers have similar mindsets.

However, I didn’t expect that so many youths under the age of 18 frequent my climbing gym.

I’d also forgotten that teenagers are nothing more than heaving bags of hormones.

And it never occurred to me that, when I’m dressed in lycra and leg warmers and when I’ve pulled my hair back into a ponytail, I could possibly look anywhere in between the ages of 15 and 35.

So, one day, much to my dismay, a (very) young-looking man who approached me with an absurdly exaggerated swagger, leered non-menacingly (as only a youth can do) down at me, and opened with:

“Soooooooo….. What grade are you in?”

I was appalled.

I was mortified.

I was speechless.

As I sat there and furiously blinked up at him, another (also quite) young-looking man barged in, ostensibly to my rescue.

“Listen, man, you’re too young for her.  Back off.”

As the young boy (of sixteen-ish? maybe??) slunk away in defeat, I felt relief wash over me about the fact that I would no longer have to respond to the inevitable follow-up question about which local high school (or even middle school??) I attended.

This respite was short-lived, since my knight in shining armor then turned to me in order to say:

“Sooooooo…. Do you go to college around here too?  I’m a sophomore.  What about you?  When do you graduate?”

At this point, I just got up and beat a hasty retreat to the ladies locker room.

I really need to lay off the anti-wrinkle cream.

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Ms. Man-shopper in Boozetown

Part of being an adult is having adult problems and solving them with adult solutions.  In other words, I am here to write about…

… alcohol.

I posit that alcohol is a key component to any man-shopping operation.

I cite the following reasons:

Doing away with inhibitions and sound decision-making is essential to coping with an interlocutor who is unattractive, boring, or generally repulsive in some way.  In the long run, it’s better to be civil, but sobriety makes this very difficult.

  • Sober Man-shopper : Bugger off before I rip your face off and use it as a cape.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : Oh heeeeeeeeey, fancy seeing you here.  How’s it going?  Having a good time?  You like my dress, aw shucks, oh how nice of you to say!

It’s nice to have something to do with your hands.  It’s the difference between descending into irredeemable dorkitude and actually passing for a normal human being who may even appear to have some semblance of man-shopping mojo.

  • Sober Man-shopper : < arms flailing about uncontrollably, sometimes hitting people in the face >
  • Drunky Man-shopper : < clutching glass, sipping demurely, and sometimes peeking over it and pretending to bat eyelashes >

Sometimes we would all like a way to pretend like something never happened.

  • Sober Man-shopper : Oh god.  That guy last night at McDonald’s.  He looked like a troll that was hit by a truck and then backed over by a cement roller.  He smelled like a petting zoo.  I’m not entirely sure he was even simian.  And HE TOUCHED MY ARM.  GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : I don’t remember anything after paying for my chicken nuggets.

Man-shopping is a risky business, and we all know how easy it is to get burned.  And it’s disturbing how easy it is to not just get burned, but to get effing incinerated.  So if you’re anything like me, we don’t like to deal with our shit in a productive kind of way.  Alcohol to the rescue!

  • Sober Man-shopper : Sob. Sob. Sob.  Uncontrollable weeping.  I hate myself, and I would like to die now please.  My heart is exploding.  But I luuuuuuuurve him.  I am a fat cow, no wonder he discarded me like day-old bread.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : I am a goddess, and it’s his loss, dammit.  Leaping lobsters, I look phenomenal in this new lingerie, and he’s NEVER GONNA SEE IT.  Dance it out, girl.  Dance it out to Britney in your bedroom….  < static… >

Alcohol = courage.

  • Sober Man-shopper : < Silent and cowering in the corner of the room >
  • Drunky Man-shopper : Helloooo, sir, you are very handsome.  May I touch your biceps?

Sometimes competition over a coveted male can get a little heated.  Alcohol can sometimes save you heaps of money that would otherwise have been spent on legal representation after getting charged with assault.

  • Sober Man-shopper : That bitch just said WHAT?!  I WILL DESTROY HER.  HE IS MINE.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : Aw, she didn’t mean it.  She’s just jealous of my awesome shoes.  Who is this guy again?  Ooo, is that guacamole I see?  I LOVE PUPPIES!

Alcohol = mad skills.  We all need skills to have an edge over the competition, right?

  • Sober Man-shopper : I can’t dance to save my life.  I also can’t speak any language but English and a smattering of Pig Latin.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : I AM A BALLROOM CHAMPION.  I AM FLUENT IN CROATIAN AND FINNISH.  RAWR, BITCHES!

All that aside, however, as I try to pick my face up off the floor from yesterday’s hangover, perhaps you all should ignore everything that I have to say.

Happy man-shopping.  Don’t forget to hydrate.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This post has been brought to you by The Insomnia Club.  This edition was to take its inspiration from the image above.  Check out what my compatriots have to say on Natalie Dee’s little drawing!

Condoms: Who Likes ‘Em Anyway? – Skye Blue of Met Another Frog

Insomnia Club Strikes Again: Get Your Own Box – Nikki at Women Are From Mars

Sharing is Caring: The Insomnia Club Strikes Again – Simone at Sex, Lies and Dating in the City

We also had an additional topic this month…

Banana Pancakes & Pretend It’s The Weekend ~ Charlotte at My Pixie Blog


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Mssrs. Mini Casanova

By now, you long-time readers have a pretty good idea about the kind of ass-clownery that seems to pass for the pick-up scene in Paris.  If you’re a new reader, you can check out Mssrs. Gym CasanovaMssrs. Greatest Hits, Mssrs. Driving Casanova, and Mssrs. Metro Casanova for some highlights.

I know that I usually don’t have many positive things to say on this blog, so every once in a while I like to change things up a bit by blogging about the good things that happen to me.

I don’t want you all to think that this city is totally hopeless.  I’ve had a number of very pleasant conversations with random young men in the streets of Paris.

Unfortunately, all these young men have been under the age of 8.

Don’t ask me why, but small children seem to take a shining to me here.

And unlike their adult male counterparts, they know how to treat a lady.

Mr. Mini Casanova #1

This young man of about six or seven years tore away from his mother and plopped down next to me on the metro.  He was very polite, began with “Excusez-moi, madame, and then asked me very earnestly whether I’d ever seen Le Petit Dinosaure et la Vallée des merveilles (The Land Before Time).

We proceeded to chat about the movie franchise and about the overall rad-ness of dinosaurs until his mother was able to push through the crowds on the train and reclaim him.  But before he left, he took my hand and asked me if I could come over to have dinner and watch a dinosaur movie with him.

Cute-tacular.

Mr. Mini Casanova #2

When I entered the train car, I came face to face with a bawling toddler in a pram.  He turned to me, and, strangely enough, he abruptly stopped crying.  He blinked his big blue — slightly bloodshot — blinkers at me, and said, “Je m’appelle Jean.”

Then he turned to his father and said, “Papa, elle est belle!”

When he turned back to me, he asked me to be his mom.

He was, at most, three years old, but that was probably the closest that I will ever get to having a parisian melt my heart.

And with such beautiful blue eyes and such an irresistible mop of blond curls that I almost considered taking him up on his offer.

Almost.  His poor father was not really on board with this idea.  And neither was his mother.

It was pretty awkward.

Mr. Mini Casanova #3

This little guy just ran up to me at the bank, hugged my legs and told me that he loved me.

He was probably around four or five years old.

And you thought that grand gestures of love only happened in Hollywood movies?  Apparently not!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Granted, if adult males had approached me like these little guys did, they would not have been as endearing.

But still, even if they only came up to my knees, the fact that they were so appreciative of my general awesomeness… I’ll chalk that up as a win.

Hey, my man-shopping operation has been less than successful here, so I’ll take what I can get.

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Mssrs. Gym Casanova

While I was tidying the other day, I found my old workout notebook, in which I also scrawled some of the more memorable lines that men have fed me at the gym.  My long-time readers may remember that I spend big chunks of my life at the gym.  And since I signed up over a year ago, I’ve had plenty of time to observe the kind of barbarism that is somehow accepted as civilized human behavior at a parisian gym.

I picked out some of my “favorites” and added a few recent gems in order to present to you, dear readers, the Gym Casanova Hall of Infamy:

In the lobby:

  • “Hey, girl, you don’t need to work out.  Don’t go upstairs to work out.  Stay here in the lobby with me and I’ll give you a workout.”
  • “Don’t see many of ‘your people’ in here.”

In the free weights room :

  • “Hey, little girl, are you lost?”
  • “Aren’t you afraid of turning into a man?”
  • “You must be in here to find a man, no?”

In the weight machines area :

  • “Will you marry me?  Oh, not YOU.  I don’t like asians.  I was talking to the girl behind you.”
  • “Are you lesbian?”

In the stretching area:

  • “Women shouldn’t do push-ups.”
  • “Do you give thai massages?  You’re thai, right?”

In the cardio area:

  • “You know, a lady is not supposed to sweat like that.”
  • “Finished already?  <as he looks me up and down>  Don’t you think that you need to burn a few more calories?”

From the mouth of a mean trainer:

  • “You’ve gotten fat over the holidays.  Looks like I have my work cut out for me.”

  • “You look terrible today.”  (For the record, I thought that I looked pretty good, dammit.)
  • <pinches the area of my back right above my butt>  “Got to trim this down!”  (Ever since then, I’ve been terrified about back fat.)

I love working out.

But goddamn it, I hate going to the gym in Paris.

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Mssrs. Greatest Hits

This post is dedicated entirely to the assclownery, tooldouchery, and general rudeness that men have thrown at me over the past few years of my expatriate adventure.  It’s unclear whether they wanted to get into my pants, offend me, or just wanted a laugh, but that is hardly the point.  The point is that they just don’t know how to treat a lady.

I’m not going to commentate much here, as these little sound bytes speak for themselves.  Below I have compiled the worst opening overtures from complete strangers.  Off the street…  At the gym…  At the bar… In the supermarket…

  • “Are you a lesbian?  I assumed that you were because of your arms.”
  • “How much?”
  • “You are eating SO MUCH.”
  • “I’m in a band.”
  • “It’s not ladylike to order beer.”
  • “You sound unattractive.”
  • <pointing to my beer>  “You’re actually going to drink THAT??”
  • “Hey!  You!  Chinese girl!”
  • “Soooo…. yes or no?”  <eyebrow wiggle>
  • “You’re Lucy Liu!”
  • “Hey!  Whore!”
  • “You know, it’s pathetic to sit by yourself.”
  • “Hey!  Yoo hoo!  Oy!  Hey!  Hey!  Hey!  HEY!  HEY YOU!  OVER HERE!  COME OVER HERE!!!  What the…  YOU FUCKING WHORE!!!!”
  • With my back to them, guys have tugged my hair so that I will turn around.
  • Guys have thrown stuff (water bottles, orange peels, wads of paper…) at me in order to get my attention.
  • One guy ran up to me and screamed in my face.

Whatever happened to “Excuse me”, “Hi”, and “Hello”?

Anyone in the United States want to offer me a job?  I can start immediately.

 

P.S.  To the guy who spit on me : how dare you?!

P.P.S.  To the guy on the metro who licked me : EW.

P.P.P.S.  To the guy who tried to slap my face : I will find you.  I will kill you.

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Mr. Normal

Bueller?…  Bueller?… Bueller?

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Ms. New York Man-shopper

Someone reprimanded me today about the fact that I didn’t write anything about man shopping during my stay in New York.  She tried to impress upon me that it was my bloggerly duty to divulge my manventures in the Big Apple.

Bloggerly duty, my ass.  This was a matter of schadenfreude.  She just wanted the blogosphere to know how pathetically unsuccessful I was in New York.

But fine.  She insisted.  And I love her to bits, so I’ll oblige…

Dear readers, this was my “flirtatious” encounter:

  • Sushi waiter – May I take your order?
  • Man-shopper – Yes, I’d like an order of the Maki C, please.
  • Sushi waiter – Ha ha I’m Maki D.  HA HA!
  • Man-shopper — What?

Oh New York, I love you.  But… please.

Next.

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Ms. Man-shopper on a Plane… on a Mother-f*#%ing Plane…

I haven’t really been keeping you all abreast of my man shopping adventures.  I wish I could say that this is due to the fact that I’ve been so TERRIBLY busy swimming in delicious Californian men that I simply haven’t a spare moment to write them all up.

But then I’d be lying.

In reality, I’ve been staying at my childhood home, mired in family obligations, all my spare energy devoted to preventing Bay Area boredom from crushing my soul.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Plants Vs. Zombies on the iPad.

Don’t judge.

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to stay sane when her crazy uncles are demanding that she find a husband already.

And Plants Vs. Zombies is a brilliant game.  Seriously.

But I’ve still another couple of weeks left before I return to Paris and my usual shenanigans, so I figured that I’d tear myself away from brain-mushifying virtual zombie-killing for a few moments and share an anecdote about the closest thing that could pass for man shopping…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My sister and I were on a Virgin America flight, and I was having a grand ol’ time because it was my first time on this particular carrier.  I was enjoying their cheeky safety cards and tongue-in-cheek safety presentation.  And when we had finally reached cruising altitude, I began to explore the personal entertainment screen that we all had in front of us.

I discovered that they have this nifty feature that allows you to instant message anyone on the plane, simply by typing in their seat number.

So of course, my brilliant scientific mind felt an overwhelming desire to test out this new toy.  I immediately typed in my sister’s seat number, 7E, and sent her a cheery “HI!”

She was in the seat next to me, so I looked over at her, and she had her eyes happily glued to some comedy show.

Clearly, she wasn’t the least bit interested in the instant message capabilities of Virgin America’s entertainment system.

This is probably because she is a logical, sane person and saw no need to instant message me when she could just poke me and talk to me.

But we are not at all alike.

So I sent her another message in an attempt to provoke her and force her to play with me, dammit:

“Dufus.”

I sat back in my seat, feeling quite pleased with myself.

But a few minutes later, my sister still hadn’t sent me a response.

Now, this was unacceptable.

So I poked her and forced her to remove her headphones so that I could confront her about her lack of IM responsiveness.

She insisted that she hadn’t received any of my messages, and upon investigation, we discovered that she was correct.  Neither of my messages had been transmitted to her entertainment screen.

I was rather put out.

So I went back to my entertainment screen to see if the problem was on my end.  Perhaps I didn’t push the send button properly.

 

But then I realized that I had sent both “HI!” and “Dufus” to 3E instead of 7E.

And I knew for a fact that there was an exceedingly attractive man sitting in 3E.

I was mortified.

I turned off the screen and proceeded to ignore it for most of the remainder of the flight.  I guess I was hoping that if the screen was off, then I wouldn’t exist.  In some twisted way, I was hoping that leaving the screen off would mean that I still had a chance with the hot guy in 3E.

Kind of like how when you’re a little kid, and you think that if you hide under the covers and can’t see the monster, then it can’t see you.

Obviously, I’ve matured a great deal since then.

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Mr. Hovercraft

I was out with a couple of friends one night, and we found ourselves in a tiny Irish pub in the 6th.  It was heaving with people, the floors were sticky, the barstaff was drunk, and I’d estimate that the average age in the room was about 18.  Basically, I found myself at a frat party where I had to pay for my drinks.

This was where I met Mr. Hovercraft.

So obviously, he was top-notch quality.

Mr. Hovercraft was an avid practitioner of mating ritual that, in my opinion, is rampant in the Parisian scene.

He hovers.

That’s right, folks.  Believers in hoverism firmly believe that hovering will get you the girl at the end of the night.

In case you aren’t familiar with The Hover, here’s the step-by-step breakdown:

Exhibit A. Can you guess which one is the hoverist?

  1. Position yourself close enough to the target girl so that you can eavesdrop on her conversation.  Ideally, you should be behind her so that she doesn’t realize that you are a complete creep… See Exhibit A —>
  2. Hover there for as long as possible.  Minimum acceptable time is one hour.  There is no maximum.
  3. Within this acceptable time window, whatever you do, DO NOT ENGAGE THE TARGET.  Sip your drink and look shifty.
  4. Wait until all her friends leave, go to the loo, or get more drinks.  You must find an opening where she is alone for a split second.  Then, and ONLY then, can you proceed to Step 5.  If she is never alone, simply hover until either you or the target leaves the premises permanently.
  5. Get her attention.  Tap her on the shoulder and/or finally move into her line of vision.
  6. Say something stupid/creepy because, during the multiple-hour hover, you didn’t think about what to say if you ever got the target alone.
  7. Get shut down mercilessly by the target.
  8. Rinse.
  9. Repeat.

hovering brought to you by http://www.nataliedee.com

You’d be surprised how many hoverists there are out there… and how determined they can be.  Mr. Hovercraft that night at the pub hovered for two hours until my one remaining friend went to look for the toilets — at which point he stuck his nose in my ear, blew some rank breath in my direction and asked, “So you’re Chinese?”

To all the practicing hoverists out there, a few things to keep in mind:

  • Technically, there is actually a Step 0, where you should check for mirrors within the target’s line of vision.  I was able to observe Mr. Hovercraft in all his creepy glory well before he moved in for the kill.
  • Just because the target can’t see you, that does not mean that her friends haven’t noticed you hovering over her shoulder.  It also doesn’t mean that the target can’t smell your bad breath.
  • Tapping her shoulder and moving into her line of vision are the only acceptable ways to execute Step 5.  Dribbling your drink down her back or shouting “FINALLY” into her ear — either deliberately or otherwise — will set you back to step 1 before you have time to blink.
  • Just because you can hover for five hours, it doesn’t mean that you should.
  • And last but not least, if you want to get laid, don’t hover.  That is all.

Trust me, hoverists, I know what I’m talking about.  I’ve been the target enough times that I’m a bit of a self-taught expert.

Must I say it?

I will anyway…

Next!

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Ms. Brazen Hussy

I suppose we all have those moments when hormones go a little wonky and we act impulsively and out of character.  I had one of those moments the other day, when I turned into quite the brazen hussy on the metro.

I was seated on the Line 4 when I saw a VERY handsome older gentleman step on the train at Barbès-Rochechouart.  No joke.  Gorgeous.  Like Robert-Redford-resplendent.

Our eyes locked for a second, and my only coherent thought at the time was, “Hubba hubba.”  (I’ve quite the poetic mind, I know.)

This impeccably-dressed man-a-licious specimen then came over and, instead of striking up a conversation as a normal human being would do, he strategically repositioned himself so that he could stand over me and stare directly down my shirt as I remained seated.

I’m not sure what came over me, but this was when I looked up at him and said, “So do you like what you see?”

He was taken aback, so it took him a good while to respond with “Euh, yes, I suppose that I do.”

I refused to let this gloriously good-looking man off the hook.  “Well, do you intend to do anything about it then?”

At this point, the poor thing was pretty tongue-tied.

I stood up so that my face was inches from his.  (To be more precise, my face was inches from his chin, since he was deliciously tall — definitely part of his appeal in this barren wasteland of diminutive Parisians.)

I arched my eyebrow as best I could and hoped that it formed an interrogative expression.

After some stammering, my unfortunate victim (who, to avoid my expectant gaze, was still staring down my shirt, by the way) finally came out with, “Well, now that you mention it, I’d love it if you’d have dinner with me sometime.”

Of course, I replied, “I’d love to.  My name is Hélène.”

I gave him my number and alit at the next stop.

I know that he’ll never call.  Probably a good thing.

In this city, a man of that age is guaranteed to be married.  It would certainly explain why he was so eager to ogle my boobs but so reluctant/incompetent about taking action.

Besides, I obviously traumatized him.  I imagine that it’s a little emasculating when a female basically forces you to ask her out.

But at least no one can ever say that I’m not proactive about my love life.

Next!

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