Ms. Boston Man-shopper

If you follow me on Twitter (if you’re not, why the hell aren’t you?  For shame!), you are probably aware that I’m temporarily moving my man-shopping operation to the USA for the next month.  I’m using this trip as an opportunity to add an international comparative angle to my current “anthropological research” in Paris.

My great American come-back tour begins in Boston and Cambridge, where I lived for five years before fleeing the country altogether.  So in a way, I was coming home.

When I touched down at Logan airport, my heart was racing with excitement.


It felt strange.

Signs were in English.

The guy at the Amex exchange desk told me to “Have a nice day” and smiled at me.  He was so nice that I wanted to leap over the counter and give him a hug.

The men were…


Everywhere I looked, I saw broad shoulders.

Nowhere did I see a man-purse.

I saw men drinking BEER.

Nobody harassed me in the street.  Nobody harangued me on the metro.  Nobody called me a geisha, and nobody said “Ni Hao” to me.

God, how refreshing.

America is AWESOME.

And when I went to a posh sports club to attempt to scam my way into a free trial membership, the man-situation got even better.

Or so I thought.

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

When I arrived at the gym, the receptionist directed me to membership services and told me to ask for Blair, who would see to all my membership needs.  But when I rolled up, a handsome and earnest young man (NOT Blair), hereafter dubbed Mr. New England, insisted on “taking care of me.”

And I thought, “Hubba hubba.  I hope that you DO take good care of me, you yummy thing.”

Mr. New England truly was the poster-boy for that all-American, Abercrombie, Greenwich-Connecticut, crew-team hunksicle.

And while that isn’t normally the type of guy that I normally go for, my expat existence is such that it’s been a long time since I encountered such a specimen.

It was so very convenient that I was able to find such a representative American man-product within days of my arrival in New England!

But I digress.

So back to my story…  Mr. New England showed me into his office and proceeded to give me the standard sales pitch.  No surprise there.

But at some point — I’m not sure when — I realized that I was trying to flirt with this man.

Problem:  I am a crap flirter.

  • When I fancy a guy, I get very nervous.
  • When I get nervous, my conversational skills tend to resemble verbal spewage instead of verbal sparring.
  • While in nervous mode, my brain devotes 99% of its computing power to essential tasks like remaining upright, avoiding moving obstacles, and preventing saliva from dribbling down my shirt.  The 1% that remains is insufficient for complicated operations like, for instance, sounding or acting even remotely intelligent.

If I were to write a step-by-step guide to flirting based solely on my interactions with Mr. New England, it would go something like this:

  1. Spew at least five minutes worth of nonsense every time he asks you a basic question.
  2. When he escorts you out of his office to take you on a tour of the gym facilities, forget to take your wallet and keys with you.
  3. While on the tour, if he says anything remotely flirtatious or provocative to you, emit a shrill, nervous sound that serves as your lame attempt at charming giggling.
  4. Say, “That is SO COOL,” to everything that he says.  Because clearly, that shows off your high IQ and brilliant conversational skills.
  5. Upon returning to his office after the tour, when he points out that you’d forgotten your wallet and keys there, emit that same shrill nervous sound again.

    She looks like she knows what she's doing. I look nothing like this.

  6. Be sure to ask him heaps of stupid questions that he already answered before the tour.
  7. When leaving his office for the final time, inadvertently drop your metro card on the floor somewhere.
  8. When he runs after you to return it, stare blankly at it as if you’ve never seen it before.  Then say, “ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh.  Thank you, how did it escape my wallet?” and spout lame excuses about jet lag.
  9. Run away.

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


So obviously, I’m no casanova.

And it would come as no surprise that just before I executed Step #9, Mr. New England told me that he had a girlfriend.

But what I can’t fathom is why, after telling me about his girlfriend, he asked for my number anyway.

In any case, I still ran away.

And no, I didn’t give him my number.


And tomorrow I leave for upstate New York, so more stories to come…


Filed under Misses

29 responses to “Ms. Boston Man-shopper

  1. What to say, but I hope after that hot mess of a performance that you somehow got a workout in that day.

    Hope things get better in Ithaca – hot shorts or not.


    • I did manage to finagle that free guest pass, so it wasn’t a total bust. I spun quite a web of lies though to get it…

      I’m not sure what the man-shopping will be like in Ithaca. Perhaps I’ll prey on my little sister’s impressionable YOUNG college friends. Would I stoop that low? Maybe. Just… maybe…

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  3. I might or might not have seen a porno with a very similar plotline – nervous foreigner in gym gets shown ‘the ropes’ by ‘mr new england’. fa!

  4. Alex

    This is why I run outdoors. Less chance at awkward ways of embarrassing myself.

  5. BF

    I think it’s quite apt that the Google ad that pops up under this blog reads:

    What Really Attracts Men:
    9 Secrets to Attracting Your Man Get Him Hooked for Good!

    I think Google is trying to suggest that your nine step program might be ineffectual….

  6. CapOuPasCap

    I think I’m the same. I get nervous (and then, clumsy) when I find a guy “cute enough”. Too bad.

    G’luck in the Big Apple anyway!


  7. Ugh. So HOT! I can’t find these types in SoCal…but hey check it out, they’re all douchebags!

    My flirting skills aren’t the best, either. I wonder if they’ll get tested out at a baseball game I’m going to tonight.

    I try to flirt with the check-in guys at my gym, but so far no go 😦

    • No New England doucheoisie in SoCal?? I suppose that they are easily annoyed when they get sand in their top-siders…

      Good luck at the baseball game tonight! As for the gym check-in guys, don’t give up. They are VERY handy to have in your pocket. I’m pretty sure that my check-in guy in Paris is responsible for the fact that they only charged me 80 euros for three months worth of membership.

  8. Annabelle

    “Nobody harrassed in the street.” … Are you sure you’re in Boston?

  9. *cringe* aww girl that was…rough

    But here’s the silver lining…you must be so foxy and adorable it’s insane because after all that he STILL asks for your number (and considers leaving his ill-fated girlfriend)…you’re my idol! 😛

    • I wish that I deserved your adulation, but I’ve got this sinking feeling that the guy was actually thinking, “Wow, this girl is so hapless that she must be desperate enough to be willing to tolerate my two-timing ass. Awesome.”

  10. Kelly Seal

    Please, this was just practice. He’s a hot personal trainer…there are plenty of those around. I say you try to hit on as many broad-shouldered men as possible while state-side. Use the ex-pat thing…how you’ve been trapped in Paris with no real men. Don’t worry, you will have many good stories before you leave.

  11. Ahh – just as I go to Paris on holiday you flee to the US!

    And why did he want your number – perhaps in case you’d left anything else of value in his office…? Either that, or your flirting isn’t as bad as you think it is and he’s a two-timing type?

    • Have to agree with CoatMan.
      Definitely two-timing.

      As far as your crappy flirting goes, I think it’s all relative. You’re used to taking your time to organize your thoughts and sound smart. When you speak however, you sound as dumb as the rest of us. Maybe you’ve just been spending too much time communicating via keyboard and forgot to cut yourself some slack.

      Or, perhaps your flirting was so utterly transparent and desperately needy that he figured you wouldn’t mind doing a little ‘two-time shuffle’. Either way, numbers were offered. Consider it a moderate success.

      • @CoatMan – Damn, my timing is abysmal. You’ll have to enjoy Paris without me! And as for Mr. Two-timer, I’m beginning to suspect that it really doesn’t matter what I say and do, or how skillfully I flirt; there are some guys who will just do what they please…

        @Ben – I’ve definitely been spending too much time on my computer. Sad. My computer is just so damn warm and cuddly. Wow, doubly sad.

  12. I dunno, you sound like a flirting whiz to me.

  13. At least you got to enjoy the eye candy.

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