This is NOT Your Best Icebreaker
March 6, 2011 in Dating
NoDebutante: I started thinking about dating when I was about five-years-old, which I blame entirely on being a child of the swinging 70′s. Since then, I have digested a lot of material about how to attract men, what men want or don’t, what they like in bed and out of bed, what the rules are, when to break the rules, et cetera, et cetera. I read through countless issues of Seventeen and Elle and Cosmopolitan. Thus armed, I achieved approximately four dates in high school, more than a few “dates” in college, and a variety of dates through my early 20s. Eventually, I met a good man, who liked me back, treated me well, and wanted to be with me forever.
Now that I’ve been shat out of the arena of wedded bliss back into the dating pool, I have to think about dating again. Recently, probably because my Google search history suggests I need help in the romance department, I’ve noticed an abundance of articles about dating. I read this article “My Best Icebreaker Is…” in Happen Magazine and realized I need real help, the kind of help only a professional can provide. I’ve called upon our renowned swordsman, Chillbear Latrigue, to help me defeat these stupid articles, one misconception at a time. (For their sakes, I hope the author used pseudonyms.)
Chillbear Latrigue: Giving dating suggestions can be difficult for many. This is possibly why you see so many hacks regurgitating their partially digested worms of advice into the mouths of desperate singles all of the time. The only thing worse than a columnist racking his or her brain to come up with new angles on old ideas for you to find a fresh supply of sex partners, is when they rely on their readers to come up with the ideas for them. Even if you don’t buy our particular critique of these schemes, please do not use these approaches. The potential embarrassment you’ll feel from their inevitable failure will fuck you up in the head, thereby making you all that much more undateable. Remember, you’ve been warned.
FLIRT WITH A FLY-BY
“My best icebreaking technique is what I call the ‘fly-by.’ It’s where you make witty comments of a relevant nature as you walk by the person who interests you. For example, this one time I saw a guy in the grocery store who was really attractive. So, as I passed him in the cereal aisle I said, ‘Buy the Frosted Flakes — sure, it’s all sugar, but everyone needs to eat like a kid now and then.’ Later, when I saw him again in a different aisle, I said, ‘We have to stop meeting like this!’ and finally, when we were near each other in the checkout line, I said, ‘Care to chill out over coffee after all this decision-making?’ He accepted!”
— Elizabeth Flanagan, Chicago, IL
Chillbear: Elizabeth, the only regret that I have after reading your little story is that you found someone pathetic enough for this technique to work, and now, because of this limited success, you’re poisoning the dating well with your toxic advice. To start with, did you really need the little ritual stalking to net some local bumpkin at your grocer? Just how elusive did this guy seem to you? Your cornflake line smacks of fear and failure. How about this for a line, “I’m horny, but I don’t have time for you to finish your shopping. What are you going to do about it?” Well, hindsight is 20/20, so let’s move on to the next part. The most tired, hackneyed line in the pickup world is the old “we have to stop meeting like this.” Why not just say, “What’s a nice man like you doing in a place like this,” because that’s just as idiotic. Then you ask him to coffee and he accepts? What a surprise. You do realize that when a woman asks a stranger for coffee, it is tantamount to saying “let’s fuck.” Coffee shops are the hot tubs of the 21st Century. So, yeah, unless you’re hideous or emit a foul odor, he’s going to accept. He probably accepted all over the car seat. Now, let’s all forget Elizabeth “I wish I had redacted my last name” Flanagan’s advice.
TRY THE DIRECT APPROACH
“I have approached people in grocery stores, on the street, pretty much anywhere, and the best conversation starter I’ve found is just to say what I’m thinking. I’ll say something like, ‘Hi. My name is Josh, and I just wanted to let you know I find you incredibly attractive.’ Everyone on this planet likes to be found attractive. And even if they don’t want to date you, most people will graciously accept your compliment.”
— Josh Prince, New York, NY
NoDeb: Hi, Josh. I love your name. Let me guess: you’re taking Elizabeth of Chicago’s advice by following me around the store, which is totally not creepy at all. Yes, I’d really like to go on a date with you and, one day soon, give you a blowjob that will have you speaking in tongues. Yes, really. I’ve never been complimented on my looks before, and your creativity and sincerity deserve a reward. After that, we can meet my parents, and then talk about wedding dates, because I know you aren’t one of those guys who thinks that New York, NY, is so full of unexplored nooks that one never really has to settle anywhere for long. Where are you going? Come back! Josh! I’ll never forget you.
TAKE A SURVEY
“Sometimes I pretend I’m doing a survey for research purposes. People just assume it’s for a school or work project. My best ‘survey’ approach is to ask guys to tell me what they think the ratio in this particular spot is of those who are out to actually meet someone to date versus those who are just out to have a good time with their friends. It allows you to go up to anyone and just start talking…both men and women! And you don’t have to worry about coming across as hitting on anyone. It’s all in the name of research!”
—Amy Brewer, New York, NY
Chillbear: Again, why do women need an approach? Fortune favors the bold and shits on the shy. But I get it, you still think that you need to play it slick with the boys. So you ask your stupid, transparent, fake survey question and maybe he mulls it over for a few seconds and gives you a response. You think he might like you a bit because he asks you about the question. Now it’s decision time. You either have to tell him that you’re a fraud or you have to move on and pretend to go about your sham survey. What you should do is, just make eye contact with this person and if that eye contact is returned, walk over and ask why he came there. Also, wink a lot.
ASK A QUESTION
“If I’m going to try to chat someone up, I make sure that my opening line invites a conversation. So if I see a woman picking up some curry sauce at Trader Joe’s, I’ll say, ‘Excuse me, I’ve always seen that sauce and wondered about it. How can you use it? Is it very spicy?’ Or, if I’m at a music store, I’ll ask a woman in the classical section something like, ‘Excuse me, I’m just getting into classical music. Can you recommend something?’ In my experience, these kinds of questions really get you and the other person talking about your shared interests — which is a great way to bond.”
— Henry Bloomberg, Boston, MA
NoDeb: Excuse me, Henry? You’ve ALWAYS seen that sauce? Is the image imprinted on your optic nerve somehow? I think you mean you’ve OFTEN seen that sauce. Let me ask, are you the type of man who needs a recommendation before buying a jar of curry sauce? For fuck’s sake, it’s just a jar of curry sauce. “Is it spicy?” Be bold, Henry. Buy the damn jar and try the sauce with a little rice, maybe some chicken or some chopped, steamed veggies. There are over a billion people who eat curry sauce regularly to help disguise gristle or liven up yet another bowl of lentils. A good portion of them have spent less time in schools and Williams-Sonoma than you have, yet have successfully navigated the minefields of curry.
Henry, next time you are in Trader Joe’s, walk up to a woman looking at a jar of curry sauce, and tell her you recently tried that sauce and really liked it. Odds are, she’ll be much more receptive to a man who can cook than one who doesn’t know how to use sauce. Once you FINALLY get laid, say a kind word to the cosmos for me, okay?
LAY ON THE FLATTERY
“One of the best ways to meet men is to pay them a compliment. Not just by saying ‘nice tie’ or whatever, but something really flattering. For example, one time on the way to the ladies room at a restaurant where I was having dinner alone, I noticed a very well-dressed man. On the way back I stopped at his table and said, ‘You are simply the best-dressed man I have seen in a very long time’ and then proceeded on to my table. Within about five minutes, he came to my table and asked if he could join me for dessert. My answer was yes.”
— Gloria Starr, Charlotte, NC
Chillbear: Gloria, that’s the best name that I’ve heard in a very long time. Seriously though, it sounds like you might have a fatty on your hands. Dessert? What is this, the Great Depression? “I’m going to woo her with cigarettes and confections.” Drinks, coffee, or a smoke. Don’t venture outside of the pocket of seduction. All right, but that’s more on him for bringing up dessert. Paying men compliments is a great idea, but unless he’s a total fop, he’s not going to worry about whether or not you like his rayon shirt and Haggar slacks. You really want to strike a cord with your compliment, because you may only get one shot at it. Why not try, “If your flaccid cock looks that good in those pants, I can only imagine how it would look engorged with blood.” Or, “I’m going to put the keycard to my room in the inside pocket of your exquisitely tailored jacket.” If you’re not a great speaker, try flossing your cleavage with his tie.
A LITTLE HUMOR CAN’T HURT
“I like to use what I call the ‘no-line’ pick-up line. I mosey over and say something innocent, like: ‘Excuse me for interrupting; I can see you’re busy reading (studying, working, whatever). You caught my attention, so I thought I would risk public humiliation by introducing myself.’ My theory is that it doesn’t really matter much what you say. If she’s keen, she’ll pick up the ball and respond in kind.”
— William Sukala, San Diego, CA
NoDeb: Oh, William. You almost had me. This one was pretty clever: you haven’t committed to what about me caught your attention, so I immediately assumed you meant my best feature. However, based on what I’ve learned about you from your other comments here, you really aren’t invested in this discussion and are just fishing to see if I’ll bite. Still, thanks for not opening with the standard “Are you two lesbians?” line. That one NEVER works on me.
Wordsmokers, we hope that you will take up the charge and start combating this idiocy, one stupid article and pick-up line at a time.