In my continuing effort to develop "game," I'm constantly analyzing the way two people establish a romantic connection. One thing I've never grasped is how a total stranger can walk up to another total stranger and just start a conversation. I've always assumed that people who are able to do that have an arsenal of pick-up lines they can deploy at will.
About a year ago, I asked my friend Kevin how he does it, and he gave me some terrible advice that set my game development back several years.
I thought I'd come at this issue from another angle and I spoke with a girlfriend of mine, Melinda Massie, who told me some good and bad one-liners that she's encountered.
First, the bad. Apparently, Melinda hates cheesy one-liners and bad grammar.
So a guy licks his finger and rubs it into my shoulder and says, "Oh, now we have to get you out of these wet clothes."
Melinda's comment: Funny from a friend, bad from a stranger.
"Hey girl, where you stay?"
Comment: Bad grammar introduction from a potential stalker? I don't know, but it immediately pissed me off.
"My friend wants to know if he can have your number."
Comment: This isn't middle school and anyone who doesn't have the cojones to initiate a conversation with me will not be able to handle me. I told this guy that if his friend couldn't come up to me himself, I'd eventually eat him for brunch and I didn't want to scar his friend for other women.
(Melinda has red hair) "So does the carpet match the drapes?"
Comment: As an introduction, it just pisses me off and is usually met with the response of "You will never know."
And now, the good. So, as I suspected, Melinda likes straightforward and a little clever.
"I love redheads." Or some version thereof. "I've always had a thing for redheads," etc.
Melinda's comment: That always works as an introduction. However it's quickly doused if followed by, "Does the carpet match the drapes?"
"I noticed you the minute you walked in the room."
Comment: I liked this one. I like a man who is observant, and it's nice to hear that you turned someone's head when you entered the room.
Melinda says that her personal favorite opening line (other than "I love redheads") is simple -- eye contact, a smile, hello and perhaps a sincere compliment that's not laced with sexual innuendo. This always gets the man at least a few minutes of chit chat.
"Men don't need cheesy lines," she says. "Just say hello and be sincere. And make sure that the conversation doesn't go horribly awry once you're in there. I recently talked with a man and it was going well. He asked for my number and to take me to dinner. I said yes. Then somewhere afterwards the subject veered to strippers.
"He said if he had a daughter and she became a stripper he would be really angry and kill her. Literally. Japanese honor-style. That turned into a huge argument and, needless to say, dinner was no longer in the cards. To his credit, he did call the next day to apologize and say he would never kill a family member, but the damage was done."
Thanks to Melinda for taking the time to set me right on pick-up lines. I guess she reinforced what I already knew. Don't be cheesy, don't be over-the-top with innuendo, and never threaten to kill your own daughter.