For one thing, the thought of using “pick-up lines” always made me cringe. Who, I thought, would actually fall for that shit? And if they did fall for it and allowed me my five minutes of glory, wouldn’t that mean that I’d have to talk to them when it was over? The thought of talking to someone that stupid made me cringe more than the idea of saying “So, do you come here often?”
No. I like to think my charm has always been more of a slow burn best suited for those with discerning tastes. Of course I like to think lots of things that, if voiced, would probably result in my being diagnosed as a delusional narcissist.
I can’t say I was much smoother whenever I found myself in Act II of life’s “Make Out Movie,” e.g. alone with a girl who may or may not have been interested in more than talking about pop culture. Sadly, my repertoire of hook-up techniques was pretty much limited to offering a foot massage and hopefully taking it from there. (Thankfully foot massages are hard to pass up or I may have never gotten laid!)
The one time I did stray from my tried-and-true foot massage method of move making, I found myself doing something that just may have been lamer than telling a girl, “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”
I had become friends with a girl who I’ll call “Mia.” I had always been attracted to Mia but had never expressed it, so I had no idea what she thought of me. Which reminds me; I was also never good at noticing if a girl was interested in me. The more I think about it the more I think I may just be the Kramer of hooking up. Or maybe I’m just the spawn of Lady Luck. Someone up there, down there, or over there sure seems to like me.
Anyway, one night when Mia and I were hanging out at my apartment I told her about the screenplay I had just finished. She said that she also wanted to write a script and asked me about formatting. I told her about the screenwriting software I had used and decided to give her a demo. I was so eager you’d have thought I was a goddamn Best Buy associate working on double commission.
I opened the program and started showing her how it worked by writing the scene that was taking place between us as we sat on my futon. (Pretty Meta, right? Take that Charlie Kaufman!) For some reason I’ll never understand, I thought this was the perfect way to let Mia know I was into her. I can’t remember everything I wrote, since I’ve tried hard to suppress the painful memories of that night, but I think it read something like this…
Now, if it were actually a movie this would have worked out perfectly for me and we would have…
But, this wasn’t a movie. This was one of those spectacularly embarrassing moments that only time can heal. And even then, the scars will always be deep. It was my personal ‘Gigli.’ My personal ‘Water World.’ My personal ‘Insert your own blockbuster failure here!”
I can’t remember Mia’s exact response, but I seem to recall a mixture of awkwardness and a lot of, “Wow, look at the time” knee-slapping. Then she was gone. We have remained friends over the years but my attempt at forcing life to imitate art has never been discussed, which is fine with me.
Luckily I’m married now, which means I don’t have to worry about writing suggestive scripts or delivering lame pick-up lines when I get home. Besides, I know that my wife comes here often. Why wouldn’t she? I give a hell of a foot massage.
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