There's a lesson to be learned from that guy who relentlessly uses corny lines to get your attention: It's OK to approach and attempt to meet someone new. Finesse Mitchell, author of “Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much,” says women should try it more often. An excerpt.
Chapter three: The approach Pick-up lines
Know this: when men approach women with stupid, corny lines, they are saying, “I know I have no shot at you, but I am not letting you walk by me without saying something.” They are actually trying to give you a compliment. And you’re probably thinking, why don’t men just say hello? Duh! Well, that’s too simple. And we only think to say that if our clever pick-up line doesn’t work. In fact, as soon as you say you are not interested and walk away, that’s when we say, “Damn, I should have just said hello.”
Some men think that pick-up lines are harmless fun and women should just have a sense of humor. Other men say they do it because they want to get a reaction out of the woman. It doesn’t matter if the reaction is good or bad, just as long as she notices them. For example, old men’s pick-up lines usually start with, “If I was just a few years younger…” Disrespectful old men’s pick-up lines are similar but the word Viagra is usually somewhere up in the mix. And men that are old, but still think they got it going on always offer to pay for something when they say hello. “Hey Ms. Lady, if you ever need your rent paid or help with your car note or want me to buy you a new Honda Accord, let Rufus know. Those young guys don’t know how to take care of something like you.”
What is a great pick-up line? A great pick-up line for a man is anything we can come up with to get a woman we don’t know to smile and stick around long enough until we ultimately say something stupid or repeat a question she’s already answered like, “So who are you here with? Oh, that’s right, you did say. My bad.”
I don’t use them, but I like to hear pick-up lines, especially if they are funny. Here are some of my favorites:
• Your legs must be tired, because you’ve been running through my mind all day.
• One in four black men are incarcerated, guy number two is gay, and guy number three has two baby mommas. Now that leaves me — so what you gonna do?
• Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
• I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?
• Your father must be a mason because he built a brick house!
• Excuse me, Miss, did you fart? Because you just blew me away!
• Are you wearing space pants? Because your ass is out of this world?
• Were you arrested earlier? It’s got to be illegal to look that good!
• I hope you know CPR because you take my breath away.
• Do you take karate? Because your body’s kickin!
• You must wash your pants with Windex, because I can see myself in them.
• Your body is like a temple; it needs to be worshiped.
Yes, many of these lines are corny, but don’t lie. Some of them got you smiling, and if any of them is uttered by the right guy at the right time, you’ll either pretend you didn’t hear it (you’re in denial that he’s so lame) or give a fake giggle and play with your hair as though you just got the best compliment ever.
The lesson to be learned from Jeromeo
Women picture this: You are in a club having a good time with your girlfriends. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a guy walks right up to you and flashes his I-know-you-want-me-smile. You look him up and down and bust out laughing. Why are you laughing, knowing it’s never cool to be rude? Because this dude in his two-piece red suit has a very drippy Jheri curl that could be a fire hazard if the deejay started playing reggae music and people waved their lighters. To your horror, he also has four gold teeth that he is actually polishing in front of you with a cocktail napkin. And he is so blinged out, but with the fakest jewelry known to the twenty-five cent gumball machine.
Now what makes this guy approach you, or anybody else for that matter, besides confidence? How about the fact that whether you tell “Jeromeo” you would love to dance with him and then have his children, or flat out laugh in his face and tell him to beat it, he knows the worst thing you can say is no — a couple of times. He gets rejected or told no all the time. In fact, he probably expects it and wipes that rejection off his shoulders along with the excess activator juice. Nonetheless, Jeromeo is still there to have a good time and knowing him, he will ask you to introduce him to one of your girlfriends who came to party because you are taking up space and wasting his time.
The majority of people, especially women who are not as bold and persistent as Jeromeo, could learn one thing from him: there is nothing wrong with approaching and attempting to meet someone new! Single women should do it more often. The number of cool guys you’ll actually meet, as opposed to the zero that you are meeting right now, would surprise you.
Girl, it’s your turn
Elder church-going women love to tell single young women to be patient and wait. God will send you the man you seek. That may be true, but God also helps those who help themselves. You think Eve waited when she wanted an apple? Okay, bad analogy, but you get what I am saying.
Black women have made so many strides in business, medicine, academics and politics. For you to bite your acrylic nails when it comes to approaching men ought to our make black female pioneers turn over in their graves. If Harriet Tubman could approach black men and ask them to run away to freedom, (“… and by the way, if weez get caught, master will kill us dead!”) you can ask a man to the movies.
Now does this mean you walk up and down the mall wearing one of those double-sided wooden sandwich boards, advertising that you are open for mingling with a twenty percent off coupon? Of course not. But actively putting yourself in a position to meet new people is a start.
Now I understand that there are some women who will think that I just asked them to donate a kidney. You might be either too shy or too set in your ways, or you’ve simply told yourself that approaching a man first is not something you want to do. I know, I know. What if he is involved with someone already? What if he thinks you are desperate, or worse, what if he is simply not interested? (Like any of those things will kill you, right?) Some women think approaching a man is a big deal, but I want to tell you right now, it isn’t. Men like it!
Just to relieve some of your apprehension, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you are absolutely wrong if you think we want to talk all night long to the guy we came with. We already know that fool. We want to get to know you. If I’m lying, I’m dying.
Here are some other things to consider that might ease your jitters:
• Men will never be as hard on you as women are on us when we try to meet you.
• Men will not suck their teeth and pretend to have asthma if you tap us on the shoulder to say hello.
• Men will absolutely not think you are desperate, easy, or crazy if you approach us first. Remember, we are the ones who are desperate, easy and crazy.
When you see him but he doesn’t notice you, what to do?
Dear Single Ladies,
I am writing this letter to inform you that when you see a guy that you want to get to know, but he is not giving you any eye contact or conversation, all is not lost. Just follow these four easy steps:
Step 1. Get close enough that he notices your presence.
Step 2. Smile at him, but look away and shake your head like he reminds you of an old friend or a good memory. He should definitely be curious about why you are so happy, and more importantly, he’s wondering if he has anything to do with that good thought in your head. Now be sure to look away because the whole thing has to be natural. If you stare at him too long just smiling, he will think you are crazy (especially if you live in New York and you’re on a subway train).
Step 3. If he does not comment or inquire about what has you in a good mood or why you are smiling at him, play it cool and walk away. If he’s not interested in your thoughts, then you can rule him out immediately and move on. Remember, the ultimate goal is to find a man who cares about you and what you are thinking. If he does show interest, proceed to the next step.
Step 4. If he asks what’s so funny, answer one of two ways:
1) Be honest. Introduce yourself and tell him you find him attractive. This will no doubt catch him off guard, make him smile back, and it gets right to the point. Is this super bold and aggressive on your part? Hell yes! Only certain type of women can pull this off or even feel comfortable being so direct. But you will find out right then and there if he has any interest in you and what his current relationship situation is.
2) Make up a story. That’s right, be a little dishonest. OK, actually just tell him a lie. Men tell women lies all the time, so don’t feel guilty. A little lie won’t hurt anyone. It won’t make you a bad person. Plus, you don’t know the dude. It’s not like you lied to a friend. Now that we’ve gotten the moral issue out of the way, tell him that he reminds you of a good friend from high school that all the girls liked, who stayed in trouble so much that he was always in detention. Believe it or not, most men will actually find that very flattering. “So let me see if I understand this right. I remind you of a cute, bad boy from your high school that all the girls liked, huh? Girl, you better give me your number so we can have some babies!” (Did you notice how he threw in “cute”?) Seriously, after you’ve said something like that and he realizes that the reason you are staring and smiling has nothing to do with him having spinach in his teeth or toilet paper stuck to his shoe, he will inquire more about you and this “bad boy” he reminds you of just to keep the conversation going.
So let’s reel in this fish. If he responds well to either the lie or the truth, and seems interested, pull back on your fishing line and listen to see if he can carry a conversation and is worth planning a phone date and then possibly a real date. Red Lobster, here you come! Good Luck!
When approaching a guy, be natural, be confident and have fun with it. What’s the worse thing that can happen? Absolutely nothing. The same nothing that may be going on in your social life right now. So take a chance!
And to be honest, almost all brothas are approachable — even the one chillin’ in the corner. You see chillin’ is low stress. We get to stare at women all night, we don’t have to split our drink money in half, and we can play out any type conversation with you in our heads to blasting music which actually gives our imaginations a soundtrack. If you see men doing that, we are perfect targets and open for any conversation. Walking over and just chillin’ with a guy is a great way to meet somebody new. Eventually you two will notice the same things, laugh at the same jokes, and pick out the worst and best-dressed people together. Before you know it, you two will be talking up a storm.
Approaching a guy first is actually a no-lose situation because if he is not interested, he’ll still smile, thank you for the compliment, and keep it moving (freeing you to move on to the next guy). Or the conversation will immediately let you know that you are in the possible “cool-friend” zone and you can parlay this into meeting new people in his world thereby broadening your social circle. You may learn about events, bars, lounges, house parties, etc., you didn’t even know existed.
If absolutely nothing comes of your attempt to be proactive and he doesn’t catch the hint or appreciate the effort you made to say something to him, he’s not for you — no matter how attractive or intriguing he looked from across the room. Make a smooth exit and keep it moving. Pick another guy, another time. Just know that you did not play yourself or come off as desperate. Remember, your goal is to have a man respond in a way that shows he gives a damn.
With that being said, since I am letting you know men are easy targets eighty-five percent of the time, do us a favor: if you know you are desperate, easy, or crazy, simply give us a hint which one you happen to be before it’s too late. It’s only fair. Desperate, is something we can get to the bottom of together. Easy is not necessarily a bad thing unless the mobile clinic makes weekly stops at your house to restock your medicine cabinet. But crazy is not welcome under any circumstances. Fix crazy first and then come holla! Men will only drive an unstable woman crazier.
Excerpted from "Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much" by Finesse Mitchell. Copyright (c) 2007. Reprinted with permission from Simon Spotlight Entertainment.