Bad Pick Up-Lines & Spoon Collections

As a girl who goes out to bars (less now than before) I’ve heard my share of bad pick-up lines.

You know – those phrases that they use in movies to prove just how horrible a character is at picking up the opposite sex.  Things like “Is that a mirror in your pocket? Cause I can see myself in your pants” (crude) or “Excuse me, I seem to have lost my Nobel Prize/World Series Ring/Victoria’s Secret ID Bage/Insert Outlandish Item…have you seen it?” (seriously?!) or “Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven? Cause you’re an angel.” (Awww…vomit!)

My “favorite pick-up line moment” comes from my first year of college.  As a freshman girl on campus, I believe the term is more frequently coined “Fresh Meat” and I certainly explored the night life of that campus with a dangerous naitivite.

One particular night a few of my friends and I had found our way to an off-campus party.  With easily 50+ people packed into a tiny space I found myself chatting with a cutie on the couch for over an hour. I really thought we were hitting it off.

Finally he put his arm around me on the couch and pulled me in close to whisper “Hey, so I don’t ask every girl I meet this, but would you maybe like to come upstairs and see my spoon collection?”

No people, I could not make that up if I tried.

I looked at him and asked “Do I come across as that stupid or that drunk?”

To his credit, he smiled at me, pulled his arm away and said “Obviously not enough of either” before saying a kind good-bye and moving on.

At least he's trying?
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Asia Images Group

Calling Cards

Let’s face it, I’m just not good at letting boys know when I like them.

I’ve almost given myself whiplash at the amount of hair flipping I’ve done, and my throat is actually hoarse from the girlish giggles at jokes that were (in fairness) only kind of funny.

I mean, sure, I could just use my big girl words and tell them but this is how that usually shakes down:

  • Walk into bookstore, see cutie intently reading by the stacks
  • Sidle on up beside them and randomly pick up a book from the stack to read as well
  • Never realize they are reading Beginner’s Cannibalism for Dummies and you have now picked up 30 Days To Your First Murder because you are mesmerized by the dimple that manifests as they devour the pages
  • Smile at them and catch their eye as they smile back at you. You are so entranced you don’t realize that they are looking at you with pretty much the creepiest creeper of gazes.
  • You slyly ask them out to coffee sometime and give them your number.
  • A week later you are found dead in a ditch, missing your left arm and right kneecap.

Or they say no.

Hey. Either is a VERY REAL possibility!

Who is to say we can’t go back to the rollicking times of the 1800’s and start leaving our calling cards when we want to meet up with people?

Business cards, with company info/address/direct line/etc, are just a little too much of an overshare asking for someone to stalk you dead like you are checking-in to your house on Facebook Places. And if you write your number on their hand at the bar you KNOW they are going to drunkenly wash their hands at 12:35 AM and realize the next morning that they can’t figure out whether that’s a 9 or a B they need to dial.

But thanks to companies like cheek.d and FlipMe the pain of asking someone out is now that much less. Basically, you pay a 3 month-subscription to either service and you get a pack of anonymous “pick-up” calling cards to dole out randomly to potential dates you are too shy/intimidated/awkward about asking.

Ok, maybe I’m the only one who is awkward about this sort of thing.

Which is why I would buy an entire pack of this card from cheek.d:

There are no details about you on the card, only a website and code for your card receiver to log-on and see if they are interested in sending you a message based on the little blurb you’ve got hidden in their membership logs. And apparently lots of people are already subscribed and could be passing you a card atNosh before you know it!  You can even learn some of the more suave “Flip” moves on their site.

So there’s still rejection (if they don’t message you, you don’t learn anything further about them) but a little less painful than the immediate “No thanks” face slap that might occur if you asked outright.

Or the serial killed cannibal in a ditch thing.

Course if you do in fact manage to get a message from one of the cuties you’ve given your card to, gone out a bit, maybe even used those big important “words” (boyfriend/girlfriend), and finally gotten to the point where you need to not be together anymore, you could always just have this chick break up with them for you.

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What do you think of virtual date calling cards? Fun and flirty idea or just weird?

In The Shadows

Remember when breaking up meant you barely see each other again?

Those beautiful days when your heart felt shattered into a bajillion pieces and you simply avoided the same haunts and put all their stuff in a dark closet and pushed them out of your mind?

This is, of course, a serious case of karma rearing it’s ugly head at me again.  After this spring, when I railed against an ex for adding me on Facebook and then promptly ignoring me.  I found the entire situation to be childish and silly – why reach out to be friends when we weren’t friends currently only to ignore me and still not be friends?

Was he just stalking me?

Then, yesterday, I peered over the edge and proceeded to fall into the rabbit hole.  The dangerous thing with online existence is that when you are dating, you add your new squeeze to all your networks in case things pan out and you are finally able to achieve that holy grail of updating your relationship status on Facebook.

It started with looking through tagged photos I had looked at 100 times before on Facebook.  Then it was comments on “mutual friends’ walls.”  Then it was a Google search.  Then it was a Twitter account.  Then Flickr.  I was like an addict, desperately seeking out any shred of him I could find.

And finally I ended up back at the beginning, looking at the dating profile that had brought him into my life in the first place.  A new picture, new words, new interests…he had moved on and was still trying to find someone.  What the heck was I doing?

First things first, I severed the deepest of the online ties.  I “Removed His As A Friend” on Facebook.  Yes, I committed online homicide to any future online relationship.  And I wished there was just some way I could remove him forever.

Fortunately for me, fate intervened, and someone randomly sent me the link to a website that promised JUST that.  The Ex-Blocker (BlockYourEx) is an add-on application you can download* that will block any online possibility of you finding information about your ex.  Simply enter their name, Twitter handle, Facebook profile and Website URL and they guarantee your ex will be blocked from your online searches.  So I did, and immediately went to Facebook to see if he was gone.

The page yelled at me.

Ex Blocked!

But it was definitely serving it’s purpose.  I could still see most of the page (I’ve photo-shopped the bejeezus out of this screen shot) and it was just a little too easy to “Click To Unblock” the page.  Yet I felt chastized peeping into his world through a gauzy white filter, knowing that I was doing something I shouldn’t.  Made it much guiltier than an hour chasing his memory around the interwebs.

Yet how would it work on searches?  Google is like my own personal Private Investigator, and I am like a black belt in my stalking skills using the tool.  I thought about someplace I knew he’d “turn up” and remembered the 5K races he had started running.  I adored seeing his face light up talking about his times in various races, getting faster and finding something he enjoyed so much.  So I Googled one of the races and pulled up the results.  Surely this add-on wasn’t advanced enough to delete his name from an obscure 5K race that he ran one weekend in June.

He's Disappeared There Too!

Sure enough, there among the names and times there appeared a big white space where his used to be (again, this page is photoshop chopped all up, but you can see where the arrow is pointing out the blank space that used to have his name.)

Now, if only I could figure out a way to apply this app to the City of Portland.

What is your experience “online stalking” the ex?  How did you kick the habit?

# Dylan, our resident “Geek” here at would absolutely laugh at me if I recommended you download programs to your computer without knowing what they are. So I Googled and researched to the tilt the “BlockYourEx” application to see if there were any viruses/trojans/etc.  I could find nothing, and tech friends agreed.  But I *did* uninstall the add-on after it appeared to make my internet run slower.  I guess crawling every single page you load to make sure your ex doesn’t appear on it takes some juice.  But if you wanted to get rid of them that badly, it might just be worth it.

It’s Not So Bad…

Not gonna lie…there are times that being single sucks.

Sure, there are times being single pretty much kicks a lot of butt (check back for those – I like to finish on a positive!) but like I learned in Mr. Crowley’s 12th grade physics class, for every action there must be an equal but opposite reaction.  So for everything that is awesome about single-hood, there are also things that grate on your like a cheese press at Cinque Terre.

I’m told that while it does seem to be the mission of just about every couple a single person knows to get them paired up and aboard the ark, deep inside there’s a longing for the grassy field we singles frolic in.  Apparently they have forgotten the slugs that you sometimes squidge your feet onto in that verdant grassy knoll.

Over the past couple weeks I’ve had a few of those “Wah, this being single thing sucks more than 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife” moments.  And no, not even angry single girl music from Alanis Morissette could bring me out of my slump.  Some of the worst of them have been:

Being Home Sick  Remember the good old days, when staying home sick meant Mom or Dad essentially spoiled you rotten for a 24-hour period.  Making toast, getting ginger ale, watching you while you slept (in the not-creepy-but-making-sure-you-kept-breathing sort of way,) checking your forehead with the back of their hand for spikes in fevers, etc etc?  Well, earlier this summer when I got hit with the ridiculously useless “summer cold” I sat on my couch shivering (in 80 degree weather, mind you) willing some beef & barley soup with ginger ale to magically morph itself onto my coffee table.  Alas, my morphing abilities are not yet honed, and I had to (in my sickest state of affairs) drag myself to the store to buy said rations and also cold medicine and juice.

I’m pretty sure no one wanted to hit on me at the grocery store that day.

Sometimes being alone isn't all it's cracked up to be
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Corinne Boutin

Showers No, not the wet and wild in a tub or shower stall kind of showers, you dirty people!  And this one may ring a little more true for the ladies than the guys.  When my guy friends have a bachelor party, they revel in the opportunity to celebrate bachelorhood one last time (well, for the married guys they pretendthey are bachelors for a few hours.)  For girls, both bridal and baby showers are opportunities to get together and gush and goo over all things coupled up and settled down ladies do.  From Pampered Chef parties and “how my husband is just a total sheet hog *giggle giggle*” to breast pumps and “My little Parker makes the nastiest brownish-green poops when he’s had formulac formula and it looks just like that melted candy bar in a diaper you are trying to guess,” the entire thing seems to be an exercise in reminding a single girl for at least two hours what she doesn’t have but everyone else does.

Cause we all know that a girl’s ultimate purpose in life should be to get married, settle down and make babies…

Eating and Cooking For One  I feel like the person answering the phone my favorite Chinese restaurant giggles a little inside their head every time I order the Pu-Pu Platter and Wonton Soup for one for pick-up.  And other than ramen noodles and peanut butter & jelly, it’s really difficult to make meals for just one person.  Heck, when I buy a loaf of bread it is usually moldy by the time I’m halfway through it.  I’m just one person bread maker!  I can’t eat an entire loaf by myself in 5 days time!

I swear, I will learn to cook more than sesame chicken “stir-fry” once I have more than just myself to cook for on a regular basis!

Someone To Hold You  There are just some times that you want to curl up in a ball and feel someone’s arms around you while you shun the world or sob uncontrollably.  It’s usually after a really hard day/week/month or when something ridiculously sad and devastating happens.  Sitting alone on a couch, curled up in a blanket, drinkingMerlot from a sippy cup and watching chick flicks only gets you so far in the emotional purging process.  Having someone there to lean on for support and allow yourself to be vulnerable with for just a brief moment is a luxury not everyone has.

And it’s a little weird to booty-text your “friend” and ask if they mind cuddling you for an evening.

Dating Is Exhausting Work  Ask most any coupled up person, and they’ll tell you that while they miss the reckless and carefree days of their singledom, the one thing they DON’T miss is “having to put themselves out there.”  And that’s because, quite frankly, dating is exhausting.  Being outgoing, being available, looking your best, meeting people, flirting with people, getting a number, giving out a number, agonizing over calling/being called, finally going out, first date jitters, wondering if there will be a first kiss, getting a first date hug and kiss on the cheek, pacing before a second date and breaking out in hives, having a great time, finally getting your first kiss, going out a bunch more, getting dumped a month later, detoxing from the emotional roller coaster of it all…I’m getting tired just typing it!  Yet if you are single, it’s the process you go through again and again until you find “the one” that saves you from the vicious cycle of it all.

And if you don’t find them?  Well, lather rinse repeat baby, cause no single person ever got coupled up sitting at home in their jammies wondering where all the cute boys are.

As I said, next week I’ll have a bright and shining list of reasons being single is pretty much awesome, cause I like to end on a high note.

But for now, what else would you add to the list of reasons that being single isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be?

To The Boy At Longfellow Books – Missed Connections

I have a confession to make.

I check Missed Connections on the Maine Craigslist site every day.

For those of you unfamiliar with Missed Connections, it’s only one of the best peeks into people’s minds online.  If you like Post Secret, then you are going to love Missed Connections.  Basically people go onto Missed Connections and post about those people that floated into and out of their lives without a way to get in touch again.

Or maybe there is a way, but they are just too shy/nervous/totally wussy.

The Missed Connections come from all over the place.  People who meet at their local supermarket.  People who watch someone from the passenger seat of a moving vehicle in Portland.  People who are smitten by their concert bartender.

Some people post asking for their missed connection to be found, so that they might be able to create a love connection from it.  Others post wistful musings, about forbidden love or relationships that are no more or things they wish were.

It’s pure romantic and idealistic drivel that is totally irrational.

And I love it.  It’s like my deep dark dirty secret.

Everybody's Got A Secret
Photo Credit: Getty Images – David Woolley

As if this starry eyed obsession weren’t enough, my connection with Missed Connections goes even further.  Cause if I were going to create one of those big bad check-it-off-and-relish-in-the-glory Life Lists, I would absolutey add this bullet point:

Be listed as someone’s Missed Connection

Checking in constantly to see who is looking for that person they missed in a fleeting moment, a girl can’t help but wonder “Has anyone ever felt that way about me?”  Wondering if I had just chosen one of the other sliding doors what would have happened.  If someone else has spent their time talking and laughing with me, left to wonder if they should have taken the chance.  Knowing I made enough of an impression that someone took the time to write a post about me.

I posted a few of my own Missed Connections over the past month (I know…the things I do for my readers!) with a varied level of responses.

The first, a guy I watched from afar as he performed at a local improv show, garnered not a single response.

The second, a guy who flirted with me over a case of Shipyard at Hannaford (seriously…how could I NOT try to chat it up with a guy who flirts with me over micrbrews?!)  While my Shipyard guy did not flirt with me, a different 57-year old man emailed me about someone HE met at Hannaford and then asked if I might want to go out sometime.

The third, a wistful note about a guy I have known since 2004 and had a crush on pretty much since then but could never date or even talk about dating because of the complications.  That one got five responses!  Three telling me to put aside the complications and just go for it.  One telling me that he wished someone as sweet as me pined for years after him.  And one from a very nice guy who thought maybe *he* might be my Missed Connection (sorry, I but I hope that you mustered up the guts to ask out YOUR co-worker at TD Bank!)

It made me realize that it’s like so many other dating situations, what works for some won’t work for others.  Sure, we all know someone who met their significant other in some outrageous and totally romantic way.

But the reality is that most of us just find love in a boring and natural way.  That stories like this are fun to watch in movies, but they rarely happen in “real life” application.  I know it’s a silly romantic fantasy, setting myself up for a guy that will probably never exist.

But it’s still kinda fun to think about.

And to the boy in the fiction section of Longfellow Books.  You came over and looked through books with me for awhile.  Wearing a messenger bag slung across your chest.  I wish I had asked your name at least.

Consider this my newest Missed Connection.

Have you ever posted on Missed Connections?  Been the object of a Missed Connection?  Wished you had/were?  What’s it like?