Thursday, April 27, 2006

Trade Secrets

For some reason I'm feeling very forthcoming today so I've decided to give away a piece of intellectual property that will more than anything, simply make me look like a fool. But hey, that's what the near-anonymity of the internet is for. Here goes.

A little background first; I have no game. Check that. I have narrow game. It only works in certain situations when the right confluence of events creates a tiny window of opportunity. In the parlance of modern hoops, I have a quick drop-step move to the right when posting up under the basket. It works well until you figure out that all you have to do is force me left and it's Game Over. However that one little move keeps me in the game long enough to warrant a spot on the team so I will pull it out every now and again. By the way, I probably should have mentioned that this is all a metaphor for dating -- more accurately, pre-dating. The move doesn't help you meet women, it creates an opportunity to meet women. So what the hell am I talking about.

Well for starters, I would say that I am an Average Joe of sorts and by that I mean that I do a lot of the things that the typical American male of my age and background does. That also means that I don't have a lot of standout stories or features to brag about. I wasn't a good (or even passable) athlete, I don't have any crazy college tales involving midgets or destruction of public property, I don't own a boat, and I don't know a guy who knows a guy. Essentially, in a lineup of regular dudes I would blend right in. This is not a good thing when travelling among a pack of people while attempting to interact with the opposite sex. So for me, there's only one thing I can do to distinguish myself; to break away from the defender and at least get an open look for a shot at the basket...the old drop-step.

All sports analogies aside, what I do is pull the Dork Card. (It's so simple yet so effective in the right situations. ) The Dork Card refers to the fact that I was a dork in high school (and for all practical purposes am still one to this day). My most notable extracurricular activity; band. The two high school "letters" I earned; one for Marching Band and another for Math Team. What I did after school everyday for six years; watch two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and go to bed. Number of dates I went out on; zero. Activity most likely to be found doing late on a Saturday night; playing Dungeons & Dragons or Robotech. It was a patehtic celibate existence, not without its charms, that I have somehow managed to work into the Ultimate Icebreaker. Here's how I now make all of this work to my advantage:

Setting Up the Board
If 10 years out of high school you are still blatantly a dork then this is not going to work for you. The Surprise Factor is crucial. I've actually managed to clean myself up over the years, shed a few pounds, wear clothing NOT purchased at JC Penny's or Kohl's, and generally present myself as a respectable guy (which I am, no subterfuge here). This is important because when you pull the Dork Card, you need people to be taken aback. Ultimately this is about bringing focused attention to yourself.

The Scene
OK you're out with a large group of people, some of whom are good friends and others who are new acquaintances. Among this group of people is a young lady who catches your eye, to whom you have not been introduced, and she really hasn't bothered to notice you because several of your friends and others are all subtley competing for her attention. What you need is a "large" conversation where everyone is participating. What you need is an opportunity to focus the attention on you so that a certain someone will now become aware of who you are. Who you need is to be able to hook that person just long enough so that at some point later in the evening you will have an opening to casually move in for a one-on-one conversation. To accomplish all of this, you need to pull the Dork Card.

What It Is
Somehow, someway you need to find an appropriate hole in the conversation where you can jump in and off-handedly drop some reference to your lowest dorkiest moments in high school. Something that will grab everyone's attention and have them demanding setails so they can taunt you endlessly. For me, I find a way to work in marching band or Dungeons & Dragons. People are always fascinated by these subjects and even more so when the individual in question never before appeared to have such pathetic roots. Immediately all attention is focused on you and you have only two minutes to run with it. From that point on you have to jump into one of the most self-depricating stories of your life and sell it with conviction. These are all true stories but you may have to embellish a little to keep people amused and hanging on to every word. But the key is to make your mark and get out. Don't linger too long. Once you're done you can walk away confident that now everyone, especially HER, knows who you are. The rest is up to you to pull your ass out of the fire and reassemble what's left of your shattered persona. But at least now you stand out from the rest of the crowd and have a fighting chance.

The reason I bring this up is because I pulled this crap several days ago and it actually worked. I'm not bragging, in fact I feel really lame for having done it but it was the only way I could work my way through a table full of dudes in order to get someone's attention long enough so I could then "accidentally" bump into her outside of the bathrooms and strike up a conversation. I don't consider this a pick-up maneuver or a sleazy scam. It's an honest if not calculated way of finding your "in." It's just sad sometimes when you think of the lengths that we will go to...


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