Before the more curious among you wonder if this is a post about a hideous growth deformity, have no fear; I assure you that it isn’t. It is merely social commentary on the unfortunate habit that many of us have experienced of saying the wrong thing in our myriad of social interactions.
As a single man negotiating the pitfalls of London’s dating and bar scene, I have learned that sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all, than feel obliged to say something to cover an uncomfortable silence. It isn’t necessary to chat constantly without pause. Unless perhaps you are a horse racing commentator.
My main ‘partner in pulling’ the ladies (or not) is a mathematician, who by his own admittance spends his days in academic geekdom and is something like an uncaged Tasmanian devil when freed from the formulas, bouncing enthusiastically between girls with the impatience of a speed freak in the toilet queue; frequently to be heard saying: “I’m not getting anywhere, she’s hard to talk to”. After five minutes.
So picture the scene, a mathematician and me, who works in advertising and is working towards being a forensic psychologist when I grow up. Hark, what’s that sound I here? Is it the sound of London’s single ladies collectively uncrossing their legs at the thought of the two of us approaching them? No.
Having established that women are unlikely to whisper sweet algebra as pillow talk, or respond favourably if I ask them if they want to see my flash creative, our efforts at finding lady love could do without being hampered by further obstacles.
Yet my friend has developed a disturbing tendency of jeopardising our chances by spectacularly saying the wrong thing, just when we are in mid-small talk with new
victims suckers prospects. One time we had managed to find two girls who seemed more than happy to spend time in our company. It seemed like we’d both struck lucky. Then my friend leaned across to interrupt the girl I was talking to and said something in her ear, whilst smiling mischievously. Looking perplexed, she said to me: “Is he your friend?” Of course. “Well he just said that you’re a wanker“. Flustered, I managed to make things worse by saying that I keep telling him to lie, but obviously he can’t, ha ha… Poor recovery Stewie.
At a speed dating event, my friend insisted on telling everyone he was a boxer, despite looking less than street tough. Admittedly, I may have mentioned to one girl that I worked with disadvantaged children. But in my defence, I did admit the lie just as our three minutes were up. Well, she was just so desperate to find out my occupation. She deserved it.
Another time, the beautiful mind at my side mentioned to a girl that it was “… unusual for a girl to drink a pint”, a comment that went down like a lead balloon. For a moment I thought that she was going to respond by throwing the beer over him and saying that it was unusual for a man to wear a pint.
But the best example of foot in mouth disease has to be the occasion when we were talking to a friendly girl at a bar, when I noticed my friend making the ‘L’ sign on his forehead whilst laughing at her. Despite being a tad on the drunk side, she looked stunned. Incredulous, I asked him what on Earth he thought he was doing. “Well, she said her name was Elle.” Just don’t make jokes, please. No really… don’t.
On the same evening we were standing at the side of the dancefloor when, somehow, a girl twirled around and the straps of her dress caught on my friend’s hands. She furiously turned to see him apparently pulling her straps without shame. He looked down at his hands, confused at what was happening. I was nearly on the floor, laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. Only he could have possibly got himself into such an improbable position. “I didn’t mean it, honestly!” I know buddy, I know.
More recently my friend spotted a girl he liked the look of, and went over to chat. A few minutes later he came back, looking dejected. Apparently, the lovely lady looked a lot older from close up and that was all he could think about. Then, in a Tourette’s Syndrome-like outburst, he blurted out: “I like MILFs!” God only knows why he thought that this could ever be an appropriate think to say. “I just couldn’t help it… it just came out”. So it appears.
I will leave you with a thoughtful question to ponder that my friend asked a girl one time: “What’s your dream?” She was undoubtedly dreaming of a place far away from such cheesey chat-up lines. And we wonder why it can he so hard to find a date sometimes…