I headed to the book store and searched every shelf for The Game but couldn’t find it. I finally went up to a worker and asked if they had any copies. “Oh, we keep that behind the counter up front.” I asked her why and she said all of the most commonly stolen books get kept up front behind the counter. I started laughing, I found it funny that people were stealing a book about dating.
I walked up to the front counter and asked for the book. The lady grabbed it and started talking to the other clerks behind the counter. “What is this even about? Isn’t it about dating or something? We always have a few people asking for this.” Then she started reading the cover aloud, “Penetrating the secret society of pickup artists.” I froze, I wondered if they were judging me now for buying a book on dating, like I couldn’t figure it out and needed to learn how to be a pickup artist (as if). I immediately felt as much shame as standing at the drug store asking the pharmacist for Plan B. I blurted, “I write a blog about dating and am just doing research. I heard I write like him.”
“Oh, nice. Well, that’s $40.”
“HOLY SHIT!” I wanted to punch and applaud Mr. Strauss at the same time.
I got home and started reading. A group of guys were following a pickup artist and he was giving them tips on how to work women in a bar. As I was reading I noticed I was finishing sentences or saying “well who doesn’t know that?!” Then the pickup artist ended up finding a table in a dark corner, throughout the night he brought 3 different women back to the table to makeout and get their numbers. I laughed. I laughed because I did some of these things. I laughed because I didn’t need a table in a dark corner.
I closed the book. I looked at Roomie. “Dude, I think I might be a pickup artist.”
I heard plenty of my guy friends say they were great at picking up women. But I never heard any of my girlfriends say they were good at picking up men and I didn’t know why, most of them did it. Then I realized, when guys talk about it they get high-fived, when girls talk about it they get called whores. Well, it doesn’t make us whores it makes us human. So, when it comes to picking up men, the only difference between me and any other woman is that I’ll actually talk about it.
I said in my last post that realizing you’re actually good at picking people up is a superpower. You just need to figure out if you’re using it for good or bad. Unfortunately, by the time I realized I was good at picking up guys I was taking a trip through the dark side. I didn’t care about guys feelings because I had none, I was numb. I didn’t care about breaking hearts because mine was shattered. I had absolutely no idea how to date, and coming out of an 11 year relationship, starved for attention, the only thing I wanted was validation. I was after a huge self-esteem boost and it was easier to use guys at the bar that I didn’t care about.
And then by the time I realized I was really good, it kind of became an addiction. I couldn’t get my own husband to pay attention to me and now I had guys that were paying so much attention to me I didn’t know what to do with it. How could I not be addicted?! I just didn’t want to stop because in my mind stopping and getting to know someone was settling. I needed the constant high and each guy presented a new challenge and an even bigger high.
I laughed more about the night I realized I was good at picking up guys. Just like the pickup artist, I also had a similar experience.
Dance Angel (that was her AOL screen name) is my oldest friend. We met on the magic carpet in Kindergarten and decided it would probably be a good idea to be friends forever. She’s probably one of the most kind and considerate people I know, when I would spend that night at her house she would make me sleep on the side of the bed closest to the bedroom door so if a robber broke in I would die first. We did everything together – soccer, basketball, track, cheerleading, dance, camp, roller skating, ice skating, detention- everything. We parted ways after 8th grade graduation, I had to go to the better of the two rival high schools. We did our best to keep in touch and would get together when we could. Her mom would always have little Christmas parties and one year when I went over I got to meet her new crush. His picture had taken the place of the star that adorned their family Christmas tree. Apparently this boy had no idea she existed, but she was in love with him and cut his picture out and stuck it to the top of the tree, like a real psycho. Sadly, it never worked out between the two of them. When we were Seniors I would always call her to come to the bars, because when you’re 18 in Youngstown it’s basically the legal drinking age. She could never go out though, she always had too many red dots on her chart. Which meant she mouthed off to her parents and was grounded. Again. We were soon off to college and decided we would reunite. It didn’t take long for Dance Angel to discover the Campus Loop, the bus that would take you all around campus and even drop you off downtown at the bars. I have more stories about that damn Campus Loop than any Kent State student is ever supposed to have.
About 3 months after my divorce Dance Angel made her way to Cleveland for a night on the town. She was single and I was single- that hasn’t been the case since grade school. I swore to her that we were going out and we were going to find a ton of hot guys. As per usual, when we’re together trouble is never too far behind.
I was so busy preparing for her arrival that I completely forgot to eat dinner, but I did remember to take my meds for my recent hyperthyroid diagnosis. My doctor told me to take it easy on the alcohol, she didn’t know how my body would react. I knew I was sensitive, I wig out on two cups of coffee. So I told her I’d watch and take it easy, I would just pace myself.
Dance Angel made it to my place and we had a drink and a shot before we caught our cab. We started at a bar on W. 6th and it didn’t take long for the first guy to hit on us and buy us drinks. He was pushing 70.
Before I knew it we were on the dance floor with some young guy doing shots with his uncles. They wanted their young nephew to hook up with either me or Dance Angel, I knew their little game and I bowed out. They would not decide who I would make out with, I would handle those decisions. We ditched that group after another shot and headed back to the bar. The drinks were flowing and I was starting to tailspin, my man eating alter-ego had officially kicked in and now I was hunting.
I saw a cute Italian guy and he looked at me and smiled, I love Italians and decided I had to have him. Victim number 1 was a sucker and was making this way too easy. We talked, he said something about me being pretty and I was getting bored and tired of talking, so I just kissed him. He of course wanted my number and I of course gave it to him because I hand that damn thing out like candy- after one too many calls to my friend at AT&T, I’ve gotten much better.
We left him and worked our way up the bar where I met Victim number 2. He owned a couple restaurants and told me he wanted to take me out and have dinner. I told him it was a great idea and I kissed him. He was in love. That was easy. I was over it.
I made my way further up the bar and met Victim number 3. He was tall and a good dresser and was equally aggressive. We had a fun little makeout but he was starting to word vomit everywhere, “I’ve never met a girl like you. I thought I was aggressive. I think I’m in love. I’m taking you out.” It took him a whole 12 seconds to fall in love and I was so bored I was going to fall asleep. It was time to pull a Houdini. I was done with him and I had to see if it was even possible for me to get one more guy.
I ran into Victim number 4 at the tail end of the night, Dance Angel was busy smooching his bestie at the bar. The bar was closing and they said they’d give us a ride back to my apartment. When we pulled in one of the boys said he needed to go to the bathroom. I rolled my eyes, classic move.
For some reason Dance Angel and her new man stayed out in the hallway. Victim 4 and I were standing in my living room playing tonsil hockey and he stopped and whispered, “I want you to give me a hummer.”
I looked at him and started to giggle like a 12 year old school girl. He looked at me and said, “What? Please!”
Which only made me laugh harder. Just then Dance Angel swung open the door, “HEY, what’s going on in here?!”
I spun around laughing and tripped over my own feet. I fell into my bar and sent a Yankee candle crashing to the floor- my old life was over. Because nothing signifies the end of your married life like a Yankee candle crashing to the floor. Now here I was, newly divorced, standing in my living room, denying a guy a hummer.
Dance Angel yelled, “THAT’S IT! SHE’S DRUNK! GET OUTTA HERE YOU’RE ALL GOING HOME!”
Victim 4 looked at me, he wanted to stay. I started laughing, “Sorry, she said I’m drunk. You have to go. Bye!”
Dance Angel slammed the door behind them and looked at me. “What happened and why are you laughing?”
I couldn’t breathe I was laughing so hard, “He said hummer! He told me he wanted me to give him a hummer!”
“WHAT?!” She was laughing. Then she stopped to tell me about his friend. She noticed him pull out a Maybelline compact filled with pills. I looked at her and laughed and asked who hid pills in a Maybelline compact and better yet, who still popped pills after 30?!
“Question. I know I haven’t dated anyone in like a decade but is “hummer” a thing guys really say?!”
“Beats the hell out of me! That’s the first time I’ve made out with anyone in months. You’re a horrible influence.”
The next morning I woke up with a headache that was surprisingly not even half as bad as what I expected. I grabbed my phone and the screen was covered with texts and calls from guys I didn’t know.
“Omg, how many guys did I make out with last night?”
“Umm like 3 or 4. You’re a little make-out bandit.”
I looked at my phone again.
“Oh God, I made out with 4. I made out with 4 guys at THE SAME BAR! I TOLD YOU this was easy!” I decided I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. I was convinced this HAD to be a record and I HAD to have mono.
“I’m gonna try to go for five guys next weekend. Think I can do it?”
“If anyone can do it, it’s you. What did their texts say? Do you remember any of them?”
They had all asked to see me again and I didn’t remember any of them. In terms of drinking that night was one of the worst I’ve ever had and have still ever had. It was the only time I had legitimately not remembered things when I woke up. If those guys were standing in front of me at that moment I would have no idea who they were. I ignored all of the guys’ texts. I couldn’t match their names to their faces, and honestly, they were only conquests.
Dance Angel left to go home and called me an hour later.
“I stopped at Dunkin Donuts to get coffee and a bagel and I threw up all over myself. How am I throwing up and you’re fine? I’m never going out with you again. Oh, that guy text me. He was nice, should I text him back?”
“He had a Maybelline compact filled with pills.”
“Oh shit I forgot! I’ll ignore him.”
It’s been almost three years since that night and I’m to the point now where I’m just over it. Karma has done a real fine job and I’ve definitely gotten what I’ve deserved. If I hit on a guy now my only goal is to make sure his brain is as hot as he is. For a while I was looking for someone to run a really good game on me, but it all ends up being predictable and I get bored. Or I start to actually like the guy and then I do what I do best, run. But I haven’t figured out if I run because I’ve lost control and somebody may have just beaten me at my own game, or … yep. That’s it. I’m a control freak and I hate losing, running spares my feelings and still keeps me in control. Just think, there’s a million other girls just like me that are running around out there! Be smart, bros!
However, I’m actually doing this new thing now, I call it “trying”. I’m actually trying to get to know someone before I end it and run. Although, I have to say, for someone that has the attention span of a fish, I’m not as bored as I thought I’d be. Imagine that, people are actually interesting and amazing once you get to know them. Something to think about …
The good news here is that I think I’ve kicked my addiction. But if I happen to relapse I’m heading right to the nearest circus, this might be a job for a lion tamer. #rawr