American Boys

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I haven’t had a lot of boyfriends. But that’s not to say I haven’t been hit on quite a bit. And don’t jump to the wrong conclusion! They are not the ones who lose interest…I can personally vouch for my charm and wit.

No, instead, it is I who pulls the plug on the conversation, over and over again…even though I semi-long for someone to call my own… and why? Because most guys really suck at making a move.

Making any kind of move. Something simple, like walking up to a girl, and saying hi. 

I should edify a previous sentence. ”Most guys” is only representative of my world…that is, I’m an American girl. And American boys have thus far disappointed me. Factor in the physical limitations of gathering a fair sample size … so therefore, very few have made it past my standards. One of which, and perhaps most importantly, is a good first impression.

When I complained about this to my friend, she spoke of how the guys in Argentina are so confident, so finesse, that when they see you, they want you and they come up to you and they tell you they think you’re beautiful and they ask you to dance. ”And if you are already with someone or you’re not interested, they just say ‘thank you’ and leave you alone. They are not afraid of rejection, which is the most attractive feature for me,” she chatted on in her adorable southern hemispheric pronunciation. ”American boys…they do not impress me.”

When she said that, I recalled the best hit I’ve ever received. It was in a bar in Miami and I was coming out of the bathroom. I made brief eye contact with a dark haired, tan man who was staring at me and then suddenly, I am swept onto a bar stool.

“Do you know what I want to do?” this exquisite, handsome man purred in his Spanish accent, and smiled with beautiful teeth. He had a dimple…oh god, just thinking about this….

I could barely hold his gaze in shyness. “What?” I asked innocently.

“I want to count your freckles ‘til I fall asleep.” He said, and I just about wet myself.

Now cut to:
Me sitting at a bar drinking a water, a scornful look on my face, and popcorn pieces embedded in my curly mat of hair. How did this come to be? Well, about eight feet away was a thirty-five year old man throwing popcorn at me. At first, I acknowledged him: I gave him a small wave and a flashed a small smile that to any person capable of recognizing psychosocial behavior (most people) would read ‘Right…I see you. You can stop throwing popcorn at me now.’ But not to him. He continued to chuck bar food in my direction, and meanwhile was hitting the people next to me. They leaned over to me and asked, “Uh…do you know that guy.”

“No,” I answered, “And I really don’t want to.”

The look on their faces told me I had no choice. ”Ok, I’ll talk to him” I said reluctantly and went over to him. “Hi” I said, when I stood in front of him.

“Hi.” he replied.

A few pregnant seconds passed. “…So, was there something you wanted to say to me?” I asked.

“My name is John.” He said.

“Hi, John. Why popcorn and not just getting up and introducing yourself to me over there?”

“… I figured this popcorn needed to be thrown. Want some?” he spun on his chair and offered me the popcorn bowl he held near his crotch.

Needless to say, start to finish that encounter was a waste of time. It reminds me of another time …

I was walking across campus late at night and in a small patch of grass, a young man was wondering around looking confused. He asked me, “Do you know where a bathroom is?”

“Uh, it’s late, all the buildings are locked,” I replied.

“Oh,” he said, “could you keep guard while I piss in this bush?” the stranger asked.

I’m not unsympathetic towards a bursting bladder so I agreed, but I did keep my distance and only halfheartedly kept watch. It was nearly midnight on a Tuesday, and as expected no one was near the physics building. He got back on the path where I was standing and thanked me, and introduced himself as LaTorrez. I broke to the left and said goodbye but he apparently was going left too. ”Do you live on campus?” he asked. I lied and said no. He continued asking questions and talking to me, all very casually, but a little bit of it was strange. For example, he mentioned that because I was watching him pee that it was like the same as helping him pee, with my hands, “… so big you need both hands!” he said, and gesticulated.

It was difficult for me to hold back an honest reaction to his crassness, but I remained terse on the long way back to …”Where are you headed?” he asked me.

“Uhhh, my friend’s place in the dorm,” I lied. He insisted that he walk me there. Thank god that by the time he said that, we were close to approaching the door.

“So, what’s your background?” he asked.

“Uh…that’s a weird question.” I replied.

“No, I wanna know. What’s your background?” he pressed.

“I mean, in what sense? Like, my grandmother’s an alcoholic and my family has a history of heart disease…” I offered.

“Your heritage.” he demanded.

“… Aren’t we moving a bit fast?” I joked. After he prodded me again I gave in, “I’m sort of a mutt. Like: English, Italian, Irish, Scottish, Romanian, Russian…I think that’s all of them.” We arrived at the door.

“Well, I uh, just wanted to ask, because—uh,” he was beginning to stutter uncharacteristically, “I was … just asking because I thought that maybe, with your …” he waved his hands in the shape of an hourglass in the air between us, “… dimensions, I thought that you were perhaps of, African American descent.” He shrugged his shoulder and snatched a look at my butt.

This wasn’t my most awkward social situation, but it could have been up there. I was distracted trying to determine just that when I spoke. “No … but I once watched Cat Stevens do stand up on Comedy Central,” was all I could reply. ”My friend is waiting for me.”

Why couldn’t LaTorrez just refrain from talking about my butt, just a bit longer, maybe until after he got my number? If he had, mathematics demands that I state he might have had a small chance.

So far I have listed examples of incompetence and impatience. Now let’s take a look at inactiveness.

One time an obviously interested boy was hanging out at my house (with my roommate asleep in the other room) and asked me if I could give him a neck message. I obliged, but I wanted to because he was definitely cute, and because he desperately needed to patch himself up with a good bang after six months of bitching and moaning about a girl who broke his heart. I did choppy thumb jabs, shiatsu style, on his shoulders for about an hour…that’s how long it took his constant “I’m so tired but I don’t want to leave,” to be “You can sleep over my house and I’ll take you to work in the morning.” I eventually ended up sleeping over, and when we slid in bed, I told him that I never sleep with any clothes on. And I was literally naked under the sheets before he made a direct move on me. That was, put his hand on my hip and begin rubbing. We ended up not having sex and I’m glad. And in retrospect, I never should have been so responsive to such a passive come-on.

It could be just bad luck, but I think that maybe there’s a link connecting these boys. U.S. citizenship. Reputations or rumors can be misleading, but no reputation is always indicative of true poor quality. May I be so bold as to say that American boys do not have a reputation among women (or men) of the world? French men approach seduction as an art form, the British boys have the most irresistible accent, and Latinos will always pass you even a “hey mami.” Where are our troops? How can we foster confidence? I read that the Romani, a minority ethnic group in Europe, considers marriage legal if a man can successfully kidnap a girl and keep her by his side for 2-3 days. It’s not perfect, but at least the man is taking a hold of the situation.

It’s probably not completely the American boy’s fault. We’re transitioning into a digital age, and the rising bachelors of this generation are only familiar with a zippy little world of compressed data in which texts and messages are used because of convenience and the time it saves. It’s great for pussy men because one can talk to people more easily when one has time to be scripted, and it’s a great excuse because social networking sites are so ubiquitous. Therefore flirting becomes a shorter, simpler, and more direct process. And because a woman doesn’t see a man, only a man’s profile, she is more likely to comply with this lackluster courtship because she thinks she already knows him. I am no stranger to it…after the summation of one personal meeting, two phone calls, and four exchanged emails, I hopped on a bus to New York City to bang a handsome lad. Can you believe my mother lived 60 years without hearing the word “booty call”? But I digress; I leapt at the opportunity to fornicate instead of being romantically convinced like the girls in the 20th century. It was totally worth it, but still, in the end I feel like I sold out. However the night was thick inlaid with great conversation… it was this man who first inquired about my previous relationships after we had our tryst, while I was giving him a neck massage (one I offered and one he deserved). I sure liked him, but I don’t think I ever want to do that again. And if he likes me to in the future, I’ll demand he show me how much he wants me!

I never have bad intentions. I began writing this as a means to vent, but I always am optimistic person and I don’t end on bad notes. I think I should just go through the steps again…just to make sure you know them. The acronym I’m going to offer is AAA: Approach, Ask, Advocate.

You don’t have to have the reputation of a musician nor a well oiled Guido machine’s arrogance to approach a girl. Just find something that’s unique about her, (beside her looks) why are you looking at her? What is one cute habit she has? Does she bob her head excessively to the background music? How uptight, attentive, or laid back does she seem? To be a stud, you need to harness and capitalize on what you observe. You will need to alternate your words and strategy with this integrated information. You will need to be armed with an opener in mind.

There is nothing wrong with being a little bit prepared. Some scripture will fuel your confidence and remind you of your computer at home, but your opener has to be simple enough for you so that you don’t get nervous trying to say your words exactly how you planned them. Try …

“Say, are you a cat person or a dog person?”

“A cat person …why? …”

“Cause I thought you might be a cat person.”

Something fucking stupid like talking about cats can metaphorically or literally open a door into her house.

She’ll like a drink. It’s the quickest, most logical question you can ask that gives you a flash of insight about the lady you’re dealing with. Plus it’ll get her drunk quicker. Does she request an Appletini? Is it because that is JD’s favorite drink on Scrubs? Vodka Tonic? Say that’s a very dignified drink, and ask her if she manages her own business. White Russian? Is she eighty? If you find you share a mutual interest in wine, say something classy like ‘tchin tchin’ and clink her glass. Don’t be afraid to study her. Generally you hear that you can tell what a person is like within the first few minutes of meeting them. It actually happens quicker than that: an experiment revealed that when two strangers pass each other on the street and look in the other’s face, the words they use to later describe them are similar if not the same words chosen by the stranger’s closest friends. You can tell characteristics of a person just by the look on their face. So guys, be observant. You can pick up a lot.

What’s your cause? If you were a celebrity, what charity would you donate to? Which war in history did you hate the worst? Somehow, in the midst of your conversation with her, advocate your cause. If you throw out something like nature preserve or invisible children or playing with your nieces, you will sound sensitive. Think about something special and important in your life that is connotative to themes of love and loyalty.

It’s not only to make you sound like a pearl. Opening up the conversation and having a girl talk about what she’s passionate about will make her feel, dot dot dot, more passionate. She will be much more in the moment and emotional, and your attention and repose will only potentiate those emotions. And, depending on how much you’re willing to invest in her in the future, you might as well get these things out in the open.

I’ll stop at that, because I can’t think of anything else that starts with ‘A’. The points are simple, the acronym is simple. However, I will give a last little ‘A’ for…

If you see a hot girl but you’re going to circumvent, be too metaphoric with, or have nothing substantive to say in your come-on, don’t try it. As Lincoln said, “It is better to remain quiet and be thought a shallow hot guy than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”



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