Last Friday was another interesting night at the bar. A guy who approached my friend and me managed to give me two odd insults in a matter of minutes. First he told me he was sure I was a teacher because I looked “homely.” After I asked him what that was supposed to mean, he said, “You know, you look like you stay at home and read a lot of books.” Hm. Were the rest of his pickup skills as lame as his vocabulary? For some reason I stuck around to find out. Next he asked me if I was Jewish. I said no, but people ask me that all the time. A lot of people think I’m either Jewish or Italian, I told him, but I’m actually neither. And he responded, “Oh I’m just trying to say you’re ordinary looking.” Huh? That was when I decided to put the unfortunate conversation out of its misery.
I was telling the story to a male friend the next day, and he said maybe the guy at the bar had been reading The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. In the book, Neil Strauss, formerly “a self-described chick repellent,” apparently tells the story of how he was assigned to “investigate a community of pickup artists,” through which he learned and successfully used techniques he shares with readers. According to my friend, one of these techniques is to give women backhanded compliments. Another is to approach the less attractive woman in a group. According to Amazon, another is to "intrigue a beautiful woman by pretending to be unaffected by her charm."
My friend really got a kick out of the ordinary looking comment. “Maybe I should take it a step further,” he said, “and just go up to girls and punch them in the head.” (I know I should probably know better, but I thought that was hilarious.) When we were out later, I decided we should just fully embrace this gradeschool approach and suggested to my friend that he go up to a random girl and give her a wet willy. (I didn’t really think he’d do it…) She did not react positively at first (shocker), but I did notice she hung around where we were standing for a while afterward. Maybe her interest was sparked… or more likely she was waiting for an explanation.
So might some men actually experience success using some sort of reverse psychology to pick up women? I’m afraid that might be the case, now that I’m thinking about it. About a month ago, a guy discarded his empty beer bottle right in front of me, which I thought was rude, but I did end up talking to him when he approached me again and actually spoke. And I ended up going out with him… a few times… I think it might be a tactic that’s hard to pull off though, and maybe not the best option for the socially awkward, who are probably the ones taking advice from books like The Game, unfortunately.