that Sarah Klem

I used to blog as the Devil. Then I was Tatiana. Now, I'm just me.

How Not to Hit on a Stranger

I was running errands at lunch (actually I was just beginning to run my errands) when  a gentleman approached to pay me a compliment. Seconds later he is saying we have to hang out some time and I made it very clear that wasn’t going to happen and I thanked him for the compliment and was on my way.

After completing a sizable number of my errands, I realized I was still thinking about this guy. I felt bad for blowing him off, though not in the missed-opportunity-way, but in the way I think a lot of people feel a bit guilty when they reject someone or think they've hurt someone’s feelings. 

But now that my head was clearer, I wondered why I didn’t regret this possible missed connection. He wasn’t ugly. He had a charming accent. He was taller than me in flats and since there's a good chance I will never wear heels again, that should be good enough.

So then I started going over the conversation again. Something triggered my flight response (or was it just my need to get as much done as possible in one hour and if that was the case – what does that say about me?). I mean, if you refuse to go on dating websites and you’ve exhausted all the possible fix-ups your friends have, how else are you to potentially fill that elusive five spot?

{scene: street corner downtown Philadelphia} He approaches: “I just have to pay you a compliment.”

I stop (thinking he needs directions but then I hear what he said and take a step back wondering if making me stop to hear the compliment is better or worse than when someone just shouts things at you from a car).

“You are gorgeous” He takes my hand and kisses it.

“Thank you.” I take my hand back.

“Your body is sexy. I just moved here. I’m from California, well, not from there, I lived in San Francisco for five years. We need to hang out some time.”

“That’s not going to happen.”

“Why not?” And before I could answer: “Don’t you like hanging out?”

At this point I thank him again for the compliment, explain I'm in a rush, welcome him to the city and take off. {End Scene}

After going over the whole exchange again, I felt less bad about my role in it. After all, I was polite and I’m pretty sure any of my single friends in that situation would’ve done the same thing.

It also reminded me of a Thrillist email I didn’t read about how to pick up girls at Whole Foods and so when I was back at my desk I read it.

While the article was meant to be tongue in cheek (at least I hope so) I do feel like there is one very important tip you guys need to hear when trying to turn a stranger into a friend:

Don’t make the word sex one of the first seven words you say to her.

Even if I didn’t realize it until later, after hearing that word my brain instinctively knew Charming Accent and I would never hang-out. Instead, I would wake up Saturday or Sunday morning and have to delete a series of drunken text messages and voice mails. Then the following week I would get to ignore texts that started sweet, progressed to angry and then devolved to desperate.