When in the presence of a cute guy I’d like to know better, I unequivocally turn into one of two things:
- A blustering idiot
- A deaf mute
It’s not that I don’t know how to flirt – I mean, I’ve seen it done many times: smile wide, tilt head, bat eyes, lightly touch his arm, play with my hair, all that shiz. But when the time comes for me to perform, I choke like Ralphie from A Christmas Story when he draws a blank in front of Santa instead of telling him how desperately he wants a Red Rider BB Gun.
Last weekend I attended Bloomfest, a street festival in the LA downtown arts district, with my gay bf and girlfriend Rosie. We took the metro downtown and I spotted a tall, blond hottie as he was exiting the train. We lost him shortly after that, but discovered him again at the festival working at one of the vendor booths.
Gay bf and Rosie tried to help me out by stopping at the booth and inquiring about the stupid mugs they were selling. We learned that his name was Craig, who was actually quite friendly and chatted with us for some time about his life as a graduate student.
Unfortunately, I had a low-blood-sugar-hunger headache and knew that anything coming out of my mouth would just sound cavewoman-esque (“Me food now”) or hostile (“What’s a bitch gotta do to get a biscuit?”), so I let my friends do the talking while I tried to pose prettily and contain the urge to drool.
Perhaps it was because I didn’t say much, or perhaps it was because I wore sensible shoes that day, but Craig mostly ignored me during our little group exchange. So we finally bid him farewell and set off in search of dinner.
Once I ingested a bag of kettle corn, several free energy bar samples and a plateful of overpriced Vietnamese food truck noodles, my headache dissipated and I felt, in fact, spry. So on our way out, we decided to pay Craig another visit.
This time, I managed to speak and he was paying more attention to me, but what emerged from my lips was gobbledygook. Gay bf and Rosie tried to be good wingpeople, but I was hopeless. Here is an excerpt from the conversation:
Craig: Well, I didn’t actually make this mug, because right now I only know how to do two-color processing. I’m [something something] silk screening and [something something something] the old school way. (Note: my heart was pounding so hard out of nervousness I honestly couldn’t understand what the fuck he was saying.)
Me: So, like, when you say two color, is it like, I mean, well, is it kind of like… what I mean is, like… in graphic design there’s like two color and, um, four color, but you know, four color really sorta means something about… um, what am I trying to say is, hahahahahahaha! Woo! I mean… four color is like all the colors or something? Ya know what I mean?
Craig: Well, actually [hardy fardy lardy mardy tardy dardy] and [flar de flar, ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma] so [hemoglobin, Bavarian cream pie]. Does that make sense?
Me: Ohhhhhhh. Mmhm, mmhm, I see what you mean.
This went on for a bit with gay bf interjecting to save me from time to time. I was stammering more than Colin Firth before he met that Geoffrey Rush dude in The King’s Speech. So I figured I should just shut my trap now to avoid any further humiliation. I completely froze and stood there with mouth ajar like a catatonic lady-ape.
When Craig asked, “So, are you guys gonna hang out for a while?” I should’ve taken it as a prime opportunity to say, “Yes, why don’t you join us when you’re finished here?” But instead I said, “Actually, we’re about to head out.” The one sentence I managed to say clearly.
And at that point, I did in fact want to get the hell out of Dodge. His twinkly blue eyes and sparkling white teeth were making me nervous and uncomfortable and crazy and I wanted it to stop. When faced with fight or flight, hands down, I choose flight.
So we wished him good luck with his studies and left. When we were 50 feet away I turned around in the delusional hope that he’d be running after me to get my number, but alas, all I saw was a sea of hipsters with Vietnamese noodles in their beards.
Rosie told me I looked “so cute” standing there gazing up at Craig with a blank stare across my face. This was her nice way of telling me I looked like a doofus.
How does this happen? I’m an attractive, smart, funny, sexy woman! On the cognitive level, I am well aware of this. So why does a hot man thing reduce me to a socially awkward freak? (And not in the charming, Zooey Deschanel way.)
I went home and Google stalked him and found out he has a girlfriend. I took it as a sign. Clearly, the Universe prevented me from flirting in order to protect me from getting involved with a taken guy – or worse – rejection. Thanks for having my back, U. I suppose we’re cool for now.