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June 25, 2007

The Lady in Pink (and My Failure to Capitalize)

In the past two months, there has been much ado—both online and off—about my apparent recent successes, and more realistically, resounding failures with the fair sex. And yet, despite finding (and losing) not one, but two soulmates in as many months, and countless blown opportunities at various social functions, my most catastrophic failures have come not as a result of my consummate inability to close the proverbial deal (though that certainly goes without saying), but rather, my inexplicable ineffectualness in detecting the (often overt) advances of said fair sex. An anecdote from my trip this weekend to Irvine (hereafter affectionately known only as the 'vine) should be instructive.

This story begins, as do all stories set in the 'vine, at everyone's beloved Spectrum, an ostentatious—and frankly, ridiculous—manifestation of subprime-fueled decadence and superficiality that, incidentally, is also the only place in the entire city where one can find a bar open past 10 p.m. H-$1 and I, having already consumed a bottle of $5 wine (more like a jug—we're classy like that in the O.C.) by ourselves, descended upon the Spectrum, making our way past families with small children, crowds of upper middle class high school students that, for reasons unknown, seemed to believe that they were members of 50 Cent's entourage, and gaggles of middle-aged women touting the benefits (i.e., tautness) of modern (cosmetic) medicine, finally arriving at the Yard House. At the bar, after much searching, I at last found a place with relatively few popped-collar idiots, and ordered the first round: Jagger bombs (don't ask). It was at this very moment that the Lady in Pink entered my life.

As the bartender was preparing our drinks, a woman, dressed in a light pink dress, and seated at the bar, that I would, in retrospect (alas!), describe as O.C.-hot (i.e., tall, blond, well-proportioned), turned around and said something to the effect of Wow! Jagger bombs! Hardcore! Slightly taken aback, and a little confused (are Jagger bombs really hardcore?), I replied, barely taking notice of the speaker, with my usual cynicism: You got to do what you can to stay awake in a place like this.

Herein lies the problem. A woman, who incidentally was way too hot for me, draws first blood, and instead of rejoicing, my thoughts instantly go to whether Jagger and Red Bull constitutes a hardcore drink? And then, to top it off, I reply with a comment likely to make me seem simultaneously pretentious and suicidal? What is wrong with me? And that wasn't even the worst of it.

Despite my transparent—and regrettable—disinterest, the woman laughed. As in, at my joke. When does that happen anymore? So excited was I at this rare occurrence, however, that I paid my tab, dropped the shot into my glass, drank it, and walked away, with hardly a second thought; the nail was in the coffin on yet another opportunity.

It was only much later, after H-$ asked why I did not talk to the woman, that I realize the error of my ways. Dammit! Another opportunity blown, another instance of me dropping the ball. I wish I could say this was the first time, but that would hardly be honest. I have a long and tortuous history of failing to capitalize on such opportunities.

In defense of what little masculinity I do still possess, however, I must say that I cannot be blamed entirely for this awful turn of events, for the following reasons:

  1. I am not used to people hitting on me (EECS and MCB anyone?), and thus, can hardly be blamed for not knowing how to respond;
  2. I live in San Francisco, so when I am hit on, it is generally by men (incidentally, I don't know how to respond to that either);
  3. At the time of the aforementioned anecdote, I was the most unkempt I have been in years, sporting a pseudo-'fro and a week-old five o'clock shadow, wearing a t-shirt and jeans; not exactly looking my best, especially by O.C. standards;
  4. Regardless, tall, lanky, and wimpy is definitely not O.C.-hot; and
  5. Did I mention she was way too hot for me?

Say what you will about relations between men and women (and far too many idiots already have), but social mores still (mostly) dictate that men make the proverbial first move. And while this may be changing with our generation, it is still by and large an underground phenomenon. I only recently came to terms with offering women anything they want; I'm not sure I'm ready to be offered the same in kind.

1 I have taken to giving friends rap nicknames for the purpose of my writing. I think it really adds a little something to the already ample pretense for which this blog is well known.


As a woman who has no qualms about making that proverbial first move, I can comfortably say that the problem here is simply one of appearance. Though you may be a total tool (and your story leaves no doubt about that fact), you do not dress, appear, or behave as one in social settings.

You are simultaneously a huge nerd and a corporate douchebag, which is a hard combination to detect when deciding whether to approach a guy.

And don't underestimate the power of that curly hair of yours. Maybe she was talking to you specifically because you didn't look a water polo moron.

But of course you meant "the fairer sex," right? Right?

Or were you just trying to tell us all something on the day of the parade?

So, if you're both unable to close the deal yourself, and unable to recognize when others are making advances, how is it that you have ever dated anyone? Did you always just let it go in a state of disarray until the (unfortunate) woman forced the issue and you were too scared/gutless to say no?

Also, have you ever actually dated someone who wasn't too hot for you? What made this woman any different?

You just got pwned by Katie.

I can see why she was interested: you weren't drooling all over her like most guys probably would (and do). Your disinterested response probably just made you seem more attractive; walking away, however... that's probably not the best way to go about it.

Katie, on your first point, touché. On your second point, I'm not sure you grasp the concept of O.C.-hot. If you did, you would understand.

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