My weekend in Corolla, NC for my friend's wedding had the typical concoction of bad moves and failures. I should have known I was in for it when I passed a little market called "Farmer's Daughter" on the way in to town.
At the rehearsal dinner, the news that a "19-year old freshman from Cornell was on her way" spread like wildfire. My friends all turned to me, knowing that I love hitting on the younger ladies. I felt it was my duty to crash and burn for them. I'm such a martyr.
Shortly after Cornell's arrival, I joined a darts game in the garage with her and her family. Here was my chance to butter up the dad. Knowing that guys will forgive just about anyone if that person helps them win something, I hoped to get lucky on the dartboard in order to get lucky later on.
It turned out that the dad was ridiculously good at darts. I was on his team and I started off very lucky, hitting parts of the dartboard I had no business hitting in my drunken stupor. But, while his dart skills were mesmerizing, they were also a little scary: I imagined him flushing me out of the room after catching me making out with his daughter and picking me off from afar with a perfectly thrown dart.
By the time the darts game ended (we lost because my luck wore off), I was talking to Cornell outside and actually feeling good about the situation. But everything came to a grinding halt when her parents announced they were leaving. Cornell went with them, and my night was over. Well, not quite.
The Maid of Honor, who my buddy hit on relentlessly, stuck us on bicycles to ride home. We were so drunk, what should have been a two minute ride took twenty, and we repeatedly crashed while riding in the darkness. It dawned on me that hitting on women feels a lot like drunkenly riding a bike in the dark...and crashing.
I tried to invite Cornell back to our house (a house filled with 7 guys and 2 girlfriends), and she mentioned she would be partying later. But, again, I saw her beat a hasty retreat with her parents at the end of the reception. Game over.
I made plenty of excuses for my failure. One of them was parents- not just one set of parents, but THREE. In addition to Cornell's parents, I was told by the bride's sister: "if her parents don't kill you, mine will." Even the groom's parents would be disappointed in me. It's taken me years since high school to get back in their good graces.
Another excuse is age gap. It's tough crossing "life stage barriers," such as post college to college. Also, us terrible guys go for younger girls because we think they are naive. But this girl is an engineering major at Cornell, and she talked to me like she knew she was smarter than me. OK, fine, she was smarter than me.
But I have another theory based on my buddy's poor quest for the Maid of Honor. It was evident to everyone at that wedding ,including her father and her sister, that my buddy was hitting on her. It was so obvious that my buddy and I were hitting on these girls that it became a turnoff to them- or at least it wasn't attractive. In face, I was thankful Saturday morning that I did not look as obvious as he did because it would have made the festivities later that night awkward.
It doesn't help when the girl can't tell the guy is interested, but coming on too strong doesn't help either. There must be a happy medium, or optimal pace. At some point, as a woman, you must wonder if the guy is talking to you because he's enjoying meeting you, or if he's just going through the motions to get you in bed.
Maybe it's best to try to start off with no intentions, and then realize: "wow, this is getting kind of cool and this person is attractive." But aren't there always intentions on some level when you're hitting on someone?
When it's obvious a guy is hitting on you, is it a turnoff, or does it help move things along? Do you ever take it serious when the guy is clearly hitting on you, instead of just making conversation? Do you try to figure out a guy's intentions in your mind while he's hitting on you?