My friend and I were crawling into the photo booth at a well-known Brooklyn bar one night (/morning) to capture our first time together in seemingly forever. As she closed the curtain, I looked out instinctively and found myself eye-locked with this man. Maybe I made a joke, or a face that said fuck-me-I’ll-do-weird-stuff-for you. But he did this thing where he raised his eyebrows and maintained eye contact and SPARK-SPARK. Suddenly I felt the urge to lick his hairline and his lips and both sides of his neck. It wasn’t love at first sight–I just wanted him.
Creating a timeline of the rest of the night is impossible (insert: “It was a blur”). But at some point, my friend and I are chatting with this guy’s friend group on the patio and I’m SO happy to be near him and maybe have the chance talk to him; We realize they’re in a wedding party so it makes sense that they’re in suits; I get caught up conversing with one of the marrieds and can’t quite make my way to SPARK; And then the lights are flickering and we’re getting one last drink or are heatedly discussing something with some other strangers back inside the bar and I think, “I need to go talk to that man. I will regret it tomorrow morning if I don’t.”
So I storm back outside, beeline it to SPARK, eyes set on the prize, and trip on the stupid three-step patio stairway right near where his party was stationed.
“OOOOoo!” the guys I don’t know whose ankles I’m looking at moan as they grab my arms and lift me back to my unstable feet. “Are you OK?” they ask. I shake out my hair and brush off my grimy knees and continue towards SPARK. I get to him.
“You!” I say, putting my pointer finger in his face. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
“No,” he says, smiling.
And then I say something semi-incoherent about how I’ve been wanting to talk to him, but I didn’t get the opportunity, and he made me nervous, and would he like to go out with me sometime?
“Sure!” he said. We exchanged numbers.
We texted back and forth for about three days until I was sick of him taking forever (patience ain’t my thang) and inquired, “Drinks, when?” Then, we went out.
Our first date lasted five hours. The second one came a couple days later. The third one was after we texted every day during my week-long trip to Chicago. We talked about meeting each others’ friends. Our fourth date lasted somewhere around three days.
And now, I have a boyfriend (spooky!) who says things like, “You’re amazing and I can’t believe you exist,” and “I wish I could develop a computer program to make your work easier for you,” and “You have an awesome vagina.” He’s also weird and charismatic and smart and charming and did I mention he’s hot? Oh, yeah: I hit on HIM.
Although I know so many women who are rad and funny and sexy and smart and who will shout their feminist pride from the rooftop of a bar in Greenpoint any day, I still feel like women, for the most part, are waiting to be hit on by men, rather than making a move on a guy who interests them. They’re not completely passive–silent and bitched-faced and waiting for the right man to come along. They flirt, sure, and are both witty and mysterious, which are traits we’ve been told men like, right? Yet they’re bummed when no numbers are exchanged, or it becomes obvious a date’s not scheduled in the coming week.
They think it’s them. And they may be right.
When I recounted the story of how I met SPARK to a friend later, she said, “I wish I could be more dude-like, like you.”
Really, I thought, why is it more masculine for someone to go for something (or someone) they want? To be upfront about wanting to get to know someone who you may or may not want to jump?
Hitting on people is scary for everyone. It requires a lot of courage (or alcoholic beverages) to admit to a smoking-hot person that they’ve got some sort of hold on you. There’s the potential you’ll get turned down. That would suck.
But so many women just expect dudes to be the ones to always put their self-esteems on the line. We want men to read our minds when we’re being coy and flirty and acting NOT that interested and to ask us out.
Expecting people to know exactly what you want–when you methodically act in a way that illustrates the polar opposite of what you want (in this case, acting only slightly interested, but really wanting to be asked out)–is everything that’s wrong with men and women. Being all stand-offish ’cause you think that’s how you’re supposed to be and expecting for someone else to make a move lessens everyone’s chances of finding true love and happiness. And honestly, I think guys are sick of being the ones who are supposed to put themselves out there all the time.
Sure, the chase is fun and sexy and interesting. If you never actually get to go out with the person, or even talk with them, though, what the fuck is the point? Stop pussyfooting (vocab circa: 2010). Hit on a guy who you feel a SPARK with! And when you stumble or trip up those stupid patio stairs, get up and just keep going. I’m glad I did.