This week Liz Dawes finds herself baffled by chat up lines and discovers that men still can't get them right!
Since I stopped wearing a wedding ring, I’ve noticed that my nights out with the girls are sometimes interrupted by men. In the old days, being “chatted up” involved some callow yoof dancing too close for a bit too long before one of his cohort shuffled over to utter the immortal line “my mate fancies you”. By no means sophisticated, it was at least clear.
One hoped that with age might come charm - or at least an ability to come up with something more inspiring. Alas not. My mate Kate and I were out for a drink recently when we were approached by a superannuated ex-yoof in a cheap shiny suit who asked if ‘you’ would like to have a drink with his friend. This appeared to be a grown up version of “my mate fancies you” - although when we tried to clarify which of us was ‘you’, it transpired that his friend wasn’t fussed. Flattering.
A recent night out occasioned the following conversation starter, with which I was (and remain) genuinely confused. It went thus: “You have really great legs. I’m jealous.” Was he saying I have fabulous manly legs that he wants for himself? This would NOT make me want to go home with him. Was he saying I had fabulous womanly legs that he wants for himself? This would not make me want to go home with him either. Or, he’s a drag act (better frocks but worse pins?)
It appears that even solo lunches are not sacred, although the lines aren’t all quite as 1950s as this one: “So how come you’re out without your boyfriend?” Ok so I get that this is an attempt to find out if I have one, but it’s perhaps better to just ask. Instead this line, from the mouth of a barely twenty year old child, had me plummeting into misery. It is, in fact, the only time I have actually banged my head repeatedly on a table (deliberately) out of sheer desperation. I considered pointing out that these days women are allowed out to all sorts of places unaccompanied, but I just couldn’t summon the strength. Instead I looked woefully stricken and sighed some more. He went away.
Meantime, the seemingly innocuous and probably really-quite-nice man who asked me the (slightly lame) “Have I seen you before somewhere?” fared little better since I am an appalling pedant. The fact is I simply don’t know if he’s seen me before somewhere. They are his eyes and his memory and since I have access to neither, whether or not he has seen me before is presumably something that he should be telling me. I pointed this out. He looked confused and then scared and then went away too.
Look. I’m not completely heartless. I understand that approaching an unknown woman is somewhat daunting and requires much courage and/or beer, but see here Men: we’re only human. Go on, say it. Hoo. Man. There. Easy!