Published Date Written by Bob HigginsIf you are driving down the road in the middle of nowhere and see somebody with a flat tire, society kind of demands that you at least pull over and ask if the person needs help.
If you are wandering down Congress Street, and see a couple of obvious tourists with a map, turning it this way and that with befuddled looks, you stop and ask if they need help finding something.
Keeping all this in mind, I've never understood why, when seeing a beautiful woman at a bar or club, most guys turn into an oil painting that gawks.
Last week, I was in the middle of getting that Friday night celebration out of the way, and wandered into my usual. There was this beautiful woman at the end of the bar, perusing the menu, sipping her drink and checking her watch.
Going on the theory that someone snoozed and lost, I wandered up to say hello. It's at this point in the whole general mish-mash of things that I generally get the "not if you were the last immigrant grocer on earth" look. But hey, nothing ventured...
Turns out, I was about the only guy that did that. This isn't about pickup lines, or any of that foolishness. It's about being congenial, friendly and outgoing rather than the usual sour eyed misanthrope of Winter.
And truth be told, long version short, I probably would have missed out on a quick witted fangirl that quite frankly has me exploring words such as "exercise," a singularly horrible epithet that is usually surrounded by four lettered friends.
Now that, folks, is one hell of a trick.
Tuesday night, I even got the word that I had passed the summary "Google Check," though by all that is holy I have no possible idea how that could have happened, barring a Monday crash of the entire Internet.
I've just never really understood the whole "too scared to talk to someone" thing. You're talking. It isn't a job interview or a tax audit. It's a conversation. If it goes somewhere cool, fine. If not, the next conversation is just a greeting down the road.
I had this theory. On Wednesday, during the peak of the afternoon public market session, I put it to the test. There was this drop dead gorgeous blonde hanging out in the square, so I went up and made the pitch. No, I wasn't asking for a cigarette as is usual on Congress Street, I was testing a theory. Did she have any thoughts about why guys just won't talk to women?
"Well, I'm married."
Pointing out that this was pure research, and not what I asked, I rephrased the question a bit. "In my experience, the more attractive the woman, the more self conscious the guy."
Ding. Thanks for playing. Easy as pie, and I didn't even ask for her number. How hard is it to start a conversation with a stranger? In this Internet down to the last finite detail culture we've arrived at, I even saw a press release picture from a local political campaign, and one person looks to be in a skype meeting with the person sitting less than two feet away.
This is also a two-way street. Many a time have I seen a woman on the verge of needing a dentist drool bib at some dude off in the corner, only to not even bother to go over and see if there is a brain behind the face.
The lesson to pass on is simple. Get off your backside and be yourself, even if it's the grumpy irascible sanctimonious cogerly coot you've become over the last year. Why? Because you never know who you're going to meet, and the results of that meeting might just surprise you.
(Bob Higgins is a regular contributor to The Portland Daily Sun.)