Men’s magazines and blogs always have some article telling guys to pick up women at grocery stores. Really? I’ve actually never heard of a guy successfully asking a girl out in the vegetable section. The meat counter doesn’t seem all that conducive to romance, either. What’s the real deal on meeting women at the supermarket?
— Cleanup In Aisle Two
There’s all this breathless encouragement for guys to go meet women at the supermarket, as if the place is the key thing. As if a guy who always strikes out at the bar just needs to lurk in the organic lettuce section and picking up women will play out like the deer trotting up to the hunter and saying, “Hi, my name’s Tiffany, and I’ll be your dinner.”
The guy most likely to score at the supermarket is one who has the mojo to score at a wake, while leaning over the embalmed dead body. Sure, if you spot some babe foraging in the probiotic dairy products, try your luck. But, as the author who calls himself “Mystery” points out in his book The Pickup Artist, the supermarket is a poor place, statistically speaking, to go to meet women. You might see one hot one there some night, but, in his words, “Why run around searching for one woman at a time when you can wait in a valley where all the animals will come to drink from the water hole?”
Although Mystery tries to pick up women everywhere he goes, he finds there’s no “water hole” that compares to clubs. (In his definition of “clubs,” he includes bars, “social restaurants” and parties.) Even if you don’t like venues like these, they’re the best training ground for a guy who needs to get game, because there are lots of women who are single and looking, and not just for fresh cilantro.
Having lots of women to hit on is how you get practice, which is how you get good. (Essentially, you fail your way to success.) The high volume of women in a club also helps keep you in a more positive mindset. If one disses you, it’s just a sign to move on to the next — in an environment conducive to approaching them. There’s sexy music and lighting, and you can ask a woman to dance, buy her a drink afterward, and talk. What do you say in the supermarket, “Lemme buy you that head of cabbage”?
Part of what you need to practice is having the right stuff going on in your head. Mystery talks about conveying personality rather than convincing a woman you’re worthy of her. This takes having fun trying to meet women. You do that by making your goal going out and having a good time working on your mojo instead of being on some grim life-or-death mission to score. Once you get good at hitting on women in clubs, you increase your chances of success everywhere … increasing your chances that some woman will follow you out of the supermarket, determined to get into your pants, and not just because she saw you on the security tape sticky-fingering a box of Pop-Tarts.
Since I’ve been online dating, I’ve noticed a shocking trend: old men hitting me up for dates. I’m 24, and my profile states that I’m seeking men ages 24 through 35. Yet men my father’s age and a few close to my grandfather’s have “winked” at me and asked me out. Gross. Men this old never approach me in “real life.” Why do they do it online?
— Icked Out
When you’re 24, an “older man” is probably 36, not somebody who used to enjoy “long walks on the beach” but now enjoys long walks to the salad bar. (If you listen closely, you can hear his pacemaker.) An old dude who hits on you may have a distorted sense of his attractiveness (charming at any age). He may think that if he can just get you out on a date, his timeless sex appeal will make you go deaf when the waitress offers him the senior citizen discount. And who knows … maybe you’re looking for a sugar grandpa. Doesn’t hurt to ask! Well, not nearly as much as if the old coot were doing it while looking down your cleavage at Starbucks: “Hey, baby, I could tell you stories about the days before voicemail.” Online, however, you and the other 3,126 young chickies he hits on will probably just delete him.
But, there’s always that chance that one will be drunk, crazy or desperate enough (in his mind, smart, insightful and adventurous enough) to meet him and see that he looks not a day over 40 … in the right light. (Unfortunately, the right light would be near-pitch darkness 20 years ago.)
Read Amy Alkon’s book: I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).