Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Pickup Artist

Movies have exemplified the pick-up artist as being the ultimate smooth guy. Who manages to draw women in with left handed compliments. What man doesn’t envy Mr. Suave and Debonair? Apparently many do, so much so, that they are watching shows and taking classes on how to be a hunter in the dating game.

VH1 had its own show called The Pick Up Artist. On the show, a sexually ambiguous man prances around in high heel boots and eyeliner and gives advice to other men. This show amuses me because I’m not even sure the star even likes women, let alone would be capable of picking one up. Carmen Electra often joked that Prince looked better in her lingerie than she did. Okay for Carmen Electra, but I prefer my men to be well…totally committed in their sexual orientation. VH1 knew a money-making topic even if their star is different than your traditional alpha male. The fact that the show only lasted two seasons to disappointing reviews suggested that I wasn’t the only one having a hard time believing that women would actually be attracted to Mystery, the high heel wearing instructor.

Many men have written books and developed web sites about picking up women. Underground Attraction website features several photos of scantily clad busty women with various come on lines to the hopeful male about learning how to seduce women. The site reminds me of all the various online dating websites teasers that show half dozen model-like individuals waiting to meet you. Most people are well aware that no one like that lives in their city…and yet they want to believe. They want to believe those models want to date them just like they want to believe they can pick them up too. All it really takes is money to buy the much needed information, but what is the information really?

On a Criminal Minds episode, they profiled a killer who used a pickup artist class to meet his victims. The instructor informed his students to be different from other men. It included wearing hats, glasses, colored contacts, even eye patches to stand out from the other men. Then the would be pick up artist / serial killer resorts to pitting two women against each other by paying attention to one then ignoring her for her friend. This is the stuff that is supposed to win women over? How drunk do they really have to be?

My own sweetheart paid good money for a pickup artist online course. He joined the thousands of other men who believed there was a secret formula for meeting and winning women. Every bit of advice he read didn’t work that well with me. He held back and acted like he wasn’t interested in me when we first met, but the great online guru advised him that showing too much interest would drive me away. What happened is that I felt he wasn’t interested in me, by playing it cool he chased me away. Luckily, since I was dating other guys I just let it ride and went out with other guys.

He was following the advice he read online. It was supposed to drive me wild with desire. Instead, I felt he didn’t like me, I pushed myself into dating additional men. Ironically, much later, he told me when he met me he knew I was the one. He even gave himself the mental speech not to screw up. His efforts included waiting to call me after our first date. It would look totally uncool according to his pickup artist online coach if he called too soon. I thought it made him look like he didn’t care. I was miffed and hurt a little. Usually, I heard from a guy immediately after the first date. One even told me it was protocol to follow up the first date with a phone call within 24 hours. The length of time a guy lingered signaled his disinterest. By this time I was sure I was old news. When he did call almost four days later, I was puzzled.

Here the man was following all his pickup artist advice and was pushing me away with both hands. What he didn’t realize that there were men who were willingly to confess to liking me a lot on a first date, press for a second date immediately, call me even after I got home from the first date to make sure I was okay and to re-establish contact. They were doing all the things the pick-up artist had warned would look needy and desperate. Personally, I found them sweet gestures.

Most of you are wondering why did I ever continue to see this guy who seemed to try to awkwardly follow some online advice king. I saw flashes of who he was when he wasn’t trying to follow some script. I also sensed he was putting up a façade that wasn’t really him. The tiny flashes I saw intrigued me and I wanted to know more.

We laugh now about how confused I was initially about how he felt about me. He was uncertain if I liked him even on our fifth date. I did explain that women seldom make it to a fifth date with men they do not like. Luckily, my sweetie gave up on the pickup artist advice by date three. I am so glad he did I’m unsure how much more I would have willingly tolerated. After all how much does David DeAngelo, who never has met me, know about me? Nothing, I do not fit into one of online pickup guru’s tidy categories.

I pointed out to my sweetie that the pickup artists work in bars where women drink heavily and are willing to fall for any man. They’ve strapped their beer goggles on and view most men favorably, especially as the hour grows later. The pickup artists never give very good advice for meeting women at observatories, libraries, or even Renaissance fairs. The pickup artist is not out for a relationship, but a one-night stand. Maybe these odd behaviors will get him what he wants with someone drunk or stupid enough, or both.

As for me, I am just glad my sweetie smartened up and decided to be himself.

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