Considered Responses to Classic Pickup Lines

A thoughtful question deserves a genuine answer.

“Yes, my father was a baker!”

“Hey, baby. What’s your sign?”

I’m tempted to say something snarky like ‘DO NOT ENTER,’ but if I’m being honest my sign is probably ‘NO STOPPING, Mon–Sat, 6:30 AM–9:30 PM.’ I consider myself a real go-getter to begin with, but given the fact that opportunities for even the most ambitious women are few and far between, I have to work twice as hard to make just half as much headway in the world.

“Can I get your digits?”

I can offer you one digit: the fourth finger of my left hand. That’s where you can place a promise ring, which will symbolize our love, devotion, and commitment to one another. When we become formally engaged to be married, I’ll move the promise ring to my right hand or wear it on a chain around my neck.

“Was your father a baker? Because you’ve got nice buns.”

My father was a baker. When I was six, my mother went back to work practicing law full-time, putting in ten- to twelve-hour days to allow my father to pursue his dream of opening a small bakery. Pretty quickly, though, the stress of my mother’s career caused her to start drinking heavily, which in turn put great strain on my parents’ marriage. They divorced, and my father ended up losing his bakery when the bank foreclosed on the storefront. He had a fatal heart attack not long after that. My mom eventually remarried, and as it happens my stepfather has a wheat allergy.

“Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?”

It sure did. I suffered significant lumbar spine injury, retroperitoneal hemorrhage, and multiple rib fractures. I was in the hospital for six weeks, and now when it rains I feel lancing pain between my shoulder blades. Yoga is completely out of the question for me.

“You must be tired. You were running through my dreams all night.”

Running is also something I can’t do anymore. That said, I am tired, yes.

“Why don’t you surprise your roommate and not come home tonight?”

I did that once. My roommate filed a missing person report and offered a reward. Half the city was looking for me. When I finally did go home, there were news crews camped out in front of our apartment building. I had to explain on national television that I’d thought about running away to the other side of the country but had gotten only as far as the bus station, where I’d wound up sleeping on a bench after I’d changed my mind. It was not my finest moment.

“Can I borrow a quarter? My mother told me to call her when I meet the perfect girl.”

Do you not have a cell phone? Do you want to just borrow mine? I wish I could call my mother, but we haven’t spoken in years. I still haven’t really forgiven her for my dad’s death. I miss him every day. The pain in my spine is nothing compared to the sadness in my heart.

“Hi.”

Ew. No.