Finessing the pick-up line
Apparently I’m a little chocolate cupcake. The votes are in. Here’s how I know:
My little chocolate cupcake, how do you know [insert Facebook friend here]?
This was an actual pick-up line I received on Facebook this past Sunday. It reminded me why I hate Facebook so much. Not only was it weird for a complete stranger to call me “my” anything, but it immediately made me think of how adorable I thought it was when my great great aunt called me the same nickname. This weirdo (who spelled our mutual Facebook friend’s name wrong) almost ruined a perfectly adorable nickname — for someone whose changed my diapers. After reading my reply to that nonsense, he knew the conversation was going nowhere.
Sometimes pick-up lines work. When Rapsody said on “Tyra” that she “can make a blind man whistle,” I loved it. (And after the Ray Charles movie in which he was feeling on faces and wrists, I can only imagine how those other senses heighten. Hello!)
But I digress. Fellas, here are four surefire tips to reevaluate your pick-up lines. If “hello” is just way too bizarre for you to start a conversation, the least you could do is not creep her out.
- Make “the dozens” work to your benefit.
My godfather, who has been married for well over 20 years, first met his wife by walking up to her, leaning over and saying, “You need to get your hair done.” After she tore him a new one and defended her hairstyle, he left such a lasting memory cracking that joke (i.e. “playing the dozens”) that she kept on talking to him. I’ve seen his Denzel Washington “Devil In a Blue Dress” suave response with other women before her. It came off slimy. The jokes worked every single time though — even when he was being the Beauty Salon Police.
2. Scare the bejesus out of her, specifically with technology.
Him: “Hey, Shamontiel, something’s wrong with your phone.”
Me: “What? No, it’s not.”
Him: “Yes, it is.”
Me: “Wait, how do you know this? What’s wrong with my phone?” (clumsily fumbling around in my bag to find my phone)
Him: “Gotta be something wrong with it ’cause mine ain’t been ringing.”
The grin that spread across my face was worth a toothpaste commercial. He was also the inspiration for “That time he spoke my love language.” Needless to say, I called him that night.
3. Think outside the (KFC) box to ask her out.
Years later, I still remember the guy (who clearly was not from the United States) walking up to me and asking, “Would you like to accompany me to KFC? I will buy you lots of chicken.”
(Disclaimer: White men, do not do this if you’re into sistas. This is a race-specific pick-up line. Avoid her cursing you out and asking if you own a MAGA hat.)
From the way he asked me this, you could tell that this man really loved KFC and thought this was the ideal date spot. I didn’t go — I was about 10 years into being a vegetarian. I did, however, remember the uncle of my childhood friend telling a woman he could only afford to take her to McDonald’s, but he was “worth it.” He was also a veteran and still trying to find work. Those two ended up getting married and stayed that way until he passed away in my late 20s. Throughout my life, I never saw one of them without the other trailing shortly behind. Don’t underestimate McDonald’s dates, I guess.
4. “What made you choose that book?”
This one is powerful and best used for bookworms by bookworms. If you haven’t voluntarily picked up a book since those Pizza Hut personal pans, do not use this line. Don’t ask her “is the book any good?” if you can clearly see she’s about 200 pages into a 300-page book. At that point, you know she’s going to finish it. Don’t tell her the ending if you read it already; that’s what sociopaths do. This will only win over readers, writers and those who are trying to figure out the quickest way to survive sardine-tight el train rides. And when she tells you, even if the book sounds boring as all hell, force your full face to look interested. Even if you want to change the subject, don’t.
Now that you have the ammunition to use pick-up lines better, it is up to you decide. Do you still want to honk a horn and yell at women like they’re dogs? Do you still want to give them nicknames that my great great aunt used way more successfully? Do you still think your weird pet name is better than the real name or username they have online? Or, are you truly ready to get a date with the cupcake?
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