We’ve all been there. Talking to someone of the opposite sex at a bar or a house party, feeling like we’re the lamest person at the event. Just trying to come up with something to say that will put us a notch or two above the others. There’s a moment when we realize we have to come up with something. Something that will impress and bedazzle. It’s not our proudest moment, but it’s the necessary moment where we step up and tell a lie.
I’ve done it. You’ve done it. It’s the cloying moment when we pretend we understand and agree with the opinion of our recent object of affection. And it can often be embarrassing. Personally, I’ve made some bold claims in this scenario. Some of which have worked out for me, and some haven’t. I’ve ended up reading the entire Harry Potter series and watching the entirety of Twin Peaks because girls have mentioned they were fans. Those are examples of things that have worked out for me in a broader sense, even if things didn’twork out with the ladies involved. But things don’t often turn out so lucky. There have been more than a few occasions that I’m not proud of. Here are some examples:
Astrology. I’ve never really given two lumps about the date on which I was born, and what effect Jupiter’s alignment had on it. Until a cute girl I worked with told me that her Gemini sign and my Pisces sign were compatible. Gemini are the twins, she said, and Pisces are two fish. So they jive together. That’s all I needed to hear. I spent the next two weeks reading up on moon phases and which planet was in which house, and there was probably something about Saturn’s rings or some other bullshit. The point is that pretty soon I was a regular Johannes Kepler, and throwing astrology references around in my conversations at work whenever she was around. “Laura’s being such a bitch today,” she would say. “Oh, well, you know how Sagittariuses are when Venus is in the 9th phase of adherence.” I think things were progressing rather well, actually, but then her boyfriend got released from prison, and I really had to dial it back.
Pretending to be an architect. This is a move ripped straight out of the George Costanza playbook, I know. But I did use it, and it did work. For a few minutes, at least. It was at an apartment party, and there was a condo building under construction across the street. I was talking to a lady, and she mentioned what an interesting design the building across the way had. Naturally, I said I had helped design it. I didn’t get greedy and claim to be the sole genius behind it, but played it like I was part of a team of geniuses. That made it more believable. She was just drunk enough, or just dumb enough (or a little of both) to believe me. Until a mutual friend interrupted and outed me as a non-architect. What a dick. I mean, I got like 90% in my high school drafting class, so I totally could’ve kept this one going for a while.
Pretending the Kids in the Hall aren’t funny. This one is really hard for me to admit, but I really did it one time. It wasn’t, like, an opening line or anything, but I’d gone on a couple dates with a girl, and at one point this happened to come up, and she was staunchly anti-Kids in the Hall. I don’t know exactly why I wanted to continue pursuing a relationship with this woman after a revelation like this, perhaps because she had a vagina and was not completely repelled by the idea of spending time with me. So I agreed with her. I felt dirty the whole time, but I sat there and complied with her assessment of them being hacks who were just pushing the boundaries of bad taste. Clearly this pairing didn’t last long. I think probably it went sour right around the first time I made a cancer joke.
Learning to play a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. I don’t consider myself a musician. I’m not in a band, and I don’t really play any instrument terribly well, but I can do a decent job on the guitar if I apply myself. And, when a pretty girl I knew mentioned that some Red Hot Chili Peppers song was her favourite song, what was I going to do, not learn how to play it? Well, yes, that would have been the proper thing, but I was young and in love. So I took it upon myself to learn, and, if I may say so, I did a pretty fair job of it, too. When it came time to display my newfound skill and impress this girl of my dreams, we were at a party and there happened to be an acoustic guitar sitting there, right in the open, just waiting to be used to ply a young woman’s heart and/or panties. Logic, however, took hold of me, and I passed on the opportunity. Because only real assholes pick up the guitar at a party. And only assholes of a truly magnificent calibre pick up a guitar at a party to play a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. And, finally:
Writing this article. How ‘bout it, ladies? I’m laying myself bare here. That’s got to be worth something. Message me!