Example #1. On Friday, following eleven hours without food or coffee and some unpleasant lab work, I hightailed it over to Starbucks looking like hell and feeling as grumpy as Hades with hemorrhoids. While waiting to order, I tried to distract myself by watching a cherubic toddler with a mop of ringlets drive his mom nuts. Seeing where my attention was focused, the elderly gent behind me, sidled up, winked and quipped, "Hard to believe, but I had curly hair too."
Example #2. Our family doesn't watch TV. We're woefully out of sync with popular culture. We're word nerds reading massive quantities of books each year. I write this to demonstrate that nature, not environment plays a key role in Example #2. My son turned eleven in February and with the passing of the year came signs heralding puberty: sudden modesty, feet the size of canoes, and, scariest of all, an interest in hygiene. This is a child who has never willingly brushed his teeth or combed his hair, now he is grooming. He is also practicing a move and pick-up line that has shaken me to my core. Seems he's channeling Nick the Lounge Lizard, a character created by Bill Murray that is hysterically funny when it's not your kid. The move goes like this: he cocks one hip out, gives two thumbs up, winks, makes a clicky sound with his tongue, and wraps the whole thing up with, "Hey Baby! Wha'tzup?"
Biological anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher would say it differently. "The sex drive evolved to motivate our ancestors to seek coitus with a range of appropriate partners. Attraction (and its developed human form, romantic love) evolved to motivate individuals to select among potential mates, prefer a particular individual, and focus courtship attention on this favored mating partner."
I like this Dr. Fisher gal. During my research, one of the most illuminating articles I read was Dating & Mating Rituals Decoded (click here) where a journalist and Dr. F. go out on the town and observe these rituals first hand. It sort of reminds me of a conversation Marlin Perkins and Jim Folwer might have held on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
"Lookee there Jim, the woman in pink has twisted in her seat and is using the classic broken wing tactic."
"Yes Marlin, you’re right. She’s sending the protect me message to the guy in the Prada sneakers. It’s guaranteed to catch a man’s attention every time. And, yep, look, he’s taking his café latte and moving to her table."
The five-part-flirt is a technique commonly used by women. So what techniques do guys use? Secure, confident, kinda-man-you-take-home-to-Mom-n-Dad, guys might say, "Hey that’s a nice computer case. What brand is it?" But not all men are created equal, so here are some of the pick-uplines I gathered from friends, colleagues, and web research. My extremely scientific analysis suggests that as a tool, the pick-up line comes in seven flavors—like schnapps. I think we can decode these attempts to secure potentials mates thusly:
- Does heaven know it's missing an angel?
- If I told you you have a beautiful body would you hold it against me? (Country music song by the Bellamy Brothers)
- "Wanna play a game? You can be Little Red Riding Hood and I’ll be the Big Bad Wolf." Jacob from Twilight
- You look like a princess from outer space. (Ellen Byerrum)
- "I hate being pawed." "Maybe you've never been pawed properly." (Loretta Young and Lyle Talbot in She Had to Say Yes)
- "That’s a nice dress. Where’s the rest of it?" (Andy Garcia to Nancy Travis, Internal Affairs)
- Hey baby, what's your sign? Caution, slippery when wet, dangerous curves ahead, or yield?
4. Romantic - My inner wolf is howling at the moon and you've just swept me off my feet.
- "I used to live like Robinson and Crusoe, shipwrecked among eight million people. But one day I saw a footprint in the sand and there you were." (Jack Lemmon to Shirley Maclaine, The Apartment)
- (Guy holding his phone.) "I just got a call from my future and it told me you are in it."(Robin Covington)
- You're why cavemen chiseled on walls (Jack Nicholson, As Good As it Gets)
- "Rhett, don't. I shall faint." "I want you to faint. This is what you were meant for. None of the fools you've ever known have kissed you like this, have they? (Clarke Gable to Vivian Leigh, Gone With The Wind)
- I may not be Fred Flintstone, but I bet I can make your Bed Rock.
- Guy: "Haven't I seen you someplace before?" Girl: "Yes, that's why I don't go there anymore"
- "Do you wash your pants in Windex? Because I can see myself in them." (Austin Powers)
- If you were a new hamburger at McDonald's, you would be McGorgeous.