If we’re taking ourselves back to the naughty noughties way of chatting people up and actually talking instead of swiping and typing, I’m totally against the idea that men have to do all the work.
So there have been a couple of times where I’ve grown myself a pair of proverbial balls and made the first move.
Vamos tomar uma bebida?
The first time I can recall is in the Time Out market in Lisbon.
Katie and I had been sat there for hours in our own little bubble, enjoying far too much cava and nibbling on calamari. When I threw my head back cackling at our sillyness, I noticed that a decent looking guy behind the bar at one of the stalls kept looking over at me.
So with cava-induced confidence I walked up to the counter and seductively beckoned him over with my index finger. (I say seductively, but I probably looked more like the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – a comparison that you will soon find to be very fitting).
Do you want to go for a drink later?
As he stood there either trying to work out what the hell I was saying in slightly slurred Scouse and converting it back to Portuguese, or deliberating the best way to shoot me down politely, I realised that he couldn’t have been any older than eighteen years old.
So while he continued to stare at me blankly, his mouth twitching with words that just wouldn’t come out, I mimicked the expression wanting to retract every syllable.
After watching me and this teenager in the world’s most awkward Mexican stand off – which felt like it lasted hours not seconds – Katie got involved….No, no, what she means is, do you know where is good to go for a drink later?
And that’s what friends are for – saving you from yourself.
I’m an outlaw, quick on the draw
That was over a year ago, but as I prefer not to learn from my mistakes, I managed to do it all over again last week.
We were in a hideously tacky bar in Amsterdam and a selection of Britpop classics were blasting out of the stereo. I was stood up high on a stool waving my hands in the air and loving life more than life itself as the whole crowd belted out Don’t Look Back in Anger.
I couldn’t help but notice a ridiculously good-looking creature at the bar giving me the eyes. Tall, dark and handsome doesn’t even cut it, he was like a model with a bit of a Pharrell Williams look going on…. dark skin and chocolate button eyes, MY FAVOURITE.
But I was far too busy requesting songs and ordering another G&T to entertain his subliminal flattery.
Millenial Flirting 101
A couple of G&Ts later, after being kicked out of a peep show for taking a photograph and eating yet another slice of pizza, I saw him sat on some steps near the canal.
HOLD MY DRINK I’M GOING IN
Who the hell do I think I am? I actually said those words as I bee-lined him, strutting over the cobbles in my heels like some sort of siren. I then stood with my face, which was riddled with mischief, just a few centimetres from his and said you should feel lucky – I don’t do this often.
I don’t know about the feeling lucky bit, but it’s true I don’t normally do that. And for some bizarre reason, it worked.
He gave me his Instagram details and I handed him a weird postcard that said “I am ______. Who are you?” in Dutch, on which I’d written my blog address. Classic millenial flirting tactics from him and a bit of shameless blog promotion from me.
It was all a bit pointless really as I was leaving the next day and he was off to travel around India for a few weeks before heading home to Philadelphia. But whatever, it was fun and gave me someone to Instaperv at on the flight home.
….It was during said instaperving session that I discovered that he graduated from HIGH SCHOOL only a few years ago. So what I’d like to know is, is there any such thing as an age-ometer? Because I probably need to invest. Either that or start IDing people before I initiate conversation.
The Secret Diary of an Idiot
In a world where our thumbs doing the talking, it can catch people off guard in a good way if you take it back to the old school with a face-to-face flirt.
Even if things go tits up, it can be pretty liberating to get out of your comfort zone and into situations that can either go incredibly well or end up as a total catastrophe. There’s nothing to lose and whatever the outcome, it’s character building.
Maybe one day I’ll chat somebody up who isn’t borderline underage and doesn’t live on the other side of planet earth but until then I will continue to be a living and breathing How To Guide in reverse.