We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.


The Best Pickup Line Ever


tumblr_llwa59pGqh1qj853zo1_500The other day my friend was regaling me with a story of a cheesy guy who tried to pick her up using an even cheesier pickup line. She asked me, intending to be rhetorical I’m sure, why men do this and if pickup lines ever work. I had to tell her they do.

Once upon a time, in a bar in Silverlake, my friend and I were having a drink when I noticed three cute guys sitting at the other end of the bar. I guess they noticed us too because a few minutes later the bartender handed me a cocktail napkin. On it was written, “Can I buy you a drink? Check yes or no”, and he’d drawn little boxes next to the ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Adorable. Of course I checked the yes box. We talked for hours and when it was time for my us to leave, I totally gave that guy my phone number. Not my email. I didn’t tell him to look me up on Facebook. I gave my honest to goodness digits.

After I told this story, my friend nodded and agreed that it was a pretty great pick up line (or note), but it didn’t hurt that the guy was cute and that I’d already noticed him. That was true but I imagine he’d used that technique before and most certainly used it after. It was such a line, or his m.o. because he never called.

But I did ask my most actively dating friends to get their best stories about successful pickup lines and got…. nothing. They all had plenty of stories of ones that didn’t work, but not one of them could think of one that did. (My favorite terrible pickup line was “Am I cute enough yet or do you need to drink more?” And after rejecting one guy after he asked her out, one guy said “I get it. You must be bad in bed.” I think this is someone who read The Game and thought “negging” a girl was a good idea. Negging is when men insult a woman to undermine her self-confidence so she might be more vulnerable to your advances.)

I figured it was time to regroup. Maybe I needed to reach out to my friends in great relationships. Maybe one of those great relationships started with a pickup line. It turned out none did. I enlisted the help of social networking, convinced that, just like stories of meeting one’s husband at a bar, or the adorable ‘we met on a blind date’ tales, there had to be a wealth of ‘he had the best pickup line I’d ever heard’ stories. Zero. Zip. I was amazed. For a moment, I worried that I had been too easy a mark. So I then tried to think of other times someone had picked me up with a pickup line and aside from the note at the bar, I couldn’t think of any other time a pickup line ended in anything other than a cringe, polite brush-off or outright hostility.

All that being said, I know for a fact that a lot of the people I asked have, at some point in their lives, met someone at a bar and ended up dating, or at least gone on a date. So how did that happen if it wasn’t a pickup line? Someone had to make first contact, be brave enough to walk the long walk and say something, anything, to a complete stranger. That happens all the time. Right?

So maybe the most successful pickup lines, the only successful pickup lines, are ones that don’t feel like pickup lines at all. Which would explain why no one could give me an example of one… they didn’t feel like they had been picked up. I think pickup lines are like knock-knock jokes – relics of our childhood. In the grown-up world, the way to meet a stranger is to just introduce yourself, and hope for the best. Of course, being really cute doesn’t hurt either.

So, am I wrong? Do you have examples of totally awesome pickup lines that totally worked? If so, I’d love to hear them.


3 Responses to “The Best Pickup Line Ever”

  1. August 28, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Well. I met my husband on match.com, and I picked HIM up with a pickup line. “Tell me a funny story” was my MO on Match. It worked every time, but I’m sure it didn’t feel like a pickup line.

  2. Claudia Maittlen-Harris August 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Nice! If you have a great line, it’s obviously the place to use it! Congrats:)

  3. October 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    When I was 23 or 24 I was sitting at the local laundromat and had just put my stuff in the dryer. At that moment a gorgeous woman walked in – I was smitten – she started her wash load and I nervously thought about how I would say hello. Unfortunately she threw her stuff in the wash and then split. I was disappointed but not for long. As I was folding my clothes she came back and waited for her cycle to finish. I thought about what to say and finally approached her as she was unloading her wash (which happened to be her delicates – good timing) – I asked her

    – Sorry to bother you (looks at me warily) but I was wondering if you had ever seen the movie Indecent Proposal (which is about a rich guy paying a million dollars to a poor couple to sleep with the wife – demi moore – crazy for me to bring this up right?)?

    – (She obviously knows the movie and is now probably worried about an indecent proposal of my own) – uhmm.. yeah.. with demi moore?

    – Yeah yeah that’s right – with demi and robert redford. Do you remember that scene where Demi Moore comes over his house for the first time (she looks at me even more weirdly now)? He tells her this story:

    When he was a young man he was riding the subway in NYC and in walked a gorgeous woman. He sat there on the train for what seemed like ever debating to say hello or not. When he finally was about to say something her stop came up and she left. He was crushed but as the doors closed she turned around, looked at him and gave him the most amazing smile. He came back to that train every day at the same time for a month hoping to see her again. He never did. And that’s when he promised he’d never let an opportunity like that slip away… and that’s why I’m talking to you.

    – (Her puzzled look turns into this amazing smile, she says…) that’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to her but apologized b/c she said she was living with her boyfriend.

    – No worries. Totally not surprised you’re not available.

    And then she gave me her # anyway – I never called though.

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