It’s a dilemma most every man has gone through, and it goes a little something like this:
You’re walking down the street and you see a gorgeous woman standing on the corner. She’s talking on the phone and she laughs, and you swear it’s the loveliest sound that you’ve ever heard. You need to ask her out. But who’s she on the phone with? It could be her boyfriend. And even if it’s not, what are you going to do? Interrupt her mid-conversation? That would be rude. I suppose you could wait around until she hangs up. Kindy creepy though. Plus, you might make yourself late for work.
And as you’re thinking all of this, your legs keep moving you forward until you round the corner, and she vanishes from sight. You allow yourself to daydream of her for a time, but then your workday begins, and she fades from potential lover to forgotten stranger.
It’s a sad little experience but one that’s all too common for me. I grew tired of this happening, and decided that the next time I saw a hot girl talking on the phone, I would ask her out. No more excuses.
What follows is my first-hand experience of this tricky social situation, and a step-by-step breakdown of how to properly handle it.
I was walking home at night in Madrid after I had finished teaching my last class of the day. As I approached the entrance to the metro, I heard a laugh that caught my attention. For some reason, my ears believe that they can identify an attractive girl solely by the sound of her laugh. Many times they’re wrong, but that doesn’t stop them from screaming “HOT GIRL!” any time they hear a lively giggle.
What’s even worse is my hair-trigger Pavlovian response to the click-clack sound of high-heels on pavement. I’ve nearly snapped my head off whipping around to look for the potentially attractive source of the noise. I look every single time I hear it, even though on several unfortunate occasions the culprit has been nothing more than a business man wearing dress shoes.
Fortunately, on this particular occasion, the source of the laugh ended up being as hot as my ears had hoped that she would be. We made eye contact, and thus began my process for asking out a hot girl while she’s talking on the phone.
Step 1: Fall in love.
As a 24-year-old male, I fall in love roughly 2-6 times a day. When I’m walking on the sidewalk and a bus drives by with a hot girl in one of the window seats, I don’t just think, “Wow, she was hot”. Oh, no. The next five minutes are spent feverishly running through all possible permutations of our life together: some happy, some mildly sad, some bizarre, some tragic. Of course, there’s one where we have our cookie-cutter happy life together, with a gorgeous suburban home that has a white picket fence (for some reason, always a symbol of domestic bliss). My son and I are playing catch in the front yard. The sharp *pop* of the ball hitting leather is occasionally interrupted by the giggles of my wife and daughter as they roll around on the lawn with our new puppy.
But then there’s the other end of the daydream spectrum, when the puppy sees a squirrel on the other side of the street. We forgot to close the gate on our precious fucking picket fence and our daughter chases after him, both unaware of the truck coming just a little too fast down our street. The sound of horn, screeching tires, and my wife’s scream combine as our daughter and dog are both killed. We blame each other for what happened and our marriage deteriorates, leaving me emotionally crippled – shell-shocked from how quickly life took away what I loved most….
Step 2. Wipe tears from eyes and stop mourning the death of your imaginary daughter and dog.
I looked up, afraid that my Spanish princess might have left during my reverie, but saw that she was still there on the phone. I needed to come up with a non-rude way to interrupt her call.
Step 3. Initiate plan: Pretend to be a lost American and ask for directions.
As my natural sense of direction is on par with that of a mute bat, this was an easy role for me to play. I was standing across the street from her and pulled up Google Maps on my phone. I held the phone at arm’s length in front of me while I slowly spun around with a perplexed look on my face. I even took a step in one direction, turned around, took a step in another direction, and then stopped in flustered confusion. I expect the Oscar to arrive in the mail shortly (or at the very least, a Golden Globe).
As I immersed myself in my role (I’m a method actor), she hung up the phone and sat down on the curb by herself. It was my time to strike. I walked up to her and…
Step 4: Wuss out
Some of you may have been thinking that this seemed like the optimum time for me to talk to her. How delightfully wrong you were. This was the critical part of the process where I let all of my little insecurities and fear of embarrassment take hold: “My Spanish probably isn’t good enough. What if she can’t understand me? And those people nearby will be able to hear me. What if I say something stupid? ”. Oh, embarrassment. No one ever dies from you, yet you kill so many opportunities.
I walked past her and went down the metro stairs. Fortunately, I also had to take two long, slow escalator rides, which gave me plenty of time to think.
Step 5: Remind yourself of your mortality.
“You are unbelievable. How did you not talk to her? What are you afraid of? Feeling embarrassed? You know that you’re going to die, right? It could be in 60 years, it could be in 20 minutes, but death is coming your way. Do you think that, right before you die, you’re gonna think ‘Remember when you saw that hot Spanish girl on the phone and you didn’t ask her out? Fucking nailed that decision. That had the potential to be embarrassing.’ Of course you’re not! SO FUCKING GET YOURSELF BACK UP THERE!”
Step 6: Run back out of metro and talk to girl.
Step 6 (revised): Run out of metro, run past girl, and buy a beer.
Again, you were probably thinking that, surely, this would be the right moment to talk to her. How very foolish of you. This is the oft overlooked but incredibly important step 7.
Step 7: Enter a shop, buy a beer, take a sip, became horrified at yourself for needing a beer to talk to a girl, throw freshly purchased beer in the trash, walk back outside, anddddd….
Step 8: Say hi to girl.
Step 9: Date girl for several months.
Step 10: Just kidding about step 9.
I went up to her, we chatted for a bit, I asked her out, she said she had a boyfriend, and life continued on. Was there really a boyfriend? Who knows. Maybe we didn’t have a connection. Or maybe after I ran past her for the ninth time, she got a little weirded out. Who can say? I’m not a mind reader. What’s important here is Step 11.
Step 11: Further solidify in your mind that you don’t die from fear or embarrassment. In fact, when you push through these little mental barriers, you feel a hell of a lot better afterwards.
Even though we didn’t end up with a magical white picket fence together, I still felt a lot better about myself after I’d asked her out. For those like me who struggle with asking out the hot girl on the street, I promise that asking and getting a no feels a hell of a lot better than walking away and never knowing.