Walking the Line: Pickup Attempts

While I was talking to one of my friends recently, he related to me a story about a foiled pickup attempt he had experienced.

According to him, he had planned to approach the hostess of the restaurant where he was eating. Having just moved to a new city, he had conspired to tell her he was new in town and needed a good “tour guide” to show him around.

“It’s a total line,” he explained to me, “but it’s true. I do need someone to show me around.”

After our conversation, I got to thinking. Would it even matter if what he was telling her was true? Wouldn’t she recognize that he was feeding her a line?

I think conventional wisdom says that women don’t tend to go for “lines.” But as we all know, conventional wisdom is often based more on how things should be rather than how they really are. And besides, every situation is different… I’m sure there are plenty of scenarios in which a woman will respond positively, even if she knows she’s being fed a line.

I tend to shy away from using lines of any kind, whether they’re the corny pickup lines we all love to laugh at or the seemingly spontaneous and natural variety that were actually cooked up previously. It’s always been my experience that the best pickups happen naturally, with “material” that just pops into my head.

However, there are a few instances where I have used lines in the past:

-    Having made good eye contact with a girl across a bar, I approached her and dropped this gem: “Did you invite all these people? I thought it was just supposed to be you and me.” It went over like a fart in church. I retreated to my friends with my tail between my legs. (For the record, I don’t even think that’s a bad line. It’s funny, and I’ve no doubt some girls would respond to it.)

-    After I had established a good rapport with our waitress while out to dinner with some friends, she asked if she could get us anything else. I decided to go for it: “Your phone number,” I replied. Unfortunately she had a boyfriend (or at least that’s what she said), but she couldn’t have been nicer about it.

-    After my friends and I talked up a group of girls at a bar one night, I got to talking to one in particular. Feeling drunk and bold, I went with what can only be described as pickup gold: “So [name I have since forgotten], do you have a boyfriend?  Would you like one?” GAG. I don’t even need to tell you how that one ended.

No, it seems I’ve always done better with the stuff that is truly spontaneous—more of the conversational variety than the snappy and (supposedly) clever line variety. And I’d like to think that women appreciate that. After all, wouldn’t you rather be talked to than talked at?

What about you out there? Guys, have you used lines in the past? And were they met with success? Girls, what are some lines that have been used on you in the past? I’m sure we can all weigh in with some classics, so let’s hear it!

22 Responses to “Walking the Line: Pickup Attempts”

  1. [F]oxymoron says:

    Pick-up lines don’t work. They are like lightening bolts, charged and bold, but rarely, if ever hit anything. When I’m interested in a woman I just say Hello, introduce myself, and talk with (not to) her. Boring and simple, but effective.

  2. cookie82 says:

    My fiance used a pickup line on me while sitting on the patio at a bar on the night we met. Obviously it worked for him (although I do have to admit that after getting my attention initially, it helped that he actually had intellect to back the “pickup line” up.)

    Two girls had walked by, holding hands. I wondered, were they dating? Were they just girls that were friends? What was up with that? Evidently he could see the question written all over my face. He called over to me from his adjacent table, “What’s up with girls holding hands?” The rest is history.

  3. Lisa says:

    I think pick up lines are cheesy and annoying and would not ever respond favourably to one. Except the old ‘How you doin’ from Friends. That make me giggle every time…

  4. sparklytosingle says:

    I don’t like pickup lines and would probably not respond favourably to a guy who used one on me. However I do kind of like the second one you mentioned - asking the waitress for her phone number that way is cute. ONLY if you have already established a rapport with her though.

  5. Elle Bee says:

    I love, love, love pickup lines. The cheesier the better. Though ultimately, whether they work or not depends on a) originality and b) how cute the guy is.

  6. Matt says:

    I like to tell girls to quit dreaming… they could never get me in bed.

    60% of the time it works everytime.

  7. Angela says:

    I’d probably respond well to that first one. It’s definitely funny. I don’t blame the second one for not going positively… hitting on a waitress while she’s working TOTALLY throws her off guard. I know if a guy asked me for my number while I was working I wouldn’t give it.

    Lines tend to work well when the guy is good-looking and has enough confidence to spit the line out without it sounding TOO much like a line. The biggest thing, though, is that the line has to be FUNNY, not creepy.

  8. Jenn says:

    I’m torn when it comes to “lines.” I hate the cheesy ones, but the first example you used (did you invite all these people?) yeah…I’d probably fall for that one.

  9. Ask Alice says:

    I think lines are hilarious. The cheesy classics that everyone knows are no good but anything new and funny is entertaining. I also love the “How you doin’” like Lisa said.

    As for the waitress, I’m a waitress and I’ve never given my # to a table. It just feels strange for some reason (you’re working, other tables are there so if they see you giving away your # you get a hard time, you aren’t prepared for it etc.) if a guy came back to the restaurant more then once though and chatted with me away from the table I’d consider it.

  10. Paula says:

    A guy in a club once told me he liked my shoes. THEN asked if he could try them on. THEN, when I said no, offered me fifty pence to try them on!

    I ended up kissing him just to get him to go away…

  11. Therapeutic Ramblings says:

    I don’t use lines, though I do take advantage of the anti-line. Typically I’ll look for a really hot girl by the bar, and ask for the worst pickup line. I’ll keep it light and not flirtatious. By the time my drink comes it is time to bail. If done correctly they’ll come find me.

    I did once take a girl’s black shoes….(I thought they were my friend’s). The girl started talking to me once it was established I didn’t like feet and I really was trying to help my friend find her lost shoes.

  12. Princess Pointful says:

    I once used a pick-up line to get my first kiss. To be fair, we were already in his bedroom alone, so I don’t think it was the line that did it.
    Still, it was a gem: “I may not be Fred Flintstone, but I can still make your bed rock.”
    Score!

    On me? A guy once asked me for a quarter, then asked me if I had a boyfriend. When I said yes, he asked “Do you want a better one?”

    The answer was negatory. And I like to pretend that my then-boyfriend was in fact better than the guy who asked me for change on the street.

  13. Sass says:

    I appreciate guys with lines and a little cheeky smile, as opposed to leering stares, and a cocky swagger. Kudos for giving it a try, but listen when I tell you that it ain’t happening this lifetime or the next.

    I once went to a night club in Byron Bay, and this guy and his wingman totally undressed me with his eyes as I walked past him to go to the ladies toilets.

    On the way back, he followed me back to where my friends and i were sitting, and asked me “if I came here often?” I ignored him. He continued to serve up every line in the book, apparently oblivious to the fact that I wasn’t making any eye contact, and was talking to other people. He stayed until my friends told him to beat it.
    He got angry and got in my face and told me I was “missing out on the best thing that could ever happen” to me.

    Riiiiight. Handle rejection well?!

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