I am a heat-seeking missile for the creepy little weirdos of the world.
(Note: I include myself in that population).
Hear me out; let me explain. When I walk into a bar or a party, especially when single, I have a very specific approach. I always do a quick survey of the crowd, I then get myself a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic doesn’t make a difference) and then I find a good perch in which I can see the comings and goings. My radar is up, my meter is on the watch, and it’s looking for–
Her. If she’s in a group, she’s towards the edge of it. Or she’s sitting alone. Now, this is not because I’m a creeper but because those are the people I genuinely like to talk to. I like the shy folks, I like people who are in it but not of it, because I feel they are more interesting. They have stories; they have history; they have something to say when given space to say it.
Normal people don’t interest me. They never ping my radar, never make my needle jump. But I can sense a creepy little weirdo a mile away.
I was at a mixer last Thursday with a friend, having drinks and just talking about life. The objective was to meet people but I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ the crowd. So we’d decided to have one last drink and just then a woman walks in with a group: tall, pretty, lithe — and, mind you, not the first one to walk in of the night nor the last — but my libido literally sat up and said “hello”.
My friend was blown away by it. He said I glowed but couldn’t see what I saw in this woman. In retrospect, the micro-cues must have been there: pulled in/tight shoulders, limited eye contact, a sort of self-protective position; the cues of discomfort in the situation or the crowd, the cues of…
Yes, you got it, a creepy little weirdo.
I went to the bar, got a fresh drink, and meandered my way over to her. I don’t do pick-up lines or kitschy crap. I led with how I always do, a simple and direct “Hi, I’m–”
She turned to me and said “Hi, I’m [x]” and then immediately turned her back towards me.
Now, first impression: rude! But, put it in context. This was a mixer that was billed and setup purely as a low-pressure/low-risk yenta-led event with the stated directions to “make sure you greet everyone in a friendly fashion” and so, you now need to go with your second impression, which is–
She’s a creepy little weirdo. How did I come to that conclusion?
- She violated all standard social norms: I approached from where she could see me, I said hello, I said my name clearly and I smiled. Most people, as a standard reaction, will respond in a somewhat friendly fashion. It had happened earlier that night while I was getting a drink at the bar. It happens to me all the time. I am a friendly, approachable person, especially when I’m twinkling like I was that night.
- She did respond – spoke clearly and directly, but made no eye contact; not aggressive but…hmm, almost fearful but not quite.
- She turned away but not actually back towards her group because she hadn’t been talking to them either.
I know my people and I know that if I had waited another twenty minutes or so while she had her first drink to calm her nerves that probably would have gone better. I could have walked back over and did a do-over. I didn’t because I wasn’t in the mood for it then and now, a few days removed, it has left me with a lesson that I will take to heart:
My meter, my radar, is stuck on people who are mostly insecure and that is the last thing I need because it triggers the hell out of me.
I love the creepy little weirdos of the world, I am one of them, but I can’t date them anymore. I can’t do that if I want to be happy, if I want a family, if I want to move forward in life and enjoy what comes next.
Good-bye, shy, socially-awkward, pretty girl in the corner. I’m going to miss you.