I don't know much of the dating game, having spent more than a third of my life with the same person. I do not know how long someone is supposed to wait to call after a first date. I have no clue as to what the appropriate time period is until your suitor can see you in your favorite lounging pants and do not even ask me when it is safe to introduce a potential partner to friends and family. I am truly clueless (and trembling with fear at the prospect of having to figure all of this shit out on my own.)
While my dating knowledge is severely lacking, my long-term committed status honed an incredible skill of mine. I am a superb Wing girl. For those of you who are not familiar with the phrase "Wingman" or "Wing girl" (ie Mom,) a "Wing person" is an individual who goes out with a friend and helps their friends pick up other people. We are the ones who are witty and clever, helping to bridge the gap in conversation. We highlight our friends amazing attributes to potentials while they are off ordering a drink or in the restroom. We talk and flirt with the sloth-like friend that is hanging with the person your friend is interested in. We know our role, embrace it and execute it well. Not only do we help our friends meet people they are interested in, we also aid in screening potential candidates as well as weeding out the rejects. Men (and women) should never underestimate the power of the Wing girl, because at the end of the night, we will be the one dragging our friends into cabs to get them away from the creepers and encouraging them to give out fake numbers.
As a Wing girl, I have developed some unofficial rules for grading those who are pursuing my friends. It is not a checklist, per se, but when one violates them, my douchebag radar starts beeping like crazy and I inform my friends that they need to move along.
I was recently out with one of my close girlfriends, and I think that we may have met the man that should have written the book on unsuccessfully picking up women, "Antigame: How to Think You Have Game but Really Come off as a Major Tool."
So I am enjoying a few drinks with my girl, henceforth to be known as The Badger due to her U. of Wisconsin connections, and we are chatting, laughing and catching up on all things life, love and pastry related. As we are halfway through our first (of countless) round, a good-looking guy approaches the The Badger and opens with, "My friend told me I shouldn't come over here, but you were too beautiful to not approach."
Wing girl says: Strike One. Terrible come on. Truly lacking originality, but I will let it slide.
The guy, henceforth to be known as GravelVoice due to the fact that he sounded like he had a chainsaw in his throat when he spoke, then leaned onto our table, putting up his arm to separate me from the Badger
Wing girl says: Strike Two. Sir, I know you are not interested in me and do not want to give me a mixed signal by interacting with me, but to physically separate myself from my girl is bad form. And also, sir, where the hell is your wing man to come talk to the Badger's sloth-like friend?? Don't you know the rules?
I was annoyed by GravelVoice's approach, but was amused at watching The Badger bask in his compliments and adoration. It was fun to see her flirting and toying with him. GravelVoice then proceeded to offer to buy the Badger a beer, specifically stating, "Can I buy you a Coors Light?"
Wing Girl says: Strike Three and Four. Everyone knows if you're offering to buy a woman a drink, you offer a round to her friends as well. That goes beyond the rules of pick-up too. Don't ever be that person who cherry picks who they buy drinks for. Don't buy drinks for half the group. Don't buy a drink for just you and your significant other if others are buying the whole round. And DON'T forget to get the wing girl a drink. However, terrible round-purchasing etiquette aside, he offered her a Coors Light. A Coors Light. Mind you, we were at a bar that does not even serve Coors Light. This, coupled with the fact that we were both drinking local craft beer and had sampler glasses of other crafts that we taking a few nips off, should have indicated we were clearly not Coors Light girls. Scratch that, The Badger was not a Coors Light girl, as I was never even offered a beverage.
From here things just went downhill. GravelVoice kept telling The Badger that she should just come join him at the bar. Take note of that sentence, "SHE should come." He was pretty much saying, "Ditch the broad who looks like she just climbed down from her bell tower. It will be good practice for when she is older and living alone with countless cats." Note: I will never be a crazy cat lady, ever. Due to my severe cat allergy. Now, crazy shelter dog lady? Let's talk. Anyway, Badger said he was welcome to join us. He refused, and finally went back to the bar...
...only to come back an hour later. The Badger made it known to me that she had no interest in GravelVoice and declared open season on the Man with poor pick up etiquette. And yet he would not relent and just give up. Badger and I laughed, so naturally I started to make fun of him for being a Yankees Fan (Strike Five and GO TIGERS!) Finally, after a solid 15 minutes of busting his balls, he walked away, duly shamed. I do, however, applaud his self confidence, or perhaps his inflated sense of self due to too much booze.
In closing, I would just like to summarize the rules of being excellent at Antigame:
1. Offer a shitty beer
2. Do not offer a shitty beer to wing girl
3. Ignore Wing girl
4. Be a Yankees fan
5. Ignore blatant ignoring of advances
Badger and I are still laughing about his terrible approach and question (fear?) how many more encounters we will have like this as our nights together are increasing in frequency (hooray!)
My only hope for now is that the Badger can be as good of a Wing girl to me as I was to she. And if not, at least I will always have my shelter dogs.