Monday, March 13, 2006

Locks & Keys & More Locks

Friday night, Polly and I attended Moxie's Lock & Key party. Ever since I heard of these parties, I wanted to go. Like speed dating, there was a novelty to it I couldn't resist (though my one foray into speed dating, done through a different company, was terrible). The women get locks, the men get keys, and off you go, looking for your appropriate match. There's something rather poetic about it, no? (Or rather dirty, if you prefer to view the lock and key metaphor in a different way.) I don't know, there's something about keys I find to be romantic; maybe it's just me.

By the end of the week, I was feeling a bit better than at the start of it, but still rather drained. When I reached the basement room of the bar where the party was going to be held, I quickly felt overwhelmed because of how crowded it was. It wouldn't have been as bad if it was just the Lock & Key folks, but there were other people down there, which made for cramped quarters. I started getting a bit claustrophobic and uneasy that Polly was taking so long. I wasn't ready to start talking to strangers quite yet, and needed a bit more time to decompress. Polly finally arrived, we grabbed a couple of drinks, and headed inside the party room. The place was starting to fill up quickly so we took a seat in the corner to get our bearings before the attempted unlocking began.

We were quickly accosted by a man wearing suspenders in a non-ironic way.

"Are you with the company hosting this party?"

"No," Polly and I answered. "We're guests."

He went on to express his surprise that two women as attractive as us would come to an event like this and even seemed to question what might be wrong with us that we'd be there. This is where I wish I made a crack about having a wooden leg or glass eye. I know he meant it as a compliment, and I know that it's ludicrous that Polly and I, catches that we are, are still single, but still. We played nice and smiled stiffly, slowly walking away to mingle with the other guests.

The format of the party was not what I expected. I thought there would be one lock per woman, one key per man, and when you got unlocked, that was it. This made me wonder, what happened if the first man who tried my lock was the right key? Not only that, what if he had the social intelligence of Suspenders Guy? Would I be doomed to spend the rest of the night with him, giving me no chance to meet any other partygoers?

That wasn't the case. There were several different types of locks and keys, and whenever you got a match, your name was entered into a raffle and you got a new lock/key. Sometimes it would take half a dozen tries to get a match. Three of my locks in a row were opened on the first try.

Unfortunately, three of my locks were also opened by the same guy--one who made me very uncomfortable. He was in his early 40's and not unattractive, but not my type, way too touchy-feely, and a little smarmy. When we were in line to enter our names in the raffle the third time, he started asking all these questions.

"So Dolly, what do you like to do for fun?"
"Dolly, where is your family from?"
"Do you work out, Dolly? Do you do aerobics, weight training?"

While he interviewed me, he'd put a paw on my arm or back. It was too crowded for me to squirm away, so I tried to express my lack of interest by giving him very brief answers, not asking questions of my own, and making zero eye contact. I tried not to be rude, but I obviously didn't give enough of an I'm-not-into-you vibe, because as we reached the front of the line, he asked,

"So Dolly, could we exchange business cards?"
"Let me think about it." I tried to muster a polite smile. Hey, I was thinking about it. I was thinking, "NONONONONOFORTHELOVEOFALLTHAT'SHOLYNO" but I was thinking about it.

Luckily, there were some cool guys at the party, too. There was one cute one who had the strangest accent I've ever heard in my life. He grew up in the deep South but spent several years in Sydney, so it was a mix between an Australian accent and southern drawl. There was also a guy who was a dead ringer for one of the actors from Swingers, though he seemed more interested in Polly, so I didn't chat with him for too long.

The great thing about this event was the variety of people. You would have to be unreasonably picky (and I am pretty damn picky) not to find at least a handful of people to talk to. And most of them were very friendly. For me, the problem was conveying disinterest to non-prospects who chatted me up. I don't like to be rude, but I don't like to lead a guy on, either, and it was a venue where being approached was supposed to be okay, so I had to find a balance between nice and "no thanks". I really hope I wasn't bitchy to anyone.

After six or seven locks and nearly as many cocktails, I was tired. I sat down near a couple of guys (one of whom I noticed earlier and vaguely reminded me of the lead singer of Coldplay).
"Don't worry, I could care less about locks or keys, I'm exhausted."

The guys smiled and we chatted for a bit, then Coldplay Guy's friend left. The two of us quickly got onto the subject of music, which I am very passionate about. When he told me he was familiar with my (rather obscure) favorite band, I was all kinds of enthusiastic to talk to him.

Just as we were getting engaged in a great conversation, a very drunk, very cute Latina brunette bounded over and sat on the other side of Coldplay Guy. They clearly were previously acquainted; not only did he open her lock earlier, but somehow they swapped so that she was wearing the key around her wrist and he her lock. I didn't want to know. Despite my initial misgivings, Drunk Latina turned out to be extremely friendly, and I enjoyed talking to her, too. She had her mitts all over Coldplay Guy, though, so I sat back and let her flirt.

Coldplay Guy, aware of the situation, seemed rather baffled.

"Do you realize how lucky you are to be sitting between the two most beautiful girls at this party?" Drunk Latina asked.

Coldplay Guy stammered and expressed his disbelief. His shyness was cute, though it meant the AFOG (alpha female of the group) would get him. Despite my own occasional aggressiveness and the downright wolfish behavior of some NYC women, I refuse to compete for a man. When they went to get another drink, I didn't accompany them.

Polly said Swingers Guy and his friend wanted to take us out to dinner after the party. Actually, I'm pretty sure they wanted to take her out to dinner, but Polly has been my wing woman plenty of times, so I agreed to go. Besides, who knows, maybe Swingers Guy and I would hit it off.

Before we left, there was something I had to do. I took out a business card, wrote my personal email address on it, then took out a second card and did the same thing. I found Drunk Latina and Coldplay Guy at the bar and handed both of them my card.

"My friend and I are heading out, but it was so great to talk to you, so definitely keep in touch." I smiled at both of them, but focused my attention more on Drunk Latina.

She took my card and smiled when she saw the address. "I work right nearby! We'll have to do a happy hour sometime!"

"You bet! It's great to know more people who work in the area." I said good-bye, barely glancing at Coldplay Guy.

Dinner was fun, though there wasn't a spark between me and either of the guys. Also, Swingers Guy asked out Polly while I was in the bathroom, so even if I was interested, that would have ruled him out then and there.

The next day, I received the following email:

Subject: [Name of my favorite band] Fan Club

Hi Dolly! This is Coldplay Guy from last evening's party...It was so much fun speaking with you and I was quite excited that you gave me your card. Amidst the mass confusion of the event I think it was a blast.

You have my e-mail address but you're also welcome to give me a ring so we can continue the [genre of music I love] debate. Looking forward to hearing from you...

Take care,

Coldplay Guy
XXX-334-XXXX

Of course, in the back of my head, I'm convinced he went home with Drunk Latina. Still, nice email, right? It's too bad that I'm lacking the stamina to muster up serious enthusiasm. I will, I will. Just not right this second.

32 comments:

super des said...

very good at keeping the anonymous-ness. it's more exciting, especially to those of us that you really are anonymous to. kudos!

Damn It Anyway said...

Who cares if he went home with that girl, he was probably thinking of you while he was with her.:)

Bama Girl said...

I totally want to do this, my girls won't come with me. I want to join ya'll next time.

jo said...

this locks and keys thing sounds interesting. and how weird is it that 3 of your locks were opened by the same guy. now if he were a nice cute guy, you'd probably think it was fate. but since he was a weird fella, it's just bad luck haha! have fun!

Psyneh said...

"For me, the problem was conveying disinterest to non-prospects who chatted me up. I don't like to be rude, but I don't like to lead a guy on, either, and it was a venue where being approached was supposed to be okay, so I had to find a balance between nice and "no thanks". I really hope I wasn't bitchy to anyone."

I thought all hot girls knew how to deal with this :/ had this problem several times, need to get a solution for this. Maybe the solution is to act bitchy :D

Larissa said...

Wow, the way you handled/played it with Coldplay guy was great -- taking notes. And you never know, maybe he ditched the other girl.

pawlr said...

Yeah, even though I'm male, I think its perfectly legit for females to dial up the bitch-knob if the hints they drop find no bottom. Its his own fault if he doesn't pick up on it and either course-correct or bail out. What's that definition of insanity again?

Horse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Horse said...

That totally looked different in the preview. Screw HTML.

Horse said...

By the way, is another blog I really love. You blogging girls are way more interesting and fun than the ones I meet. It's nice to see you in here, Larissa

:)

Horse said...

ok, so no anchor tags, kiddies. they look ok in preview, but damn.

Rubik said...

I disagree Horse. You don't want to just hang in there and compete indefinitely. It lowers your value.

I think you want to blow out your competitor FAST.

Pull out your VERY best material - your 2 or 3 very best bits and give yourself about 3 or 4 minutes.

If you don't either A) completely blow out your competitor with your coolness or B) completely attract who you're hitting on so they're body language is turned completely towards you, then immediately eject (create a vaccuum)

Then A) talk to someone more attractive than who you were hitting on (jealousy) or worst case
B) talk to your other alpha friends, laugh it up and have a good time (be more fun than your opponent)

This also gives your opponent some rope to hang themselves.

What may also go down is your opponent wins the battle (is easy and sleeps with the mark), but you win the war (the mark is thinking about you the next day and calls) which may be what happened here.

The situation to avoid is to stand there and compete forever (both of you lowering your value - lower and lower) until the mark loses interest or a third party swoops in and takes the mark.

I don't trust anything TD says. He's a strange bird. He has a weird gay vibe.

Larissa said...

why thank you horse, you're too kind!

Horse said...

Rubik, I totally agree with you. My issue was that she didn't even try (cf. I refuse to compete for a guy).

If she did what you say, exactly how you say it, rubik, she wins the match.

TD is a bitch. I agree with you there as well. I have a feeling if I ever met him, I'd end up throwing him across the room. Of course, the only room i could literally throw him across is a closet but still...(damn! I just stylemogged myself!)
TD's outalpha material is still better than nothing (and it probably works better on outalpha-ing girls than style's interesting questions/comments to everyone does-my opinion).

I don't think that she "won the war"
by being passive. I think she just saw HBlatina and said, screw this, I can't compete with that. That's pretty much what she copped to in the comment. She blew herself out.

You have to compete for scarce resources, and an attractive man in an isolated environment (isolated temporally and spatially, as opposed to long run) qualifies as scarce, don't you agree, rubik?

Dolly, I think you're going to have to trash your I refuse to compete for a man rule. You're shooting yourself in the ass. If you like that rule, please tell us why no man is worth competing for?

Rubik, I'd like to hear any additional thoughts :)

Rubik said...

One of my favorite sayings these days is "love is war" and I like to think of seduction as laying siege to a castle.

If someone else is also laying siege to the castle, then you have a challenge. That's a whole new level of game. Lay booby traps your opponent might step into, etc. You have to read your castle and read your opponent simultaneously.

I haven't had to conquer this situation yet.

What I suggest for Dolly is to think up a couple of things she might have tried to blow out her opponent quickly (but with a smile on her face in a falsely nice and devilishly clever and devious way) and have them ready if a similar situation occurs in the future.

If it fails, try something else and/or refine her approach.

The most cunning master of this game gets the prize ;)

Here's a funny one I just thought up. Dolly tries to be a "friend" and when the castle is looking away, indicates to latina that she has something in her teeth. Latina goes to bathroom to check, and Dolly leads the castle away somewhere else (porch, outside, whatever). If Latina has a pocket mirror, then Dolly just smiles devilishly or ignores her LOL

NotCarrie said...

That sounds like a fun night...Are the locks and keys just a gimmick or does it matter at all which ones your's open?


I think it's cute to meet someone who knows about something you're really into (the obscure band, now I'm curious who it is!). Maybe you'll get him through his music (if you're interested at all).

Horse said...

Rubik,

I like what you write. For someone who doesn't trust Tyler Durden, you certainly seem to have the same devilish tendencies. It's a good thing.

I think your specific example is a bit too overt for a woman to work (and HB's all have mirrors on them in NYC if I'm not mistaken), if I were to diagnose it.

Dolly, what a guy wants is a girl who's extra-sexual without being perceived as overtly slutty (a lady in the street but a freak in the bed--those rappers are onto something), am i right, rubik? Since this is you (Dolly) we're talking about, there are not any problems in the area of sexual firepower.

With that in mind, my alternate solution would be to
1) escalate kino hardcore
2) use double entendre/nlp to talk the guy into arousal (be witty when you do this)
3) implicitly dare the HBlatina to be as attractive as you. She can't because you're the fucking shit and everybody knows it. If she tries, she'll blow herself out by appearing slutty.

So now, Dolly, you have at least 2 things to try next time this comes up. Not competing is not an option.

BTW, I'll be back in a little while. I got some work to do.

Loveandotheraccidents said...

"I meet men in other ways, too, but you seem hung up on this bar thing. " -Dolly

I'd love to read about your experience where you do meet quality people outside bars or the internet. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any:) If you would like to show there is a lot depth to this PUA experience, perhaps you should write about it sometime?

kevin said...

Haha, I totally get that falling for someone cause they like your favorite obscure band. If a girl tells me she likes Nada Surf or The Postal Service I'm in love! :)

What's your band?

CoatMan said...

Hmm, this Coldplay Man sounds as if he really likes you, and it's so sweet you liking the same sort of really specific music. Poor fellow, he's probably thinking that you weren't that interested when you didn't follow him, etc., and was probably delighted when you gave him your card. Now he's probably confused and thinking, "well, it's worth a shot".

Keep us updated on him: he sounds nice!

pawlr said...

I also wonder if it would work for her to neg the guy for acting like such a slut with HBlatina

Horse said...

Pawlr,

I don't think guys care as much about being perceived as sluts--my opinion.

A neg works when it digs at something of value to the target: one that worked for me recently (HB 9.75 + 3i [that's right, her hotness has an imaginary component]) was, aww jeez, hun, your hair looks soooo much better down.

Doing what you suggested would put the guy on the defensive and make Dolly seem like a prude. I'm about 77% sure of that, though, so it might be worth a shot. Still, it's good lateral thinking on your part, pawlr--my opinion :)

I'm disconnected for the night, BTW, so see y'all tomorrow.

dsp said...

hey dolly.
you did the right thing. when the latina girl came, you "sat back and let her flirt" demonstrating you're not needy.

people always want what they can't have (everyone, read this again)

that was a smart move when you refused to compete over him, it would just affirm his worth and you've shown you're above that (demonstrating higher value).
nice move handing the cards and focusing your attention on the latina, more dhv.

i must say you're getting dangerous ;)
you've certainly done your homework.

guys, watch out :)

pawlr said...

dsp - good point. Its probably the reason he contacted her later. And thanks for the feedback Horse, yeah "slut" for a guy is pretty much a compliment and probably demonstrates too much interest in that situation.

Horse said...

DSP (nice name, btw)

I think the approach you are advocating is great, if you are a guy using it on a girl who is already somewhat attracted to you. Guys are more likely to give up on a high-class target if a lower-class (within reason) obstacle shows sufficiently more interest, unlike girls--my opinion and my experience, so you know, grain of salt and all.

Here's the key point where I disagree with you, DSP: Refusing to compete is not a demonstration of higher value and it's not a "technique." You can't win anything that you refuse to compete for.
Focusing attention on HBlatina was smart though, so I agree with you there, DSP. One possible AFOG tactic on her would be to ask her what she thinks of {band HS*coldplay guy is into}. Her response would most likely be ¿que?.

People don't alway's want what they can't have, either; that's a rather arbitrary statement. I can't have relations with Brad Pitt (he's not homosexual), but I don't want to have relations with Brad Pitt (because I'm not homosexual). I know what you're trying to say, though:

The value of anything multiplies when it becomes scarce

this leaves room for not wanting things you can't have anyway: 0 x 50 still = 0 ;)

It's good to get some thoughts from a fellow Virgo though!

ps HS=hot stud. I don't know, guys don't have an equivalent to HB yet. Dolly, in the future, please give numbers with your guys thx :)

Dolly said...

Bama Girl,
You bet! I'll let you know ahead of time before the next one.

Jo,
You're totally right, I would have thought it was fate if he was someone I was interested in! Hahaha.

Psyneh,
The solution for me is to keep the conversation as brief as possible and go elsewhere. That usually gives them the hint without being rude.

Larissa,
Though I may be wrong, I got a one-night-stand vibe from the other girl. Plus, she was getting drunker and drunker, so who knows, maybe he did ditch her.

NotCarrie,
The locks and keys are pretty much ice breakers and meant to get you talking to another person by having a reason to approach them. It doesn't really matter whose key opens whose lock.

Loveand,
Now you are lumping bars and the internet as the same thing? I know plenty of people who have met quality people over the internet. I also don't think it matters where I meet the person as much as where it goes from there. And I am not going to be your PUA educator. I did a lot of reading on my own and you're a big girl and can do your own research if you're actually interested. I'm not going to argue with someone determined to have a negative viewpoint.

Kevin,
I'm afraid I'm going to have to stay mum on my favorite band in favor of keeping some things private.

SexandMoxie said...

Glad to hear you guys had so much fun. Tell your readers to shoot me an e-mail and I'll comp them into the next one we have this coming Friday, 3/24. Ages 25-39.

Oh...and suspenders guy? I know EXACTLY who you are talking about. ;)

Moxie
http://www.moxieblog.typepad.com
www.MoxieintheCity.net

NEWSKI said...

horse, rubik and dsp, well, and dolly haha (awesome blog btw),
I agree with some of your points each time, but i think the first thing that hit home with me is that dolly said she was exhausted when she first sat down. the last thing a girl wants to do is try to win a guy when shes not feeling at all that aggressive regardless of whether there is some rule of her own on fighting for a guy.

the second thing is, even if she broke this rule (im speaking for women in general and not just dolly here) in not "fighting" for a guy, in this case she just met this guy and knows jack shit about him. she could waste all this time trying to get him to make out wtih her and then he turns out to be a huge tool. big waste of time.

i completely agree with dolly in her tactics in reading her recent posts about her style with guys--put your best self out there and see how the guy reacts. hopefully, if u are into him, he likes u back and all is perfect with the world. hopefully he doesnt make a bonehead decision (guys are known to do that). if he does, its his loss and u dont want a guy like that anyway.

if, however, u are really truly into this guy, obviously u put up a fight. but i dont think going to a lock and key party and meeting a guy at the last second really makes a girl wanna pull out all her tricks. we save those.

besides, sometimes all us girls want is to sit back and let it all happen. no tricks, no secret passageways into a guys mind, dolly played it perfect in just being herself. good job girl.

Horse said...

La 2ce: You're right, but she still could have put up some fight, you know? Sometimes engineering companies bid on projects they know they can't win (to keep their names on the list), and sometimes those engineering companies still win! But you seem to have a better handle on the situation than I did. My experience with most guys is that they want the girl that wants them (all guys love flattery, even if it's manipulative: "what big arms you have, Mr Horse!" ;).

You can't make excuses for not getting something you didn't pursue. You're only defeated when you acknowledge defeat as an option.

Dolly: We demand more content.
:P

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