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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Ovary Up!

Posted by on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I don't really have a question. I just need you to tell at me to ovary up, if you happen to read this in the next few days. I'm a 28-year-old straight woman. I'm usually not shy at all, and that works really well mostly.

So, I've been commuting to my job for the last three years and there's been this guy on my train for the last four months or so. We made eye contact a few times and something just... happened. I haven't had this kind of crush since middle school, and I just don't know what to do. I blush, I get nervous and pretend to not see him, I stare at my newspaper. The last few days we've actually managed to smile when I get off the train, and I'm absolutely positive he thinks I'm hot too. I start a new job in August and I'll only be take this particular train for just seven more days. I KNOW what to do obviously, but I'm just stuck in my sudden shyness. I can't get the words out. But if Dan Savage tells me to do it, there is just no way I could chicken out. (And of course I'll let you know how it turns out.) Please, Dan, give this girl the kick in the ass she needs!

She Hasn't Yet

P.S. Thanks for everything you do, it's making a huge difference for so many of us.

My response after the jump...


Yesterday's crowd-sourced SLLOTD response was such a success—who knew so many different things could smell like pussy after curdling in a dirty hipster's beard?—that I'm going to toss SHY's letter to SLLOTD readers.

If you've ever screwed up the courage to talk to a cute stranger who was eye fucking you on a train, bus, or airplane and you were happy with the results, please share your success story in the comments thread. Did that convo lead to a relationship that lasted a lifetime? A one-night stand so hot you're still beating off about it ten years later? Or maybe that convo resulted in a rejection that stung, for sure, but the experience helped realize that rejection really isn't that scary and you had an easier time asking out the next cute stranger who eyefucked you on a train, bus, or airplane? Share your story with SHY.

And here's the advice you wanted from me, SHY: OVARY THE FUCK UP. Give the cute dude on the train your phone number before it's too late! Hand him your card and say, "I'm not going to be taking this train anymore so you'll have to call if you want to keep seeing me.") And don't wait until your last day on that train to give him your number. (What if he calls in sick to work seven days from now? Or he starts a new job six days from now?) And remember: the only way guarantee romantic failure in a situation like this is to be so paralyzed by your fear of rejection that you do nothing. If you don't say anything to this man, SHY, you'll never see him again. If you give him your number and he never calls, you'll never see him again. But if you give him your number and he calls, you get to see him again!

Do nothing and the bad outcome—never seeing this man again—is guaranteed. The only way to get a good outcome—that lasting relationship, that scorching one-night stand, the rejection that helps you overcome your fear of rejection—is to OVARY THE FUCK UP and give the man your number!


Comments (81) RSS

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Once a cute escape artist/magician pulled me into his act at a Harry Potter book release event. After appropriate pressure from my friends, I wrote down my name and number gave it to him, and said, "I think you're cute, feel free to call me sometime." He looked really surprised and flattered. He never called but it was a lot of fun, and everyone loved the story.

Also, this one time I was flirting with a guy at a Purim party. I realized he was boring, so I either wanted to make out already, or go back to my friends. I said, "So do you wanna, like, make out?" We snogged ferociously, knocking pans off of the kitchen wall and generally having a lovely time.

Yes, I pick up dudes in weird places.
Posted by Belle Starr on June 27, 2012 at 6:16 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 2
Okay Savage, first you say "Have at it, SLOG readers" and then you proceed to set down your own ruminations. Well, sure, it was good advice you gave and no I can't improve on it but sheesh, you're running the show, you don't need to upstage us.
Posted by saxfanatic on June 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
emma's bee 3
I am in year 23 of a relationship that began in a situation not too unlike this. Except substitute a raft in Denali for the bus. Woman up, and tell this man you want to see him outside haphazard transit circumstances!
Posted by emma's bee on June 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 4
... unless of course all you wanted from me was an enlightening anecdote, in which case, oh never mind!
Posted by saxfanatic on June 27, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
I live in a small town with no public transportation...but once, at a St. Louis Bread Company, I engaged a really hot philosophy professor in a long conversation about Tolstoy and tattoos and offered an e-mail address up for further conversation. He never contacted me (I found out later he was married), but it was a great, semi-flirtatious, ego-boosting conversation. Definitely a positive experience.
Posted by SquareHouse on June 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM · Report this
I started a relationship with someone on a public bus; I saw him every day and we frequently smiled at each other. One day I walked right up to him, smiling, and said "I suspect you're probably a really nice guy. I'm a really nice girl." I sat next to him and we talked, and then we had coffee, and then...
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on June 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM · Report this
lazylisa 7
I'm not the one who took the initiative in my anecdote, but it's a worthwhile tell all the same, I believe. I'm from New York and, to my own surprise and ultimate delight, met a guy on the subway. He was coming home from work, as was I. Glancing across the subway car, I was thinking "man, that guy is cute and just my type." Kept looking over at him. He saw me looking and he looked back. I got off (...the train, smartass) and was walking to transfer to my other train and he followed me and asked me if I could recommend a place to go for drinks downtown. I gave him a couple of blocks to check out and gave him my sweetest smile at the same time. He asked if I wanted to hang out. I said I did. Thus commenced a year (a year!) of me (horny early thirtysomething) fucking the shit out of him (horny early twentysomething) and it was... HOT. AS. HELL.

Bonus anecdote: I was once taking the train across Canada, and I started chatting with an attractive younger fellow passenger guy out of my league, and ended up in a cabin having the greatest sexual experience of my life.

Moral of story: I, an average-looking girl who lusts after hotter guys, have had quite good results being confident and friendly to total strangers. If you want to fuck this guy, and he's definitely not married, all you need to do is:
(1) hold his eye contact for 1-2 seconds longer than you have been already, and
(2) say ANYTHING AT ALL to him and give him a big, genuine smile. Ask for the time. Talk about the weather. Whatever. Just shoot those friendly eyes and smile at him and you will be fucking him the same weekend.
Posted by lazylisa on June 27, 2012 at 6:42 PM · Report this
I wish I'd ovary'd up this morning! Cute guy and I sat across from each other reading the same book on the subway. I didn't make a peep. When we were getting off the train he caught my eye, lifted the book and gave a little smile. I nodded and gave him a big ole smile back. No time for anything else, though, since I was already late for work. But he apparently lives in my 'hood so maybe next time.
Posted by moosefan on June 27, 2012 at 7:06 PM · Report this
My thoughts on this sort of situation based on experience and observation;

Call Me Maybe + six months = Adele

Good luck, SHY.
Posted by mubhappy on June 27, 2012 at 7:13 PM · Report this

The lady I've been with for the last 10 years approached me out of the blue on a street corner & made a comment about something I was wearing...

Go for it.
Posted by Robby on June 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 13
LW, talk to him!

I once had a possible amazing man right in front of me. We had huge chemistry, just awesome. I didn't say anything.

That sucked. :(

Don't be me!
Posted by ScienceNerd on June 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 14
I've always been painfully shy to the degree that even being approached by other guys puts me into stupidville, but the little success that I've had came from a friend who recommended I read this silly, self-help book... can't remember what it was... Anyway, in the book there was a recommendation to play this thing called "The Rejection Game", wherein one tries to get rejected as many times as possible in a period of time. The goal was to become comfortable with the experience, and to learn that, more often than not, proposition is a rewarding thing for both parties, and learning that a rejection from a mostly-stranger is not necessarily personal. After all: they don't really know you.

This is a sweet spot for you to try this out, since you get to never see this guy again if he rejects you! Do it! If you're rejected, there are countless reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you.
Posted by Michael of the Green on June 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM · Report this
Sandiai 15
Oh, Ovary. He's nervous too, see. Just say "Hi" and then something trivial about the weather or your commute. He will appreciate it so much, that he'll probably just start chatting, too. Please try not to rehearse what you're going to say; that will sound creepy or overly-nervous.

Just start with "Hi." Do it, girlfriend! Don't think about it!

I haven't met "The One" by making small-talk with strangers I find interesting, but I've met some friends, and it hasn't been terrible or anything after that initial, "Hi" (smile) "Long day?".

Posted by Sandiai on June 27, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
I've been married for 10 years to a boy I met on the bus. We have 3 lovely kids, great life, and because this is Savage Love I'll add that the sex just keeps getting better.

Talk to him. (If it helps, when my husband first spoke to me, he noticed my London Tube keychain and mentioned that he'd recently been there as well. Maybe the two of you have something like that in common that you can start with...)
Posted by grapemn on June 27, 2012 at 8:02 PM · Report this
An interesting thought of Mr Savage's. But another one for the Things I Shan't Say box.
Posted by vennominon on June 27, 2012 at 8:04 PM · Report this
I would remind SHY that she doesn't even have to say anything to this man, just make eye contact, walk up to him and hand him a piece of paper with her preferred form of contact on it. It doesn't even have to include the words "contact me." If he's got two working brain cells, he'll figure it out.

Of course, if she wants to include an intriguing message, she could always hand him a ticket to an art show or other event that she likes with the day and time she'll be there written on it.

What I'm getting is that the big regret here would be not doing anything, not not having sex with this guy and not not marrying this guy. I'm gathering that if SHY so much as puts the ball in his court, she'll be content, even if nothing comes of it.
Posted by DRF on June 27, 2012 at 8:19 PM · Report this
I was at a kind of weird point in my life, I had crazy insomnia, but going to support group meetings relaxed me. But I noticed there was a chick who would wind up showing up to some of the same ones I did (I went to a couple different kinds). I was kind of pissed off, but turned on at the same time, so I just went up and started talking to her. There was a strange tension, and we decided it'd be best to not go to the same meetings, so we made a schedule. Long story short, she got depressed, tried to kill herself with pills, and called me. I went over there, picked her up, and, well, we wound up having some of the greatest -- but weirdest -- sex ever. Things got weird, buildings exploded, and it didn't last.
Posted by carnivorous chicken on June 27, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
stirwise 20
LW should take Dan's advice to the letter -- put your name/number on a card (if you don't already have one) and hand it to the guy ASAP. The worst thing that could happen is that he never calls you -- no biggie, you're not going to be taking that train anymore, anyway. Best thing -- duh.
Years and years and years ago some kid I had one of these flirtations with handed me a totally unrelated business card with his name/# on the back. I never called, because I was already in a relationship (still am, come to think of it). I wasn't unhappy about the card, and there were no hard feelings. Seriously, there's no good excuse not to make a move here.
Posted by stirwise on June 27, 2012 at 8:23 PM · Report this
LW should also know that this guy himself might be not making the first move because he's shy or fears rejection. Guys LOVE IT when women make the first move, especially in this non-creepy, call me if you like way. Go for it.
Posted by Chicago Fan on June 27, 2012 at 8:25 PM · Report this
19 Wins the thread.
Posted by moosefan on June 27, 2012 at 8:26 PM · Report this
Fortunate 24
I was on a bus one night headed home and this very hot guy sat next to me. Without either of us saying anything there was this immediate charge between us and it was clear to both of us that we were both attracted. I got up to get off at my stop, and I just smiled at him and gave him a "follow me" nod.

He followed me off the bus and we started talking. We just immediately clicked. That night we ended up in bed together. That was pretty much the first and only time I ever did anything like that.

One night stand turned to two nights, then three... it didn't last a life time. More like nine months. But they were a fantastic nine months that ended on a good note and I look back at that time with great fondness and consider it a great period of growth for me.

Just do it. Give the guy your number.
Posted by Fortunate on June 27, 2012 at 8:30 PM · Report this
On the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train I met a Swiss decathlete training with the Cal track team, with whom I had great sex for the whole weekend. GO FOR IT.
Posted by milkshake on June 27, 2012 at 8:33 PM · Report this
I spent wonderful years with a man who left a note on my car at the gym. I was a member and he had a crush on me. He was too shy to ask me directly. Even though we are no longer together, we are still friends and it was a source of great happiness and thousands of nights of mind blowing toe curling sex. I'm grateful he went for it. Go for it.
Posted by Diannna on June 27, 2012 at 8:54 PM · Report this
care bear 27
I submitted an I Saw U once after seeing a very attractive doctor on the bus. He contacted me and we ended up going out. We didn't end up having any romantic chemistry but we did have a lot in common, enjoyed each others company, and had lots of sex.
Posted by care bear on June 27, 2012 at 8:57 PM · Report this
TVDinner 28
He could be an ax murderer, you know.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on June 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM · Report this
(Side note - my friend met her husband backpacking in Europe. That was 12 years ago. They have two kids now and a house.)

A friend of mine - who loves artisan soap - was having a bad week. To cheer her up, I dropped by a new, very expensive, very artisan soap shop in Philadelphia (I'm a straight male).

After I figured out that the salesperson and I grew up in the same area (it was her accent that gave it away), we had a nice conversation about music and obscure bands from back home.

It seemed that she liked talking to me, but after all, she wanted to sell soap, and she probably had someone in her life, and after all, I'm not the kind of guy to ask strangers out.

So I left.

Walking down the street, I realized I wanted to talk to her more, and I would probably never see her again otherwise.

I turned around, took a deep breath, walked back into the store, and gave her my number and suggested that we hang out again.

She called the next day, and things went very well after that…

Posted by gordonburkholder on June 27, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Queen of Sleaze 30
@19 sounds waaaaaay too much like Fight Club for me to fully believe that story. LOL
Posted by Queen of Sleaze on June 27, 2012 at 9:23 PM · Report this
That's how my girlfriend's mom and stepfather met--except at a bus stop, and it wasn't smiles that drew them together but rather mutual admiration of each other's righteous fury at how late the bus was.

I wouldn't say they particularly like each other at this point, but they've been married 24 years and do care for each other in a quasi-platonic kind of way. Ah the romance...

Omg just read #25 re: the decathlete. Track and field is the swooniest!
Posted by doris delores on June 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM · Report this
It's important to go through life with as few regrets as possible. And when a guy has had your attention for that long, it's definitely time to follow your gut and speak up.

I met my sweetheart in a similar way. Turned out he felt the same for me, and just as immediately. I simply cannot imagine life without him now.

Wishing you the best....

Posted by Fire Chief on June 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM · Report this
I hope all of these stories of subway-commuting connections are giving Seattleites pangs of regret about our nearly subwayless city.

Metro buses are not sexy.
Posted by d.p. on June 27, 2012 at 11:38 PM · Report this
Vancouverite 35
Met my love randomly on the bus. Had the courage to talk to her. Talked a lot, but forgot to get her phone or email. Posted on Craigslist missed connections. Three years later, we eloped to San Francisco to get married. The bus or train could be great places to meet people, if only folks would take out their headphones.
Posted by Vancouverite on June 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM · Report this
The estrogen level is pretty high today. I feel like I need to go to a hockey game to get straightened out.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on June 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM · Report this
McBomber 37
Do it! What's the worst that can happen? I busted out of my own shyness once with a stranger and we've been together more than ten years (married for six). Maybe he's creepy, or maybe he's the one. Or maybe you'll die tomorrow...
Posted by McBomber on June 28, 2012 at 12:01 AM · Report this
Hey everyone, SHY here. Thanks for your stories and encouragement, it worked! I just got to work (different continent, big time difference), I gave him my number and we talked. He was really sweet and seemed excited that I approached him. He's also practically my neighbor.
But it doesn't really matter if anything comes of it, I'm just glad I finally worked up the courage.
But please keep the stories coming anyway!
Posted by ovaried_up on June 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM · Report this
gebbeth 39
I once met a woman on 10 hour flight back from europe. She told me a story about a man she met on the train to Vienna. He was holding license plates, and she was just making conversation. They talked the whole train ride, then the whole evening. They only spent one night together, but she was electric from the experience. She wouldn't stop talking about it.

It was really annoying because I just wanted to sleep.
Posted by gebbeth on June 28, 2012 at 12:29 AM · Report this
MoonPatrol 40
@34 yes, that is the moral of the story here. I'm not joking.
Posted by MoonPatrol on June 28, 2012 at 12:30 AM · Report this
@25, 31"Track and field is the swooniest!"

Wow, no kidding, I've got one for you (sorry it got so long):

I was 16 and I had just arrived in Brussels for a year long stay between high school and college. Oddly, I went bowling (never do that in the states). Waiting for my lane were 3 young athletic-looking Belgian guys. I locked eyes with one of them. He tried to strike up a conversation in all five of the languages he spoke, none of them English. My bad Spanish just confused things more. He called over a friend to translate English <--> Flemish. His name was Jean-Paul (which I heard as "Shon Pool"), 23, in the Air Force. Warm.Chaud.Graaf.Caldo.heiß. In any language, totally hot.

He invited me to go to a track meet the next day. I accepted, thinking he meant we would be spectators at a small local event. I guess I should have been tipped off by the javelin in his car. Still it was surprise when we arrived at a huge stadium (seating 'bout 60 thou). More so, when he showed me to a seat with his friends and headed down to the field. Turns out he was ranked third in the world and in training for the Olympics (and paid by the military.) Missed going to the 1980 games in Moscow because of the boycott.

Though that track meet didn't go well, our meet definitely did. Lolita jokes aside, the chemistry was amazing. There was the problem of language. He would bring along a friend on dates to translate. I threw myself into learning French. In six weeks, I knew enough that we could manage a conversation alone. Right in time to go to Paris for my 17th birthday. SCORCHING sex I still remember vividly 30 years later. Did I mention he was an athlete? But more than that, it was my first "adult" love affair and it was lovely. We spent a year and a half traveling to meets all over Western Europe. We even talked about marriage, but I had a scholarship waiting for me in California. When I was boarding the plane, he gave me an envelope- a beautiful love letter written in French. I still have it.
Posted by TheOtherWoman on June 28, 2012 at 1:12 AM · Report this
OutInBumF 42
@38- Thanks for getting back to us! Yay!
I met my husband of 20+ years by overcoming shyness of strangers and saying something. Turned out he was shy-er than I was, and what a sweet, sweet man. Cannot imagine what I'd have missed if I'd not been a bit braver than usual that night.
Posted by OutInBumF on June 28, 2012 at 1:36 AM · Report this
I met my husband at the pool. He was an Austrian in California working on a student visa, and I was a lonely girl at the pool with nothing better to do. So I struck up a conversation with him. His english was poor, but he was a really nice guy (sometimes hard to find in Cali) and we hit it off! Next thing you know I was boarding a plane for Austria a year and a half later after his visa was up. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and just never would have happened if I hadn't Ovaried up! Best decision of my life.
Posted by nerdusmalerdus on June 28, 2012 at 2:19 AM · Report this
RidingTheLightning 44
I met my partner in a field, during a heavy metal festival, in northern Germany - a very long way from home for either of us. I'd drunk half a bottle of something hellish called minttu and he had no idea where he was or what was going on. Although we didn't hook up during the festival there was Something there, we exchanged details, and the week after we went home I travelled something like 250 miles for a hookup with him.

We're moving in together soon.
Posted by RidingTheLightning on June 28, 2012 at 2:56 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 45
He's married or living with somebody. Because if a man sees a chance to get sex and he's single, he jumps. You wouldn't get the chance to fuss and fret.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on June 28, 2012 at 2:58 AM · Report this
@44: Minttu is amazing!
Posted by ovaried_up on June 28, 2012 at 3:10 AM · Report this
@44: Wacken?

To everyone who thinks SHY shouldn't ovary-up because that would just encourage harassment etc:
There is harassment and there is striking up a conversation with a stranger. Nothing wrong with talking to strangers as long as you accept if they don't want to talk.
Posted by migrationist on June 28, 2012 at 3:34 AM · Report this
mixy 48
@38, Way to go!! That wasn't so bad, right?!
I met my current boyfriend at a concert, so it was a different social situation, but I had some business cards in my wallet and passed one to him. I get really nervous doing the whole "you write down my number and text me back" etc etc so the card thing makes me feel more confident. And it's sufficiently professional so if a date isn't in the cards you both can consider it a normal networking exercise and let it go.
The bus or train... I dunno, I feel very unsexy on there. But I'm certain like minded people meet on public transport everyday.
Posted by mixy on June 28, 2012 at 6:12 AM · Report this
SHY, take Dan's advice and TAKE A CHANCE! You can keep it safe enough until you figure out if you want to pair up, but damn, there are so few chances (genuine ones anyway). I met my partner at a concert when she saw me alone, came over and aked if she could share my litte table, engaged in small talk, and out of the blue, scanning the room said: "Do you think those are real? She was looking at a tall thin blonde with a huge chest. We are an unlikely couple - she is a funny, sexy, loving Writer/Chicken farmer Jewish girl from NYC, not what this quiet, (now ex) conservative tradesman from CA would have looked for, and either one of us could have walked away with nothing but a funny story. But we both showed up at another concert that I mentioned was happening in a park the next day, had lunch, and the rest, as they say....eight years with her later I am happy I took the risk. Chemistry, like math, does not lie. You risk an explosion or two, but it could be a great cocktail.
Posted by Glassman on June 28, 2012 at 6:20 AM · Report this
Cute girl who works at the bakery always gives me eye contact and a big smile when she helps me, and I give it right back. I always made sure to come in when it was her shift. Plus she hangs out at another activity that I frequent, so we actually have something to talk about. I'd been working up the nerve to ask her out, but last time I was in, she told me she's moving in a few days. If only....
Posted by Sally Hemings' daughter on June 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
Dan nailed it pretty well, as did lazylisa @7.

Mainly, I think, the point is to break the social barrier and speak directly to the person. What is said may not really matter (as long as it isn't something lunatic).

My anecdote involves a speaker at a conference I was attending. Rapt as I was, I figured he was out of my league (he being a *speaker* at a conference I was *attending*), but the first time I saw him away from the dais, I brought him a question "that you are uniquely qualified to answer" (whether that was true or not is my secret). We spent the rest of the conference together, and a couple more since then.
Posted by shefightslikeagirl on June 28, 2012 at 7:23 AM · Report this
Karla Canadian 52
@50 :) I find the content of your post questionable. Tee hee.
Posted by Karla Canadian on June 28, 2012 at 7:30 AM · Report this
Once I threw my phone number into the guitar case of an incredibly hot busker playing on the street downtown. He called a few days later and we carried on a short but torrid affair. After a few weeks of awesome sex, he moved on to busk in another city. Truth is I can't remember his name now, but I sure as hell remember those hours we spent rocking his van.
Posted by aimeeday1972 on June 28, 2012 at 7:33 AM · Report this
Here's a tip I use to get over my shyness, SHY.... Listen to some inspiring music or watch an empowering scene in a movie, right before you leave for your train. (the scene from Easy A, where Emma Stone walks through school with her "A" tacked on her chest works wonders!)

And remember, if one of us guys is akwardly trying to catch your eye, we're feeling just as shy as you're feeling. Make this hot guy's day and give him your digits!
Posted by The fag on June 28, 2012 at 7:55 AM · Report this
I cannot believe that no-one before me has posted this applicable XKCD cartoon:
Posted by seeker6079 on June 28, 2012 at 7:58 AM · Report this
To everyone who thinks SHY shouldn't ovary-up because that would just encourage harassment etc: There is harassment and there is striking up a conversation with a stranger. Nothing wrong with talking to strangers as long as you accept if they don't want to talk.
Yeah, but our society makes two crucial distinctions which undermine your point. First, it distinguishes between what men do and what women do; how these actions are perceived differs greatly as between genders. Second, it distinguishes between approaches for "striking up a conversation" and romantic approaches.

To the letter writer who ovaried up and made the plunge: well done! Further, thanks for taking the initiative instead of the Leaving It Up To The Man® model, which seems to be our culture's default setting.
Posted by seeker6079 on June 28, 2012 at 8:10 AM · Report this
@54 Already did! (see 38). He texted me a few hours later to say how thrilled he was.
What actually helped me get over my shyness was reading Dan's response and all your comments. Made me want to be able to report back with good news.

@55/56: That cartoon is PERFECT. And yes, that model needs to be returned to the lot, just as Dan suggests in different scenarios.
Posted by ovaried_up on June 28, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
@38 YAY! Congrats!

I was in a bar with a friend and saw I guy I'd had a big crush-from-afar on about 8 years earlier (in college). With my friend's encouragement, I went up to him as we were leaving, said "Dave, right? We went to college together. You don't know me, but I had a big crush on you then." I gave him my number, and we chatted a bit. He and his buddy both seemed totally charmed by me. I was flustered, but smiled a lot and it felt really brave and good. It seemed like he was interested, but he never called, and about 6 months later I heard that he was engaged. I think he just got caught up in the moment. I was a little disappointed that it didn't lead to the torrid affair I'd hoped for, but also felt so glad that I did it!

Unless the person is a jerk, the very least that can happen is that you'll make someone's day. It's always flattering to hear that someone fancies you.

Good luck!
Posted by jrl13 on June 28, 2012 at 8:30 AM · Report this
Baby Blue 59
I met my husband while I was on a date with another guy. Tacky, I know but I was in love (or lust, I suppose) the moment I saw my now husband and was totally turned off by my date. My husband slipped a post-it in my purse that said something like "I don't want to interrupt your date but you're cute and a lot of fun. Give me a call sometime." Needless to say I called and we are still super happy 4 years later.

If you can't muster up the courage to talk to him, slip him a note letting him know that you won't be riding that train every day anymore but you'd hate for the flirtation to end...
Posted by Baby Blue on June 28, 2012 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Baby Blue 60
Oh, I just saw your update, SHY! Congrats!
Posted by Baby Blue on June 28, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Of all of the words, both of tongue and of pen, the saddest are these: what might have been.
Posted by Lan on June 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Oh for fuck's sake 23. Look, I get harassed all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. It's practically a professional sport to harass women in DC. Making eye contact with someone IS NOT harassment. Smiling at someone IS NOT harassment.

Obvious staring is harassment (though I am aware that sometimes people are just staring at nothing and I happen to be in the point in space their eyes have settled on). Forcing someone to talk to you after they've made it clear they're not interested in having a conversation is harassment (this includes asking someone to take their headphones out so that they may "enjoy" your conversation rather than their music). Making lewd comments or gestures is harassment. Groping is harassment.

Making brief eye contact with someone and sharing a quick smile is pleasant. Even if the person is not someone I want to throw to the train floor and have my way with.

I like Dan's advice. I'm shyer in person that on the internet, so I don't have any good stories for you.
Posted by Ms. D on June 28, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
@62, thanks for that. I wanted to write this comment last night but decided that I might not be able to control my eyeroll @23 if I tried.
Posted by moosefan on June 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
prompt 65
In high school I had a girl ask me to the dance at a school assembly.

While I was dressed as a giant ram as the mascot. She had literally never seen my face.

It was great.
Posted by prompt on June 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 66
Once I met a super cute boy on the bus at 2am. We chatted and sat together, but I left without getting his number. So I put an I Saw U in the Stranger and LO! He answered it! We dated briefly, were friends for three years, dated again for about six months, and we are still friends. He's a joy to have in my life. Glad it happened!
Posted by More, I Say! on June 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Skye Blu 67
I was a shy nerdy girl with cornrows to my waist at a AD&D party and she was a geeky college freshman who was impressed it was my real hair and not extensions. We spent months asking our mutual friends about each other before hooking up three days after my 18th birthday. Nineteen years later we are still together and now two years married as well (thank you Canada, you ROCK!!)
Posted by Skye Blu on June 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this
RidingTheLightning 68
@46 Minttu is amazing, but it makes me feel very ill when I drink too much of it...

@47 Yes, it was Wacken. You either have excellent taste in music or surprising general knowledge!
Posted by RidingTheLightning on June 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Last year I was on the subway when I noticed a cute guy across from me. We locked eyes for a short moment. Before getting off the train, I chucked my email address at him. He caught the piece of paper, and looked a bit awe-struck. We emailed a few times- he seemed like a cool guy. I found out that he was in an open relationship, which wasn't my thing at the time (my, how times have changed) so I stopped writing and got into a monogamous relationship shortly after.
It was definitely a huge ego boost to hear his response. He said that he had noticed me but didn't have the balls to do anything, and was so glad that I took the initiative. Even though nothing came of it, it's still a great memory.
Posted by screenamescreename on June 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
@63, I decided I was the harassment police the day that I relayed the following story to one of my friends:

Sitting on the Metro jamming to my music headed to meet said friend, punky-looking teenager sitting next to me (who up to this point had been jamming to his music) taps me on the shoulder, tells me I smell nice, pops his earbud back in, and goes back to quietly jamming. It was a pleasant surprise, I thought it was nice, and it made me feel good.

And he (yes HE) responded:

"Wow, harassment made you feel good. Some feminist you are."

Um...I wear perfume to smell nice. Pointing out that the tactic was successful in a non-imposing, non-creepy way was indeed nice.
Posted by Ms. D on June 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
I was sitting on a curb outside a bar, waiting for some girlfriends to finish up in the bathroom so we could all go home. A very cute guy I'd seen walking downtown all summer was leaving at the same time, about to ride his bike away. I'm super-shy, but I said hi, wanting to know who he was and not lose the opportunity to finally meet him. He wheeled back and we chatted. We hung out that night for a couple crazy hours (nothing romantic, we didn't even talk much). Then he facebook stalked me and we chatted that way some. Then we went on a date that seemed to elicit no chemistry. I was starting a new job, and knew I wouldn't have time to date and told him as much. But he continued to text. We'd run into each other on occasion, flirt a little, but still I felt no real spark. Then, one night, he texted again, and I thought "what the hell" and I invited him to come join me where I was dancing with friends. He walked me home that night, I asked him inside...and we've now been together for almost a year and he's the first man I've ever been in love with.

It's worth speaking up, even if the immediate consequences aren't exactly what you've fantasized about. In a way, I rejected the guy I now love after that initial "ovarying up," but he was persistent and it's all been so very worth it.
Posted by soulpunk on June 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this
I was sitting on a curb outside a bar, waiting for some girlfriends to finish up in the bathroom so we could all go home. A very cute guy I'd seen walking downtown all summer was leaving at the same time, about to ride his bike away. I'm super-shy, but I said hi, wanting to know who he was and not lose the opportunity to finally meet him. He wheeled back and we chatted. We hung out that night for a couple crazy hours (nothing romantic, we didn't even talk much). Then he facebook stalked me and we chatted that way some. Then we went on a date that seemed to elicit no chemistry. I was starting a new job, and knew I wouldn't have time to date and told him as much. But he continued to text. We'd run into each other on occasion, flirt a little, but still I felt no real spark. Then, one night, he texted again, and I thought "what the hell" and I invited him to come join me where I was dancing with friends. He walked me home that night, I asked him inside...and we've now been together for almost a year and he's the first man I've ever been in love with.

It's worth speaking up, even if the immediate consequences aren't exactly what you've fantasized about. In a way, I rejected the guy I now love after that initial "ovarying up," but he was persistent and it's all been so very worth it.
Posted by soulpunk on June 28, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
gregok 74
When I plucked up the courage to make contact after about a month of train flirting with a guy, I was let down in the sweetest way. He was straight and married and noticed me checking him out. He was really flattered because he thought if he was not married I might be the first guy he'd switch teams for. Maybe he lied but who cares. I glowed for weeks, but I changed carriages after that. Best 'not-sex' ever.
Posted by gregok on June 28, 2012 at 4:05 PM · Report this
BEG 75
I'm trying to figure out how "man up" translated into "ovary up"...
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on June 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM · Report this
BEG, I've heard, "sac up" and "nut up". "Ovary up" sounds like the female equivalent of these.
Posted by clashfan on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM · Report this
+1 for girls taking initiative. I'm a straight, pro-feminist guy,
and from conversations with my female friends, I feel like it's more polite for me to give my number than ask for a girl's number, who may feel obligated but not *actually* be interested. Over the years I've made myself get over the anxiety and give girls who I think might be interested my number or email with a sort of "do what you will with it, ball's in your court" attitude. Sometimes it worked out great, and I dont recall any harm having come of it.

Still, I'm lukewarm if I'm not sure someone is into me -- called/contacted "to be nice". On the other hand, I'll bend over backwards, do hand-stands, fetch coffee, make breakfast, do laundry, etc. for someone that I *know* actually is really interested in me. I know that girls a lot of "unwanted attention", esp. at places like bars.
But when a girl gives her contact info to a guy, the guy is pretty sure she's interested, and that's a big fucking turn-on.
Posted by x14n on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
ShifterCat 79
Hey, I met my now-husband on a bus. It does happen.
Posted by ShifterCat on June 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
ShifterCat 80
Also: my favourite expression of this sort is, "Put on your big girl panties and deal."
Posted by ShifterCat on June 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
In the old days, you took a belt of whiskey to work up your courage. It's a new day. Now you can crowd-source your way to a steely spine.
Posted by Pablo Picasso on June 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM · Report this
I am stomping around the kitchen in frustration tonight. JUST TODAY I had one of those moments of locking eyes with a hot guy my age in a coffee house. Did I pull a suave smile, sashay up to him and say "You look nice. I'm nice too"? No. My teen daughter was with me, we were in a hurry, and we left. I very nearly turned around about six times as I drove away. Damn. Damn. Damn. I missed my chance. It didn't help that my daughter said "You should have said something, Mom!" Ms. SHY, I am so happy that you went for it! I wish I had, and now it's too late.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on June 28, 2012 at 8:04 PM · Report this
I was at a huge dance in DC, and my buddy Sam had met a guy online that was just coming out who had asked if they could go together so he wouldn't be too scared. I took one look at that shy redheaded hunka hunka burning' love, and SHAMELESSLY swooped in and asked him out. It turned into ten months of the best sex I've ever had, and it raised the bar on what I expect in a relationship. ALL because I manned up and ASKED the cute stranger out.

Just thinking about him now gives me chills. I'll be in my bunk.

Posted by ShirtlifterBear on June 28, 2012 at 10:44 PM · Report this
I was at Edinburgh festival and my entire cabaret troupe developed a massive crush on this amazing drag artist (he was a straight guy who sang like Shirley Bassey - my girly-boy-loving heart was captivated). After two or three days of us joking around about propositioning him but not doing anything about it, I screwed up my courage, asked if I could buy him a drink at a late evening party, and then asked if he wanted to take me home with him. His response?

"I'd love to, but I can't, I'm sleeping in a bunk bed."

Which I think was probably a polite rejection; either way, it was certainly one of the funniest 'no thanks' I've had! But the thing was, I had so much more fun at the rest of the festival because at least I'd got an answer - I didn't spend every spare minute obsessing over him, and I felt good about myself because I'd been brave and asked the question. And when we met up by chance a couple of months later, we had a really fun chat with no awkwardness.

By contrast, eight years on I still kick myself over not propositioning a really cute guy at my cousin's wedding who spent the whole day talking to me but never made a move. Knowing is way better than not knowing, always.
Posted by Carmilla on June 29, 2012 at 2:14 AM · Report this
Aw, SHY, I'm glad you made contact! Good for you! I hope good things come from it.

I was at the local children's museum with my kids and made eye contact with an awfully cute, no-wedding-ring guy there with his son. We both maneuvered to have our kids play in the same area and started talking... Two years later, we're still together and very, very happy. At the time, I thought he'd be my short-lived younger-guy sex fling (I'm 11 years older). Didn't know it would turn into such a great relationship. :) So happy I met him that day. :)
Posted by sessie on June 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
My wife and I lived in the same apartment building and I always thought she was cute but I was married at the time. Fast foward to a divorce as well as moving out. We would see each other in traffic over the next year and a half from time to time and would always wave,smile and make googly eyes. After resolving I would follow her next time I saw her it only figured that I was in a giant rush that day on my way home. She beat me to the punch that next day, leaving a note on my car while I was at work. Ever since life has been pretty damn perfect. Always seize a chance if you can!
Posted by Hoju on June 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
These stories are making me really happy. Thanks, guys! NEXT time I'll be brave enough.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on June 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
thene 89
I once started talking to the cute guy across from me on the train about the book he was reading, and a few jokes about it quickly turned in to 'wanna come with me to the event I'm going to?' It was a great date and he was an amazing kisser. No one-night-stand and I never called him back because my life was being complicated at the time, but I had a really fun evening with a really awesome guy and I'll always remember it.
Posted by thene on July 1, 2012 at 8:28 AM · Report this

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