I once told a group of guy friends I could predict how long their next relationship would last based on where they met. While uttered somewhat in jest, consider the results…
Name Met at… Status
Jeff Med school class Married 3 years
Brian Intramural sports Engaged
Matt Theater opening Dated 1 year
Mark Bar Snuck out at 6am
OK, hardly groundbreaking to say people with common interests beyond beer have better odds for a successful relationship but the thing that struck me was that the relationships that lasted began while the participants weren’t trying– they were living their lives and someone came into it. It reminded me of that expression “Love comes along when you least expect it”. But why?
I suspect it’s because when people are engaged they are more themselves and that’s when you’re most apt to attract someone who’s right for you. Consider two scenarios— in the first, your friends come to order dinner and watch a movie. In the second, you get all dressed up and go out to a club.
If someone watched a video of you in both situations, from which would they get the best sense for who you really are? The friends at your place, of course. Your guard is down and you’re not worried about pretense or appearances. You’re being you.
This got me to thinking about some of the women I’ve recently been attracted to and the circumstances surrounding it…
All Bundled Up
Last winter, my friend had a party. It was one of those freezing nights when you have to make that decision— do I look good or be warm and get laid in the Spring? A surprising number of women chose the former— showing up shivering in slinky tops and thin but fashionable jackets. Then, in walked a figure so bundled up that I couldn’t even tell it was a woman at first. She wore a huge, puffy winter jacket, mittens and a hat with pom poms on the top. She looked like the Michelin Man and it was adorable. I loved her priorities: Cozy comes first and she could care less what people thought..
My friend, Chris, and I watched as she removed her layers like some sort of Eskimo strip tease. It was oddly hot– watching a woman take things off is just exciting, even if it’s 7 layers. Our anticipation mounted with every piece—how many more are there? What will be next? Finally she got down to a big sweater and jeans. Perhaps the best part was we then noticed her cheeks were flush and she was sweating. Everyone else was freezing and she was overheated! Chris beat me to the punch, offering a cold beer to help cool her off. They’ve been together 4 months and by all reports she’s as cozy as she looked.
Sweatin’ in the Oldies
There’s a 20-something woman at my gym who wears baggy, beat up lacrosse shorts. I don’t know her name but I love her. She gets on the treadmill, plugs in her ipod and gets lost in her own world– mouthing the words to songs, sometimes even breaking into a verse out loud (and not well). Its like she’s having a party to which nobody else is invited… and I desperately want to attend. At the same time, I don’t want anyone to bother her little ecosystem. But by the third time I saw her there I couldn’t help myself and I decided I had to at least muster up the courage for an awkward “hey there”. I walked 10 extra minutes on a treadmill to time the end of my workout with hers so we could accidentally bump into each other. And just as I was about to make my move, a studly looking dude came out of nowhere, kissed her shoulder and asked if she was ready to go. Mission aborted.
I was walking down the street in midtown Manhattan when I noticed a woman coming the other way. She was a buttoned up business woman– complete with briefcase and power heels– yet seemed frazzled. As she got closer, I noticed her shirt was coming untucked, her hair was losing to the humidity and she was struggling to handle her two bags while also talking on her cell phone. She was a strong, modern woman having a bad day. Watching her wheels come off made her so real and vulnerable. I was reminded of how easy it is to be a guy– just throw on pants and some hair gel and I’m set for the day. As she approached, I started to smile– not so much to flirt but as an attempted sign of compassionate recognition. We briefly caught eyes and she just looked away. I think a male advance was the last thing she needed on this day.
Coffee in a Bun
It was a lazy Sunday morning after a late Saturday night when I threw on shorts and the same shirt I wore yesterday to run to the coffee shop across the street from my apartment. Online was a woman who appeared to be on a similar program– hair in a bun, tank top and sweatpants so long she was stepping all over the bottoms. She ordered a “massive cup of coffee.” I looked at the board— massive was not a size, she was just being funny and emphasizing her need for caffeine. The guy behind the counter smiled, as did I. “Anything else?” he asked. She hesitated, then said, “and one of those big ass chocolate muffins.” I was smitten. She was giving into her urges, a total devil may care attitude. Today it was about her and she was going to do whatever she wanted.
I wanted to say something, only my head was too cloudy for original thoughts and my hair still smelled like a bar. So when it was my turn I decided imitation was the sincerest form of flattery and loudly announced, “I too will have a massive cup of coffee.” Nobody laughed. I think I forced the moment a little and actually wound up shouting. There was an uncomfortable silence, I paid for my coffee and left.
So while I did not go on to marry any of these women (actually, I never even approached one), someone definitely will. But they all caught my eye and proved memorable enough to make it to this blog. Guys are always going to check out a pretty girl (not nearly as much as women do, by the way) but I assure you these are the type of things that catch the good ones’ eye.
NOTE: Thanks for all you support on my CD pre-sale! We hit the minimum required so its full steam ahead. Only three hours left if you still want in… here’s to hearty guffaws!!! http://tinyurl.com/7fqphdv