A Tale of Two Women

When I was in Colorado, I took the opportunity to practice talking to women whenever I could, just to get in the habit of learning how to socialize with people in public.  Being an introvert, this does not come naturally to me, and my dialogue is often stilted and forced when I’m out of my comfort zone.  But I wanted to try anyway.

My first opportunity presented itself when I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up groceries for the cabin.  I came across one girl working in the store, pretended like I was lost and that I was looking for the coffee blends section (which I had already passed twice.)  She smiled this bright, yet shy smile, and off we went.  We talked for about 20 minutes, about the weather, mountains, coffee, etc. and for a moment I felt like a natural extrovert.  It’s how I in fact discovered the chocolate mint coffee blend that has now become a new favorite of mine.

At the end of the trip I was waiting for my flight and spotted another girl on her iPad (instant geek turn-on) sitting at the same gate.  Modestly dressed too, like she had just gotten out of church (a traditional one, not the one where the congregation dresses like they’re going to a rave.)  There was an empty seat next to her, as well as a free wall socket to plug my own gadgets in.  I nodded at her before sitting down and proceeded to plug my iPad in for charging.  Then made of show of frowning as if it it still wasn’t being charged (it was.)

“Excuse me, are you having any trouble charging your iPad?”

She looked at me for a moment, and without a word went right back to her iPad, surfing images on Pinterest.

Hmmmmmm, did she hear me?  It is pretty loud in the terminal here…

Since we were both at the same gate it was apparent that we were taking the same flight to New York.  So I tried again:  “Are you visiting New York or returning?  I’m just returning from a vacation here myself.”

She glanced over at me again, then STOOD UP, gathered up all her things… and walked right out of the terminal.   She didn’t return again until the boarding started.

????????????????????????????

I’m amazed at the contrast between Airport Girl and Whole Foods Girl.  Same approach, just trying to break the ice and make friendly conversation, with completely opposite results.  In one sense I’m heartened by meeting a Whole Foods Girl type, but in another sense I get thoroughly depressed knowing there are a LOT more Airport Girls than there are Whole Foods Girls.   You have to understand, it’s very difficult for me to talk to people in public, because I have to expend an enormous amount of energy to hear what they’re saying in order to engage in a constructive dialogue.  By sheer math alone, I would encounter more Airport Girls than Whole Foods Girls, with the experiences leaving me so drained of energy and despondent that I wouldn’t have the resolve left to talk to anyone else, even if the very next girl I wind up talking to could be the Whole Foods one.

And you know what, I get it.  Airport Girl probably had no desire to talk to anyone and just wanted to be left alone.  I’m sure there are plenty of women who would like to be able to go out in public and do their thing without being badgered all day by men.  What I don’t like is how some of them may go to their friends or write on their blogs,  ‘This totally creepy guy approached me at the airport today.  I’m so SICK of all these creepy guys bothering me every day.  WHERE HAVE ALL THE NICE MEN GONE?”

Uh huh.  I guess there’s this unspoken rule of conduct where men can only approach women in the proper setting, like bars, clubs, raves, etc..  You know, all those places that I avoid like God’s plague on earth because of the hook-up culture contained therein (and because of the jet engine level noises.)  If I approach women in public, it’s not because I’m creepy, it’s because my opportunities for befriending women are severely limited.

And here’s another thing:  these aren’t creepy guys that are approaching you in public.  There are men YOU ARE NOT ATTRACTED TO approaching you.  Because I can guarantee that if Airport Girl had found me immensely attractive, I would have been able to sit on her lap and cop a feel while she giggled uncontrollably with glee.  All sins would have been forgiven.

Anyway, it seems like there are two things I could do: find a way to brush off the toxic encounters of Airport Girls, knowing that encounters with Whole Foods Girls are worth the aggravation, or, go Galt and simply withdraw from society altogether.  I’m sorely tempted to do the later, but as long as I continue to believe Whole Foods Girls are still out there, I’ll probably keep trying.  As long as they exist, they really are worth the aggravation.

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9 Responses to A Tale of Two Women

  1. Tish May 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM #

    Whole Foods Girls are still out there, so keep trying, my friend. I am a bit of an introvert myself, and I rarely make appearances in any of the traditional places that guys and girls meet. From time to time a guy will talk to me in the grocery store or some similar setting, and I always welcome the opportunity to say hello and have a nice chat. I have a very good friend of several years now, and I met him just because he took the opportunity to say hello to one of his regular customers in Walgreens.

    The Airport Girl was rude. Regardless of whether she wanted to be left alone or she found you unattractive, it comes down to an issue of common courtesy. Being from the south, it is ingrained in me. If someone says hello, I will politely respond and will happily take a few minutes out of my day to meet someone new.

    Let me offer a suggestion, Linc. Try bookstores. You are bound to find some friendly women there who can carry on an intelligent conversation. Check out the book discussion groups that they offer too. It’s the perfect opportunity to speak with others without coming across as a creep. :)

    Good luck. You’re a nice guy, and you deserve it. :)

    • Frank Swift May 5, 2013 at 11:42 PM #

      Thanks Tish, the bookstore idea is something I’d like to explore (there’s a B&N right by work too, but for some reason it’s got this rather weird mix of people.) Maybe I just need to change up the times I go there until the crowd makeup is more comfortable and ascetic to my tastes (read, more girls, tee hee.)

  2. Rob May 5, 2013 at 8:10 PM #

    Agree with Tish. Airport girl is just plain disrespectful. If she had time to surf through Pinterest (gag), she had time for a response to your greeting. I doubt she was returning from a funeral or something morbid that would have given her a reasonable excuse for her reaction.

    You’ve got courage, man. And screw people who ever look at you like you’re a “creep.” They’re cowards.

    Glad I came across this post. You have some good storytelling skills and a story worth telling!

    • Frank Swift May 5, 2013 at 11:45 PM #

      Funny, I had the same reaction to her sifting through Pinterest as well. (gag)

      While New York City has a friendly atmosphere, the rest of lower New York is brutal and very hostile. Not a friendly environment that lends itself to chatting up random people in public. Oh well, to paraphrase a public figure, you go with the crowd you got, not the crowd you wish you had.

  3. an observer May 6, 2013 at 3:12 AM #

    Whole foods girl sounded shy, and lower in status. Lots of people would treat her like cr@p, so she probably welcomed someone friendly.

    I used to fly more, and without exception found that chicks who fly imagine themselves as high status. No idea why. But surfing pinterest would have disqualified her, anyway.

    I have a couple of hobbies and found iois there, especially from older post wall women. As it is, being married sometimes makes them try harder. Lol.

    • Frank Swift May 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM #

      I read somewhere that about 80% of Pinterest users are women. It’s pretty much become the social media version of Vogue Magazine.

  4. Cautiously Pessimistic May 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM #

    Another way to look at airport girl is that you didn’t have to waste much time evaluating her before ruling her out. But as an INTJ (heavy on the I) I can relate.

    • Frank Swift May 6, 2013 at 2:23 PM #

      Indeed, at least the rudeness cuts down on time wasted, LOL.

  5. an observer May 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM #

    Intjs will appreciate this:
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwmbvu6Wsd1r4d8u8o1_500.jpg

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