I was 27 years old before I realized how easy it was to meet men. Until that point, I tried all the standard tricks- tossing hair, tight skirts, tighter shirts, being alternately loud or demure, and asking what material they were wearing (actually highly effective.) Nothing was guaranteed. I wanted something that was 98% effective like when using a condom properly, a high ROI that read like a standard temperature, 98.6.
I was on the beach one day, watching the waves come in when a tall dark shirtless stranger stepped into my line of vision. He was lovely and muscular. I couldn’t let him pass me by. I had to talk to him, but I didn’t know how.
I looked at him.
He looked at me.
I looked away.
Then I looked back to see if he was still looking.
Yep, but he was peeking, pretending not to look.
This exhausting game went on forever. Me trying not to look while I’m looking, him detouring from his previous destination to pretend he had business going ons in my general vicinity.
Then I had a revolutionary thought. I would smile, appear friendly. Maybe he’d smile back.
So the next time I caught his eye, I did it. I smiled.
Then he smiled. From afar.
I don’t know what came over me. I kept smiling and then blurted, “hi!” All nice and chipper like. And kept smiling.
He sauntered my way to say “hello.”
Well, hey now.
Nothing grand ever came of dude. He was in town from Trinidad on a business trip (something to do with boats) and he was 22. He took my number and proceeded to blow up my phone until I flipped on him for doing so. But I learned an important lesson that day: boys will come by if you smile and say hi!
In the nearly 2 years since I figured this out, 99% of guys come over and speak. Sometimes they’re wack with bad conversation or have a lady friend. (I don’t do guys with ladyfriends. Too complicated and violates The Golden Rule.) And sometimes they’re not my dating type but they’re cool as hell and we become great friends. Every now and again, I meet a dateable one and we hang out for awhile and have great fun and conversations as we get to know eachother.
There’s been one person who didn’t come over. It was so odd at that point that I remember it. Kanye’s birthday party at the Louis Vuitton store. Gorgeous mofo who I later discovered was a baller for the Giants (the size should have given it away, but I try not to assume all big Black men throw a ball for a living). He didn’t even say hi back. It was shocking. Rejection sucks. I later learned that he was regularly stank (a friend dated him for awhile months later.) But I learned what guys must feel like when they are nicely and respectfully trying to get the attention of a woman and she just flat out ignores them. Thank God I’ve only been ignored once.
In talking to my men friends, the vast majority have co-signed that a smiling woman who says hello is an amazing way to get them to come over. It translates in guy mind to happy and approachable and interested. Even if she’s not their “type” (I argue men don’t have types. Men like women. Period.) they’ll usually go over to speak just because friendly happy women are so rare and it feels good to have a woman’s interest without having to jump through hoops for it.
So there, as beautiful weather is upon us and beautiful strangers are roaming the streets, give smile and say hi a chance. (And report back!!)
Enjoy the weather and the view.
Oh, a fun fact: only 1/16 men think you are crazy, deranged (cue Martin) if you smile and say hi to them on a crowded subway. The vast majority of men welcome this sort of friendly interest from women, find it irresistible and encourage it to happen more often.
Want more Amelda in your life? Check out all of her musings on life & love here.