Ever since I can remember, I have been a huge fan of Boy Meets World. With no concept of TV guide or schedules, it was a gift from the heavens above when I would turn on the TV and see the familiar cast. For roughly as long as I was a fan of the show, I had a crush on Topanga - known as Danielle Fishel in real life.
I'm hesitant to post detailed "reports" on meeting women here. Maybe because it's too personal, maybe because it's so easy to misinterpet as mechanical, but for whatever reason I don't love the idea. However, this is a funny story that probably won't offend anyone (except one guy who I don't mind offending.)
The 2004 Pickup Artist Convention, which I had organized, was held in Los Angeles, CA. Normally I'm rather lazy about going out and meeting people. I find it very frustrating to find women I'm genuinely interested in, and the allure of talking to women for practice is much less than it was when I first got into the Pickup Artist thing.
However, during PUA conventions, I wasn't lazy. No one was. It was a chance to shine, and show people how good you were in the field.
I was holding court with two typical club girls at The Standard in West Hollywood, which was right down the street from our house. They were very pretty, but simultaneously very boring. It's a common combination, especially in LA.
As we sat and bantered, I was aware of everything going on. During PUA events there is always a crowd of guys from all over the world who come to watch the more experienced guys in action. They're too afraid or unskilled to do the approaches, so they live vicariously through us. Also in attendance was my friend Hayden.
There are certain rules we play by. They're not formalized and written down, but they're understood. One of them is that unless he's expecting you, you don't interrupt a conversation between your wingman and girls.
Hayden interrupted my conversation. He looked hesitant.
"Ty... Hey... Can I talk to you for a minute?"
It was strange. The girls noticed this as well. I introduced the girls to him, assuming he wanted to come sit with us and meet one of them himself. It wasn't an orthodox procedure, but I didn't care. I was doing little more than showboating for the onlookers.
"I just need to borrow you for two seconds... it's important."
What could be so important? Curiousity piqued, I stood up and followed him a few feet away.
"Topanga is at Mel's"
Mel's Diner is a popular after hours diner in West Hollywood. Incidentally it was also about 50 feet away from our house. In fact, Mystery and I had conducted a number of contests involvind Mel's parking lot. Could we throw oranges down the hill and land them in the parking lot? Yep. Who could make a paper plane fly closer the restaurant? Neither of us.
"Jay just called because he knows you like her. She's eating with some people at Mel's right now. You should leave."
I returned to the girls and hastily excused myself. They were visibly startled - girls like that don't normally have guys like me ditching them for ANY reason.
On my way over to Mel's I called Jay. He told me that she was with five other people, sitting in the middle of the restaurant, with no extra chairs at the table. As far as logistics go, it doesn't get any worse than this. Ideally a girl you're interested in will be sitting with one or two friends in a less conspicuous area with an extra chair at the table. From there it's just a matter of "passing by" and "striking up a converstaion" and sitting in the extra seat. Within minutes you're part of their group and they forget that you're some random guy who took one of their chairs.
From time to time I battle with approach anxiety. I see a group of beautiful girls and don't want to approach. Sometimes I'm scared and sometimes I'm just apathetic. However, when there's a celebrity involved, there's no anxiety. The reward is so great that it outweighs any risk. I'd previously kissed Leelee Sobieski, but had failed to recognize who she was. In real life she was charming, but not outrageously attractive. A celebrity is a notch on the belt that anyone wants - PUA or not. The validation of having someone who could have anyone interested in you is incomparable.
Finally, I arrived at Mel's. I walked in with no hesitation. Any awkwardness could be sensed a mile away and would ruin it. With a girl of this caliber, there is no room for error.
I glanced around. The tables were packed with pickup artist and pickup artist wannabes from all over the world. Jay had kept them at bay because he know how much I liked Danielle. It was as if I was entering a boxing ring - all eyes were on me, Danielle, and her table.
Her table consisted of three couples. They were obviously on a triple date. This wasn't good. Danielle was sitting in the middle of the table, her date on the edge that I was closest to. I walked almost past the table and glanced back casually. She really was beautiful. It wasn't that she had better hair, or a better figure, or even a better face than anyone else. She just had a huge smile that beamed confidence and contentment. I was attracted instantly.
"Hey guys," I started, "I need your opinion on something...."
I'd delivered the same exact line a thousand times. Thanks to Neil's book, thousands of other people have delivered it as well.
I continued into the 80's Dogs opener. The premise is that a neighbor has two dogs and wants to name them after an 80s rock duo. Does the group have any suggestions?
There was a pause. The guys were baffled that I would just walk up like that and start talking. The girls were scrutinizing me for any hint of insecurity.
One of the other girls offered, "How about Hall and Oats?"
I'd heard that answer a million times.
"Hey! That is a good one!"
Hey... what else am I going to say? Danielle was still staring at me without answering. Her friends had accepted me, but she wasn't convinced. Her date was even less convinced.
"Dude! I have an opinion for you. Take that feather boa off and leave!"
While his grasp on the Enlish language may be in question, his intent certainly wasn't. He was threatened and didn't like that I was there at all. In a sense, I had messed up. The idea is to not convey that I'm anything more than a curious passer by. The awkward logistics made that nearly impossible, though.
The truth is that in all my experience, I had never really encountered a hostile guy. Most guys would either befriend me or just become silent and dejected as their girls became attracted to me. This was new.
I ignored him and continued on. This seemed to work for a little while. I bantered back and forth with the group.
"Axl and Rose."
Danielle finally answered. She had been thinking the whole time. That too was a typical answer, but I agreed that it was a good name. I could tell by the look on her face that she was proud of it. Unfortunately her date wasn't impressed at all. He ramped up the volume and made it impossible for me to stay there. It had become slightly awkward for me to be standing there anyway - I desperately needed a chair to sit in.
"Is he always this much of a dick?" I asked the group. The other two girls regretfully replied that he was.
"Well... I'd hate to continue offending him. It was good to meet you."
I walked off, rejected. If there was an empty chair where he was sitting, I believe I would have been able to join the group and get to know everyone in it, but I didn't. There are ways to effectively deal with hostile guys (called AMOGs), but wasn't good at them.
As a last resort, to regain my pride, and to regain any respect lost from the onlookers, I approached another group of two girls and one guy. They were sitting right near the exit, where Danielle would have to pass by.
Within a few minutes I was sitting at their table and was being offered food. I was in. Still sidetracked by Danielle, I wasn't particularly interested in the group. They were fun, but I was talking to them with a purpose.
When Danielle's group paid the check and started walking to the door, I got ready.
Just as she passed, I delivered a joke with perfect comedic timing. The group erupted and she turned to see what the disturbance was. I turned and grinned at her, as if to say "See? Look what you missed out on."
She wouldn't forget me, I was sure, and hopefully I would meet her again. Unfortunately, I never did. Maybe one of you knows her, or knows someone who knows her, and will have her read this. I'd love to hear whether she remembers it or not. I'll bet she does.