As far as I was concerned, she was perfect. She was at least as smart as I was, was a dancer and had the body to prove it, and had a smile that could disarm the national guard. Let's call her Julie.
So, like an earthworm stalking it's prey, I put my usual game on her. Since my last flowchart was so popular, I've made another one to show you how I dealt with the ladies back then:
Nedless to say, things went slowly. We hung out nearly every day for the last couple months of our Senior year summer vacation. Like many guys, I was totally oblivious to her attraction for me. One morning Julie came over really early while I was still sleeping, and squeezed into my twin bed with me. I woke up, and assumed that she must be tired - it didn't even occur to me that she might like me. Finally on the last week of that vacation she said to me,
"Tynan, I have something to confess to you."
"You're going to be really pissed at me..."
"I have a crush on you."
"Uhh... Why would I be pissed? I have a crush on you too."
I know... I was a regular Cassanova. Later that night we made out for a solid 60 seconds or so, permanently bonding my heart to hers.
The only problem was this : in two days she had to leave to go to college in Chicago. When she told me that she didn't want to do the whole long distance relationship thing, I was totally crushed.
The morning that she was set to leave I woke up early to a knock on my door. My sleepy brain decided that it must be her, coming to say goodbye. I eagerly jumped out of bed and opened the door. It wasn't her, though. It was my RA.
As she spoke to me I found it difficult to concentrate on what she was saying... after thirty seconds I couldn't focus my eyes on her.
The next thing I knew, she was hovered over me frantically yelling, "Tynan! Are you ok? Ty?"
Blood was pouring out of the side of my head and I felt faint. I had passed out, fallen sideways into the bathroom, and cracked my head on the toilet. They even called the paramedics.
Maybe it was because I jumped out of bed so suddenly... maybe it's because I was a wreck over Julie. Maybe a combination of those things.
For two years I didn't date anyone else. I wasn't even interested. I figured that she would move back after college and I could be with her then. It didn't even occur to me that this is totally creepy behaviour - I just thought it was inevitable that we'd be back together.
One day I was online and a friend showed me a site about picking up girls. I barely gave it a second look - I was in love with Julie and didn't care about anyone else.
During the next year I briefly dated another girl, Dina, who was probably as close to perfect for me as they get. But... still distracted with the memory of Julie, I never really got into it and I broke up with her.
Finally, I decided I needed to stop. It had been three years, Julie had a new boyfriend who she was serious about, and having my entire love life consist over one girl who was 2000 miles away was a bit sad.
By then I was working for myself and was out of school, so I wasn't meeting too many eligible bachelorettes. I remembered that site that my friend had showed me, but couldn't recall the name. I turned to google.
Pick up girls.
Fast Seduction. That was it. I remembered the site because of it's unique purple and green color scheme. That night I read... and I read and I read and I read. I stayed up all night reading every last bit of material I could get my hands on.
I couldn't believe it was possible - people were ACTUALLY learning the skill of meeting women. I had always subscribed to the notion that it was magic and chemistry and you either clicked or you didn't. Most girls that got to know me would become interested in me, but I didn't get to know a lot of girls. I was too shy, and I figured that was my lot in life.
But this site actually taught how to go out and meet strangers and get to know them. I didn't even know it was possible. Even though I was 21, I had never been in a bar before. I had never gotten a girl's number (except this one girl who chased me in the airport... more on that another day).
For a few weeks I just devoured all of the information I could get my hands on. I learned how to start a conversation without seeming like I was trying to get something from her. I learned that there were different phases an interaction had to go through before a girl would be romantically interested.
When I learned about the subtle signs that indicate that a girl is attracted, I felt like an idiot. Julie had given me all of those signs at one point or another, as had many other girls who I thought were just friendly. From my later experience I learned that everyone goes through this process when they learn.
I was embarrassed that I had to learn this stuff, though. Who wants to admit they're bad with girls? As a result, I didn't tell anyone I was learning it. Not even my close friends.
Despite all the knowledge I was soaking up, I still had yet to actually go talk to a girl. I noticed a guy posting in Austin, so I e-mailed him and asked if I could join him next time he went downtown. He said that they were having a meeting that weekend where they would discuss techniques and then go out. I agreed to come to the meeting.
When the day of the meeting came, I was having second thoughts. I was nervous. I was so socially anxious at that point that even meeting random GUYS scared me. I decided that I had to go, though.
I parked in front of the apartment, and knocked on the door. The door opened, and I was introduced to everyone by their nicknames. I met "TowerT", "Twitch", "Hitcher" and "Firefly", among others. I said that my nickname was "Herbal", which was my rapping name.
We went around the room and did introductions. I'm pretty sure my face turned red - I was so shy and afraid of public speaking that I was nervous talking about myself in front of 8 guys.
There was a knock on the door - someone had arrived late. The door opened to reveal none other than one of my best friends, Hayden. We stared at each other, guilty and stunned. He was so flipped out that he walked back outside. I had to explain to the rest of the group what happened.
It turned out that he had been studying this stuff for a few months, but also out of shame had kept it from me.
We got over it, and the meeting continued. I whispered to him "Watch. I'm going to take this game over."
Then it came time to go downtown - a totally foreign land to me. However, I was eager to show off what I had learned in front of Hayden. He was also eager to show me the ropes. The group took separate cars and agreed to meet at a bar called "Spill" and then move on from there.
When I arrived at Spill, Hayden and others were already there. Immediately, Hayden asked, "Are you ready for your first set?"
A set is a group of people, including at least one girl, that you approach and talk to.
"Umm.... no. We're just meeting here. We're going to pick up at another bar." As I said it, I knew what a lame excuse it was.
"Come on. There's two girls right there. Let's go"
To my astonishment, he walked right up them and engaged them in conversation. To many of you this will sound like a simple task, but it shattered my reality at the moment. Before I had a chance to let it sink in, Hayden motioned towards me.
"Him, right there!" he said. He was pulling me into the set.
Reluctantly I joined the conversation. It was strained at first, but eventually the topic shifted to rap and I was able to contribute. I teased the girls, as I'd learned to do, and they responded. Neither was particularly attractive or interesting, but it felt good to be pushing my comfort zone. Hitcher, slightly inebriated, whispered in my ear "DUDE! She's into you. Get her NUMBER." I'm pretty sure she heard him, but I still managed to stammer,
"Umm... we should hang out some time. What's your number?"
She gave it to me.
I couldn't believe it. I walked up to some random girl in some random bar and left with her number. It was like the movies, or at least to me.
Over the next few weeks we continued to go out. I was too scared to call the numbers I got, but I got a handful of them. But what really caught my attention is what people were posting online. They were getting numbers - and more - from models. I saw the pictures too... some were perfect 10s.
To get good at anything, the best way is to go to the top. Learn from the experts. That year there had been a small convention where the top pick up artists (as they called themselves) met in Boston to compare notes and prove their skill. I decided that I would host the next one in Austin, figuring that this would ensure me access to the best teachers, without having to pay the hundreds of dollars per night that they charged for instruction.
There was a seminar being held later that month in Chicago. It was sold out, but I wasn't interested in the seminar anyway. I just wanted to meet the famous pick up artists and see if they were really as good as they claimed, so I bought a ticket.
What happened there changed my life forever.
To Be Continued... [now written - continue to Part 2