Weeklyish Challengey Thingie: Get a Date

February 26, 2012

You may be surprised to know this but I don’t date a lot.

Usually, I just blame China for this. You know, it’s not easy for me to find a nice guy to date when I don’t speak the language. And the few bits of the language I do speak are not exactly date-appropriate. I doubt shouting “I need to go to the train station!” and “How much for the strawberries?” would really go over well on a first date.

But the truth is that I’ve never been a big dater. Even when I was living in the States.

I’ve got to say this is a big loss for all you gentlemen folk out there as I’m pretty much the most awesome date ever.

I have stellar table manners and never chew with my mouth open. And thanks to years of working in food service, I even know what all the forks are for.

There is no such thing as awkward pauses when you go out with me as I can pretty much keep the conversational ball rolling for, like, forever.

I have tons of funny stories to tell.

I’ll even listen to your funny stories and act like they’re almost as funny as mine.

I can talk about pretty much anything. Once I went on a blind date with a guy who talked to me about mulch for two hours. Mulch! For two hours! And being the awesome date that I am, I totally asked him all kinds of questions about wood chips and soil rotation and acted like I was super interested and I never once slipped into a coma or anything.

Plus, when I put my mind to it, I can really clean up good.

Like I said, boys, it's your loss. Your loss, I say!

Alas, in order to unleash my awesome dating skills, I have to first get a date. And, that’s kind of where I have a problem.

I’m not particularly good at talking to boys I don’t know. My face turns red and blotchy. I get this twitchy thing going on in my right eye. And my voice gets even squeakier than usual. (And it’s pretty squeaky to begin with. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “Is that your real voice?” Yeah, that gets embarrassing.)

Plus, I’m not even sure how one goes about meeting potential date-able guys in Wuxi. I mean, I’ve tried everything I can think of:

Hanging out on my couch.

Talking on the Twitter.

Drunken bunny dancing.

Really, how’s a girl to get a date in this town?

And, then, last week I discovered a surefire new way to get a man to take me out on a date.

It’s genius, really. And so easy I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

All you have to do is trick him in to it.

I know. Totally genius, right?

You see, last Wednesday, I went into a sandwich shop on campus to get lunch. I just so happened to walk into the shop at the same time as this foreign guy. And seeing as we ordered at the same time and were standing pretty close together and both happened to be foreign, the cashier assumed we were together and ended up charging the guy for my lunch.

Being a gentlemen, he refused to let me pay.

I don’t know about you, but where I come from when a guy buys you a meal, that pretty much means you’re on a date.

(And that’s how it’s done, ladies. Just stand really close to a guy while you’re at the cash register and trick him into buying you a meal! And then start planning your life together, because, obviously, this thing was meant to be.)

After thanking him profusely while my face turned a few shades of fuchsia, I scurried off to my table where two of my friends were sitting. That’s when I noticed my new gentleman friend was sitting all alone. So I invited him over to have lunch with us. I mean, it was the least I could do… especially since we were technically on a date and all.

Over our sandwiches, I learned he is a geologist from Turkey, who is in Wuxi studying Mandarin. And he didn’t once try to talk to me about mulch. Although we did talk a bit about rocks, but I think we can all agree that rocks are infinitely more exciting than wood chips.

As we were leaving, my friend invited him to go bowling with us over the weekend, and we exchanged phone numbers.

(Second tip, ladies: be sure to have friends around who aren’t quite as scared as you are when it comes to talking to boys they don’t know. You’re going to need some help securing a second date seeing as the whole standing-by-him-at-the-cash-register-and-tricking-him-into-buying-you-lunch technique really only works for the first date.)

When I texted him to invite him to go bowling again later in the week, he told me that he had had to go to Shanghai for the weekend and wouldn’t be able to make it.

Which really was his loss as I looked pretty hot in my bowling shoes.

Plus, I think my green bowling ball really brought out the color of my eyes.

And after we left bowling, my friends and I went to karaoke, where this happened.

His loss, really. His loss, I say.

But just because I didn’t get a second date this time, doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my new tactic of standing really close to men until they buy me a meal.

I mean, who am I to refuse a date?

Even if it’s not technically a date.

I think next time, though, I’m going to try this at an expensive restaurant. Like one that has forks and stuff.

Have any surefire ways to get a first date? Do share. I, obviously, need them.

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On February 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm Giulia said:

    I laughed out loud all the way through the post, until my colleague told me “stop laughing”!!!
    Ops, I am at work.
    Giulia recently posted..Have I been to Prague?

  2. On February 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm Priya said:

    Could not stop laughing! haha, so this is what I was supposed to do at Chipotle last week ( could have saved like 8 bucks). Maybe next time I’ll just be weird and say ” You wanna buy my burrito for me?” and when the guy says “what?” I’ll just say “just kidding.. ahem.”
    I love love love this! yay! maybe your next week’s challenge you should MAKE yourself ask out a guy on a date. Try it! and then tell me what happens.

  3. On February 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm jan said:

    I can’t stop grinning – love reading your posts!

  4. On February 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said:

    Will you get to see him when he gets back from Shanghai? I love you in pink, hot!!!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..Andi’s Pick: The Fearrington House Inn

    • On February 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm Sally said:

      Not sure. He said he’d take me out bowling when he gets back, which means I should probably learn how to bowl by then. Then again, you never know who I might meet in Hong Kong what with my new “stand by a guy until he buys me dinner” dating technique! Looking forward to seeing you there!

  5. On February 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm Laurence said:

    Big smile on my face reading this 🙂 And that photo of you in pleather just tops it off 😉
    Laurence recently posted..7 Super Shots

  6. On February 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm Octavia said:

    This was so much fun! Your humor and optimism is contagious. I’d better watch out 🙂
    Octavia recently posted..Mountainbiking in Romania. Cycling over the Bucegi Mountains

  7. On February 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm Bula said:

    I met my boyfriend in Korea when he was homeless and in between apartments and staying in the hostel that I was staying in because I was homeless and in between life and being spontaneous and free and living and crying in the fetal position at night. It has now been eight months. He’s no longer homeless. I am. Anything is possible, Sally. Believe. And sing Gloria Gaynor.
    Bula recently posted..Sannakji: Eating Live Octopus

    • On February 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm Sally said:

      So you’re telling me I should be homeless in order to attract a boyfriend? I could work on that…

      • On February 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm Bula said:

        You got it. Boyfriend in no time! Also, pant heavily with a slightly deranged look in your eyes. It makes you look quirky and charming and whimsical. Showering occasionally also helps but that’s just personal choice! I have lots of other great tips for you like, cut a lock of his hair mid-first date and tell him it’s for your scrapbook. Start singing a song by an indie band like Menstruating with Sharks to have a nice soundtrack to the evening.

        He will be yours in no time.
        Bula recently posted..Sannakji: Eating Live Octopus

  8. On February 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm Selly said:

    Ha! Awesome, truly brilliant! This must be the best advice on how to induce a first date ever! You really have quite a few hidden talents, Sally!

  9. On February 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm Steve said:

    You should try standing beside foreign guys at banks and see how that works.
    Steve recently posted..Strange Reasons People Live in Kelowna

  10. On February 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm Katherina said:

    I’m really bad at all this dating thingy, too. The funniest way I’ve ever managed to get a date was after insulting a guy for stealing my hat at a club, which turned out to be his hat after all. So, you know, just go around accusing men of stuff and get really Penelope-Cruz-sort-of-angry 😉
    Katherina recently posted..I Eat Patagonia.

  11. On February 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm Phil said:

    *Ehem* Did we ever agree on an open marriage? Because the way you are behaving right now.. I just don’t know.
    Phil recently posted..Et la Famille? Et les Affaires? Kow ka ŋi? Let’s Take this Thing Off the Tracks

  12. On February 27, 2012 at 12:16 am Fiona at Life on Nanchang Lu said:

    Wow – that pink police outfit should do it for any eligible man, and probably a few ineligible ones too. Do you think I could get one made at the fabric market?
    Fiona at Life on Nanchang Lu recently posted..Are These Shanghai’s Best Noodles?

  13. On February 27, 2012 at 12:30 am Erik said:

    Mulch? Really?

    I have no other comment than than to say thank you for a good laugh today. 🙂
    Erik recently posted..Photo of the Day- Mitzpe Ramon Crater, Israel

    • On February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm Sally said:

      Yeah, I didn’t want to brag (too much) but that was actually one of two dates I’ve been on where I had to talk about mulch. I guess guys just look at me and think I look like a girl who knows about planting stuff.

  14. On February 27, 2012 at 1:44 am James in Phnom Penh said:

    Next time you talk to a guy, just imagine him in his underwear… umm. Wait. Maybe not. What!? The geologist didn’t know he had to go to Shanghai? Really? Was it a Shanghai Surprise? (sorry. just, sorry). Hmmm. Maybe since he’s a geologist, you can help him ‘get his rocks off’ when he comes back? Sigh. Don’t know what’s gotten over me this morning. I blame McDonald’s…
    James in Phnom Penh recently posted..Life Beyond Pad Thai

  15. On February 27, 2012 at 1:55 am Vesta Vayne said:

    Hey! Congrats on your Bloggie!!
    Vesta Vayne recently posted..It’s Cocktail Time – Early Edition!

  16. On February 27, 2012 at 5:05 am Ceri said:

    Haha. Love it. Sure fire way to get a date? Live in Mexico and leave the house in your crappiest close looking like you haven’t slept in three days. Somehow that attracts men’s attention (catcalls, etc.) here. When I spruce up though? Nada. Pfft! Their loss.
    Ceri recently posted..We Interrupt Our Usual Broadcasting to Bring You This Important Message …

  17. On February 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm Stephanie - The Travel Chica said:

    This is brilliant! I really wish this would happen to me… more for the free lunch than the date though 😉
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Slowing Down in Chiloé

  18. On February 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm Marta said:

    Well, chasing a guy trough four countries and ending up living in his fathers house for 6 months works too… Geee… I should have tried your restaurant trick.
    Hey, but Turks are damn hot. Almost as hot as Mexicans.

  19. On February 28, 2012 at 3:15 am Ken C. said:

    Wow! What a great story! [that it was very well told is a “given”]

    Alas, the only “thing” I’ve ever gotten by standing close-by someone is a cold, or perhaps the flu. For you to get sandwiches AND bowling?! Once again, Fate unfairly favors the pleather-wearing karaoke-singing green-eyed bowlers…

  20. On February 28, 2012 at 9:09 am choi kum fook said:

    Miss Sally! Congratulation for your winning of Bloggie and may be on coming year as well,if you keep on writing with such attractive posts ! Everybody enjoy reading your posts! May I share a bit of happiness with you from the winning? I am no more be a matchmaker. Ha! Ha! So you must keep on trying to do yourself! Good Luck! Miss Sally!

  21. On February 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm Patricia GW said:

    Wow, he doesn’t know what he’s missing! You can do better than talking about just mulch, there must be so many kareoke and pleather-wearing stories to share that any guy would be transfixed in conversation 🙂
    Patricia GW recently posted..Take Me There – A Travel Dream

  22. On February 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm Young said:

    Hi, I love your posts, couldn’t stop laughing ^_^! It’s funny to read your strategy of date, and pics are pretty sweet.
    Good day

  23. On February 29, 2012 at 12:44 am Spinster said:

    This post is hysterical. Not to worry though – I have the same issue in the U.S. AND my current country of residence… both of which are English-speaking. 😐 Just keep plodding along, and good luck. 🙂
    Spinster recently posted..Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

  24. On February 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm Ayngelina said:

    As soon as I see another foreigner I always talk to them, you should definitely do this in China.

    I do not like mulch conversations though, or rocks.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Could you last one day without complaining?

  25. On March 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm Ali said:

    If you do end up going out with him (again?) and it works out, it’s an awesome “how we met” story!
    Ali recently posted..Milford Sound – Before the Cruise

  26. On March 2, 2012 at 8:39 am Chinabecky said:

    As a newly single woman I too am facing this problem. Unfortunately my town doesn’t have foreigners (aside from about 10 teachers all who I know and DON’T want to date) and even a bigger tragedy……NO SANDWICH SHOPS. So what’s a girl suppose to do?!
    Chinabecky recently posted..Comment on Viral Video and Racism in China by Nicki

  27. On March 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm suki said:

    Truly his loss! Found you through
    suki recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Meals in Costa Rica #1

  28. On March 3, 2012 at 4:32 am Leah Travels said:

    You could try the leave behind ala George Costanza from Seinfeld. Maybe leave behind that pink pleather hat. You’re sure to it back and a date to boot.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Texas: A Whole Other Country (Literally)

  29. On March 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm ChinaMatt said:

    Wasn’t that similar to a technique used by a character on Seinfeld? The guy made a ridiculous bet that he would surely lose to take Elaine out on a date that wasn’t really a date.
    ChinaMatt recently posted..Lessons from the Travel Show

  30. On March 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm Heather said:

    I think we need a second date story 🙂 Maybe there won’t be talk of rocks OR mulch!
    Heather recently posted..I’m getting married…really!

  31. On March 12, 2012 at 3:26 am Liz said:

    Thats the best tip I’ve ever heard!

  32. On May 20, 2013 at 10:33 am Tillie said:

    Hahahahahaha. I love your blog!
    Just found it yesterday, and have been reading non-stop in between chores, human interacting (siigh) and other less important stuff! ;D
    I so, so, so enjoy it, and this made me laugh out loud!
    I love your humour! Love it!
    Greetings from Greenland. 😉

    • On May 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm Sally said:

      Human interacting? What’s that? I say replace those humans with cats and you’ll have much more time to read my blog. And you’re welcome!


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