Sunday, February 12, 2012

Romanconomics: Pick-Up Lines

Since it's Romanconomics month, I've been on the lookout for economics lessons lurking in my love life. This week's takeaway? Pick-up lines are like paying someone to do your taxes - it's more expensive and may screw you over, but saves you a lot of mental work.

Earlier this week, I was running errands for my internship, when someone snuck up next to me and said "Hey!"

Great, I thought. One of the guys from the office just made me jump, and I'm never going to hear the end of it. As I turned around, expecting to see one of my coworkers, I was instead looking into the face of some guy in an NYPD training uniform, with a similarly-clad wingman a few steps behind.

He asked me how old I am, and I (somewhat stupidly) told him. He replied, "Oh, just wanted to see if you were old enough." (For what, I still have no idea. In retrospect, I wish I had told him I was six, and also too short to ride roller coasters without a guardian. I am no fan of stupid questions.) Next he asks me what my name is. I'm officially weirded out at this point, so I ask, "why do you need to know?" Yes, dear readers, I can be prickly at times.

He stumbles for a second, and finally concedes "Well, um, I don't really have a reason. Next time!" and lets me walk away, which I do, because I don't want to get jumped by two officers in training. I then spend the next several minutes being really freaked out and wishing I knew more tricks for losing someone following you without the benefit of a stunt double. I also realized this was an excellent illustration that not everything associated with the government is good.

Don't ask if you can check me for a Levitical skin condition ...
Let me just say - he needed a pick-up line. Or a normal conversation starter. Or something. Just like when doing your taxes you may need an accountant, some software, or prayers for a fiscal conservative in office. If you hire someone (or use a pick-up line), it may or may not do a better job than you could have - but you can't double-check it, because the whole point was to avoid doing the work yourself. Granted, I think tax accountants have a better track record than the photo on the right, but I digress.

My second run-in with pick-up lines was at the second annual Speed Dating night at my college. One of my speed dates decided to avoid answering the question our emcees selected (when was the last time you shot a gun), and instead try to create pick-up lines based on the question. For the record, I beat him at his own game.* Later that evening, though, he redeemed himself by answering "What pre-socratic philosopher gives you the most eros?" (yes, it's a liberal arts college) by saying "Let's go with Socrates or Aristotle, because I'm tired of keeping it Platonic with you." Smooth, right?

Granted, none of these lines resulted in dates later, but then again, neither did the "How old are you? What's your name?" shtick that sounds like it should be followed with "What's your social security number and password?"

Pick-up lines are an area in which you should strive to "know thyself." If you need one, use one! But like hiring help for your taxes, you may want to only do so once a year ...

I was weirdly hit on in:
Below-the-knee black pencil skirt, purple ruffled blouse, silver hoop earrings, silver bangles, silver rhinestone flower ring, black patterned hosiery, and black and gray wingtip stilettos.

I speed dated in:
Skinny jeans, black cami, purple semi-sheer top, black blazer with rolled sleeves, black figure eight earrings, black and clear statement necklace, and teal suede stilettos.

*Even though I'm not sure pick-up line contests are ones I'd like to win, here are my winning entries:
"Let's pull the trigger on our relationship and see where we go."
"Oh, is Cupid using firearms now?"
"Am I bleeding? Because you just sent a bullet through my heart."
ba-da-chhhhh to that

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