Step 2 – The first move
The first move is where it all begins. This is the genesis of love. The embryo of ecstasy. The nucleus of naughtiness. The fountainhead of fun. The first move is what it all comes down to. Without the first move, you are doomed to spend the rest of your life in the company of the joyless Mrs Palmer and her five sullen daughters.
Men share many common experiences while growing up. One of them is projectile vomiting out of a car window at 120km/h. Another is encountering a woman who makes the blood drain from your face. The problem is that all this blood has to go somewhere, so when your paths cross and you find yourself standing there with what is known as a wistful look upon your pale face, you have to move fast.
When you see a woman who makes your pupils dilate and you do nothing more than sigh wistfully, a terrible thing has happened. You have allowed something called yearning to enter your heart. Yearning is not good. It is the enemy of love. It is a member of the Hate family, albeit a distant cousin.
There is only one thing worse than yearning, and that is melancholy. I don’t even know what comes after melancholy. Probably a hosepipe through the back window of your rusting Hyundai. The fact that you are reading this suggests you have not yet gone beyond melancholy. And this is encouraging. It means you still have hope. All you lack is courage. And maybe one or two social skills.
For shy men, the first move is a terrible thing. I know this because I was a shy man once. It is an unbearable burden to bear. It just doesn’t work on any level at all. If the meek have not inherited the earth by now, I find it highly unlikely that they ever will.
If you are a shy man, there is a very good chance that you have on at least one occasion maligned a woman for failing to make the first move. Surely she knows that she is being watched? You haven’t taken your eyes off her since she walked into the place. She looks your way every five minutes. Your eyes meet. She holds it, then looks away. All the signs are there. And yet she refuses to get off her perfectly aligned butt and walk over to you with a smart line and a quick smile. What the hell is her problem? Why must you do all the work? It’s damnably unfair.
For a shy man, the ability to hold your alcohol is vital to a successful first move. It used to be plain old courage, but global warming and feminism has left men with dangerously thin skins. Men can no longer tolerate the same levels of rejection that they could ten years ago, so they have had to learn how to tolerate large amounts of alcohol instead. Across the world, rivers of vodka, brandy and cheap red wine are greasing the wheels of social intercourse. There are more shy alcoholics today than ever before, and there is a school of thought that says women are to blame for this.
The first move has the capacity to turn strangers into lovers. It is also capable of turning incredibly ugly very quickly. To avoid public violence, there are certain basic rules to follow. Once you have spotted the woman without whom you shall surely die, make sure she is alone. Many boyfriends and even some husbands have a problem with a stranger walking up to their woman and asking for a dance or a kiss or unprotected sex in the toilets.
Once you are certain she is alone, you can begin showing obvious interest on a visual level. In other words, make sure she notices you looking at her. At this point, it is important to ensure that your mouth is shut. It does not matter how beautiful she may be, do not sit there slack-jawed and drooling into the peanuts. Be cool. Furrow your brow quizzically. If you are fool enough to have had a Botox injection, find something else to furrow. Women like to feel mysterious. Actually, if they ever find out what a mystery most men find them, they might think of easing up a little in that department.
Keep your eyes on her. If you have good eye/hand coordination, raise a solitary eyebrow and at the same time take a slow hit of whatever it is that you are drinking. It is also important to be drinking something that the object of your desire will not find disturbing. A giant turquoise cocktail with a tropical nativity scene nestling on top will distract her. It will also get her thinking. So when she does smile at you, it’s because you have made her think of Sheldon, her best gay buddy in the whole wide world. You may as well leave immediately.
You can’t really go wrong with a glass of beer. Unless, of course, you happen to be an enormous bloated pig of a man. Beer suggests that you are a man of the people. A tough, straight-talking, blueish collar kinda guy. It is important not to rush your beer. Take it slowly. Savour it. Avoid gulping. Gulping can be very unattractive in certain environments. Try not to do it anywhere outside Munich in October. A gulper is a man who likes to finish things quickly. Any women seeing this will automatically draw one parallel, subconsciously or otherwise, and she will not want to go to all the trouble of taking her clothes off only to be putting them back on thirty seconds later.
Tequila will attract a certain breed of woman. Mexican, mainly. But if you happen to live north of the border, you will find that walking up to the bar and saying, “Got any gold?” will attract a certain amount of attention. If you live on the Reef, you run the risk of alerting the narc wearing his favourite false moustache and Gold & Diamond Unit shoes at the far end of the bar. But anywhere else, the order is likely to get you noticed by a woman who runs with the wolves.
If wild is what you are looking for, keep drinking tequila. Not for the entire evening, of course. If she hasn’t approached you by the time you feel your brain starting to melt, then switch to something else. Whisky is good. Women hate the smell of it, but if you are ordering Johnny Walker Blue at R100 a shot, most of them will be prepared to overlook the high-octane stench pouring from your mouth.
Another way of getting her attention is to ignore her completely. Women hate being ignored almost as much as they hate being hit on.
Again, cool is everything. Look into the middle distance as much as possible. The middle distance does not include faces, breasts or crotches. It can be the ceiling. But too much of that can create the impression that the drugs have just started kicking in. Actually, avoid the ceiling. Studying parts of your own body is acceptable. It gives the impression that you are introspective. Again, avoid studying anything that might disturb the other patrons.
Gently molding the top of a lighted candle can be alluring. It suggests that you have depth. Try not to scream when molten wax erupts down your forearm. Nobody likes a wuss. If the venue does not have candles, bring your own. Try to avoid ignoring her so effectively that three hours pass before you even notice that she has left.
If two unattended girls walk up to the bar, listen in on their conversation. Not only does this provide you with a valuable inside edge, but it also spares you the embarrassment of trying to explain in sign language that you don’t understand Swedish. You might need to get in quite close, because there are still a handful of women out there who use normal sound levels to communicate with one another.
If the music is very loud, do not attempt to lip-read. Men who watch women’s lips while they are talking are thinking about one thing only, and there is a very good chance that women are aware of this. Your cue to jump into the conversation is when you hear key words like “rugby”, “divorce” and “vulnerable”. If your key words have not come up in the first two hours, start looking out for words like “and”, “but” and “if”.
Assuming all goes according to plan, you have now caught the attention of the most desirable woman you have ever set eyes upon. Now what? This is the difficult part. If she is waiting for you to make the first move, no amount of fiddling with candles is going to help.
What you decide to do next could change the course of your life. Making the first move will get you out of the garage, into first gear and on the road to making her fall in love with you. Of course, it can also get you into the most awful trouble you could ever imagine. But never mind that right now.
To be continued …