Monday, October 31, 2011
Getting Back Into Dating Again
I have been asked about my upcoming book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. It’s a humorous memoir about my post-divorce experience in the dating world. Throughout the book, I share dating advice, which I call Babe Magnet Rules. But it’s a difficult book to explain, so I thought I would use this blog post to share an excerpt from the book.
This chapter is from early in the book, when I had just begun my single life. Here we go:
An Excerpt from Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet by Chad Stone
I just did something amazing. I approached a beautiful woman in public and had a nice conversation with her.
I was sitting alone at a restaurant near my apartment, eating at the counter where it’s OK to read the magazines without buying them. In walks an attractive middle-aged woman all by herself. I catch her eye as she sits at a table and then quickly surveys the room.
In the most casual, not-too-obvious way I watch her to see if anyone is going to join her. Apparently not.
All right, it’s pretty obvious that she knows I’m watching her. She takes off her denim jacket to reveal a black tank top and breasts that were not installed at the factory. They are perky and considerably younger than the rest of her body. Her hair is frosted blonde and her skin is pleasantly tanned.
She gets up from her table and walks right in front of me, pretending that she needs extra napkins RIGHT NOW before her food is delivered to her table. I watch her walk back to her table, and she looks over to make sure I’m watching her.
Nice. Very nice.
Well, we’re both checking each other out from a safe distance. Now what? I scan the restaurant again to see if anyone is going to join her.
In my youth, I was never a great pickup artist. Actually, I was never a pickup artist at all. Approaching a beautiful woman who I don’t know is not something that I have done in decades. It’s the worst, most frightening sort of cold call there is. I can make a business cold call, because I have a purpose and I have confidence in my business skills. But a cold call to pickup a beautiful woman? That’s completely out of my comfort zone.
Many years ago, I shared a bachelor pad with Pete, a friend from college who shared my appreciation for the female gender. We were both 21 or 22, single, and we had WAY more hormones than we knew what to do with.
Pete and I used to walk to the supermarket every Tuesday after work because we knew that a drop-dead gorgeous woman shopped there at the same time every week. She was tall and blonde and dressed smartly in a business jacket and a tight but not too-tight skirt. We surmised that she was a lawyer based on her attire and the businesslike precision with which she carried herself.
We used to follow her around through the store, hanging back so she wouldn’t notice us. I always felt that she was out of my league, so the closest I ever got to actually having a conversation with her was the one time I walked beside her and noticed that she had bought some fresh fish from the meat counter.
I couldn’t think of a thing to say. Finally I said, “Fish. I like fish.” She looked at me strangely, like I had just dragged myself out of the ocean and I was attempting to walk on land for the first time. I had no follow-up line, so I slinked away, dragging my tail fin behind me.
That was the first and last time I ever talked to the Lawyer Babe.
So, my history of picking up Babes is not long and impressive. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen an attractive woman that I didn’t talk to, I’d be listed right under Bill Gates in the Fortune 400 list of gadzillionaires.
Well, what the hell. I’m more than 50 years old and I’ve never heard of anyone dying from talking to a beautiful woman. Humiliated, for sure. But there is no known case of lightning bolts zapping a poor, unfortunate man who dared to talk to a woman that he didn’t know. I am quite sure that there is nothing in the Bible that specifically forbids it. There’s a commandment against adultery and against coveting thy neighbor’s wife, but there’s no commandment that says, “Thou shalt not talk to Babes.”
I have observed many Babe Magnets over the years. These studly men reek of self-confidence and never seem at a loss for words. When they see a Babe, they pounce. That’s because they know…
BABE MAGNET RULE #3
Babe Magnets always make the first move.
I take a deep breath. I’m going for it. I get up and walk to the Blonde Babe’s table.
As I walk across the restaurant, the room keeps getting larger. A little stroll that should have taken me just seconds is stretching longer and longer. After an hour I am still walking.
Then I am standing next to her and I am forced to speak.
“Excuse me, are you dining alone tonight?”
“Me, too. Do you mind if I join you?”
She smiles. She has perfect white teeth that are no older than her breasts. “Not at all,” she says in a pleasing tone of voice.
I go back to the counter, grab my plate and glass, and walk them over to her table. As I set them down I say, “Well, this is kind of weird, but I didn’t want to eat alone.”
If it’s weird for her, she doesn’t admit it. We start talking. Her name is Laura. She is a zookeeper. In my entire life, I’ve never met a real zookeeper. Her job gives us lots to talk about, and I ask her a lot of questions because I’m genuinely interested. I feel a little like the late Mr. Rogers, asking the zookeeper about all of the fascinating things she does because it needs to fill a whole segment of his show.
Laura takes care of the large, hoofed animals—everything from rhinos to antelopes. From what she says it’s a bizarre and wonderful job. She even taught the rhinos to stand on a huge scale. It took a whole year of work, but she did it. That’s the kind of story that would make a great quirky item on the local news.
But while I am talking to her, my mind is filling with inappropriate questions:
“Do you ever use whips at work? How about at home?”
“What’s the biggest snake you’ve ever gotten your hands on?”
“What do you do with the peacock feathers you find?”
“How many times have guys used a ‘Me Tarzan, you Jane’ line on you?”
“How often do zoo animals have sex?”
I have to focus really hard on our conversation to make all of the wild-animals-having-sex images leave my head.
I tell her a little bit about me and my work. It’s not as exciting as two massive rhinos going at it, but Laura seems mildly interested.
We talk for a while, and I find my eyes glancing at different parts of her body. Her arms are well toned and she is clearly vain enough to take pride in her body. And there are those wonderful, young perky breasts just waiting for a chance to breathe fresh air. Breasts must really hate to be trapped in bras all day where they can’t see the light of day.
How old is she? Somewhere in her early 50s. She has two kids, ages 33 and 31. If she had the first child when she was 18, she’d be 51 now.
She tells me that she’s expecting a friend to join her. I assume that it’s a female friend. I am dead wrong. Carl, a nice-looking bearded man, arrives and suddenly I go from feeling confident to feeling like I have invaded another man’s territory. Crap.
“We were both dining alone and decided to sit together,” I explain.
Carl is very gracious— probably more gracious than I would be in his situation.
The conversation at the table dies. It’s an awkward moment. Carl gets up to go back to the counter to order food, and I get up to find a take-out box to pack up what’s left of my fish and chips.
Laura and I chit-chat lightly while I package my food to go. I say “nice meeting you” and I leave them to their regularly scheduled rendezvous.
I didn’t get Laura’s last name or phone number, so there is no way for me to contact her again.
I think about her later in the evening when I’m back in my bachelor apartment. We had a pleasant conversation, but we didn’t spend enough time together to know if there could have been any magic between us.
It’s not like I closed the deal, but I made my first Babe Cold Call, and I feel good. I am proud of myself for having the guts to get up from my comfortable spot in the restaurant and join her. I actually approached a beautiful woman and proved that I could have a pleasant conversation. Sure, I bolted when her male friend showed up, but I still made first contact.
For the first time as a newly single man, I feel like I am going to do just fine in this brave new world of meeting new women.