Man Buffet

16 Nov
A buffet-style restaurant in Chiba Sogo

flickr image by Yusuke Kawasaki

“Why can’t I ever meet available men?” I hear single women ask time and time again.

The answer is, quite shockingly, very simple. You need to be more proactive. When you dine at a buffet do you expect the waitress to trundle the bain-maries full of chicken nuggets and spring rolls over to your table for your convenience? No. It’s not Yum Cha. Get up and serve yourself.

So often I listen to the incessant female complaints of not being able to meet men. How men don’t often approach them, let alone ask them out on romance-fuelled dates. Yet, strangely enough, when I ask these same females quite simply why they don’t approach men, they look back at me uncomprehendingly. Their reply is always the same, “Isn’t that the man’s job?”

Well, it’s no longer the fifteenth century. Women are now able to show their ankles in public. Women can vote, drive cars, choose a career over spawning children – yet so many still feel it’s the man’s job to do the asking out.

These same women tell Freddy to fuck off when he eventually musters the courage to approach them in their scantily clad attire, swaying their chardonnay shoulders on the dance floor on a Friday night. Having been told off, Freddy, with his balding head and partially protruding beer gut, shuffles dejectedly back to his vantage point next to the cigarette machine, scanning the pulsating crowd for another potential victim. Freddy is repulsive and sleazy (a gatherer, if you will) and no self-respecting female would touch him with a ten foot pole. But at least he’s being proactive.

Yes, asking a guy out can be scary as all hell. But then, so is the thought of countless Sunday afternoons spent on the lounge guzzling Malteasers and watching The Notebook for the seventeenth time while all your friends are out with their boyfriends.

I met Alex just after I finished uni, whilst working at the local supermarket, biding time until my ‘real’ career was to start. He worked in the fruit and veg section, while I was a checkout chick. We got chatting in the lunch room one day, paving the way for nervous waves and shy hellos whenever we spied each other at work.

I waited two long months for him to ask me out. But despite my work shirt progressively being unbuttoned further, his proclamations of undying love remained allusive. I soon realised if I wanted things to progress, I would have to be the one to make the first move. I then began to review possible strategies on how to ask him out.

Possible strategy #1Approach him at work and ask him directly. Too risky, he was always surrounded by a band of chromosomally-challenged, gossip-mongering fruit and veg guys.

Possible strategy #2Slip a piece of paper with my number into his hand. Again, too risky. This would evoke far too many inquisitive questions and suggestive winks from coworkers.

Possible strategy #3Look him up in the phone book and call him. Too stalkerish.

Possible strategy #4 As Valentine’s Day was fast approaching, slip a Valentine’s card into his lunchbox which he stored in the lunch room. Perfect.

When Valentine’s Day arrived, during my morning tea break, I entered the empty lunch room and spied his lunchbox on top of the fridge. Moving quickly, I frenziedly shoved the Valentine’s card inside. Buzzing with pent-up excitement and a sense of self-satisfaction, I contentedly took a seat and began to read a discarded newspaper that had been left on the table.

Upon hearing someone enter the lunch room, I looked up, a friendly smile cemented on my face. It was Alex, moving towards his lunchbox with hungry determination. “G’day Dawn,” he chirruped, grabbing the box and sitting down across from me.

“Hi,” I replied softly, terror beginning to wash over me – he was meant to find the card when I was completely out of the vicinity of the lunchroom! Oh God, what should I do? Wild impulsive thoughts began firing through my brain. Jump up and leave? No, I wasn’t due back at customer service for another ten minutes. Go hide in the toilets? No, too weird. When he finds the card, snatch it out of his hand and run?

It was too late to make any rash movements – he’d already opened his lunchbox and was currently holding the envelope. Nauseated, I stared at the offensive object, willing it to disappear into thin air. He peered at it quizzically for a moment, before beginning to tear it open. Swallowing the lump in my throat and ignoring the urge to vomit, I managed to choke out a pathetic, “Oh, yeah, that’s from me.”

He smiled politely and read the card. As he held it upright, scanning the penned message inside, the outside of the card faced me. Too late to regret the choice of card, with its ridiculous message, ‘I think you’re a sexy beast!’ and insane-looking cartoon character blazoned across the front.

In what seemed like slow motion, he closed the card, slid it back inside the envelope, deposited it into his lunchbox and removed a sandwich. “Thanks Dawn, I’m really flattered, but I’m already seeing someone.” Holding the sandwich between his large hands, he took a ravenous bite.

Already seeing someone? The words reverberated around my dumfounded brain. I felt the blood rush to my face, my cheeks burning an unflattering shade of crimson. The blood surging to my head was rendering me temporarily deaf and causing my vision to blur. I heard myself reply with a curt, “No problem,” before my shaky shell-shocked legs began carrying me back to the customer service area.

Ok, so it wasn’t exactly the happy ending I had been hoping for. Over the next couple of weeks a vengeful voice inside my head whispered, “Prick!” every time I heard his name announced over the PA. I also boycotted the lunch room for a week or so, opting instead to eat lunch in my parked car, like some kind of antisocial hermit.

Putting yourself out there is never easy, but often the results are worth it. Low and behold, a few weeks later when things turned sour with his then ex-girlfriend, Alex called me. It seems he was powerless to the wily charms of my childish Valentine’s card. This then paved the way for a six month relationship. It wasn’t true love, but I never would have known had it not been for the Valentine’s card.

By no means am I advising you to swan around your workplace in whorish outfits, dropping Valentine’s cards onto your male coworker’s desks like confetti. It’s highly likely that kind of behaviour would make you appear desperate. Not to mention crazy. I am, however, condoning the act of women making the first move. Unless your way of thinking is absurdly antiquated, there is absolutely no reason why this duty should lie solely on the male’s shoulders.

The object of your affection may very well find your advances a delightful surprise. Similar to when you’re unexpectedly offered a packet of Tim Tams – preferably the ones with the double coat of chocolate. You instantly know with every inch of your being that you must have one. To your unsuspecting love interest, you could be that Tim Tam.

My point is, stop whinging about your lack of man-action and do something about it. Put on a sexy top and approach that guy leaning against the pool table – the one you’ve been sharing lingering looks with. Chances are, he’ll be flattered and will welcome not having to make the first move.

For your opening line, it’s probably best you don’t grab a handful of ice from his bourbon and coke, rub it all over your chest and exclaim, “Fuck, it’s hot in here!” But, hey, whatever works for you.

Go on – what have you got to lose? And don’t reply, “My dignity.” Chances are, if you’re anything like me, you already lost that years ago.


7 Responses to “Man Buffet”

  1. mariasrandomrants November 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    I LOVE this! You’re a hoot. Found you on the WordPress showcase. I’ve subscribed. When you get a chance I hope you visit my site, too. It’s pretty sassy, like yours.

    I’m incl links to some posts hopefully like enough that you’ll follow me as well.

    Top 5 Lessons of Marriage

    How can you tell when your son is going through puberty?

  2. Dawn Dash November 17, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    Hi Lovely! Sassy minds think alike… I also saw your posts on the showcase, checked them out, had a giggle and subscribed yesterday! Love it.

  3. StewieJT November 18, 2010 at 3:22 am #

    Amusing post! I can’t seem to meet enough down-to-earth girls. I think it’s a London thing. Too many choices lead to never being happy with one choice, even though that leads to a vicious circle of date-reject-date-reject! At least you don’t seem to be a little princess:

  4. nkirdizzle November 25, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    First up, that whole Valentines card thing was extremely brave, I think I would rather die than do that. Seriously, my heart would literally stop beating. Then I would die again after all that work, finding out he is unavailable. But you emerged victorious in the end so yay you.
    I am still very skeptical about approaching men, I think he would really have to be worth it for me to do that.

    • Dawn Dash November 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

      Well, I suppose my approach was a little cowardly as it wasn’t face to face. But my philosophy was a bit like the tree falling in the woods. If I put the card in his lunchbox and hear nothing… It never really happened. But if I do hear something – Result! And, yes, at the time it was singlehandedly one of the most mortifying experiences in my young life. I remember the blood rushed to my face with such ferociousness, I thought my skin was going to explode. And all that blood was actually causing a deafening roaring sound in my ears. But honestly, a guy is not going to think less of you for it. If anything, he’s going to feel pretty flattered. If worse comes to worse, at least you’ll have a funny story to tell! 🙂

  5. Heather December 7, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    Ahahaha. I love this one. I need to remember this. I’m always such a chicken. I love your stories, too. I wish I could my encounters into funny little anecdotes like this. I always try so hard but I fall flat. I’ll keep working on it. 😀

    Also, I love your story of the solider from the entry before. Classic!

    • Dawn Dash December 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

      Hey, don’t worry, I often forget this too. Until one of my friends kindly reminds me, “Remember Dawn, like you always say, it’s a buffet, not yum cha!” It’s very easy to give advice at times, but it takes a little more courage to actually follow your own! 🙂

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