Backpage Pick-up Etiquette

von Niko Jasberg

There’s a time and a place…for everything. I was in line at Starbucks for an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. A man with his tween daughter walks in and overhears the cashier tell me there is no charge for my coffee. He engages me in conversation by asking about the free coffee. I explain that Starbucks’ computer systems are down so they can’t accept payment. He comments on how nice of Starbucks to not charge and places his order. I agree and quietly wait for my coffee.

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He decides to start a dialog by asking what I do for a living while he and his daughter are waiting for their drinks. At this point, I realize he is not just engaging in mild chitchat, but is trying to pick me up.

I could tell the daughter was uncomfortable with this exchange. The father offers to tell me what he does for a living, “I’m a photographer.”  His daughter says he is not and then under her breath, whispers “he’s married.” I don’t hear this, but the father repeats what she has said.

At this point, he says “Stella is the only one who doesn’t understand that I’m not coming back. My wife kicked me out 5 months ago.”

Feeling completely awkward and embarrassed for the daughter, I thank her for telling me her father is married.

The drinks arrive, the father proceeds to take out his business card to hand to me. He feels the need to explain he was a photographer, but he is now managing a green LED light shop. The daughter quickly exits showing her complete disgust.

I make a comment that his daughter has left the store and he says, “She always does that…I’m a good guy. Give me a chance.”

My response was a quick, uncomfortable smile and then I walked away.

I can not believe this guy just tried to pick me up in front of his daughter. I’m exasperated! I’m quickly walking back to my office, replaying the experience in my head…

I’m not flattered that he tried to pick me up.  I’m angry! This man is more concerned about getting my attention (a couple stranger) versus his own child’s feelings. He’s insensitive, selfish, and childish. Less we forget, he’s also still married.

I fully regret not expressing how I felt about the exchange to him…how inappropriate I considered his behavior and how damaging this could be to his daughter.

There’s obviously more going on there than I want to understand. The bigger question, why would he think he would be even slightly appealing to me?
In 10 minutes, I found out he was married, got kicked out of the house by his wife, and does not respect his chilT.

This experience tops my WORST pick-up etiquette list. Until the other day, the worse (and funniest) offense was the guy who offered me dental floss at a bus stop (while he was flossing his own teeth). Forget the conversation starter, these guys are lacking basic etiquette training!

I’m not the only one who understands the need to educate these guys, a number of dating and pick-up conferences are now available that can teach a guy how to meet and attract women:
- The Dating Conference
- MPUA Forum (check out the video)

I don’t agree with alot of their philosophy; however, if these conferences can teach conversation and pick-up etiquette skills to these men, I think it’s a great service to society. If nothing more, it could save other tween daughters from embarrassment.

So, what’s your worst pick-up story?

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