Dear London Writer,
I just wanted to say thank you for following me into Neiman Marcus the other night and chatting me up. Your pick up line was a bit cliche, but it totally worked. I did indeed felt very chic and stylish walking down Michigan Avenue in my black trench coat, maroon tights and knee length brown wedge boots. I too thought my white ear muffs look very cute. Your compliment made it almost worth it for me to freeze my legs off in the cold in order to wear my skirt and maroon tights.
I liked how you went straight to the point and addressed your creepy behavior before I even realized what was going on. Indeed, I initially thought you were some ‘modelling agency scout’ out to scam me, a charity representative trying to get me to donate money/sign up for something or a stranger asking for directions. I was actually flattered by your “surprise” when I admitted that I don’t get chatted up on the streets by random guys very often (make that never). I know, I am a sucker for empty flattery.
I also admired how smooth and confident you were. You completely carried on the conversation by yourself, making smooth transitions between topics, leading it to where you want it to and requiring the minimum effort out of me. There were not even any awkward silences! “Oh you’re from London? (that is probably why my trench coat caught his eye- it was like a hello from the motherland!), yes I’m working here, yes it is really cold out there (the classsic conversation filler), oh you are a writer? Aren’t you a bit too young to be?, yes I love to travel… blah blah”. It was nice, brainless banter. You also successfully made yourself sound very wordly and cool when you started talking about your friends from all over, traveling around for your writing etc etc. It almost made me curious about you and take your bate when you started asking about cool places to go to/hang out at in Chicago.
But alas, my mom’s edict about talking to strangers started drumming in my head, so I not-so-discretely looked down at my phone clock pretending that I was late to meet someone (which is actually the truth. That someone just happened to be late!). I’m impressed by how quickly you took the hint and made a graceful exit. That was possibly the most non-awkward potentially-awkward conversation with a stranger I’ve ever had. So even though I was probably not the most friendly or receptive participant, know that the exchange brought a smile to my face. I will probably not recognize you should I ever meet you again (I have facial recognition issues), but I will definitely watch out for a random young London author the next time I go to the bookstore (even though it will be difficult since I don’t even know your first name).
Best of Luck,
Ps. To other random guys on the street: don’t try this if you are not at least decent looking or half as smooth and charming.
Pps. This is NOT one of those random blog posts/craig lists posts to look for random strangers that people “connected” with on the train from an exchange of glances