just smile, smile, smile, be happy

Before online dating, how did I meet all the guys I dated?  When I was out drunk at bars?  Yes, yes, and hell yes.  Introduced through friends?  Yes.  On the subway (or in my case the London Underground)?  Yes.  During a snowball fight?  Yes.  At a party?  Yes.  At work?  Mayyyyyybbbbeeeee (I’m neither confirming nor denying in case a coworker comes across this).

I’m really bad at the single’s game.  I see a hot guy and if I’m not liquored up and feeling bold, I don’t know what to do.  Here are some situations I have been in recently and didn’t do a darn thing that would be in my benefit:

I'm usually the blue sourpuss, but I need to be Miss Smiley

Today I was at Cosi picking up lunch.  As I’m walking up to the line to pay, I notice a guy across the place who looks cute.  As I’m leaving I had to pass him.  Totally made and held eye contact as I passed.  Did I do anything?  No.  Say “hello”?  No.  Wink?  No.  Slip him my number?  No.  Smile? No, nothing.  Just kept walking in my usual fast manner and in seconds was out the door.  But then again, neither did he.  As I was walking back to the office, I was kicking myself because I should have at least smiled.  Jeez, I always walk around with such a sourpuss “don’t eff with me” scowl on my face.  Yes, people, I’m talking all the time if I’m not engaged in conversation with someone.  I’d be afraid to talk to me if I saw me in my every day life.  I will say that the “eff off and drop dead” scowl is very effective at keeping the crazies, and this city is chock full of them, at bay.

The other day I was on the crosstown bus on my way home.  A guy sits down next to me to my left.  I was playing on my phone, so wasn’t paying any attention, but kind of peripherally noticed that he might be cute.  Since he was directly next to me, I thought it would be awkward to just turn and look at him to confirm cuteness.  Naturally, I emailed a friend “hey, I’m on the bus.  I think the guy sitting next to me is cute.”  Now what did I think my friend could do for me?  I still haven’t looked at him, but I did check for a ring.  No ring.  Good.  I feign looking at what the current stop is by first looking all the way to the right and then all the way to the left.  Umm, score, he’s a hottie.  But a bit younger than me.  By now I am emailing back and forth to my friend all the while trying to shield the screen of the iphone from the guy so he can’t see what I’m typing.  Next thing I know, it’s my stop.  I get up and get off without so much as a Hello or even a smile.  I’m such a dumbass.

Engineer's Gate, Central Park

One time I was running in Central Park and had stopped at the water fountains at Engineer’s Gate.  It’s a pretty popular entrance to the park and there are always tons of people standing around getting water, stretching, resting, etc.  This hot guy with a dog comes up to me to ask for the time.  I tell him and immediately run off.  What?!  Running is important to me, but not that important.  It’s not like I was in serious training for something and worried about times and resting too long.  Whatever.  Again, I’m such a dumbass.

I definitely need to figure out how to appear more approachable and walk around without the scowl.  I need to smile if I make eye contact with a hottie.  I’m going to give it a try this week.  Every time I establish eye contact with good looking guy, I’m going to smile as if I’m posing for picture.  I usually find it close to impossible to not smile for a picture.  It’s a reflex.  Hopefully, I’ll get a smile back.



  1. Here’s a suggestion: if you can’t muster up the smile, just say “hi.” Sometimes, that can be enough to do the trick.


    • Saying “hi” while I’m scowling? I think it’s the not scowling part that i really need to work on. It’s pretty much permanently plastered on my face, unless I am having a good time, which just walking around the city or commuting doesn’t really bring out Happy Pleasant Amy. But I’ll try just saying “Hi” – thanks!

  2. don'tknowwhoyouare

    I think you just described my life to a T. If you ever figure out what works I would be interested in knowing what that is.

  3. You could be waaaay too forward like me and give your card to just about any cute guy you come across without a ring. You may get about one in five to call… 🙂 And that one? Terrible personality but you wouldn’t know that because you didn’t take the time to screen them. This is my current problem. haha.

    I think starting with a smile and letting them approach you is a good start. I am practicing that myself… and if they don’t approach, well their loss! Unless they are really really hot. Or you look really really cute that day. Then I say attack them with your number. 🙂

  4. So many opportunities – I love a girl who takes iniatiatve.

    Your post reminds of a time when I met this girl on the train on the way back home from work. What made this situation interesting what that she was listening to her iPod whilst flicking through a magazine. Now you’re probably asking me “How in hell do you a strike up a conversation with someone who is neither looking at you nor able to hear what you say?” I took out my phone and wrote “Hey, how are you doing? Are you interested in coffee? Y/N” on a draft text message and then showed it to you. Jackpot!

  5. Def. just smile at them, 3 second glance and a smile, then look away and blush… if he doesn’t come over to you, talk to you, he sucks, or has a girlfriend.

  6. Any luck with the non-scowl test so far this week?

    Sorry I’m late to this party, but Amy, I am exactly the same as you (is it NYC-syndrome?) The “I’m rushing, get out of my way” look that makes you all cranky-faced because tourists are *always* in the way… But then through the whir of people I’m passing, when I suddenly hear a random stranger say “Good morning beautiful!” I remember that I have to slow it down… I do smile back at the guy, usually…even if he’s not cute. Someday, maybe he will be cute.

    I also tried an experiment yesterday during my layover at Heathrow. (I was there for four hours waiting for my connecting flight.) I tried to pick up a guy. So I had my eyes open and was smiling at tons of strangers. One cute guy did a double take as he passed and kind of smiled but he didn’t stop. Oh well. Sigh.

    • Agirl – I have been trying to look for hotties to smile at who don’t have a ring and not really finding many. But I will smile back at someone who tells me “good morning” or “hello” – even the homeless guys. I did, however, scowl at some creepy (but good looking) guy who asked me if I would make his fantasy come true when I walked by. Umm, no.

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