The thing that makes Sherlock Holmes look so brilliant is that he explains his methods only to Watson, and then, only briefly, so that when he is wrong, he can say, “Oh, that’s because it is the second Tuesday of March, and the Moon is waxing gibbous.” But yes, you’ve made a correct assessment of the general range.
Actually I talk in a halting, punctuated style only poorly imitated by Christopher Walken. Seriously, I do try to dial back my proclivity toward exotic and convoluted vernacular, especially when talking to people I don’t know, or talking to people I know who don’t enjoy verbal wordplay, but I never considered it to be all that intimidating, just sort of odd and offputting, kind of like walking into the middle of a David Mamet play and wondering why the characters are speaking as if they have red-hot pokers in their rectums.
At any rate, I enjoy no more success with women that I have gotten to know through repeated contact than those who I’ve just met. I’ve gotten the phrase, “You’re a nice guy, but…” so often that I’ve considered trademarking it to prevent future use. (This one particularly grates because my conception of a “nice guy” is a weak-willed passive-aggressive doormat, which I hope is not what others think of me and certainly isn’t the way I view myself based upon how friends and coworkers interact with me.) I’ve done the speed-dating thing, I’ve joined clubs and taken extension classes, I’ve tried meeting women through mutual friends, I’ve done the on-line dating thing several times (and am doing that now, albeit with no success after several hundred “connections”), and I’ve read everything I can find from The Unofficial Guide To Dating Again to the “seduction community” literature that reads like a mid-level marketing pitch to the pathetically desperate. (“By appealing to a WOMAN’S NEED to be VALIDATED, you can PENETRATE her bitch shield and MAKE CONTACT with her UNCONSCIOUS DESIRE.”)
And I’ve been stood up more times than a toy soldier, to the point that now when I make a date I also check to see that there is something else to do in the vicinity (movie theater, bookstore, interesting restaurant, et cetera) so at least if the woman is a no-show I don’t go home without having done something productive. I don’t really understand the mentality that leads to this, rather than at least picking up the phone or sending an e-mail offering up some transparent excuse as a proxy for just saying, “I’m not interested.” I had an invitation to hang out Friday with some friends and listen to live music; instead, I spent more than half an hour at a restaurant waiting awkwardly as far away from the hostess station as the layout permitted, and then suffered her irritated look and disgusted exhalation when I cancelled the patio table they’d been holding. (And as a former waitron, I feel bad that someone just got gypped out of a $20+ dollar tip because a table in their section sat empty during prime dining hours, and I’m the shitbag responsible.)
I don’t think my expectations are unreasonable, but given that reasonable measures don’t produce acceptable results, I’m either excessively optimistic in my expectations or just fundamentally incompetent at this type of interaction.