Some strange dude hit on me at the isolated recycle center. And I was really…

…pleasantly surprised. Since we often discuss how single people find a date in this somewhat wary and crime-conscious time, I thought I would share a really positive experience.

Me: 37, wearing paint spattered jeans, worn out tank top, filthy Vans, and hair tied in an unflattering and tangled pigtail twisties. I’m grungy, possibly a little smelly, and covered in house paint and grime after an afternoon spent remodeling and cleaning. I look like a homeless teenager.

Him: nicely groomed, neatly dressed, around 45 or 50 years old, driving a family style car.

He pulls in as I am struggling to shove a flattened refrigerator box in the top of an overfull bin. Jumps out, asks if I need help (this is important: he didn’t take the boxes away from me, he asked if I needed help first.) “Yes, please”

He shoved the box in, then turned back to his task of emptying his car of recyclables, and lets me finish sorting mine. I kneel down and call kitty kitty to the two stray kittens that were dumped at the bins, and open a can of food for them. (I always keep a can in my car for stray pets.)

We make a little small talk about his allergy to pets, and my intention to call animal control on Tuesday. He asks how I like my weird car, then extends a hand and introduces himself. We shake nicely, and he asks if I live nearby.

Me: “Yes, not far. It was nice chatting with you, and thank you again for helping me, that was very nice of you. I’ve got to go, I’m expected at home.”

Scott: “Hey, you seem really nice, would you like to get together sometime?”

Me: “I have a happy relationship at home, but you seem like a great guy, and I’m really flattered that you asked. You have a great week-end.”

There. That is how it happens. No one else around, we weren’t in a bar or some other place where social interaction is expected. Scott seemed a little nervous, but smiled a lot and made eye contact. He hung back a little and gave me adequate space when he asked if I needed help, and the handshake was a friendly and welcome gesture. I never felt uncomfortable, never felt cornered, and felt a little sorry that I was in the position to turn him down, because he was really very good natured and well-mannered. I sincerely hope that the next girl tells him “yes”.

Sorry if this is too mundane and pointless, but if any Doper singles out there are nervous about asking out a stranger- this approach was a winner.

So, what I did didn’t work, huh?
hangs head in shame

Oh, no,** LOUNE**, don’t get me wrong- when I got your boxers in the mail I felt well and truly wooed. This Scott guy could never pull off such a bold and romantic gesture.

An all new meaning of hanging out in a dump.

You two could go out for some dumpster diving.


He seems nice–this is indeed a welcome change from all of the creepy “some guy hit on me” stories. I personally find it edifying to know that not all pick ups have to have a sleazy vibe to them. And it’s nice that he backed off right away instead of persisting after you mentioned having a relationship already.

Were the Werther’s Originals still in the package when you got it?

crosses fingers

I hate those candies. pukey smiley

I guess eau de LOUNE just wasn’t to her liking.

(You DID send ones you’d already worn and not washed, right? My dating books all say that this is a critical detail not to be omitted.)

Hells yeah!

I did jumping jacks in the steam room to get 'em all good and funky.

I really can’t see where you went wrong.

That’s what I’m screamin’!
I even put them in two ziploc bags to seal in the freshness. Don’t want the magic leaking out.

In case you were wondering, yes, there was condensation.

Yeah, except when I try this I usually get a response halfway between defensive anger and lunatic fear, as if my face has started bulging out in the manner of the then-groundbreaking special effects of The Howling. And this is when I don’t have an 8" camp knife strapped to my backpack or aren’t discussing the relative merits of strategic weapon systems. I have to say, though, that the visage of a woman in grungy clothing and pigtails wouldn’t put me off my game; much better that than the high maintanence look which always sets off alarms.



Actually, grungy clothing and pigtails sounds much hotter to me than business attire and makeup. :shrugs: But maybe that’s just me.

LOUNE is very thorough when he is courting a woman. By the time I received his funky underpants, they had propagated a cure for cancer. I’ve donated them to Duke.

I think the trick was this: he acted like he just came across someone he liked the looks and attitude of instead of trolling for babes. No pressure, no desperate or predatory intent at all. Just light hearted, relaxed; friendly.

Really? I’ve wasted months of my life primping and preening, fluffing and styling, waxing and polishing, all for naught? Coulda rolled out all ripe and grimy and scored some flirting? Awesome. ‘Cause I worked in the yard all day, then I washed the dog. Ima go out and find me a man.

(Word to the wise ladies: spend more time at Home Depot and less time at Merle Norman. Grubby is the new black.)

I don’t mean to be cynical about your experience, but well, it just didn’t come across to me in the story the same way it did to you. But you were there, so I’ll just have to trust your visual cues that this guy was single. But from your story, he sounds like a married man looking for an affair. Here’s where I got that from you story.

He drives up in a “family-style car” (in which he just dropped off his family).
He starts recycling a “carload of recyclables” (my guess is that most single guys don’t have a carload of recyclables. . .they just don’t use that much stuff. And if they did, it would be more of an event that he’d dress down for).
He sees a low-maintenance woman that attracts him (because he has a high-maintenance wife at home already who btw, dressed him that morning or at least bought his clothes for him; he doesn’t need another one).
He’s really laid back and gives you your space (while he watches you to see if you might have an affair. Feeding a kitty is a good indication you might).
He asks where you live. (Why would a single person ask this? It’s invasive enough to get a poor response and not necessary. If you get together, it doesn’t matter where you live. If you don’t, he’s not just going to “bump into you.” A married man would ask because he wants to know if an affair would be convenient.)
He looks you in the eye (to see if you’re interested).
He looks a little nervous (because he might be seen by someone who knows him).
He was very laid back and easy-going because he has nothing to lose.

If you’re very sure he was single, I’d have to take your word for it. But it didn’t seem that way to me.

Trick? What trick? It didn’t work – you blew him out.


I am not in the habit of analyzing the personal life and habits of every stranger I chat with for a couple minutes, but it wouldn’t matter to me if Scott was cruising for a fling or searching for his true love. In this situation I’ve no responsibility to anyone other than myself, and Scott is free to do as he pleases. Why should I be concerned with his plans or marital status either way?

Approaching a stranger in an environment other than a bar or club can be awkward, and Scott’s attitude was relaxed and non-threatening. There have been quite a few threads recently about asking out unknown women, and I’ve related a relaxed, comfortable interaction in which I did not feel threatened by a stranger’s flirting.

Simple. Nothing to be analyzed, nothing to be concerned with. Just some friendly banter.

This little nugget of wisdom must be how urban legends start. You wanna explain or just leave us hanging?

But…I told him I was flattered- should I have made out with him a little to ease the sting of amicable rejection? Crap. I thought I handled it with grace and charm. Maybe should have given him a hickey for good luck? :stuck_out_tongue:

Everybody knows you gotta flash your boobs when giving a guy the brush-off, so he knows what he’s not getting a part of! :smiley: