Magazine article Success

The Pick-Up Artist: Turning Feedback into Small Reinventions

Magazine article Success

The Pick-Up Artist: Turning Feedback into Small Reinventions

Article excerpt

I've got this friend who thinks of himself as a pick-up artist. No matter how you slice it, it's amazing to watch.

Wherever we go, he engages the prettiest women around us. And just for the record, he's not super-attractive. He's short and has a big nose. So don't think for a minute he's getting over because of his good looks. That's not what's at play here.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Simply put: He tests women--waitresses, hostesses, women sitting innocently nearby. No one is immune. When one of his test questions backfires on him, he isn't deterred. "It's just added information I use to refine my approach," he says.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

One evening, we are in a fancy restaurant in midtown Manhattan. The waitress comes over and welcomes us. My friend turns and asks, "Have you ever met anyone as handsome as me with such a big nose? How handsome do you think I am?"

She doesn't respond; he switches it up. "Let me guess," he says. "You are Lebanese and French and you only date Jewish men?" I try to rescue her. "Ignore him. He's an idiot." That gets a smile from the waitress, so he alters his approach again. "Don't you think it's rude of my mom to call me an idiot?"

Now I feel compelled to explain to the waitress that I'm not his mother, that I'm clearly younger than he is ...

"Don't believe a word my mother says. Can't you see we share the same pointy chin?" he asks.

She chuckles. He sees an opening, or he just goes with a hunch. "I love Lebanese women," he says, "but I feel bad that you are falling for such an ugly guy like me."

She says he doesn't have to worry about that happening, but what actually transpires that evening is a very different story. By the end of the meal, he has coaxed her into talking about her dreams of being an actress, her overbearing Lebanese mother, her dating sagas and her weekend plans. …

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