It was the late 90’s.
I was driving along the New Jersey Turnpike in my Plymouth Reliant listening to dating guru Eric Weber’s popular tape How to Talk to Girls.
“When you don’t smile,” said Eric Weber, “women will think, ‘What can I do to please him!’ But when you do smile, she feels more comfortable.”
It didn’t totally make sense to me. Don’t you want women to wonder what they can do to please you?
This was part and parcel to the confusing tutelage and conflicting messages I experienced when trying to learn to meet women back in those days.
As I drove along the Turnpike, I sucked in all the knowledge I could from Eric Weber. This was the fifth time I had listened to the tape. I was on my way to meet up with my friend and bandmate Ken.
Ken was the drummer in my first band, an industrial-electronic band. He had given me that tape. And we were about to go out and try to meet women.
We would go out every Thursday night to a bar near Rutgers College called the Melody, a popular hangout for the local college students. It was the most alternative bar in New Brunswick.
The walls of the two-floor dive were re-painted every month with new and crazy-themed murals. Bands played upstairs and the DJ pumped music downstairs.
We would go every week on Thursdays–alternative night–and try to meet women, even though our success ratio was approximately 0.00000%.
The eternal optimists, we both listened to Eric Weber religiously, hoping that like a magical potion the tapes would infuse some confidence in us and soon we would start having success.
With the lights low and the music pumping, we would dance. We danced because we loved the music. But we would try to dance near women hoping somehow something would happen.
Ken had a goofy dance and if we made eye contact across the dance floor, he would make a smiling motion with his hand on his mouth to remind me to keep smiling, because–we were told by Eric Weber–smiling was attractive to women.
One time, a year or so later, I would get a girl’s phone number. I didn’t totally understand how I did it, but it was my first experience with real game.
The place was crowded and I was introduced to a random girl through our friend Andy.
Andy had a lot of game–at least when he was extremely drunk. Through his drunken belligerence he was more likely to fuck up an interaction with a woman than he was to score with her. But when he was drunk he started a lot of conversations with random women.
It was crowded as hell, so I was leaning against a wall when he introduced me to this girl. Her name was Emily.
She was not a beauty queen but she was cute enough to talk to. To be honest I was happy to talk to any girl if I felt even slight attraction for her.
I kept talking with this girl as I leaned against the wall, and for some reason, unlike the few other girls I’d started talking to, this girl continued to talk to me.
We talked and talked. And at the end, when I asked for her phone number, she said Yes!
I was in a euphoric state as I walked away. I exited the bar, walking down the stairs and out the front door reflecting on what just happened.
For some reason I strongly suspected why this girl said yes when all the others had said no. I did something different during my conversation with this girl: I was leaning against a wall.
I didn’t quite understand why this girl felt comfortable talking to me when I leaned against a wall, but I knew that it worked.
If only I could lean against a wall every time I talked to a girl, I thought to myself. I could do pretty well.
Of course, there was no way to replicate this. How would I start conversations with women as I leaned against a wall?
Emily and I talked on the phone briefly, although she never went out on a date with me. And it never happened again that I had a wall conveniently nearby that I could lean against while talking to a girl.
It would be almost an entire decade later before I was able to purposefully get an attractive stranger’s phone number again. But it was my first foray into feeling the effects of real game.
Years later I understood why this worked. For most guys, the biggest problem when starting out is showing too much interest in women. Women are like dogs in that they understand body language a lot more than verbal communication.
And if you’re that interested that soon, there must be something wrong with you.
By leaning against a wall, it prevented me from leaning into the cute girl I was talking to.
I still sometimes see that old Eric Weber tape when I visit my parents at their home in Jersey. It’s sitting in a Caselogic tape carrier in my old bedroom.
The title, “How to Talk to Girls” was blacked over with a permanent marker back in the 90s for fear of embarrassment if someone should see it.
It seems goofy what we were trying to do back then. Not to mention, haphazard, ineffectual and random.
We were in the dark. We were trying to grasp something that was out of our reach, far beyond our understanding at the time.
But I think fondly back to my friend Ken and how we were there for each other through that seemingly hopeless journey.
We were using any means available to better ourselves with women and to better ourselves as people. We were doing the best we could at the time.
And that makes me smile.