Argyle sweater man is standing on the corner of the bar with two of his friends. My friend Ellie spots him like an eagle spots its prey and begins making eye contact. They don’t budge. Time for plan B. We use the oh-so clever-watch-the-television just above his head trick. That is, it appears we were looking at him when in reality we are looking at the television above him. He got the hint. Within minutes, he came over to ask us who we were rooting for in the game. Score one point for us.
Argyle man was the perfect example and used the step by step procedure for “negging“ a girl.
Since Ellie claimed him, Argyle man was her marked prey and Leslie and I became her designated wings for the next 30 minutes. The first step is to conquer and divide. Leslie and I each take a guy, leaving Ellie with alone time to get to know Argyle man. Argyle buys her a drink. He’s interested. Every so often, however, he’d throw a witty comment my way. He’d shout I was bitter, ignore me, and then continue his conversation with Ellie. It left me a bit puzzled, but what did I care? He wasn’t my target anyway. Argyle did this repeatedly throughout the night. He’d pay attention to me, turn himself away and buy Ellie a drink.
I see him make her laugh and put his arm around her. Things seem to be going well. Ellie excuses herself to the bathroom and Argyle man puts on his jacket. He tells his friends that he’s leaving for the bar next door, hinting for them to leave as well.
“Aren’t you going to say bye to Ellie?” I ask. He pauses and grabs the stool next to me. “To tell you the truth, I actually came over to talk to you,” he admits. I’m disgusted and flattered at the same time.
“Do you think I can see you again sometime?” he continues. Of course, the answer was no—but it didn’t keep me from wondering why he had to pull those antics. I have a bad habit of saying what I feel despite how inappropriate it might be. “What the hell were you thinking? If you were interested, why were you being such an dick?” “I was just teasing,” he grins. “So, can I see you again?” he repeats. “Maybe sometime at this bar, but if you mean a one on one thing, that’s just not going to work for me.” I was in full-blown bitch mode. I could have given him and easy “no,” but I realized he wanted to play the game.
The game I’m referring to is “The Game” by Neil Strauss. This book is the so-called bible to picking up girls as proclaimed by many of my male friends.. I read it as a way to guard myself against sleezeballs. Argyle man was the perfect example and used the step by step procedure for “negging” a girl. To “neg,” according to Strauss, is “to use an ambiguous statement or seemingly accidental insult delivered to a beautiful girl a pickup artist has just met, with the act of actively demonstrating to her (or her friends) a lack of interest in her.” I was stunned to realize how accurate the definition fit Argyle man’s actions.
As Ellie came out of the bathroom, the three guys were about to head out the door. Argyle man takes out his cell phone out and asks Ellie for her number. She gives it to him and he politely gives her a cheek kiss. “Don’t answer if he calls,” I whisper to Ellie as we walk towards the car.
He never called.