Let’s Talk About…: Re-Thinking The Bar Pick Up

When I think “bar pick up”, this is the scenario that plays in my head:

Scene: Poorly lit, slightly grungy bar, somewhere downtown. Trendy house music booms at a level that reverberates through your chest, while lasers create a light-show effect overhead. At the bar, a vision in red sits cross-legged, ebony hair pushed to one side, stirring her radioactively-pink drink with a straw. A well dressed man with a confident swagger approaches, takes the seat adjacent to her and looks her dead in the eye. He speaks:

“Guuurl, you lookin’ supa fly tonight. Lemmy buy you a drank.”


“Hey, Sexy.”


“Damn, you’ve got some nice legs.”

(Exact quotes from real-life experiences.)

Anticlimactic, isn’t it? Now, I have never actually tried to pick up someone at the bar and my understanding of the schematics of this phenomenon are very limited but, seriously, does this approach really, actually work for anyone??? I’m asking both ladies and gents. Because there is no chance at all that this approach would ever, in a million years work on me.

So, that fact got me thinking: what approach would work, if I lived in my own version of a perfect world?

The answer to that question is below.

The Successful Mars Approach (Patent Pending)

  1. Compare me to a summer’s day. (If you’re going to compliment me, go big and over exaggerate. That will save us both the embarrassment of socially correct bantering: my, disagreeing with you and your insisting that I am, in a circle for 5 minutes. And, please. If you’ve no sincerity, why give the compliment in the first place?)
  2. Buy me a book, not a drink. (What? Books are expensive! And there’s nothing like the feel of a new, freshly printed hardback. Trust me, buying me a book will get my attention way faster than buying me a drink will. ((Just try to ignore that feeling of guilt for aiding the murder of innocent trees.))
  3. Keep your gaze and your hands respectful. (I’m a human being, not a piece of meat. I deserve the same basic respect that everyone deserves, regardless of the shape of my body or my gender. Even when you think you’re being super sly and I won’t notice, I will. You will be shut down faster than my Pikachu adorned Nintendo 64, when it glitched in the middle of the water temple.)
  4. Talk clean to me. (Eloquence in speech is sexy! At least, it is to me! Whip out a few big words, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to see my pupils dilate. And leave the “lol” and “wtf” at home. Text speech is meant for texts and twitter.)
  5. Don’t approach me because of my physicality. (This is my problem, in a nutshell. I don’t believe that liking the way my body looks is an appropriate reason to begin an interaction with me. Have something to add to the conversation I’m having? Have at it. Have something to say about my butt? Not interested, thanks.)

Hey, I never claimed to be low maintenance. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

Now it’s your turn! I want to hear about your pickup experiences: the good, the bad and the ugly. Tell me what worked, what didn’t work and what earned you a slap in the face or made you want to slap someone!

Mars, signing off. ◇

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