It happened like it does in the movies. Minding my own business, shaking what my mama gave me, decked out in leopard print with a whiskey sour in one hand, I was dominating the dance floor of the Old Stone Jug with my roommate on her 21st birthday. I’m assuming “Smack That ft. Eminem” by Akon was playing—because what else would John have on the Monday night playlist? Then, as if my shadow had somehow gotten heavier, I felt someone behind me. Well, behind, and a little to the side. Positioned so that the second I turned I could potentially bump into them or get trapped in eye contact. With great care, I continued to bounce with Akon’s rhythm, while slightly shifting my body to lock eyes with my roommate and ask what was going on behind me.
She smirked a little. This was a bad sign. I darted my eyes quickly over my shoulder to see exactly what I’d feared; a tall string bean of a boy with a friend next to him, encouraging the lurking behavior that they definitely thought would result in grinding.
My only thought in that moment was, “freshmen.” I signaled to my friend that I needed to be evacuated from our once sacred, now desecrated, corner of the dance floor, and we quickly bopped away as the song changed.
To all the first-year boys that have approached me from behind at the Jug, I quote Akon, “I see you creepin.” It’s not going to work. Not now, not ever. I get it, I was a first-year, too. I remember how the charade unfolded when two people were interested in each other. It involved the precise lurking situation I described above, except as a first-year girl, the lurking, to grinding, to dance floor make- out process, all without ever exchanging names or even a hello, was for whatever reason deemed acceptable. I understand that, as first-year guys, this strategy has largely been working for you, so you likely don’t see a need to change your approach when the target is slightly older. You thought wrong. I implore you, please, abandon the lurk.
This is really doing both of us a favor. It’s not so much that the lurk is creepy, it’s just intensely awkward. That’s not the vibe you want to be putting out when the goal is taking someone home. And if you need testimony about how ineffective the lurk really is, keep reading. Three different boys executed this same approach on the night of String Bean and company, and each boy I bopped away from.
Yes, the age difference is a factor. None of my friends would be applauding me for heading up the hill rather than back to my apartment after this particular night out. I would definitely be doing some deep introspection that following Tuesday morning, too. More than anything, though, it seems first-year boys have absolutely no clue as to how to (properly) hit on someone at the Jug.
Out of my own boundless generosity, I will offer a few tips. These are mainly inspired by what has been or what would be effective on me in a setting such as a Monday Jug night. Firstly, don’t approach as if you are also sort of trying to hide from me. Confidently make your presence known, that’s a way cuter look than being a bonus shadow. Secondly, introduce yourself. If you can tell a girl your first name, and also ask for hers, you’re already eons ahead of your male peers. Congratulations. More than anything, though, consider how you like being approached by potential sexual partners. I’m sure the minimum standard is that they act like a socially adept human, and treat you the same. It’s really not too hard if you don’t overthink it. So walk up, introduce yourself and buy me another whiskey sour because “Promiscuous Girl” is coming on and it’s time to hit the dance floor again.
Contact Kate Hinsche at [email protected]