Game: The ability to charm members of the opposite sex. This includes, but is not limited to: prowess to secure dates, the art of seduction, coquettish mojo and mad flirt skills.
I do not have game.
I first came to this disappointing realization as a freshman in college. I was fresh off of a lengthy relationship, three hours from parental supervision and already had a target: Conner Harris. Conner was on a Soccer scholarship and sat in front of me in Biology. He had the physique of a Greek god, adorable dimples and a smile that could melt Cruella De’Vil. I admired the back of his head for the first six weeks of class.
During our first real conversation I told him he had excellent neck musculature. He told me I was awkward.
He took me to a football game, I choked on water and spewed my drink all over the row in front of us. And fell down the bleachers.
We watched a movie. His arm wasn’t comfortable so I squirmed, a lot.
He tried to kiss me. I ducked, then froze, then apologized and asked him to try again. He heard my victory dance immediately after through my open window.
I didn’t hear from Conner again. I do not have game.
Fortunately, I have learned from the Conner catastrophe and pinpointed the embarrassing habits that are my game deficiency. These quirks are not a part of my day-to-day personality, most of the time they’re in stealth mode. The awkward lies dormant inside me, just waiting for a sexy boy to show up before it creeps out and BAM sneak attack!
It always starts pretty innocently. At first the pretty boy just distracts me, makes me lose my train of thought.
As the crush starts to develop, the crazy inside of me starts to fester and swell. Instead of socializing at parties, I connive in the corner. Every other female is now a threat and any contact with my new crush begets searing hate rays.
I start to misread signs. Every conversation is under heavy analysis, sentence structure is evaluated and all hidden meaning is extracted from even the most innocent of dialogues.
At first I won’t talk at all.
Then I’ll talk WAY too much.
Any and all progress is a cause for celebrations. Admittedly, sometimes it’s preemptive.
The crush is full fledged now; the awkward inside of me has snowballed into an uncontrollable monster consuming all rational thought. Behavior I normally know to be socially unacceptable is suddenly the only logical course of action. I make poor judgment calls.
Finally, some positive reinforcement. A date, whether it’s brought on by fate or pity a date is a step in the right direction.
Unfortunately the awkward cannot be quelled with attention alone. The infatuation contorts the thinking processes, I’m distracted by the twinkle in his eye, the dazzle of his smile and the irresistible ring of his voice… attempts at regular conversation are futile. Instead, my brain snatches random words, makes hasty associations and spits erratic facts or uncomfortable comments in loo of a meaningful exchange.
An end is in sight however. If the crush can survive a first date, and sometimes a subsequent two, the moonstruck monster of awkward starts to settle within me. Familiarity and ease begin to replace the crazy, rational thought and social graces are restored. Every once in a while, the latent awkward will gurgle up and make a mess but I’ve learned to accept it as a side effect of gameless-ness.