Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Theory & Essay

Why “The Approach” Is The Hardest Thing Any Adult Has To Learn How to Do

Definitely should have won an Emmy

Last Friday, I attended a quite extravagant (well, extravagant compared to what I’m used to) birthday party for my homegirl. Unlimited bottles of Rose. VIP treatment at two nightclubs. Glossy drunk chicks in tiny dresses. Multi-layered birthday cakes made by Arabian virgins (Biting that cake made me feel like I was eating a slice of Heaven. Seriously, that cake is the reason why Al-Qaeda hates America). If you would have added Big Gay Al Reynolds and a gaggle of uncouth to the mix, it could have been a deleted extra from Basketball Wives.

Anyway, towards the middle of this debaucherific night, one of my homegirls (“Tara”) inches up to me and says “Hey, Champ. I think my friend in the black dress is feeling you.

Now, she was obviously talking about Lady Champ, who was chatting it up on a couch nearby with three other ladies. I played along.

Word? She’s hot. Does she have a man?”

“I don’t think so. You should go talk to her.”

Still in character, I glanced over at Lady Champ and her homegirls again.

“Eh. I don’t know. I’ll wait till she’s by herself”

“Why? Just go over and talk to her now?”

“I’m good”

With that, Tara shakes her head in faux disgust and exhales.

“Men are lame.”

“Whatever”

We finally broke character and laughed for a sec before she left to grab another piece of cake.

But, as soon as she walked away, I started to realize that although Tara was joking, her replies weren’t really that far off. I can totally see a woman becoming disappointed that a man didn’t jump at the chance at hollering at one of her single and attractive homegirls, even if said homegirl was surrounded by a vagina barricade.

The more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that women really have no f*cking clue how difficult it is to approach a woman. None whatsoever.

In fact, I’ll take it even further. Not only is the cold approach difficult, it’s the single most difficult skill that any adult — male or female — is expected to master.

(Don’t come at me with that childbirth is a much more difficult skill bullshit, either. More painful? Sure. But, from what I understand, giving birth isn’t necessarily a skill because the kid is coming out of there regardless of what you do¹. Plus, how difficult can something be if stink bugs do it too?)

Now, to women’s credit, the most likely reason why they don’t realize how difficult it is to approach a woman is that they usually just see the finished product — the actual smooth approach. To make an analogy, it’s like the kid who goes to Grandma’s house and sees Thanksgiving dinner already prepared on the table; not realizing the days of shopping, planning, cooking, and preparing that resulted in the finished product.

They also don’t know that before Grandma The Great Cook was Grandma, she was a 17 year old who wasn’t allowed in the kitchen, a 23 year old whose stuffing was always just a bit too salty, a 28 year old who accidentally made everyone sick one year with an undercooked turkey, and a 31 year old who made the mistake of inviting both Aunt Esther and Aunt Thelma to dinner; forgetting that they haven’t gotten along since they were in high school and would likely fight each other before dessert.

They don’t realize that if I actually were to approach Lady Champ in that situation, there’d be at least 10 completely different questions I’d need to figure the answers to within a 5 to 10 second span, including…

1. What am I going to say to this f*cking stranger?

2. What if she’s crazy??? How do I escape if she’s crazy???

3. How the hell am I going to break through the vagina barricade?

4. Her friend is cute too. Should I talk to her instead?

5. Who all is she with tonight? (This is important because if her girlfriend’s see you attempt to holler at her and get shot down — and trust me, they’ll see you — you probably won’t be able to holler at any of them that night either….even if one happens to be interested. Vagina logic strikes again!)

6. How do I look?

7. F*ck! Did she see me first? (Important because the longer a woman notices you hesitating to approach her, the worse your chances)

8. Do I launch with a joke, a “Hi,” an intentionally silly pick-up line, or do I just go and sit next to her and wait for her to say something?

9. How do I save face if she’s an asshole?

10. Do I need another drink before I step to her?

11. I’m not an aloof asshole, but do I need to pretend to be one to increase my chances of success?

12. I want to grab her titty. I want to grab her titty. I want to grab her titty. I want to grab her titty. Should I grab her titty?

Also — and this is the most important part — while your mind is moving a mile a minute — processing, assessing, reacting — you’re trying your damnedest to maintain your steely, Stringer Bell cool; doing everything you can to not let her see you sweat and ultimately sabotage yourself

This manufactured demeanor, this easiness, this “swagger” is a learned skill; an act (Yes. It’s always an act. Some of us are just much, much better actors than others) that can take decades to master.

It’s no different than watching Kobe nonchalantly hit a pull-up 3 in traffic; an act that was made to look “easy” because of the hundreds of thousands of 3-pointers he’s taken by himself in the gym, and the confidence built by the hundreds of in-game threes he’s already hit.

So ladies, the next time you’re wondering why the cutie at the club hasn’t approached you yet, remember that he probably wants to but just hasn’t figured out the answer to question #116 yet. You wouldn’t hurry him while he’s taking the Bar Exam, right, so why rush him when he’s taking a test that’s much, much, much, much harder?

Anyway, people of VSB.com, I’m pretty sure how the men feel about this, but do the ladies now agree that the approach is the most difficult task an adult is expected to master? If not, why not? Why do you hate men?

¹I haven’t taken a biology class in 15 years, so take that statement with a grain of salt

—The Champ

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

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