Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rule 2: Beating the Normal Curve at its Own Game

1. My second class got cancelled, and due to a good friend, I actually used the time to get some homework done.
2. My mom drove me to school this morning, so I didn't have to find a parking spot.
3. None of the stuff that was worked on has broken.

Well boys, here's number two.  I know that number one may have come as a shock to you, and you may be having trouble finding your hope again (even though I told you to keep your heads up).  This post, my friends, should give you hope.

I remember the exact moment that I realized the second rule.  I was in Phoenix living with my cousin.  He is a few years older than me and would occasionally be nice enough to invite me along when he and his friends would go and do stuff.  We went to a restaurant (I can't remember which one) and as we waited we all happened to see a very cute girl.  We took a poll between all of us and came to the conclusion that none of us would be ashamed to have her out with us.  We all just sat and chuckled at the fact that we all thought she was cute, all of us but one guy: my cousin.  He did smile some, but then he said, "You know what guys?  I'm going to go and ask her out."  The chuckling ceased immediately as the rest of us watched my cousin walk over to her.  I felt nervous for him.  Now, my cousin is a really cool guy, but to just walk up to a complete stranger and ask for their number takes some guts.  We all tried to not let her notice that we were watching, but I don't think we did well.  We saw the body language.  For whatever reason, she was not interested.  My cousin then turned and walked back to us.

It was amazing to me.  He had walked up to a girl in a public place, asked for her number, got rejected, and still had the ability to walk back to us.  His head didn't explode, her boyfriend didn't appear out of nowhere with a gun.  He asked, she said no, and he lived to tell about it as the bravest of us all.  I talked to him about dating before the incident, and he gave me some of the best dating advice I'd ever received.  He said, "Paul, dating is a numbers game.  The more you ask, the better the odds are that one will say yes."  Now, the logic of it made perfect sense:  The more you ask, the more that will say yes, but I was afraid.  What would happen if they rejected me?  I watched him saunter back to us, head up and smiling at what looked to be his failure, but in that moment, I recalled what he had said about the numbers game, and I realized that he was the only one of us who had succeeded.  He had one more rejection under his belt, while the rest of us still had to face that one to find what we were after.

After that time I've reflected on my high school years.  I remember the game. I remember the question: who do you like?  You were supposed to like someONE.  You were supposed to think about only her, or maybe only a couple of others.  Guys in high school or younger, let me give you a piece of advice that my dad tried to give me, and I pray it will stick with some of you:  Date a lot of different girls.  Remember, dating is a numbers game, and if you get caught up on only a few (or even worse, one), you'll be missing out on more fun than you can possibly imagine.  I'll use myself as an example.  When I realized that dating was a numbers game and that getting rejected wouldn't result in my head being bitten off by a grizzly, I started asking lots of girls out.  If they were cute, or interesting, or had cool earrings (honey, I'm still looking at you), or had a cool world view, or whatever, I asked them out.  The real trouble with doing what you're SUPPOSED to do in high school, is that you get stuck in ruts.  You decide on those few girls, and you'll find that they are mostly the same.  I'm sure some of you have friends who have had a lot of girl friends, but all of those relationships have ended the same way.  Well is it any wonder?  He's been dating the same girl with a different name.  The trick is to date anyone who is remotely interesting, then you'll find out what is fun, what works, and what simply doesn't.  I met my wife for the first time when she was walking out of a church building after the main meeting.  I saw that she wore some of the coolest wooden earrings that I had ever seen, and any girl who wore that cool of earrings, had to be awesome.  So I asked her out, and she ended up being exactly what I was looking for.  And that happened after countless dates that were super fun, but didn't go to fruition.  Dating had become a blast, and that's when I found the ultimate success.

For some of you, money may seem like the issue.  I'm here to tell you that it is not.  How much are two ice cream cones?  Is there a set of swings near your house?  Have you looked into free concerts, or museums, or art exhibits near your house?  I promise you that dating often does not have to be an expensive endeavour, if you willing to be creative.  Girls, real girls, don't care if a date costs a lot, what they really care about is that you put some thought into it, but that's for a later post.

Now, most of you have probably already figured out how this relates to that wonderful normal curve, but I'll spell it out just in case.  No matter how 'abnormal' you are, there is someone looking for someone like you.  Chances are, if you've been doing what high school tells you to (whether you're still in high school or not), you've been dating the same kinds of girls, and have had poor luck because they are all the same.  The way to beat the curve, is to get past that and date as many girls as possible who are as different from each other as possible.  The more you date, the closer you'll be to finding that one.  In case it's not already beaten into your head: dating is a numbers game.  Have a nice day.


  1. Good stuff. I'm really enjoying reading these. I often wonder what makes a guy decide to ask a girl out. And I can't get a serious answer out of my husband about why he wanted to date and then marry me. At least, I don't think the answer he gives is serious. Maybe it is...but it doesn't seem like enough. Oh well. Loved your story.

  2. Smart stuff. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes: "80% of success is just showing up."

  3. @Ash,
    Hey thanks. I tried hard. :)

    I really don't have an answer for you. Maybe your husband figured out what I did and just thought you seemed interesting, so he gave it a shot. This is part of why men are so simple, and yet so complex.

    That's one of my favorite quotes too, because it is so true. Just ask, she may say no, but she'll never say yes if you don't ask. Also, Michael Jordan's, "You miss every shot you don't take."