I was once again sitting at "the" bar in town. Minding my own P's and Q's, enjoying a top shelf cocktail on the cheap because in this small town everything costs about half what they do in the city. Mike, a 100% USDA certified cowboy, was in the house and we discussed ex-wife #3 of his portfolio of wives he accumulated in the past. Mike is an interesting fellow.
Time went on and a couple of the other locals came into the bar. The locals were also joined by an out of state concrete crew enroute to the Bakken oil field. Booze was flowing, somebody put some "happy" country music on the juke box, this is about as festive as it gets at this bar.
There were of course girls in this bar, but the thing with small towns is you already know who they are, not to mention (if you're a local), you've already dated them all by now, sometimes twice since the 6th grade, and they're either all married, spoken for or ruined by booze, drugs and too many children.
Enter in a hot little number, decked on in some serious sexy business attire, that walks through the door.
The old timers finding refuge at the bar from their wives raise an eyebrow and send confirming smirks to one another. The younger locals are not so clandestine nor couth and gawk. My peripheral vision picks up somebody walking in the door, I naturally turn, confirm it's a hot girl and turn my attention back to my drink. The concrete workers immediately invite her to join them.
The night goes on and female friend of mine shows up. We throw a couple bucks into the juke box and dance to some country swing and Frank Sinatra. The dance floor isn't terribly big, but it's more than enough to accommodate the only two people who know how to dance in the county. After a couple dances my buddy has to get back home and I figure I better call it a night as well and "mosey" (which is an official word here) up to the bar to pay my tab. But before the bar tender can even get to me, the hot little, business suit wearing babe jumps into the barstool next to me.
"Hi!" she says.
A little surprised I say, "Hello."
"So, um, you know how to dance, huh?" she asked.
I said, "Yeah, used to teach back in the Twin Cities."
And it is here I must interrupt the conversation. By this time I already figured I knew why she was talking to me. She saw me dance, she's from the city, probably here on business, is dreading what this podunk town has to offer and wanted to see if I would dance with her sometime too. I figured she would continue her line of inquiry about dancing, but then she surprised me and shifted topics.
"So, do you live here?" she asked.
Not particularly phased I said, "Yep."
"What brought you out here?"
"No state income taxes, the economy doesn't suck as much as Minnesota's and you can actually find a job without having to have a triple doctorate and 40 different certifications and kiss some HR dolt's ass." I said.
"So what do you do?"
"I'm in collections."
By this time it was starting to feel like an interview and the conversation was no longer what I'd consider "natural." Natural in the sense that it was clear what her intentions were.
Oh sure, have I had random female strangers come up and inquire about my dancing?
Yes of course.
But this was different. We were no longer talking about dancing and now she was asking questions about me. Girls don't interrogate me about me, they interrogate me about dancing because they're interested in inevitably becoming the center of attention on a dance floor. I just happen to be their ticket to that destination. But now a girl wanted to get to know "me." Asking personal questions about "me," what I do, what I like, etc. etc. Ironically, you'd think that would be nice. "Awwww!!! She really likes you and wants to get to know you!" I had a different take. I was suspicious.
The conversation continued down its new path, her inquiring about all that is Cappy. But then I noticed two things. One, her body language changed. She was now leaning in closer to me, her body completely turned into mine and her face looked like she was hinging on every word I said (and I wasn't saying terribly impressive words). This stood out because we had only been talking about 5 minutes, way too soon for a girl to become acclimated to the idea of getting physically involved with you. Two, Mike and some of the old timers at the bar were smiling and smirking. But not in the "Oh, look who's gonna get lucky tonight" kind of look, but they were almost laughing at me.
Now I knew something was up.
She continued her interrogation, but on account I already have a girlfriend and I was tired, I decided to cut it short, but in a polite manner. I said, "I'd love to stick around and chat, but I really do have to get to bed. If you're in town for a while this is the place to be on Wednesday nights. Me and the handful of other ballroom dancers in town frequent it on Wednesdays. Maybe see you then."
And with that I left.
Couple days later I'm at "the" bar again and sure enough Mike was there (not even sure he ever left). We started chit chatting and through the course of conversation I brought up the hot little business babe that walked in a couple nights ago. I said,
"Hey, you know that girl that was talking to me at the bar the other night?"
Mike started laughing. He said,
"Ooooo, yeah. I remember her. What about her?"
"Eh, there was something off about her. Girls just don't come up and start talking to guys at bars. It was like she was interrogating me or something."
Mike started shaking his head, he said,
"Oh, I shouldn't tell you."
I said, "Tell me what?"
"No, you'll kill me if I do."
I said, "Jesus Christ Mike, just f@cking tell me what it was."
"Well," he said, "her and those mason workers were wondering if you were gay and they put her up to seeing if she could get you to proposition her."
I said, "GAY??? What the hell made them think I was gay? My dancing?"
"No," Mike said, "it was the way you were dressed."
"How the hell was I dressed that made me gay?"
He said, "You had those ironed olive slacks on with that black shirt. They thought you were gay."
I went on to continue to defend myself and point out that just because I had ironed slacks on with a nice black shirt did not mean I was gay, nor could such an ensemble even be considered to look gay. But that is not the point I'm trying to make here or why I bring up this story.
The point is that girls don't "just approach guys at bars." More specifically, if something seems weird, or off, or just plain too good to be true, then you're right, there IS something wrong and you're the target of a scam or a trick. And you must understand this because on occasion you will be the subject or intended victim of such a ruse.
Now, for the most part these tricks or ruses will ultimately be harmless, much like the gay bet made against me. You will not sustain any real damage. You will not sustain any financial costs. They are nothing more than (an admittedly) sick or twisted girl deciding to toy with your emotions (or more likely, hormones). An innocuous example would be two girls "fake making out" at a dance club. If you let these minor, childish attempts affect you, then you will unnecessarily suffer, and so you should blow them off. Admittedly, for a young middle school or high school boy that's easier said than done, any attention you think is sincere and you thusly vest some measure of emotional investment in it. But, by the time you're 17 or 18, you should realize who is really being the adult and who is really being the child and such games can largely be dismissed.
However, not all such ruses are harmless. Additionally, it's not so easy to just "identify and dismiss" an attempt by a woman trying to trick you with her feminine wiles. And here is where the true risk lies.
Understand no matter how good you think you are, no matter how cynical, jaded or distrusting you think you are, no matter how aware and on top of your game you think you are, understand you are GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED TO RESPOND POSITIVELY TO POSITIVE FEMALE BEHAVIOR. This forces an undeniable disadvantage on you whether you're aware of it or not. Even your old Captain has to catch himself every once in a while because on a sub-conscious level you will respond positively to warm and receptive behavior of women. Your guard is down and you're letting a girl get away with something you wouldn't normally let her get away with, or you're granting her more trust and credit simply because she's cute and is treating you kindly.
Of course, for the most part this "disadvantage" or "weakness" doesn't last long enough for you to be hoodwinked. You'll inevitably figure out something is wrong, or 95% of the time, they girl is just using this ploy to get attention or a free drink ( again, the girls fake-making out at a dance club) But to a woman who is a pro AND has more SINISTER OR CRIMINAL aims, that is all the window of opportunity she needs to spring her trap as she has rehearsed it.
Now most of you think I'm going down the route of marriage, divorce, alimony, faking being on birth control, etc. etc. But that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talking more like "getting clubbed over your head in a dark alley" because you thought the buxom blond was genuinely interested in you and your exciting career as an economist.
Oh you all laugh, and think I'm being over-cautious, but one final tidbit to my tale.
When a pro gets taken (potentially, the story hasn't ended), the rest of us ought to take heed. (language warning).
Stay frosty, boys.