I have to start this post with one or two small confessions…
I may have, sort of cheated with this task…
I know what you’re thinking… and in fairness it wasn’t technically cheating as I DID do one of the tasks that I was given….the first confession is that I completed it slightly earlier than the time I set myself (as in 3 days before September 1st)….and maybe giving myself a little head start is not a major offence…but the second confession is that I was ever so slightly drunk when I did it.
In hindsight when I set myself this challenge I did not delve too deeply into the parameters and I have at no point stated that I couldn’t be drunk when I attempted any of the tasks, however as we’ve all experienced when one has knocked back a few Pinot Grigio’s the FEAR practically disappears and your brave confident and outgoing self seems to take the reigns with little effort. Consequently, I think in keeping with the spirit of the challenge (which is to increase my natural confidence when talking to attractive men who happen to be strangers) I should be as close to sober as possible when I do them. Don’t get me wrong I was very lucid at the time therefore I’ll declare this one as 50% completed.
Anyway let me tell you about it and you can conclude for yourself whether you think this counts or not.
I went for a “couple” (yeah right) of after work drinks and toward the latter part of the night, after maybe 3 (or 4 who’s keeping count really) glasses of wine, SRG* declared that she was hungry so she myself and SS* decided to go for a ‘cheeky Nando’s! (For those who aren’t aware of the cheeky Nando’s meme I strongly recommend you google the tumblr definitions and then maybe cross reference the Urban Dictionary definitions for a hilarious diversion if you’re a Brit, and possibly a confusing 20 minutes out of your life that you’ll never get back if you aren’t).
(*For the privacy of those around me I am using only initials when I refer to others however as I’m sure most of you who will read this know me you’ll be able to very easily identify who I’m talking about).
The strangest thing about this task is that earlier in the evening I’d found myself accidentally catching the eye of a complete stranger. I was standing on the curb outside The Shooting Star when I turned to my left and unwittingly locked eyes with a not ‘un-handsome’ guy sporting a snazzy blue suit and a deep purple tie.
How did it go? Well it wasn’t until I immediately turned back round to continue my conversation with SS and SRG that I even realised I’d missed the perfect opportunity to cross ‘catch a mans eye and hold his gaze for 3 seconds or smile’ off of the already intimidating list (at this stage I had 25 suggestions).
For the next 45 minutes or so, that he was still around, I unsuccessfully tried to catch his eye again so that I could boast to myself (and all of you) that I was fervently making headway with my self challenge. Unfortunately as you’ll be extremely aware due to my earlier admission, this isn’t the case. No matter how many times I glanced over at ‘man with purple tie’ my previous ability to make eye contact seemed to have elapsed. In some cases I guess lightening really doesn’t strike twice…
The evening continued without much incident until that fateful decision to head over to Nando’s. We entered the premises and it wasn’t too long before a man eating chicken by himself caught my attention. I think my first thought was…’he’s brave to be eating in here by himself which was quickly followed by ‘he’s not bad looking’. He didn’t capture my attention in the same way that man with dimples did. But in all honesty for the purposes of making headway with my tasks I think that I adopted an attitude of ‘he’ll do’.
After the waitress declared we’d have to sit downstairs a sense of calm transformed my usually apprehensive thoughts. As I traversed the stairs I held the prey in my sights, I continued to stare in his direction and as if it was ordained by the powers that be he raised his head and his eyes met mine. Now for reference purposes only when situations like this usually arise, my default reaction is to quickly look in any other direction lest someone think I am staring at them (as evidenced by my earlier experience with purple tie), and I defy anyone raised in the UK to admit that this isn’t a very British reaction to adopt!
Yet due to my self challenge I forced myself (albeit the 3 or 4 glasses of liquid courage I had already imbibed helped) to continue to hold his gaze as I descended to the floor below and I hope you’ll be pleased to read that not only did I hold his gaze for the requested 3 seconds (possibly even more but time has no meaning when you’re caught in the moment and tipsy) I actually smiled with teeth. I can’t stress enough how much of a victory this is for me, so semi drunk or not this is why I’m awarding myself a 50% success rate.
After perusing the menu for an embarrassingly short period of time (considering I’d decided before we entered that I wasn’t eating, we went back upstairs to the tills to order our food. After I pointed out who ‘man eating chicken alone’ was (I’m extremely subtle and amazing at creating nicknames as you can tell). According to SS, he was checking me out as I stood at the counter, but I am still unsure if I actually believe that this is true. it’s not really helped by the fact that while we were still at the counter ‘man eating chicken alone’ got up and swiftly vacated the premises.
One could argue that if he could so easily get up and leave without even attempting to talk to me that this means that the task wasn’t really a success. But as the tasks are about what I do as opposed to what the reaction from the recipients of my wayward advances are, I’m declaring that ‘the girl done good’ considering that I acted in a way that was not in keeping with my pre-determined behaviour. As I mentioned at the beginning I’m willing to concede that being semi drunk isn’t the best way to handle the tasks I should ideally be attempting sober I will be trying this one again in a far less lubricated state but I think it’s worthwhile to know that if I put my mind to something I can achieve it!