I got to lunch with two of my best girlfriends yesterday, a rare treat that included grilled eggplant, iced coffee, and a lot of sweaty laughter (because even cracking a smile in 30 degree, 100% humidity heat results in sweat).
Because my two best girlfriends have been single longer than I have (not unusual, since I think I was the only person in Germany stupid enough to stay with her first boyfriend ever), and at an age when slipping a note adorned with mis-shapen hearts in the boy’s locker door is no longer an option, I took the opportunity to pick their brains for tips on how to let a guy know when you’re interested in him.
The impetus for this conversation is a ridiculous crush I’ve been harboring for ages that renders me completely and utterly mute whenever I’m in the presence of Adonis, which happens on a near-weekly basis. Those of you who know me must know how unusual this is; usually I only stop talking when I’m seething with anger. Well, I’m seething all right but not with rage.
Anyway, said crush is not going anywhere and I am convinced this is entirely because of me. It could have a little something to do with dude thinking I can’t speak a word of German because I can never get my lips to part when he’s around. And it’s not like he hasn’t tried to speak to me. I just can’t seem to get a word out in response. Nothing more than hello.
A couple months ago, when I first mentioned crush to another friend, she suggested I invite him and kid (he’s a single dad) over for a playdate. Hahaha, have you seen my studio apartment that looks like a tornado hit Legoland? Or the stained sleepersofa I use as a bed? Yeah, um, not happening. Then she said I should suggest coffee – all Germans do coffee, she says.
But how weird would that be? Hi, Adonis, I know you think I don’t understand you when you talk to me but that’s just because my brain shuts off whenever I see you, so I was wondering if maybe we could just get over this little hump and head off for some caffeinated quiet time? You know, so you can talk at me and I can continue to look demurely at the floor and act as though my jaw’s been wired shut?
So yeah, that’s not happening either.
I think the real issue at play here is that I’m American and he’s German. As a good old-fashioned Ami, I expect him to do all the work. What kind of girl comes onto a guy? Not this kind of girl…
But girlfriend 1 said this is the wrong attitude in Germany. Says German guys are too polite to make the first move, out of fear of making things awkward. You know, in case the girl says woah, wait a minute bud, wires crossed.
So it’s not awkward if the girl makes the first move, I asked.
What happens when the guy says no?
The guy never says no, she told me. At least not in her experience. Lucky girl.
I have a feeling it won’t be the same for me, but that’s just my self-consciousness talking. For now, though, it seems I have my answers, even if they weren’t what I wanted to hear. If I want to get past hello, it’s all on me. Which means I’ll just have to keep on being rendered mute by the weight of this crush. I’m not that German yet.