Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Street set to venue change: Pushing past your comfort zone

I'm going to be writing about this street set I was in on Saturday night.  It was actually the main event of the evening.  I've been reluctant to write about it probably because I don't like remembering the awkwardness at the end and also because I'm not sure exactly how I could have done better.   I got some ideas from talking with 2j immediately after and I've analyzed the situation several times in my head since then.   

Pushing past your comfort zone:
I wrote about how 2j and I were really pushing ourselves Saturday night.  This is how you learn.  Often, your ego wants to protect itself so you don't want to push things along.  You settle for playing it safe, or taking a small victory by taking a quick phone number or leaving the set.  Using my usual football analogy, you sometimes have to make some deep passes down field.  In sarging, you have to try to kino escalate, or move the girl around, or try a venue change, or try to go along with the group if she's leaving with friends.  Far too often, I've failed to move things along and settled for just trying to see how long I can stand in the same spot talking to the girl.  The later is what you try to do as a newbie, but I've done it far too many times probably as a form of state control and it's hurt my progress.

Continuing with the football analogy, though you can score a touchdown or gain big yardage, you also could get picked off.  You might have been able to get some yardage (maybe you could have gotten a phone number that actually panned into something), but instead you took some chances and screwed up.  

I'll say this, the awkwardness at the end of the set I'm going to describe was really difficult.  It was tough being in unknown territory and having to think up moves on the fly.  I'll say I definitely grew a lot forcing myself to do this.  On top of that, reaching into the unknown was a bit stimulating in retrospect.  It beats during the same old stuff and having regrets.  

Street game:
I told my wings that this evening, we should work some street sets while we worked our way to different venues.  In the past, we only did streets sets at closing time.  I thought back to a good set I had in Wrigley last year and wondered why I wasn't opening more streets sets.  I stopped this 2-set with a slightly overweight Latina girl, and this petite black girl.  My target was the cute black girl, and she was high buying temperature.  2j started talking to the Latina girl, and then I learned that he actually had met her a few years ago.  Later, he tell me that his experience was that she was a bit of a prude.  At the time, I thought they were joking around about having met before, but it turned out to have been the truth.  

I quickly had my arm around my target and she was comfortable with it.  I was in a good state as just prior to that, I had opened a different 2-set and this particular girl was really into me.  She seriously shocked both 2j and I in how she was so set on staying and talking to me.  Her friend was immediately trying to pull her away, but she kept resisting and even said, "No, I want to stay."  My wings tried to disarm the friend, but she was persistent and dragged my target away.  

2j later said he didn't want to come along with the set as he had be out with the Latina girl twice and couldn't get past the make out with her even though he got up to her apartment twice.  He did push me into going along with them and kept telling the girls to let me go with.

Ignore the friend or befriend:
I was torn with what to do with this set.  I don't have much experience venue changing with a 2-set.  I actually had more experience working 2-sets solo in general when I was going out alone but the past 2 years I've gotten too used to have wings around.  Early on, the Latina girl objected, "You're really touchy feely with my friend already!"  I think I screwed up because I dropped my arm from my girl when she said that even though my target was comfortable with it.  

As we were walking to this pizza place they had said they were going to, the Latina girl kept getting farther ahead and I had mini isolation with my girl.  The Latina girl kept stopping and giving us these piercing looks.  I remember saying, "Hey, slow down" and catching up to her.  My thought at the time was that I should engage her to try to disarm her.  I think this was a mistake as once I did that, my target started walking next to her friend and it seems like she lost some buying temperature at that point.  

The Bathroom state break:
The girls wanted to stop at this bar on the way.  As I think about it, maybe part of the problem was I was being lead around by this Latina girl instead of leading the set myself.  They were set on going to this pizza place (turned out to be a grilled cheese place that also serves pizza) so I had to follow them.  I remember 2j saying that sometimes you can just tag along instead of leading the set.  This is a sing of how I need to get into more of these sets so I have some idea of how to calibrate things.   

When we walked in, the Latina girl went to the bathroom and my girl followed.  I knew this was going to be bad.  The Latina girl had made comments about not wanting to let my target be alone with me.  I knew she was going to have a talk with her in the bathroom.  Later, 2j would tell me that if I had a feeling this was going to happen, I could have tried number closing my girl before she went in the bathroom.  The problem is that we literally walked into the bar and the girls immediately went into the bathroom.

Now, I wasn't completely passive here.  I knew that I had to be having fun when they came out, so I made sure to start getting into the music.  The place was doing karaoke, so I was also singing along to the song.  As the girls were in there awhile, and I knew it surely meant they were having a talk, I started to try to look for a random guy to bring into the set so I could distract the Latina girl or hook her up with some guy.  

When they finally came out, the Latina girl headed to the front door right away.  I stopped my girl and introduced her to the random guy by saying, "Hey, I found someone for your friend."

The Latina girl, though, was just standing impatiently by the front door so my girl walked out and I followed them.

We got to the corner of the street and one of the girls said, "Well, we're going to the [name of the grilled cheese place."  In the past, I likely would have just left as it felt awkward to keep following but I knew that just giving up doesn't get you anywhere.  I just crossed the street with them.  

The food place was a few doors down.  When we went in, there was a long line.  I tried to make conversation but neither girl was really responding.  I started to feel really awkward being there but I kept trying to talk.  My girl started playing Ms Pac Man, and I tried to tease her there because she sucked at the game.  I also tried giving her advice on how to play but she wasn't really responding.  

At this point, I wanted to leave but I figured I'd keep trying.  I kept trying to make comment, but then I also started to talk to this cute Irish looking girl that was behind me.  In retrospect, I should have just kept talking to her as she was initially responsive.  

In the end, we got up to the counter.  It seemed obvious the set was over but I kept talking to them.  My girl finally walked away from me and gave me bad vibes when she did so, so I just started to talk to the girl that had been behind me in line.  When she got her food, she went with her friend to go sit down.  If I had been real persistent, I would have tried to sit down with this new 2-set, but at this point, I felt shitty about the awkwardness of the whole situation that I just decided to leave.

I saw the Latina standing by the entrance and started talking to her.  I guess the black girl had gone to the bathroom or something.  I talked to the Latina girl a bit.  She actually was more responsive here.  At this point, I was thinking I should have engaged her more in the beginning.  I was thinking I could stick around till my target returned, but honestly, I had lost confidence and the set felt awkward so I finally just said, "Well, I'm going to the after hours bar.  Cya."   

This just proves how I need to push further along.  I need so much more practice in different situations.  As I said in the beginning, I need to push my comfort zone every time so I can gain later game experience and calibration.  This would have been easier had either of my wings come along.  As much I like going out with 2j, this is one area where he's weak.  You see, Seagull, he'll always try to help wing sets to the end, but 2j will only do it if it's an attractive girl that he really wants.  This was just a bad situation as 2j  knew he wasn't going to get anywhere in this set.  

I should be happy I pushed myself to go with the girls.  There were several sets a few weeks ago that Seagull and I lost because we weren't willing to even ask, "Hey, can I go with you?"  This time I tried to go with the set, and that's progress.  

I should also be happy that even though I was lost and uncomfortable at times, I kept trying to be proactive.  I tried to get a guy to distract the Latina girl.  I tried several strategic moves, so at least I was thinking on my feet, even if the moves turned out not work out.  At the very end, I tried working the other girl in the food place instead of just leaving food place completely.  

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