While at a tailgate, I was approached by a tall, decent-looking guy bearing a smirk that revealed sneaky intentions. His overconfident introduction sent up red flags but did not prepare me for what he said after our brief name exchange.

“So, after the tailgate, do you want to go and have sex?”

Stunned and insulted, I hastily replied, “How about, ‘Ride with me upon my white stallion into the sunset where we will make sweet passionate love by the fire? Try that next time, jerk.’” I marched off in dismay and found my girlfriends for refreshing company.

What happened to the debonair and suave James Bond-esque one-liners that instantly made a girl swoon? At this point, I would settle for a knock-knock joke.

Of course I understand the gulping guts it takes for someone to approach the opposite sex. Rejection is terrifying, and confrontations mixed with the opposite sex are disastrous ingredients to stutter and mess up your words. I had a friend in high school who used to write down everything he was going to say before he called a girl. It is hard, which is why we should give each other more slack. Standards are natural, but so are nerves.

I base my judgment on actions rather than their jumbled words. Factors like how close he is standing to me and how comfortable his smile is matter. Most important is where his eyes are. Thankfully, I usually do not have to worry about guys staring at my double A cup, but I still want to meet a sincere gaze. Within this initial greeting is a test or an audition where one determines the potential of the other person.

Nancy uses her magnifying glass to inspect a guy differently.

Shoes. Maybe due to my gargantuan height and the fact that I shrink away from eye
contact with strangers, I am always looking down. Maybe you won’t notice when we meet but trust me, I just looked at your shoes, and I just gathered 70 percent of my first impression of you. Granted, the shoes are not the only important thing. The rest of the outfit will be important too, but the shoes are the pivot point from the rest that I will assume about you.

Before you call me shallow, I would like to point out the fact that I am a firm believer that what I see on the outside is a reflection of what you feel on the inside. Therefore, I am really just judging the person you are on the inside, you just don’t know it.

The first thing to notice is the brand of the shoes. I am weirdly good at looking at any piece of clothing and telling you what brand it is.

I literally could not go into the intricacies if I tried, but what I can say for sure is that I met a boy the first day of freshman year in high school and we immediately bonded over the drumsticks sticking out of my purse, and he was pretty cute too. I glanced down and took one look at his black, slip-on sneakers, and I knew we would never approach anything more than friends.

I am still close with Jason now and he still maintains that those were his “work shoes.” But it was over before it could ever start.

Another thing that I notice is how well he can take my shit. I am a bit — and I wish there was a better word for this — sassy. I like to kid around and kind of be a jerk, and if you can give it back to me with as much sarcasm then shoes aside, I’m yours.

There is no exact formula to establishing a relationship. Whether we become friends or lovers, we must understand that nobody is perfect. A happy medium of communication can be found somewhere between a shy blush and an on-demand “do me.”

If you don’t have anything charming to say, or the mojo of desire, then simply be yourself.