Brittany Wilson, Co-Editor-in-Chief, The Whetstone

Every Tuesday morning, before we can start on anything else, Kristen and I have a contest: Who has the most outrageous story to share from over the weekend? We go back and forth until one of us tells a story that is, without a doubt, the best story of the bunch.

In hindsight, these stories are always funny. But even as I reflect on some of those experiences I can’t help but cringe at the sheer oddity of some situations, and how on earth I ever found myself in the middle of them in the first place.

This week, Kristen and I came to the conclusion that our most awkward stories almost always start with a guy. An awkward guy. Or maybe just a guy who creates an awkward situation. Anyway around it though, a man is usually somehow centrally (and awkwardly) involved.

So here, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I give you the closest thing to a romance column I will ever write: Here’s some of the weird things I’ve experienced that guys do to get a girl’s attention.

Asking friends to ask a girl out

When this happens, how’s a woman supposed to know if the guy is shy or just a sissy? Usually at bars, one guy will approach me and my girlfriends in his friend’s place. “My friend over there thinks you’re cute, can I give him your number?” No. Is it understandable for a guy to circumvent rejection whenever possible? Yes. Is it also understandable for a girl to turn a guy down because he didn’t have the guts to ask her out himself? Without a doubt.

Confusing compliments

A man stopped a friend of mine in the mall and complimented her high heels. He asked if he could see them up close so he could buy a similar pair for his girlfriend. When she took off her shoe to tell him the brand, he took it from her hands—put it up to his face and started sniffing it. Ew. Just a word of advice, when it comes to talking to strangers, leave it at the compliment. As soon as you find yourself touching someone you don’t know, you’re probably being weird.


My sister is a receptionist at a car dealership. More than once, someone who has spoken with her in person about an appointment has called the dealership later in the week just to try to get her cell phone number. Usually by that time she has no idea who is calling, and is super creeped-out. This is just one step weirder than social media creeping: most notably, the excessive-message-sending-even-when-there’s-no-message-back approach.

Treating violence as a turn on

A few weeks ago, a guy approached Kristen and offered her deal: “If you give me your number, I’ll punch this guy.” He proceeded to point to someone Kristen had never seen before. “It was a lose-lose situation,” she told me later. Not only did she not want the guy’s number, but she also couldn’t care less if the other guy got punched. She rolled her eyes dramatically when she told the story. “What was in that for me?”

Flirting in front of girlfriend

As a waitress, there is nothing that makes me more uncomfortable than customers who feel too comfortable. Not only am I a server, but for that hour or so that those customers sit in my section, I am also their friend—but that’s where the favors end. No, I don’t want your number. No, I don’t want to buy your drink. And no, when you smack your girlfriend’s butt, then turn to wink at me, I do not want to go home with you any more than I already didn’t.

In guys’ defense, I do think a decent chunk of the weird stuff they do is innocent—they don’t always realize that what they’re doing is strange. Because a man, like his female counterpart, is an imperfect human being. He might not realize how ridiculous he sounds until it’s too late—and there is a drink splashed in his face.