‘I Have a Crush on a Woman Who’s Out of My League’

by on August 18, 2022 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed, I have a thing for a woman who works at a nearby Starbucks. She’s beautiful, sweet and funny and everything I ever wanted in a girlfriend but she’s out of my league. My friend says go for it. This is a guy [who] has no problem dating and is always reiterating the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” That may be true but in my heart, I know I have no chance. What do you think?

Sincerely, Marvin from Point Loma

Dear Marvin, it depends on how far out of her league you are. For the record, there is some debate over whether Gretzky coined that phrase. Either way, I never liked it. For one reason, you can’t “miss” a shot you don’t take because “missing” requires, duh, an attempted shot.

The second reason is its implication. It suggests that – whether in the rink, or in life – one must take the shot to succeed. This of course is rubbish. Taking the shot is not always the smartest play. Sometimes a pass is prudent. Sometimes a body check. Sometimes you might want to wait and get a better shot. Wayne Gretzky may have been the best hockey player of all time, but he is the Frazier McLaren* of reason.

It reminds me of my youth, when the kids in my neighborhood played a lot of blacktop basketball. There was one guy we used to call “Chucker” because no matter the situation, he was aways launching shots. Whether off balance, double-teamed or ridiculously out of range, dude was relentless. And sure, he scored a lot; sometimes against unbelievable odds. But if Chucker was on your team, you were probably going to lose. Because, while it’s true that you won’t score if you don’t take a particular shot, you won’t win the game if you always take the shot.

The best advice, in sports as in life, is to take good shots, smart shots; choose your battles. This is equally true in the realm of dating. I don’t know you, Marvin, but let’s say you’re a five and the barista of your desires is an eight. And by five, I don’t only mean looks, but also other traits attractive to women such as charisma, intelligence, and yes, income.

The chance of your mediocre, five-ass hooking up with an eight-babe is about as likely as a flatulent turkey vulture hooking up with a swan. Sure, if a turkey vulture hit on a thousand swans he might “score” one eventually. But is it worth the accompanying 999 rejections?

Is it worth 999 incidents of embarrassment? Is it worth the anguish that exponentially increases after every attempt, only to have a golden eagle with a Cadillac and a cleft chin swoop in and take her away? Not to mention, making incessant, reckless passes at women who are several points your superior appears desperate, and delusional, and will reduce you to a four in the eyes of the otherwise attainable sixes in your vicinity.

It’s like the inspirational phrase, “Never give up.” Oh fer crissake! Really? Never? Not giving up is why people get stalked. Not giving up is why there are 200 frozen bodies near the top of Mount Everest. Not giving up is why we have Home Alone 6. Ever share an apartment with a violinist who didn’t know when to quit? I have, and I used my other roommate’s didgeridoo to smash the violin to pieces.

So, Marvin, the answer to your question depends on the answer to my question: How far out of your league is she? If she’s a pinch hitter in MLB and you’re batting .308 in Triple-A, that’s not an insurmountable gap. But if she’s a top quarterback in the NFL and you’re riding the pine in Pop Warner, forget it.

There is no amount of time in the tanning booth that will get a five within striking distance of an eight. Remember, women are looking to date up. Coming in as a three-point underdog is more like being four points down because your Starbucks-serving, eight-babe is searching for a nine. It’s called math, and math is a motherfucker for fives.

Straight Up with a Twist Drinking Tip of the Month

I can’t believe this still needs to be said, but if you’re paying for drinks with a credit card, leave the tab open. Don’t be an insufferable tab-flipper who opens and shuts it after every round. Not only is it a giant time-suck for bartenders, but now it takes them that much longer before making my goddamn drink! Just leave the tab open. I promise, it’ll be safe.

*TheSportster.com ranks Frazer McLaren as the worst NHL player of all time totaling four goals, seven assists and 264 penalty minutes in 102 NHL games.

Edwin Decker (of Ocean Beach) is not a licensed therapist or psychologist. In fact, his only qualification is the 25-plus years as a bartender listening to the liver-aching of desperados and dipsomaniacs. Heed his advice at your peril.

Send questions to ed@edwindecker.com


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Joni Halpern August 20, 2022 at 9:26 am

Okay, I agree with almost NOTHING of what you said here, but I really enjoyed your column. Thanks.


edwin decker August 23, 2022 at 7:22 pm

Hi Joni, please elaborate? What did you disagree with and why? I’m truly curious.


stu August 21, 2022 at 8:11 am

I say take the shot a 3 to a 10 or what ever what’s the worst that can happen. She beats you with a stick calls you ugly then kicks you, not likely. More likely is “No I have a boyfriend, girlfriend or I am married. Then just tell her she’s beautiful and walk away.
I had a crush on a girl in high school that I never followed up on. Twenty five years latter I saw her at a party, we were both married by then, and I told her she said, “you did, I had one on you too”. So who knows what would have happened if I took the shot.


edwin decker August 23, 2022 at 7:24 pm

Completely fair point, I guess it comes down to our sensibilities. Also, keep in mind, there’s a difference between hitting on that one person who is out of your league because you are really crazy about them, or just hitting incessantly because, you know, you always miss the shots you don’t take.


Sorry not Sorry August 24, 2022 at 10:21 am

The only shots I didn’t take that I really miss, are the ones that I didn’t drink. Ya dig?


edwin decker August 24, 2022 at 9:25 pm

fo sho!


Paul Krueger August 24, 2022 at 6:16 am

Absolutely hilarious! You are truly a gifted writer, and I loved readyand sharing this column.


edwin decker August 24, 2022 at 9:26 pm

you are too kind sir


Josh Board August 24, 2022 at 6:50 am

Love your column, although you spent way too much time on hockey! (although, as a basketball player, I loved the Chucker story; we called those guys “ball hogs” back in the day).
Your answer is basically correct. It all depends on how far out of the league. I saw a comedian, I think it was Sinbad (I hate even using the word “comedian” with his name, as he’s rarely funny), but he talked about a difference between men and women is — you can see a hot looking woman working at McDonald’s, and you want to ask her out. Yet if you were the man working at McDonald’s, and you saw an attractive woman customer and tried to ask her out, she’d be like “Dude, you’re making French fries. What do I want with your broke ass? Go get me my fries, and don’t worry about getting my phone number.”
Now, to stick with comedians, I think a better answer you could have given (although it wasn’t really his question), was that it’s kind of an awkward thing to ask out a woman working somewhere, that you don’t know. Louis C.K. (the comedian and sexual harasser) said “Men are the number one killers of women — after cancer. Yet, we have to try to convince them to go out on dates with us. It’s like, ‘Please, come into my car, and I’ll take you out to dinner. No, no, I’m not going to murder or rape you, and I know you don’t know me, but…would you like to get into my car and go out to dinner with me?” (I don’t remember how he worded it, but that ws the premise). To me, you should NEVER ask out a woman that is working somewhere, merely because you’re attracted to her. She doesn’t know you. You don’t know her. Unless you’ve developed some kind of friendship, or he’s been into the Starbucks so often, and they’ve had LOTS of conversations on a variety of things (and might have a few things in common, other than the fact that he wants to sleep with her)…


edwin decker August 24, 2022 at 9:32 pm

I remember that Louis CK bit – hilarious. I wrote a column shortly before CityBeat folded in which I proposed that dating is harder for me. By that, I meant the actual courting process because it’s usually men who have to break the ice and made it clear I wasn’t talking about male/female relationships overall but of course, some people took it that way and you know what happened next.

re:ball hog – yeah, I think that’s the most commonly used word for a guy like Chucker – still use it to this days but ball hog is an adjective whereas Chucker is a proper noun. Chucker was Chucker and nobody else could be called athat whereas a ball hog could be anyone, including Chucker for that matter.


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