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Agenda, What’s That?
There you are on the street, talking to some 19 year old eyelist アイリスト from Kanagawa when she asks you “What are you doing today, anyway?” [つーか、今何してる？]
You stop. “But wait,” you think. “I have a whole day blocked out for doing hardcore street pickup and possibly pulling a young leggy daywalker back to my pad for some instant sex! But I can’t tell her that!”
Well, you could, and I have before. It can work, but it’s probably best to keep things simple. You should always have an agenda. This includes what you have already done (today) and what you will do later. On the street, it’s usually best to drop only what you’ve been doing up to that point. It can be mundane or exciting, it doesn’t much matter. But it’s probably best to not invent something totally off the wall and random that you didn’t actually do. Examples of some statements of your agenda could be:
“Oh, just ate a massive plate of Mexican food over at El Torino. It was powerfully spicy but I enjoy the heat, haven’t had Mexican that good since I lived in LA! ”
“I went to this concert last night so I was up all night and am pretty tired right now. I woke up to find a green smoothie since I feel the need to refuel my body with some nutrients!”
These examples both convey your agenda and several places where either you or she can continue the conversation. In the first example, she could talk about:
-what she has eaten recently
-L.A. (whether she’s been, what it was like for you, or the fact that you’re American)
These are all jumping-off points for many more conversations (most involving food!). The second example offers these leads:
-Concert (Who was it / Do you or she frequently go? / What was the venue?)
-Last night (If she is a party girl or majime, what she did last night)
-Tired (Her current feeling is? / Possible empathy tangent)
-Green smoothie (What is that? Where to get it? Does she drink them? I bet she likes really sweet Starbucks drinks)
-Nutrients (Health – does it matter to her? Is she a fitness/diet girl? Does she cook?)
As always, make your conversation more topic dense, and win!
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“What do I say next? Can I hurry up and escalate to the eating grubs out of her hair part of the interaction yet?”
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Purpose of the Agenda
The agenda has several purposes:
1.) It establishes you as a normal human being (this is big! No really, it is.. You aren’t just some human-shaped foreigner blob)
2.) It is very easy to come up with. It requires little mental power to think of what you just did and is almost always relatable.
3.) It allows you some leverage for asking about her agenda.
4.) It keeps you from being swayed by the fickle whims of hot young teens (more on this later)
The examples above give mostly past-tense agendas (what you just finished doing). Another common and simple agenda is “I just finished doing ___ with my friends”
This has the added advantage of making you not seem like a depressed loner or self-mutilating sociopath (“He has friends!”) while still maintaining the advantage of having a seemingly free schedule from here on out (Hellooooo SNL).
Another big part of including the agenda shortly after (or even as) your opener is that it takes a lot of stress off thinking of what to say next. You already know you can talk about your agenda. Furthermore, it allows you to probe into her agenda! If you simply come out of the gates asking her “What are you doing?” it can seem a bit pushy or abrupt. But after disclosing your own agenda, it seems only natural by the rules of social reciprocity for her to mention what she’s up to. Her plans, of course, directly relate to where you will try to take the interaction – just a number, a coffee date, karaoke, or a hotel/your house.
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Sticking to Your Agenda
Sticking to your agenda means not being swayed by whatever ride she is trying to pull you along for. Chances are if you met a girl and she’s got some free time, she’ll be happy to do whatever you suggest and will go along with your plans, but over text things can be a little different. Let’s say the Kanagawan lash technician in the above example is excited to hang out but doesn’t have time that day, so you agree to meet another day. You live in Shinagawa and you’re planning a date for February 12th where you’ve agreed to go to an interesting looking Thai restaurant around 8pm. Let’s think of a few ways she can try to jerk your agenda around.
-“Can I bring a friend?”
-“Can you do the 15th instead?”
-“How about we change it to Shinjuku instead?”
Now, you can (and should) experiment with taking girls up on these offers if you like. But, I’ve been on a lot of those alternative, sub-optimal dates and spoiler alert: they end well as often as your actual agenda (if you’re doing it right). Sticking to your agenda (in this case, Thai food on the 12th at 8pm in Shinagawa) is win-win for you. If she caves and comes to your agenda, well, you’ve held your ground and the date is totally on your terms. This sets the stage well for her to respect and like you right off the bat. If she doesn’t end up coming to your agenda citing the reason she wanted to change the plan, you still earn her respect for not being a spineless weakling, AND you’ll still get to eat that sweet Thai food you really wanted to try and send her envy-inducing mouth-watering pictures of it to boot.
As always, of course, there is gray area. If you live pretty far out some of her objections might be legitimate. There are many situations where she isn’t just trying to cause problems or throw wrenches into your plans, but genuinely wants to meet at the other place. You can meet her friend and game the friend as well and perhaps even end up sleeping with the friend (her fault for bringing along someone cuter!). You could throw yourself into a far-away station where logistics are less planned out and try to make things work to build the muscles. You COULD do a million things that are compromising your agenda, but the default should always be: stick to your agenda. Don’t let her push you around and shift up the plan for her often pointless reasons. Much of the time her attempts to hijack the frame are just tests to see if you will stand strong or bend to her ways. Guess which one she’s hoping you’ll do..
There are a ton, but here is one example of sticking to your agenda:
I was loitering around Shinjuku with a couple buddies shooting the shit and talking to girls. One walks by and we all notice her, but my buddies are a bit intimidated. Fuck it, I go in. Follow her, and she’s smiling but it requires a bit of monologuing and persistence before she starts responding fully. I keep talking with her down the staircase and into the bookstore as she’s going to meet someone. We exchange LINE contacts and some dude shows up. He gets really awkward about it and asks if I’m her friend or if I’m doing nampa. I chuckle, wish the two of them well and head off.
We message back and forth a bit, and one day heading home from the gym I stop with a buddy to good ol Pepper Lunch, which is now closed down. We’re chowing on some epic steaks when she messages me and asks me to come hang out in Shinjuku. It’s about 11:30, I haven’t showered, and I’m still eating, with work tomorrow. I consider the options – head over to Shinjuku and meet her and her friend, possibly be out all night and possibly have to take a taxi home but definitely be messed up for work tomorrow. Now, there’s no guarantee of what would happen either way, but I would be significantly altering my routine and sacrificing a lot of sleep to end up in a situation where she’s likely with a friend anyway and we’d probably just end up drinking until first train at 5am. Nah, I stick to my plan, head home, shower, and hit work.
Whereas before she was being a bit shifty about setting up a date, after I declined her invitation once, she proposed the next dinner date. I told her to meet at Shibuya, but she tried to change it to Omotesando, saying “There are too many people in Shibuya.” This is ridiculous, since there are just as many in Shinjuku.. I tell her that there’s this place I was really excited about going to Shibuya, so let’s go there. She agrees. Finally we meet, and one of her first questions as we sit down to dinner is “Do you always pickup girls in Shinjuku?” I chuckle and say well, not always but sometimes! She was cool with it, but I think she expected me to deny doing nampa. That, of course, would have been foolish in this case! Anyway, after a couple cocktails and a nice roast chicken dinner, we head back to my place and got up to some epic good times.
Long story short, have an agenda and stick to it. You don’t have to be cruelly inflexible, but it helps to hold your ground.