I don't want to be creepy, but...
December 21, 2006 10:21 PM   Subscribe

Is it totally creepy to ask out someone I who I met at a museum ticket counter yesterday?

I went to my city's science museum yesterday with several of my friends and seem to hit it off, however briefly, with the girl who sold us our tickets. I left our interaction thinking she was quite cute and my friends, without prompting, mentioned she had seemed into me. She gave me her first-name due to a slight problems with our tickets (we were late with tickets calling us "seniors" as she couldn't figure out how to enter our student ID discounts, and we were instructed to blame her if anyone gave us a hard time), but that's the only info I know.

I assume I could call the museum and ask for her, but it definitely has the potential to come off stalker-esque. Do I have any options? Is there any non-creepy way to pursue this?

Hive-mind, bring me you wisdom...
posted by chefscotticus to Human Relations (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Probably not, unless you are creepy about it.
posted by nintendo at 10:23 PM on December 21, 2006

Don't call, don't e-mail. If you're going to do this, you have to do it in person. I suggest buying admission to the musuem and asking her if you could take her to lunch or coffee.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:25 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Personally, I think it would be cool to meet someone at a museum. Just, as above, don't act creepy about it or it will be creepy.
posted by Brittanie at 10:29 PM on December 21, 2006

Yeah, be straightforward about it, do it in person and if she refuses it, accept gracefully and never mention it again.
posted by tomble at 10:30 PM on December 21, 2006

I second ThePinkSuperhero's suggestion. Visit again, make sure she's on the ticket booth again, then when you're buying a ticket ask her if she would like to have coffee with you some time. Nothing stalkery about it, and the worst that could happen is she says no.

Good luck!
posted by robcorr at 10:30 PM on December 21, 2006

That doesn't sound totally creepy to me. It sounds kinda sweet. I wouldn't call and ask for her, though. Go there and look for her, because if you call her you might take her away from her actual work, and they may have a policy about personal calls, and you wouldn't want to get her in trouble.

If I were you I'd wait for a lull in the ticket line, then approach her, maybe with your "senior" ticket stub in hand if you still have it, and gauge her reaction. If she seems pleased to see you again, ask her out.

I should mention that I'm very tired, it's 1:30am where I am, and it's entirely possible that I'm a bit incoherent and not realizing it. If that's the case, I apologize.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:30 PM on December 21, 2006

Seconding TPS: Don't call! Go again in person and chat with her. Ask her out in person.
posted by vacapinta at 10:31 PM on December 21, 2006

Yeah, absolutely don't call! Do it in person the first time you see her. (And I'm sayin' all this as a girl, so listen up.)

The best way to approach her is to smile when you see her and say, "Hey, you're the nice girl who helped my friends and I . . ."

Hopefully, she'll remember you. Buy your ticket and make small talk. When she hands you your ticket, pause and say (not TOO confidently), "Would you like to grab a coffee some time? My name's X." Extend your hand.

She'll be charmed that you've asked, unless you're seriously creepy. And with a little luck, things will go your way.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:48 PM on December 21, 2006

In a previous episode of AskMetafilter... ...but not really needed, as the advice you've already received is sound :)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:09 PM on December 21, 2006

Also previously on AskMe, Craigslist Missed Connections

I've been on both sides in the situation, and I would venture that the least-creepy thing to do is to be direct about it. It might backfire for both people, but everything in life is risky.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:09 AM on December 22, 2006

I'm with Dee Xtrovert mostly... but the thing to keep in mind is that this girl's job is (partly) to be friendly and bubbly so you (and your friends) may be greatly misinterpreting her customer service skills as flirtation.

Then again, she is probably hit on all the time by lonely museum types... so she has likely learned to handle it gracefully (so you don't have to worry about getting pepper sprayed.)

Its key to strike up a natural conversation with her and I think this will be your biggest challenge (seeing as how she will be on the job.) The conversation will allow you to feel her out a little further before you ask her out. (Who knows, you may realize that she is uninteresting, or married, or six months preggers, or whatever...)

As an aside - the other day at Trader Joe's the chick at the checkout counter was chatting me up. She was a cuttie but after I asked her how she was doing she said, "I'm swell! I have a new boyfriend!" It was cute and also a relief knowing I could safely take this stranger off my radar. I wish more women in service type jobs (to think of all the coffee shop girls I hit on when I was younger... ugh...) would be more direct about their relationship status to us desperate guys.
posted by wfrgms at 1:32 AM on December 22, 2006

And don't spend a lot of time working up nerve. She works at a museum admision counter-- who knows how long she'll be there.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:39 AM on December 22, 2006

I say don't do it
posted by matteo at 5:14 AM on December 22, 2006

Ha! Was it me? Was it me? Was it? Alas, no, we don't mess around with student discount cards and the only adult males in yesterday qualified for senior discounts and had grandchildren with them. However, as a woman who works at the ticket desk of a science museum, I say DO IT. I would personally be pretty much thrilled - we get some extremely cute guys in from time to time - although yes, it would be better to go back and see her at the counter rather than calling.

Also, don't assume that working at the ticket counter is all she does. In a small museum like mine, you might well meet the director at the ticket counter occasionally, and from my post at the front desk I also handle marketing, PR, communications, membership, special events, volunteers and graphic design. Museums are the multitasking centers of the universe.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:15 AM on December 22, 2006

I say do it - you only live once - but I'm going to chime in with all the others supporting ThePinkSuperhero's advice for how to go about it. Definitely in person and while buying an admission.
posted by tastybrains at 6:37 AM on December 22, 2006

My ex-girlfriend's sister met her husband when he was the elevator man at The Met. I think that was the museum. Anyway, the story was that they talked in the elevator, they hit it off, she left the museum and came back 15 minutes later to ask him out. He was completely broke, so all their first dates were at parks and whatnot.

Now they've got 2 beautiful girls and a lovely little apartment. So, go for it! Just don't be creepy about it and at worst she'll be flattered, not scared. Let us know how goes!
posted by GilloD at 6:51 AM on December 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

Why not give it a try?

A friend of mine was smitten with their tour guide at some historical site half-way across the country, even though he hadn't said a word to her. The next day he went & left her a note with him email/phone/etc. A whirlwind courtship ensued, they married, and now have an adorable kid.
posted by belladonna at 7:32 AM on December 22, 2006

Go for it amigo. Don't be creepy, and it won't be creepy.

All the info above is great.

To summarize:

1. Do it in person. Please don't call. Please.
2. Buy a ticket, she'll remember. If she doesn't, that's all you need to know right there.
3. If you're not creepy, then she'll either smile and accept, or smile and politely decline. You're unlikely to be the first guy to ask her out, don't worry about it. Be smooth, be natural, be confident but not cocky.

Now some tips:

1. Remember she's working, and likely pressed for time. In case she says yes, have some information neatly written that you can hand her: your NAME, your cell #, and your email should do it. Don't get to the moment and then have to struggle to find pen and paper, writing down stuff, etc.

2. If she says no, then so what? At least you know, and life can go on, and you can smile, knowing you had the courage to go for something you wanted. Congratulate yourself, and be on the lookout for the next cute girl you feel a "connection" with.

3. If she says yes, try not to be overly celebratory. Again be confident, but not cocky.

4. Don't put too much on the first date/meeting. Things might work out, they might not. Who knows? This is the good part!

5. Good luck! Be brave!
posted by Ynoxas at 9:47 AM on December 22, 2006

Agreed with above. Go in person. I would suggest, since she's working and may not have a lot of time for smalltalk, etc if there is a line - that you write your name and phone number and a short note in advance to give to her as you ask. That way she has your info. Dont ask for hers - let her provide it if she's comfortable doing so. I think this comes off less creepy and gives her an "out" - if she doesnt call then you can assume she was being nice but not interested. If she calls, then congrats and go from there :)
posted by clanger at 9:58 AM on December 22, 2006

I think it's creepy. I know they show it as ok in movies and on tv and stuff, and maybe it does happen in real life, but people shouldn't trust strangers, even if they have a good feeling about them.
posted by onepapertiger at 10:04 AM on December 22, 2006

Hitting on people you meet in their professional capacity is always a roll of the dice. Being hit on by someone you are not interested in, or getting rejected, is never comfortable, but it is the chance you take. An attractive woman in almost any public service capacity is likely to get a certain amount of it, generally from icky jerks, so you gotta tread careful, but then almost everybody has a hard time meeting people so you shouldn't just consider it taboo territory.

I don't think it veers past uncomfortable into creepy as long as you are polite and not overly intense and, if the answer is no, take it gracefully and do not push it, period (even if her hastily concocted excuses appear to leave some sorts of bargaining points open for debate - if the response is not yes, just say hey I understand, have a beautiful day and stay out of the museum for a couple of months).

I find onepapertiger's sentiment odious (while recognizing that yes, things are different for women than for men), it does raise the point - make any initial plans daylight, safe, in public, arriving by your respective own means and leaving the same way type of thing. Safe, easy escape, no scary situation possible.

Rather than, you know, hey, you wanna take a drive with me in my primer gray unmarked panel van to this really sketchy part of the riverfront I know?
posted by nanojath at 11:11 AM on December 22, 2006

I used to have a personal taboo against asking out service workers, esp cute bartenders. My reasoning was (as somebody mentioned) that it's part of their job to flirt and be friendly. I've since relaxed that stance and realized that at least some of the flirtation is genuine -- so now I just treat 'em like I would anyone else. (But, at the same time, realized that bartenders work a shitty schedule that is not terribly compatible with my 9-5ish life.)

And if she's creeped out and says "no", you're no worse off than if you never tried. Go get her, champ!
posted by LordSludge at 11:12 AM on December 22, 2006

Also, I should say that her seeing you with friends (as opposed to being some shifty-eyed loner) did a LOT to reduce the creep-fear factor. Heck, I'd prolly bring some of them along when you ask her out.
posted by LordSludge at 11:14 AM on December 22, 2006

people shouldn't trust strangers, even if they have a good feeling about them.

Huh? We all start off as strangers. Once you've exchanged words with someone, you're no longer strangers; exchange some more words, you're on the way to being acquaintances. There's no way to make hard and fast rules about who you "should" and "shouldn't" try to date (er, close relatives aside) -- if your friends felt she had seemed into you, that's good enough to drop by and see if she breaks into a genuine smile on seeing you again. You should be able to tell the difference between that and a professional smile with a tinge of "uh oh, it's that guy from the other day, I hope he's not going to hit on me." If she still seems into you, say something about getting together after work one day. If she mutters something about being really busy or having a complicated life, smile and say you completely understand and let it go. No harm done, and who knows? Something good might come of it.
posted by languagehat at 11:23 AM on December 22, 2006

Do it!
posted by Alt F4 at 1:35 PM on December 22, 2006

as other people have said, ask her in person, under no circumstances should you call or email her.

funny reading Ynoxas' advice , since it's advice he gave me two or three years ago, and it's good advice.

good luck dude!
posted by nola at 4:11 PM on December 22, 2006

All unwelcome advances are made by assholes . . . while all welcome advances are made by non-assholes. But since it is the reaction of the advanced-upon that determines asshole status (i.e., if she wants to fuck you then you're not an asshole), and since you can't know if an advance is unwelcome until after you've made it, you have to risk sounding like an asshole or you'll never get laid. No one ever gets laid without sounding like an asshole every once in a while. (emphasis mine - J_P) So are you an asshole? There's only one way to find out: Hit on her. Be respectful and upbeat about it, and do it at an appropriate moment . . . But risk sounding like an asshole . . . or you'll never get laid.

-Dan Savage
posted by jason's_planet at 6:08 PM on December 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yes, it could seem creepy if she's not attracted to you. If she is attracted to you, it won't seem creepy.
posted by delmoi at 8:23 PM on December 23, 2006

This post screams for a follow-up. Would you do us that courtesy when something happens, chefscotticus?
posted by Ynoxas at 8:38 AM on December 24, 2006

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