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On a Wingman and a Prayer
January 11, 2012 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Busy people in need of a boost in the bars are now relying on professional wingpersons.
posted by reenum (77 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I might hire the Ryan Gosling character from Crazy, Stupid, Love as a wingman.
posted by smackfu at 12:58 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one, he says, seems to know how to have a face-to-face conversation anymore. "A lot of social skills you used to pick up watching your parents, but now everyone is busy watching stuff online or playing videogames online," he says.

Wow. I'm glad I don't hang out where he hangs out.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:00 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ah. Matchmakers.

Wait, you thought "alerting the client to flirtatious behavior and making seamless introductions" for a fee is something new under the sun? Snerk.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:03 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Funny I hang out in bars a lot and I see a lot of face to face conversations going on. I see a lot of face to face sucking going on too.
posted by spicynuts at 1:03 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


i wonder if they make sure they aren't as attractive as the person they are winging. seems like that could be awkward.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 1:04 PM on January 11, 2012


I still don't understand what a "wing man" is, even though I've been asked to be one and offered the services of one on multiple occasions. Is it just someone you have around as a buffer for conversation lulls?
posted by cmoj at 1:06 PM on January 11, 2012


EvaDestruction: Wow. I'm glad I don't hang out where he hangs out.

Agreed:
At the Boston holiday party called "Ugly Sweater Night," Mr. Johnson had slipped in with his wingman. Revelers, dressed in blinking Christmas sweaters, sipped bottles of beer and shimmied to the rap song, "Bust a Move."
Ain't no party like an awkwardly ironic holiday party.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:07 PM on January 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


Yes. Also, if there are a pair of girls/guys, having a wingperson means there is someone to take the extra wheel away for you to work on the person you are interested in.
posted by spicynuts at 1:07 PM on January 11, 2012


This should make for some fun conversation(s) when and if the relationship turns serious.
posted by ODiV at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


cmoj: I still don't understand what a "wing man" is

He or she helps ease you into a conversation with a 3rd party, breaking the ice, introducing you and hyping you to the 3rd party. They also pull you back when you're saying or doing you'll regret.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2012


HI I HAVE TO BUY MY FRIENDS WILL YOU HAVE SEX AND OR A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME

CHECK HERE FOR YES ___
CHECK HERE FOR NO ___
posted by R. Schlock at 1:11 PM on January 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


Don't forget to also hire a Third Wheel (my new venture). A Third Wheel is someone unattractive and dorky who idolizes you. At the first sign of a possible connection with a potential date, the client boosts his alpha dog stature by telling the Third Wheel to "beat it" or "get lost."
posted by perhapses at 1:11 PM on January 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Wingmen
posted by Debaser626 at 1:13 PM on January 11, 2012


"Ms. Baxter, whose fees start at $130, insists that clients who go out with a pro have better odds of success than those who troll with an untrained male buddy."

This is the worst sentence in the English language.
posted by griphus at 1:15 PM on January 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


I see where it invites misinterpretation when removed from its context...
posted by jepler at 1:17 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It could be worse if there was something about "growing their success" because ugh, no.
posted by elizardbits at 1:18 PM on January 11, 2012


Smackfu, if you have Ryan Gosling as your wingman, call me. I will distract him while you made headway (!) with my friend...I guess. If that's how wing people work. Can't think- Ryan Gosling!

I think in 'real life' if anyone found out the guy they met had hired a wingman, they'd be pretty turned off. BUT it would make for a meet-cute and subsequent 'truth comes out' falling out scene in a romantic comedy.

Starring, of course, Ryan Gosling.
posted by bquarters at 1:20 PM on January 11, 2012


Also, can someone with an OED tell me if "troll" (in the "trolling for" sense) and "trawl" two spellings of the same word, or just homophones that coincidentally relate to fishing?
posted by griphus at 1:20 PM on January 11, 2012


Yesterday I was walking by the Air Canada centre and there were a handful of people loitering around with faces that didn't quite seem to match those of the commuters I was walking with at the time and then one of them brayed, "TICKETS!", and then the rest of them brayed as well, "HOCK-ey tickETS!", "Getcha tickETS HEAH!", "YOU NEED A TICKET", and the first thought that came into my head was, "must be a hockey game tonight", and the second thought was, "what the hell is the career path that leads to scalper, and where does it lead?"

Now I know.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:21 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


t-minus 9 months to this showing up as someone's job in high concept rom com.
posted by The Whelk at 1:22 PM on January 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Sue: People go to a psychiatrist to talk about their problems. She just needed to unload them. You know, bring them out in the open.

Crocodile Dundee: Hasn't she got any mates?

Sue: You're right. I guess we could all use more mates. I suppose you don't have any shrinks at Walkabout Creek.

Crocodile Dundee: No, back there if you got a problem you tell Wally. And he tells everyone in town, brings it out in the open, no more problem.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:23 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't this be in the New York Times Style Section?
posted by Falconetti at 1:23 PM on January 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


I have a google/wikipedia and it seems Trolling means fishing with lines or bait while Trawling (yes, I am Capitalizing for emphasis!) means fishing with a big net. Where I'm from there's only trawling so I thought you were trolling with your fishing comment. (hardy har).
posted by bquarters at 1:24 PM on January 11, 2012


t-minus 9 months to this showing up as someone's job in high concept rom com.

Isn't this more or less Hitch?
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:25 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Entry number 878,909 in my "Holy shit I'm glad I'm happily married" log file.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:26 PM on January 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Trolling does mean the same thing as trawling.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:27 PM on January 11, 2012


Tomorrowful: Isn't this more or less Hitch?

Yes, and it's from 2005. This type of service is not a new thing.

I still like my friend's idea of being a professionally Interesting Person, to liven up your parties, or be your casual, friendly Plus One, so that you seem like a more vivacious person. It was on our wall of Things That We Could Do For Work.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:29 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


ICEMAN: You can be my wingman any time.
MAVERICK: Bullshit! You can be mine.
posted by argonauta at 1:29 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Cue ICEMAN and MAVERICK making OUT.)
posted by griphus at 1:31 PM on January 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


I remember seeing the Boston Wingwoman ads starting to appear in the freebie arty-culty magazines last year and just not quite believing it. We went on their website to gawk.

t-minus 9 months to this showing up as someone's job in high concept rom com.

Oh totally. And here's your premise:
"I felt really comfortable after meeting the "wingwoman," who introduced me to a couple of very attractive ladies. I have already re-hired her because she was great company and made me very confident." - Michael, Cambridge

...in fact, she was such great company I just kept wanting to hire her, and then I found I wasn't interested in talking to the other women so much any more. But I didn't know how to tell her it was really her I had feelings for! I mean, did she even like me or was she just doing her job? So I hired a wingman to follow her on her night off and hit on her, to see if she was interested in me, and....

YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS...WINGWOMAN. Coming soon to a theatre near you.
posted by Miko at 1:31 PM on January 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


by the time the studio is done with it it's a heterosexual romance and she has literal wings.
posted by The Whelk at 1:40 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Shouldn't this be in the New York Times Style Section?

You know I bet this article could totally get there with the right representation.
posted by ODiV at 1:42 PM on January 11, 2012


The best wingmen are women. Go to a bar with a trusted female friend and she'll tell you if you're being checked out, etc. and she'll usually be more accurate than a dude.
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


still don't understand what a "wing man" is

He or she helps ease you into a conversation with a 3rd party, breaking the ice, introducing you and hyping you to the 3rd party. They also pull you back when you're saying or doing you'll regret.


heh, all this time I had it wrong too. I thought the idea was having an obnoxious/ugly/awkward friend that makes you look way more awesome than you actually are.
posted by mannequito at 1:43 PM on January 11, 2012


Call my old fashioned but if I ever found myself with the ability to spend $130 on professional services related to my social life, I'd probably just cut out the middleman and pay for sex.

This crude-yet-immediate description of where my brain went may or may not be related to the Ryan Gosling example given above. I know nothing about that movie except for the naked locker room scene shown in the commercials.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:49 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


The best wingmen are women.

The very best wingmen are hot women who'll let you bang *them* if you don't score.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:49 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


At the first sign of a possible connection with a potential date, the client boosts his alpha dog stature by telling the Third Wheel to "beat it" or "get lost."

I suspect the mechanism by which your business makes the client appear attractive is actually that it allows them to seem like an asshole (score!), rather than alpha. :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 1:52 PM on January 11, 2012


The best wingmen are women. Go to a bar with a trusted female friend and she'll tell you if you're being checked out, etc. and she'll usually be more accurate than a dude.

This isn't always the best - sometimes people just assume you're a couple, and keep looking.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:54 PM on January 11, 2012


I think the best wingman would be a self with the ability to hold a conversation.
posted by cmoj at 1:55 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The very best wingmen are hot women who'll let you bang *them* if you don't score.

The best wingmen are being well-groomed and not regarding women as a sporting event.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:55 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Be cheaper, quicker, and a better success rate just to run down to the local happy endings massage parlor.
posted by Xoebe at 1:56 PM on January 11, 2012


"Wingwoman" sounds too much like "ringworm" for my comfort.

On the other hand, that could make a very interesting rom-com!
posted by orrnyereg at 1:57 PM on January 11, 2012


The very best wingmen are hot women who'll let you bang *them* if you don't score.

Astute readers might note that this usage stretches the meaning of the term to the point of translucence.
posted by clockzero at 1:59 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read the comments here but has anyone asked if the wingman/woman falls on the grenade as well?
posted by Gronk at 2:00 PM on January 11, 2012


Wasn't there a service that would handle your online dating for you? I could be down with that.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2012


Isn't the plural "wingpeople"?
posted by madcaptenor at 2:03 PM on January 11, 2012


I read the comments here but has anyone asked if the wingman/woman falls on the grenade as well?

No no no. YOU fall on the grenade, which fortunately tuns out to be a dud, after you and the wing-whatever arranged this choreographed emergency in which you play the role of Hero to onlookers unaware that it isn't real or that you're a charlatan, liar, and conman.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:04 PM on January 11, 2012


No no no. YOU fall on the grenade, which fortunately tuns out to be a dud, after you and the wing-whatever arranged this choreographed emergency in which you play the role of Hero to onlookers unaware that it isn't real or that you're a charlatan, liar, and conman.

You've really thought this through!
posted by orrnyereg at 2:10 PM on January 11, 2012


"Wingwoman" sounds too much like "ringworm" for my comfort.

She was a busy career woman with no time for love. He was Tinea corporis, a fungus with a dream...
posted by griphus at 2:11 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


You've really thought this through!

Why pay someone $150 just to go talk to someone. Make 'em earn it!
posted by -harlequin- at 2:14 PM on January 11, 2012


I have a buddy who paid a dating coach $50 an hour to tell him what I had been saying for free over the last 15 years.
posted by reenum at 2:17 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, the old "hey I'll just walk up and sit in her lap" technique, eh? Boy, some of the classics never die!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:35 PM on January 11, 2012


I always have the same question about these services--what if you meet someone, it works out, and you start dating seriously?

"Hey, let's go out with your good friend Dave who was there when we met. He was really fun."

"Hey, should we invite Dave to the wedding? You know, he was there at the beginning."

Thinking about the eventual clarification makes me cringe, because I think it would wrap that initial moment in a sad deceit.
posted by oneironaut at 2:41 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


oneironaut, I have a solution for your conundrum.

You tell your dear fiancee that the two of you were forced to duel because of he besmirched the honor of the women in your family. Dave lost, and thus is no longer available to attend events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, Super Bowl parties, etc.
posted by reenum at 2:48 PM on January 11, 2012


YOU fall on the grenade, which fortunately tuns out to be a dud

And then you end up frozen in the ice for 70 years when your plane crashes in the arctic after you save the world from nazis?

Luckily when you wake up you get to make out with Tony Stark.
posted by elizardbits at 2:57 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thinking about the eventual clarification makes me cringe, because I think it would wrap that initial moment in a sad deceit.

I'm not so sure. I think finding out that you payed someone to help hit on girls would be a turn off before dating, I think it might be flattering afterwards.

"I don't know him all that well actually. I hired him to help me meet you."

Who knows, maybe it gets processed in terms of you taking charge over your future, not thinking twice about throwing down money to get results.

I definitely think it will interpreted far more favourably than if they found out before you started dating.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:02 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The very best wingmen are hot women who'll let you bang *them* if you don't score.

And this, right there, is why I haven't been on a date in 10 years.
posted by jrochest at 3:02 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Be cheaper, quicker, and a better success rate just to run down to the local happy endings massage parlor.

Yeah, but that's kinda lonely.

Or some I'm told.

What?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:08 PM on January 11, 2012


If you're willing to pay $130 to get laid, why not go the 100% don't fail route and just hire a prostitute? I mean, even the "what if someone found out" side is better.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 3:22 PM on January 11, 2012


Luckily when you wake up you get to make out with Tony Stark.

I knew I should have stayed until after the credits.
posted by griphus at 3:23 PM on January 11, 2012


You're not paying $130 for a one-time get-laid, you're paying to hopefully secure a stream of not only getting laid, but getting companionship, a +1 for work events and your 2nd cousins weddings, etc. and perhaps a long term relationship marriage kids caboodle.

I mean come on are you guys trying to be funny or do you really think that?
posted by jacalata at 3:37 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


t-minus 9 months to this showing up as someone's job in high concept rom com.
posted by The Whelk


"Reality" show. Bank on it.
posted by spitbull at 3:42 PM on January 11, 2012


smackfu: "I might hire the Ryan Gosling character from Crazy, Stupid, Love as a wingman"

For more interesting nights on the town, I'd go with the Ryan Gosling character from Drive.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:48 PM on January 11, 2012


Or get your signals crossed and use the Ryan Gosling character from Blue Valentine, then watch your life slowly crumble and slide down the drain. This is a shitty service.
posted by Turkey Glue at 3:53 PM on January 11, 2012


I'd hire Ryan Gosling from Drive as my wingman. hit on another guy's girl at the bar? boot to the guy's face in the alley. and then a really awesome ride to the next location while outrunning the cops.
posted by ninjew at 4:26 PM on January 11, 2012


HI I HAVE TO BUY MY FRIENDS WILL YOU HAVE SEX AND OR A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME

CHECK HERE FOR YES ___
CHECK HERE FOR NO ___


You forgot:

CHECK HERE FOR MAYBE ___

If 2nd grade taught me anything, it's that you always need a "maybe".
posted by LordSludge at 4:40 PM on January 11, 2012


HAVE YOU EVER TOUCHED IT?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:55 PM on January 11, 2012


Trolling does mean the same thing as trawling.

I disagree. Trolling is using a baited line, or multiple lines. Trawling is using a net. So one can TROLL for specific fish species by varying bait and line depth, whereas TRAWLING just scoops up everything in the path of the net. Trolling doesnt guarantee a catch, but it increases the likelihood that what you do catch is what you were fishing for. Trawling pretty much guarantees a catch, but there's no telling what you'll get.

As to hired wingmen: if you can afford this service and are that pressed for time, you should probably just go ahead and hire companionship, because the chances are good that you're an assclown.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:18 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


HAVE YOU EVER TOUCHED IT?

TOUCHED WHAT, RICK?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:29 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


His herpes has totally cleared up. Trust me on this.

...ah, I'm probably doin it wrong.

Mr. Mitchell now runs Miss Pivot with a team of five friends, including a "head coach," plus eight freelance "pivots" for hire at $45 to $65 an hour.

Also doubles as straight man services for setting up obvious one liners for free.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:20 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also doubles as straight man services for setting up obvious one liners for free.

This I would pay for.
posted by LiteOpera at 6:25 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


God is my wingman.

The downside to this? Lots of smiting, plagues and rending of garments. Sometimes a young lady gets turned into pillar of salt at last call. The occasional burning bush.

The upside? 700 wives. Free Jaeger shots.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:43 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Troll and trawl are not homophones (at least in the places I've lived), nor are they synonyms. There must be places where they are homophones, because I see them confused in writing all the time.

Honestly, this seems like a very sad sort of service, not much different from a "rent a friend." I can totally understand paying for a professional evaluation of your online dating profile, your self-presentation, or even your pick-up strategy, because sometimes your friends are too kind and you need an outside perspective. But paying someone to go to a bar with you and help you chat people up?
posted by Forktine at 8:36 PM on January 11, 2012


So...an escort, then. No, I'm not trying to be snarky. You are hiring someone to escort you (but I guess not in the older sense of "your escort".

Come to think of it, though, it seems that an escort (here I actually do mean prostitute) could make for a pretty good wingperson.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 9:56 PM on January 11, 2012


griphus,
Troll and trawl are of uncertain and un-related origins. There is a sense of trawl that is the same as troll (drawing bait through water).
- Shorter OED fifth edition
posted by llc at 11:57 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's nice to know debutantes and marketing professionals are doing something "to give back."
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:52 AM on January 12, 2012


I got my own wingman for a single fee of $55.

He's perfect because he knows when to make himself scarce, although sometimes he disappears suddenly and then shows up randomly in my closet or under the bed.
posted by orme at 7:28 AM on January 12, 2012


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