As a single guy who's gotten out there a fair amount, I've learned how to play the game. The way I see it, if someone's interested, great. If not, no skin off my nose. Take last night: I got the number of this hot young thing at a bar and decided to give her a call. And now that I've left my painfully uncomfortable six-minute-long voice message on her cell, I'm not going to waste my time obsessing over my next move. The ball's in her court.

If she wants to make the next move and return my panicked and barely coherent phone message, that's fine by me. If not, she can take a hike.

See, I've laid the groundwork, and if I do say so myself, it was pretty fucking painful: I stared blankly at my phone for a few hours; I dialed the number and said hello but in a voice so low that I had to clear my throat and repeat it several times; I spent a full minute awkwardly trying to explain that I was the guy drinking vodka tonics, but then, realizing that other people she was talking to were drinking gin and tonics, which look pretty similar, I said that maybe she'd remember me as the one wearing a bomber jacket and singing along to most of the songs that came on the jukebox; after that, I sealed the deal by stuttering my own name a half dozen times before spitting out "Vince."

Or did I say Victor?

Look, I could be a total loser and stay up all night waiting for her to get back to me, and I almost certainly will do that. But, why bother? If she calls, she calls. I put my sweaty, desperate cards on the table, and now it's on her. And unless I'm mistaken—which I usually am—as soon as she hears the sound of my trembling voice she'll be digging through her purse for the Arby's receipt that I frantically scribbled my name and number on.

What can I say? I guess my voice just has that effect on some women.

And when she does call, I am not going to freak out like it's the first time a woman's ever called me or something. In fact, I may just let it ring and keep her on ice for a while, assuming I don't panic first and start screaming into the receiver the second I hear the phone ring.

Because I'm the kind of player who likes to come on too strong. Just a nice, pitiful, borderline disturbing phone message, and I'm on with my life. It's not like I invited her and her sister to come have tacos with my parents and me tomorrow night or anything. At least, I'm pretty sure I didn't. To be honest, the last few minutes of the message were kind of a blur.

All I'm saying is, if she wants to get in touch with me, she knows how to reach me. After all, when I left the voicemail, I helpfully supplied her with my cell phone number, my home number, my work number, both my e-mail addresses, and my old pager number. I even repeated the info twice so she could find a pen and paper and write it all down. I just hope that she doesn't communicate by fax machine. If she does, well, then, tough cookies, because I don't have one.

That's just how I roll.

Hey, if she doesn't want to come over to my tiny, filthy apartment for a brief round of underwhelming, surprisingly messy sex, then that's her loss. Really, it's cool. I got a whole line of girls ready to politely exchange numbers with me as I stare at my feet, too petrified to make eye contact. It's not like I'm hard up for females or anything, someone whose breasts I can clumsily fumble over until, in disgust and disappointment, she makes up an excuse to leave.

Yes, sir, I'll just be here hanging out, playing it cool, and checking my voicemail messages every 45 seconds or so. No big deal. No big deal whatsoever.

Unless you think something went wrong with her voicemail and she couldn't retrieve my message. Could that have happened? Huh. You know what? Maybe I should call her back real quick. Just in case. Yeah. Just in case.