A password will be e-mailed to you.

I am a really crap Wingman.  Now before you all rush to reassure me on my hook-up assisting prowess, I must lay bare the facts.

The other day, while catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in forever, an opportunistic fellow approached the table.  ‘Drats.’  I thought.  ‘We have no time for men folk!’  And turned my attention to the intruder.

‘We’d love to chat,’ I said politely, ‘but we’re a bit too busy this evening.’  Congratulating myself on my concise rejection, I turned back to my friend to continue the fun.

‘Katie!’  She hissed.  ‘I’ve been looking at that guy all night!’

Woops.  To add insult to injury, my friend then insisted that we leave the bar to make good on my assertion that we were ‘busy’.

I’d love to site this as my only offense.  But unfortunately, I have a whole filing cabinet of them.  It would appear that when the brochures on ‘How to politely decline the advances of a randy prospective lover’ were being distributed, I was in the loo.

In light of this, I have a few questions for you, dear reader.  I feel I owe it to my single friends to demonstrate an at least passable level of wingman etiquette, and I need your help.

1.  How does one decipher whether or not a man is trying to get them between the sheets?  My lack of perception on this one has led to some decidedly awkward interactions.  Said awkwardness usually ensues when I mangle the old boyfriend slip-in.  Most people slide the mention of their other half seamlessly into the discourse.  Not I.  What tends to happen is I find myself getting so anxious at the prospect of the slip-in, I just blurt it out and get it over with.

‘So, Katie,’ the guy might ask, ‘what do you do with yourself?’

‘Write.  I write and then I go home to my boyfriend.  Which I have one of.  A boyfriend.’

As you can imagine, this doesn’t go down too well if the friendly lad in question has no designs on my hiney.  But how in God’s name can I tell?

2.  How does one come up with appropriate conversation fodder when playing wingman to a friend?  Apparently, chit-chat regarding periods, other men, or test results from that doctor’s visit the other day are ALL OFF LIMITS.  (I’ve learned the hard way.)  Which leaves me with work.  And hair.  Seriously, I’ve got nothing.

3.  How does one succeed in appearing transfixed by a guy, when they are in fact so bored they have been over the Collingwood list in their head  twice now?  Safe to say I’m yet to master this one.  Recently, while listening to the not-so-good-looking friend detail the feeding habits of his pet turtle, I’m ashamed to say I let out a yawn.  Things went down hill from there.

4.  Which brings me to my last and most destructive wingman habit.  How on Earth does one tell if her friend likes her prospective hook-up, in the absence of a set of covert signals?  In the same interaction as above, having endured the chronicles of turtle feeding, I decided enough was enough.  Without warning, I stood up, announced that ‘I’ve just remembered I have a really important meeting in the morning!’  And left.  Catching up to me, my friend, far from being thankful, yelled ‘That’s the third time you’ve stuffed this up for me now Katie!’  Wounded, I decided I had better seek some advice.

As far as I can tell, the main responsibility of a wingman is to not stuff things up for their single mate.  Considering I repeatedly neglect to fulfill this expectation, I don’t even deserve the title of wingman.  I am merely a drunk, awkward, conversation-killing loser who for some inexplicable reason has been brought along.

Yep, that’s me.  At your service.