True Stories: A Piece of Cake

My boldest pickup move was also my most ridiculous.

By Corina Zappia

A couple of times a year, I summon enough courage for a brazen pick-up move. The other days are spent crying about how I will never leave the house, because rejection is out there lurking. The two minutes of your life spent hitting on someone are inversely related to the month spent licking your wounds after the dirty deed is done.

It was on one of my more confident days that I saw the cute guy at the diner in Union Square. As my friend and I followed the hostess past the Christmas lights and salvaged signage to a table in the back room, we walked right past him. He was eating by himself and scribbling on a napkin, which made him look reflective and studious. Plus he had one of those shaggy Stone Roses bowl cuts. I'm always physically attracted to men who never left 1990.

I had a hard time concentrating on my friend's stories that day, my eyes wandering up to the table where the cute guy sat. I have superior psychic powers that can foresee promising relationships on looks alone. I had to do something.

Genius struck. I would send him over a slice of chocolate cake. Right now, at the diner.

Calling over the waitress before I lost my nerve, I gestured at my Stone Rose. "I would like to send a slice of cake over to that guy over there," I said. He was still emphatically scribbling. What could he be writing? Poetry? Grocery list? The waitress looked taken aback, then amused. It was on.

I could see her pointing in our direction when she brought the cake over to him. His eyes followed, then landed on me. I waved. He waved back. There was waving.

“This was straight out of a movie. This move was at least Meg Ryan Level 8.”

I have never seen someone consume cake so slowly. I could have gotten five molars drilled by the time he casually sauntered over. Up close, though, he was even more attractive. He thanked me and introduced himself — his name was Josh, and he had been writing down song lyrics for his band. He was on his way to a rock show uptown. Before leaving, he asked for my number.

I couldn't believe it. I felt like I was no longer in my life, but in a strange one where things worked out. There comes a time in every person's life when she thinks, "Have I won? Have I really won?"

Across the table, my friend's eyes welled up with pride. "Wow, Corina," she gushed. "You are my hero." She wasn't there to judge, but to lift me up to my rightful pedestal. My Corina Tower, as it were, where I may look upon the pussy minions below, too afraid to send out cakes of their own.

I was feeling humble. "I am my own hero," I replied. Really, how many times has one person successfully picked up another at a diner with a slice of cake? This was straight out of a movie. This move was at least Meg Ryan Level 8, man. I was a god.

...a god, albeit, with one minor concern. I remembered another guy named Josh I had met, a few years ago. This Josh also had a very Stone Roses-like haircut. But I remembered his hair being lighter.

My friend dismissed it. "You would have recognized him," she reassured. "I wouldn't sweat it."

"You're right, you're right." After all, this other Josh and I had actually made out, and I wasn't that drunk. Plus, his hair was lighter.


A few days later, New Josh called. He told me he had gone to school at NYU and had studied French literature. His favorite French writer was Colette.

I couldn't take it anymore. "This going to sound totally weird," I interjected. "But I met this other guy named Josh a few years ago, who went to NYU, who also studied French literature."

"Who is that guy?" he laughed. "I'm gonna kill him!"

There was a pause. And then, from the other end of the phone:

"I can't believe you don't remember me, Corina."

"Oh my God. It's you." I wanted to scream into the phone.


"Did you know the entire time? And you didn't tell me? "

"Yes. I can't believe you don't remember me."

"It was very dark in that club," I responded weakly.

"But I remembered you," he exclaimed.

"Well, I'm very distinctive looking," I replied.


Tags Hooking Up

Commentarium (35 Comments)

Jun 19 11 - 12:25am
I'm in love


Jun 19 11 - 2:54am

This was awesome.

Jun 19 11 - 4:27am

Really engaging writing, but I wish it didn't finish with the clunky "what did we learn today, children?" paragraph at the end.

Jun 19 11 - 9:31am

hmm, I actually kinda liked the ending...

Jun 20 11 - 10:48am

Last paragraph could have been cut wholesale.

Jun 19 11 - 7:34am

Genius !

Jun 19 11 - 12:15pm

I'm assuming this was The Coffee Shop in Union Square. There are a surprising amount of douchy douches who hang out there. I'm sorry that he was one of them but I appreciate your super ballsy cake move.

Jun 20 11 - 11:26am
B Town

I don't think douchey douches are limited to Union Square in NYC, unfortunately, but thank god there are cool girls like this one roaming around. (Also, there's a corny joke about taking the cake to be had in the comments section here.)

Jun 19 11 - 12:48pm

There's a typo in the subhead, but I like this story.

Jun 19 11 - 1:07pm

Ahh this true story WOULD make a pretty bold pickup movie. Starring Meg Ryan.

Jun 19 11 - 3:08pm

Have Meg Ryan and Ryan Reynolds ever done a movie together?

Jun 19 11 - 3:08pm

Or, even better, Helen Hunt and Hunter S. Thompson?

Jun 19 11 - 9:26pm

"You are all like indistinguishable Cheerios to me," actually would have been a good line at that point to test his improv skills. "Perhaps if I add honey and nut to the mix....'

Jun 20 11 - 2:23am

Wow. What a story. Love the cake move. I'm going to have to try that!

Jun 20 11 - 5:30am
the pope

"Wow, Corina," she gushed. "You are my hero."

Jun 20 11 - 12:52pm

Love it! Best pick-up story ever! But let's not fool ourselves. That cake was more than $5.00.

Jun 20 11 - 2:22pm

Yay! Nice one, Corina. Miss ya, babe.

Jun 20 11 - 3:59pm

I think sending him a piece of pie would have been more appropriate.

Jun 20 11 - 6:06pm

Nice! Best one of these stories so far!

Jun 20 11 - 9:17pm

bah, like it's so hard for a girl to pick a guy up. Charming story all the same though.

Jun 21 11 - 11:41am

Yes, exactly. Men are always 100% receptive to come ons of the ladies.

Jun 21 11 - 9:33pm

yeah and we're always sooo proud of ourselves when we pull a guy ha ha

Jun 21 11 - 3:02am

This is great. This is exactly, exactly what I hope to be able to write someday. I laughed out loud the whole way through.

Jun 21 11 - 8:05am

Selma Blair and Ryan Gosling...Corn on the Cob Baby - I love it!

Jun 21 11 - 10:40am

This is a great story!

Jun 21 11 - 10:44am


Jun 21 11 - 2:52pm

Awesome. That was fantastic.

Jun 21 11 - 9:26pm

"I have superior psychic powers that can foresee promising relationships on looks alone" Bullshit. I'd like to know who and what types of guys you've dated.

Jun 21 11 - 11:14pm

We call this sarcasm.

Jun 23 11 - 2:38am

some don't recognize sarcasm when it's rubbed in their face..

Jun 23 11 - 9:19am

Apparently this girl has a "type" she goes for. Blindly.

Jun 23 11 - 12:45pm
stfu it's me

bahahahaha. ha.

Jun 25 11 - 7:08pm

Wow this was an amazing story. Though Josh was a jerk, I liked that he was straightforward and didn't play games.

Jun 27 11 - 8:16am

This is wonderfully written! I hope next time your chocolate cake goes to someone who deserves the goodness. --- Four women in four cities take on 365 dates between them. Visit to find out more!

Jul 22 11 - 5:17am

With all these silly wbesties, such a great page keeps my internet hope alive.