He yanked at his belt, pulling up his jeans, summoned some courage from the sac between his legs and walked into the bar.

He was on a mission: to ask a woman out.

By .sanden./Flickr

By .sanden./Flickr

Apparently, for the shy gentleman, this is a big deal. My friend Paul has had a crush on a Raleigh bartender for several weeks, but thus far he has failed to take it outside. He went once alone to attempt it, but the beer in front of him did not provide the bravery he needed.

His mettle did not fail him last week, when he finally went to just get it over with already. He took a wingman and in they went. Sure enough, they began chatting with the bartender as she worked.

Of course the guys have all given Paul a lot of hell for his lack of nerve. (“Grow a pair, man!” may have been uttered more than once.) I’m sympathetic to his fear of rejection.

The first time I asked a guy out, I was the shy nerd in high school. I asked out a quiet, handsome basketball player, whom I’d called up randomly. We’d never spoken, but in the tiny high school I attended, everyone knew everyone from kindergarten through graduation. Unfortunately, I was not considered dateworthy material, a fact that kept my face red the next day when people discussed my gall in the hallways.

my later years, plenty of hot, intelligent men have asked me out, saving me the trouble, thank you very much.

Kevin asked me out about four months ago, and although his voice was a little higher than normal, he managed to eek out an invite to dinner. Good thing he did, because I probably would not have asked him out. And now we’re all happy and in love and driving people around us crazy.

Paul did well. He found out ahead of time that the girl recently got out of a long, serious relationship. So he simply asked, “Can I call you sometime?”

And guess what? He got her phone number.

Ladies – do you ask guys out? Guys – any great tales?