Yes, bad ones are the stuff of legend. And a really quality opener - one that's sincere, flattering, surprising, sweet, funny or not creepy is hard to find. Still, they do exist, and we want to hear them:
The first major difference between a great line and a cheesy one is that the first one isn't a line: it's spontaneous and sincere - or at least funny. In the movies, they make it look so easy! Take this, from Clark Gable to Jean Harlow in Red Dust: "Mind if I get drunk with you?"
Or Annette Bening to Warren Beatty in Bugsy:
"I gotta warn ya, every man I've ever gone out with has been ruined."
"Well, that's what they get for messing with my girl."
Or, of course, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade:
"Do we know each other?"
"Why, do you think we're going to? Because I already know an awful lot of people and until one of them dies I couldn't possibly meet anyone else."
"Well, if anyone goes on the critical list, let me know."
Oh, if only life were scripted! But still, great moments - or just nice ones, or surprising ones, or dramatic ones, do happen. One long-married couple I know met when he waited on her and her parents at a New York restaurant she frequented.
"How do you feel about a waiter at your favorite restaurant asking you out?" he asked as they left.
"A little weird," she said, not wanting to compromise her ability to go there.
"I thought you might feel that way," he said, "which is why I just quit."
(It's true, sometimes these stories are only good when they work out - otherwise, he'd just have been out of a job.)
So: let's hear yours. We all need some feel-good now and then - or at least something positive to remember when we've heard one too many labored negs and cat-calls. We'll run some of the classics.