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Platonic Relationships

Awkward Start

So last night was the event I mentioned in my last post. My fitness group was getting together to have dinner. There had been a class earlier in the afternoon, and I had attended. As I was walking out the door, my instructor (not the one I’m interested in) asked me if I was planning to go to the dinner. And I kind of got this “he might be interested” vibe from him. Turns out he was just being nice.

I was a few minutes late to dinner because I had only 1.5 hrs between class and dinner & I had to catch the bus, shower, get ready, catch the bus back. So when I arrived almost everybody was already there (the only other girl who went to the session that day wasn’t there yet). Only the instructor from the afternoon class came, not the one I was interested in. He’d brought along another guy who he shared a flat with.

And it turned out that we didn’t have a reservation. And we were in the theater district at 7:30 on a Saturday night. With a group of nine. Well done event organizer!

I may have been here before

So we wandered around a bit to try to find somewhere that might take a group of 9. I chatted with a few different people in the group and at one point started talking with another guy I was sort of interested in. He’s one of those guys who is just easy to talk to and super nice. I was kind of wondering if he might be interested in me, but when I tried to talk to him as we walked to another restaurant, he didn’t try to prolong the conversation and walked past me at the first chance. I wasn’t sure what the deal was until we got to dinner.

So finally we ended up on the next street over and happened upon this little restaurant that I happened to have been to before…and hadn’t been impressed. So of course, they had space for nine people. I didn’t want to be picky (especially since I was the only newbie who showed up and hadn’t figured out the group dynamic yet), so I kept my mouth shut, and we went in.

Highlights: who’s married, who’s gay, who thinks I’m into them

So we all sit down at the table and people start talking, and wine gets ordered, and people keep talking. The instructor turned to the event organizer and made a comment about how he’d led us to the gay district (“I don’t mind, obviously,” he said. At which point my brain went ????).

Super Nice Guy starts telling a story and gesticulating with his hands – he’s wearing a wedding ring (another “ah-ha” moment in my brain).

Event Organizer, who’s sitting across from me, is slightly cross-eyed, and I don’t realize he’s talking to me until he finishes his story and expects a response.

The guy next to me looks super young (I estimated 18-21), didn’t order booze, ordered two appetizers and mac and cheese as his main course. Later somebody commented on how he’s the youngest one there, and then The Instructor says, “Well, maybe not, how old is Sadie?” I almost choked. “Excuse me?” I said. I looked at The Kid, “How old are you?” I asked. “19” he said. Without meaning to, my mouth formed an “awe”, and I patted him on the shoulder (though I’d intended it to be a reassuring pat, not a condescending one. Not sure I pulled that off). Just so you guys know, I’m more than halfway through my 20s. So it’s a little annoying when people think I’m younger than a 19 year old.

The Kid mishears a comment The Instructor makes about beating wives (I think he actually said “eating wives”) and says “Does R (the guy T.I. brought with him) need to tell us something?” (my brain went “le sigh”).

Towards the end of dinner, The German shows up with a big beautiful white fluffy dog. He sits down in the only empty chair, which is next to me. Oh, I should mention, besides the two ladies who come to class frequently, The German is the only other one I’ve added on Facebook, and here’s why: he invited me to a party and said he’d inbox me the deets. So I added him and he never sent the info. Also he seemed somewhat flustered and possibly blushed (more probably was just still red from working out) when I asked him about the party after class. He’d invited everyone in class (it wasn’t a me-specific invite), but I’d wanted to branch out and meet some more locals, so I asked him about it. Anyway, I think he thought I was into him (I’ll be honest, he does make me slightly uncomfortable, and the thought had crossed my mind), so pretty much the first thing he says in conversation at dinner is “My girlfriend” yada yada yada. Right-O.

Move to the pub

After dinner we head to the pub. As you do. A couple people peel off, including Super Nice Guy (who, by the way, looks a lot like one of my exes).

Event Organizer and The Kid both try to buy me a drink. I order a whiskey ginger and pay for it myself. The Kid tries to tell me what whiskey is. He’s pointing at my drink thinking it’s his. He’s ordered straight whiskey, and it comes with a little pitcher of water.

We all sit down at our table; I’m next to E.O. His teeth are stained from the red wine earlier. Now he’s drinking strawberry cider. He makes a comment about having a girly drink, but The Instructor says, “No, what makes it girly is the fact that there’s a girl sitting next to you drinking whiskey.” True story.

Somebody starts a conversation about how creepy Mr. Tumnus is in “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”. We determine that if his name had been “Jeff” he wouldn’t have been so creepy. I feel like I’m sitting in a Monty Python skit and can’t stop laughing. In my head I’m making all the Holy Grail references.

The Instructor and R leave around midnight, claiming “for every year you go past 30, you must leave one minute before midnight” like some reverse Cinderella or something. Then he clarifies, “R is tired.”

I’m getting another drink, do you want another drink?

Event Organizer tells a really awkward story about another guy – who we’ll call Jeff – not taking “the hottest girl at the party” home one night, then he yells somewhat belligerently, “I’m getting another drink!” and makes a motion as if to stand. I say I’m tired and ready to go home, and the one other lady who’s stuck around says she’s peacing as well. Event Organizer suddenly has a change of heart presumably since The Ladies aren’t staying, and starts putting his coat on.

We all head outside and congregate on the sidewalk as if we’re about to have a team huddle and chant before a match. Then we all head our separate ways. Jeff, Event Organizer, and The Lady are heading my way, so we walk off together. Jeff makes a comment about The Instructor “and his boyfriend” (relationship confirmed. Boys with accents confuse my gaydar). Then Jeff (who, besides The Kid and Event Organizer seems to be the only available male in the club) mentions that he was supposed to baby-sit his 8 year old niece but instead popped in a DVD and said “see ya later!” I asked him if he just left her at home by herself!? Then it came out that he lives with his parents. (brain does a sigh). He peaces to go find his car.

I watch my bus pass us on the opposite side of the road. 35-minute walk, yay. E.O. and The Lady go a little out of their way to accompany me to a main road, then I walk back listening to “North American Scum” by LCD Soundsystem.

When I get home, The Kid has added me on Facebook.

Here’s a typical story for ya

After Belgium dumped me, he said he still wanted to be friends. Ok, sure, I’m down…I guess. Besides, he still has one of my favorite books that I lent him.

So a few days after we called it quits, I texted him. It was some innocuous text about this club that was trying to get me to join (and pay their massive membership fee). I’d gone to a party at the club a few months beforehand, and they sent me a pair of *free lunch tickets*. I invited B to lunch (turned out to be a “meet and greet” with the PR person and a tour of the club culminating in signing membership docs. Needless to say, we didn’t go). But when I received yet another email from them, I took the opportunity to extend a hand of friendship/”let’s not be awkward about it” to B.

He responded in record time

When we were “into each other”, it took B hours, sometimes a day, to respond to my text messages (and I’m not the type of girl to incessantly text message someone. I’d message him maybe once or twice a day. This after we’d made a habit of talking and hanging out regularly, and I’d stayed over at his place already).

Suddenly, B is responding within minutes of receiving my texts. We had a short, friendly conversation about the club, and that was it. I recall thinking, “Maybe I can be friends with him.” Or at least friendly.

Can a girl be any more wrong?

Two days later, the day before Valentine’s Day, he texts me. “I really like that engineering book you gave me. Nice work…How was your match date?”

Alright, nice of him to compliment me on my gift-giving abilities, but why does he want to know about my date? Course, I was feeling a little self-indulgent, and thought I’d let him know just how well everything’s going on my side (maybe instill in him a little self-doubt about his decision to call it quits) so I told him I had a good time and we were planning to hang out again soon. Which is true. But it was also true that I found Readsalot to be more of a friend type. I decided not to mention that part.

B went on to inquire what we did on our date. I told him we walked on the boardwalk, then said I had another date lined up for that evening. He wrote, “Hah wow, I wouldn’t expect any different though. That’s awesome.”

Successful. Dating. Pursuits.

Then he said, “Sometimes I feel like I need a stress relief which hasn’t happened, and I’m trying to separate that from my dating pursuits. Which I’ve been successful at.”

Dating pursuits. As in, career pursuits, sporting pursuits, academic pursuits, dating pursuits. As in, “let me check that off my grocery list”.

I told him he needed to stop giving himself such a hard time and take a vacation. He agreed with me. Then he asked me where I was going on my next date. I told him, and he said, “should be fun. I mean it’s no blues club but ya know…” OK. That’s not very fair, comparing my new dating activities to the dates the two of us went on. After all, he broke it off with me. He can’t come trying to sabotage my new dates when he’s already told me he’s not interested.

So I did a photoshoot

One of my good friends is a photographer, and he wanted to mess around with some different lighting techniques, so I agreed to model for him. The modeling sesh was mostly implied nude. I’d told B I was shooting, so he asked “Did you get your pics back from the shoot the other day? You photograph really well. I’m excited to see them.”

The pics were totally classy – not even close to trashy or flashy. Very artistic and interesting to look at. But they also showed a significant amount of skin. Considering how much interest in my dates B had shown, I thought I’d mess with him a little and send him some of those pics. It was probably a poor decision.

He responded with, “Those are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Any more that are more risque?”

To which I said, “Are you trying to get me to send you nudie photos : P”

“You caught me 🙂 yes I am,” he wrote. I sent him a couple more. “Those are amazing also,” he said, “You’re getting closer :)”

I wrote, “Well tough nuggets, that’s all you get.”

He said, “Well next time I see you, if you’re comfortable with it I’d really like to see those other [more revealing ones] too.”

“Hah, I don’t think so, sorry,” I responded.

“Haha ok. Prude ; )” he wrote.

“I’m not a prude, I’m just not going to share nudes with someone I’m not sleeping with.”

He chose to ignore that comment and we moved on to talk about this book I’ve been reading called The Four Hour Body. There is a component in the book about having better sex. And of course we talked about that for a while. I learned that he is into “anal stimulation” (his words, not mine). Course, I’d kinda picked that up when I’d stayed over that one time…

Eventually, we signed off and went to sleep.

A happy Valentine’s Day indeed

The next day was Valentine’s Day. I intended not to message him since I didn’t think it would be entirely appropriate, considering how we “weren’t interested in each other anymore”. He, however, had other ideas.

Around 10:30 that night he wrote “Hello…Happy valentine’s day to you. How did drinks go last night?”

Completely fed up with his ambiguity and his interest in my match dates, coupled with the fact that he had the audacity to message me on Valentine’s Day, I responded, “Why are you so curious about my dates?”

He took about ten minutes to respond, but eventually wrote, “Won’t make that mistake again.”

I said, “Listen, I want to be friendly with you, but I just don’t want you comparing every date I go on to the ones you and I went on. Capiche?”

And I haven’t heard from him since.

So bizarre. So. Bizarre.

So last week, this guy messaged me on FB

“I’m playing in a soccer tournament in your town this weekend!” he wrote, “let’s hang out!”

It took me a second to remember who he was. I looked back at our FB thread. He’d wished me a happy birthday several months ago and asked if I was still in town so he could buy me a beer. We’d worked on this music video together in his hometown, and he’d subsequently added me as a Facebook friend. By the time I’d gotten his message, I had already headed back home, and told him so. “Well let me know anytime you’re around and we’ll hang out!” he wrote back, “and I’ll let you know next time I’m near your town, too!”

9 months later

We had little to no Facebook interaction since that message he sent me on my birthday, and we hadn’t exactly hung out much on set. It’s not like we had exchanged phone numbers or anything.

So, as you can imagine, his recent message felt a little out of the blue. But he seemed like a nice enough guy, so I thought, “hey, why not? Not like I have anything else planned for this weekend.” Except actually I was pretty booked. Two photoshoots – one Saturday, one Sunday, so I wasn’t able to make any of his games. Instead, we planned to go grab some drinks on Saturday night.

The Frat House

This guy, we’ll call him SG for Soccer Guy, is almost 40. When I asked him about his league, he made it sound like he played in an over-30 men’s league. But when I arrived at the house where they were all staying, I was surprised to see guys – and girls – all around my age.

SG opened the fridge and offered me a Natty Light. I popped the can and tried to take it all in. There were probably 15 people in the (not very large) living room – about 50/50 guys/girls, and as I walked around and introduced myself and my friend, R, who I’d dragged along with me, I was greeted with glazed eyes and drunk smiles.

At one point a ping pong ball appeared from nowhere, and someone aimed it at a red solo cup. Finally, SG called a cab for us all to take to the bar, and everyone piled themselves into the van and headed out.

Walk-in coolers, locals, and one heck of a dive bar

The bar was a pretty neat place, but very divey. There were a handful of locals (mid 40s-50s, several couples), and they rolled their eyes at us as we invaded their bar. We all walked to the back, where there was a huge walk-in beer cooler. We picked our beers then headed to the bar to pay. SG was being very friendly, but not in a creepy way. We found conversation easy even though we’d never really hung out. I don’t remember what exactly we talked about, but it wasn’t awkward.

Popped my Photo-hunt cherry

So apparently there is this bar video-game that everybody loves, but that I’d never heard of. It’s called Photo hunt. The gist is this: two photos pop up on a touch screen, and you have to pick out the differences. Apparently there is a more popular version where all the photos are of naked people. Unfortunately, this wasn’t that version.

The photo hunt game was located in a little nook out of the way, and we somehow crammed about 5 people back there and all played the game at once. We almost beat the high score (we came in 2nd overall!).

Later, I tried to learn the Cubic Shuffle among other dances, and SG cheered me on. At one point, he winked at me, but that was about as flirty as things ever got. But it was a very fun evening.

Back at home

Eventually, we all went home – the team had an 8am soccer game the next morning! Needless to say, they were all very, very hungover.

The next day, after the team hit the road to head back to their respective cities, SG sent me a text to ask how my photoshoot went. I said it went well, and he jokingly asked me to send him some proofs from the shoot. Then he said,

SG: I do think you are absolutely beautiful and sweet though.
Not kidding. Ha
Blushing.

Me: Hey, thanks ^^ now I’m blushing 😛

SG: Ha. Yr welcome. I wish we lived closer bc I’d like to hang out w you more.
It’s rare I find someone your age interesting and intriguing 🙂 no offense intended!

Me: hahaha, no I understand 🙂 people my age are pretty lame.

SG: Haha, no not at all. Most of u are just being/acting yr age. I can’t relate, but that’s fine, I’m not really supposed to…but u have more depth and maturity. It’s refreshing.

And then he fell asleep in the car.

Valentine’s Day

On Vday, I didn’t have much to do, and I just happened to be hanging out on Facebook. SG chatted me. We talked for a good while about random things and my online dating adventures (although not to the extent that I talk about them here! Hah…), then he had to run off to another soccer game. Either way, he seems like an interesting guy. He’s super nice and laid back, and I had fun hanging out with him. It was refreshing. Maybe I just need to start hanging around older people. Maybe that would help solve my dude issues. *sigh* probs not with my luck. Oh well! Onward and upward!

More to come on two new match guys!

It seems like I’m always apologizing for not posting

I do have a legitimate excuse at the moment, though, considering I don’t currently have internet at my new place. Basically, AT&T told me they could send a worker out to hook everything up for me for $200, OR I could just pay them $100 and they’d ship me the equipment in two weeks. Yeah, which one would you have picked? (As it turns out, all the equipment arrived in the mail today, but they aren’t activating the service until tomorrow after 8pm. Laaaaaaame).

BUT tomorrow evening, if all goes according to plan, I will have the interwebz in mah house at last! #HeckYes

In the meantime, I’ve been to just about every establishment in town that offers free wifi, and unfortunately they don’t all operate on my night-owl schedule. So that’s been difficult. Also, due to the sensitive nature of my blog, I don’t like writing on it in public. And it seems like the last few places I’ve gone to, there’s always been someone to sit directly behind me, and I’m paranoid they’re trying to read over my shoulder (not that anyone would really give a damn about my silly little blog, but it still makes me uncomfortable).

But back to the story

So last week, Belgium barely contacted me at all. He’d take hours to respond to texts (and it’s not like I was texting him that often! No more than twice per day…and we’d gotten in the habit of talking to one another a good bit). A couple times he didn’t respond to a text until the next day.

Just to be clear, I am not the kind of girl who begs for attention from guys. I am the kind of girl that gets fed up with a guy not responding and so in turn doesn’t get in touch with him either. I’m not desperate, and I don’t want to seem like I am. If a guy is not showing interest, I am not going to force myself on him.

Nextttt

Belgium was starting to bug me because he wasn’t responding. So Wednesday of last week, I got back in touch with Readsalot. We scheduled a date for today. (More on that later).

And I have to admit, it was pretty satisfying to be able to tell B that I had already made plans with someone else when he told me it “wasn’t working out”.

I don’t think this is gonna work

At least B had the courtesy to call me. I guess after three dates and some hookup time it would have been pretty shitty for him not to call me. I was in the middle of something when he called, so I didn’t answer. Called him back a few hours later.

The conversation went something like this:

  • Me: Hey, sorry I missed your call, I’ve been kinda busy today.
  • Him: Yeah, me too. I’ve got that robots thing later today [he helps kids build robots. all. the. time.]
  • Me: Oh, well did you want to try to do somethin today? When is your robots thing?
  • Him: In like an hour.
  • Me: Oh.
  • Him: Hey, I’ve been thinking…about us, and I don’t think it’s going to work out.
  • Me: Umm…Yeah, I kind of got that feeling from you this week.
  • Him: Well, it’s not just that, I mean I had a 60 hour work week this week.
  • Me: [rolling my eyes] Right.
  • Him: I mean, it just gave me a lot of time to think about us, and looking back on it, I don’t think we really have that much chemistry – I mean, you believe in chemistry as much as I do, right? There just isn’t that spark, you know?
  • Me: Hmm, yeah, I know what you mean. Match is a numbers game anyway.
  • Him: Yeah, I guess you’re right.
  • Me: Actually, I kind of already set up another date.
  • Him: [choked laughter] Really?
  • Me: Yeah, I mean, it seemed like things were headed this way. [awkward silence]
  • Him: Well this is awkward.
  • Me: Not really. I mean, it’s just interesting to me, I guess. I suppose I’m usually the one telling people I’m not interested.
  • Him: Yeah, I guess I could see that. [awkward silence]
  • Me: Anyway, I hope it wasn’t something I did.
  • Him: No! I mean, we’re both intelligent people, and I really do want to be friends with you – and I truly do mean that, I’m not just saying it to say it.
  • Me: Right. No, I mean I get it. [awkward silence]
  • Him: And I do want to hang out with you again. I have fun with you.
  • Me: Yeah, for sure.
  • Him: I mean, we had fun at the museum, right?
  • Me: Yeah, we did.
  • Him: You’ll have to tell the next guy that he has a lot to live up to!
  • Me: Hah, yeah. It was a pretty good date, but it didn’t work out so… [awkward silence]
  • Him: Umm…
  • Me: Anyway, let me know if you want to hang out this week…I mean, or whenever. [awkward silence]
  • Him: Yeah, definitely.
  • Me: Alright, talk to you later.
  • Him: Bye.

When I hung up he sent me a text message that said, “It’s nice when two level-headed people can just talk and be understanding like that so thank you.”

I felt a little bit like crying, but instead I wrote, “Yes, definitely. Good luck with everything :)”.

I’m over it

When I think about it, I’m glad he ended it when he did. And to be completely honest, after I came home from his place the night I stayed over, all I could think was “run”. So now I’m just happy not to be clinging to something that wouldn’t have worked out (I only really saw it as maybe a 6 month relationship tops anyway), and I’ve also had the opportunity to sit down and think about what I want from this Match experiment after all. And I think what I’ve come up with is a casual relationship (not necessarily exclusive) with someone I have fun being around and who isn’t trying to fill a void with a relationship. Oh yeah, a little good sex wouldn’t hurt either.

The funny thing is

So the best part of this whole story is that now that we’re officially not into each other anymore, he responds to my texts within 10-15 minutes. Or we had one text conversation the other day. It was amazing, he actually responded! I initiated the conversation, though, so it’s possible he was just attempting to show his good intentions of being friendly. Aaanyway, onto bigger and better things! (Besides, what would I write about if I had a steady relationship!?)

Tomorrow: My Coffee/Walking date with Readsalot

Round 1: PunkRock at a Fro-Yo Bar

PR and I had been exchanging texts and emails for a week or so by now, and at one point he said something about cherry ice cream. I figured it was about time we met in person, so that prompted me to suggest the fro-yo bar.

Via text, PR seemed a little scattered. He’d send me funny pictures or random thoughts every day or so, and we’d talk about music. He seemed like a cool dude, but he did mention that he had ADHD. And it definitely showed.

Where are you?

He texted me around ten till 8 to say he was a little early. I was running about 5 minutes behind (my thought is that arriving early as a girl seems a little desperate). When I showed up, I texted to let him know I was there, then walked into the Fro-Yo place. He wasn’t there. Then I receive a text saying “Meet out front?” Ok…I thought he’d been there for 15 minutes already…

I stood around for another five minutes or so, and he still hadn’t appeared. So I texted to make sure we were at the same place. As soon as I looked up from my phone, he was there in front of me.

“I accidentally went to that smoothie place on the other side of the shopping center,” he told me, holding out his arms for a hug. I smiled warmly and gave him a brief hug, then we headed inside.

How’s it work?

He’d never been to a Fro-yo bar before, so I had to explain how everything “worked”. He ended up filling his entire cup with yogurt (that’s A LOT of yogurt) and then put a bunch of Captain Crunch on top. When we sat down, he placed his cup on the table and sat back on the seat, considering. “I didn’t really think this through,” he said, “that’s a lot of ice cream.” “Yup,” I said. He continued, “Plus this Captain Crunch is just going to cut the roof of my mouth.” He was silent for a second, then shrugged, “Oh well!” and dove into the mountain of yogurt and Captain Crunch.

Connect Four

Some of these yogurt places are really pretty hokey, and we ended up at one with a bunch of Connect Four games on the tables. So of course we played it. For like an hour. In the meantime, PR jumped from one subject to the next, frequently interrupting himself to go off on tangents and then completely forgetting about the original story.

“So all my work friends think I’m crazy for this,” he started off, “but I really want a pet skunk.” That was his ice breaker. And the rest of the conversation throughout the date was similarly introduced. In any case, it turns out skunks are kind of adorable (when their scent glands are removed).

Have you considered stand-up comedy?

PR is back in undergrad studying for a degree in Accounting, but he is currently taking a bunch of gen-eds and pre-recs. For his gym class, he signed up for Fencing.

“Fencing!?” I said, “That sounds pretty baller.”

“Yeah, I thought so, too until I realized something,” he put his hands out and raised his eyebrows, “I don’t like getting stabbed!” This made me laugh, “Hey, have you ever considered doing one of those Open Mic Comedy NIghts?” I asked him. “Nope,” he said right away. He cocked his head to one side, “Not sure why, though.”

Suddenly, something occurred to him. He leaped up and asked, “Hey! Have you ever considered wearing aluminum cans!?” “What?” I asked, but he was out the door before I had time to inquire further.

Five minutes later he’d returned with a pair of earrings. Made from Monster cans. They actually looked super cool.

“I drink a lot of energy drinks”

I told him that I liked how you couldn’t tell what soda can the earrings came from. “Really?” he said, incredulous, “I could spot sugar-free Monster from a mile away…but then, I drink a lot of energy drinks. Usually I get two energy drinks and a large coffee when I have a lot of studying to do.” He shrugged.

Wow, this explains a lot. Also, talking to him made me realize I don’t have ADHD. (Not that I’ve ever been diagnosed with it, I just had my suspicions).

Time to go

We played one more Connect Four game, then headed out the door. He gave me a hug and went to kiss me, but I turned my head so he got my cheek. As we headed to our separate vehicles, he yelled something funny about being the Connect Four champion. I was genuinely amused.

The Verdict

I liked hanging out with this guy a lot, but his ADHD and immense amount of energy was a little too much for me. I could totally see myself being friends with him, though, so I sent him an email and suggested we just be friends. He said he was down and said he might like to go to a karaoke night together sometime. Sounds like a plan.

On a Scale of 1-10

Common Values: 7

Common Interests: 6

Sense of Humor: 8

Attraction: 5

Total: 26/40

Remaining Players

  • Gryffindor
  • Jimmm
  • Milwaukee
  • Brown Trout
  • Sailboat
  • Mr. Ordinary
  • JonnyBoy
  • Cars, Guns, and Horses
  • Brusselsprouts
  • Hapkido
  • PunkRock
  • Canada
  • Mr. Fun & Caring
  • Readsalot

Next up: Round 2 with Brusselsprouts – Sushi & Blues

Hola readers. I know, I know it’s been something like 2 weeks since I’ve written. That is largely due to the fact that I just finished up working on one film and started another. I’ve been tres tres busy.

Sorry for the super dramatic title, btw. It’s only a reference to a Doors song…and the fact that I just finished a job. NBD.

Last weekend, I

The wrap party for our film was last weekend (14th-16th). I dragged my feet a little bit before going because I knew awkward hookup guy would be there, but eventually I made it and had a good time. Luckily, he’s a nice guy, and not a creep (unlike some other guys I know…and I have a new one to add to the “cute but creepy” category – more on that in a sec) and so he took my cue and didn’t make things uncomfortable or follow me around all night.

Can’t say the same for this guy. The couple of weeks following our introduction, he became more and more bold, going so far as to sidle up close to me while everyone was intent on what was happening on set and whisper in my ear in a sultry tone, “wanna hang out later?” (I wish this were an exaggeration, but it’s not).

A blind octogenarian would have picked up on my discomfort, but this guy was so blindsided by his own disbelief that anyone could possibly not be into him that he didn’t notice how I practically jumped out of my skin, made some hurried reply and stayed as far from him as possible for the rest of the night.

Later

The following night, he text messaged me, asking if I wanted to go dancing downtown. “Oh, downtown’s not really my scene,” I replied, then made the mistake of telling him I was just hanging with some friends at my favorite bar.

“Ok, well I’ll just stop by then,” he wrote, even though I hadn’t invited him.

Literally three minutes later he found us sitting outside, a beer already in his hand. I was so surprised that I said, “Woah, do you live around the corner or something? That was fast!”

“I live downtown,” he said. Then nodded awkwardly for 30 minutes as my friend M and I carried on with our conversation. He stayed until we left. My friends M&M seemed quite taken with him (probably because he wasn’t trying to hit on them) and insisted that he come to an event I had invited them to. He said he’d definitely be there. Joy.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot…he’s gay

And here’s the other thing. Most everyone (and by most everyone I mean the two people) I’ve talked to about this guy who knew him said the same thing, “I thought he was gay?”

At my favorite bar, he introduced us to a friend he’d run into there.

“Oh, how do you guys know each other?” I asked.

“Cock-fighting,” the other guy immediately replied, then shared a glance with creepy guy, chuckling.

And here we are

So at the wrap party, he kept coming up behind me and touching my hip, or scratching the small of my back, and then wandering off. Eventually, he tried his “get uncomfortably close and ask me to dinner” approach. I lied and said I had to work, then avoided looking at him until he walked away.

“That guy’s kind of a stalker,” my friend said as Creepy walked off.

Later, I got drunk on Jack and Cokes (normally I’m a beer girl) and played some volleyball (and by played I mean, pranced around the turf proclaiming “I’m terrible at this game when I’m sober!”).

Giggles was there with angry stare guy. She was much more pleasant this time around. Just a little vapid.

You don’t have to go home…

I have a tendency when I go out to feel the need to do something worth staying up so late. I always want to have an adventure. When the bar called last call at 12:30 and then we all left about an hour later, I was not ready to go home. So I got in a car with my friend and awkward hookup guy. Somehow I felt this was not a coincidence. I made sure there were plenty of objects placed between us on the seat. He didn’t seem to notice.

We went to one of the crew’s apartments downtown and lounged on the balcony for a couple of hours smoking cigarettes (I never smoke…literally like a once-a-year kind of thing) talking about who knows what. Eventually, I realized that nothing adventurous was going to happen, so I called a cab and headed downstairs. Awkward hookup guy trailed behind me.

Wait, wait don’t tell me

I jumped in my cab, closed the door and gave him the address. We were off in no time. A minute later, awkward hookup guy texted me, “I thought we were going to share a cab?”

“Whoops!” I wrote back. I can be kinda bitchy when I’m drunk and not interested in you.

“Well, let me know if you want to hang out later,” he wrote. It was past 4 am. I told him I was going to sleep.

A few minutes later, he wrote, “A cab driver just told me, “I hope all your ups and downs be between the sheets.”

I wrote back, “Ha.”

The Saturday after the awkward hug episode, I slept in late and when I got up, I grabbed lunch by myself at a local deli, then headed downtown to do some work on my computer at a cafe. I stayed an hour or two, then packed up and headed back to my car. I didn’t feel like going home, so I tucked my laptop under the back seat, locked my car and wandered along the boardwalk.

“I feel like being on a boat”

I am very much a water-baby. I love being near water, in the water, on the water. Especially the ocean. As I meandered, I felt a strong desire to be on a boat. It was just past 6:30, so the majority of the boat tours and river cruises had already departed, but I came across one that had a starlight cruise at 9:00. I decided to wait it out at a French café down the boardwalk a little ways.

Paris-perfect

As I approached the French bistro-style tables and chairs outside the café, I noticed a woman, mid 50s or so with fading red hair pulled into a frizzy ponytail, sitting alone drawing with oil pastels. I paused to take a picture of the awning and the Paris-perfect setting. The woman looked up and smiled at me from under her visor. I smiled back, then took a seat at another table, ordered a cappuccino and pulled out my notebook.

Lately I’ve felt as though all my creative juices have backed up inside my head. My job has acted as a stopper to my artistic voice, preventing the overflow onto paper and other media. But sitting in that bistro chair at the French café, watching the sun set over the water from underneath the blue-striped awning, I felt words take the shape of poetry inside my head, and they flowed down my arm to my pen.

But something stopped me before I could transcribe the feeling onto paper: my ears caught the lilting cadences of the French language – spoken by the red-haired artist to one of the waitresses. Having spent some time in both Paris and Montreal, I am fairly fluent in the language. And I miss it. I miss it so much.

“Vous êtes française?”

After the waitress left, I caught the red-haired woman’s eye and said to her in French, “Excuse me, ma’am, but are you French?”

“Yes,” she said, surprised, “You are too?”

“No, no,” I said, “but I did live in Montreal for a while.”

“It’s so funny,” she said, “I just jotted down in my notebook about this pretty girl who smiled at me and sat down to order a coffee. You have a very European look, you know.”

I smiled again, blushing a little bit, “Thank you.”

We spoke in French a while longer, she complimented my accent, and I got flustered and mixed up a couple of words. Turns out she has lived here for the past 18 years, and she is a part of a French meetup group that gets together once a month to speak in French and do French things. When she left, she gave me “bisous” (an air kiss on each cheek), and we exchanged contact information.

Alone again

My new friend hung around for a little bit, taking pictures of the sunset, and I got the feeling she might be waiting for me. I didn’t make the connection until after I’d ordered another coffee, though, so after a minute or two, she waved and walked down the boardwalk.

After I finished my second (decaf) cappuccino, I paid and walked down to the boat tour kiosk. The girl at the desk told me the tour was canceled due to lightning. Bummed, I followed the sound of music to a deck party of some kind, then noticed a sign for a basement bar underneath. I wandered down to the door – it looked like the back entrance to somebody’s apartment – and tentatively pushed it open. A friend had told me about this place, and I felt like checking it out – especially since I hadn’t planned on going home so early.

The bar was small – only a handful of tables, all empty, and about 8 or 9 patrons around the bar. A couple of fratty-looking guys played fussball in one corner, and the large, red-bearded bartender (so many red beards!) kept changing the music (which he operated from his ipod) in the middle of songs. I took a seat at a far corner of the bar, pulled out my book, and began to read.

Reading in a bar?

A friend of a friend told me that she makes a ton of friends just going to bars with a book, and this method seemed to have worked at the wine bar, so I thought I’d give it another shot. I must have looked very engrossed, though, because I ended up just finishing a chapter and a beer before closing out and leaving (actually I tried to close out, but there was a $10 minimum on cards, and I didn’t have any cash. I told the bartender just to put $10 on my card, but the couple beside me insisted on buying my beer. Talk about awkward).

Acting neighborly, for once

I called my friend M (remember her?) on my way home to see if she was up to anything. She was already in her PJs. Defeated, I drove back to my apartment and walked through a handful of my college-age neighbors smoking in front of the building. I waved, but didn’t break stride.

“Hey, we’re playing some poker if you’re not doing anything,” one of them called after me. I stopped and looked back at them, considering.

“Well alright,” I said, “not like I’ve got anything else to do.” A few hours later I plodded home, tired, slightly drunk, and $8 lighter. It could have been worse.

Sunday parties – bluegrass, food truck et al

Sunday I found myself working at another cafe, then packing up and meeting M and her boyfriend (who is also M…together they make M&M…ha) at my favorite bar for Sunday bluegrass and a food truck that sold delicious veggie hotdogs. First person I notice is beautiful look-alike drummer man from the week before. I quickly turned tail and headed to the bar. Because that’s what I’m good at. Avoiding people I’m interested in.

Z’s bartender was working; I managed to catch his eye, and I guess he recognized me because he served me right away. Then M&M and I headed outside where it was a little less crowded. We were standing there nursing our beers, when this very intoxicated lanky guy with crazy curly hair down to his shoulders staggered up to us.

This seems to be a theme in my life

“Hey!” he said to me. I looked up, startled. “I remember you!” he said, holding out his hand.
I looked at it, a little confused, before giving him mine to shake.

“Wait, what?” I said, my surprise temporarily overriding my sense of tact.

He looked more and more uncertain, “We met…the other night…” each word grew quieter, and he shrank away, eventually staggering off, leaving the three of us standing there, confused.

“What just happened?” I asked M.

“I have no idea,” she replied. We both looked at M’s boyfriend. He just shrugged and sipped his beer.

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