My last blog seemed to be a little heavy for some people, so I figured I’d keep this one on the light side. I want to share some of my dating stories here; the only problem is that I don’t know which one to start with. Dating is such an interesting experience, and I’ve dated a fair share of strange people which has naturally resulted in a fair share of dating stories to be told. One of my favorites involves a very nice, well intentioned guy from the Middle East. At one time, he told me what his birth name was, but I don’t recall that now. When he got his U.S. Citizenship, he changed his name to an ‘American Name’ to make it easier on everyone else. Though I’m sure no one reading this will know to whom I’m referring, I’ll refer to him as David moving forward.
For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I find ethnic men irresistible. I’d seen David at the local gay bar on multiple occasions, but I was too intimidated to approach him. Exteriorly, he was exactly my type, but my miniature self esteem lead me to believe he was completely out of my league. Thus, my interactions with him had been nonexistent. It was your typical Friday night for me and my best friend. We pre-partied at my apartment while we got ready to go out, called a cab around 11:00 PM and hit the bar for one last drink before dancing the night away. My friend and I got separated while we were getting our drinks, but before I knew it, she was stumbling up to my inebriated self telling me that she wanted to introduce me to her friend. This didn’t strike me as odd because she knew nearly everyone in the bar and I was frequently introduced to her old pals. This time was different; she was introducing me to David! What made this different was that she wasn’t actually friends with him. I’d pointed him out to her on previous occasions and she had no idea who he was. Being the fantastic Fag hag (although she hates that term LOL) she was, she’d set out on a mission to talk to him and introduce him to me. By the time I met him, I was too intoxicated to be shy or withdrawn in anyway. All my inhibitions were thrown out the window and we ended up dancing and kissing the night away.
As the lights came on in the club and we all made our way out to the night air, he began trying to persuade me to go home with him. Luckily for me, I’d set a firm boundary about not leaving the bar with someone I don’t know. The boundary was so clear in my mind that even in the smashed state I was in, I was able to stand firm on my no. However, I did get his telephone number and promised to call him on Sunday. He told me that he didn’t believe I’d really call because I was too drunk to remember, but I put my mind to it, and I did follow through on my word. I called him two days later and we decided to go on a date the next day. It was toward the end of September, so the haunted houses around town were all open. The plan was set; we’d meet at Nightmare on 13th the following evening for a Monday jaunt through a spook alley.
Unfortunately, the haunted house was only open on the weekends at that point in their season. Consequently, we ended up meeting up in an empty parking lot. It worked out well though because we decided to grab some coffee at a nearby Starbucks. Although I’m not a fan of coffee, these types of dates seem to always work out best. They’re totally casual and there are no distractions. You can just sit and look into the other person’s eyes and make conversation. We stayed until Starbucks was nearly ready to close before we finally made our way for the door. The conversation was flowing easily; there weren’t the awkward silences which are typical of a first real conversation. As we walked through the doors of Starbucks, we decided not to call it a night just yet. We ended up walking around the city blocks a couple of different directions. As midnight approached, we started heading back to our cars. Before we went our separate ways, he invited me to his place that next Wednesday for dinner and a movie.
Wednesday came surprisingly quickly considering how excited I was. I realize it was only two days away, but that new, puppy love feeling really makes time seem to move slowly. Here I was, being pursued by an incredibly attractive, intelligent, kind man whom I’d secretly been admiring for months. I drove to his apartment and was greeted with a unique smell of the foreign dinner he had prepared. It was strangely delicious; my Americanized taste buds didn’t quite know what to make from all the new flavors but I really enjoyed it. After dinner, we sat down and cuddled through a Gay Indie flick. It was cute, but clearly a low budget film; as they often are within that genre. As the credits began rolling, he leaned over and started kissing me. It was quickly evident that he was interested in a little more than a little kissing. Again, I had to stand firm on the boundaries I’d set. After all, I hadn’t known him a week yet, and although we’d had amazing conversation, I really didn’t know him well at all. He was respectful of my wishes and didn’t attempt to take things any further than kissing after that.
Later that evening, as I made my way to the door, he offered to walk me out to my car like a true gentleman. As we approached my car, he turned and asked, “So what do I call you?” (This story is much funnier if you hear (or at least imagine) his accent). I was flabbergasted! My initial response was to blurt out, “Blake!” But I knew that would be abrasive and tactless. Though I knew what he meant when he asked, I felt the better road would be to ask him to clarify and restate exactly what he was asking. His reply was truly funny, “If my friends ask, are we boyfriends who don’t have sex?” My emotions were all over the place at this point, I didn’t know if I was mortified, confused, ecstatic, nervous, or a million other emotions streaming through me at that instant. It was probably a mix of all of the above. Part of me wanted to burst out laughing right there, but I knew that would make for some awful Karma. I politely explained to him that we were just two guys who were casually dating and trying to get to know each other better.
I drove straight to my best friend’s house to fill her in on this strange turn of events. We discussed the situation in detail. Our conversation further exacerbated my fears of the evening’s happenings. Being the dramatic gay people we were, we quickly convinced ourselves that he would end up being some kind of possessive-stalker type. Our thought process was that anyone who’s totally ready to commit before having known the other person for a week must be completely unbalanced. In retrospect, I feel bad for cutting things off after that night. I may have been a little quick to judge, but then again, a few weeks later, I ran into him at another local gay bar. My experience there was reassuring that I’d made a good decision to keep him at a safe distance.
David and I hadn’t spoken in several weeks, so I didn’t think anything of it when I noticed him inside. Then he looked up and very obviously saw me. Immediately, he looked away and started dancing incredibly close to the nearest guy he could get his hands on. I’m sure you’re probably thinking that it was all in my head, no one would become that attached after a mere 5 days of talking and then a couple weeks of no contact. He couldn’t possibly have been deliberately trying to make me jealous! (Not that he succeeded in making me jealous, I am just left to assume that’s what he was attempting to accomplish) I may have second guessed his reaction to seeing me in later memories of the situation had it not been for my best friend. She’d witnessed the same actions and couldn’t contain her laughter. She was utilizing the laugh we refer to as her, ‘Hearty Beef Stew Laugh.’ This is one of those full bellied, deep, loud laughs which are unavoidably contagious. She couldn’t get over the comedic display we’d just witnessed.
A few hours later, we’d been dancing and having a good time when I turned to see David right behind me. He wasn’t merely dancing near me; he was standing directly behind me. As soon as his eyes met mine, he threw his arms around me. After what seemed to be an uncomfortably long hug, he pulled back and told me he missed me while tears rolled from both eyes. All at once, I felt awful and grateful. I hate the thought that I had caused someone pain. I’m a sympathetic person with compassion for everyone around me, and knowing that someone was hurting as a direct result of something I’d done was disheartening to say the least. On the other hand, if he was still this caught up on me, all these weeks later, after having only actually spoken on 3 separate occasions spanning 5 days, it was probably best that I hadn’t gotten more involved.