The Dating Game

When it rains it pours. Until it doesn’t. The past few months have been really stressful – just a lot of little things going wrong, and I got sick with some crud that lingered for almost three weeks. After Jordan broke up with me there was no action on the dating front. Nate is back (!) and we had sex on New Year’s Eve (I haven’t gotten laid since, and am starting to get pretty damned cranky.) So nothing much was happening, until…

Bachelor #1, Charlie: A few Saturdays ago I was out with my friend Lynn at bar TC. For whatever reason I was having a really happy buzz and we were having a really great, silly, fun time. This guy Leland that she’s been hanging out with was there, absolutely wasted, which we were both annoyed about. She basically told the bartender to close him out, we both ordered a cider, and then went outside to smoke. While we were out there, the bouncer kicked out Leland, saying, “Don’t come back in here dude, you’re too fuckin’ weird!” Poor Leland, but that’s kind of hilarious. We attempted to talk to his drunk ass for a minute and then sent him on his way.

We went back into the bar, and there was only one beer in our spot. Lynn says, “That motherfucker drank my beer?! Are you kidding me?!” Then the bartender came over and said that no, Leland didn’t drink the beer, he poured it all over the check he was supposed to be closing out. So of course we sat there laughing about how crazy Leland is, and the guy next to me started talking to us about it. His name is Charlie, he’s 33 and a bartender, and he’s really cute. We kept talking, and the two of us hit it off. The three of us went outside to smoke a cig at closing time, and Lynn, bless her, is like, “Ok, I’m taking off.” So then it was just me and Charlie. He asked me if I was watching the football game the next day. I told him that I had a brunch meetup, but no plans after that. He told me where he was going to watch the game, and to swing by if I wanted to. Yay! The first good thing to happen in months!

So I met him at this bar around 4:00 and we hung out and watched the game. We had a good conversation, but he wasn’t really flirting with me or anything. I texted Lynn, “I can’t tell if he’s into me or not,” and she said, “Well he was into you last night, I’m sure it’s fine.” Apparently she was right, because when the game was over he looks at me and says, “What now?” like he still wanted to hang out. We ended up deciding to meet later for dinner at bar TC. Long story short, I had a really great time with him. He’s smart and funny and cute, and we seem to have a lot in common. Still no flirting though, so that was throwing me off. We’d been there for a few hours and it was getting late, so I was like, “Well I guess I should go” and he just said, “Oh” like he was disappointed. He walked me to my car and we were smoking a cigarette, and he starts kind of hemming and hawing – yes, we had reached the awkward point of the evening. So I said, “Well I had a really great time…” and he agreed, and asked me when I was free again. I told him I was busy until Friday, which was true. We decided to just do dinner and a movie at his place. I gave him a hug goodbye, and as I was pulling away I kissed him. Well. This was the best kiss I’ve had in a LONG time: slow, soft, sensual, but not sloppy. It was at this moment that I noticed he has perfect lips. After a bit of this I started to turn away to get in my car, but he grabbed my hand and pulled me back for one more. Yowza! I tried not to get too excited or read too much into anything, but this was one of the best dates I’ve ever had.

Bachelor #2, Jim: I’m a member of an atheist meetup, and one of the first meetups I ever went to (over a year ago) was a talk given by this particular group. It was a panel discussion, and the moderator was this guy Jim. A little older, but handsome and funny and wearing cute glasses. Older guys are NOT my thing, but I thought he was quite attractive. A few months later I went to a get together at this guy W’s house as part of the same meetup group. Jim was there and we talked a bit, but nothing happened, other than that I left my favorite jacket there. On the Tuesday after my Sunday date with Charlie, I went to a networking meetup that is part of the same atheist group. Jim was talking to my career coach, and as I said my hellos to her, I looked at him and said, “Wait a minute, I know you.” It took me a minute to figure it out – “Oh yeah, W’s house!” So we started chatting, I brought up that I’d left my jacket at this guy’s house, and we kept chatting until the meetup actually got started. Everybody did their thing, introducing themselves and yada yada, and then it was more freeform. I was going to play trivia that night and needed to leave early. As I was walking to the door, Jim jumps up from where he was sitting on the floor talking to someone. He was like, “It was so nice to see you again,” and offered to talk to W about my jacket, so I gave him my email. As I was walking to my car, I was thinking, “Was that guy flirting with me? I think he was flirting with me!” The next day he sent me an email, saying what a delightful person I was, and he’d like to get together sometime, and various other complimentary things. Wow! Gentlemen, this is how it’s done! I replied that yes that would be lovely, and gave him my number.

That same day (Wednesday) I got a text from my catering job asking if I could work on Friday night – the night I was supposed to go out with Charlie. I’m broke, so I had to take the shift. At 7:45 PM I texted him asking if we could reschedule for Saturday or Sunday, but never heard anything. I texted him on Thursday night: “Call me crazy, but I’m starting to feel like I’m being stood up. I really hope that’s not the case. Please let me know either way.” Very polite, but actually I was furious!

Bachelor #3, Marcus: I’m trying to finally get my butt in gear about finding a new job/career, and had several appointments with a career coach in December. As part of my coaching plan, I’ve started going to a lot of meetups, just to meet new people and expand my social circle. One of these meetups was a dive bar meetup, and I went to their Thursday night event. (Yes, this all happened in less than a week!) I actually went to an art gallery meetup right before this, and was late and a little buzzed by the time I got to the bar. I ended up mostly talking with the organizer, who was super cool and in the career field I’m interested in. I got introduced to this guy Marcus, who was moderately cute in a nerdy way, and we talked a little bit. We were in the back room, and every once in a while I’d go out to the front patio to smoke. There was this interesting guy visiting from Canada who I got to talking to, and so I kept ping ponging back and forth between the two areas. During one of my smoke breaks just about all of the meetup group left, except Marcus. So I ended up hanging out with him for a while, and both of us got a little hammered. So when he offered me a ride home (I had taken Lyft there) I said yes. We made it to my place safely, and kissed a bit in the car, and I gave him my number.

On Friday Charlie FINALLY called me, saying, “You remember when people used to actually call each other?” He apologized for not getting back to me, and said that sometimes he just gets in this mood where he doesn’t want to talk to anyone. Oh great. One of those guys. In any case, he said rescheduling was fine and we decided on Saturday. Later that night I was texting Lynn about all this and she’s like, “Are you still coming to my birthday party on Saturday?” FUUUCK! I had totally forgotten that I’d RSVP’d yes to this one morning when I was still in bed and hung over. And she’s pretty much my best friend right now so I’d feel bad if I didn’t go. At the same time, I didn’t want to cancel on Charlie again. I decided I could do both, since her thing didn’t start until 9:30.  We’d have dinner at his place, and then I’d ask him to come with me to her party.

So I went over to his apartment on Saturday night and he made me dinner and we watched a really long movie. Everything went fine, but still no flirting. At one point he told me that he sometimes has really bad bouts of social anxiety and doesn’t even want to leave the house. Well fucking great, I sure know how to pick ’em! During the movie I kind of scooted closer and leaned my leg on his, but he didn’t respond in any way. Christ I felt like I was back in high school awkwardness or something. After the movie we went to Lynn’s party. Lynn and her friend Corinne were at one end of the table, and I didn’t know anyone else, so we sat down by them. This guy was sitting between me and Lynn, and when he got up I scooted over next to her, thinking Charlie would scoot close to me. He didn’t, and when the guy came back he sat in the space between us. Ok, this is weird. I looked over at Charlie and mouthed “I’m sorry!” After a while a few of us decided to go back to bar TC. Charlie was driving, so he really didn’t drink much at all, but I guess I started getting pretty tipsy, which was NOT my plan for the night. So we’re at the other bar, and at one point while he was in the bathroom I started bitching about his lack of flirtation. I mean it seriously felt like I was dealing with a brick wall – the guy was giving me no signals whatsoever, and I was starting to feel a little stupid. Lynn was like, “Fuck him, he’s boring!” He’s actually not, but he was also the only sober one in the group, lol!

We drove back to his place and he walked to me car, and I was drunk enough that I started asking him about his apparent lack of interest. He said that he wanted to take things really slow, and that we barely knew each other. This is true, but damn, dude, you gotta give me something! At some point I mentioned the kiss, and he agreed it was amazing. I said, “Really?” and he’s like, “Well yeah! That’s why I pulled you back, I actually kind of scared myself by doing that.” So that’s interesting, but otherwise I was still feeling rejected and stupid, and just left it at “Well if you want to hang out let me know.” After I got home I sent him a couple of texts trying to explain that I don’t chase guys, that it was nice but also confusing to meet someone who doesn’t just want to get in my pants, and how important being a good kisser is. No response until the next day: “I’m sorry…My phone does this ‘do not disturb’ mode after 2:30. Sadly, I just woke up.” I said that I had just woken up too, haha. And no response. Why the fuck did you even text me back if you had nothing to say?! I was pretty upset about the whole situation: I finally find someone I feel like there’s chemistry with, and he just jerks me around like every other guy out there.

Well, Jim and I made a date for that Thursday for dinner at a Thai place in his neighborhood. We ended up talking for four hours. He continued to compliment me, which was nice. I figured out that he’s around 51. That wouldn’t faze a lot of women my age, but it’s a big deal for me. He and I were both going to a bonfire meetup on Friday, so we hung out quite a bit that night as well. I left a little early to go out with Lynn, and he walked me to my car and said, “I don’t know how it’s possible, but every time I see you you get better looking.” Wow. He was doing a podcast on Saturday and invited me to the after-party, which most of the core members of the meetup were going to attend. We hung out a little bit, but I wanted to meet some other people and so circulated quite a bit. I left around 12:15 because I wanted to see who was at bar TC. Sad, I know, but as much as I enjoy his company, I just can’t quite see myself having sex with him. (Whereas Charlie had already become my daily masturbation material.) Of course, we never did kiss. He should have been more forceful… In any case, I think he got the message, because I haven’t heard from him since.

I’ve had two dates with Marcus. The first one was short and sweet, and went pretty well once we got started discussing our favorite sci-fi shows. Then he took me to dinner at a really nice place this past Thursday, and I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling it. He has all these dietary restrictions, which is just annoying and not very manly. He’s younger than I am, but is all like, “Yeah I don’t really go out that much anymore, trying to tone it down,” etc. etc. I totally get that, but between that and the diet thing I feel like he’s an old man or something. Just loosen up and have fun for chrissake! And he’s kind of short and has a weird walk. The kiss was ok until he started using tongue, and then it just got awkward for some reason. Sigh. Of course it did.

I ran into Charlie last night at bar TC. He was sitting by himself at one of the tables, and I walked over and asked, “How did the interview go?” He said, “Sit.” Ok, yes sir! So we sat there and drank our drinks and talked about random stuff until closing time, with no flirting, and no mention of the last time we saw each other. We went outside and had a cigarette, and finally I said, “Look I’m really sorry about the other night. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” He’s like, “Don’t worry about it, you were a little intoxicated.” At one point I said, “It was really good to see you,” and he looked right at me and said, with emphasis, “It was really good to see you too. I can actually have a conversation of substance with you, not just talk about the weather or something stupid.” Ok, well that’s good I guess. As we were taking our leave, I said, “Well let me know if you want to hang out sometime,” and he’s like, “Well I’m always available to hang out, too,” or something like that. Dang it I wish I could remember exactly what it was, but I suppose it doesn’t matter anyway.

What the hell is wrong with me?? I can’t, simply can’t, be attracted to the smart, fun, nice, attractive man who apparently is quite taken with me? Or the slightly dorky but smart and seemingly sweet guy who wants to take me out to nice dinners? No of course not, because that would make life easy, now wouldn’t it? No no, I only want to fuck the anxiety-prone weirdo who isn’t interested. AARGH, somebody just shoot me!

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