Sunday, September 7, 2014

AFTER YOU

Maybe it was inevitable.

Who you follow matters. Don’t schedule Bob Dylan to sing after Mariah Carey. Don’t allow Paul Rudd to be a presenter after Brad Pitt. Don’t let, well, anyone dance after Alex Freaking Wong. (Google the guy. Start typing Alex Frea- and the search engine completes your thought. He’s earned that middle name.)

Some acts are too hard to follow.

After the promising first dates with Tim, the next first date was destined to disappoint. I don’t mean to compare. And, no, I don’t pine for Tim. (When a guy says he’s not attracted to you, be it the truth or not, it’s so much easier to move on—from the guy, if not the damaging statement.) What does linger is a sense of true connection that can come when two people meet. Something beyond strained pleasantries and the exchange of biological factoids.

I should be glad that Griffin filled the unenviable deli counter role: Next!

Griffin was never going to be the one. Sadly, I knew it as soon as I stepped out of the café’s bathroom—a pre-date last minute check to ensure I had no foreign substances stuck between my teeth. Yes, he resembled his photos,…to a degree. But degrees matter. I felt no attraction. I ordered a latté instead of a regular coffee to delay joining him at the table he’d staked out. I needed to shift gears from hopeful to hospitable. Griffin is a painter and, if nothing else, we could have a good chat about pursuing a passion in the arts. That would be satisfactory.

Of course, I can be too hospitable. Coffee turned to dinner followed by a visit at his place. No, not for that. (It feels like I’ll never experience that again. Sigh. The more time that passes, the more pressure there seems to be.) We went back to his place to see his art and his dog. At least, those were my reasons. He may have expected something else. Maybe that. (How would I know anyway?)

I should have ended the meet and greet when we were looking at dinner menus and he said, “Not to sound racist, but—“ I mean, really. Anything anyone says after that is going to be blatantly racist. A qualifier does not absolve the speaker of saying something racist. And, yes, he did. Something to do with too many Asians in Vancouver as a reason he’d never move there.

So there I was,…hospitable and lacking a backbone.

In the end, we spent three and a half hours together. He’d said, “So what do you want to do now?” Finally—yes, FINALLY!—I found my voice and replied, “I want to go.”  And I’d known the ending after three and a half seconds.

I suppose I should work on my exits.

But at least The Date After is done. I am reminded of what a bad first date is like. I have a buffer between that promising start from June and the search for tomorrow. I can start from scratch once again.

4 comments:

Rick Modien said...

RG, do I have a story to relate. I think I went too much in the opposite direction from you.

Back in the day, I answered a personal ad in "The West Ender." We agreed to meet at Hamburger Mary's. This has nothing to do with it, but I remember it was a rare snowy night in the West End.

When I arrived at HM, I saw a dude resembling what the guy on the phone said he'd look like. I knew IMMEDIATELY that I wasn't interested.

He sat at one end of the restaurant (near the kitchen), and I sat at the other (in the front window). He kept looking in my direction, and I kept my nose down. I ordered dinner, ate, and left, pretending I was just another single guy having dinner out. Frankly, I saw no sense in wasting my time. It wasn't going to happen, ever.

Did I handle my situation better than you handled yours? You be the judge. I suppose everyone deserves a chance, and I know I didn't give him that. But, honestly, nothing, absolutely nothing, was ever going to happen between me and him.

I'm not proud of myself, but I got out of a situation I shouldn't have gotten into in the first place.

Rural Gay said...

Well, Rick, I'm glad you can recall that episode. I face this scenario frequently. I love the pop song "Just One Look", but sometimes that look elicits anything but butterflies. It's all part of the dating experience.

I did manage to end things with the Victoria guy on a positive note, sending him a genuinely encouraging message about his art. He messaged back with a cordial tone as well. No burned bridges.

Victoria and I just might become something. (She's such a flirt!)

Rick Modien said...

She's such a flirt, for sure. I'm under her spell and can't get her out of my head.

Fortunately, Chris and I are going over to Victoria for four days, from October 1 to 4 (we'll celebrate my 55th there).

Chris has worked for the provincial government for twenty-five years now, and he, and his spouse (me!), were invited, along with other government employees and their spouses, to attend a dinner at Government House to mark their anniversaries. Usually, Chris and I go to Whistler every fall, but not this year. We'll have a brief fling with Victoria instead, which I'm really looking forward to.

By the way–as if I didn't already know it–you are such a sweet guy, to be concerned about how you left your experience with the fellow in Victoria. He's a lucky man to have met you in person, even if it didn't turn into anything more. And whoever finally captures your heart will be a very lucky man too.

Rural Gay said...

So glad you chance with Vickie isn't far away. She's a two-timer, but how could I ever expect to hold her to myself?