Maybe I should have rented.
Yes, I bought a teeny, tiny condo. It’s all I can afford in the Vancouver market. It’s one reason I left the city ten years ago.
I’d given Vancouver an eleven-year run. It hadn’t been the right fit. I have always been a big believer in “no regrets” and in never taking a step backwards. But, in truth, there weren’t many options. I am about five years away from my earliest possible retirement and moving to another province (and another pension system) seemed utterly impractical. I have applied to return to the U.S. where I earned two degrees and lived for sixteen years, but U.S. Immigration has my application sitting in a giant slush pile in some basement of some decaying government building. I’ll likely be retired—maybe even dead—before my number comes up.
It was Vancouver by default. Not exactly a rousing endorsement. I’ll make do. Hopefully, I can even thrive. But my current state of All Quiet on the Dating Front has led me to believe that there remains an ambivalence imbalance. The breathtakingly beautiful city is more indifferent to me than I am to it.
In the dating realm, the conventional thinking is there will be more opportunities in Vancouver. Really, how could there not be? But, as anyone will tell you, size isn’t everything. An emphatic “meh” from a significant metropolis can sting more than nonexistent shoulder shrugs from nonexistent gay men in the boonies. I stand to be rejected for me rather than for my home. That’s a scary prospect.
I am starting to wonder if I am simply not a Vancouver kind of man. I’m not outdoorsy enough. Heck, I don’t even own a pair of hiking boots. I have never gone to a yoga class. (No doubt, I’d be a terrible distraction to the instructor. I am stretching. I swear.) And I can’t even name the current coach of the Canucks. Maybe the Vancouver shunning is justified. If only it could be remedied by stocking up on Lululemon gear and traipsing through mud.
On the dating site OkCupid, I rarely get a sniff from a Vancouver guy, even though I state that I live close to the city. In fact, of the last dozen men to “Like” me, not one is from Vancouver. Instead, I’ve piqued some interest in two small towns in Florida, Brooklyn, Palm Springs, a place I’ve never heard of in the U.K., a tiny dot on the map in Missouri, Singapore, Portland, Seattle, Pasadena, Toronto and Panama City. The last ten guys to send a message were from the Philippines, Singapore, Redhill (UK), Calgary, Washington, D.C., two from London and three from Seattle.
Typically, people run dating searches within their geographical area. My results show that either they really don’t like me in Vancouver or I am more attractive when viewed from far, far away. Maybe both. Not very encouraging. I suppose there is that other possibility that single gay men in Vancouver aren’t terribly serious about finding someone. Maybe solo hikes up the North Shore Mountains are all they need to satisfy the endorphins. Perhaps the whole lot is a passive posse. That’s not helpful either for an awkward, shy guy like me.
Yep, I bought in Vancouver. It’s a grand gesture. Do you hear me, Vancouver? This is called commitment. I’m settling in. And already I feel unsettled.
Just what is the immigration policy for Panama anyway?