I’m always honest. I’m always so openly volunteering information about my life that it doesn’t come naturally for me to do anything else. But I wasn’t this time. While I was away on business my date from the previous week –the short one- checked in with me via text message. I hadn’t yet met Clark Kent and I’d been thinking even if this guy wasn’t “the one,” I’d at least be up for a second date with him to see how that went. I was going to text to him, “I was thinking about it and I decided we can hang out again when I get back,” but I read it to myself first and deleted it. What, was I that amazing I was going to allow him to spend more of his time with me? Well, maybe I am but I don’t have that big of an ego. So, I said, “I was thinking about it and I’d like to see you again when I get back.” He said we could arrange something then. I went about my week, Clark Kent came and went, and the short guy crossed my mind again. I was less excited now. Sure, there was no future with Clark Kent, but he was a nice height and not all that hard to get a date with. Clark Kent texted me at work today, just a “happy Monday” kind of text -even though there’s never anything happy to be about on a Monday. I was too busy to respond. A couple of hours later my short date checked in asking how my trip had been. I was too busy to respond to him either. Heading home from work I caught up on my text messages. First I replied to Clark Kent and then I went back to the short date. He asked how my trip had been. Immediately I thought, “Good, I hooked up with some guy” but that didn’t feel like the best response I could give to someone I was considering a second date with. I told him it went well. He asked if I’d seen anything interesting. “Yeah, some guy I met…The movie I saw with a guy I dated for the week…” but I didn’t say that either. I told him about the dinner my boss treated us to. He asked when I’d be free to tell him more. In person. I’d mention it in person if it came up. He’d probably dated someone else while I was away, and there was nothing wrong with what I’d done after just going on one date with him, but he probably didn’t want to hear about it. If he asks. If it comes up. If he’s prying to know more about my week. Then I’d say something. Until then, I’ll just have to learn how to be like most people and keep my other dates out of the conversations with my current dates. Oh but how uncomfortable hiding any thing at all feels…
The company I work for sent me on a 5+ hour plane ride to help set up our booth at a trade show. Spending a week with my boss and colleagues, I wasn’t expecting to fall into any kind of intimate settings, but I guess it never hurts to wear the nicer clothes paired with a little makeup on an average day. My coworker had warned me that the people we’re sent from the company of laborers hired to help us construct everything were often lazy and not that intelligent. I figured it would be a long day. Two guys showed up and told me they’d been assigned to help us at our booth. One seemed like he’d be pretty typical -been in the company for 35 years and no longer cared about how helpful he’d be as long as he got his paycheck. On the other hand, the other laborer must have been just starting out. He was also handsome to say the least. My eyes ran up and down his body. His upper body was pretty muscular but settled into a cute, clean-shaven face, with sweet bright blue eyes. Between his biceps that bulged under his t-shirt and square glasses against a boyish face, Clark Kent came to mind.
They got to work and I continued to unpack some boxes. Hours passed and I kept glancing at Clark Kent waiting for a moment when his collogue wasn’t by his side and my coworkers were out of earshot. But we’d already caught each other’s eyes a couple of times. He’d be on a ladder and his head would pop up over a wall and he’d smile. I’d smile back and before quickly getting back to whatever I was working on. Then I finally got my moment, while he was on the floor screwing on the legs of a table and his partner was helping us with a platform on the other side of the booth. “So, I was told I should hope the laborers we’d get assigned would be smart…” I started. He looked up at me, face full of worry like he was doing something wrong. I smiled, “I’m glad we did!” I added. He looked relieved and looked back down. “But I didn’t know we’d also be getting such an attractive one…” I continued. He might have blushed, “Well uhh thank you!” he said and asked where I was from. He lived on the same block as my hotel. We continued to chat a bit and he asked if I’d like to go to dinner some time when I was free that week. I looked back into his eyes, he did look a bit young, didn’t he…But I always had been attracted to that baby-face look and convinced I’d always been a cougar in the making. I’d also realized he had a pretty bad lisp, but luckily my ears didn’t judge as harshly as my eyes. I told him it sounded like a good plan.
More hours went by and we decided to call it a night. I had to sign the laborers out. The two of them and my colleague stood by my side while I marked things off on the paperwork sitting on the counter by their boss. He wasn’t going to ask for my number in front of his bosses, was he? Would he get in trouble if I asked for his, pretending it was work related? I didn’t find out, we had already parted ways and were walking back to the hotel without another word to him. Later that night over dinner and drinks my coworker randomly brought him up. They must have had a conversation at some point. “You know that guy who was helping us had been in the military? He hurt his foot and now he isn’t able to run anymore. He’s only-” His age sucked to hear, but at least he wasn’t underage to drink. I cleared my throat, “Did you get his number?” I asked. “No! Why would I have?!” he asked me. I shrugged, “I wouldn’t have minded having it…” A few eyebrows raised in my direction. “What, he’s legal!” I protested. They laughed it off. I guess that’s it, I thought.
Back in my hotel room I lay down exhausted, but mentally awake. He must have been only the second or third guy I’d flirted with in my lifetime. What a rush. It would have been nice to see how far things could have gone. What a missed opportunity. He was pretty cute. I guess he was too young. Although he didn’t seem that immature. It’s not like that much could’ve come of it, I’m only here a few more days. I wonder if he’s on FaceBook…I’m not usually a social-media stalker, I figured I wouldn’t find him, but I was curious to see if I could. Let’s see, I know his first name which isn’t all that popular, and I know he lives in this city. So, I did a search for those two things alone. Okay, that’s a girl, that’s not him, that’s not him, that’s not him, that’s a girl, that’s not him, that…hmm…I click the picture and instead of the floppy short hair I’d met him with that afternoon, he had buzz cut hair and no glasses. That didn’t quite rule him out, and he did have bright blue eyes. His job seemed to be in some sort of labor field, although it wasn’t the name of the company we’d hired him through. I scrolled through a few more of his pictures. His smile was the same. I scroll down the wall and see his foot in a cast, followed by other photos in military attire. This matches my coworker’s story about him. Could it have been that easy? Was that really him? I sent a message, “Hey.” If it’s not him they’ll probably just ask “Who is this?” or ignore the message. Since I didn’t friend him, the message probably won’t show up in his regular inbox and he might not even get notified about it. I close the app and stare at the ceiling a little longer. A message pops up on my phone, “Hey, what’s up?” Would a stranger respond that way to a FaceBook message from someone he didn’t know? Suddenly I have another idea and I jump up. I flip through the receipts and copies of paperwork I’d signed the laborers out on. I run my finger down the page to their timesheet and see two last names. Sure enough, one matched the name of the dude I’d FaceBook messaged. I replied and a few messages later sent my number.
When things wound down the next day I noticed a text message from Clark Kent asking how things were going and letting me know he was free. I asked him if he wanted to get something to eat and within an hour or so I was in one of my few packed changes of clothes greeting him in the lobby of my hotel. “Are you cold? My place is right over there if you’d like a jacket,” he suggested. I declined. Mostly we walked around. A lot. We passed by nice places, meat places, bars, salad places, a mall food court, and so on. Eventually I decided I really didn’t mind where we wound up so we stopped by a pretty simple place for some pasta and he paid for my dish. Again he mentioned his apartment and how he had a bottle of champagne he didn’t remember how he obtained over there. I’m not big on champagne. Next we hit a bar. I ordered a martini the way I prefer them and he got a margarita because he wanted “something with tequila.” This young he hadn’t been to too many bars and clearly had no idea about what he preferred to drink. I tried to ignore this. I told him I liked his glasses –as he’d opted for contacts that night. We talked about travel, pets, jobs, relationships, and religion. Then we talked politics. He’s planning on voting for someone who I believe is clearly a horrible choice, but I ordered another drink and he seemed to admit that he wasn’t even at all confident in his candidate, so I let it slide. I looked down at his empty drink glasses and pointed to one, “That one was your limit. You just got this one here because I got another drink. You didn’t have to do that. I know you just started going to bars, but you’ll learn that eventually.” Now I was teaching him and getting too close to when our age difference gets weird. “How old are you?” he finally let out. “I’m older than you, but I’m not in my 30’s.” I said. He apologized for asking and told me what his guess would have been. “Older, but it’s not important,” I told him. For the first time I realized how terrifying my age sounded as a number when you’re his age. I waited for him to down another drink before I randomly spat out the actual number. By that time it didn’t seem like a big deal anymore.
I’m not sure how I wound up inviting him up to my hotel room…But that’s how that night ended. I hurried him out the next morning before meeting my colleagues in the hotel lobby and brushed off their, “How was your night?” questions. “How’s the show going?” he checked in later that evening. My boss had taken our team members out to dinner. I’d be free that night after eating, and there was a movie theater across the street from my hotel, so I decided to ask him to see a movie. “I wore a jacket this time in case you were cold,” he told me. I thanked him and smiled. I noticed he’d also worn his glasses that night after my comment. He’d probably make such a sweet boyfriend to some girl his age. The thought didn’t bother me or make me jealous –We lived on opposite sides of the country and I wasn’t interested in anything serious with someone his age. He needed a few more years before he planned on settling down, and even outside of that it was clear this wasn’t the perfect match. It’s really an interesting experience dating someone when you’re both aware the maximum length of the relationship won’t exceed 3 days. I actually said a lot less than I normally would have with someone who I might have had a future with and would have felt should have a better idea of who I am and what I like. I selected a children’s movie which was quite a letdown, but I rested my head on his shoulder and he put his hand on my leg. It was cute and made me feel like I was back in high school and practically innocent. I asked him if he remembered when this or that movie came out and he seemed to draw a blank. The age gap thought entered my mind again. When I was preparing to enter my twenties, he hadn’t even entered his teens yet. “You know you were __ years old when I was __?” I put out there. He sighed, “Well, I hadn’t thought of it like that before…But we’re both in our twenties now!” I nodded, “Yeah, now we’re in our twenties. It’s fine.” I ended another night with him at my hotel again. The nights weren’t that notable, and there were definitely a few things I could have taught him had we more time, but what -who- else did I have planned out there at night anyway?
The last day I hadn’t planned on seeing him. We had to break down our booth and were assigned other labor workers, but when I realized we were assigned some of the lazier ones and it was getting late I decided reaching out to Clark Kent wouldn’t hurt. I knew he lived nearby and had already finished his shift so I figured I’d mention how long the process was taking. Sure enough he offered to head over and help out. I told my coworker he was on his way and he made a face. “We’re not paying him or anything, he’s just coming by as a friend,” I said. My coworker replied, “Well maybe it’s not money you’re paying him with, but nothing’s free.” Alright, it had gotten a little weird but it wasn’t like I was just using him to help us, I did think he was cute and I’d have hung out with him either way. It got me thinking about the double standard, though. A few days earlier, one of our clients was about to step into a meeting with one of my collogues who was hoping to close a deal with him. As they headed off the guy handed me his business card and told me if I called him he’d buy me a glass of wine at the business event that evening. He was at least twice my age so I’d politely laughed it off, and although I was somewhat annoyed by his suggestion, I was afraid of messing up the sale for my company. “How dare he suggest such a thing to me when I’m so much younger than him!” I thought, only how different had it really been with my reversed situation with Clark Kent?
I spent my last night at the hotel with him again. At this point I felt the cat was out of the bag, and there was no longer any shame in stepping off the elevator at my floor with him, though my coworkers were still in the elevator. I watched him get dressed the morning of my flight, while he was running late for work. “Well, uh, it was nice meeting you,” I said. “Likewise,” he replied. “If you’re ever in my city…” I went on. “I’m sure I’ll make it there one day,” he said. A quick hug goodbye and he stepped out the hotel room door and out of my life, excluding the occasional check-in text/FaceBook message. -It’s odd how these days no one is ever really out of your life forever with social media. All the ghosts of your past relationships, all the skeletons from your closet, forever accessible in virtual form…
He looked cute, didn’t live too far, had a job, was about my age, and didn’t write anything too creepy about himself, so I tapped the “like” icon and a few text messages later our date was set. The future is now, I guess. When I asked him to name a time and a place he went with some kind of sports bar at 10pm, so I assumed this would be more about hooking up, but knowing my back-up plan was off the table, I was still planning on showing up. (A few days earlier I’d texted my hook-up buddy after a year of silence to confirm he’d met someone.) Lately most of my nights were ending by 10pm, but I felt like it would be silly to protest after I had asked him to choose, so I kept myself busy and awake. I wore my favorite jeans, a plain black tank top, and knowing he wasn’t that tall flat open-toed sandals with blue nail polish because I thought it represented myself the best. It was an hour away, so my mind raced the entire time. How would the night go? What if he wasn’t attractive? What if he was crazy? What if I said too much? What was I going to order? What if I got tired too early? Would he come all the way back to my place if things went well? Was I willing to go to his place? Would we stop for food because I’d skipped dinner?
I got off the train and it seemed like everyone was already drunk. Women wobbled down the streets in heels, groups of guys laughed trying to figure out the next bar they’d hit, and one guy slapped a girl’s ass as she got in the car with him. (She didn’t seem very upset with him about it and I pretended not to notice.) I was running pretty late. Being that this is completely unlike me, it’d already thrown me into an awkward tizzy upon meeting him. He was pacing outside and I recognized him right away, but he was shorter than I thought he’d be. I mean, I’m considered pretty short for a woman and I was trying to figure out if he was actually any taller than me. I had a second of panic where I started to walk by him as if I’d pretended not to see him yet, but then I stopped walking and turned and he seemed to recognize me too. It was the first time I’d been on a date since my shorter haircut and I had wondered if it would be an issue since my hair was longer in most of my pictures. He hugged me hello and I was awkward as fuck.
We walked into the bar and it was surprisingly completely empty, except for a couple at one of the tables. It turns out it was a holiday weekend and they were closing early, but we had about an hour until last call. My eyes darted everywhere but on him, my body language faced away from him, and I argued with myself in my head about being so superficial as to be this un-attracted to someone over their height. What, I’d always said I didn’t want someone too tall, but now I was with someone too short, so was I really so picky as to have to be with someone who fell within my perfect range (where most people did happen to be)? Here I sat, as Goldilocks. I turned to look at him. He was cute. Everything about his appearance was perfectly okay, couldn’t I let his height go? I’d known his height before meeting him hadn’t I? Sure it was 2 inches shorter than what I prefer, but I’d gone out with someone an inch under it before and it wasn’t a big deal. Had he lied about his height? Had he really said he was just a little taller than he was when he was actually this short, and didn’t think there was a possibility some might be disappointed upon meeting him? I answered his questions with a slight delay because I was in the middle of this conversation in my head. He’d asked what I’d spend that day doing, it wasn’t a difficult question, so it shouldn’t have taken me so long to respond and add, “What about you?” He’d been helping his roommate move out. When I realized what I was doing, and how odd it must have seemed that it was taking me so long to realize he’d asked a question, I turned to face him and started out with, “So where did you grow up?” I ordered my drink with extra olives. He doesn’t like olives, but he does like pickles, and I have 3 jars of pickles in my refrigerator. This is the part where you learn lots of little facts about each other that will usually eventually become utterly useless. I sort of skimped on the details of some of my best stories because the repetition of telling them on so many previous dates had kind of killed it for me. We talked about our jobs, religion, and eventually our past relationships.
I asked him when the last time was that he’d been in a relationship. He shifted his weight in his seat and said “Actually, pretty recently. It ended a month ago.” They’d been together for over 2 years and he ended things because he didn’t see a future between them. I hated that my first thought was, “How tall was she, and was height never an issue?” I asked if they’d lived together and they had. Then something clicked. Clearly I hadn’t been drinking enough. “Wait a minute,” I said. “Is the roommate you were helping move out today your girlfriend?” He paused and nervously smiled, “Ex-girlfriend. And well, to be honest, I wasn’t going to bring it up, but Tuesday. She moves out Tuesday. I’ve been on the couch.” That was different. It didn’t really bother me, but I was a little thrown. We continued the conversation, moved on, and ordered our second drink before last call. The check came with it and while he seemed to be under the impression it was automatically on him to pay when I offered to split it, he was pretty open to it and accepted my offer. I grumbled about it in my head for a moment, but he had offered, my drinks had been more expensive and I had gotten another raise at my job not all that long ago. At some point that night I told him that I’d deducted some points from him for that. “But you offered!” he protested. “I know, But I was hoping you’d refuse. I just offer to seem nice, like I don’t actually care. I don’t usually, except the first couple of dates,” I admitted. He started to defend himself, “See, I never know, because sometimes-” I cut him off, “I know, I know, some girls want the independence and I know I want things to be equal and all that too but I guess I just like to know someone would be willing to pay for me sometimes early on.” At some point I also told him that he was shorter than I thought he’d be. I forget how mean my bluntness can sound sometimes. But I also told him that I wasn’t sure of what to make of the situation because he was cute otherwise. He said he might have rounded up on his height. Clearly. And he was clearly aware of his height.
A group of people had walked in and were excited to find out they were being allowed one drink before the bar closed. My date got up to use the restroom. The girl sitting on my right asked the bartender what the age of the crowd that’s usually there was and then she turned to me and asked if I’d been there before. I asked her to guess my age. She shaved 5 years off my age. I smiled, thanked her, and revealed my real age. Then a guy appeared on my left in the seat my date had been in. “So how’s your date going?” he asked. “Um, alright. Have you been listening the entire time?” I replied. He told me, “He better take you somewhere nicer than this place after this.” I kind of couldn’t believe this was happening. “Well, I asked him if we could get some cheap pizza after this, so I think we’re going to do that because that’s what I requested.” He laughed, “Cheap pizza alright, right on.” He asked how we met and I told him it was through an app. “You actually met someone through there?!” It was only the second or third person I’d met through that one in particular. “Well, listen, if you don’t like how tonight’s going, why don’t you let me know,” He held up his phone to me with the “enter a new contact” screen open. “That’s not nice! I can’t do that!” I said. Granted it wasn’t helping his case that while clearly taller, he wasn’t very attractive. My date returned. “Hey bro, what’s up?” He introduced himself to my date, but I don’t remember his name. They shook hands. It must have been awkward for both of them. “Let’s get some pizza” I said and that ended there as we headed out.
He sat across from me as I hungrily shoveled two slices of pizza into my mouth. At this point I mostly only remember our discussion about how he enjoys eating meat more than salads, and we seemed to be in agreement about a few other things. After that we walked. I told him we were headed towards my place, or at least the best train to take the hour ride back. He was pretty hesitant about it. The walk alone would have been 30 or 40 minutes and I guess he wasn’t really the walking type. It must have been 1 or 2 in the morning by then. I dragged him along a bit further. “So what’s with asking me to meet you at 10pm?” I asked, “I figured this must be some sort of hook up plan more than anything else. When’s the last time you slept with someone?” I seemed to have caught him off guard and he asked if his answer made a difference in anything. He said it was recent. “I get it,” I said, “You and your girlfriend broke up a month ago, and you joined this app. You’re not exactly looking for something serious because you just got out of this long term relationship, and you slept with someone, what a week ago?” He laughed, “It actually was a week ago.” Continuing to guess right, I added, “And she was the first since your ex.” He nodded, “So what about you, how long has it been?” I told him how many months. “Ah, that’s why you’re leading me towards your place.” I laughed, “Not exactly, I haven’t made up my mind about that yet.” He wasn’t too keen on this long walk in the middle of the night I had in mind, so he said if I was inviting him to my place, he’d get us a cab.
Back at my place, I wasn’t impressed with him and he knew it, but all too late. Then it just got kind of awkward. Of course I let him spend the night, it was around 4am at that point, but when he wanted to make up for things the next morning, I just wasn’t up for it. I got lazy about sending him home, though. We stayed in my bed and talked for a while until the morning had turned to the afternoon. Maybe this was actually when we’d had that conversation about who paid for the drinks. “I lost points?” he asked. I explained where I’d deducted points from his score. There are no actual numbers, of course. “It’s like when you go to the carnival and you get tickets based on how well you play the games. You get to trade the tickets in for prizes. Right now you probably had enough for a couple of stickers and an eraser, but you just got the Play Station 2 and giant teddy bear.” I told him I was going away on business and wouldn’t be free for two weeks –which was true. “So, can I see you again when you’re back?” he asked. The idea didn’t really excite me, but then again what else –who else- was I doing at this point? “Maybe,” I answered. “I know how this goes, you know. You say ‘maybe’ now, then we don’t talk for two weeks, and then when I text you after that you say you’re busy and we never see each other again.” Okay, that had been one plan I had in my mind already. I told him we could text and discuss it when I got back. When he got dressed all I could think about was his height again. I thought he should’ve worn a shorter shirt, or maybe if he would just tuck it in…The t-shirt dragged over his pants, swallowing most of his body, and seemed to make him appear even shorter. “I’m going to hurt his feelings, I know it,” I thought. He lingered around, he wanted to kiss me goodbye again, but I was already opening the front door.
I got the “I had a good time” text from him a day or two later and I responded. Another two days passed and I checked in again. I mentioned that I had put my air conditioner in. “So it will be cooler next time I come over?” he texted. “Is that nonchalantly ‘Will you be inviting me over again’?” I replied. “Well given that you are texting me I know I’ll be seeing you again. Though now that my roommate has moved out it might not be at your place.” How forward of him. “Well, you wouldn’t be the only person I texted who I have only met once that I still text, but until the train by you stops skipping my stop, I doubt I’m heading that way too soon,” I texted. “It’s good the other train isn’t far from me either then. How about we hang out tomorrow and then it’s up to you if you want to go to work from here the next day or head home that night,” he persisted. “Too many reasons why I’m not up for that, but we can re-discuss hanging out when I get back,” I replied. “Sounds ok other than re-discussing,” my phone buzzed once again and that’s where this story hangs for two weeks…
That’s the textmessage I sent my bestfriend with the thought of my upcoming date this weekend, and my date from last weekend. (The one I wasn’t really attracted to.) I thought about him for a moment. I didn’t want to see him again. I haven’t been in a relationship in four years. I picked up my cellphone and texted my date from a couple of weeks ago who had spent the night (not sexually.) “When are we going to hang out again?!” I asked. We chatted a bit. I opened the FaceBook conversation with my foreign crush and starred at the last three messages. The first one was from about three weeks ago. He apologized about being incognito over the last few weeks, blaming it on work keeping him busy and such. It probably wasn’t the real reason, but whatever our “relationship” was, wasn’t real either, so I really didn’t mind. At least he was apologizing and therefore still somewhat interested. The second was my response about it being cool and how I’d only been messaging him to do my best to stay in touch with someone who lived so far away. I’d been trying to ask him questions about his life to get to know him better, and because I thought he might enjoy talking about himself. The third message was a slightly drunk message from me about wanting to send him sexy pictures. I’d sent that one last week. Both of my messages were unread. I am trying to pretend I think it’s because he’s busy at work and not because he’s met someone more interesting at the moment. I’m trying to pretend the thought hasn’t crossed my mind that he can change the address the airport shuttle brings him to and that he isn’t still staying over in September.
My cellphone beeped and I grabbed it. A textmessage from my mom. I put it back down. I picked it up again and texted the date who’d slept over. I steered the conversation sexual. He was pretty reserved and not very sexual and I felt like pushing his limits, just poke him a bit. He was the one who had (not) surprised me with a low number of sexual partners in his lifetime. “When was the last time you slept with someone?” I asked. “Saturday,” He answered. “Lol easy to remember,” I answered like it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t a big deal, of course. I wasn’t expecting that, though. Who could it have been? Was it one of his friends in his recent FaceBook pictures? Did he sleep with someone he didn’t know well? Had he already started getting into something serious with someone? Was it his ex? Did I care? Why did I care? I had shown zero effort to see him over the last few weeks. He’d given off the friend vibe. I’d felt awkward about the fact that he seemed like he had this crush on me and now I felt…Could I actually be feeling jealous? What did I feel jealous about? Maybe it wasn’t a desire to be with him so much as a desire to have something (someone) of my own. I switched textmessage windows to the conversation with the guy I’d decided to meet this upcoming weekend. He’s so new to the picture I haven’t mentioned him before. He was from the dating app I’d only met one person from so far. “So what are we doing this weekend, where are we going?” I locked in a time and place for Saturday night. I switched textmessage windows back and started awkwardly flirting with him. I wasn’t intentionally flirting, but rereading the messages to myself, what else was I doing? I put my phone back down. This is me being bored and craving attention. This is me missing having a significant other. This is me being tired of dating.
I mentioned a guy I’d been speaking to from a dating site to my best friend. “Oh, so you’re over that thing with women?” she asked. No, it wasn’t a “phase” and I’m not “over” it. The reason I haven’t been mentioning many women lately is just because I’m having shitty luck with meeting any I’m interested in, or I seem to be as shitty of a prospective girlfriend to women as I seem to be to men lately…*sigh* If I saw an attractive girl that I could identify as being gay/bisexual or whatever else in-between, sure I’d pursue it, but my gaydar sucks. Even more limiting I find I’m usually only interested in feminine-looking women and being feminine-looking myself, I doubt most could pick me out either. *shrugs* And rejection sucks. There are a million reasons one could be rejected, mistaking someone’s sexual identity/orientation doesn’t need to be another one for me. So that mostly leaves me with gay bars and dating sites. When I go to a gay bar to meet someone it feels like I’m specifically choosing to meet women, which feels weird, when I’m clearly still interested in men as well. Every experience I’ve had at these bars was so aggressive. The women demand to know my sexual history with women within thirty seconds of introducing themselves to me and I’m not a great liar or half-truther. I get it, they don’t want someone who’s going to flake out on them and everyone judges a virgin (not that I’m such a virgin with men by any means.) But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t wind up leaving with any of them, or their phone numbers. So then there are dating sites and I don’t get any messages from women, ‘nor any replies from the few messages I send out. Once in a while I’ll get a message from someone I’m very much not interested in and well that’s that. So in short, women just don’t like me, I guess, or at least I haven’t yet met an available one I like who does, while men I have some interest in do continue to show interest in me.
I still notice attractive women. I always have. I don’t say much about it because I don’t say much about it when I notice an attractive man either. I had a mini crush on a girl I met a couple of weeks ago, but I’m pretty sure she’s straight and I don’t know her that well. So, once again I didn’t mention it to anyone. She was just pretty cool and pretty fun to talk to and pretty…There, does that satisfy you, those who want to believe it was just a phase? There wasn’t anything more than that to make of it, so I didn’t. I spent over twenty years of my life not realizing I had an option to date women and ignoring the occasional crush. It’s too bad I didn’t collect a bunch of experiences in my youth to justify my admittance to being open to it now. Maybe then people wouldn’t see my mentioning of it as such a novelty. There was somewhat of an exciting aspect to it at first, just like any new discovery, but it wasn’t just a novelty thing. A friend said they could find someone to hook-up with me, but I didn’t want a one night stand, ’nor to be some couple’s fantasy in a threesome. Of course I have an interest in something I’d never experienced before, but it’s not a one-and-done deal. It was just another option in dating. It’s only to other people that it’s such a big deal. It never was to me. I never “came out.” I never felt the need to discuss it with others. I certainly never felt the need to create a new label for myself. Labeling myself as “straight” for all these years is what convinced me I had to adhere to the label and that there wasn’t any room to be anything but that. I don’t do those labels anymore. I’m lucky to have as many non-judgmental family members and friends as I do, as I know many don’t, and this might be a bigger deal in their circles of acquaintances. For me, it isn’t, so I’m thankful for the ability to so easily be label-free now.
OkCupid has come out with so many labels and the ability to select up to five genders (woman, man, agender, androgynous, bigender, cis man, cis woman, genderfluid, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, hijra, intersex, non-binary, other, pangender, transfeminine, transgender, transmasculine, transsexual, trans man, trans woman, two spirit) and up to five orientations (straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, hetroflexible, homoflexible, lesbian, pansexual, queer, questioning, sapiosexual.) Now, it’s great for anyone who identifies with being any of those things because they can choose exactly what fits them, but when I look at that, I can’t possibly be the only one who just feels more confused about which label best fits them. I’ve yet to come across a profile that has selected five of each, but at a certain point isn’t it okay to just not label yourself at all? Where is the “none” option? For me, that long list of labels just feels so much more restricting. I guess some people like to feel included in a certain group, belong some place, and some people like to have a word that describes them perfectly. That’s okay. But, I personally do not wish to be boxed into any labels any more. I feel free to love and fuck whoever I please and others can label me as they see fit straight, bi, gay, hypocrite, questioning, queer, poser, lesbian, hetroflexible, or whatever else they feel fits. But I’m not calling myself anything but me these days. No, I’m not “above” it. I’m not “above” anyone who loves being labeled and who has worked hard to feel comfortable in their label or for equal rights for their label. I’m not better than or belittling anyone who has gone through any types of hardships to gain respect for their label. I applaud it and am fully for it. I just want to be respected just the same in my label-less-ness, is all. I’m not even feeling that this label-free thing is such an original idea, either. I know some people won’t understand this or agree with it, but who would anyone be if all they did was try to appease everyone else? And I don’t believe I’ve offended anyone, as I certainly didn’t mean to, but I know it can be a very touchy subject. I know, I see your posts on FaceBook everyone, you know who you are, not that you know who I am, but I’m 100% sorry in advance and will delete this entire section if you find it offensive some how. I’m not on this blog to start internet fights. There’s enough bullshit on the internet as it is and I don’t need to contribute to any of that viral “omg” nonsense. <3
So, I haven’t written about dating women very much on here recently. I might more often. I might once in a while. I might not. Hopefully no one is surprised either way. I’ve put more focus on the apps and websites I use for dating men because I’ve spent so much of my life dating them. It’s sort of like the low-hanging fruit of dating for me. It’s familiar and easier, though not necessarily better. It’s where I seem to have more luck. So until some cute female notices me, I see this male-trend continuing in my dating patterns for now. I don’t plan on this coming up again, but figured I should clarify for those wondering since this is my dating blog and all…
The picture messages started after the “dick pic” conversation with my coworkers a few weeks ago. I was never one of those “look how good I look” selfie-taking girls, so sending sexy pictures to someone didn’t come naturally to me. It’s been quite a thrill sending half-nude pictures to my far-away-crush, the last few weeks, though. I definitely regret the slip up at the restaurant where I flashed my best friend one of these pictures as a kind of “look at the kind of picture *I’m* capable of taking.” Only, it was at the wrong moment when the waiter standing behind me got a glimpse of it as well. But, if I’m craving attention or an ego-boost I’ll sometimes send one over to my crush because I know he’ll reply shortly after. I even got creative when I realized he liked the clothes I wear to the office and snapped a photo as I was changing out of them one night. What else do you make of having a crush on someone who lives on the other side of the planet? I’d love to drop the idea, but my brain seems to have other plans. He’s the foreign dude I met while traveling this past January and I’m running out of imaginative ways to hold his interest and stay in touch until he visits in September.
One morning I get a nearly-nude picture from him. I reply, “Wish you were here,” while I’m getting ready for work. “What would you do if I were there?” he sends back. “You,” I reply. A moment later I think about what a cop out my answer was. I write and I can do better than that, I think. I apologize and explain that I’m getting ready for work. My mornings are his nights. I send a bit more sexually explicit message as I’m walking to the train. He replies. I’ve never done that whole sexting thing, by the way. I don’t recommend it in public, although there is a bit of a thrill to it as well. So, now I’m on the train and the conversation has continued. I interrupt, “The person standing next to me can totally read this conversation.” I try to continue, but again, after one of those “And then I would…” kind of messages, I chime in, “Now, there’s a religious man sitting next to me, praying into a book. Now this just feels weird.” He laughs a little, but it’s obvious I’ve killed the mood and we decide to pick it up another time. I just can’t take that kind of thing seriously enough.
He’s less than a friend because a friend I would see once in a while. He’s more than a friend, because a friend wouldn’t get these kinds of pictures from me. He’s not just a pen pal (is it called a “text pal” these days?) because we’ve met once and will meet once more. He’s definitely not a boyfriend because he lives thousands of miles away and is certainly doing other women. I can’t possibly care about him that much as all I really know about him is based off of a one-time meeting. He’s just an impossible crush I have. I never liked being called pet-names, but with him I actually enjoy it. There are times when I’m one of those people who aren’t looking where they’re going, with their phone in their face, shooting off messages back and forth. I’ll sit with a stupid smile on my face my entire commute to work after it. But, I know it’s an unrealistic idea. I do it because I enjoy it, but like everything else, I know there will be a shitty point when it ends and one day I’m sure he’ll start seeing someone seriously no matter how much he insists it won’t happen any time soon. I guess it’s really just nice to have in the meantime when I have nothing else going on. Sometimes more time passes in-between our conversations. I don’t know the real reason for it, but I’m thankful he doesn’t mention any girls he sees to me. It keeps the fantasy alive and continues being fun for me this way. He also always apologizes about the time gap, so I know he hasn’t entirely lost interest yet. I’m still dating. I’m not waiting for his visit in September. I know it will just be a couple of days and he’ll be off again. But I’m kind of hoping I don’t wind up in a relationship before he arrives. It’s an interesting situation to be in. I’m both rooting for the prospective dates I meet to be this perfect match for me and simultaneously hoping nothing more than a couple of months at most comes of it until after he leaves.
I did it. Lending your favorite book to someone in the middle of your breakup is never a good idea. But, I finally did it. Four years later and I ordered a new copy. I’m onto e-books now, but I still purchased the hardcover version I’d owned. It was sort of this symbolic gesture, I thought. Acknowledging and accepting that I’ll never be getting that book back from him. We haven’t been in contact for nearly four years now, and I prefer to redirect my thoughts to something else if he ever crosses them. So, I haven’t really thought about him in quite some time. Then my phone rang the other night and I didn’t pick up…
No, it wasn’t him. It was just some kind of telemarketer, so I enter the password to my voicemail to delete the message, when I suddenly lose service on the train. My voicemail box has been nearly full for about seven years now. If I don’t delete a newly saved message that comes in, I can’t receive any new messages. I didn’t know who some of my saved messages were from anymore, but I knew there were some I didn’t want to hear. They’re messages that I wish I could add to the box at the bottom of my closet that I never open, but also don’t plan on throwing away entirely. If I hang up in the middle of checking my voicemail, the message gets moved to my saved voice messages, and the only way to delete it is to listen to all the saved messages that come before it.
I take a deep breathe. The first message is from a guy named —- But I’ve dated so many men with that name, I’m not even entirely sure who it is. I figure I’ll feel nostalgic over it at a later time and save it again. Then I start to sort through the rest of the messages, deleting some, and re-saving others. Random friends I’ve missed calls from over the years chime in with 2am drunken rambles, birthday wishes, accidental “I love you, bye” messages, and then my ex’s voice comes on. Did you know there’s such a thing as instant nausea? I imagine it’s like getting punched in the stomach, though I’ve never been hit. It’s sort of like when you see the car crash and you know you’re going to see something upsetting, but you just can’t look away. So, I listened. I made observations about our relationship from his tone and what he said in each message, sort of as an outside observer now.
Then I reached the message that must have happened right after our break-up. He was explaining why he wouldn’t be able to use the internet immediately and begged me not to delete the pictures of us on FaceBook because he liked them and wanted to save them before I did. I wasn’t feeling great by the time I got up to my most recent message. I remembered why I didn’t listen to those messages, open that box in my closest containing mementos from our relationship, and had blocked him and everyone he knew on FaceBook, four years ago. But, this time, listening to his messages, I remembered the break-up more than the relationship. There was more exhaustion than love in his voice in these messages. I was feeling like we’d never been right for each other listening to his messages, yet simultaneously it felt incredibly difficult to hear his voice. In my mind I had revisited the circumstances in which we’d broken up. Who tells someone they love them for the first time while dumping them, anyway?…