I really oughta learn my place.
Saying things like, “I think I could be open to dating again…”
Really, who do I think I am?
The Yoda of gay dating? No…but I could use one inside my head.
“Date or do not date. There is no open to.” – Gay Yoda.
Because it takes two to tango, as they say. Three, or an open dance card at least if you’re in Portland, Oregon.
I’m not closing my borders, by any means, but I am readjusting my expectations to the point where I can entertain the idea that it wasn’t that I was closed off to dating in the first place.
Maybe I was just the only one in the dating scenario who was ready.
And, in the meantime? I have tales to tell.
Because in the last couple of months, my past dalliances have been coming out of the figurative woodwork to…I don’t know what.
Make a point?
For, or against. That is the question!
The New Kid
A couple of month ago, while the words “I think I’m ready to date again” were still hanging in the air, the new hotel next to my building opened. That’s all well and fine, the absence of both construction worker (they really aren’t particularly hot, despite what The Village People would have you believe) and construction fencing was a big plus in my book. Plus, the new restaurant was lookingbto be quite the add to the neighborhood.
Serving up great local Breakside IPA – check that, great looking guys serving up great local Breakside IPA, well, The Silver Fox and I knew we were in a good place.
News Flash: the battle of the bulge is back on, because I’m off wine and back on beer!
Y’know how the beer was both great and local? Yeah, well the staff of Turner Creek Tavern seemed to be only great. Literally every member of the team – as we chatted them up, Fox style – turned out to be from Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania or some other far-flung, imaginary sounding, likely red voting land.
But the beer was good and local. And closer than any other beer or wine in the neighborhood…so, go, we did.
The Fox’s nephew-in-law was moving to town for college and he had hoped to put his in-laws up in the hotel on move-in weekend. Alas, the timing for reservations was just days out of sync with their trip. But, family lodging still being top of mind, we wandered into the hotel lobby one evening to check it out.
Of course, we ended up talking to the assistant manager, who offered us a tour and gave us his card to set it up.
I set it up, since he gave me his card.
Turns out, it’s a pretty nice hotel. Also turns out that the bar isn’t the only place that can’t hire locally. On the tour, it comes out that The New Kid is – hence the name – from out of town. We offer several suggestions for places to go since it seems he lives nearby.
I offer to take him along to any of the aforementioned places, since it turns out that he’s in love with local craft beer.
We trade texts over the next week as we endeavor to set something up. Here’s a breakdown of that…breakdown.
He thinks I’m nice and attractive. Reflexively, I assume his employer’s vision plan is garbage.
I tell him that – while questioning his judgment – the best way to get a guy in the PNW is pretty much fresh off the boat before dating in Portland ruins them or makes them kinky.
He admits that he has been seeing someone, but he’s feeling neglected.
Great! I can not neglect. Plus, I’m on staycation for a week, so we don’t have to worry about meshing schedules, I’m pretty available all week.
He lets slip that the guy he’s been seeing is his boyfriend from back home, who he’d asked to not move here with him. That explains the Pearl address on an assistant manager’s salary.
I revise my expectations for romance backward – I don’t want to date any mess, er…anyone fresh out of a relationship – but leave the social invite open. If he wants to get together, I’m good with it. We had clicked on an interpersonal level during the tour.
Besides, I’m too old for him, probably.
He confides that he had surmised my age after seeing my email address and liked it. No, it wasn’t an aol address. Turns out, he would be turning 28 soon and apparently, older was on his next boyfriend wishlist.
Ok, that’s swell, but irrelevant unless we ever got together to further our friendship.
Once my entire week off had passed him by, I pulled out my spade calling bullhorn and informed him he was failing at friendship or whatever he wanted to accomplish in getting together.
Just figure out what you want, I told him.
I hadn’t shared with him that – through the power of Facebook Deductive Reasoning – I had figured out that the guy he’d kind of been dating was actually a five year relationship.
If it were me, i helpfully told him, I’d start at home and clean that situation up, then find some work/life balance. Once that happened, I’d be around, but I wasn’t looking for a text friendship or relationship. While he’d been going home to a boyfriend that took him for granted every night, I was left holding a bag of nothing.
The Fox said I was too hard on him.
He never returned that text.
Perhaps someday. Or not. But speaking of perhaps somedays…
I’d run into Jeo on MAX one day while checking out another guy. So many cute men, so little time…even less actual opportunity.
He’d told me during that encounter that he’d been thinking about how he left things with me and how he wanted it different and had been wanting to talk.
Serendipity. In a very Portland-y passive manner.
We’ve talked/texted in the last few months. Shared early morning MAX rides to the airport – he’s s flight attendant – and ran into each other on the street a few times.
But we haven’t managed to sync up on purpose for some face time. Mutual responsibility there.
For my part, he shared with me that he was just out of a relationship and still living – well, this probably sounds familiar.
But for his part, he’s away from home so often that having his own place really doesn’t make a ton of sense to him. Plus, apparently his ex is a way better roommate than boyfriend.
Whatever, it’s fine.
Jeo has continued to impress me with his drive, creativity and constant initiative. Ok, that might be redundant, but this guy is really inspiring.
Also, an A+ hugger.
But overall, just a great person to have any type of interpersonal relationship with, regardless of what’s happening with the Slot As and Tab Ds between us.
Speaking Slot As and Tab Ds…I ran into The Wallpaper socially a while back. Well, we sloshed into one another in a bar.
He got what he’d been wanting for the better part of a year now – his new boyfriend be damned – and I haven’t heard from him since.
Guess he realized that it wasn’t what he’d wanted all along. Which is fine by me, because weird open relationships, freshly single men…none of that is what I’ve been wanting, right?
Plus, from an accomplishment standpoint…Jeo and The New Kid leave The Wallpaper looking a little outdated.
The Broken Poet
Apparently, in an unforeseen “add all” error when setting up my Twitter profile, The Broken Poet got tossed into the fray from my phone contacts.
Hey, I was trying to use the Twitter to grow my blog presence, so help a brother out with some shares, aight?
Nope. I cannot pull that type of talk off.
Anyway, my carelessness in not realizing my “add all” was from my phone contacts versus my Facebook friends list may have been aided by a little wine. I didn’t realize that had been the case until it – he – followed me back.
He immediately started responding to my tweets with bullshit like, “I miss Portland”.
Yeah, not even engaging on that front.
But then he starts popping up on my Twitter feed with pathetic Poor Me tweets and I have to debate unfollowing him. I go back and brush up on my Covert Narcissism facts to bolster my urge to respond supportively. Plus, I try to temper my gut reactions to this guy based on how he treated me. That was almost two years ago. Even though I know people can change, I also know he basically pulled similar shit with his next boyfriend since he was a virtual friend of mine.
People can change. It doesn’t mean that they will. Plus, me being open to dating is about me not anyone that I’ve dated in the past. I’m trying to relate to people based on their present actions and how they affect me.
Of course, when he starts tweeting from the hospital, I make the mistake of letting my empathy out. Turns out, he’s in the hospital for a “staff infection”, maybe also for borderline literacy.
I don’t correct him.
That’s definitely too much.
But he starts in with how his life is passing him by and all his Victim Greatest Hits like how if he could do his life over things would be different and I just tell him that he’s gotta focus in the future and not dwell in the past.
Of course, this gets me a “You don’t know me” response and I sprain my eyes and walk away.
The Other Kid
For once I’m able to actually find a guy that is kind, good looking – with some mutual attraction – and have a couple of dates.
He’s really sweet when we’re together, holding my hand while we sit on the couch and watch a movie and giving me the sweetest kiss goodbye when he leaves.
I have the pleasure of cooking him dinner.
He has good table manners!
I wonder how he manages to be single and available. He corrects me be saying that he’s single but not gay available.
When I ask what that means, he tells me he’s saving himself for marriage. He literally says the words “butt stuff” which makes me laugh out loud and sob internally.
But I get what he means by saying he’s not gay available. He does seem to have a fantastic network of friends, based on the number of Friendsgivings he attended. He also seems to have s surprising number of dates for someone in his moral position…he must have an itch he wants to scratch, because he’s dating pretty hard.
Sadly, that makes him unavailable to me as often as I would like, but at the same time, I understand that that means I’m not his future husband.
This doesn’t bother me.
Like with Jeo, it’s just nice to be in the presence of someone who is living their lives so intentionally. So, this Other Kid is an enjoyable and occasional add to my life even without further potential.
Now that I think about it, they’ve both deleted their asocial media profiles over the last couple of months and seem perfectly happy without it. Probably, I should embrace that. Maybe that was my mistake in planning when thinking about dating, associating with these Lost Boys who are largely living their lives unaccountably from one orgasm to the next…that’s really not what I want for myself.