Just as it is in all things, a girl should listen to her sixth sense when it tries to tell her something about her newest online date. If it tells her that there is just something creepy about him, she should listen. If it tells her that he isn’t just assertive but is really an aggressive jerk, she should listen. And, as I have learned more than once, if a girl’s gut tells her it thinks her date is absolutely and completely gay, no matter how nice and cool he is otherwise, she should listen because he quite probably plays for the other team.
James first emailed me because we both lived in the same small town north of Seattle and he was a teacher at the local high school. He seemed pretty cool and, after only exchanging a couple of emails, we decided to meet for a quick drink on the water the next Sunday night.
I knew from when I first saw him that James wasn’t really my type. He was really tall, pretty skinny, had thin, long fingers, bad skin and huge teeth. My socks were not exactly blown off but looks aren’t everything and, just as in his emails, James seemed pretty fun. He was just about to have the whole summer off (if nothing else teachers have a great schedule), seemed to be on great terms with the mother of his kids, liked to travel and was a similar fan of live music. All signs with James were a go aside from a little nagging feminine trait that I seemed to be noticing about him. I couldn’t figure out if it was how he talked, or his hand gestures or the fact that he was drinking white wine (it could have been white zinfandel!), but James just was not a raging ball of testosterone. But, we had enough in common and got along well enough that when James asked me to go catch a show that next Wednesday, I agreed. What the hell, right?
“What the hell was I thinking?” was what was going through my head on the whole drive to the club in Seattle. James picked me up in his station wagon and we were on our way. I tried not to cringe while we talked on the drive and he described the fabulously scrumptious egg dish he had made that day and the precious thing his student had said to him the other morning and the new duvet he had just bought that was just priceless. He was so, so not heterosexual. I have met many a gay man and none of them were even close to being as flamboyant as James. But, then, as I was reeling, to emphasize a point, he put his hand on my knee and gave a flirty squeeze. What was the deal with this guy? I needed a drink and stat!
The music had not started by the time we arrived so James and I were able to sit at the bar so I could have my pain relief in a glass. He had been to see this band a few times and his friend that lived nearby, Grant, was going to join us in a few minutes. I just wanted to get this date over. Not only was James the most effeminate man I had ever been on a date with but he was also completely self-absorbed. With not a word contributed on my behalf, James gave me his whole life story in the ten minutes before Grant showed up. It turned out he hadn’t always been a teacher but had, for ten years, had a promising career as a flight attendant. Was he freaking messing with me? A flight attendant? I have met a few men in the airline industry that were absolutely heterosexual but I would have to say that they were in the definite, definite minority. When I added that job choice to all of James’ other, uh, feminine characteristics, there was only one conclusion that I could draw. I was on a date with a gay man. Where was this Grant character so we could get some distraction??
Grant arrived and things went from bad to absolutely awful within about 20 minutes. “Grant, there you are, you cad!” sang James and I turned around to see one of most attractive men I have ever seen in my life. And, unlike my date, he seemed to absolutely be a fan of the ladies. He ordered a stiff drink, checked out the baseball score in the corner and pulled up a stool next to me. I liked him immediately. Finally a man had arrived! Grant also happened to be smooth, witty and a great conversationalist. I tried not to be rude to my date, but I was having a hard, hard time. Talk about fabulous! Grant apparently felt something similar because, when James headed off to ‘use the loo’, Grant leaned in to tell me that he wished I wasn’t there on a date with his friend. Me neither, me neither, me neither but what could I do? There was no way that this was going to end well.
Luckily it was a work night so I mentioned at the end of the first set that I absolutely had to get home. Did I want my date with James to end? Couldn’t happen fast enough. Was I crying inside that I had run in to Grant while on date with another man? Hell yes. Hell yes! But one has to be polite as karma is a real bitch.
James drove me home, talking and wildly gesturing the whole way, and tried to lean in for a big kiss when he dropped me off at my door. I gave him a quick peck and darted out of the car. The whole rest of the evening and the next day, when I got an email from James asking for another date, I wanted to punch myself. I should have never gone out on a second date with a guy my gut knew was gay because, as fate would have it, of course that would be the time I would meet the most fantastic man I had encountered in some time. This online dating business was teaching me all kinds of life lessons and, well, some them were simply not that fabulous.