Good Date, Bad Date, Was That a Date?

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“Miss Thang, your social calendar is too full for your own good!” Spence said.

“Please Spence, since when has a gay man ever told another gay man he is dating too many guys?” I asked.

“Since Guy A, that’s you, girl, is dating more guys than Guy F, that’s me.” Spence replied.

“Is it fair to assume that we skipped B, C, D, and E so you could be Guy F for Fabulous?” I asked, already knowing the response.

“Awe Cam, it is so sweet of you to recognize my fabulousness. Too bad you’re just not my type, but you know I love ya anyway.” Spence replied. I smiled, knowing that I had walked into his little trap on purpose.

Spence’s commentary on my recent spike in dating activity wasn’t unwarranted. I had been out with three different guys this week. Well I say out, but like all things in life, nothing was really as it appeared to be.

The first “date” was with a guy named Byron. Byron and I had chatted online several times. He lives in Atlanta, but his parents own a beach house on the Isle of Palms, which isn’t too far from where I live. He frequents the house several times a year and had promised me a romantic dinner overlooking the surf, cooked by him, the next time he was in town. After staking out the place, taking the appropriate precautions (i.e. calling my two best friends with his license plate number, address, and cell phone # just incase I disappeared) I went to the door.

At first he seemed like a charming, very suave gentleman. He greeted me at the door with a warm hug and a friendly but not too forward kiss hello. We had some small talk on the deck, a glass of wine, and snacked on some cheese and fruit laid out nicely on a tray. We moved inside for dinner. He put out an elaborate spread with enough food to feed a small army of very hungry bears! “Is someone else coming to dinner?”

“No.” He said simply. Now I am no skinny guy and I could stand to lose several pounds, but this was a lot of food for two people. But I figured what the heck? His family was obviously sufficiently well off to have a beach house, so a really fancy, gigantic spread probably was no big deal. So we ate and chatted. He seemed particularly interested in if I was enjoying the food, asking several times. When I stopped, put my napkin on my plate, and said how great everything was he seemed disturbed. “You didn’t try everything. Wasn’t it good?” He asked, sounding hurt.

“It was fantastic, but there is just so much and I am really full.” I replied.

“Do you want me to feed you?” He said.

“Feed me? No. I just said I was full. Really it was great food, awesome. But I am stuffed.” I said.

“Take off your shirt; you don’t look stuffed to me.” Now in certain situations a good looking, masculine man telling you to remove clothing is hot. Even when it has a “you have been bad and must be punished” connotation to it, the right guy might be able to pull that off. But this was serious, and seriously weird.

“I don’t think so. Look, I didn’t mean to insult you or your cooking. I ate, quite enough actually, and I am full. You’re acting really strange. So if I offended you I’m sorry. But I think I should leave now.” This was just all too weird for my liking.

“Yes, I think that is best. Get out! I brought you here to feed you, I want you popping at the seams! Look at yourself. You aren’t skinny, but not fat! You must eat in secret and that is shameful. Now either sit back down and gorge yourself or leave.”

I left and called my friend Mikel before I was even out of the driveway. He gave me a crash course in Gainers and Encouragers, a particular fetish I hadn’t heard of before. And I decided guys who vacation in beach houses were to be ruled out. That was my bad date.

The good date was three days later. A guy I had met at Starbuck’s named Avery had asked me to go see a play downtown. I had thought he was interesting from the get-go. He was very friendly and good looking in a sort of Harry Potter Computer Geeks all grown up sort of way that I found intriguing. The first time we met he sat down next to me and said, “Hello there! My name is Avery. The next time I see you here I am going to ask you to dinner. I don’t think it is polite to surprise people with important questions or for strange men to ask people out. So now you know me and you won’t be surprised.” He got up, started to walk away, then leaned in quietly to whisper, “And if you’re not gay, kindly remove the HRC Equality Sticker off your laptop. It is misleading for those of us who are interested.”

Dinner and the play were awesome. He was witty and charming all night long. Afterwards we walked around downtown talking, laughing, and kissing into the wee hours of the morning. He dropped me off and called me the next afternoon to thank me for such a wonderful evening. I can’t lie, I was wooed as never before and starting to think about hyphenated last names and a dog in the suburbs – my lesbian within was taking over with this one! But our second date was goodbye because he had been promoted and was moving to Tennessee. What a shame, two dates just isn’t enough to really know where something is going but he seemed quite the catch.

The last date was, well, not quite a date. Or maybe it would be better described as unclassified. I have known Miles for a little over a year. We clashed at first over a few miscommunications but over the last few months I have made a reciprocated effort to be friendly. Then, after several exchanges about hanging out, he became quite aggressive about getting together. The matter seemed immediate and so much so that he joined me and my brother for dinner at a seafood restaurant on Shem Creek. We all laughed and talked and Miles insisted on picking up the check for all three of us, seafood and alcohol included. My brother parted ways with us and Miles and I ended up in my living room discussing everything from A to Z.

The strange part is we talked about important things like political views, religious persuasions, relationship ethics, and sex. But we also touched on trivial things like movies, mutual acquaintances, clothing styles, and local gay organizations. We then let the talking yield itself to my favorite gay movie, Big Eden, which he had never seen. After the movie he seemed hesitant to leave, but I had to get up early. So he left with a reluctant hug. The signals were so crossed I didn’t know if I should kiss him or validate his parking. It felt like an interview by his best friend to qualify for a first date with some attraction and chemistry sprinkled in for good measure.

So seriously offended, disappointed, and confused by my three dates I have to wonder if this is why gay men don’t really date. Did most gay men in relationships wake up one morning and realize the guy they have been regularly tricking with is their soul mate? Or am I just hitting a series of unfortunate dates that are nothing more than the usual array of weeds you have to wade through to find a flower?

Either way, at least I am dating. At least I am out there making an effort to achieve the couple status I covet. And, most importantly, at least I haven’t let the bad ex-boyfriends of my past and the new bad dates of my present prevent me from finding a future. If nothing else, that can stand alone as worth the freaks, the let-downs, and the undecided men in my life.

Queer·en·dip·i·ty noun: the uncanny gift to see the queer perspective in a seemingly straight existence. Cam Lindquist serves the GLBT community as an intuitive, specializing in finding the Queerendipity in every day life. E-mail Cam at [email protected]

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