As busy as I am with, like, 2000 jobs and the pesky 9am-Saturday-morning GMAT class that I am taking, I have been also trying to win back, one restaurant/bar at a time, my self-proclaimed but once righteously owned social-butterfly-of-the-city-of-Philadelphia title.
A little known fact about me: social situations stress me out. Public engagements, meeting new people, making small talk with newspaper stand owners leave me drained and exhausted at the end of the day. I am never one of those Chatty Cathys at Walmart giving unsolicited advice to a bored sales clerk. But I have been called "shy" and "quiet" so many times in the past, it's become almost a constant daily goal for me to 1)make small talk with one stranger a day2) engage a coworker in a non-work related banter 3)go to and be social and smiling and pleasant at at least one cultural event that does not involve any alcohol (cause it's real easy for me to be social when I'm buzzed) a week.
I don't know why, but "being social" is a very conscious decision for me. I basically have to remember to put that on my to do list or else I risk becoming completely closed off from everyone who is not my BFF. I really would enjoy being a hermit, I suppose, but instead I strive for the opposite. What a contradiction I am.
Though it's kind of the opposite when it comes to dating. I believe that due to going on so many dates in my lifetime I've grown immune to the pre-date nervous jitters. I've become the expert dater, giving date preparation tips to my friends and warning them about first date red flags. I've also learned how to act around a guy to have him consider me to be The Perfect Date. Not to be braggy-braggy, but 4 out of 5 times when I want guys to call me back for a second date, they do.
This one guy though, a new piece in my love life, frequently leaves me puzzled with his unpredictability. Not only is he surprising with the way he acts but he also surprises me with the way I change my mind about him, constantly, from date to date. And thus far we had three get togethers, however unofficial they might have been thus far, that can be considered romantic dates.
You see, when I first met the dude, I thought, nay I was convinced, that he was gay. I remember our first date just a few weeks ago at this claustrophobic but very cozy Old City bar where I walked in just to find him in the crowd and think to myself, "Oh hell no!"
He just had this suave, proper look about him that I find many gay men to have. Not only was he extremely well put together, I found myself being put off by the number of unbuttoned buttons on his collared shirt. I could see a glimpse of his chest and THAT was not something I was prepared for right off the bat.
But that'd be all fine and dandy if it wasn't for other little signs here and there. As we ordered our first round of drinks and got deep into our conversation, he kept furrowing his eyebrows in a very peculiar manner which I found effeminate. And then he would contort his wrist a certain way as he was telling me a story. I just couldn't hold back for much longer, I had to ask, as my curiosity was killing me.
"So... you worked at a straight bar before," I lead into the question, "Have you ever considered working at a gay bar?"
Yeah, I don't beat around the bush when I've had a few drinks in my system.
"I actually applied for a job as a bartender at a gay night club, but they wanted me to wear these skimpy tightie whities. And I wasn't comfortable wearing those as my job uniform," he said, slightly confused about my question.
Well, little by little and with more probing on my part, it kind of came out that he wasn't gay (allegedly) and he, indeed, had girlfriends. I was still put off by the vibe I was getting from him and at the end of that night, though we had plenty of fun drinking and dancing, I was convinced that I didn't want to go out with him again.
But then yesterday, we went to a lounge that had a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the Delaware river and as we were having drinks, I remember thinking to myself, "What is WRONG with me? This man might, quite possibly be, one of the most good-looking, intelligent people you've ever dated. Look at his face. What a goddamn hottie. Stop thinking he's gay, for crying out loud."
So maybe my gaydar is completely broken now, or maybe I've been right all along and this guy is just dating women because he's in an intense denial about his sexuality. Or maybe he's dating women for a show so that when his parents ask him if he's dating anyone he can say, "Oh yeah, just went out with a girl yesterday." Who knows what his deal might be. I do, however, know what MY deal is.
I've decided that I am gonna go on another date with him. If anything, he's got a hell of a pretty face to look at.