LGBT

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 (Part 2)

I’ve always been good at first dates, though. Our first date certainly turned out well. I have the habit of extending them beyond their expected life. Our getting coffee turned into getting dinner as well, a previous first date (in my sluttier days) moved from dinner right into a night cap at the guy’s apartment. After a first date guys always want to continue dating me. I really don’t know what it’s like to fail at a first date, and I guess that’s why I like going on them. I don’t know what it is about me that makes guys want to date me. I just go with it.

Some of my girlfriends hate going on dates, especially first ones. I don’t really understand it. Even if a date doesn’t go well, it’s still fun to get out and do something, meet someone new and put yourself out there. It’s all good practice. And you should always have an exit plan for truly horrendous dates.

Something I like to do on first dates is ask “What’s a good story that defines you?” I know it sounds super cheesy, like something a college admission’s councilor would ask, but when you’re talking to someone for the first time, it gets awkward and feels like an interview. Why not try to make it a little more interesting? I feel like everyone has that one story they like to tell at parties, or that one story their friends tell when introducing them. Usually it’s something funny that hits at the core of a person’s personality. You’re actually the reason I have my story.

We were over at my friend’s apartment drinking before going out for someone’s birthday. And one of my girl friends gets there, and she’s wearing this truly unfortunate outfit. (It happens to all of us from time to time.) She was wearing this like white t-shirt that was made of jersey or some similarly cheap-looking material. And it had silver rhinestones all over the front. Nothing terrible, but nothing good for going out either. When she asked me what I thought of her outfit, I, being my bitchy self, told her that it wasn’t really a going out kind of shirt and that it was something that I’d “clean my apartment in.” (Luckily my friend has thick skin and I think takes some sort of pleasure out of my harsh critiques because she continues to ask my opinion.)

Now you and I know that the whole “cleaning my apartment” line was something you said. And I have tried to give you credit when my friends re-tell that story (which happens more often than you’d think). But they don’t believe me. And now that we’re not together, I’m going to take full responsibility. It is something I would have said. I’m sorry I’ve stolen it, but really, my friends stole it for me and it makes a great and funny vignette about who I am, my bitchy judgy-ness and all. Maybe not the best first date story, but I’m sure it’ll play well with the gays.

Have you been on any dates yet? In my previous relationships my ex-boyfriends have always moved on more quickly than me. It drove me crazy, my overly competitive side rearing its ugly head. I think the feeling was amplified back then, though, because at my college there was such a microcosm of gays. It was all so incestuous and once someone had hooked up with one of my exes that pretty much crossed them off my potential rebound list.

If you are dating already, I wouldn’t hold a grudge. I don’t necessarily want to hear about all the details, but I’d be happy to know that you were happy. Or I at least wouldn’t feel gut-wrenchingly jealous if you’d moved on first. The one good thing about our break-up is that you ended things because you didn’t want to be in a long-term relationship. As long as you weren’t lying to me, that means that I don’t really have to worry about you showing up with a new, serious boyfriend anytime soon. Because that is something I don’t think I could take. Not yet, at least. It’s only been three and a half months. It’d make me feel awfully replaceable to see you’d moved on so soon.

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Sunday, November 24th, 2013 (Part 1)

I have my first date this week. My first two dates, actually. Drinks tomorrow night and then on Tuesday, dinner with a second guy. Don’t worry, there aren’t any fun and amazing stories behind meeting these two guys. Not yet, at least. They’re OkCupid dates – the only place where I can seem to find guys who might be interested in me. And even then it’s a slog to find them.

I have a theory about OkCupid guys (and I think it applies to guys in general). Take attractiveness and put it on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most attractive model types and one those sad ogres who shouldn’t be let out in broad daylight. (Thankfully, there aren’t many of those ones, especially not in the gay world. We at least have the wherewithal to pull ourselves up to a two or three…with the right products and styling.) Now you and I fall solidly in the six to eight range, allowing for fluctuations based on good or bad hair days, acne breakouts, the number of gym days in the previous week. In general, we are attracted to other six to eights. Nines and tens are probably too pretty for us. They know they’re incredibly good looking and usually act like douches. And they don’t go after other guys; enough guys flock to them that they have the pick of the litter. So those guys are disqualified. Then there are the five and belows. They’re five and below for a reason. They’re in the bottom fifty percent, and we both can do better than average, or below average. Which leaves us with the six to eights, those desirable guys which I’d estimate make up a good thirty-five percent of the gay population.

The problem, and here’s where my theory comes in, is that these six to eights who we want to talk to, they’re usually pussies when it comes to dating. They don’t reach out to you ever – at a bar, online, not anywhere. And it’s so frustrating. In my first month or so on OkCupid, I’ve had plenty of guys message me, but not a single one that I’ve found attractive. Zero. How depressing is that? All five and belows. Which begins to get insulting because after a bit it makes me start to think that maybe I’m a five and below. Maybe I’m below average on the attractiveness scale and everything I’ve ever been told is a lie.

But then I hear back from someone that I’ve messaged, a six to eight, and my theory is reinforced. I am in their range! But they’re shy so I have to do all the initial work.

Bullshit is what I think of that. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a date or one-night stand or whatever where I wasn’t the initiator. One of these days I’d like to be the lazy one and have everyone come to me. (And by everyone, I mean guys I’d actually want to date. I’ve had my share of unattractive guys come up and talk to me at bars, as I’m sure you have, too. Just as important as initiating, you’ve got to be able to ruthlessly pull that plug.)

So I have my first two post-you dates coming up. Michael and Karl – both guys that I reached out to first on OkCupid. They’re very different from each other and different from you. I don’t know if you knew this, but you were not my usual type. Which I think is a good testament to how much I liked you. I’ve always gone for dark-featured men, usually skinnier than me and shorter. You were my height, blonde, pale and muscular. You were the first blonde I ever dated. (As long as you don’t count my high school girlfriend who I “dated” the summer after my junior year. She had long blonde hair. And we never even kissed. Someone was gay and didn’t know it yet.) Blonde and pale and muscular worked on you, though. It worked on me, at least.

Now that I’m trying to date again, I’m looking to expand my scope. Michael (I know, this’ll make five Michael’s, but I didn’t even know that until after we’d been talking for a while), my Monday date, is my age, tall, skinny, peroxided hair, a waiter. I know it might not seem like a good combination, but it works on him. He’s cute. And I’m not looking for my soul mate right now. I’m letting myself explore. I’m trying not to disqualify guys based on silly things like their jobs, or lack of holding a stable one.

Then I’m having dinner with Karl on Tuesday night. Karl is like 5’10”, the oldest guy I’ve been on a date with at twenty-nine, dark hair with an attractive amount of stubble. Good cheek bones. My type to a tee, minus the twenty-nine bit. I almost never date guys older than me. He works in the theater in casting and seems like an interesting enough guy. Of the two, he seems like the most promising. This weekend my friends told me that it’s a good thing to have Michael first. Good to get a bit of practice in before going out with the more promising guy.

 

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

I ran my first race today. A five-miler in Central Park. It was for charity, to benefit brain cancer research. (Don’t worry. I have not nor has anyone in my family been diagnosed with brain cancer or anything else since we broke up. I just wanted to run a race, I didn’t have any particular affinity to the charity. Though it is a good cause. I’m glad my money went to funding something good. I’m not a terrible person.)

I have you to thank for giving me the motivation to do it. Not that finishing a five-mile race is that much to get excited about. I mean, it is only five mile. The motivation is more about having found a new hobby and stuck with it.

I started running pretty regularly when you broke up with me. I admit that I originally took it up to prove something to you, to shed some pounds and tone up again in hopes that you’d feel some regret over ending things.

I’m one of those people who let themselves go a bit when in a relationship. It got hard to make time for working out when I also had to make time for actual work and for you. I know I’d gained like fifteen pounds over the course of our year and a half together. It never really showed, though, or at least that’s the lie I tell myself. Now that I’ve trimmed back down I’m not seeing a ton of places where the old weight has disappeared. Maybe in my thighs. You probably wouldn’t even notice the change if you saw me.

But back to thanking you. I knew that eventually my spite-driven motivation would wear off. Then I’d need something else to get me up  and out running every day. So I decided to sign up for a race. My first of many, I hope. I picked a shorter distance, but I plan to expand up to a half-marathon at some point next year. I don’t think my legs have it in them to go a full twenty-six. Or maybe it’s my brain that can’t handle it. Either way, I don’t think I’ll run a full marathon anytime soon.

When I was out on the course today, I didn’t have any music. I wanted to make sure I kept my focus on the race itself. Instead I thought about you – only for a bit. I used to think about you a lot when I ran. Not so much anymore. But when we first broke up it consumed me. In a good way. It pushed me forward, made the miles and minutes slip away.

Now that I’m moving on, I think about other things – the prospect of meeting that next special guy, the fantasy of winning some major award or getting a crazy promotion at work, of meeting and becoming best friends with one of my celebrity crushes. I also reminisce on high school and the races I ran then. Basically anything that I can imagine myself winning at.

Winning motivates me, especially the fantastic kind that would never happen in real life. When we were still dating I had this whole scenario mapped out where I won an Academy Award (I know, impossible considering I don’t do anything remotely involved with the movie business) and you were there in the audience with me and so supportive and proud when I walked up to the stage and gave my speech, thanking you in the first line. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it really does make me run faster. And the best thing about that Academy Award ceremony wasn’t winning the award, it was having you there to support me. Having you to make proud.

You were always so supportive, to me and to your friends. We went to that little one-man show your friend put on, in that tiny coffee shop that doubled as a performance space. You always listened to your roommate’s web series scripts, trying to give him helpful notes even though he never listens to anyone’s ideas but his own. You even went all the way out to Brooklyn on a very early Sunday morning (made even more grueling by the fact that you’d been out until 4AM the night before) to watch one of your friends run the Brooklyn half-marathon. You were there at the start and then saw him once when he ran through Prospect Park. Then you were at the finish line to cheer him on and head back to Manhattan with him. That’s a very early and big trip to make to see someone all of three times over the course of a two-hour race. But you were always willing to give of yourself to support those you cared about. It’s such an attractive quality you possess.

If we were still dating, you would have come out and cheered for me this morning. And I would have loved it. That’s where boyfriends are better than friends. Boyfriends support you no matter what. Most friends only come when it’s convenient.

No one came out to cheer for me this morning. Not a single one of my friends. I didn’t expect them to show up. It was an 8:30 race on a Sunday morning. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t disappointed not to hear anyone cheering for me, to know that there wouldn’t be any of those little bumps of adrenaline from spying a familiar face around the corner to give me a spurt of speed, no cute and witty signs, no one there at the finish line to cheer me in on my final sprint.

It was kind of a lonely morning, actually. Getting up early and making my way out to Central Park by myself, warming-up and stretching by myself, the five miles I ran, all the time in my own head, polishing off my complimentary bagel and apple at the end of the race and then watching other people finishing for a bit, again all by myself. I even had to take my own post-race picture, proof that I had indeed finished. I couldn’t get the camera far enough back to get both my head and my race number in the shot so I had to take off my shirt and hold the number up. I looked like one of those selfie-obsessed morons.

My parents didn’t even answer the phone when I called to tell them how the race had gone. They were at church, but still. Accomplishing something, even minor, really sucks when you don’t have someone to share the excitement with. You were that person I always shared those little victories with, whether they be “good jobs” at the office or making a delicious cake.

I know that I’ll eventually find someone new to date, someone new to share all of these things with. But in the meantime I miss having you there. I miss the way your eyes lit up and the genuine smile you’d get on your face when I surprised you with some piece of good news from my day, some small or big victory I had accomplished.

And I miss having you to root for. I miss getting to be excited about your successes. Even though we’ve been broken up for three months now, I still do wish you the best, career-wise and personally. I want you to succeed in life. You’re a great guy and you deserve it.

But anyways, I just wanted to thank you for giving me the motivation to keep running. And I hope that you are kicking ass in life, even though you’re kicking it without me now.