Monday, July 28, 2014

Missed Connection for the Creepy Woman

It's no secret that I like to spend my time on the internet giving strangers a tough time. That's how I roll productively. One night, while scrolling through missed connections on Craigslist, I came across this:

"i was walking back home from lechmere. you came up from behind me and walked right next to me for a couple of seconds before going on ahead of me. that was so creepy. you should leave much more than half a foot between you and your fellow pedestrians at all times on an empty street after dark. thanks."

So, in summary, this woman had creeped this man out by walking. After thinking on this for ten or fifteen minutes, and as usual, unable to let it go, I posted a response:

"You were scared because a woman was walking next to you? She might have been trying to assist you...maybe by helping you find your testicles"

Yes, I threw the mundane and typical "Where are your balls?" jab at him. But, if any situation called for it, it was this one. He was creeped out by WALKING. The original poster, probably going through a similar "should I or shouldn't I respond" moment as I did, responded a few minutes later with:

"do you mean to say women can't be creeps? creepy behavior is creepy whatever the gender of the person. lol i wouldn't want her anywhere near my testicles"

So, a couple of things. Yes, women can be creeps. No, they cannot be creeps by walking next to you. That's not creepy behavior. I know that I'm blaming the victim here, but if men are going to start victimizing themselves because a woman is walking next to him, it's going to belittle all of the legitimate creepy things that happen to victims, like, oh I don't know...groping, flashing, raping, pillaging, plundering, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances, unwanted feels on a crowded T, public masturbation, throwing some Rohypnol in your liquor, positioning your camera up someone's skirt. You know, the stuff that is actually creepy. Not the stuff that everyone, including kids and dogs, do on a daily basis because they have to get from one place to another and that's how they do it.

At this point, another person responded with:

"Whatever dude.

I call bull shit.

As I recall you've been begging that woman to do more than just touch your testicles.

Hmmm, wonder why she stays away from them
?"

Which prompted an eyeroll and a "dude, I'll handle this" from me. My next response was a two-parter:

"I don't believe I would characterize "walking next to you" as creepy behavior. Maybe you were going too slow and her pace was just a bit faster and it took her time to pass you. Was she staring at you while doing it? Did she bump into you a few times? Was she doing some weird dancing arm movements? All of that might be creepy. Walking? Not sure i see the creep factor there. You may be oversensitive
Maybe she didn't feel comfortable walking alone at 2 am and thought if she walked with you, no one would bother her. It's not always about you, mr. Self-Righteous"
 
Now, I had already guessed, as you probably have, that this guy was a whiny baby sissy pants. He used "lol" in a sentence and didn't capitalize anything, so possibly someone on the younger side of the spectrum. I was picturing Francis.
 
 
 
He proved me right with his next response:

"i had thought i could turn to CL to share the story of this horrifying incident without being subjected to this kind of ridicule. i suppose i was wrong?"

[Note: If I may interject here. What? You turned to CL hoping that you wouldn't be subjected to ridicule? CL is all about ridicule. Don't you have a mom or a best friend?]

you see [Note: I don't.], calling me self-righteous and over-sensitive, and even suggesting that i was going "too slow", is just blaming the victim of this type of creepy behavior. [Note: Hardly a victim, See above.] yes, staring, bumping into me and weird dancing arm movements would be much creepier. nevertheless, walking up right beside me, from behind me, in silence, when there was plenty of room on the sidewalk for her to keep her distance, is certifiably creepy. people have walked past me before in similar situations, but generally keeping the width of the sidewalk between us. i, myself, walk off the curb into the street to avoid creeping people out if i'm overtaking someone after dark on an empty street. [Note: Still not buying it.]

if this creepy woman was just uncomfortable and was hoping no one would bother her if she walked beside me, maybe she should have stopped to consider the possibility that *she* was very much bothering *me*? after all, i never signed up to be the personal escort/safety blanket of each and every woman. [Note: Always a gentleman, I see.] although, i would have been okay with it if she had just asked instead of acting as if she was entitled to my company without asking. [Note: Because asking, "can I walk with you? I don't want you to think that I feel as though I'm entitled to your company"; that's not creepy.]

i should also add that i was carrying a sandwich and up against a wire fence on my right, leaving me with fewer than normal options for defending myself or for escaping. [Note: "And officer, I couldn't defend myself, it would have meant dropping my sandwich."] i guess i should take the blame for deciding to carry a sandwich alone after dark on an empty street, limiting myself to just one free hand, and for not walking on the outer edge of the sidewalk so i could escape across the street if/when necessary? or maybe just tell the women you know not to be creeps?"

I laughed at this last response like the mean girls laughed at Josie Grossie.



He may have been messing with me, but I don't think so. Anyway, I couldn't help myself and I responded with:

"Dude, I can sympathize. There was this one time when a woman sat next to me on a bench. I relive it every single day."

And that was the end of it. Maybe he realized how silly he was being? I doubt it though. I think Francis, at this moment, is probably cowering in a corner because some "creepy" woman is eating chips across the street. Be brave, Francis. Be brave.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I'd Just Like to Find a Nice Guy Who Hasn't Done Time.

My close friends always seem to share a common theme when discussing my dating life. They always ask the same question, "Why do you waste your time with these losers?" The truth is most of the time, I have no idea that they're losers. You wouldn't either. The stats on the back of their bachelor team card are usually pretty high...well high enough. I don't find out that they're losers until it's too late.

For example, there was one time when someone whom I knew when we were kids found me on facebook. I was excited to hear from him as I had a huge crush on him when we were young and we had spent a lot of time together during our childhood. After a few facebook messages back and forth, we exchanged phone numbers and started texting each other. We texted for the entire day and I was really into him. Then six p.m. rolled around, and he texted, "Sorry, I have to go." I responded, "Ok, no prob. Are you going to be around later?" His answer was, "I'll be back tomorrow. I'm in a work release program and I have to turn in my phone and go back to the prison." That's a true story.

Recently, in a conversation with my sister, Lori, I told her that I was going to stop being a "junior cougar". That is, I was going to focus on having a serious adult relationship with someone, and I was going to stop making out with 25 year olds, no matter how adorable and attractive they were. I was inspired! The universe would sense that I was ready and send me a mature, successful, intelligent man with whom I could finally settle down.

The next day, as I was walking home from a show, I passed a gorgeous guy working the door at a local bar and he waved me over.  He was 6'2", clean-cut but rugged, handsome, and as I learned later, only 24 years old. My earlier conversation with Lori briefly flashed in my head. But, the universe had spoken. It had rebelled by sending me an irresistible model man. So what if he happened to be born in 1990? Lots of great things came from the 90's. Seinfeld. Laser background school photos. The phrase "Talk to the hand". Dream Phone.






After talking to the Bouncer for a bit, he asked if he could walk me home, and I said sure. And then we made out like teenagers.

Now, I was serious in what I said to Lori about being ready for a relationship. And I am. But, if I'm going to meet an interested, hot 24 year old, then I can put that on hold for a bit while I have a short fling. Right? The following day, I decided to do some research on the Bouncer and so I googled him. We all know that I'm a bit of a stalker.

And this is why I do it, guys:

It turns out that the Bouncer has been in the news before. For being a college star athlete, you ask? Nope. For saving a little girl's cat from a burning building? Uh-uh. For championing an intiative for the equal rights of bar and club bouncers everywhere? Oh no...no, no. Not for any of these things. Apparently, the Bouncer was arrested a couple of years ago for breaking into his 80-year old neighbor's house (who, by the way, suffers from Alzheimer's) and stealing her ATM card so that he could support his oxy addiction. I never would have guessed that about him. How was I supposed to know that a clean-cut good-looking guy like that steals from sick old ladies?

And so, my friends, I have come to the conclusion that maybe I do pick the wrong men. I have a pattern of being attracted to petty criminals. Hopefully, I will be able to break this pattern soon. And if not, I can only hope that he'll be an outlaw in a heroic sense, kinda like Robin Hood.

Friday, June 27, 2014

It's a Game Boy; It's a Game, Boy.

The Waiter and I never actually made it out on a date. He blew me off...twice. I didn't respond to give him a third chance. I was shocked that he had flaked on me. And as I thought about that more, I realized how silly that was. He was an absolute stranger. We had literally said seven sentences to each other since we met...literally. I had absolutely no idea what any of his personality flaws were and I was surprised when one of them turned out to be flakiness? Why did I think that I knew him enough to think that this was out of character for him?

The answer is simple. I blame the internet.

In the days leading up to our date, it concerned me that I didn't know anything about this guy. I didn't know if he was a good age for me. Or if his actual career was being a waiter, or if he had other things that he was working on. Or if he allegedly had ever used a machete to hack a woman up into tiny morsels and bury those morsels under his shed. I needed a balance of normalcy. I had to find out something about him before we went out...at least his last name, so that I could send an e-mail to my sisters saying, "I'm about to go out on a first date with so-and-so. If you never see me again, tell the police to start there." So, I consulted a trusty little website known as facebook.

I knew his first name and I knew the restaurant that he worked at. So, I typed in "Men named [Waiter] who work at Union Bar" and what do you know, up he popped. You know how sometimes, you'll stumble across someone's profile and the entire thing is set to public?!?!?! The choir sings Hallelujah and little pieces of confetti in the shape of computers fall from the sky.

By studying his facebook profile, I convinced myself that we were meant to be. Yes, he was only 28 years old. But, he was a musician! I play music! He "liked" the hit musical RENT! I like the hit musical RENT! We even had the SAME quote from Word Porn on our timeline. 'It's been an ugly day,'she said. 'Tell me something beautiful?' And he said her name".

[Side note: When I mentioned this to Andrea, she called shenanigans. "I refuse to believe that a 28-year old man has that on his facebook timeline."]

It was clearly fate. I was already planning what song we would sing together at our wedding reception. Obviously, it would be something from RENT.

Now, the reality is that none of this was evidence that we were compatible. This is a man that I met in one of the most hipster cities in the country. Of course he's a musician. They all are. And even though he's a musician, he plays the Game Boy. Yes, the Game Boy...

This one...



And yes, he loves Rent, but who doesn't? If you like music, you like Rent. And the Word Porn pic, I'm willing to chalk up to coincidence. Anyway, I had built him up in my head to be this person and already felt close to that person and that person wasn't even real. That's what the internet does to us.

A friend of mine was telling me about how on her first date with someone from okcupid, he wanted to be one of those couples who sits on the same side of the booth. On their first date! That's weird. The other day, I friend requested Tahmoh Pennikett on facebook. I'm friend requesting C-list celebrities on facebook. That's crazy. Would I ever go up to a C-list celebrity in real life and say, "Would you like to be my friend?" Creepy... How do we feel that close to someone who is essentially a stranger? How do we get there? The internet. It lulls us to a false sense of intimacy.

[Note: I'm deliberately not taking responsibility for being a facebook creeper, or as I like to call it Facebook Detective. You use the tools that are at your disposal. Say, someone gets in a car accident. If they didn't have a car in the first place, the accident never would have happened, right? They can't be held liable!! ....ok, they can. Bad example. Actually, there really aren't any good examples. Forget it! I'm NOT TAKING RESPONSIBLITY FOR THIS!]

Even though the Waiter ditched me twice, there is some good in all this. All of this has led me to believe that the internet is not to be used for evil. And by evil, I mean making up imaginary relationships in my head. I feel as though I've really grown in the past few minutes. And I have the Waiter to thank for it. Plus, since I thought that he had chickened out, I coined the fabulous phrase "motherclucker", which I'm now going to incorporate into my urban vernacular.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Perceptive Waiter

Warning to my mother: Some of this is about a pregnancy scare.

For a week or so, I had been sick to my stomach in sudden waves that passed after a few minutes, faster than a Taylor Swift relationship. Any woman in her 30's who has been nauseous for a week straight...well, it's safe to say that her first thought is, "Sonofabitch, I'm pregnant." The actuality of me being pregnant is highly unlikely since I'm a big proponent of wrapping it before tapping it, even though I know that condoms aren't 100% effective, and it is on the box, Ross Geller. In complete denial, I had decided to ignore the nausea (and the fact that my period was two weeks late) and continue to drink bottles of wine, hoping that both the nausea and the lateness were being caused by stress.

At the end of this week, my friend, Sarah and I headed over to Union Bar and Grille for dinner. Right away, when the waiter came up, my first thought was, "hell to the yeah." I shamelessly flirted with him through our initial drink order and appetizers.

But, then my duck rigatoni came. It looked delicious. But, the smell...and I ran to the bathroom. After that, my mood completely changed, as I finally accepted the realization that I might be pregnant. I discussed my concern with Sarah, and while doing so, I started to cry discreetly in the restaurant. Sarah, being the good friend that she is, told me that after dinner, we would hit CVS because I needed to know for sure. And I agreed. It was hard to focus on my food after that, but I made it through dinner. I had forgotten about the waiter, but I tried to lighten the mood by making awkward jokes that Sarah laughed at because we both enjoy awkward jokes. Small sample: related to bridesmaid dress shopping that weekend, I muttered, "Should I even buy the dress now? I won't fit in it by October" and when Sarah commended me for being able to eat at least some of my dinner, my response was, "Well, I am eating for two."

When it came time for dessert, Sarah and I ordered the sorbet. The waiter looked right at me and said, "I just want to tell you that the sorbet has cream in it." I realized, with horror, that he had seen me run to the bathroom earlier and had noticed that I stayed in there for longer than number one. As he walked away, to put in our sorbet order, Sarah said to me, "That was really nice that he said that. A little weird...but more nice than weird." And I had to agree. Even with our ominous task looming ahead like the Shadow of Mordor in my own Lord of the Flings story, I thought that it couldn't hurt to flirt a little more, you know...before I started to show.

We enjoyed the sorbet, and when he brought the check, he looked right at me and said, "By the way, my name is [the Waiter]. It really was a pleasure serving you. I hope you come in again." Sarah said to me as he walked away, "you need give him your phone number. He's been flirting with you all night." My thoughts were, "He can't be interested. One, it's his job to flirt. He wants a tip. Two, he thinks that I was attacked by lactose, so he probably finds me disgusting. Three, if he had been that observant of me throughout the night, he had most likely witnessed me sobbing for ten minutes. None of this is attractive." But, Sarah said, "what do you have to lose?" ("Except never being able to show my face in Union Bar again," I thought).

Anyway, I had been trying to be more assertive when attracted to someone. And so I left my number with my name and a "you should call me."

The next day, Saturday, I received a voicemail message, "Hi Melissa, it's the Waiter. I received a note from you saying to call. So, I'm following instructions. Call me back." And we have a date this week. We're already off to a good start...according to the vm message, he's a man who does what I tell him to do. He's seen me at my absolute worst. And one day, he may be telling the grandkids about the day we met, "I saved your grandmother from too much dairy." That's romance!

By the way, I took the test. I tried to buy it covertly, but the CVS self-checkout machine outed me by bellowing, "WELCOME!!! TO START, PLEASE SWIPE YOUR EXTRACARE CARD!" in a silent drugstore. Turns out that I was not pregnant (just stressed), and Sarah and I celebrated with much rejoicing and vodka.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

God, I hate Bob Seger.

Warning to my mother: Some of this is about sex.

When I started this blog, I didn't really expect people to read it. So, I didn't think twice about what happens when you're dating someone and you want to write about them, until my friend, Brian, expressed that he would have trouble dating me, knowing that there's a chance I'd be chatting with the internet about our relationship.The truth is that if these guys are facebook friends, which some of them are, they probably read it. (And hey look, Brian, we're not even dating and I'm still chatting with the internet about our relationship.)

There are some un-Brian-like guys who, even if I'm completely blasting them as human beings, actually like that I write about them. It's an ego thing, I believe. Coop has made it known that he reads it. I know that Mr. Writer/Personality is a "silent follower". Even Trivia Guy has made a couple of comments to me about a few entries. I suspect that there are others out there who keep their readership a secret.

I love people's reactions when they read it, especially when they laugh. It makes me feel really great. It's also gained me some exposure and has presented me with opportunities to write for other blogs (and even become an editor for a dating short story website, a job that I'll be starting later this month). It's an extremely rewarding hobby.

But, there are cons. There's Brian's Argument. And then, the problem of, when I do like somebody and I write about it, I'm playing my hand, which is dating homicide. While I wear my heart on my cardigan, it's the maintenance of romantic surprise that keeps the beginning of a relationship interesting.

Most recently, I went out with a guy who let me know right away that he reads the blog. He also let me know that he didn't mind if I blogged about him. And all in all, this leads me to the biggest benefit of all...when a guy blows you off, you get to Taylor Swift him. I wrote this story earlier in the week last week, right after our date. And then, later in the week, I asked what he was up to, and he told me he was "really busy". So, I changed my tone. My post-blow-off comments are in bold:

"This guy and I met last summer. I was volunteering backstage at a music festival. He was playing guitar for one of the bands. Let's call him Les Paul. [Let's call him CC DeVille.] He's one of the most talented guitarists I've ever heard. And I loved that he was as into music as I am. We talked for a couple of hours that day. We had an obvious connection, but kept it platonic..and about music. What bands we were into. The first concert that we ever went to. He told me about his first AC/DC concert. I told him that I can drum most of AC/DC's catalogue but only because the beats are the same on 90% of the songs. It was revealed later that we were both seeing other people at the time, which is why it stayed a platonic conversation. But, the connection was clearly there and we exchanged numbers with the ruse that we would let each other know about upcoming shows.

Over the past year, we kept in touch. In the meantime, I had become single and as I found out later, so had he. One night, a few weeks ago, I caught him by text on the road. They weren't playing that night and he was just hanging out in a dive bar in Madison, WI playing pool. I was getting over a cold and I was having trouble sleeping. We exchanged some flirty texts and finally made a date with each other. Since he was coming back from his tour and he lives an hour and a half away [and is a lazy ass], I agreed to come down to his hometown.

He was down the street at a neighbor's house when I arrived, and he told me to feel free to let myself in. He has two gigantic adorable dogs that were happy to see me. His home was really cozy and welcoming. He came in a few minutes later. He was adorably nervous [and high] in the beginning, but simmered down after a while. We laughed so much and had so much chemistry. We shared a kiss in his kitchen about one hour into the date and just really enjoyed getting to know each other.

I had been watching the clock since it was a Sunday night and an hour and a half drive home. And so had he. He said to me, "I'm not ready to let you go yet. Just stay here. My roommate's away and you can sleep in her room. I'm just not ready to say goodbye." I was resistant. I knew that if I did stay over, it wasn't very likely with the amount chemistry that we had that I would be sleeping in his roommate's room. But, earlier that night, while we were discussing musicians in general, I had playfully accused him of having a woman in every city. He had told me that I had the wrong idea about him. That he wasn't into one-night stands. That he was a relationship-type guy. He said, "I think you're falling for me" and I said, "I think YOU'RE falling for ME" and he responded, "I fell for you the day I met you". And a voice [probably his] told me to trust him. And so I stayed.

In the morning, he held me until it was time for me to go. He told me to text him so that he knew that I got home safe. And I drove home, recapping the night in my head with small smile. I couldn't wait to see him again [until he blew me off.]"

Me, again. Now, I'm sure you could have predicted what was going to happen. I realize that I was being naive. A man who wants to sleep with you can make anything sound good. Hell, Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight" is a whole song about it. Of course I know that everything that he said to me that night was a line. I'm positive that if I hadn't spent the night that night, there would have been no bold writing here. I just was feeling hopeful, that after the time that we had spent together, just this once, this one guy would be different. For once, a man would feel as connected to someone after having sex with them as he did before, like a woman does.

But, let me be clear that I also realize that none of this is a  "me" problem. This is all a "him" problem. And this is something that I hope everyone thinks about themselves when they're the "dumpee". The best way to get over someone, no matter how brief your relationship, is to focus on their flaws. Everyone has them...EVERYONE. With CC DeVille, obviously, he has trouble facing his problems head on. In the past year or so, he has shown me some insecurities that I think would get tiring after a while. And, I know that I would always be the one to initiate plans and that I would have to provoke attention from him, unless I gave him beer. But, his biggest flaw of all...not realizing how freaking awesome I am. My sense of humor can be very self-deprecating, but the reality is, I have a pretty high opinion of myself and rightfully so. I'm beautiful, incredibly talented, so so smart. I'm kind and I care about others' feelings and I always try to be as considerate as possible. I'm blessed enough to have a good sense of myself. I know who I am and I'm very lucky to be me. And woe to CC DeVille for letting me go.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tales from France, Part III: Le Gay Paris

Since it was Jeff's birthday, and since I had already had my romantic rendezvous for the trip, I agreed to head out with Jeff to some of Paris's finest gay clubs. I actually enjoy going to gay clubs. It's a crowded room full of typically very handsome men (often shirtless) who flirt with me but aren't trying to get me to have sex with them. I mean, come on, that's a gold medal night for a girl.

The problem was: we had no idea where Paris's finest gay clubs were. I'm typically a planner. When I go to Disney World, I plan every day's itinerary to the minute, including what ride route we're going to take. I make restaurant reservations six months in advance. I have literally said to someone, "I'm going to the movies that day" when they offer plans for a date three months into the future. And this Paris trip was no different. I had spreadsheets drawn up of where we were going, what we were doing, with included attachments of the walking maps to get there. Jeff had one job. ONE JOB. And that was to choose which club he wanted to go to, and find out where it was. The night of our birthday festivities, we went to a pub near the hotel for a kickoff beer and I said to Jeff, "So, where are we going?" And he answered, "Oh, I don't know. I figured we'd just ask the bartender where we should go." I responded, "Oh yes. The straight German bartender with the neck tattoo who hasn't stopped talking about Manchester U? I'm sure he knows where the gay clubs are."

When we asked the bartender if he knew of a good gay club to go to. He looked at us with a blank stare. Then said, questioningly, "I think that there are a whole bunch on Saint-Michel" and proceeded to give us directions.

Jeff and I paid up and headed down to Saint-Michel. Once we got there, we walked up and down the street, but couldn't find any club, let alone a gay club. So, we stopped someone for directions.

"Excusez-moi? Do you know of any gay clubs in this area?"
"Yes, they're on Saint-Michel"
 "Ok, thanks."

We once again walked up and down Boulevard Saint-Michel. By this point, I was getting tired and a little bit cranky and frustrated at Jeff for not doing his research. We stopped another person for directions.

"Excusez-moi? We're looking for a gay club?"
"There's some on Saint-Michel."
"Do you know what it's called in particular, or where on Saint-Michel it is?
"No, I'm sorry," with a sympathetic look.

What was this? We were on Saint-Michel. Where was this ghost gay club that everyone kept talking about? I took out my phone and consulted google, which also told me Saint-Michel. Was this some conspiracy between the French citizens and Google to turn gays off to the city of Paris? Finally, I said to Jeff, we need to find some gay men and get them to show us. Now, this is harder than you think. The "Gay or European" game was invented for a reason. It's really tough to tell the difference sometimes. But, when a couple of men walked toward us with their hands touching, I knew we had found our saviors. Unfortunately, they didn't speak English.

Since one of them had a more Mediterranean look, I took a shot and asked if they spoke Spanish. And the one that I had pegged for a Spaniard said, "Ah! Si!" So, in my broken Spanish, I said, "Estamos buscando por un club donde...um, los muchachos se gustan los muchachos." The Spaniard laughed and then translated to French what I had asked for his boyfriend, who also started laughing. Their answer: Saint-Michel.

After forty-five minutes of walking, Jeff and I decided to call it a night and go back to the hotel. We hailed a cab and started driving back. The cab turned onto a street called Rue du Temple. I looked out the cab window...men were coming out of the clubs onto Rue du Temple in droves. Men holding hands, men making out with each other on the street, men skipping to each other. I'm not being offensive. There were literally men skipping to each other on Rue du Temple. The irony was too much for us and we decided to keep heading home and try Rue du Temple the next night, which we did.

The next night, we did have a blast on Rue du Temple. A bouncer stopped us at the door and warned us that we were heading into a gay club, which I thought was nice, as he didn't want an unassuming American couple to walk into something that they weren't ready for. Both Jeff and I yelled excitedly, "We know!" and walked into a soapy naked guy in a shower with a bunch of men crowded around him watching. I met some boys from Chicago and danced with them for most of the night. And later I had a very nice conversation with the naked man in the shower. His name was Jean-Baptiste and he was in grad school.

So, did we ever solve the Case of the Ghost Gay Club at Saint-Michel, Nancy Drew? Well, although we thought we were walking down Saint-Michel, we were actually walking on the street perpendicular to it. So while we were hitting Saint-Michel at the corner, we weren't actually going down it. Mystery solved. Americans are dumb.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tales from France, Part II: The Tale of the Dutchman

Notwithstanding the misadventures in customs, I was so excited to be in Paris. I had never been before and on the way to hotel, I was out the window like a teen in a rom com during a music montage.

My friends were there for a work thing. Our first day, my friend, Jeff came back from his meeting and said to me, "There's a co-worker of mine here that is soooooooo your type. You are going to love him."  I had already been familiar with some of Jeff's co-workers, having attended holiday party/happy hours with him in the past, but I had never met this one, the Dutchman, since he's based in the Netherlands. That night, we met up with all of the co-workers for dinner. I could feel Jeff's "I-told-you-so" gaze on me, when I shook the Dutchman's hand in introduction and my eyes lit up. I believe that I stumbled a bit. It was mostly a blur. It was like meeting Conrad Birdie.

On the walk to the restaurant, I maneuvered my way next to the Dutchman and engaged him in conversation. When we got to the restaurant, I made sure that we were sitting next to each other.  It would have been nice of me to sit next to my friend, Jeff, the one who had actually invited me to Paris, but this was not a time to be nice. I was on a mission. And when you're on a mission, you're rude.

During dinner, I laughed at all of the Dutchman's jokes. I made coy moves like touching his arm at times, sharing my food with him, tucking my hair behind my ear in what I hoped was an adorable fashion while praying that my fingers wouldn't get caught in my wind-blown knotty curls ruining the whole move. I conveniently ignored the other 11 people sitting at the table. The only time I looked away from the Dutchman's eyes was in confusion when the restaurant started inexplicably blasting Blurred Lines on their speaker system while they brought out a cake with sparklers on it for Jeff's birthday. Oh, did I mention that I was ignoring my friend who invited me to Paris on his birthday? I'm not proud of my behavior, but I knew that Jeff, as a true friend and wingman, would understand.

The Dutchman seemed charmed and as engaged with me as I was with him. I learned later that the whole table was interested in watching this romance bloom. At one point, the Dutchman asked me, "So what is the story with you and Jeff?" Now, here was the dilemma. Jeff isn't in the closet by any means, but he also doesn't broadcast details about his personal life. And this is not just a work thing. I'm one of his best friends, and will only learn about a new guy that he's dating about three to four months into the relationship and that's only if I ask, "Are you seeing anyone?" I didn't want to "out" him. But, I didn't want the Dutchman to think that there was any possibility that Jeff and I had a thing, or that he would be interfering with any form of relationship.

So, I said, "Jeff and I are just friends."

The Dutchman looked skeptical, "A friend who brings another friend on a work trip to Paris?"

Oy..

So, I said, "I'm not exactly Jeff's type," with a meaningful look.

The Dutchman got it right away, looked surprised for a moment, and then his face relaxed, "Well, that's good news for me, then," he said.

After dinner, everyone hung out in the hotel bar for a while, and then one by one decided to go to bed. The Dutchman and I figuring that the night was still young and so were we, decided to go out on the town. We ended up chatting in a cozy bar near the Champ Elysees, and on the walk home, he finally kissed me. It was incredibly romantic. He was a little bit concerned that he was being unprofessional, until I told him that Jeff had essentially pimped him out.

There's nothing funny about this story or weird about the Dutchman. It was a night of romance and just what I needed to get my mind off of Coop. It was a perfect night. Here's the Dutchman's version of it:

"I drank a lot of wine in Paris and ended up hooking up with one of my co-worker's friends. The end."

Stay tuned for Part III and my experiences in Gay Paris...literally, I hung out in a bunch of gay clubs in Paris and I'm going to tell you about it.