Brian

I admire and hold in high esteem people that don’t eat animals, adhere to Buddhist principles and are able to withstand the urge to pollute themselves with alcohol. I can find nothing bad to say about those attributes in a human being. I did discover, though, through my next date, Brian, that they are absolutely not qualities I should look for in a man. In fact, quite possibly, I should be on the lookout for the polar opposite.

Brian sent me a very nice, friendly, opening email with excellent spelling and grammar. He seemed to love the overuse of smiley faces, but emoticons aside, he seemed like a decent guy. He worked in the IT field for a local company, lived in a cool neighborhood in Seattle and had an impressive taste in television. Brian and I were also both total book nerds so, when he suggested a first date at a local bookstore in their food court, I agreed to meet up after work. I was a little hesitant at the date options in a bookstore but they did have a funky café and restaurant that served wine if I got desperate. Life preservers were available.

Brian was waiting in the café when I arrived and was sitting by himself with a bottle of water. I decided to be crazy and get some tea and a cookie so I offered to pick up an equally tasty baked morsel for Brian while I was at the counter, to complement his water and all. “No, there isn’t anything here, actually, that I can have.” He laughed and said, “But go ahead, go ahead.” I suddenly felt dirty for wanting something besides tea but maybe he was just gluten intolerant or hated sugar. These weren’t fantastic options but I could work with that. I had seen worse.

When I got back to the table, I got the full explanation. Brian was pretty cute – he had slicked back curly hair, glasses, a nice build – not too bad. It turned out, however, that he couldn’t have any of the food at the bakery because he was vegan, die-hard vegan, as in didn’t-eat-honey vegan. I tried to block the memories of the bacon I had eaten for lunch while he talked. Ok, ok – vegan, we lived in Seattle – how limiting could that be? I tried to change the subject so we talked about books and vacations and working out. Brian was funny, easy to be with and I had almost forgotten about the meat issue until I asked him where his favorite place was to grab a cocktail.

“Well, I don’t drink,” was his reply. I was racking my brain to think how animals were harmed in the making of my cocktails when Brian explained that he ‘just didn’t do alcohol.’ He was ok with other people drinking, hey, he would even buy me a drink, but he was just absolutely opposed to chemically altering the human body. Since I altered my chemicals as often as possible, it was looking like we were maybe not lifestyle-compatible.

Brian, though, despite our differences, was a pretty charming guy. I just liked him – I felt totally comfortable in his presence. Was it that big a deal if he wasn’t going to grill me up a nice steak and enjoy some wine with me while we cooked it? Maybe it wasn’t so, when Brian asked me if I would meet him for dinner the next week, I agreed. I hadn’t met such a warm guy in quite some time so I felt I had to give it at least a bit of a chance.

Trouble once again arose, however, when, a couple of days later, we tried to figure out where we were going to meet for dinner. I thought eating out as a vegan in Seattle would be a relatively easy affair, similar to being a vegetarian, but I was sorely mistaken. He couldn’t eat hardly anywhere! I suggested pizza but there were only a couple of places in the city, at that time, that served vegan crusts and cheese was out of the question. Brian finally a suggested a vegan restaurant near his house so I met him at his apartment and we walked to our dinner.

Dinner was…fine. I eat soy and tempeh and veggie foods all of the time so I was game to try that for dinner. The restaurant, though, was a hole in the wall that was dirty and full of flies and the food was not good. But vegan, it was vegan! We had a decent conversation – Brian was nothing if not talkative, easy and down-to-earth – but the thing I remember most was his 10-minute description of the vegan cheesecake that he made with soy this and tofu that and, well, it was fantastic! Really, he could fool me into thinking it was real! Honestly, though, the idea of being fooled was becoming less and less appealing.

It was a rare nice night in Seattle so we decided to walk around a popular local lake. There was a slight lapse in conversation so I asked Brian what he thought of the Seahawks’ chances for that next season. “Oh, I don’t watch football. Not at all. I abhor violence. The NFL should be outlawed.” In my stunned silence, Brian explained that he had been in the military prior to his current employment and he had done things he literally could not discuss. It changed him, he was now a Buddhist and football just went against his moral code. What could I say to that? I was a girl that played fantasy football, for the love of mankind, but I couldn’t argue with his position. How could I knock peace, love and understanding?

We came to the end of our walk and I started to suggest a drink at a nearby bar. Oh, wait. Alcohol was not an option. I suggested going to Baskin Robbins and Brian said, “Well, no, there isn’t one thing I can eat there, not even the cone. They use eggs in everything!” The curtain officially closed, at that moment, on the dating adventure that was Brian. I am all about saving the planet, being a responsible citizen and even not eating animal flesh but Brian’s beliefs and practices absolutely defined him and they were way, way, WAY different than mine. Apparently my type of guy was more the meat-loving, football-watching, Manhattan-swilling ‘Mad Men’ type of man. Was a nicer, friendlier, more trustworthy and emotionally available Don Draper out there? Did such a man even exist? A girl could dream.

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Published in: Uncategorized on May 24, 2011 at 3:34 am  Comments (1)  

James

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.

Published in: Uncategorized on May 9, 2011 at 4:21 am  Comments (2)