Monday, April 09, 2007

What's going on?

I'd say my Saturday night ranks right up there with the more bizarre experiences I've had in the dating world. Of course, no actual dating was involved, no actual hearts were broken, and no actual feelings were hurt.

The short version: On Saturday night, I went to dinner with Kansas (I'm starting to think of him as my "non-boyfriend") and a couple of his buddies--let's call them Mutt and Jeff. Mutt is an acquaintance. Jeff is a closer friend. I've met Jeff several times and I like him. BOTH Mutt and Jeff came on to me. Can you say awkward?

It's not every day something like this happens to me. In fact, it's happened to me exactly zero times before. Both of these guys may be catches compared to Kansas, but that's not saying much. The knock against them is the age gap--they are each at least 15 years older than me. That alone wouldn't stop me, but I don't find either of them terribly attractive. Personality-wise, I prefer Jeff, but Mutt is better looking.

The ick factor is that they both assumed I was with Kansas, but made me an offer practically right in front of him anyway. You know things are bad when the competition is that emboldened. The problem is Kansas and I interact like an old married couple so you might think (like Mutt) that we're at the end of our run, or (like Jeff) that we're never going to get started. Jeff has known me longer and is a shrewd fellow--he basically has the story right.

After observing Kansas and me for a while at dinner, Jeff said, "This is the slowest romance I've ever seen!" I couldn't argue with that. He continued, "This is the strangest situation. I have no idea what you two are doing."

I said, "That makes two of us." Then I looked at Kansas and said, "Actually, that makes THREE of us." Kansas nodded.

Kansas went off to the bathroom while I told a little story about Tom (my important grad-school boyfriend). It's a story I meant to write long ago, but never quite got around to…apropos of something, I told the story, which is complimentary to Tom. When I finished, Jeff said, "He sounds like a great guy. Why'd you dump him?"

I said, "I didn't. He moved away and I knew it was just a matter of time. He needed an everyday girlfriend."

"Ah. Yeah. I need one of those."

I said, "He still misses me." I don't know why I said that. I don't know if it's true.

Jeff said, "Of course he does. Who wouldn't miss you?"

Oh. Huh. I wasn't expecting that. I said, "Well, I can be a pain sometimes."

"Really? I wouldn’t think so."

I said, "I'm still human."

Jeff said, "Well, if you ever figure out what you're doing with him," he nodded in the direction of Kansas's empty chair, "I'd like to spend more time with you. I think you're fascinating. I'd like to spend more time with you."

(Note: I've gotten the "fascinating" line before, but I haven't heard it for a while. What struck me is that I haven't heard it from Kansas--but he does tell me I'm pretty.)

What was I supposed to say to that? I said nothing. Kansas came back to the table. I've never seen Jeff quite as drunk as he was that evening, so I'm inclined to chalk up his words to inebriation. I think the sentiment was sincere, but I think he would have kept his mouth shut otherwise. It's not cool to move in a on a friend's…um, yeah, whatever I am.

Jeff left and we were down to three. Mutt was still eating when Kansas asked if I were ready to go. I said, "I'm not leaving Mutt here. You do what you want, but I'm going to wait for him to finish."

"Of course, you're right. That's what's polite and proper. You're right. I'm just going to have a smoke and meet you back at the bar." At least, I assume that's what he said because he didn't come back. When I went back to the bar later, he said he'd made it clear he wasn't coming back to the table. I suppose he meant to make it clear.

After Kansas left, Mutt said, "I don't want to get in the middle of anything…"

"In the middle of what?"

"Well, I don't know what's going on. I thought maybe someone was married."

I said, "Married? Who did you think was married? Not me!"

"No, not you. Him." He meant Kansas.

I laughed. "No, he's not married. Who would marry him?"

He said, "Oh, I guess I was confused. How long have you been together?"

"Together? I'm not sure we're 'together.'"

"Oh, I thought you'd been together a few years."

Damn. That caught me off guard. "Um, yeah, no. No, I've only known him a few months." He was picking up on something that Kansas has remarked on--the way I fit in so seamlessly with his group of friends. I like them all and I do feel like one of the family. This relative stranger figured I was a regular, not a new comer, and thus our relationship must be long standing. And strange.

He was surprised at my answer and said, "Well, if you decide you are ready to move on, I'd like to take you out."

My jaw might have dropped. Not only because of the boldness but because it was the second time at that very table I'd gotten an offer. WTF? He then said he could take me sea kayaking and I mumbled a negative response. I was so uncomfortable, I could barely look in his direction; forget about making eye contact.

When we realized Kansas wasn't coming back, we left. The bill was already settled. Mutt announced his intention to visit another nearby bar and he invited me. I said I was going back to the regular bar and he wasn't surprised. I found Kansas and he was happy to see me.

I told him the story. I knew I probably shouldn't tell him about what Jeff said, but I told him anyway. He chose to not hear most of it. By now, he's probably forgotten.

He is one lucky duck, that's for sure. I am in high demand.

Grateful for: flattery.

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