Gregory J. Shaw
How To Embarrass Yourself Thoroughly: Dating Blues
I remember having a 'birds & bees' conversation with my father when I was growing up, but never was there a 'what to do on a first date' precursor.
By the end of High School I had already had sex but oddly enough--I had never been a a date. I wonder why. I had never felt awkward or uncomfortable around women. In fact, my best friends were all girls and in many ways they showed me the ropes when it came to communicating and such. What I didn't learn from them unfortunately was how my ability to talk to women would affect my love life when it came to dating.
There was one girl in particular I knew at the beginning of my college experience that I would absolutely kill to be with. Her name was Hannah. She was smart, sexy and out of my league (in that order). And with a lot of personality, it made her the envy of many women--and men. I had to talk to her. And so over the next few weeks I began to warm up to her and eventually asked if she wanted to get coffee sometime. With just a hope and a prayer she said yes.
That Friday she and I went out for dinner. I had hoped she hadn't eaten yet because in case it had gotten awkward, dinner is easier to deal with then coffee because half the time your mouth is full of food. But to my surprise the dinner could not have gone better. We laughed, flirted and even cozied-up on a park bench. Things were looking good. As the night progressed our conversations got deeper and when I walked her home we even held hands. After a semi-romantic walk home I was sure I would land a second date. After we exchanged the ceremonial 'goodnights,' I went in for the kiss without thought.
"Um..What are you doing?!" she exclaimed. What had I done? The night was going so well!
"What's wrong? I thought that we were vibing!"
I was ever so confused. Maybe she doesn't kiss on first dates?
"I thought we were too, but why would you kiss me? I thought you were gay!"
Hannah had said it with such certainty that I was truly surprised. My ability to relate to women had manifested in such a way that now women thought I was one!
"I only did those things with you tonight because I thought you were NOT into me!"
Apparently I had broken the trust in the now defunct relationship I had with her. And before I knew it I was on my way home trying to figure out to what extent, if any, I was actually gay in the eyes of women. I was pretty sure up until that point that I was indeed a straight man. I had some serious thinking to do.