The SMITH Diaries Project

He put his hands on my waist in a way that is just not normal when saying goodbye to anyone who is not your girlfriend

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

By Frida in the City

Key to Men Mentioned Below:
A: French-speaking guy
B: Short, bald guy
C: Sports nut guy
D: Graphic designer guy
E: Guy with girlfriend
F: Thai-speaking guy

Had my first date with A. After a tour of the gallery, which never fails to impress, we went for French food. I had learned from my colorist the night before that the place was BYOB. I was horrified at the thought of going through the entire date without a drink, so I tried to figure out a time when I could get to a liquor store, but no luck. Turns out, he already had a bottle ready to go. Not red, he apologized, knowing that’s what I like from the first time we met, but white goes better with the house specialty of fish. He seemed to have thought of everything. The extent of the truth of that last statement would become clear later on.

We have a lot in common and have no end of things to talk about, even waxing nostalgic about the time we lived in France with a mutual understanding few people share. As he drove me home-or, as he almost got us killed several times driving home-he asked if I’d like go to the opera next Sunday as he had tickets. After the sole meuniere, wine, and good conversation, and because I am a snob and wanted to go to the opera, I agreed. He later e-mailed that the opera had been sold out but he got tix through a concierge service he uses. I don’t know about you, but the only people I know who use concierge services are people like Madonna. My friend insists he got the tix ahead of time just in case the date went well so he’d have somewhere else to invite me. Again, the perennial problem: not attracted to him. He’s younger than me but looks middle-aged before his time because of his weight. Still, I wanted to give him another chance.

Friday night I was absolutely exhausted, but a friend had invited me to his first real dinner party, so I had to go. I suspected that after all of my whining he was actually trying to set me up with someone. It was all single people and the most interesting group I’ve met at a dinner party, ever. All were affiliated with the arts. One guy has an exhibit of his work at the local art museum, one woman teaches studio art, another film, one guy was an exhibition designer, and the hosts were artists. Even if the guys (three of them, and three women, good planning, my friend) weren’t physically appealing, they would still be fascinating. But then in walked G., and you could have knocked me over with a paintbrush. Why couldn’t I have been warned? To say he was hot would be an understatement.

I engaged him in some polite conversation about his background: he’s a fiction writer (!) and teaches Thai (!!) as a full-time faculty member (!!!) at an Ivy League university (!!!!). He’s a white guy with blond hair, and the last thing you expect is for him to be fluent in Thai, and Malay, and a host of other languages. He lived abroad for years, worked as a translator, and, I would guess, slept with most of the exotic beauties he came across. He was too good to be true so I wondered if he was gay, but no gay vibe. Nervous, I tried to impress him with what I knew about Asia, foreign languages, etc. When I told him I went to an Ivy for grad school, I thought I had him. This worked on the last really hot guy I dated, too-something about them wanting smart women who’ll respect them for their brains and not their bodies. He flirted with everyone, and everyone molested him with their eyes in return. During a smoking break outside, he touched my arm, and what did I do? Freaked out, avoided him the rest of the night, Googled him the next day, saved the pic I found on my hard drive and learned that in the future, I should pretend all hot guys I encounter are gay so I can keep my nerves in check.

Saturday was the night of my singles party. By the end of it, we had gone through 30 bottles of wine, and I was shocked the next morning when I spotted an unopened bottle of red, like a lone survivor of a plane crash. My invitation stated that even if you were part of a couple, if you didn’t bring at least two single people, you would be denied entry. I didn’t make everyone abide by that strictly, but several new single people did show up, and it really made the party pop. I made sure people of all orientations had someone they might like to meet, but the number of actual connections made remains to be seen. I’m thinking it’s around two.

My place was packed, people were smoking weed in the bathroom, and several people stayed until 4am playing charades and Pictionary. Had serious eye contact with a friend of a friend visiting from Switzerland-yum! I must have been obvious because he said we should all get together soon because he leaves in three weeks. I thought Europeans just overwhelm you with eye contact as part of their mannerisms, but I think when I returned the stares, he got a different idea-the right idea. He looks about 23.

The two guys E.’s girlfriend said she’d bring were out of town. E. was as hot as I remembered, and she was so tall and gorgeous that she made me uneasy. When they left, I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and he put his hands on my waist in a way that is just not normal when saying goodbye to anyone who is not your girlfriend. I know it is a clich?, but I felt like electricity was moving from his hands into my body. I needed a bit of a rest after that. His girlfriend and I, suspecting we have a lot in common and could be great friends, are having drinks on Wednesday next week. She gave me some background on their relationship, and the tale gets more sordid with each detail. Seems she expends a lot of energy on making sure he behaves. He once begged her to take him back. Why is she telling me this? Because we’re friends or because she thinks I’m a threat?

A. just called-screened it. He liked the Madonna comment I made to him via e-mail earlier. According to his message, he’s off to the gym. Can he lose enough weight for me to actually be attracted to him? Seems really into me, so I must end it after the opera. I don’t like leading people on.

Last but not least was my date (number five!) with D. on Sunday night. The restaurant was perfect for a Sunday-good food, cheesy Hungarian band playing. Now that I think of it, D. was really excited to take me there. Was that his idea of a top-notch restaurant? Oh God, it might have been. I had decided I was not going to take no for an answer when I invited him upstairs. I was prepared for battle, but didn’t have to be. He readily accepted and I thought, “Now’s my chance.” We talked for a good long time and he tried sitting as close to me as possible. But then…bupkes. No one made a move, and he had a sore throat, so I thanked him for coming up. We lingered at the door-the fact that he wasn’t running away was a good sign-but then he drops, “I don’t want to give you my cold.” Translation: I am not going to kiss you. I stammered something about not caring since I had had a lot of colds recently and he gave me a polite kiss on the lips. It was too chaste a kiss for there to be any spark, but still I feel as if I’m making progress with him. Could it be that he just needs to really get to know me before his shyness will disappear? Is he seeing other women? Does he think there’s someone better around the corner and wants to take it slow? I think there might be someone better around the corner, too, but I wouldn’t mind sleeping with him already, geez. This is a lot of work.

Usually I’d be over the moon like some high school girl after her first kiss with a new boy, but at 35, it was too little, too late for me to be all starry-eyed. He keeps proposing that we do things that take a long time-like playing 10 games of Scrabble, offering to help me move two months from now, joining his basketball league so we’ll hang out every Wednesday (again with the ball). I think the best tactic is to get him good and drunk in some dark bar somewhere. Something’s going on though-how can a guy have so little sex drive?

Up Next: A Night at the Opera

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