Night out #1
He walks up to the bar. There are several empty stools; it's still early in the evening for some. From the empty stools, he chooses one in the centre,. It's part of his strategy. As others arrive, someone would have to sit on either side.
At the other end of the bar he notices what can only be a gathering of some regulars. Every bar has them. A few times he notices one of them look in his direction but quickly look away when they realize he notices their glance. The man can hear some of the conversation but not all; he smiles and shakes his head in agreement but there’s no invite to join them.
As the night progresses, others come into the bar. Many are regulars who join the others down at the other end of the bar or some will sit in groups at the tables behind the man. The stools beside him remain empty. He thinks that soon there will be nowhere else for people to sit, eventually someone will have to sit in them.
And eventually one man does come to sit on the stool to man’s left, but he sits with his back to the man. He pulls out his phone and checks for messages every couple of minutes so the man thinks he must be waiting for someone and maybe he chose the seat so his friend would find him as soon as he arrived.
As the man is looking around the room, there is a young man ordering a drink, looking in the man’s direction and he smiles. He’s actually looking at the man and the guy sitting next to him. The young man talks over the noise in the room. He tells the man he likes his look, the hat, the facial hair and says, “you look like a writer”. Then he asks the man if he and the guy to his left are a couple, that they look good together. The guy on his left finally speaks and says, “no……..no!' So the man speaks up and agrees that they were not a couple as the guy on the left gets up and leaves. The young guy gives the man a “thumbs up” and goes off to rejoin his friends in the other room.
After a couple of hours and a couple of beers the man decides to leave the bar and head back to his hotel room………..alone.
Night out #2
The man decides to try a bar he’s never been to before. He'’s heard good things about it for holding a POZ dance party once a month. (I’m not sure I should use actual names here) and as it happened the dance was happening that night. The place is packed and the best part, he knew he isn’t the only poz guy in the place, so if he met someone, that barrier would be less of a factor. He goes up to the bar and buys a beer and proceeds to watch the drag show and looks around the room from time to time trying to make eye contact with “someone”.
Well, quickly the night becomes much like Night out #1. People glance over but as soon as the man makes eye contact, they look away. The man gets the feeling he’s in the way of everyone else, they are bumping into him and pushing past him to get to other groups of people, almost stepping on his foot at one point. Slowly he finds a safe place to stand against a wall, totally out of everyone’s way. Minutes later there is a huge empty space around him, and no one is looking his way.
What’s a guy got to do to get a date in this town!?
Now some of you may wonder, since I noticed all of this happening, why didn’t I go and talk to the guy? Others have probably guessed that the “man” is me - and they would be right.
To be honest, I have been out of the gay community and the dating scene for several years. Sometimes I feel I may not know what to do anymore (it truly isn’t like riding a bike.) I tried to look approachable, but maybe that’s part of what I’m doing wrong, waiting for people to approach me and not making an effort to approach them.
I have been told that I’m not aggressive enough. But does it always have to be an exercise in aggressiveness with everyone?
My game plan has always been to not go out with any expectations, maybe I need to expect something, and expect it to come from me.
Looking at it all now, I see ageism working against me. I am beginning to look my age. When I look in the mirror, I see it and others must be seeing it too. But do they see me as an older person or an old man? There is a difference, "older" is good, “old = dead”.
I remember when I was much younger and I would see an older person, I would think some of the same things people must be thinking when they look at me. I won’t go into descriptive detail but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. But I did give older people a chance and more often I was pleasantly surprised, I learned not to assume anything.
So, I don’t know, things will happen when they happen, I’ll leave all options open.
I was at a Christmas dinner the other night, I won a door prize - a lunch for two at an eatery downtown. The gift certificate is good until November 30th 2014 so I have lots of time to find a date I guess.
So what’s my overall observation? I’m single because I’ve chosen to be. I don’t do anything to help myself. I rely on people who are probably just as afraid as I am to make the first move I’m a work in progress, but stalled in traffic. Hopefully it's temporary.