Strike One

First things first.

ATTN: Gentlemen Callers

If you are meeting a gorgeous redhead on a street corner for a first date, before you approach him I want you stop and take note of these details:

-Where he lies in wait.

oNotice how, instead of getting lost in the crowd hustling down the busy sidewalk, he has placed himself picturesquely on a quiet bench back-dropped by a community flower garden. Drawing closer you realize this boy is no Monet, he’s a DaVinci.

-What he is wearing.

oIf you pay close attention, you will note how the grey American Apparel V-neck falls from his shoulders just low enough to show you enough skin to suggest there is a good chance you might be in store for more. Giving you even more hope, the seductive straps from his black CK undershirt (modern lingerie of the gay man) inch out to hint that, even though he said he would not put out on the first date, it is not too late for you to change his mind.

-Finally, and most importantly, what he is reading.

oHis attention drawn fervently into the paper-back pages strategically spread open before him, notice how he is not looking for you because it is your job to look for him. Walking up to make your sweaty-palmed approach, if you have intuited the situation correctly, you will be relieved to know that he has already offered you the very first words to come out of your mouth: what are you reading? So long as you get that part right, he will take it from there.

Even though I said I wouldn't put out on the first date, if the wine is right there is still a good chance I will. Alright, so as it happened the first date with Nate turned out to be the last. I will not give you the exact details of what went down (or didn’t), because this blog is public domain, and there are some journal pages which are better kept private. But needless to say, after we called it a night at 10:15, something told me there wasn’t going to be a round two. In total our relationship lasted five days, 200 text messages, 2 pints of Stella and 1 order of Mozza sticks. A generous start if you ask me.

Returning home by 10:45, an hour and fifteen minutes safe before turning into a pumpkin, I settled in my with my LTR (Long Term Relationship for those not saavy to the abbreviated world of Internet Matchmaking), a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. Holding him in my hand, I brought my lips to his sweet sweet taste and turned the spotlight on two questions dancing around my mind: (1) can I date outside of my class? and (2) is it a possible for a gay man to let their guards down?

      (1) The Prince and the Pauper

From my brief time living in Vancouver, I have discovered that, for the most part, people here wear their bank accounts dangling around their necks, attached to their key chains and strapped over their shoulders. Wealth is material in this city and you are not rich until you look it. I am surprised that none of these bankers have managed to buy a mountain yet. “What’s that one mom?” “Well son, that’s mount Pricewaterhouse Cooper.”

Anyways, Nate was a prince and wasn’t afraid to show it. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who have money, primarily for the reason they are the ones that sustain my drinking habit five nights a week at the restaurant, and also because I know a ton of great folks who are well off and you'd never know it. And this is not to say that Nate wasn't a great guy, he was. But what I do have a problem with, is when someone’s outward good fortune makes me feel, uncontrollably, like I have none.

Hearing about his half-million dollar condo downtown, I suddenly felt ashamed (against my own will) at the thought of showing him my modest studio. Looking at the labels gracing each piece of his clothing, my ensemble started to feel less like it was ripped out of a magazine and more like it was mail ordered from a catalogue.Half-way through our date I realized that in Nate’s presence, I would never be able to overcome the feeling that I was nothing more than a really good looking pauper.Like Dan Humphrey, even though I might go head to head with Serena and Blair from time to time, I will not escape the fact that I am, and always will be, from Brooklyn.

(2) Loud and Proud?

It is natural that gay men fear rejection. Coming-out in some parts of the world means death, but closer to home it can also mean running the risk of losing one’s parents, one’s Church, and one’s friends. (WOW – Did I just get devastating there or what?) To combat the weight of that last sentence I will insert an emergency quote from Diana Ross, “I’m coming out! I want the world to know, got to let it show.” *wipes forehead, pats back and whispers to himself ‘good save.’*

Anyways, where was I, from my personal experience I have noticed that gay men who are the loudest and proudest fear being rejected the most (myself included). You will know them as soon as you meet them at a party, or in a bar, because as soon as you offer your hand to them to say hello, they will dangle their wrist in the air and unconsciously say in return, “I’m gay and fuck you if you don’t like it.”

These men don’t even give you a chance to reject them, because they have rejected you first.

There shells are so strong (and undoubtedly with good reason) that you don’t ever stand a chance at cracking them.

Like I mentioned before, I know these men very well because I was one of them (and who am I kidding still am). I would walk into Billabong in Winnipeg wearing that gay-faux muskrat sweater (featured in my lost audition tape for “Release Me,”) effectively turning away people before they had the chance to do the same. All I ask of these men, or anyone who has their guards up, if you are on a first date please let them down for just a moment – because otherwise a person might not want to make the effort to come back for a second.

Alright, 1000 words later I’m pretty sure it is time for this Fox to return back to his hole. (That line was not open for interpretation.) Looks like Hunting Season is not over yet – for it has just begun.