Rugged Fox and the Online Search for a Husband
Part Six of "The Grindr Monologues" - Rated NUCF
And just like that, with a perfect stranger I let it all hang out…
You see, when I moved to Vancouver from Winnipeg seven years ago, I had much higher hopes for my love life. At 23 years old, with $2,000 in my savings account and a hairline that was yet to recede, my life was like a box of bottomless red wine. After being devastated by my first lover Frederick Davenport on the prairies, I was ready to welcome a new cast of men into my life. Not in the late-night “line up and take a number” sense, but more the “can you help me put sunscreen on my back?” day at the beach sense.
That first week I settled into my studio apartment on the corner of Spruce and 12th, it did not bother me that I had no friends apart from the season four cast of Grey’s Anatomy. My life was filled with unbridled optimism and guided by a much greater purpose to find a husband and settle down immediately. As far as I was concerned, I had spent years preparing myself for this moment. This was the dream that made high school survivable and the only thing that could stop me was a poor internet connection.
Now before we carry on, I must illustrate to you how my brain envisioned possible romantic futures at the time. From everything I had read, studied, watched, listened to, seen and touched up until that point; I reckoned there were a handful of journeys that a young gay man, such as myself, could choose from. Allow me to provide you with a list of these possible adventures and subsequent relationship statuses.
ADVENTURE # 1
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Chronic Dater
Young Gay Man escapes shackles of homophobic small town life and finds salvation at the end of the rainbow AKA big city. From there he (a) finds love and an over-priced apartment in the West End (b) exchanges his soul for a six-pack, cheap trick and condo in the sky or (c) returns home broke to his family and that boy he made out with once behind a barn.
ADVENTURE # 2
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: There is Something You Should Know
Young Gay Man contracts HIV (too many circumstances to list here). If infection occurred prior to/or during the 1985 premiere of The Normal Heart Off-Broadway (and also the month I was born), outlook not so good. If diagnosis made post Madonna’s 1990 “Blonde Ambition Tour,” combination happy hour drink special and drug cocktail therapy. In my sexually active day and age, refer to last listed treatment and/or PrEP.
ADVENTURE # 3
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Happily Married
Young Gay Man settles into comfort of walk-in closet, marries a woman and has three children. Future highway exits lead to I96: a long and faithful life of desperate solitude dressed in beige Docker’s and sandals with white socks or I95: responding to multiple ads on Craigslist during Tuesday lunch break.
ADVENTURE # 4
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Another One Bites the Dust
Run amok by depression and anxiety, Young Gay Man drowns in past, suffocates in the present and dies by suicide before he makes it to the future.
ADVENTURE # 5
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Single, Grateful and Fat
Young man surrenders divine will to Meryl Streep and leads joyous life sitting on couch eating mozzarella sticks and watching back episodes of Sex and the City and/or sports.
Okay, the truth is I completely forgot where I was going with this.
“You were trying to tell me the reason you didn’t hook on up Grindr was because you had unprotected sex with a guy who was HIV positive and hadn’t been tested yet,” said Irene, the lady with the little bottle of red wine.
Gosh you are so right. I have completely lost track! Must find a way to bring us back somehow. Let me think…
Well before I jump right into the night I blacked out and woke up with a man on top of me, I must tell you the series of wrong turns I made to get there. As it turned out, my search for a husband led 99.9% of the time to terrible drunken sex, which then increased my likelihood to wake up the next morning at an STI Clinic by 200%.
My preliminary search online for a mate (Rugged Fox at ages 22 to 25) yielded little to no results. On Manhunt, I was shot in the face. On Plenty of Fish, I was thrown back to the sea not once but six times. And on eHarmony, I was busted after my cover as a five-foot-two blonde Christian divorcee was foiled. I knew it was time to log off when Match.com sent me an email one morning that read, “Zero people are interested in you.”
In person, however, I faired somewhat better. Or so I thought. The first man that kicked my love life back into gear was the Poet. When I met him, the six-foot-three wordsmith was a part-time graphic designer and full-time barista at a trendy coffee shop that charged $9 for a macchiato. Dressed like the fashion child of the years 1955 and 1978, he was what I refer to now as “The Original Hipster.” Years after the two of us became one, I saw his entire two-dollar wardrobe on showcase at Urban Outfitters for ten times that amount. He was also hung like a baseball bat.
To be continued.