July 04, 2005

Just So We're Clear. Or Something.

Confession Time.
For those of you I don't speak to on a daily basis, and who are therefore spared my incessant obsessing, there's something that needs to be put out there: I am still
hung up on Bartender.
This is not, however, a one way street. And no, I don't mean that in a "cut out pictures on the wall-waiting in the bushes outside the bar-boiled rabbit-
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" kind of way. We talk every other day. I see him at the bar all the time. OK, I realize that this is not making my case any stronger. Allow me to explain.
Over the last month or so, things have been completely ambiguous.
It all started on his best friend/roommate's birthday last month, when I met him and his friends (Who shall henceforth simply be known as "The Venezuelans") for drinks. The night turned slowly into a festival of Bartender-initiated hand-holding and insinuation that culminated in our standing on the corner of 51st and 9th while his friend/roommate pushed him at me saying "Bartender, stop being an idiot and go home with Dan." We both went home alone.
A couple of days later we went to see a movie together. He chose, I paid. Nothing happened (He picked
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and I spent most of my time in the theater trying to keep my popcorn down). When I got to the bar that night, everyone of his friends and coworkers knew about our afternoon together. One went so far as to ask "Was this a date?" The ensuing silence as we clocked each other was quite possibly the longest known to man. Oceans of time passed. I could actually hear ice cubes in my glass melting. I finally stepped up to the plate and countered "We tried the dating thing. It didn't work out."
Fast forward to last Tuesday. I'm lying on my couch at 8 p.m. enjoying the previous night's Daily Show when Bartender calls to invite me to join him and The Venezuelans for drinks. After tearing through my wardrobe for something new and adorable and a 20 minute emergency phone call to
A* made while pacing the street between my apartment and the bar, I ended up ignoring my better judgment heading out into the night.
Two hours later, the conversation had taken the following detours:

Bartender: How was your cousin's wedding?
Dan: It was fun.
Bartender: It would have been so much fun if I had gone with you.
Dan: Excuse me?
Bartender: I would love to take you to Venezuela some time.
Dan: Ex-CUSE me?
Bartender: Kiss me.
Dan: Um. No.
Bartender: Why not?
Dan: Because you're.... difficult.

So 3 vodka tonics later, I kissed him. A lot. I have my limits people. We're talking 3 months of buildup here. And I hadn't (and still haven't) had sex since April. The Venezuelans, who are by extension at this point my friends, were not only not surprised by this, but became my very own personal cheering section:
"Bartender, just go home with him."
"It's about time."
"This won't be the last time, and you know it."
And again, I went home alone. Because I know (at least in theory) that he doesn't want to date me, or, allegedly, anyone. And I'm not about to push it. Because when you're trying to get a skittish dog to take a treat from your hand, you don't make any sudden moves. They either run, attack, or pee on the carpet.

And as if to prove me right, that Thursday night at the bar, Tuesday had apparently never happened. Fine. Whatever.
Fast forward again to Gay Pride Weekend. We went out clubbing together with my friends and the Venezuelans. We left together and walked across 28th street. He made cracks about how cute I was. We got in separate cabs at 8 a.m. I went uptown, he went to Jersey. By the time I got home, I get the text message :"Sweet Dreams." Fine. Whatever.
Monday I spent all day at Spirit with my friends listening to Junior. At precisely 11:30a.m. I got a text: "Having fun?"
At 11:30 a.m. he knows where I am and is thinking about me. Sigh. I responded it was great, and that he should have come. The response: "Next Time. Definitely." Fine. Whatever.
On my birthday Thursday night, it was a usual Ketel Thursday, except I didn't hang around Bartender so much because I had 30 people to entertain, me being the ice sculpture that the party was happening around and all. As I was leaving, he told me he wanted to take me to dinner next week for my birthday. Great. Fine. Whatever.
Friday. Noon. I had neither contacted him nor asked about dinner. I get a text message; "When you wanna do dinner?" I respond that I haven't set my schedule for next week yet, but I'll get back to you.
Last night I called him and left a message. Nothing much, just "Hey, how are you? Give me a call when you get a chance." 30 seconds later the text conversation starts up:

Bartender: At work :)
Dan: Didn't know if you were working. Hope all is well.
Bartender: When you wanna do dinner? Thursday?
Dan: Don't Know yet.
Bartender: Friday is also an option.
Dan: What if I don't want to go to dinner with you ? :-P
Bartender: BTW I hope you know this is not a romantic dinner. Just a friendly gesture.

As in, PS, I'm going to hound you for dinner, but in case my kissing you and my constant contact were giving you any kind of impression we should clear this up over text messaging?
As in, PS, You haven't made any advances since I kissed you, but I think I ought to clear the air when neither the frequency nor the tenor of our contact has changed?
I am not the one who invited him to the movies. I am not the one who called for drinks. Or extended the invite to his friend's birthday. I didn't even follow up on dinner.
And yes, I still like the idiot. And He knows it. Obviously. But BY THE WAY?
My response?
"I was kidding. And yes, we've established the lack of romance between us. But thanks for that." Oddly, he didn't reply after that.

Sister has advanced the theory that the text wasn't intended for me, but that it was a text he was basically sending to himself. That he needed to remind himself that he isn't romantically interested in me, and keeps forgetting that. That while I have the constant reminder of waking up alone, he needs to reinforce with himself the fact that, despite the my being at his beckon call (Beck and call? Grammar Nazis?) and his constant seeking of my attention, he still wants nothing of it.
I should never have kissed him (Let him kiss me. Whatever.). I should not return his text messages. I should not go to dinner. The problem is, I did. And I will. And I will.


Blogger deanne said...

"beck and call" - a grammar nazi has spoken :)


Sounds like a penis wrinkle to me -- all this mucking about and crap. He's just being a wanker! Move on up Dan!

6:01 AM  
Blogger A* said...

Oh darling. I will be home later on today. We shall talk. We shall plot. And WE are goig to dinner this week. :)
love ya, mean it.

9:03 AM  
Blogger hofzinser said...


1:11 PM  
Anonymous Bathroom Reading said...

"Sounds like a penis wrinkle?" What an excellent phrase, Deanne, and one which I'm going to remember.

It is indeed, "beck and call."

And I'm with Hof. Don't walk, run...run to the nearest exit. After you humiliate him in some way. It's a moral imperative.

And there's all this North Carolinan beer just waiting to be drunk. Last time I mention it.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

OK, BR, let's aim for early next week (I have appointments all this week...) How does tuesday of next week hit you? A*? OK with you?

2:00 PM  
Blogger Serra said...

Something tells me you'd have more fun having your birthday dinner with A*, Hof, BR, and that six-pack of beer you and BR are hoarding.

Deanne said it best--he's a penis wrinkle. I'm adding, "But you deserve SO much better!"

11:42 PM  

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