Love, Awkwardly
Episode Two: "Little" Details on a Big Man.

Please note: These names have been changed for obvious reasons.
Within a month of my breakup, my life had been turned on its head. I had moved out of my old apartment and back in with my family. My ex started a new relationship within weeks, and friends were telling me to jump back in head first to the dating pool. My friend Christian told me he knew just the person I should meet. This is the problem gays have: people think the only requirements someone needs to set you up with are the same genitalia and sexual orientation as you. Christian gave me the number for his friend Michael Little, a local budding actor. We briefly phone chatted and decided to just meet up for dinner.
I was very nervous for this first date. Keep in mind I had been with the same person for the last five years. After work, Michael pulled up into the parking lot, and I hopped in. Immediately, I could tell things were going to be a bit interesting. He blasted The Killers as we drove to a restaurant. It was only after he parked and we exited the vehicle that I realized there was a (mind the pun) small problem. As a six foot one male, I’m used to most people I meet being shorter than me. But the fact that someone almost a complete foot shorter than me exited the car made for a definite awkward realization. I couldn't help but think of his last name and wondered how many times the poor guy had been teased for that in his younger years. He walked toward the restaurant with his burly muscular arms leading the way, as if on the way to pump some mad iron before running 20 laps. I looked down at my slight gut and knew that our common threads were probably as few as the number of times I've been to the gym.
Turns out the restaurant wasn't good enough for him, and we moved on to no less than five other places before settling on a nice Italian place in the West End. Nothing on the menu was under thirty dollars, but I sort of bit the bullet in hopes of a nice evening. The waiter lit a candle, and the spring Vancouver sky was closing to darkness. It had all the elements of a very nice date. He handed me a wine list and said, "Do you prefer white or red?" I told him I preferred white, and he scoffed, replying, "Fag." Seriously. I felt so uncomfortable, and simply tried to railroad the conversation. Let me tell you about the stupidest question I have ever asked someone: "So tell me about your acting career." The next hour and fifteen minutes were filled with inane babbling about made for television movies, C-list name drops, and film jargon that went right over my head. Half the time I dozed off, eating my thirty-five dollar pasta and homosexual Pinot Grigio, staring off into the sky, wondering what the hell I would do with myself when this date was done.
Our bill came, and although we split it, he complained about the price all the way back to the car, as I tried to be pleasant about the whole thing. I hoped the evening would pick up, and to be honest, all I wanted was a little bit of in car action. Instead I was treated to a six-pack of Dude Beer, and an evening of watching him and his friends playing drinking games and smoking up. One of these friends was our mutual pal Christian. "How was the date?" he asked me, as the rest of the guys laughed about a joke centered around someone's overweight ex girlfriend. The look on my face really must have said it all, as he said, "I'm so sorry." I laughed, and cracked a beer, knowing next week I'd be the overweight ex-girlfriend they'd all be drunkenly guffawing over. And you know, maybe I was okay with that.

JJ Brewis

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