Second Last Column: Dream Dates

Sometimes you go on a date, and it is so awkward and so uncomfortable, that you search for the fastest way out, knowing you will never see that person again in your life. You spend the entire time asking yourself how you could leave, and what excuse you could possibly come up with. Other times, the date goes so well (like my last date with Devan) that when you lay down in your bed at night afterward, you feel so great after connecting with someone that you can hardly believe it. In my time, I have had both of these feelings happen numerous times, but luckily the latter described my most recent “date” experience.

The story, though recent, goes back to last fall. I was shopping downtown at The Bay, when I looked outside to see a very well-dressed and handsome individual locking up his bicycle. For some reason, he just struck me, and I felt it necessary to write my name and number on a piece of notepaper, and wrap it around his bike lock. I had completely forgotten about it until the next day when I received a text: “Might you have left me a note? JJ?” He introduced himself as Tyler, and we texted back and forth, mildly flirting with one another, until he asked me what I looked like. I described myself as being 6’1 with facial hair and green eyes, and received the reply “Oops, I guess I thought you were female! Sorry!” We continued to write anyway, deciding the situation was too hilarious to not at least meet up to hang out once.

We intermittently texted each other back and forth through the fall, inviting one another to respective holiday and birthday parties, but never meeting. Last month, after my vacation heartbreak hangover, I wasn’t so into the idea of dating. I ended up with two tickets to review a concert by the band Editors at the Commodore Ballroom a few weeks after I returned home from vacation, and since it was so last-minute, I posted on my Facebook asking who wanted to join me. Tyler was the first person to accept the offer, and we agreed to meet outside the venue shortly before the show.

By now, all of my friends had known about “the bike guy” and referred to my evening as my “straight date.” I was okay with these terms, and surprisingly did not feel awkward at all going into the evening. We ended up downing a few drinks, and since the show was pretty boring, ended up talking through it, telling each other about our lives, peppered with hilarious anecdotes. Conversation flowed easily: almost too easily. At one point he opened his shirt to show me a surgery scar, and I found it endearing that someone could feel that comfortable with me so quickly.

I half expected him to bail after the show, but he was in it for the long haul and ventured to East Van with me for my friend Sean’s birthday, which was more or less a reason to throw a messy house party. By the time we arrived, most of my friends, who are already quite social to begin with, were drunk and thus even more chatty. My friend Deanna was her regular social self, showcasing her waitress personality – “You’re the bike guy? We keep hearing about you! It’s nice to finally meet you. Can you please come hang out more often?” His response was warm and agreeing. Watching this happen, having these two pieces of my world come together was so great.

Tyler stayed at the party long enough to meet all my friends, have a good time and then head home at a ridiculously late hour. I passed out on Sean’s couch, smiling to myself about the bizarre yet wonderful evening I’d just had. How was it possible that this date had gone so much better than countless others I’d been on, but with someone who happened to be straight?

// JJ Brewis

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