Monday, October 24, 2005

"A Drink or Two" My Ass, or Thursday Night Drinking Adventures

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am not generally one of exceptional self-confidence. I am much more of a reserved, shy personality; I prefer to blend in rather than stand out; I am not the type to toot my own horn, for whatever reason. (At least, I hope this becomes clear through my blog.)

Therefore, I can only suggest that perhaps a full moon was out on a recent Thursday night, when I went out with my friends Moe and Anthony and proceeded to step completely outside my shell and finally actually take some initiative to meet people. (The crash-and-burn part comes just a little later in this post.)

We went to see a movie at Reel Affirmations, the gay and lesbian independent film festival. I generally do not really enjoy going to these, because gay-themed movies generally raise my hackles for one reason or another (I am difficult to please that way), and besides, I get uncomfortable among huge throngs of gay men, none of whom are particularly looking twice at me. But attend I did, because my friends were in fact in the movie, so there was no way I was going to pass it up. (The film was made and set in D.C., so many local actors and scenes were used. My friends had speaking roles, but small ones. I am actually unclear on how they even got their parts; my guess is they’re just more "connected" than I am, though that's not a high hurdle to clear.)

Besides, knowing some of the stars of the movie gets you into some cool after-parties where you get to hang with the cool kids.

It started with the reception tent behind the theater. The only reason I knew where this tent is located at all was because the Will Call table is located in there. Well, that and the fact that some friends and I volunteered back there a year ago. Free-flowing alcohol works wonders as a social lubricant when your goal is to fawn over people who just appeared in an independent film.

As Moe and Anthony socialized with their friends from the set – occasionally remembering my presence and introducing me around – while I more or less nursed an extremely strong Absolut Mandarin and tonic and looked around to check out the men.

Despite repeatedly having announced that they only intended to stay for "a drink or two" in the tent and split, we were in the tent for the better part of an hour and a half. Not that I was complaining, because I clearly could have left whenever I wanted to, but I realized I was actually having some fun, so why not keep it up for a while? It's not often that I actually enjoy this kind of stuff.

After approximately 75 minutes (and three inappropriately strong vodka drinks), my friends and I were talking when I motioned over to a car prominently featured in the corner of a tent while asking my friends whether that was being raffled off, or was there just for show. (Apparently one of the sponsors of the festival or the movie was a car dealership, so they were just displaying their wares.) Of course, when I waved my hand in that general direction, a not-unattractive guy thought I was pointing at him. Oops. To keep both of us from being embarrassed, I went over to him anyway and introduced myself, explaining that I had gestured to the car, but hi anyway. And – this is when having friends in the cast of the movie helps – I spurred conversation along by introducing my friends as having been in the movie we just saw. (It's impressive how conversation can just roll along based purely upon the phrase "Do you recognize him? He was in the movie!" I seriously think that after a while, I could have started to tell people that I was in the movie and they would have believed me even if they couldn't remember my "part.")

So we chatted for a bit before my friends decided that, despite their "a-drink-or-two" pledge, they in fact did want to go to a cast and crew afterparty at a nearby club. We bid farewell to the guy I inadvertently pointed at, but did tell him where we were headed. You know, in case he wanted to come meet up with us.

This was Strike One. Or perhaps it was a balk. In any event, it wasn't a home run.

At the club, we proceeded to down still more beverages, for it was two-for-one cocktail night in celebration of the movie's world premiere. Yeah. Have I mentioned yet that this was a Thursday night? Oy. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, they aren’t kidding when they refer to alcohol as a "social lubricant."

Anthony introduced us to Shawn, some guy he met at the set who had the distinct title of being "The Guy Who Taught Me [Anthony] How to Properly Tuck." As in, tuck his penis between his legs when filming scene that somehow required it. Shawn, apparently, is either a drag queen or drag queen consultant (who knew those existed?), and so was quite expert in that field. Anyway, my point in introducing him at this point of the story is to mention that he was wearing, basically, a stylish zip-up jacket with no shirt underneath. A decent look, I'm sure, inspired by trendy mannequins in uber-gay trendy stores. Eventually, just for fun, I yanked the zipper down. Funny, he didn't look like he'd have a fuzzy chest. (Shawn will return to this story later.)

This was not Strike Two, because, unlike car-guy, I wasn't particularly flirting with Shawn.

No, Strike Two came in the form of Alberto, a lawyer from South America studying for his graduate law degree here in DC. Again contrary to my normal reserved nature, I struck up a conversation with him, commenting on the sweater he had tied around his neck. (I was this close to telling him how 80s preppy he looked like that, which would have been intended as a mild insult ribbing, but I decided against it after I found out he wasn't from the States, just to cut him a little slack.) We chatted and Moe and I even threatened to go visit him next time he went back home to visit his family (so we could have a free place to stay as well as a tour guide). I passed him my business card and told him to get in touch so that I would know how to get in touch with him. We discussed whether he looked better with or without his glasses (either way, I told him he looked adorable – he blushed) and I was this close to actually executing a successful flirt.

And then Shawn came up to us.

Yes, Shawn the Drag Queen sashayed up to us and I, of course, had to introduce him since I actually knew him. Sure enough, Shawn had visited Alberto's home country before and in fact spoke fluent Spanish. Well, there's no competing with that. When you can discuss hometown politics in your native language with a tall thin guy, you've effectively shut out the functionally Spanish-illiterate other (read, "not tall, not thin") guy. So I politely excused myself from the conversation.

That was Strike Two. And, despite the fact that I would never have agreed to go home with Alberto even if he had asked me, I'm going to go ahead and consider it a cockblock as well.

The night that started off as "a drink or two in the tent" (the movie ended at 9:30) had by this point quickly extended to past midnight. I was finally ready to go home (I had things to do the next morning!) but my friends were busy, uh, meeting other people. Anthony, in particular, had successfully started chatting up a cute little boy (and I do mean boy) who was serving drinks. I suppose it helps that he (Server Boy) was wearing a tie but no shirt. Server Boy (whose name I forget) seemed quite into Anthony and was floored when he found out that Anthony is 37. I later came to find out that Server Boy is 20. (At one point he literally screeched, "You're thirty-SEVEN? Wow! And you're so adorable!")

Meanwhile, because I was starting to get bored, I turned to a cute guy sitting next to me at the bar and randomly start talking to him. I think I literally gasped when the conversation turned to what he did, and I came to find out he was a college senior. And I don't think I did a very good job of hiding the fact that I was just a little horrified by the thought that I was pretty much hitting on a 21-year-old. (At one point I literally asked him, "Well, please at least tell me you’re 22 and not 21" – as if that would have made a difference – but no, he was, in fact, 21.) Yeah, I guess my reaction to this kid's 21 is pretty much the converse of Server Boy's reaction to Anthony's 37.

Oh, it turns out that Adam was Server Boy's ride. They both are at the same school.

I did end up giving Adam (that's the 21-year-old college senior) my card too, but whether he may have ever been into me or not, I think my sheer horror at hitting on someone so young probably turned him off. (My friend Moe at one point leaned into me and mentioned how cute the boy I was talked to was. When I told him he was 21, Moe's response was, "So? If he shows any interest at all, you must fuck him. He's a cutie. If he does this" -- Moe demonstrated some leg position that somehow, I presume, suggests some form of lordosis -- "you fuck him." Yeah, gotta love my friends like that.) I have no real expectations that he'll call. Besides, how weird would it be for a 21-year-old college senior to pick up the phone and dial a number off of card that reads "attorney at law"? Even I think it would be weird.

The bar pretty much started to shut down so we all headed out. Adam and Server Boy headed to their car, Server Boy still madly drooling over Anthony. Anthony and Moe caught a ride home from them while I walked home. Shawn and Alberto – whom I had thought left well earlier – were outside, and I told Alberto again to email me while trying not to sneer at Shawn. As I said my goodbyes to Moe, I thought I saw Adam continuing to look at me, but again, I'm not sure. And I'm still a little flabbergasted, perturbed, and freaked out at the same time.

That, my friends, was Strike Three. Or perhaps another balk.

As a final punctuation mark (again, let's go with the interrobang) for the night, during my walk home, who should I run into, walking happily hand in hand along the little gay strip on 17th Street? None other than Shawn and Alberto again. Dissed, cockblocked, and salt-wounded on that one. Sigh.

I'm hanging out with Moe again on Tuesday. Part of me vows to recreate this night, only with cuter boys, and possibly some actual dating interest.


mysterygirl! said...

Weeknight drinking/flirting is somehow far more satisfying than weekend antics of the same variety. I say live it up!

And there is a position called "drag queen consultant"? How awesome! I'd like to submit an application to whoever's hiring...

will said...

I'm 39. My partner's 28. You learn to get over the age thing after a while. If you got Adam's number, call him.

kat said...

mmm... inappropriately strong vodka drinks (insert corresponding homer gurgling here)

Matthew said...

"I generally do not really enjoy going to these, because gay-themed movies generally raise my hackles for one reason or another (I am difficult to please that way)..."

Wow, this sounds just like me. My typical dislike for "gay movies" is that they all follow the same pattern:

1) fairly large group of gay friends

2) this group will typically include an 'older' gay friend that is either single and kinda' down, or with a 'younger' guy that he's having a hard time keeping, and is therefore down

3) it will be all laughs and smiles for this group.... for a little while

4) one (or more) of the group will contract HIV

5) cue the end of laughs and smiles

6) the friend (or friends) who contracted HIV will develop AIDS extremely quickly

7) the group of friends will gather closer to one another, despite all the issues in their lives, as they visit and care for their friend(s) dying of AIDS

8) the friend(s) will die of AIDS, and everyone will be sad for a bit

9) Pretty quickly, however, everyone will cheer up, feel re-affirmed in their lives, and pick-up and move on

10) These movies will almost always be set in New York City, a Florida beach community, or a California beach community. In movieland, gay people do not, apparently, live in the interior United States

Man, is that cynical (but too often true).

Matthew said...

One more thing: I'm not trying to put-down the issues of HIV, AIDS, or gay men being friends (this should go without saying). It's just that so many gay films I've seen deal with this plotline, that's it's turned me off watching them due to the familiarity.

I forgot the other overdone genre of gay films: The 'coming out' movie. Need we enter a description for that? I think it's pretty well known by now.

Steve said...

Look at you gettin' all flirty and stuff. I get the impression you had a good time, though. And yeah, cuter boys is always better.

Kiddo78 said...

Yep, I'm pretty shy around big groups of strangers (esp. gay guys) too. Who cares about the age thing...I was with a 32-yr-old when I was 21. We stayed together more than 2 years.

Chef Dean said...

21 years old? where is this boy? I must meet him. I'm 35.. I have no qualms about a 21 or 22, 23, 24 year old.. no problems with that at all. I say start 'em young and train 'em up in the way you want them to be.