As I recall these events, it appears that my office downtown was a two-stop shop: A place for earning a paycheck and a place for meeting men.
I met this guy in the tunnel system downtown while at lunch. I was in a bookstore reading through a magazine when I felt him staring. I glanced up, and he smiled as if he were busted. I walked over to him and asked him how his day was going, and that resulted in an exchange of contact information. We met for lunch often, but I didn’t really consider that a “date.” It was more of a way to make lunch more fun and get to know him better.
He was an average guy, nice looking, a little older than me, and seemingly stable. He had been married before, but had no children. He was kind of reserved, at least more so than the typical guy I dated. Mom always warned me about those quiet ones. I noticed that he never attempted to touch me in anyway. He never tried to touch my hand, no hugging, no kissing…nothing. I began to think that maybe I had misinterrpreted kindness for interest, and that maybe he was going to be filed in the “friendship bin.” But, one day at lunch, he asked me out for dinner and drinks. He told me I was beautiful and that he thought I was beautiful both inside and out – a “rare find,” etc. Wow. He was a smooth talker…but it was flattering.
We went in reverse order. We started out at an English Pub close to my apartment. Then, we transitioned to a restaurant/blues bar. It sat almost across the street from my apartment and I had never been inside. I am not a big blues fan, but am glad I went. I was having a nice time. We ordered dinner and chatting as we waited on food to arrive.
It was in the back of my mind how very reserved he was and how it was kind of refreshing not to be groped or pawed. Still, I couldn’t figure out exactly how he saw me. Maybe he preferred men and I was seriously misreading into this date. Maybe he just wanted a friend. Maybe he was just quiet and shy. He wasn’t overly personable, but I was more interested in trying to figure him out. I think I had lost the physical attraction because of how quiet and reserved he was. It was nice to meet a gentleman, but it was overly so- and I was confused.
Everything was going good. There was no sparks, but it was pleasant. Kind of like going to dinner with your English teacher. Finally, he lowered his voice and leaned over to say, “I have something I have to tell you.” Finally! I was going to find out what was going on!
“I bet you’re wondering why I haven’t tried to make a move on you.” LOL Yes. Really, he said, “make a move on you.” I told you, kind of like an English teacher. “Well, I have Herpes. I get outbreaks of genital warts, and I have to be very careful.”
I’ll give you a minute to read that one again.
So, how would you respond? I was really glad there were no sparks and that the initial “hey he’s cute” faded to, “is he gay?” More than that, I was really glad that he didn’t try to “make a move on me.” Wow. He continued, “I know you have children, and didn’t want to put you in that situation or cause harm to you or them.” Great, now he’s playing the guilt card. Where was this going to go? Did he expect me to say, “Well, hey, that’s okay. I don’t mind painful genital warts that will never go away for as long as I live and that spread like wildfire.” I was at a loss for words.
He excused himself to go to the restroom, and I beaconed the waiter. I paid the tab, I figured at that point, the guy earned it, sort of. He could have made my life a lot different, but didn’t; for that he is to be commended. But on the other hand, why would he have not said something weeks ago? Why would you dump that on me at dinner?
He returned to the table and asked, “Are we going to do this or what?” “Do what?” I asked while I hoped he was referring to dessert. “Are you coming back to my place, or am I going to yours?” Time to be direct. “I am glad you were honest with me, but no, we aren’t going to do anything more than we’ve ever done. I don’t date guys with Herpes because there’s really no where for it go. I paid for dinner, but I am uncomfortable and really don’t care to stay.” He didn’t object, and I am glad. I am sure we were both embarassed. He offered to take me home, but thankfully, I lived right behind the place, so I elected to walk.
I never saw him again after that, and nor did I hear from him. Like I said, I was glad he was honest and that he took the welfare of my kids into consideration. But, “Are we going to do this?” Obviously, he was banking on his honesty to win my heart (or pants). Sorry, not even if I were single with no children. No one is ever worth my health or the health of my children.