About two weeks ago, I was left to my own devices. End of May and everyone was out of town. Well, by everyone, I mean my usual gal crew (one was in town but had prior engagement and other was out of town) was unavailable.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day AND I just got my hair done. Don’t know about you but the hair is did, it must be paraded out into the world to be admired. My hair girl deserves that recognition!
So, I opted for a day out on my own in my hood. Read a book. Went to a new restaurant and ate alone (rarity!). Then decided to go grab a drink…a cocktail, if you will, at the only bar in the UWS that mixes a decent drink. Oh, and on the way, I saw Tina Fey. What?! you say? Well, it was random sighting and maybe she lives around here. Basically I saw a stroller with a 10 year old large child in it and in my head, I was wondering what sort of spoiled people they were. Sure enough a more age stroller appropriate child was also in tow – the sisters simply switched spots. Anyways…the kids were Tina’s and I passed by her. For a brief moment, I passed by a genius. Swoon!
Anyways, I made it to said bar. First off, noticed there were cute bartenders – we shall call him Blondie (for obvious reasons) and the other we shall name Eurotrash (also for obvious reasons). As sunny and bright as Blondie was, Eurotrash looked like he was on a bender and going for another one soon enough. Both had their own appeal. And both were fantastic bartenders. First drink was by Blondie who was super affable and quite a cheery fellow. Never seen a bartender THIS sunny EVER. Just peppy. It was odd but welcome. Mixed a great drink and he was super good with water service. These things matter. He was superb.
During the first drink, I just people watched and read my book. I’d read then glance up and then read then glance up. Good times. I was debating a second drink when Euro appeared before me and suggested some follow ups. Who am I to say no? Second drink – done! In the meantime, I also notice there is a cute waiter. Maybe it’s obvious but why the hell are there so many attractive people in this bar right now? UGH!
More of the same and at least an hour passes. Third drink – Blondie is up and convinces me that I need another. Also, we start to bond over the fact that we both loved Mad Max. I think “bro out” might be an appropriate term here. Anyways, I haven’t lost my touch cuz drink 3 is officially comped. Cha-ching. And now the floodgates have opened and me and Blondie are on our way to being BFF. Oh let me also mention that he has a girlfriend – they saw Mad Max together.
Was I bummed? Honestly, not so much. Most attractive men at this point in my life are taken. So I just roll with it. And to some extent, it takes any bizarro pressure off cuz now I can just solidify our bartender/customer relationship as now he will be my new BFF who serves me drinks in my hood. Boom! Goal is now in my sights for tonight.
More random maneuverings tonight. One shift is over and there are transitions happening. Euro is on his way out and Blondie is closing out the bar tonight. I’m sitting happily and chumming it up. All smiles. All cheer. Euro sits next to me for a bit and we chat it up a little but he has a lady friend at the bar. Also vaguely eastern European sad and clearly, they are made for one another. Alas, as I said…not a surprise.
But beyond Euro, Waiter sits down. Guess his shift is done too and he’s eating. Euro leaves for the night and I spy Waiter. I ask him if his shift is indeed over. He says yes. Then proceeds to order two shots. I’m a little fuzzy but lucid at this point and wonder, hmmm…is one for me? Or did the guy have a bad night. My game is revving up people cuz the extra shot is indeed for me! Hurrah and high fives to me all around. And all it took was asking if the guy was off? Seriously? WTF?! But complain I shall not.
And now Waiter is suddenly next to me. At this point, I’m 2.5 drinks deep and realizing that a shot is a bad idea. But I’m not always sensible and I hate turning down a free drink so down that brown liquor went. And hellooooo! We chat it up for a little bit. He’s sweet. Young (gah). An actor (kill me). Make that a student actor (seriously…stab me). And he doesn’t own a wallet (best not to ask why). And with all these red flags waving, I trudged on. Mostly cuz I didn’t really give a damn about any of those things and also he was good and thoughtful company.
Naturally we talked about movies (hello, my ultimate wheelhouse) and theater (my wheelhouse’s mistress). Basically, we were in my zone and I was owning it. I rarely say this but I know when I’m on fire and I know when I’m not. That night, I was at my ultimate best. And I wasn’t wasted and I wasn’t a crazy drunk nutter. I was just awesome and charming and funny and even though the liquor continued to flow, the conversation never found any stop. It was fluid and lovely.
And it nearly stopped after 30 minutes. He then got up and was about to head up. Backpack in tow, he was giving me the goodbye greeting. In my mind, I was like – really? Cuz I thought we had flow here. But in the land of giving no fucks, I didn’t care too much and was happy for the brief company. Except then I mentioned I had watched this set of films (all 300 titles) which made him pause, look at me for a beat then proceed to put his backpack down. Then he said, “Well then, we have a lot more to talk about.” And so we did – for another 5 hours until closing.
Now, during all my chit chat with Waiter, let us not forget about Blondie. Whatever might or might not occur with Waiter, Blondie is my forever ticket. I am a loyal gal and if a man/woman mixes me a swell cocktail, well our bond is a sacred union. I was not going to spoil that. At my peak moments, I was chatting up Waiter furiously, employing the much bandied about touching/flirting crap while also making sure Blondie knew of my affections for his bar tending skills. And yes, I scored another shot off him. And I might have ordered one more. The total count – 6. And I was more than steady on my feet.
So what did me and Waiter boy chat about for 5 hours? A little bit of everything and nothing. It was just good. And fun. And it had been SUCH a long time that I felt so winning in the company of strangers. And regardless of the future, they were NICE strangers.
Bet you’re wondering how old Waiter is…yeah I was too but I didn’t want to ask. I will admit there were moments when we would mention shows or movies that basically came out when I was in college or high school and he would mention he was in grade school. Inside, I cried a little. Outside, I just took another sip.
Blondie actually asked Waiter his age. And from this point on, we are naming him Forever 27 (F27). Yep. A full 11 years younger. Inside, I cry. Outside, a very large sip.
That said, I had been bouncing around in my brain the idea of dating, etc a fella in his 20s and I had somewhat come to terms that it might be a good idea. Ya know…for flings and such. Less attachment. More fun. It’s a new mode I’m in and he was my test drive. I found myself caring a little about his age but not caring enough. As for my age, I never hid it but he also didn’t ask. Although at one point, if he just did math, I’m pretty sure he can figure out I’m closer to 40 than he is to 30. Whatever.
No fucks given. This is the mantra tonight. I was just gonna be. And it felt good.
Anyways, closing time and time to go. F27 asked if I wanted him to walk me home. I accepted. Let me take a mini break here to break down my emotions at this point. Normally, I would have been a bit more nervous or odd. While I wondered what he might do upon delivering me to my abode, for once, I felt very much in the present. That whatever was to happen, I simply wanted to enjoy it. It was that sort of night.
I would also say we didn’t have enormous sexual charge or tension. If anything, it just felt really relaxed and comfortable. I’m not a touchy gal initially but I found playfully touching him or what not was actually really natural. I never had to think too hard about it or about how I was appearing. He was charmed by me and I knew it. And I tried to let him know I felt the same. To me, this is a huge step. I’ve never felt I had much game but something snapped in me that night or maybe it’s been building. I just didn’t give a damn. I was enjoying the connection.
While the age thing wash’t much of a barrier at this point, I was definitely aware of it. And for the first time, I actually felt like I was more in control of the situation because of my elder status and that felt…empowering.
When we arrived at my building, we stood outside and just looked at each other. I don’t even know if I waited a second or not but I just asked him if he wanted my number. I was in no mood for games and after all that time, it seemed like the natural step. Maybe I should have waited for him to ask for it but whatever, he’s 27 and has no wallet and why can’t I instigate? Felt good. Felt right. Done. He said yes and we exchanged numbers. Then I got a hug. A really chaste nothing hug.
So I dawdled. I texted him a reminder to watch a movie I love. As I do this, I notice he moved closer. In my head, I thought…ALRIGHT NOW. This is more like it. Now I get hug #2, which is vastly VASTLY different and for lack of a better word…touchier. And entirely welcome. Kissing then ensued. I think we both went in at the same time. Soon I found myself pressed up against a wall (word to the men folk out there – this is pretty much a can’t fail move. Every gal pal I told this to hummed in total approval – so thumbs up F27 – well done!).
Anyways, for someone so initially shy, he took my green light and ran with it. Boldly so. Suffice it to say he scored an invite up the pad and it was…lovely. Awkward, humorous and odd but I kinda enjoyed it for its sheer comedy of errors. To clear it up – we did not round all the bases (no home runs here) but we rounded enough of them. Also of note, the holding back was more his idea than mine. Now I didn’t really think much of this at the time but in subsequent retellings, my gay friend and some other pals considered this slightly odd. I do a little but in the moment, I just complied – questioning seemed…not in my headspace. Also I think I assumed this millennial was just more of the chaste variety? This was somewhat immediately disproven. Perhaps there is a girlfriend I do not know of? Or a lady he’s been seeing? Personally, I”m ruling out the girlfriend. Maybe he is a dirtbag but the vibe wasn’t there and our chat…well, let’s say it felt very unlikely. But is he dating someone else? Maybe. In this modern age, who knows.
Or as my friend said, maybe he just figured he should be safe and not possibly contract a STD from a stranger he met that night. Truth and for the record, I am very much CLEAN!
We left on nice terms and went our separate ways that night. The next morning was a bit more sobering and the hangover certainly didn’t help. Ugh. I had no real idea how we left it. Truthfully, a lot of stuff happened in one night and it was a bit hard to remember everything. Left it casual and the next day, despite the hangover, I felt good. As for F27 and me? Well, I was sort of hoping for a fling type situation. Seemed easy enough and it would be fun. Why not? But even if it didn’t go that way, it was a rejuvenation I didn’t even really realize I needed.
Beyond the physical, it felt so nice to be appreciated. Not even for my body exactly but for my brain. For who I am. For the things I value and like best in me. Even if he didn’t confirm my suspicions, I had been around enough to know that was what drew him to me and kept him by my side for that long.
Sigh and so goes the followup. I decided to give him 3 days to text me and we’ll take it from there. Truthfully, I thought I would get some response but after a day or so, I started to realize maybe not. I also did a lot of thinking at that time as to what I wanted from this, if I wanted anything at all. Our connection was nice but not as strong as past dalliances. I could go either way but since it had been awhile and it seemed so convenient – why not? I’m in the mood for fun.
While I have pined repeatedly for a soul mate on this blog, recently I’ve become less certain of that path or goal. Yes, I want a life mate but I am not positive I will ever get one. And I refuse to remain celibate for all times waiting for that bullshit. There is a lot of possibility out there and Mr. Right Now(s) seems like the most appealing thing period. And it’s crazy to me to even cross this threshold of thinking. To some extent, this might have served me better a few years ago but things happen the way they do to teach you the lessons you need.
With F27, I was treating it as if it was a courtship dance and it was not. If he wanted to date, sure but I didn’t care either way. So after 3 days, I decided to just contact him and go from there. No answer until hours later and I was done. Deleted. I don’t think badly of the guy. It just is what it is. Am I disappointed? Yah but for a little bit, I also felt a resurgence of confidence that I wasn’t quite done with this entire enterprise of modern lovelorn bullshit. I was able bodied and ready for more, come what may.
Further updates – I also decided that despite the F27 impasse, I still had Blondie and the desire to cultivate that relationship because a bartender I like in my hood – unheard of. Me and Blondie – we’re the real deal. And this past weekend, I got confirmation with my gals in tow. Blondie and me are like peas in the proverbial drunken pod. It’s solid. I felt a little like Norm from Cheers…I have a friendly neighborhood bar!
And yes, F27 was also there. I didn’t actually see him but he poked me when he spotted me and we smiled. He would attempt to catch my eyes a few times and when I would return the gaze we would smile. But it was still awkward. For a bit there my friend thought he was giving me the cold shoulder to which I replied that I think I was the one who started that. He was also working during a busy time so…not exactly easy to go flirty flirt.
Still, he wasn’t a dick. Sweet as I remembered and I felt reassured of my actions. When we did speak, I found out he had a horrid week and while not a major contributor to why he didn’t contact me…some things sort of got some focus. While age is just a number, we are also clearly in two different times of our lives. He’s a broke student and I’m…not. Whatever mess his life is going through right now, that’s his. And I’m over here. And that’s OK.
I don’t expect answers and as I get older, I’m learning to live more in the gray. Puzzles are fun but after awhile, the outcome is all that matters. What was good here – I went back to my bar, owned it and I can go back with minimal awkwardness. Is the door still open to him? Sure, why not? But I’m not waiting. He’s an option. And I like that. I like that I’m allowing myself to create and have options.
All I know right now is that younger men have a definite appeal and the summer hasn’t yet fully begun. And here we go…