Submitted by megan on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 22:57
It was entirely unexpected.
For instance, just a couple weeks ago, I informed one smokin hot woman that I was feeling the need to cool things down in my life, dating/sex-wise. For instance, right around the same time, I was writing to Shelley and mentioned that these days I'm not particularly interested in, how you say, putting the meat on my grill. For instance, I thought about packing safer sex stuff and then thought 1) it never happens, even when I want it to and 2) I don't want it to.
Not that that stopped me at all from doing the Cute Survey as soon as I waked into Bootcamp. There weren't many people there, and it wasn't systematic. Just automatic. I noticed a nice looking beaky-nosed dark-haired boy who was pinging my gaydar. I noticed a cute dark-haired potential dyke, and a cute sandy-haired boy sitting beside her.
I sat down by myself, and talked, but only briefly, to the beaky-nosed boy after I thought he might be a librarian. He wasn't. I ate by myself, I walked around by myself. I was perfectly happy. But by Tuesday, I’d been alone in a strange city for two days, and thought I wouldn't mind a little company. Enter the Tegan & Sara hoodie.
Even after we all started hanging out, pants removal wasn't particularly on my mind.
The first couple conversations I had with them didn't go all that well. Waiting in line for lunch, they asked me what I'd done the night before, and I said something about hating Bourbon Street and the dumb looking grenade drinks. I asked them what they did and they had toured Bourbon Street drinking Hand Grenades. When I said where I was from, CT asked me if I liked hockey. At first I thought it was one of those random Canadian questions: “Do you like maple syrup?” “Do you all live in igloos?” I believed I squinched up my face, pursed and pouted my lips, and said "Nooooooo." But then, oh, oops, did he? Yes, very much. Plays three times a week. In California.
With moves like that, the miracle is not that I got laid in New Orleans; it's that I have any friends at all.
Interesting how that happens, eh? That click. Because 4 of us went out for that lunch, but the other guy didn't last. He was totally dead weight. Maybe I got in by comparison? Maybe it was my skills with shucking crawfish. Shared humour? All around the same age?
I'm not sure, because most people at the Bootcamp were under 35, I'd wager, and I heard lots of people laughing. We didn't really hang out with any of the rest of them, not really.
But we did. Click. The three of us. And like I said, for the next 30 or so hours we moved as a unit, going for naps (to our separate rooms) at the same time, planning dinners, and wandering together.
I can't say, though, that I felt a particular click with CT right away. Thought he was cute, for sure - 6'4", thin, square shouldered, strawberry blond hair, light eyes, nice smile. You've just described my last two boyfriends, so yeah, I was certainly not blind to the fact that he fit a form I am generally warm for. But also, over dinner and sight-seeing and conference sessions the next day, I realized, noticing his hands, the way he moved, his particular instance of it.
Still, I wasn't convinced that the Conference Fling was something I wanted to explore. Fucking someone just so I could say I’ve had a conference fling is not my style. And I've had enough sex that I don’t need to have it just because a cute boy might be available.
With emphasis on might be. There were a few clues, for sure. He mentioned that his most recent girlfriend was an ex-girlfriend. We sought out and maintained eye contact a little more often and longer than was maybe necessary. The look on his face in the beignets photo. He was making jokes that were maybe trying to impress me. And that was it.
Now, when it comes to picking up, I'm not an idiot. I'm not willing to bang my head against the wall. If I'm going to be putting it down, I need to be close to 100% certain it's going to be picked up. If I'm going to enter into the game, I generally need a hell of a lot more to go on than relationship status and a few shared looks.
Not that we hadn't been out drinking together. We had, on Tuesday night, at many fine establishments, not to mention the middle of the street. That was the three of us though, which unsurprisingly was a very different vibe altogether.
Over the first day and some, in the few stretches that CT and I spent alone, we were a little uneasy, at a bit of a loss as to what to say. But that often happens with introverts, and especially introverts who are spending 80% of their waking hours together after having just met in a pretty random fashion. So I didn't take that one way or the other, but it certainly didn't make me think that he wanted me to be putting anything down.
But Wednesday night, we went drinking again, this time with the rest of the Plone crowd. CT was at one end of the bar, watching the hockey game. The rest of us Ploners were at the other, drinking and chatting. I had really interesting and super-nerdy conversations with some of the other delegates. I got shocked by the fact that the people who work on our website all thought I was in my 50s. That's what good grammar gets you.
I finished my beer. Wove through the getting weavy crowd, stood beside CT and ordered another, asked how the game was going. I had dressed for the occasion, tight shirt and short skirt, a little self-conscious that this was already an invitation that might be declined.