So sometimes I have encounters with the opposite sex that aren’t on apps and that occur in real life. I am a very awkward person and from all of these scenarios I have walked away feeling guilty and uncomfortable for one reason or another. I also constantly feel like Chandler Bing, waiting to find his Monica – someone to put up with my awkward, goofy, well intentioned self. I’m very awkward and full of doubt about myself and others when it comes to dating, so seeing someone with a lot of confidence come to me in public makes me feel like even more of an anxious, nervous wreck.
These are some of my finest moments from my real life encounters with the male species.
The first takes place in 2018. I had finished a shift at my job, it was nearly midnight and I had a group of friends at a bar not far from where I had just finished work. I got a call as I was leaving asking if I felt like coming out for a bit, and to my own surprise I said yes. When I got there, the bouncer at the door had to stop everyone, check their ID and take their photo to make sure you weren’t getting back in if you left the premises. When it was my turn, I handed over my license and turned towards the camera, only to hear the bouncer say “with a smile like yours, you may not pay for a drink all night.” Chuffed, and very embarrassed, I went to laugh and ended up rolling my eyes in the photo so I was almost unrecognisable. I got inside, found my group and started talking and dancing, trying to enjoy the night even though I was mentally and physically exhausted. I went to the bar to get a drink when suddenly I felt a presence next to me. I turn to see a half drunk, very attractive guy leaning against the bar, almost swaying towards me.
“Wow. You have a great face.”
He slurred at me. I didn’t think too hard on it but to smile and say thank you. As I turned back to the bartender, he again tried to speak to me.
“Do you have a pen?”
I, being a hospitality employee, always have and always have had a pen on me at all times as a result of my training. I usually would finish a shift with multiple stuffed in my pockets and bag, ready to go again the next night. I handed him my pen and turned back to the bartender again, trying to get my order out when I felt a tickle in my nose. (Sidebar – It was spring in Melbourne and Hayfever warnings were at an all time high.) I put in my standard drink order, and felt something nudge my elbow – this boy was giving me back my pen. As I went to take it back, I felt the sneeze of the century come on… Just as he handed me a napkin. I sneezed into the napkin, wiped my face and went to find a bin when I realized what I had done. This poor boy was trying to give me his number and I had just sneezed into the napkin he did it on. He was someone I would have gladly accepted a number from in any normal circumstances, maybe just not the ones where my nose had exploded all over his digits. Oh my god. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole right there and then, and by the look on his face, he did too. I tried to apologize but was hit with 3 more of the most violent sneezes I’ve ever done (and I’m normally not a violent sneezer!) I watched him slink back to his group, took my drink and did the same thing. I sometimes wonder if that poor boy ever remembered me doing that, or if he were so drunk he just remembers the small girl with the manly sneeze… And sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night panicking about it because I never would’ve done that had I known what he was doing. Ugh.
Another accidental encounter happened in March 2019. The boy I was dating had been away for a while for work, and I was committed to being there for him when he got back, I didn’t want anything from anyone else, I just wanted him. While he was not my boyfriend, I did feel a commitment to him, as we had been together for a while and I really liked him as a person. So when one day on the train I was approached, not once, but twice I took it as my mission that I needed to be as unappealing as possible.
The first boy to try his luck saw that I was reading a book and decided that was a great way to get my attention. I was sitting there with my headphones in, reading my book when he sat himself down opposite me and tried to catch my eye. One would think that that would be the universal signal that I did not want to be bothered, but this boy pushed ahead.
“That is a great book. What are you thinking of it so far?”
I looked up at him and told a small lie.
“Yeah it’s great, my boyfriend recommended it to me and said I would love it. I doubted him at first but he knows me too well, I love it!” Game, set and match. The boy got up and got off the train at the next station. Feeling like I was off the hook, I went back to my book, only to hear another voice appear in front of me.
“That was so funny what happened with that guy! Haha hi I’m Stewart.”
Now, what I did next is something I will never forget because it was the most panicked of the panic responses I’ve ever had. I looked up from my book, looked this boy straight in the eyes and meowed. Twice.
I was once out grocery shopping at my local shopping centre when I was approached by a guy. I had my headphones in (I like to put on a podcast whenever I’m doing pretty much anything.) And was walking around the bakery department of Coles when he appeared. I was wearing active wear and (at the time) had very clear skin and eyelash extensions, so I looked a lot more alive and nice than I do on other days you may catch me outside my house. He had a great voice, a bit like Osher Günsberg, something I found wildly attractive (If you don’t know the Australian radio and TV legend that is Andrew G, please google him ASAP and listen to his podcast Better Than Yesterday with Osher Günsberg. It will change your life. I promise you that 🙂 ) and was pretty nice to look at. It was one of those weird movie scene style moments where we both reached for something at the same time – a box of cinnamon donuts. I smiled at him and tried to grab my doughnuts in peace, but we both went to reach for another box, to give the other person that box, and instead again went for the same one. I smiled and said he could take that one and I’d take that one, and hurried off to grab the rest of my items. We then passed each other in the pasta row, as I grabbed a box of penne, and then finally met again in the flour aisle as I went to buy pizza flour. He smiled at me, and tried to start a conversation, possibly not recognizing that I had my headphones in for a reason. As he said his hello, the podcast I was listening to became extremely funny. (If you’re looking for a podcast to listen to when you’re going about your life, a few good recommendations are Jensen and Holes – Murder Squad, Punch Up the Jam, My Favourite Murder, Complete Drivel with Christian Hull, Gilmore Guys, Jenna and Julien and Mum Says My Memoir is a Lie.)
Anyway, my podcast became funny as Christian Hull told a story I wasn’t expecting to hear, and I burst out laughing as I turned to say hello to him. He didn’t seem to understand what was so funny about the way he said hello, and I didn’t want to tell him the story I was listening to, as it was quite inappropriate for a supermarket.
If you ever see this, I certainly did find you attractive, and I am so sorry!
The last story actually takes place on a date I have already
written about on this blog (See The One
Who “Wasn’t Ready.” To connect stories.) I was sitting at Arbory in the
Melbourne CBD waiting for Logan to come back from the bathroom when a guy
approached me. I was wearing a footy jersey for Logan’s team as we had been to
a game earlier in the night to support his team, and then gone out for drinks
to commiserate the epic loss we had witnessed. I was sitting there sipping my
beer, looking over the river and the city when he appeared by the table.
“Soooo is that your boyfriend?” he smirked at me, nodding his head towards the toilets, pulling a seat out ready to sit with me with his drink. Now, I understand having balls and wanting to talk to someone attractive in public, but I also don’t understand how you could be so forward with someone who was clearly there with someone else. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m a very straight shooting, no tolerance for bullshit kind of person, and considering I was really starting to like Logan at the time, I didn’t want him sitting there flirting with me when I thought I had a good thing going with Logan. I decided to play with this boy’s ego.
“No, that’s my husband.” I said, keeping my left hand planted firmly under my leg under the table. I smiled at him and waited for it to dawn on him. As the wheels started to turn in his head, I decided to add insult to injury.
“It’s our first night out since the baby.” At that he looked at my stomach (which was heavily concealed by layers of baggy clothing) and then Kath and Kel style speed walked away from me.
Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, bud.