On Friday night of the Fest my friend Jen and I went out to dinner with a big group of people organized by our friend Dan. We were the first ones there and we checked in at the hostess station and discovered they were ready to lead us to our table immediately. Great! So.. the cute little perky hostess leads us right back out the door. Um? Ooookay. Jen and I dutifully follow her thinking she’s going to their wine bar right next door. Uh.. not so much, we walked right on past the wine bar. Down the street towards the corner. There’s nothing else other than a brick wall on the rest of the block – Jen and I are looking back and forth at each other trying to decide if we should keep following this cute little perky hostess down the deserted street in the middle of uptown New Orleans to our deaths or not. Eh… why not. She rounds the corner and heads down a new street. Seriously!? But then out pops a cute little man in a waiter’s uniform ready to receive us apologizing all over himself for the walk around to the back of the building due to a private party in the wine bar…. Okay phew.
Anyway –we sit ourselves across from each other down at the end of the very long table as it’s dinner for 14 and wait. Slowly everyone trickles in and it was funny that we knew maybe only half of the people – but we were all “friends of Dan” After a cocktail or two four new people show up to our already packed table and two each get put at the very ends of the table. Jen and I welcomed Reed (what a fun name even if it is spelled incorrectly) and Adam to our little corner of the world.
So, I’m a couple of cocktails in by then and in a very happy chatty mood and so I’m chatting away with Adam who’s sitting next to me and trying to include Reed as well who was much quieter. When they came and sat down I learned that they both lived in DC which is where Dan lives and not too far from me and that they (and the other two late comers) all knew Dan from playing ice hockey with him there. For whatever reason I assumed these two men were a couple. I have no idea why I thought this, but I did – and I’m not sure it is or isn’t the case now – I have no idea and usually I have pretty accurate gaydar. So – it was just my initial opinion and I stuck with it – sort of like noting one had brown hair and one was more a sandy color – it just struck me. Adam telling me about his 17 year old son and ex wife in no way affected my thoughts on this. We kept chatting, and laughing and playing away – completely having a good time. Jen was spending more time talking with her old college friends at the table which was no big deal for me, but left me more alone to talk to Adam and the much quieter Reed.
So – and here’s the point of the story – we leave and are walking back to the French Quarter where some of the group was going to a 1:30am show of some band (not me, I got my tired butt to bed) - and Jen (who knows all about my issues with Brad) leans into me and says “Look at you flirting away with Adam all night long.” I almost popped out with, ‘he’s gay’ as I was rolling my eyes, but then it occurred to me – I have no idea if that’s true or not. There were actually no stereotypical signs that this might be true and there were stereotypical signs to the contrary – though nothing conclusive one way or the other. So, who knows.
But.. I swear to God in that 4 or 5 seconds where it occurred to me that I might have been actually chatting and playing around with a straight man while I was sitting there in my cute little low cut that says to the world – hey look at my girls – dress I totally freaked out. OMG I was flirting. Or rather – I was doing what one might call flirting if the intention had been there. I’m sure all the color drained out of my face and I nearly fell flat on my face. But then… it occurred to me… huh. That wasn’t so bad. I could do that if I needed to. Especially now that I have the trick – just pretend they’re gay.
In the end it was sort of liberating – I so often don’t like, or am afraid of people so it was nice to be able to sit there and meet a new person and just have a nice time with him. So if I’m ever single again I’ll definitely be keeping the mantra going in my head – just pretend they’re gay, just pretend they're gay. Of course I was telling my friend Camille this and she said (after she stopped laughing at me) – okay so what happens next. It’s later and now you know they aren’t gay. What then? I decided I’d cross that bridge if I ever come to it.