Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I spent today in the office, meaning the best looking Starbucks in the land. I will often sit at a long table with seating on both sides because that is where you can plug in your computer. It ends up that you are sitting pretty close to other people. Today, I got into a conversation with the guy across from me.
I had actually talked to him once before it turns out. See, when you get up to get a drink, or go to the bathroom, you need to ask people to watch your things so nobody steals them, and this leads to conversation. He’s a nice guy and it turns out we have a lot in common. He treats the Beautiful Starbucks as his office, I treat it as my office. He recently moved to L.A., and I recently moved to L.A. He has a longtime girlfriend who is living far away, I have a wife that is living far away. He has an improv background, I have an improv background. He’s writing a television pilot for NBC, and I enjoy watching NBC’s Thursday night lineup. See, we’re exactly the same.
It is a strange thing, meeting other guys. Generally, if two strangers are meeting it is either one hitting on the other, one person making a sarcastic comment about their shared surroundings, or one asking for directions of some kind. In the hitting on scenario there are defined rules, namely there is a creepy guy and an uninterested girl and eventually he asks for her number. In the sarcastic scenario both people just agree that the other people around them are stupid and/or slow. In the directions scenario, the person being asked just makes something up to screw with the asker.
In the heterosexual guy meeting another guy situation there is no set of steps or playbook. I don’t know how to platonic flirt. I have no idea at which point you ask for a number. I don’t know what creepy looks like on my end. I don’t know what to do if the other guy has nice eyes, surely I shouldn’t say it, even if it is just a statement of fact.
I suppose we’re just left to dance awkwardly until we just become friends. As I start over making new friends, I’ll keep up examining this for the sake of sociology and report back with my findings. For now, the Platonic Prom is coming up and I don’t have a date yet. The theme for this year’s prom is the Michael Bolton classic, “How Can We Be Friends if We Can’t Be Lovers?” That theme came off creepier than I intended, but I can’t think of a replacement.
Sidenote: If you want to make this process even more awkward, tell the person you met about your blog, listen as they say they are going to have a look at it and bookmark it, then write a blog post analyzing your interaction. Good to meet you today, Mark.
When I got back from “the office” I had a date with Michelle. Earlier in the day I called Michelle and asked her out on a Facetime date. I picked her up around 6:30 my time and we sat and played Scrabble together on Facebook and chatted until she fell asleep. It was quite awesome and felt very “regular.”