After so many weeks of online dating, this past weekend I ventured out into the brick-and-mortar world to socialize with real, live humans. Friday night I attended Gratitude, a burner-produced event that more or less replaced the Burning Man Decompression. Saturday I participated in SantaCon, the global phenomenon that began in San Francisco in 1994. And a couple of opportunities presented themselves.
At Gratitude, a very nice young man introduced himself and began flirting with me. To be honest, I was a little oblivious. Not obliterated, just oblivious. He was so young it didn’t occur to me that he was interested until he had his hands on me in an obviously, ummm, interested way! I believe I marveled, “Are you flirting with me?” or something similar. He was tenacious, I’ll give him that, standing beside me as I chatted with friends and posed for photos. He followed me around for a while as well, eventually giving up when his affections weren’t sufficiently reciprocated. But it was wonderful to feel…wanted.
On Saturday, like so many oscillating molecules, I kept bumping into the same Santas at our many stops and on random streetcorners. One particularly tall and adorable Santa caught my eye early in the day and not just because he was tall and adorable: he was wearing head-to-toe red fake fur and a preposterous three-pronged Santa hat. Plus he was shlepping an enormous Santa sac overflowing with silly sunglasses that he was handing out to Santa. I saw him at Sarah Delano Roosevelt Park, again as we entered Central Park and once more in the West Village. Probably not so surprisingly, he was also at the same after party I went to at Touch. We were standing on the dance floor, shouting over the DJ, and just as I was thinking how much I hated the music, I blurted, “Do you wanna make out?” In seconds we were those Santas.
Man, it has been years since Santa made out! And it was awesome! A bunch of us wound up in a cab, after stopping in a deli for beers, headed downtown, me and Santa making out like bandits. We made a quick stop at Ninth Ward so I could show them my favorite new place, but it was woefully overrun by yuppies. We had a beer anyway, after begging the bouncers to hold onto our bags of Stella and PBR. Stumbling out of there, scared by the seriousness of the Muggles, we bumbled down Second Avenue toward my apartment. We found a random Santa on a streetcorner (they were everywhere!) and invited him along. Once ensconced at my place, my little tree blinking away, we made out til Santa passed out. The high point was trying to help Santa out of his drawstring fake fur pants. He was having trouble with the knot and I used a screwdriver to loosen it while another Santa snapped a few photos. I sure hope his friend finds me so I have that shot for posterity! In the end, nothing actually happened, mostly because Santa was shitfaced. And exhausted.
Laying in bed Sunday morning, rhinestones still glued to my face, stripey tights still on and, most uncomfortably, contacts still in, I contemplated my near-conquests. Once upon a time I got lucky. A lot. And there was almost always a whole lotta booze involved. The last few serious relationships I’ve had were initially all drunken encounters, one night stands, if you will, who then, once sober, actually called. In other words, these men more or less “chose” me. Meaning that though we may have chosen each other while stumbling drunk or otherwise ecstatically under the influence, my male counterparts made the next move.
In both instances this past weekend, I didn’t actually “get lucky.” I can’t say whether it was because I wasn’t quite drunk enough or if I was consciously not choosing these men. And, laying there in bed, it occurred to me that at this point in my life, I’d like to do the choosing, ideally sober. Or at least have the choosing be mutual.