Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm Baffled

I haven’t been around here a lot recently, mainly because I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life. The big story is actually one that I’m not going to get into here – had a short lived relationship with a guy that ended in a spectacularly bad way – but I will get into another story that just happened and has left me completely baffled. I need advice/opinions from men here because I am currently in a state of WTF and it’s annoying me. Suffice it to say, my luck with the opposite sex has been HIDEOUS lately.

So the story: There’s this bartender (yes, another bartender) that I’ve been flirting with for months. I gave him my number a while ago, he never called, said he lost it and asked for it again. Being a self-respecting female I told him no, because you never give a guy your number more than once (that’s a rule ladies). Still, he was persistent, giving me his number (I didn’t call) and continually asking for mine. Eventually I gave in, he got the number again (there goes the self-respect, but in my defense I was drunk when I gave it), and we agreed to go out.

Our date ended up being a full day event of skiing (I’d never skied before). It was…great. We literally spent from 6:30 in the morning until 11 at night together, and there were no awkward moments in the conversation. We laughed a lot, talked a lot, drank a lot (after the skiing ended – we’re responsible adults, I promise!), and made out a lot. The day ended with him throwing me up against the wall at a bar we’d ended up at and full-on making out with me like a stud. I’m telling you, it was surprisingly hot. After regaining my equilibrium I left, and an hour later I got a text saying he’d just gotten home, and good night – talk soon.

Fast forward 2 weeks, and no word from him. I’m confused, because while I realize I’m being blown off, I don’t know how it happened. Or rather, I don’t know why it happened. This was not a mediocre date; it was an amazing date. So I end up at the bar where he works with a friend last night (we go there a lot), and the dude completely avoids me. I mean, we sat down at the bar and it took him 20 minutes of working right in front of us to say hi (we did get our drinks right away from the other bartender, otherwise I would have been beyond pissed). Then he avoided us and eye contact for the rest of the night. Ummm…what?

Is he still in high school or something? What the fuck is going on here? What am I missing? I mean, I realize what it all means, I just don’t get it. A) The behavior is completely unacceptable and is making things awkward when it doesn’t have to be (which sucks because he works at one of my favorite bars), and B) it totally doesn’t make sense. It’s not like I was pressuring this guy for a relationship – we’d been on one date, and not to put too fine a point on it but he wasn’t exactly boyfriend material. So why the sudden turn-around and weird behavior?

Can I call him out on all of this? Of course not – I know that – it would just make him think I’m a psycho. So men out there, please explain this to me. Ask follow-up questions if you need more info. And is there anything I can do/say to the emotionally stunted moron to make things less awkward in the future? I don’t want to lose this bar. For the first time in a long time I didn’t see a blow-off coming and I can’t for the life of me figure out why it happened – I am generally very good at figuring out men, but this one has stumped me. And how do I deal with him from here?

Ugh – men.


MCBias said...

Hmm. I want to joke that he lost your number yet again and thus is too ashamed to ask for it a third time.

Kidding aside, did he seem guilty, or did he seem like he just was avoiding you? There's a difference between the two. Eh, if I had to guess, I'd think an ex hopped back into his life somehow.

If he seems guilty...just talk to him normally, without any flirting. Guys are good at forgiving themselves (heh), he'll probably come back to normal.

If avoiding you...Stay away from the bar a month and then go back? I can't really think about how to fix that one.

Redhead said...

Honestly I couldn't really tell if he was ignoring or avoiding - I was too annoyed. I'm going to the bar again on St. Patty's Day (I always do and I'm not breaking tradition), but after that I'm taking a couple of weeks off anyway. Right now I'm leaning towards acting normally when I do see him, and if the ridiculousness continues I'm just calling him out on it.

Sondheim said...

"And is there anything I can do/say to the emotionally stunted moron to make things less awkward in the future? "

Act normally and treat him as just a bartender. He's obviously an emotional dolt and doesn't deserve any more of your relationship time/effort. He treats you as a patron, you treat him as a bartender. Hopefully, the other bartenders there are more professional.

Redhead said...

The other bartenders there are great - and he's a great bartender too, he's just...a kid. I probably should have mentioned that I was robbing the cradle a bit with this one (he', and I'd never dated a guy who's younger before. Now I know why.

Alex said...

My first instinct was the same as McBias - probably an ex thing. But the age could be a factor too; I know I was an idiot at 24.

Bruce Paine said...

Shit, my instincts, which I have never had cause to question and I feel are generally good, tell me he didn't get laid. Look, if you don't want to break a piece off that is your business, you're a big girl. One must understand that, after a day long date where everything went well and things went far enough for some good, old-fashioned, push-her-up-against-a-wall-and-let-her-ride-your-thigh-while-you-play-ne waza-with-your-tongues, this guy was probably expecting some Penthouse Forum worthy, Splitting of the Bamboo-type hanky panky. Hell, that is where I thought this post was going.

You can't put any stock in the text messaging. It is the most distant form of communication we deal with on a daily basis. It is so empty there is almost no real communication in it at all. At least in handwriting you can see urgency and desire in the script, and a greater sense of passion and romance in the labor of it. A phone call lets you hear their voice. I send text messages when I am on the can. He didn't call. Where was the caught-breath, desperately rushed "Do you wanna come up to my place?"

He was hoping for sex and didn't get it. He moved on. If you want better results stop trolling for bartenders, they get shit thrown at them all day and the motivations for who they get together with women can be frightening. It is a natural expectation of men who have just treated a broad to a decent date to hope for sex. I am 30 (don't let that fool you, I look GOOD for 30) and my woman and I have been together for 6 years and I still hope for sex after a good date. I can get laid whenever I want and I still try to put together good dates because a good date equals obnoxiously excellent sex. I always know where I stand when we get in the truck. If she rides bitch we are going to get our freak on. If she stays on the passenger side and plugs in her iPod looks like I am getting a bowl of ice cream and watching adultswim.

Redhead said...

Alex: It's all a guessing game, but yeah, I'm pretty sure his age (and stupidity) was a factor.

paine: This was actually my first thought as well. The honest answer is I would have taken him home with me that night (trust me, he'd earned it), but he had worked the night before until 4am, then ran home, showered, and met me at 6:30 - on no sleep, by 10:30pm I didn't think he could handle a whole night (and I had to work the next day, so he was getting thrown out afterwards either way), and I wanted a whole night with him.

Basically it seemed like bad timing, and I guess I had hoped I'd been interesting enough to warrant a 2nd date for the sex. Clearly I was wrong. I found the text an hour after I'd left confusing though - I hadn't invited him back to my place, he'd already made it come to his place, and he sent me a text to say good night, talk soon. Why?

(Oh, and I HATE how everyone is saying that he's a bartender and he gets ass thrown at him all the time! Yes, I know that - and it's not like I was looking for a relationship with this dude - but I still expect and want a man to think I'm special/awesome enough to put in SOME effort and time; you know, like maybe I'm one of those girls that worth more than a day's work.) Rant over.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a new apartment right now. (Keep reading. This isn't spam, it's a metaphor.)

When looking, some qualities of the various apartments are "nice". A fireplace, fancy counter-tops, utilities included. And they have countervailing "annoying" things. Window units instead of central AC, an odd shaped bedroom, being on the 3rd floor of a 3 story walkup.

When I'm evaluating, I tend to "balance" these issues.

Then there are necessities. It can't have mold. It must have a dishwasher. It must have a certain amount of space. If it fails in any one of these aspects, it doesn't matter how many "nice" things it has. It's a non-starter.

Your description of this date seems to include much that is "nice". I suspect your answer lies in finding some necessity that went wrong. If this had been more of a "one night stand" scenario (Bar->Drunk->Bed), "nice" is enough (and sometimes more than enough). Since you spent so much time together, perceptions would have shifted from the "nice" to the "necessary", at which point any fickle idea that he had became an issue.

This is not necessarily rational, but I believe it explains the situation.

MCBias said...

Bruce, you do bring up some good points. But the one thing that causes me to disagree with you is that this was a first date. I freely admit to being Mr. Prude, but it seems to me that most guys would not be disappointed and give up after not having sex on the first date. True?

Bruce Paine said...

When I was a younger guy, and I wanted things to get frisky, and I had me some public make out is that a tube of cookie dough in your pocket or stuff going on I was generally pretty determined to seal the deal. I might not be the fanciest guy around, but I did (do) have a certain appeal and if I didn't feel like waiting I would go looking somewhere else. It was no negative comment on the lady, simply a more direct comment on individual directives. I am not omitting anything in Redhead's scenario, she just asked for opinions and I gave the hipshot answer I sensed given the information I had. Your environment changes what kind of social expectations you have. All I am posing is that his environment had created different expectations than hers, hence her inability to come to a satisfying conclusion as to why she was not being preyed upon for greater contact. One assumption we cannot make is that everyone in this situation is a rational actor. This is not conflict theory, this is an affair of the heart. There may have been mitigating circumstances that caused him to overlook the finer qualities of an extended liaison with Redhead that could motivate him to move towards weaker, lesser prey. In making that assumption I decided his motivations would be largely superficial since they needed to be both immediate and powerful enough for him to not attempt a reconnect and to ignore her at the bar when she returned.