Juggling Bears 2: I’ve Got Other Plans

Oh my God, I am the worst person walking the face of the Earth.

Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I’m not used to this thing of having a few guys on the hop all at once. Here’s the reality of that situation, it’s really hard not to lie. Really, really hard.

After all the crap that I’ve been through in LA with men, I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t lie to any guys that I was dating. When you are single and dabbing your eyes with Kleenex, sitting amidst the rubble of another thing gone wrong, this is a really easy deal to make with yourself. It’s noble, it’s right, it’s an easy fit.

Fast forward to the times where your cup runneth over and suddenly it’s a real shackle to drag around with you. The truth is a little too truthy.

The way it works in the gay world is that you’re free to see other people until it becomes obvious that you are both spending a lot more time with each other, the other guys you’ve been playing with get relegated to guests stars. This goes for another while and then the next step is that they really need to be written out of the picture.

How long these times are is very open to interpretation. This is where it can all go horribly wrong.

So, I’m down (down, dear God) to just the Producer and the Artist. And I am getting very, very creative with the truth. In one week I’m at the Producer’s birthday, arm in arm with him, and at dinner at a friend’s house with the Artist. This is not good.

While no one has introduced anyone as anyone’s boyfriend, there is certainly a lot of inference being given. And I feel like a total dick. I’ve never cheated on any boyfriend I’ve ever had, but this is starting to feel like it.

I start to say, “I’m going to (insert event) with a friend,” a lot. In the cute, getting to know you phase, this is an easy gloss over. And most importantly, it’s not a lie. Although suspicions are raise, it’s early days and this can be smiled through easily by everyone.

Then I tell myself, it’s fine and no one’s feelings are being hurt and no one’s made any promises and they’re free to see who they want and and and… but all those mirror chats aren’t making the feeling go away. At some point this is going to come to a head. Tick, tock.

There are a few distinct upsides to dating guys as opposed to women. The first is that you know how they think and understand all their logic and motivations. The second is that you get to be right half the time. The third; sex can be treated as a sport. All plusses.

The down side is that they are as much into the hunting around as you are. So when you find one that you like, it’s hard to pin them down. I’m usually on the wrong end of this equation. Like with Stan, the guy that I wasn’t dating for a year and who recently came back for a bout of Valentine’s Day stock take weirdness.

Even after a year he couldn’t say we were dating. So it should come as no surprise that when I pushed him about getting together one Friday night for something I had tickets for, I heard the words that you never want to hear.

Me: Come on Stan, these are great tickets. We’ll have a blast.
Stan: I really can’t.
Me: But you love this group.
Stan: Any Friday but this one.
Me: Well this is the only Friday they play LA.

Pause.

Stan: I have other plans.

The translation of this phrase is, “I am hanging out with and having sex with someone else that night.” The tickets in my hand go a little limp in the silence after the “other plans” bomb.

But in true guy fashion, you can’t fault it. We haven’t had an exclusivity chat, and he doesn’t want to lie. So what you get instead is other plans. I don’t like it, but I can’t fault it. And he didn’t lie. The bastard.

Back to April 2009 and I’m standing in a parking lot with the Producer. He’s really keen to go to dinner that Friday. The problem is that I’m seeing the Artist that night. And I can’t cancel because I already blew him off to be here tonight with the Producer.

Producer: Well, Cindy my roommate that you met at my birthday will be there.
Me: Sounds great, but I can’t. What about next week?
Producer: I’ve got a pretty crazy week with work. Friday’ll be fun.

He’s pulling the cute face. It’s a really good face.

Me: Sorry mate, I’ve just got a lot on right now as well.
Producer: You still have to eat.

I feel sick doing this. It’s awful. I hate saying this, but not as much as I hate hearing it.

Me: I’ve got other plans.

Stan’s words out of my mouth.

And I look at the producer and think, I guess that’s what my face looked like when it was said to me. Oh God I hate dating. He knows exactly what it means, maybe he’s even had to say it a few times himself. That’s me hoping so that I don’t feel so bad. But I didn’t lie. Yay, me.

Producer: Oh, OK.

And there it is, we’ll see each other again. But it won’t be the same. I’ll be the guy that has other plans, the one you have to compete for the attention of. Since I’m usually on the other end of this, I always wondered what it would be like on this side. Turns out, I don’t like sitting here either.

It’s weird how one moment you meet a few nice guys and start hanging out. The next thing you’re in a parking lot being an asshole.

I wish I could say that I’m wiser for all the dating that I’ve done, but the reality is that if you hang around long enough, you just get to see more sides of the dating game. And do to others as you’ve had done to you. If anything I’m learning that the guys I was bearing grudges against before for not doing what I wanted them to do maybe weren’t such dicks after all.

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