Tall, dark, handsome and please don’t be gay. This is what my headline should read on my Internet dating profile.
“If I meet one more not-gay-but-loves-musical-theater guy, I’m giving up,” I say to my friend who is pregnant with her third and fourth (yes, twins).
She laughs and agrees that she can’t understand why there are so many men in the New York City area who haven’t figured themselves out yet. Usually, these not-gay men don’t gaze into my eyes, but rather check out my hair and offer to style it for me.
My friend wishes me luck and I head out the door to meet Liam, a playwright with whom I spoke at length on the phone the other night. The conversation did not exactly pop, but it wasn’t embarrassingly stilted. I concluded that there was a chance he was straight because he made no mention of Barbra, Cher or Liza.
I arrive at the chic café, get my iced-tea and wait. A gorgeous guy in his mid-thirties walks in and looks around. He’s got that sexy, scruffy look (note: scruffy equals straight) and I pray that my date looks nothing like his picture and that Scruffy Guy is actually Liam.
I try to catch Scruffy Guy’s eye, but just as he almost looks my way, he yells, “Does anybody have a quarter or a sandwich?!?”
As the manager shoos him out the door, a flamboyant guy bounces in, looks in my direction and skips right over to me.
This can’t be Liam.
“Hi, I’m Liam!” he says as he extends his lily white hand. “I’m just going to order myself a non-fat latte and I’ll be right back!”
Why didn’t I ask my friend to call me on my cell with a dire emergency? I’ll be stuck making plans to get my hair done for the next hour.
I immediately catch myself being judgmental. Really, do I like it when people automatically judge me because I’m still single? There are some who quickly conclude that I must be a nut, which is exactly what I was explaining to my cat the other day. I need to stop jumping to judge.
Liam glides over to me and flips the 1980’s Duran Duran hair out of his face. He daintily takes a seat and purrs, “I would love to get a cupcake, but I don’t dare,” as he taps his flat stomach.
Even if Liam is not gay, how attracted could I be to a man who is prettier, thinner and perkier than I? Maybe the attraction will grow. Maybe he’s really not gay. Maybe I’m just scared of commitment and I’m not seeing him for the available straight man that he is!
“Oh my God,” Liam squeals, “I put Xanadu on my iPod today! You HAVE to listen!”
He goes on to brag that he’s seen Olivia Newton John ten times in concert, thus effectively removing all doubt. Dude is gay.
Drained and perplexed, I sit on the subway heading back to my apartment. There, lounging directly in front of me, is a perfect young couple with an even more perfect baby. She’s about six months old, covered from head to toe in pink and is staring right at me.
“I’m really adorable, aren’t I?” I swear I hear the baby boast.
“That is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen,” I hear a deep male voice say. I turn to see a devastatingly handsome, unshaven man who has addressed me with his observation.
This would be such a romantic story to tell our grandchildren. Grandma had one gay date after another and then met grandpa on the train. Since he was the only straight man within a 20 miles radius, she clubbed him over the head and dragged him home.
But then I notice it. Sitting on his finger mocking me is his sparkly, shiny wedding ring.
I smile half-heartedly at him as he leaves the train.
The baby begins making those irresistible goo-goo noises as her parents snuggle closer to each other.
Goo-goo, I imagine, translates into “Mommy, why does that lady in front of us look so miserable?”
Gurgle. Gurgle. Blaaah!
The perfect baby hurls all over the subway floor.
A look passes between Mom and Dad that asks, “Who’s going to clean that up?”
All I know is that it ain’t me and, for now, that is just fine.