Archive | March, 2014

Broken Gaydar

31 Mar

gaydarAccording to an exhaustive 3-second Google search, “Gaydar” is defined as “a colloquialism referring to the intuitive ability of a person to assess others’ sexual orientation as gay”.

According to friends, my Gaydar is broken.

I refused to accept that I could not differentiate between a straight man and a gay man, despite the fact that on two separate occasions I had gone on a date with a straight man believing it to be an outing with a possible new gay best friend.

I refused to accept it, until one day…

I was out in the city celebrating a coworker’s birthday when I spotted my client, Cathy, on the other side of the bar. When I went over to say hello, she introduced me to the man standing beside her as being her “friend, Benny”.

I immediately liked Benny.  He was a short, funny, quirky gay man who had some of the wildest and hilarious stories I’ve heard to date. He also had an appreciation for a good high-five, as do I when I’m drunk.  And when I’m sober. I like high-fives a lot. {cough}

Co-worker: “Did you have fun at my birthday the other night?”

Me: “Yeah! It was a great time.”

Co-worker: “What did you think of Cathy’s boyfriend?”

Me: “I didn’t meet him”

Co-worker: “Yes you did! You talked to him for, like, half an hour!”

Me: “No! That was Benny, her friend. He’s gay.” {duh}

Co-worker: “That was Benny, her BOYFRIEND”

Me: “OH MY GOSH! And there I was laughing it up with him thinking he was her friend and making him give me a million high-fives.  The whole time she probably thought I was flirting or something. When that’s clearly not what I was doing. I feel terrible!”

Co-worker: {shakes her head at me and walks away laughing}

I felt terrible, but I had been emailing with Cathy earlier that morning and she seemed perfectly fine.  I was sure she hadn’t interpreted my behavior the other night in any way other than friendly.  About an hour later I’d completely forgotten my conversation with co-worker when the phone rings.  It was Cathy, no doubt calling me to check up on the status of our latest project.

Me: “Good afternoon, Cathy.  How can I help you?”

Cathy: “YOU THOUGHT MY BOYFRIEND WAS GAY?”

Me: {Fuuuuuuuuuck} What? NO! Why would you say –”

Cathy: “Co-worker called me and told me everything!”

Me: {Attempt to murder coworker with my mind. Fail. Begin to stall for time} Nooo.

Cathy: “WHY would you think he was GAY?”

Me: “He… just… I don’t know.  You introduced him as your “friend” and then he kept calling the bartender Papi. I just… It seemed like… Look, I’m really sorry.”

Cathy: “He’s not gay!”

Me: “Again, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean any offense.”

Cathy: “We have sex.  We have LOTS of sex!”

Me: {cringe} “I’m… happy for you?”

After confronting my co-worker, she claimed that she called Cathy in order to clarify that I had not been flirting with Benny. {Mentally chuck a stapler at coworker’s big, fat, stupid head}.

A few weeks later Cathy dumped Benny for reasons she assured me had nothing to do with his sexuality. And I stopped pretending to possess gaydar.

 

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I Forgot How To Ride A Bike

18 Mar

You know the old cliché, “It’s just like riding a bike – you never forget.”  Well, I forgot.

When I was eight years old I learned how to ride a bicycle. I was only allowed to ride around the block with my friend who lived up the street, because my parents felt no one within a one-block radius would kidnap me. Um…?

About 6 months later, my friend moved away.  With no one else on my block to ride with, I abandoned my daily rides.

{Fast-forward 13 years}

I was now 21 years old traveling around France with my friend, Selene, when a good-looking guy advertising Mike’s Bike Tours of Paris approached us.

Selene jumped at the opportunity, but I was a little hesitant.  The last bike I rode was child-sized. These bikes were nearly as tall as I was and were sadly tassel-less.  Also, they did not provide helmets, because this is Paris and that would not be chic.

I told Selene that I had forgotten how to ride a bike.  After doubling over in laugher, she said that was impossible and assured me that riding a bike is something you never forget, muttering something about muscle memory.

I was still apprehensive. Selene suggested that we do a practice run while the Guide assembled the remaining group members.

crashed_bicycle_and_lady-dI wobbled terribly and began to suspect the bike had a mind of it’s own and was using said mind to mess with me.

As I headed directly toward the sidewalk Selene screamed “Turn! Turn the bike! Turn now!”

{Jerk handlebar at the last minute sending me speeding in the direction of the opposite sidewalk. Hit sidewalk. Bike falls right; I fly off to the left. The Guide blows the whistle signaling the beginning of the tour.}

Selene: {Gives me a pitiful look} “Well…that’ll have to do.  Just stay to the rear and you should be fine.”

Me: “But… you’ll stay back with me, right? Selene?” {Gulp}

Selene did stay by my side all the while calling out un-helpful instructions, such as “Go straight!” and “Stop falling against the parked cars!”

Then the sadistic Guide took us off the side streets and to the main road.  This is where I learned that there is no greater example of douchbagery in the world than a Parisian taxi driver encountering a woman who has forgotten how to ride a bike.

I could not tell you what we saw on our tour of Paris, because my attention was focused on the area 2 feet directly in front of my wheel.

I was beginning to hyperventilate. In order to calm myself, I decided to start singing in manner of Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss.  Only instead of singing “I love Paris in the springtime…” I began cheerily singing:

“I’m going to die!photo 2
I’m going to diiiiiiiiiiie.
Will I die by taxicab?
Will I die by fall?
I do not yet know.
I’ m going to die.
I’m going to diiiiee!
I’M GOING TO DIE!!!!”

[Do not judge my lyrics unless you can do better while cycling toward what you believe to be your imminent death. <squint>]

The rider ahead turned to look at me {helloooo}, but I continued singing my gloomy tune with a smile on my face.  Because… screw you, bicycle!

The tour stopped off by the river where we were told to get off our death-machines and onto the boat before us.  I thought the Guide must’ve realized that the bicycles were incredibly unsafe and taxi drivers in the area are insane, therefore the tour would conclude on the boat. {sigh of relief}

Once on the boat, we were supplied with copious amounts of champagne as we were safely guided through a waterway tour of Paris at night.  I drank, laughed, danced, and drank some more.  Now this was the Paris I had envisioned!

Then we looped back around and were told to get back on our bikes.  {Fear sweat trickles down my backside}

After drinking a bottle of champagne?

At night?

With Parisian taxi drivers still on the road?

I cannot tell you how I made it back alive.  I have only my Guardian Angel (and many, many parked cars to cushion my fall) to thank for this miracle.

The point being that you CAN forget how to ride a bike and I am barely living proof!