Midweek. Another bar. Another pint with a stranger. I sit and wonder where I’ll be in five hours. Will I be back in my flat ignoring the ironing or will I be tangled in Egyptian cotton and kisses with tonight’s contestant? You just never know.
“And you wore pink!”
I nod at his polo shirt, knowingly. “Perfect shirt for tonight!”
My date tonight bristles with efficiency. He was on time, buying drinks and sitting opposite me with a rictus grin on his face, in his pristine baby pink polo, before I knew what was happening.
“It seems weird going on a date on a Wednesday, no?” he says.
“Wednesdays are perfect, I think,” I reply. “And you wore pink!” I nod at his polo shirt, knowingly. “Perfect shirt for tonight!”
He narrows his eyes. “I don’t follow.”
“Oh, errr,” I stumble awkwardly. “It’s from Mean Girls. They say ‘On Wednesdays we wear pink’. Yes?”
His face is blanker than a blank thing on a blank day in a town called Blankton.
I probe further: “Do you know Mean Girls?”
He leans back in his chair and his face changes to a look of bemusement tinged with disgust and a dash of weariness.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he sighs.
“I mean…” he shakes his head dismissively. “I just wouldn’t even want to watch Mean Girls. I’m not into trashy movies.”
I gulp, feeling dumb and shallow.
“It’s a film. Written by Tina Fey. Lindsay Lohan was in it? It’s quite old.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard of it. I mean…” he shakes his head dismissively. “I just wouldn’t even want to watch it. I’m not into trashy movies.”
I shrug. “It’s not trashy, really. It’s quite a clever, knowing kind of comedy. Not as good as Heathers, but in the same ballpark.”
“I don’t really like the kind of films that gay men usually like,” he replies.
Oh, I see! BINGO! We have the new gay stereotype – the gay man who refuses to conform to a stereotype! How lucky for me to have snared this rarest of beasts. And barely halfway through our first drink.
I could just let this go, or I could take a tin-opener to that can of worms he’s waving in front of me.
I have two options. I could just let this go, or I could take a tin-opener to that can of worms he’s waving in front of me. Egyptian cotton, or home alone? I imagine the pristine sheets. Lovely. Then I think of him in them, beckoning me to a world where sex means never watching a popular movie again. Decision made.
“I don’t like it because I’m gay, you total snob. I like it because it’s funny.”
“Yeah, right,” he replies, folding his arms. A drawbridge goes up with great speed. “But you think it’s a funny film because of the bitchy dialogue and the pretty, evil girls being all ‘fabulous’, right? It’s just a bit… obvious.” He unfolds his arms for a brief second and waves them dramatically in the air.
“So you have seen it, then?” I smirk.
“Uh.” A pause so long you could actually use it to nip off to watch Mean Girls. And then: “I might have done actually.”
I’m back in my own kitchen – alone – within the hour.
Stats: 5’10”, 31, mousy brown/brown, Devon Pre-date rating: 7/10 Post-date rating: 3.5/10 Date in one sentence: Gay guy thinks pretending popular culture isn’t a thing makes him less gay.
A truncated version of this post originally appeared in the monthly dating column I used to do in Gay Times magazine. I now answer GT readers’ dilemmas and dole out relationship advice. Take a look at the Gay Times website to see when the next issue is out.