Monday, September 15, 2008

GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES

In a week that found me battling iTunes, a malfunctioning laptop, a non-working heater and a TV on the blink (all resolved, with the exception of iTunes), there was one bright spot. Saturday I went on a great date. It wasn't the kind of nighttime dinner-and-drinks thing that I remember so fondly from my New York era (in Buenos Aires, gay men don't go on planned dates; they have impromptu last-minute meet-and-greets). It was a picnic in the park in the middle of the afternoon. Way back in January, I went on a date with this guy named Martín to the Buenos Aires Zoo. It was a refreshing change of pace that I hadn't expected to experience again, given how sex-obsessed porteño boys have been behaving lately.

At first, when Alejandro (not the one who is opening the club) suggested that we meet up at 3 p.m., I panicked. Did I really want him to see me in the middle of the afternoon, warts and all? We'd already met once before, but it was at 7 p.m., so he saw me in the most flattering lighting, otherwise known as dusk. He'd first connected with me through Facebook. We have a friend, Hollie, in common. We'd both gone to her birthday party several weeks earlier, and while I'm sure I saw him from afar, somehow our paths never crossed. Too bad: I was so in the zone that night.

I thought of the episode of Sex & The City in which Carrie was planning an elaborate first date with Berger (Big aside, she had such awful taste in men!) only to wind up calling him from the street and inviting him to an afternoon matinee. Maybe, I considered, casual is the way to go.

It was. The picnic in Parque Las Heras (above) ended up being the highlight of my week. Ale and I ate, talked, laughed, and afterwards, as we strolled around the city, he listened intently as I detailed my relationship with my family and how it contributed to my moving to Buenos Aires. His spot-on assessment of the situation both impressed me and turned me on. It was nice to interact with a guy without booze flowing and clothes being ripped off. It made our goodbye kiss that much more special. Ale also gets bonus points for being one of the few guys I've met since I moved to Buenos Aires who doesn't depend solely on the computer and text messages for communication. He actually calls me. Imagine that!

There'll be a date No. 3. There's been talk of a trip to the zoo, and this weekend, he wants to take me to his hometown, La Plata, the capital of the Buenos Aires province, which, he pointed out, also has a zoo. Should I stay or should I go? I've been dying to visit La Plata. But I wonder if it's too soon. Then again, maybe I should continue thinking outside of the box. Living by the book is so last month.
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