Monday, September 21, 2009

MORE FUN AND GAMES WITH THOSE CRAZY PORTEÑOS

Memo to self: If and when I decide to go out on another date... Or maybe it's time for me to quit while I'm behind. Last week, I was stood up by two guys and blown off by four others. I've had my share of dating slumps, but 0 for 6 is pretty dismal, even for me. I should be kind of bummed out, but I've been too busy laughing. Truly, it's comical. Like my own real-life episode of The New Adventures Of Old Christine. What would Julia Louis-Dreyfus do?

I rarely agree to dates, especially ones that are planned more than an hour or two in advance. And when I do, I usually come up with some excuse not to follow through. But last week, I decided to try a little experiment and get off the couch. A scene-by-scene recap.

First there was David, whom I met about a month and a half ago when I was out one night with my friend Jessika. After using my entire arsenal of excuses to avoid going out with him, I finally relented on Wednesday afternoon after he text messaged me for the first time in several weeks. Memo to David: If you need to ID yourself when you sent a text message, you are obviously aware that I may have deleted your number from my phone. Let it go.

I responded anyway, agreeing to meet him at 9pm in some neutral spot halfway between our apartments (we live a block apart). I didn't hear back from him until 9.30, when I sent him another text message asking why he hadn't responded to my first one. He immediately responded with some lame excuse about how he had run out of credit, and his sister had come by for a visit. Could I meet him at 11.30? Um, no. Delete.

The next day, there was Alejandro. He found me weeks ago on Manhunt and has been begging for a face-to-face sit down ever since. On Tuesday, I finally agreed. An hour before our appointed meeting time, he sent me a message saying that his brother had taken ill and he had to take him to the ER. I wasn't sure whether to believe him, but I didn't care because I kind of didn't feel like going out anyway. He asked if we could get together on Thursday night, and I agreed. On Thursday morning, he sent me a message requesting a 7pm meeting time. He would stop by my apartment to pick me up. That was the last time I heard from him. I am almost 100 percent sure that I haven't seen the last of Alejandro.

I'll never fully understand what goes though a guy's head when he does something like this. Someone (Gustavo, see below) suggested to me that porteños are addicted to the hunt, and once they get what they want, they lose interest. "Boludez humano," he called it. That's an interesting theory that I can get behind, but did Alejandro get anything from me other than a short-and-not-so-sweet message telling him exactly what I thought of him?

Another thing about porteños
: They always come back, acting like nothing ever happened. Sometimes I wonder if they realize what jokes they are. Several weeks from now, I'll get that standard instant message from him in which he says, "Tanto tiempo." Yes, long time. Let's not break the silence now. Delete.

The following night, I was supposed to go out with Alejandro -- let's call him Alejandro No. 2, to avoid confusion. He and I met about two years ago and through some strange twist of fate, we ran into each other again earlier in the week. He gave me three different ways to contact him (his land line, two email addresses); I gave him one (my phone number). We agreed to a Friday night rendezvous. I sent him an email the following day (I don't do the telephone, unless it's to send a text message). He still hasn't responded. Delete.

Then, there is Claudio, a bartender at one of my favorite bars. He is the only one I actually pursued. After a night of exchanging flirtatious glances from different sides of the bar, I finally made my move by cornering him in the bathroom. I asked for his phone number, a kiss and a date (not necessarily in that order). He gave me all three (not necessarily in that order). The next day I sent him a text message, and he suggested that we go out Friday night, his day off. Works for me, I responded, certain that the Alejandro No. 2 thing wouldn't come to pass anyway. As it turns out, neither did the Claudio thing. He took ill and had to break the date. At least he was courteous enough to let me know well beforehand. My gut instinct tells me that it's not going to happen, and I'm not going to push it any further. Delete.

Friday night, I was contacted by Fernando, who is visiting from Chile, and had been requesting a meeting since his arrival in Buenos Aires. Having already been blown off by Claudio and Alejandro No. 2, I agreed to meet him in a pub at 1.30am. A few minutes later, my girlfriend Alexandra, who had been travelling in Europe for three months and had just returned to Buenos Aires, invited me over to her place for champagne. Alexandra or Fernando? No contest. I accepted Alex's invitation, fully intending to do some blowing off of my own. Around 2am, my conscience got the best of me. I left Alexandra and raced to the pub to find Fernando. He wasn't there. He hadn't sent me a text message asking where I was, so I assumed that although I had been 30 minutes late, he hadn't even bothered to show up. Alright then. He sent me an IM the following day to apologize, and although I was sort of curious about his excuse, I didn't respond. I spent the rest of the weekend ignoring his desperate IMs. At least now I know that porteños haven't cornered the market on bad courting style. Delete.

I had a great time Friday night anyway. Despite being stood up, I met Martín, a really cute policeman with fresh breath and a great ass who ended up driving me home in his squad car. I did not make a date with him. Though my recent choices may suggest otherwise, I'm no fool.

Finally, there is Gustavo. I had given him my phone number months ago, and on Thursday, after I had been stood up by Alejandro No. 1, he contacted me to apologize for not having called me before and requested a second chance. I absolved him of his guilt, telling him about how I had been stood up that evening and how not using my phone number pales in comparison. He said that the same thing had happened to him that week, and he invited me out for a beer so that we could commiserate. I agreed. He was the only one of the bunch who spoke English, and I was actually looking forward to sitting across from a guy and having a conversation in my own language. Plus he was 38, close to my age. (Alejandro was 34, and David appeared to be thirtysomething, but the others were all in the vicinity of the terrible twos: 22.) I was impressed when, on Saturday, he called me (no text message!) to set up our date. We eventually decided on Sunday, place and time to be determined. Sunday came and went, and I never heard from him.

Now I know what you're thinking. I easily could have contacted Gustavo myself. Yes, I could have, and I would have had I felt a burning desire to see him. But having learned my lesson and learned it very well over the course of the week, I finally decided to quit while I was behind. Anyway, I had a far more pressing date with Emmy (see the post below), and some things (like A-list award shows) are more important than any guy.

Game over.
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