For those tired of playing games like Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon, I’d like to offer a fun alternative you can play any time you’re out – on the street, the TTC, in a nightclub or even in cyberspace, just so long as you’re likely to run into people from your past who you’ve had feelings for: lust, love, worship, awe and all that jazz.
It’s called What Was I Thinking? WWIT for short. You can play it alone or with friends.
WWIT will take you back in time to people you’ve slept with and give you food for thought about those you want to sleep with now. People you would have killed your mother to shag, people you put on a pedestal, people who rocked your world even though you never even met them, just about anyone your little heart lusted for – all are fair game. This game is especially fun and easy to play if you are particularly sexually active. I’ve played WWIT on other continents.
I played it the other day just going to the grocery store. I ran into the guy who, back in my days as an ingénue, was to be my lover for life. Although I had only seen him in the light of a darkened bar, I was into him in the worst way. I’d soak alone in a bubble bath every night, lit candles everywhere, my Kenny G greatest hits cassette in the stereo, fantasizing that my lover would come and we’d make sweet, bitter love in clouds of Fa soapsuds.
Jesus H Christ, what was I thinking? Fast-forward 15 years and here he is by the avocados, saying hello and I’m saying hello and suddenly we’re chatting. But I’m not listening because I’m seeing paunch, seeing a bulbous nose informing me he’s still a drinker. I’m so glad my dreams did not come true, that we’re not living together in a dee-luxe apartment in the sky. It was such a doozy of a WWIT moment I forgot why I’d gone shopping.
WWIT moments can also happen when you spot people you once deigned out of your league who today are not remotely the A-lister they once appeared to be, schlepping along like the schlepper they became – or likely always were.
You can also play it with the people in your life now – just use your imagination to fast-forward. I have a friend who plays it with one-night stands. Recently he had his best session of WWIT ever when he woke up hung-over at a shag’s place, with what looked like Oprah without her makeup lying heavy on his arm, snoring.
WWIT teaches us how often we put great expectations on people before even fully knowing them. We can mythologize people based on just one or two traits we think they might have – that deep voice must mean he’s great in bed – and then find our misguided conclusions hard to shake. WWIT changes that, though.
The more you’ve built a person up unrealistically, the more points you score. Whenever you reach 10 points, you get to buy yourself something pretty.
Score one point if you’re a typical gay man who judges the boy by the bod. Maybe Hercules once made you swoon but these days he’s the size of a barn. Score three points if you lusted for someone based on a stereotype, like with that beautiful black guy who, when you finally had real sex with him, had only two peas and a pod between his legs. Five points if you were too dim to get past a guy’s beautiful face and discover that’s all there was.
You get a bonus point if you were ever in awe of anyone because they reminded you of a celebrity. My friend Jon scored just such a point the other day. Because a guy looked to Jon like the identical twin of Jon’s favourite porn star (Jon has an unambitious definition of celebrity), Jon assumed the guy would be all that in the sack. Jon’s expectations were not met and it was awkward ever since their first encounter. What was he thinking in those days and weeks?
What, indeed. But the good news is that this one WWIT bonus point gave Jon what he needed to go buy himself a pair of new Dolce & Gabbana pubic jeans.
One caveat, though. This game gets around fast. I found that out as not long ago when I overheard an ex-boyfriend mutter the magic words under his breath as he passed me by.
But don’t let that stop you from keeping your eyes peeled for all those faces from your past, and for those you think you want in your future. Look at them now. See them. Play WWIT enough and, if you’re like me, you’ll soon come to realize that sometimes you don’t think much at all.