I like to think I’m a good catch. Even better than a good catch, actually. I’m stunningly beautiful, smart, funny and just fantastic. The idea that I could be rejected is ludicrous.
So imagine my surprise when that’s exactly what happened. It was a blow that led me to consume way too much whiskey and, ultimately, solicit advice about women from an unlikely source: my straight younger brother.
A few months ago, when all this started, the object of my affections looked deep into my eyes and I swore time had stopped. But my usual charms weren’t having any impact. Now obviously I’m single and clueless but I’m not above asking for help.
I sat down for a roundtable meeting with my friends. They’re all coupled so I figured they must know what they’re talking about. It was kind of like the television show Intervention only without the cameras, the creepy voiceover and the tears.
They told me to break my usual pattern of sex appeal overload, mini-mini dresses, high heels, smoky black eye shadow and blood-red lipstick. Apparently some girls find that intimidating. Who knew?
Instead I was to let her get to know me better, have real conversations and be more approachable. Less is more they chanted. I needed to be more girl-next-door and less sex kitten. I was still to be myself of course but to tone down the vavavoom a notch or three.
I put the plan into action the next few times I saw the woman in question. I was calm, cool and collected, funny and awkward in a way I hoped could be considered cute. I made friendly conversation and flirted just enough to let her know I was interested. I gave it my best shot, I really did. But after a while, well, I just felt ridiculous because I wasn’t being myself.
The new tactic didn’t go over any better than my previous approach. While she was friendly she never gave me any signs that she liked me back. (I know, how very Grade 8, but that’s exactly how I felt during the entire clumsy escapade.)
The pursuit was painfully exciting and then, after a few months, it was just painful. Enough so that I decided to seek out my little brother’s common sense since apparently I have none of my own. After all my brother Romaine is gorgeous and has a lot of experience with the ladies. I figured he wouldn’t sugarcoat his advice. He’d give it to me straight — pun intended.
After I explained my dilemma he answered without hesitation. “She doesn’t like you, leave her alone.”
“But, but…,” I stuttered in protest.
“Listen,” he insisted, “I don’t want you to keep making a fool out of yourself. She’s not interested. Stop it.”
It was a good thing I was sitting down for that one. It was hard to hear, although I think part of me already knew the embarrassing truth. It was like there was a voice in the back of my head reminding me not to run after girls or buses — the end result being that I end up tired and looking foolish. But I guess sometimes I just need someone else to spell out what I already know.
Then again is a straight man really qualified to give a lesbian dating advice? Aren’t the dynamics between two women completely different than they are in a heterosexual relationship? How it is that my biological brother was able to see to the heart of the matter when my queer friends weren’t?
I would argue that the interaction between women tends to be more emotional and more verbal, something which, unfortunately, can lead to too much lesbian processing. It’s cliché, but it’s a very important part of being with a woman.
Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, goes the saying. Lord knows I’ve heard so many of my straight female friends complain that it often feels they’re not even speaking the same language with their partners. I’ve seen it for myself when I’ve watched my female friends with their boyfriends. So does my brother really know what he’s talking about? Just because we both dine at the same restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean we’re both reading from the same menu.
On the other hand people are people, gay or straight, and the jittery feeling of liking someone and trying to sort out whether or not they like you is the same no matter what your sexual identification. His advice could be just as valid as if I’d received it from any of my queer friends. Maybe he’s just far enough outside of the scene to be objective.
Besides I feel like I need all the help I can get. Just like anyone else I’m looking for that connection, for something real. I wonder how much more of myself I’m willing to expose — and how much more whiskey I’ll consume before finding the right girl for me.