Resume pizza break! And don’t be a douche in Denver, this town is too small for that…

So when I went on my pizza break, I never really had a defined ending point. I figured I would just see if I got bored of having a pizza break, or see if anyone that seemed worth my time came my way. The goal of the pizza break was to be open to possibilities in the man department, but not try hard. Which has been nice, let me just say. I’ve been referring to 2015 as “Don’t Give a Fuck 2015.” Which is not to say that I give no fucks about anything, but I am being selective about the fucks I give. Literally and figuratively. So I have been just minding my own business, enjoying my life, writing archival stories in my blog because there haven’t been any dudes all up on me.

Until a series of events transpired a couple weeks ago. I went out for a birthday celebration for one of my friends and met up with her and a bunch of her peeps, some of whom I didn’t know. This cohort of revelers included one dude who we will call “Undercover Bro,” because he didn’t really seem like a bro at first.

First of all, he didn’t even know my friend, he came with one of her hippie friends who was wearing a scarf that looked like cat paws the entire night. You know, those ones favored by 13-year-old girls where you can put your hands inside a flap and pretend they are paws? Yeah, this guy was his main associate, so I figured him to not be so much of a bro. Undercover bro’s “game,” if you will, was talking about feminism and gender roles, having a ridiculous sense of humor that nicely complimented mine, and getting me to give him rides. That type of game is apparently more effective on me than Tastycakes or love poems…. But, needless to say, these are not your typical bro moves. We had a surprising amount of very honest and interesting conversation in one night. I actually thought he was enjoying my personality, and he was all up on me the entire night at my friend’s party. Which ended when I drove him home at 4am and we made out in my car in front of his house. Which I drove him to because he has no car. He didn’t invite me in because it was late, but I kind of suspect he lives with his parents, in retrospect.

But whatever, we hung out one more time and then I think he lost interest because I didn’t sleep with him the second time we hung out? I tried to hang out with him again a couple times but he didn’t really seem to want to so I stopped trying. Whatever, clearly this undercover bro showed his true colors.

So this was the start of a month-long festival of “Denver is a small town” coincidences and other weird episodes that began the very same weekend I met this undercover bro dude.

A friend of mine, we’ll call her Lindsey (many women of my generation are named this, but this woman is not, in reality, named Lindsey) asks me in passing, “How do you know so-and-so?” So-and-so being a guy who she was talking to on Tinder who she saw was my facebook friend. That’s one of the joys of Tinder, you can judge people by their acquaintances on facebook and/or do recon on people by asking your mutual friends about them. Turns out, she was about to meet up with this guy who is my roommate’s ex, and someone who I am also connected to through my work. I told Lindsey she probably didn’t want none of that, not because he’s a bad guy, but because he’s not very motivated in life and wasn’t compatible with my roommate, and Lindsey and my roommate are friends and very similar people and so it would be weird and probably not work on several levels. And I totally forgot to tell my roommate, so Lindsey brought it up, thinking I already told her, which was also weird. Complicated.

This whole ex situation makes my roommate curious about Tinder, and somehow makes me want to go on Tinder. Also maybe the fact that I got rejected by undercover bro, maybe there were a few fucks given by accident about that. I will say this for Tinder, it boosts my confidence when I see how many dudes think I am attractive enough to theoretically bang. Anyway, my roomate seems curious, so my other roommate and I teach her how to play our favorite (and only?!) Tinder game, “Find the fish.” I think I have mentioned this before. It’s very simple. The first person to find a dude with a picture of himself holding a fish wins. I won, repeatedly. This caused me to get several Tinder matches in the process, several of whom started messaging me. I will come back to these later.

So, the next coincidence that happens is that my co-worker starts talking about how he ran into this guy at the dentist who works at another local nonprofit and sends out a lot of mass emails with his picture on them as part of his job. And how this dude was super awkward when my colleague introduced himself and told him he recognized him from the pictures. Unbeknownst to my co-worker, I had dated this guy years ago. And he was super awkward when I dated him. We went to a really good but sad independent movie at the Denver Film Festival, and I cried during the movie. Which made our already-awkward dating even more awkward.

Next coincidence, and this might be my favorite, I run into Wiener Problems Guy (see previous post, “Come on, little guy!”) at the DMV. He walks right by me we make eye contact for a split second, and he looks away like he’s seen a ghost and keeps walking. I almost start laughing out loud at his look of fear but luckily, the pervasive depressing and boring atmosphere of the DMV saves me from actually laughing and further embarrassing this poor little guy who can’t just can’t seem to recover from that wiener malfunction.

And the hits keep coming! This weekend, I go out for another friend’s birthday, and see my friend whose birthday I went to a few weeks ago. So, birthday friend number one and I are shooting the shit because birthday friend number two is late for her own birthday! Birthday friend number one says, what happened with that undercover bro guy you met at my party? I tell her he lost interest. She doesn’t seem that surprised and shows me a text from another girlfriend of hers that is a screenshot of undercover bro’s Tinder profile with the caption, “Isn’t this the guy who was all over your friend at your party?” Yes, it is. Hilarious. I don’t think I have seen him on Tinder myself yet, but who knows, I could have already swiped left on him.

Birthday friend number two arrives after a while and also asks me what happened with that undercover bro guy I met at birthday friend number one’s party. I also tell her he lost interest. She says she ran into him at the Ginn Mill with his bro-y friends the previous weekend. Sounds about right. All the pieces of the bro puzzle are coming together. The night I met him, he told me that the night before he had been at the ViewHouse. I made fun of him about that… I call that place the DoucheHouse because, well, you can figure it out. But I realize now that I was making fun of his whole lifestyle. Maybe that’s why he didn’t want to hang out any more. I mean, in some ways, I think it must be nice to be 30 years old and not have a car and live with your parents and sell credit cards at the airport and go to LoDo every weekend. The only part of that sentence that is not a stated fact is the living with the parents part. So next time I’m at a bachelorette party or something in LoDo, or at the airport, I will be sure to see this dude. Awesome.

Other “Denver is a small town” sidebar. At least I’m straight. I’m pretty sure Denver is even smaller if you’re gay. The site of this story about birthday friend number two and her party was Hamburger Mary’s. I managed to run into both my old roommate and another friend I know through a different gay friend there that night. The two of them actually know each other, also. Basically, I feel like it would suck to be gay and try to avoid exes in this town. You could never go to Vinyl, Beer Bust, Tracks, or apparently Hamburger Mary’s.

Last but not least, the final cherry on top of my ridiculous return to sort-of almost-dating, and one of the reasons I am going back to no-fucks-given-pizza-break-mode is this. One of the more promising Tinder matches I was chatting with after my fish-finding episode keeps making it seem like he wants to hang out and then not messaging me back. He asks to hang out with me yesterday, and I suggest a time I’m available between other things I’ve got going on. “My wife gets back at 7 so I don’t think we’d have enough time if we got a drink at 5.” What the hell?!?! Don’t put that on your profile or anything, just drop it casually in conversation when you’re trying to set up a date! Jesus, man, Tinder is the worst place to cheat on your wife! I probably know her. Or her divorced/single/cheating on her husband friend is going to see you on there and rat you out. So the moral of this story is: Don’t be a douche in this town, not just for the usual reasons such as “being a douche is bad,” but for “Denver is a small town” reasons!

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Cougar Town

Denver is a small town. I see dudes I used to date out and about surprisingly frequently. Apparently, this happens to other people a lot, too. I was inspired to write this post because I was recently with a friend who ran into an ex that she hadn’t seen for several years at a bar in our neighborhood and I successfully helped her remain incognito. When I run into exes, depending on the breakup situation, I usually go for one of the following options. Option 1 – Leave whatever establishment I am in upon sighting the ex. While exiting, I try to hide my face/hide behind the person I’m with. I’m 6’2″ so this isn’t always possible. Option 2 – Look around the bar/concert/restaurant periodically to assess whether or not the ex sees me, but never look in his direction long enough to make eye contact. This one is usually a good strategy at concerts because there are so many people, how are they to know if I really see them or not! Clearly I am too cool and having too much fun to actually recognize or acknowledge them. You can also do this while in a restaurant by appearing super engaged in conversation with your dining companions whenever you think said ex might be looking at you. Option 3 – Engage with the ex if the circumstances are right. When are the circumstances right? For me, if I feel like I look particularly good that day, the circumstances are right. If I am on a date with someone who is the same hotness level or hotter than said ex, I will definitely talk to the ex. Briefly, of course, and introduce him to my equally-hot-as or hotter-than-him date. Option 4 – Cause a scene and get close to blows with an ex at my friend’s wedding because we are both drunk. Perhaps I will tell that story in a later post.

Anyway, I have seen this particular ex about three times since we stopped dating, if you can really call it dating. First of all, I met this dude at his place of employment, probably about 3 or 4 years ago, where he was a bartender. It was an upscale Denver sushi establishment that will remain nameless to protect the innocent. We were talking because my friends were about 15 minutes late to meet me, and he seemed nice and was cute, so I gave him my number. My friends were making fun of me by singing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” in reference to this incident. So according to Wikipedia, this must have happened in 2011-2012 because that was when that song was a single. I didn’t think he was actually going to call me maybe because it took him about 2 weeks to text me.

But then he texted me, and we went on a date. It was an ok date, he seemed really into the fact that I could speak Spanish and liked Spanish music, particularly Ricardo Arjona, apparently Ricardo Arjona is his favorite singer ever. In my bro typology I outlined in previous posts, this bro was definitely a Mexicanbro. He was literally from Mexico and had only been living in the states since high school. Speaking of high school, for him high school was still a recent memory because he was 22. Ugh, I need to ask the age of dudes before I ask them out, I thought to myself. At the time I was about 28 or 29, so that might not seem like much of an age difference, but this is a dude we are talking about. So I figured that his age explained the fact that he would only communicate with my by text (remember, 2-3 years ago, people did sometimes still make phone calls, so only texting was actually a bit unusual).

Anyway, most of this story is sort of boring, this kid worked all the time and was going to school so he was always just trying to get me to come hang out with him at the bar at his work. So I spent time hanging out there and having him make me drinks, but the main funny thing that happened with him was this. I love karaoke, and the place he worked at had a karaoke night. So I decided to bring some friends and he told me he would be able to hang out with us for part of the time because his shift was ending before the bar closed. They even had a karaoke contest, so I brought my A game and so did my friends. I decided to sing a song in Spanish for him because he would like it, so I did my best rendition of Selena’s “Como la Flor.” If you don’t know this one, give it a listen and imagine a tall white girl singing it, channeling Selena with dramatic hand motions and facial expressions. That’s what was happening.

He decided to do his own dedication to me by singing Ricardo Arjona’s “Senora de las Cuatro Decadas.” Which roughly translates to “40-Year-Old Woman.” And it’s basically a song about Ricardo Arjona being in love with a 40-year-old cougar and how much he wants to have sex with her even though she looks old. It’s a really weird song that is vaguely offensive while trying to be complimentary. I actually just watched the video and I highly recommend it, it involves Ricardo Arjona breaking into an operating room to stop his cougar lover from getting plastic surgery and then taking her on a boat? It’s really old school and awesome:

And pretty much no one else in the joint knew Spanish, but the whole thing made me feel really weird, even though he claimed that he wasn’t trying to call me old, or proposition me for sex via karaoke (we hadn’t slept together at this point) but he just liked that song and thought I would like it too because I like Ricardo Arjona. So then I really felt like a cougar, and my friends, who were already skeptical about me dating this young baby, tried to act like they thought the whole thing was sweet and not weird or creepy.

Also, that night, there was plenty going on because the karaoke competition was intense between one of my friends, who is a trained classical vocalist, and some dude who was just a regular at the bar. Clearly politics were in play because they kept claiming it was a tie between this bro dude and my friend, when it was obvious that any impartial judge would have awarded my friend the $20 bar tab that was at stake. They eventually even did a dance off, which featured my friend doing the worm. Come on, if you are committed enough to do the worm on the floor of a bar, you are clearly in it to win it! But they eventually ruled it a tie and awarded the grand prize to both my friend and this other bro. Dumb, but at least my friend got a few free drinks out of the deal.

We hung out a few more times after that, but young baby Mexican dude was always really slow to communicate and hard to make plans with and it just got old after a while so I tried to call him to break up with him. But he wouldn’t ever answer actual phone calls so I left him a breakup voicemail, and followed it up with a text for good measure. He never was going to get to have sex with that 40-year-old (actually 29-year-old) cougar…

So after all that, a friend of mine decides to have birthday dinner at said sushi place where Ricardo Arjona fan dude worked. I go, because I am a good friend. Of course, he is there. I go for the strategy of saying hi and a few very brief pleasantries because it’s my friend’s birthday, so I look nice. Then I see him again, not once, but twice, at his new place of employment, another restaurant down the street from the place he used to work. Those times I went with the “avoid eye contact” strategy of ex-spotting techniques.

Have fun out there, people, and pay attention to my patented strategies to use when you run into an ex in our lovely town of Denver. Because you will.