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!

Dating the “United States of Bros,” Part two

Now for the much-awaited (by me! I am having so much fun writing about bros!) second installment of my commentary on the wonderful Jezebel piece about the “United States of Bros.” Again, for your reading pleasure:

http://jezebel.com/the-united-states-of-bros-a-map-and-field-guide-1550563737?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

I didn’t have enough time to write about two of my favorite bro categories yet, so here they are!

Per our friends at Jezebel:

The Masshole

Uniform: Polo shirt, backwards BoSox cap, white Adidas shoes. Shamrock tat. That. Accent.
Habitat: Dive bars. Fenway. Massive L-shaped couch in a white-walled apartment.
Hobbies: Driving like an aggressive dick, throwing around homophobic insults like it’s the early 90’s.
Secret shame: They feel very little shame.
Celeb brospiration: The Wahlberg brothers

This is a rather accurate description of the Masshole. My experience with these bros comes in two forms. First, many of my male relatives are some variant of a Masshole because they grew up in New Hampshire, which is has pretty much been annexed into Masshole territory. I mean, let’s be real, there is nothing cool for a New Hampshire bro to rep, their state only had the Old Man in the Mountain going for it and that fell off, so any self-respecting bro in that region is going to need to stick with the prevailing bro culture of Masshole-dom. My other bro experiences stem from living in Boston for a summer in college. During that summer, I learned that the wealthier Massholes like to throw big parties in empty North End luxury condos that their rich mafia relatives own, and the less well-heeled ones like to throw big parties in their tiny apartments in Back Bay. Both like to throw things out the window during said parties.

How to date the Masshole:

Massholes enjoy underage drinking, like all bros, so my advantage with Masshole bros while I lived in Boston was that I had just turned 21 and could bring booze to their various bro parties. Being good at beer pong is also a good way to impress a Masshole. I honestly would not say I have “dated” a Masshole. I would say that I have hooked up a few times with a Masshole that I met at a bro party that my cousin’s friend threw. I also had to seriously question my life choices when said Masshole went out in public intentionally wearing TWO POPPED COLLARS. Let that sink in. Not one, but TWO popped collars. Also, one of the two golf shirts he was wearing was pink. I was hanging out with him and some of his friends and pretty much just had to make an excuse to leave after about an hour because I could not deal with that level of douche clothing style and not laugh in his face. Pro tip for bros in general (I know many bros across this beautiful country still enjoy popping their collars although the height of that trend is over), wearing two popped collars is a good way to cockblock yourself. There are some levels of bro-dom that ladies can cope with, even enjoy, but that crosses the line. But yes, this bro that I hooked up with in Boston mostly seemed to like me because I was good at listening to the various very smart and funny and awesome things he had to say in his Bawston accent… Massholes enjoy hearing themselves talk and a) being told they are so right about everything or b) having people just smile and nod, implying they are indeed right about everything. At least I never had to drive with any Massholes because we just rode the “T” everywhere.

The Colorado Bro

Uniform: Also known as “The Winter Bro,” the Colorado Bro is dressed for the slopes as often as the weather and his budget permits.
Intoxicant of choice: Bales and bales of pot.
Hobbies: Skiing/snowboarding, smoking bales and bales of pot.
Celeb brospiration: Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy

Of all of the broscriptions I have quoted from the Jezebel article, this one is actually the most lacking. As many people not from here seem to do these days, all mention of Colorado has been reduced to jokes about legal weed. Colorado bros do love weed, but they also love hiking, having dogs, drinking craft beer, and as a dear friend of mine pointed out, wearing button-down shirts and going out in LoDo. The primary habitat of the Colorado bro is either LoDo (maybe at LoDo’s or the Viewhouse bro-ing out, maybe getting drunk in the Rockpile at a Rockies game, tailgaiting for a Broncos game, or maybe trying to impress a lady with a fancy dinner at the Cheescake Factory) or the mountains (skiing, snowboarding, drinking, camping, drinking, smoking weed, hiking, etc.). Another important thing to note is that the Colorado bro is mostly NOT from Colorado. No one here is from here. So much of Colorado bro culture is shaped by the heavy influx of Chicago, Portland, Dallas and Great Plains Bros, as well as a generous sprinkling of East and West Coast bro transplants. Probably the non-native bro species most likely to be found in the wild in Denver are Chicago and Portland Bros, to the point that Colorado bro-ness is actually more defined by these other cities than by Denver itself (we are trying so hard to become Portland but we haven’t fully made it!). We’re going to stick with Denver for now for the purposes of my broscription here because other major metro areas in Colorado are a whole different ballgame.

How to date the Colorado Bro:

Let’s be clear, this whole blog is basically about dating Colorado bros… So apparently, my strategy in dating Colorado bros involves hitting on dudes in bars, lots of online dating, getting asked out in the grocery store, and meeting bros through friends… I think one important strategy for snagging your very own Colorado bro is being really hard core into skiing or snowboarding. This puts me at a huge disadvantage because I do neither of those things. However, I am really into hiking and backpacking, other favorite pastimes of Colorado bros, so at least that helps a little. Another skill that I have that has gotten me play with a specific subset of Colorado bros is speaking Spanish. Colorado is a pretty white state, but there is a fair population, at least in Denver, of what I will call Chicanbros and Mexicanbros… Chicanbros are born here and don’t actually speak Spanish any more than your average white dude but are impressed that you do and it makes them think you are hot and smart but also makes them feel vaguely ashamed that they are a fraud because they don’t speak the language of their ancestors. Mexicanbros either spoke Spanish growing up or are straight up from Mexico and still learning English. Their dream girl is a white girl that speaks Spanish. Other strategies that I have seen my fellow Colorado girls employ successfully to snag Colorado bros include: being really into the Broncos or Rockies, wearing a sundress at Jazz in the Park, going out in LoDo and drinking a lot and grinding on bros, or being a tour guide for a brand-new bro transplant that just moved to Colorado and doesn’t know anyone… The potential of this last strategy cannot be overstated. It works especially well if said bro transplant is also from your home state. You have at least an 80% chance of making that bro want to marry you. Newly-arrived Colorado bros are unsure and in need of stability, like baby horses learning to walk. So providing that stability and having sex with them is a sure-fire strategy to get them to fall in love with you, whether you want them to or not. This strategy can also backfire if your bro never forms social bonds of his own and becomes annoying and clingy. Some advantages of dating Colorado bros include the fact that they tend to be willing to have fun and try new things (as long as it’s not during a Broncos game), they tend to be calm and not prone to anger issues because they are either high on some sort of substance, or on life because they are YOLO (in bro language, I am pretty sure YOLO can indeed qualify as a state of being) and SO EXCITED to live here and not in whatever shitty place they came from. Disadvantages of dating Colorado bros include the fact that they will never love you more than their new snowboard/mountain bike/climbing shoes/bong, and the fact that maturity and emotional intelligence-wise, they have about a 50-50 chance of remaining in the equivalent of a college frat bro phase for their entire lives.

Ah, so many wonderful bros of America! Hope you enjoyed my tips, now go out and get your very own regional bro!