As I've been volunteering at Sundance Film Festival, which of course attracts people from all over, I've had some glimmers of hope in the dating-interest department. Despite having to keep from laughing at the many pretentious and self-important people there, I was refreshed to see a few people I suspected were gay and who seemed well-adjusted, comfortable, genuine, and even...dare I say it...soulful. I checked the name badge of one such person with whom I interacted briefly in my capacity as a volunteer who immediately struck me as an interesting and sincere-seeming person: Ricky S. Turns out he's a producer and vice chair of The Trevor Project. I held back from being flirtatious but totally did a double-take and looked him in the eyes for a moment. Ha, I think he noticed, but I don't think 'flattered' would describe his return expression, so I quickly focused on the task at hand.
And then a really beautiful female volunteer joined me, and she seemed a bit shy or otherwise distant, so I talked with her, and she engaged, but she always kept her face pointed slightly away, looking at me somewhat askance, looking into the room we were in but glancing over and leaning in slightly when I'd talk to her. I figured she was either uncomfortable--maybe I had a dangling booger or she was afraid I was trying to come on to her and was trying to make it clear she wasn't interested--or maybe--though it seemed more of a stretch because she was the kind of woman who probably gets a lot of attention from men and who probably wouldn't be into guys like me--maybe she was actually attracted or something and was trying to play it cool. I realized, for the second time in the last month, "Wow, I have no idea how most career-oriented, financially independent, image-conscious adults approach dating and flirtation, let alone most women my age who have careers and would probably regard me as all kinds of ineligible for a real relationship even if I were straight. I just know how to flirt with Mormon types or college students." But I like direct, honest, games-free interaction. I like people who don't care much about money and social networking. To be honest, I'm more accustomed to college-level interaction than typical, urban thirty-something interaction.
For example, I sent flirtatious glances to the cute-seeming guy outside the projector room of the theater I've been working in...and when I accidentally grabbed or brushed him through the curtain when I reached to pull it aside just as he was passing through, and I said, "Oh, excuse me," and he said, "No, you're fine," and then the smile and nod I gave him as he left which he returned with a sort of grin/smirk as he left last night that I couldn't quite figure out: was he flirting? Was he flattered but not interested or not even gay? Was he amused at my obvious inexperience? Was he thinking of a completely unrelated joke? Am I in high school? Yeah, letting it go. ...But if I see him again, I will probably strike up a conversation out of curiosity. Just sayin'.