Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Solving the unsolved mysteries of life...

...otherwise titled, "Did I Really Try to Date a Gay Guy?"

There are some questions that you ponder during your life to which you always want to know the answers, Mysteries, perhaps, of unsaid words or feelings or unknown outcomes. Sometimes these mysteries capture a nation--like those who theorize about who killed JFK or whether Princess Diana's accident was really a freak chain of events or an evil plot.

On smaller terms, we all have our unsolved riddles. Questions such as, did that former co-worker have a crush on you or what ever happened to your best friend from the third grade who moved away. In my own life there are a few unsolved mysteries I'd like the answer to before I die. How did my purse get stolen in the summer of 2001? Did my childhood dog die of natural causes or get intentionally poisoned by my best friend's parents? And, right up there with those would be, was Steven J really gay? (Yes, I made that rhyme to be goofy and changed the name because I not THAT stupid, people.)

My freshman year of college, I met a pack of girls on my dorm floor with whom I instantly befriended. (I'd later regret knowing a few of them, but that's a story for another time.) Misty was among these girls, and she was the envy of most of our all-female dorm. She was pretty, smart, fun, and had more dates than anyone we knew. At one point, we counted that she was dating 4-5 guys at one time. Mind you, she wasn't wild or promiscuous and didn't lead the guys on. They all knew she had other "suitors" and were willing to take her out to dinner knowing that just to spend time with her and hopefully "woo" her away.

One of the guys who dated my friend caught the eye of most everyone on our floor. He was 6'4, had gorgeous blue eyes and a naturally tan complexion. He was in good shape and dressed preppy. The dude looked like he could be a walking Ralph Lauren or Polo advertisement.

I befriended Steven right away. He had a dark sense of humor, almost too warped for my pretty friend, and he was intriguing because he didn't tell you that much about himself really. Steven was fun and we all enjoyed hanging out with him. Before too long, Misty confided something to me. She wasn't going to date Steven anymore. She'd found his humor strange and she was baffled that he never seemed to make a move on her. No pecks on the cheek or attempts for the end-of-the-date kiss. She just found it bizarre, but couldn't quite figure out why. With several other hot guys at her doorstep, she could be selective. Whatever...the rest of us thought she was crazy, but we were happy she chose to "ditch" Steven!

Steven and I stayed good friends. He was my date for a sorority social and we went to lunch occasionally and hung out. It was never clear to me whether he considered us friends or wanted to date really. He did call me where he didn't call any of the other girls on my floor and usually hung out with them through me, not the other way around. So, we did have some sort of connection, although it wasn't clearly defined. He was hot, and I had no problem hanging out with a hot-looking guy because, hey, who minds that, right?

We left that freshman year and went to our homes for the summer all vowing to write one another. And, we did. I even managed to get a visit in with Misty and one other friend during the summer. And, Steven wrote me several letters too, telling funny stories from his summer job. A lot happened during that summer. I reunited and began redating my high school boyfriend again. But, once college resumed, and I returned early for sorority rush and met the man who would be my future husband, and fell head over heels for him. Everything else in my life kind of got dropped those first few weeks before school and after school resumed. The new guy and I shared a class together too, which was even better. I was getting to know his friends and hanging out with my sorority sisters more. By this time, I'd broken up with my old boyfriend because I only had eyes for the new guy. My schedule was crazy and I didn't see the girls in the dorm near as much, which I later learned lead to my "undoing" with the pack of friends.

It honestly didn't dawn on me that I hadn't spoken to Steven much since school started, I was so preoccupied with my new guy. The girls on my dorm floor began talking about me behind my back, as I discovered, and I had very hurt feelings over it. They were all still friends with Steven and hung out with him occasionally. I'd give him a wave when I saw him, but he didn't really act interested in talking. It seemed like he was mad at me too, though I didn't fully understand why.

And, then one day as I was walking along with my new boyfriend, when we ran into Steven. He briefly said hello but seemed very uncomfortable around my new guy. I wondered if maybe he'd actually liked me all along or something and that's why he reacted strangely. Could it be that his feelings were hurt that I'd moved on to date someone else?

I soon learned, that probably wasn't the reason for his reaction.

"Do you know that guy?" My new guy asked.

"Yeah. He's a friend...well kind of. I'm not sure, but we may have kind of dated briefly." I said.

"WHAT? NO WAY!" He exclaimed.

Puzzled at his reaction, I asked why.

"Because he's gay. Didn't you know that?" He replied.

"No is he NOT!" I countered, "he dated my friend and we went out a couple of times too."

Suddenly, those concerns Misty had went flashing through my head. It was true, he never really "made the moves" on me. In fact, I had felt I was more the one inviting him to parties and things trying to figure out if he liked me for a friend or more.

"Don't you know his best friend Sam? OK, I KNOW Sam is definitely gay. He actually hit on a friend of mine and almost got beat up one night in our dorm. We always assumed Steven was gay too. Everyone thinks that in our dorm."

I was speechless. Some things were starting to add up. Stories Steven had told me were fitting with this scenario. He had been kicked out of one of the best fraternities on campus and not on good terms, but never would talk much about it except to say he was really hurt by it. He didn't have a lot of friends, except for Sam and the girls on our floor. He never really shared much about himself or had friends in his dorm. He dressed impecably and was so well groomed and, well...just pretty. Was he gay? Could I have asked out a gay guy, really? Was I that clueless? More importantly, was I the laughing stock of the gay community on campus for barking up the wrong tree?

The next three years of school flew by and I rarely saw Steven. It actually made me a little sad because we had been good friends. It also made it impossible for me to answer the gay-or-not mystery. A few times a year, we'd pass on campus and I'd try to wave or one of us would awkwardly look away. As far as I know, my former dorm friends kept in touch with him too. Right before we graduated, I saw him at a casino party at a nearby apartment complex with another girl. Someone said it was his girlfriend.

"See!" I told my boyfriend, who was not at all convinced that Steven was not still gay.
"Just because he's supposedly here with someone, that doesn't mean he's not gay. I'm just sayin'..." he smirked.

I haven't thought about Steven in years, aside the few times that my now husband would tease me about trying to date a gay guy in college. But, last night, I had a very bizarre dream where Steven was stalking me and trying to kill me. Through the entire dream, people would tell me he was dangerous and out to kill me, and I wouldn't believe them. I'd vocally stand up for him and tell them they were crazy. In the end, he killed two people and I found proof of it and realized that he really was a stalker/murder.

I have no idea what that dream all means, but I have a feeling it has to do with those unanswered questions. I have never been good with unresolved relationships OR unsolved mysteries in my life. And, I'd have been much happier if my dream had told me whether or not Steven J was gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. Inquiring minds just want to know...


Blogger Lisabell said...

I found out last year (from my mom -- ack) that a guy I briefly dated in HS was gay and is in fact dying of AIDS. It made me feel guilty, for some reason. I've actually tried to google him, but can't find him. But learning that he was gay did indeed answer some questions in my mind from our time "dating"...

Wow, that was a downer. Sorry...

7:54 PM, July 26, 2006  
Blogger Babaloo said...

I had a summer crush back when I was 17 on gay man (I either didn't know or didn't realize). I was very naive at the time, so it was probably a good thing he wasn't some horny strait guy because he probably would have had his way with me. I haven't thought about that in a very long time!

5:41 PM, July 27, 2006  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Aren't unresolved relationships the worst? They nag you for years. I'm sure Steven was going through hell during college and had no idea how to talk to you about it all. Glad you found your darling hubby, though!

9:25 AM, July 28, 2006  

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