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Decode This

May 10, 2012

Remember those cheap decoder rings you used to get in the bottom of cereal boxes? Or, if you’re me, you eat the entire box only to have a sibling some how pick that day to eat a bowl of that cereal and get that decoder ring you’ve coveted since the day you picked out the box of cereal at the grocery store with your mom. Yeah, that ring.

We need those decoder rings as adults to figure out what’s actually happening in relationships. It would be so much easier than relying on our own flawed memory of any interactions to determine the other person’s true feelings. Just line up the actions with the symbol and write the corresponding emotion on your little note pad. Seriously. How many more hours in the day would you have if you didn’t have to wonder “is he into me too?”

There are three gentlemen that I’ve been meeting with recently. While they are all great in their own ways, there is specifically one that I’m hoping things move forward with. We’ve been chatting for a while and have gone out a few times; it seemed like we were both moving in the same direction. Until the end of our last social interaction.

We had evening plans in my neighbourhood so he parked at my place and we walked the three blocks. I was my usual charming, witty, and modest self. Mostly modest. It was an enjoyable evening consisting of great conversation with an attractive date. He wasn’t too shabby looking either. (See, totally modest!) I did have some issues drinking from the wine glass – pretty sure the restaurant gave me a dribble glass on purpose – but who hasn’t spilled something at some point in their adult life?

As we walked back to my place, I was feeling pretty good about the evening. We had laughed a lot which is important for me. I once dated a guy who didn’t share my sense of humour and I will never do that again. I don’t need a guy to be the clown in the relationship, but I need him to get my sense of humour. I can not be the only person laughing when I tell the story about buying my step-grandpa’s new gravestone. I just can’t. This current guy laughed at that story so big brownie points for him.

We arrive to my door and it’s as if we had just had the worst date in the world. There was none of the usual lingering chitchat, no kiss or even hug good night, nothing. Fuck. Even a handshake would have been more welcoming than his demeanour once we were standing on my stoop.

“I had a good time tonight. We should do it again. Good night.” And then he just turned and walked to his car. I don’t know if my dad had snuck into my place and was standing behind me with a shot gun, but he bolted. I felt like the little boy at the end of Shane: I couldn’t understand why he was leaving so quickly, I wanted him to come back, I wanted a do-over. Hell, mother wants you, Shane! (If you’ve never watched Shane, I probably just sound like a horny single nerd but it’s a movie reference. I swear. And I’m a horny single nerd, but mostly the movie reference part.)

It led to a confusion of thoughts running through my mind as I lay in bed. Did I say something at the end of the walk? Did I not say something at the end of the walk? Were my boobs not as inviting as I thought? Was I perhaps too modest? Did he just realize he’s gay as we were walking up the stairs and he suddenly had to run away to start a Village People Tribute band? What was it?

Starting tomorrow, I only buy cereal that has a decoder ring as the prize. I need to get to the bottom of this.

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