I don’t do one-night stands. It’s not that I have a huge moral objection to them or have never had one. If you like them, more power to you. Have all the one-night stands you can get in this life. You go, Glen CoCo. I just don’t like them and can’t with them. First off, I have a host of insecurities about my body. No amount of turned off lights and soothing background music can make them disappear. I also have inexplicable problems with intimacy–mostly that I’d rather not connect on any real level with anyone. The idea of undressing with a stranger just to do the sex and never hear from them again is about as appealing as wearing an itchy sweater in 90-degree humid summer weather. So, not appealing at all, just so we’re clear–in case wearing an itchy sweater in sweltering heat is your thing.
I am the type of person that needs some assurance and reassurance before getting to a physical level. If I get to the point where I’m taking off my clothes with you and we’re romping around the bed/couch/other surfaces, then I need some type of guarantee that I can trust you with my body. Call it old fashioned. Call it insecurity. Call it whatever you want. I call it my-body-my-rules. I need to have an emotional connection, trust, and respect with someone before I can become intimate with a person. Of course, like with most things, there is sometimes an exception. Even if at the time, we didn’t realize we were making an exception.
I met Kristy on Tinder. (I guess that’s a really stereotypical way to start a story about a one-night stand.) After a few messages we decided to meet each other in person and go on a date. This was the first time I was meeting someone I had matched with on Tinder, in real life. We chose to meet up for happy hour at Wine Loft. It was a perfect balance of cheap but classy. Happy hour meant drink specials and a budget friendly bill, while Wine Loft meant classy and adult-level date.
I arrived first, chose a table outside, and tried to decide between the chair that faced the door to the patio area or the chair that faced the sidewalk she’d probably walk past. I chose to face the door, deciding it’d be weird to make eye contact and then have to wait for her to enter the restaurant and come all the way around to the outside and approach me from behind. Yes, I really did run through both scenarios in my head, why? Because I overthink everything, while looking like I think about nothing. It’s a skill. She arrived late, giving the waitress enough time to ask me three times if I was ready to order and one time to confirm I was actually meeting someone. As soon as the waitress asked this, my brain went into a spiral; What if she is standing me up? Do I stay and order some wine? It is happy hour which means it’s a good deal. If I get wine should I just order a flight? That’s probably too much wine to drink by oneself in public. Unless I looked like I was a food critic…a wine critic. Do people get paid to be wine critics? Let’s get critical, I wanna get critical…That’d be a good theme song for my wine critique show. Should I text Kristy and ask if she’s coming? Oh look, a woman who looks vaguely like the tinder pictures–she was no taller than 5’ and had curly blonde hair and brown eyes. Her smile was like a smile out of a toothpaste commercial, her teeth were so white. She’s walking towards me, she’s waving. This is probably her.
“Hi, I’m Kristy, sorry I’m late. I’d say I’m never late to try and make a good impression, but I’m always late.” She smiled as she embraced me in a surprise hug. I was never sure if you shook hands or hugged on first dates with strangers.
“Hi Kristy, I’m Jay–obviously. No worries, I just got here, myself (lies). Did you find parking?” I rambled. Of course she had found parking, dingledoofus–she was here, wasn’t she? Fortunately, I got my act together and our conversation became effortless. After a couple glasses of wine, I became very aware that I needed food–stat. We had only planned for happy hour drinks. That way, in case things were awful, one or both of us could quickly escape and have the rest of our evening to do better things. Which for me would mean going home and watching Netflix with a bottle of wine. But, since things seemed to be going well, I asked if she wanted to grab dinner somewhere. And she did. We walked a few blocks, our hands brushing against one another with each step. After passing several restaurants, we decided on one.
The restaurant we chose had “mood lighting” which really meant that I couldn’t read the menu without pulling out my phone flashlight. Despite this embarrassing move that might have made me seem 65, the date was going well. We were laughing lots and finding we had a lot in common. Which is impressive, considering that we met on tinder—which isn’t known for its ability to actually do a good job matching people. As the night wrapped up, I knew I wanted to see her again. I also knew that I didn’t want to waste her time or mine if she wasn’t going to be okay with me being transgender. As I will discuss in future posts, coming out as transgender is never easy, especially on a date—and/or I haven’t perfected my delivery.
Throughout our date I had tried to listen to signals for whether she’d be more likely or less likely to accept me being transgender. I had told her my profession and she thought it was really cool. So that at least made her pro-LGBT rights. But didn’t necessarily mean she wanted to date a transman. She watched Orange is the New Black and Sophia was her favorite character– another point in the liberal and pro-LGBT column. She had always wanted to go to Kalamazoo Pride–point. She had lived in Denver for the last year–eh we’ll call it a point. I assessed the risk factors and decided to tell her.
“I had a really good time tonight and I’d like to see you again. I don’t want to waste your time or my time, so there is something you should know about me first.” She looked nervous. I really needed to figure out a way to introduce it without it sounding so ominous. “I’m trans. I know that could be a big thing to drop on someone on a first date, so if you have questions, I’m happy to answer the best I can.” I smiled to try to convey that it wasn’t a big deal. I gripped my drink tighter as a pause of silence fell loudly.
“Thank you for telling me. I think it’s so cool you told me on a first date, that’s so awesome. My last relationship was with a woman, so—not that this is the same—I just meant—humans are complicated.” She smiled and took a breath. “I’d like to see you again, too.” She finished.
I paid our bill and we exited. I offered to walk with her to her car, because I am a gentleman and also wanted some more time with her. As we walked I slipped my hand in hers with a smoothness that surprised me. She turned to me and asked if I wanted to come back to her place for some more wine. I didn’t even have to think about it, of course I did.
At her place she poured me a glass of wine and we went into her backyard where there was a trampoline! I forgot that I was an adult and on a first date and sprinted towards it. Three minutes later I realized two things. 1) Jumping on a trampoline is way more exhausting than I remember it being as a kid. 2) She had followed me and was laughing at my excitement. Kristy joined me on her trampoline and when we were both winded and tired from jumping we lay down and looked at the stars. Suddenly Kristy said “I want to show you something,” and grabbed my hand to lead me off the trampoline and back inside.
In her living room were baking trays filled with–small unidentifiable things. They were different shapes and shades of brown. She gestured at them with an eagerness of a kid showing off a new talent. “I make jewelry from avocado pits!” She exclaimed. My eyes got big. She walked me through the whole process, cutting the pits, etching them, coating them with something, letting them dry and coating them again. I’ll be honest—I wouldn’t use this list as a step by step guide on how to turn avocado pits into a pair of earrings. I was only half listening because the other half of me was trying to process that 1) you could make jewelry out of avocado pits, 2) someone thought to try this, 3) there was enough of a demand for avocado pit jewelry that Kristy was able to make it and sell it, and 4) I was in someone’s living room on a first date learning that they made avocado pit jewelry. So I missed some of the steps.
She led me to her bedroom. Just like on reality TV shows where the bedroom door is shut on the cameras at this point in the story, I’m closing Kristy’s bedroom door—which she didn’t have—on this chapter right now.
I left at 3am, I wasn’t going to sleep over and have to deal with the awkward morning after. Does it turn into a breakfast date? Does she remember my name? Where did I put my left sock? Do we kiss goodbye even though I definitely have morning/karate/dragon breath (it’s kickin’ with a fiery vengeance)? So many questions that I don’t have to answer if I just leave before falling asleep. Plus, I had my dog to get back home to, who was already going to ask for an explanation of where I was until 3 in the damn morning. Not to mention that at this point we had spent 9 hours together, which is about 3.5 times more than the average first date and certainly longer than any first date I had ever had.
I went to sleep with a smile on my face. The next morning I felt super tired. As it turns out, staying up late and getting up early was not a trick I could perform anymore. Throughout the day, I found myself glancing at my phone to see if Kristy had replied to my text. I could wrap this up by just saying she ghosted me and I never heard from her again. But that’s not what happened. She did what I call a bad reception ghosting, wherein the disappearance is a bit choppy. Kristy texted me that night and said she had fun too and wished me a happy Saturday. Then when I replied she didn’t for another 24 hours. Soon the 24 hours between replies became 48 hours and so on. Each text followed the same script. “I hope I can see you again, soon. [insert excuse for why she can’t right now]” I didn’t hear from her for a week and figured she had apparated far away. Then out of the blue she text that she was thinking about me and wanted to see me. When I asked about a time and place she suddenly went silent again. Eventually she stopped texting altogether. And I did not chase after her, because I was picking up what she was putting down. Or at least I thought I was. We never did see one another again. And that’s how I had an accidental one-night stand and learned you could make jewelry from avocado pits.
 Not a verified statistic from any source other than my own creative brain.
 Apparate is a form of teleportation used by wizards, referenced in Harry Potter. Yes, I just used a Harry Potter reference—not the first or last time, either.
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