html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: My gentleman callers

Friday, January 27, 2006

My gentleman callers

I get asked out by homeless men a lot. Regularly. Often. I would be willing to bet that whenever you read this, the last man to ask me out lives in an alley. (I think it’s because I am almost always on foot, and I make eye contact.) My girlfriends tell me that I am too picky about men; perhaps at this point I shouldn’t be discouraging any potential beaux. I feel like I only have a few standards for my men: smart, funny, and nice all the way through. Height, looks, money? I didn’t think I cared. But getting asked out by homeless men exposes all sorts of subconscious biases. I have to admit that when it comes down to it, at the end of the evening, I want the question “your place or mine?” to involve a choice.

Perhaps the most memorable guy was about my age, and relatively clean. He was so scared to approach me that he was shaking. He stuttered when he told me that someone had given him too much money, and I was so pretty, and he would love to take me out for a drink. I knew I wasn’t going to go. That was before I started drinking, so going to a bar with anyone was awkward for me. And I couldn't let him spend a quarter of his total worth on me. So I smiled and told him he made my day, but kept walking. That may be one of the most sincere and generous offers I ever get.

I was at Concert in the Park when I was approached by a much older black man, in an old-school yellow and purple Lakers uniform. He looked me up and down and asked me in a heavy drawl if I needed “a full-time, part-time or temporary man”. His delivery was good, and I thought he had balls, but a Lakers uniform? In this town? Oh honey, it could never work between us.

I didn’t see which guy shouted at me as I was getting out of my car. There were three of them, drinking on the curb in front of a bar. Vietnam vets would be my guess. But I had to laugh at “That’s a whole lot of pretty in one little place!” Thanks, mister.

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Blogger Cladeedah said...

You should read (or try!) The Year of Yes. I guess it was an experiment where this lady resolved to say yes to every guy that asked her out for a year. Apparently she had several dates w/ homeless men, taxi drivers, etc. Ironic thing is that she met her husband that year, who she admits she would never had gone out with had she not been writing the book.

10:31 AM  

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