Two weeks after ending a nearly three-year relationship, I found myself so exhausted of reliving the experience from having to tell all my friends the story that I was raring to break out for a night and have some fun. Serendipitously, it was Oktoberfest and Bengals-Steelers weekend. Consequently there were a lot of out-of-towners here in our fair city, which, for me, made life infinitely more interesting.
I met up with a group of friends at Hamburger Mary's for a drink and opening ceremonies prior to going to The Dock to dance. After being in a relationship for so long, it felt a little odd to be out on my own again. To my relief, however, I felt much more relaxed in the nightclub setting than I used to be. I was also reminded how expecting only to have fun and not predefining what that means is what makes for the best nights out.
When we got to The Dock, I decided one drink couldn't hurt so I got myself an O3 and went back to my pack of friends. I pointed out to Jason a guy who caught my eye: a football player type with a cute baby face, a shaved head, an earring and a goatee framing a beautiful set of lips.
The other reason he caught my eye was his black and gold football jersey with "GREENE" on the back. This guy was a Steelers fan. Being from Pittsburgh, I always love Bengals-Steelers weekends here in Cincinnati because no matter who wins the football game my team wins. Granted, it's usually the Steelers, but, hey, no complaints when it's impossible to lose.
We danced for a while and Jason and his crew left around 1:30. I, however, wasn't ready for the night to end. After all, it was my first night out alone in ages, and I wanted to take full advantage ... so to speak. Even if I ended up dancing by myself, I would have been alright.
I walked back up to the front of the bar. Lo and behold, there he was again: Mean Joe Greene, whom, I actually came to find out, was a friendly, energetic and hot guy named Grady (an unusual but unequivocally sexy name for this guy) who grew up in Pittsburgh, now lives in Tampa and was in town for the game. We had a great time talking about all sorts of Pittsburgh stuff from our childhoods -- Heinz Ketchup, Clark bars, chipped ham (Pittsburgh's answer to goetta), Klondike bars and the mystique that keeps Pittsburgh fans loyal to their home city no matter where they go.
The great conversation led to some touching, for which I was completely ready (aka the 30-yard line), an arm around me (the 20), a kiss (the 10) and finally making out like teenagers in front of the bar (touchdown!). He was an amazing kisser (see the end of paragraph 3 regarding the lips) and his body was great to hold on to. I was laughing inside because I'm usually the guy standing along the wall muttering "Get a room," and it was extremely liberating to be opposite that for once.
I was a little self-conscious, though, because things were getting pretty heated between us.
The whole time we were making out I kept thinking, "This is exactly what I needed and wanted out of tonight." No expectations, just one drink, a few friends and a little fate thrown in to make it interesting. It had been a long time since I'd connected with someone like this, and it was worth taking the chance. After all, at the sight of the Steelers jersey I knew I had at least one thing in common with this guy. How can you go wrong with that?
And it was OK that neither of us was ready to go as far as hooking up that night. I was honest with him from the start about not being ready for that, and he was sharing a hotel room anyway so we were on the same page. That let me make the most of the experience. I went home horny and exhausted but with an indelible smile.
I dropped him off at his hotel, and he gave me his e-mail address. To my delight, we've kept in touch. Lucky for me I already have a friend in Florida whom I can visit soon, because while I'm there I have some unfinished business. Go Steelers!
I had a ton of bad clothes shopping experiences growing up with a single mom. I would always have to go with my mom when she was shopping for herself. I can't count the number of times my legs would go numb after hours and hours of walking from store to store while she went through every rack, every table, every nook and cranny of each store looking for that perfect outfit for church or work. My arms would also go numb holding all of her clothes while she went into the dressing room and tried on everything she picked out. At a very young age, I became the guy holding clothes looking very bored outside of the dressing room.
This Saturday Jen took me to the Gap Outlet store near the airport, where we met up with her work friend, Phil, and all of those memories came flooding back. In 15 minutes I was able to find four pairs of jeans, two pairs of dress pants for work, two sweaters, four dressy T-shirts and a killer suede jacket. After I filled up my arms with clothes, I tried to find Jen.
She's normally easy for me to spot when we go out to bars like The Comet, Northside Tavern or Cody's because she has blonde hair. That wasn't the case at the Gap Outlet. I swear that every girl who wasn't Korean, Japanese or Hispanic had blonde hair. It took me nearly another 15 minutes before Phil or I could track down Jen.
Since Jen wanted to go to the dressing room to try on her clothes, I decided to break my tradition of never trying on clothes at outlet stores and went with her to the dressing rooms. It took me only five minutes to try on everything I picked out, even with checking all the pants for the holes in the seat of the pants and mysterious stains in the crotch area found in pants I've bought at the Gap Outlet in the past.
Phil came out of the dressing room a little after I did and we joined the group of guys, all with bored looks on their faces, standing outside the dressing room waiting for their female significant others still in the dressing room.
Phil and I got bored with waiting and started playing a new version of "I Spy." Phil started by just saying, "Honey wearing a pink shirt, see if you agree." Then I was off walking the floor looking for the girl in the pink shirt. It took a couple of minutes, but it was worth it. She was hot. Black with light skin, straight hair and wearing a low cut pink top.
When I went back to Phil, I told him to go look for the MILF wearing a low cut black top with a nice boob job. Phil wasn't too happy with me for not warning him that the MILF actually had her two kids with her at the time, but he did agree she was a looker nonetheless.
Without the game of "I Spy," the half-hour it took Jen to come out of the dressing room would have driven me insane.
I had plans with Amy later that night to see one-act Samuel Beckett plays at Xavier University, so I left Jen and Phil after a quick dinner at Brio's. I had been to Amy's house only once and that was nearly a year ago, so I didn't bother to bring her address with me when I went to pick her up. I forgot that the time I was at her house was during a book club discussion where Amy and I had a bottle of wine apiece.
After knocking on what I thought was her door for 15 minutes, I went to the gas station down the corner and called her. It turned out that I was knocking on her neighbor's door the whole time.
Since we were too late for the Samuel Beckett plays, we decided to go down to the Weston Gallery in the Aronoff Center for The Know Theatre Tribe's presentation of Banned: Suppressed Literature. It was a performance of works by Kurt Vonnegutt, Ray Bradbury, Salman Rushdie and others by three actresses. I still can't think what I like best about the event. It's a toss up between the transition from Mein Kampf to a portion of a Pat Robertson sermon where he tries to provide a biblical justification for genocide and the reading of The Satanic Verses. Actually what I liked best was the fact that it was performed right in the middle of downtown.
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