Just the other day I was recounting the story of how I was being hit on by another man in, no, not San Francisco, but Denver. I couldn’t remember many of the details of the story, but today I happened to stumble upon something I had written about the event back in January, 2007. I thought I would post it here for the entertainment of my readers.
This would be a fantastic people watching story… unfortunately, in this tale, I was the one being watched. This takes place at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, CO on December 28, 2006. I was in Denver visiting my dad just after Christmas and I happened to receive a wine opener kit from him. As luck would have it, though, I already had one, so I decided to return it to Sur La Table, from whence it had come.
So, my sister, dad, dad’s wife and I piled into the car and headed to the mall to make the return. When we arrived at the store, I walked up to the counter, placed the Rabbit Wine Kit on the counter and told the clerk that I wanted to return the item which I had received as a gift. When the clerk started speaking to me, it was quite obvious that he was gay. Now, I don’t much care for stereotypes, but the plain and simple fact of the matter is that some are true, and the mannerisms, speach patterns and demeanor of this particular sales clerk fit the classic mold of the gay man. In the past, I’ve never felt uncomfortable talking with gay men. In fact, I’ve had many gay friends… but this guy was different… this guy was hitting on me.
It all started innocently enough. He asked to see my ID for the return. No problem, I handed it over. He looked at it.
“California, I see,” he said, noticing, I imagine, that my ID says “CALIFORNIA” across the top.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Oh! San Francisco,” he exclaimed, “that’s a great city.”
“Yes, it is,” I answered.
He smiled, gave what I perceived to be a wink and then asked, “Can you take me home with you?”
OK, seriously, what am I supposed to say to that? I can’t say “NO” without seeming really rude and I can’t very well say “SURE WHY NOT” or “WISH I COULD” without making him think that his flirtations are welcome. Instead, I just opted to give a light chuckle and say nothing in response. Apparently this wasn’t enough of a cue to get him to stop trying to pick me up. He continued to talk about how much he loved San Francisco, and how much he wished he could live there, and how he often thought about how he could transfer from the Sur La Table in Denver to one in San Francisco. All the while he kept asking me questions about where I lived, where I worked, what I liked to do, how long I had been in San Francisco, where I like to go out, and so on. At one point my sister, seeing what was going on, came over and stood next to me, but after about 30 seconds she had to leave because she found it too difficult to keep a straight face. This guy was obviously & unabashedly flirting with me. Slightly annoyed with the whole affair, and really just wanting to get my gift card and get out of there, I glanced around and noticed that I was being spied on from several vantage points within the store – my dad from near the front of the store, my dad’s wife, Betty, from behind me, and my sister through a product display case off to the side. They were all in hysterics over this situation.
I’m not sure if I should have flattered, but I was mostly annoyed. After the whole thing was over, Betty kept on for the entire day about how I “still had it,” whatever “it” is. I opined that it wasn’t terribly great to have “it” when “it” was only useful with other men, but that apparently I was just in high demand.
Oh well, maybe someday “it” will be truly useful again.