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Dear Breakup Girl,
I'm gonna postpone my fawning adulation of your unparalleled powers and get
straight to the heart of the matter: there's this boy, see, I'll call him Matt
cause that's his name, and I'm incredibly drawn to him for a variety of
reasons. The problem is, I have had it from a friend of a friend (yes, an
oh-so-reliable source) that Matt kicks it strictly on the homosexual tip. When
pressed for details, FOAF clammed up, saying only, "I know firsthand.
That's all I can say."
If Matt didn't act like he was interested in me I would take FOAF's words to
heart instead of with a side of salt. How then, Breakup Girl, can I find out
(firsthand, of course) the truth? It's not like I can say, "you know Matt,
when we hugged the other night, I really wanted to kiss you but I heard you're
gay. Are you?" Guide me, wise sage! I will kick myself if I let a great
guy slip through my fingers on the basis of a fallacy. Oh, and there's another
complication: he has this roommate who's in love with him, they've been friends
for four years, and they've never hooked up. I like to think that it's because
she's stunningly unattractive (and I'm being objective here, believe it or
not). She has tried on numerous occasions to prevent Matt and me from hanging
out on our own. For example, Matt invited himself over to watch Dawson's Creek
with me on a Wednesday night, which is the night that we all (Matt, his
roommate, my roommates and I) all go to our local watering hole. So of course
on that night, she invited my house over for dinner, which she couldn't prepare
by herself, naturally, so she needed Matt's help. I told myself that if he
didn't call me to tell me he himself that he wasn't coming (I got the invite
from my roommate), I wasn't gonna go over there. Well he didn't call or show
up, so I stayed home to catch up on my correspondence. The next time I saw him,
he asked me, "So where were you on Wednesday night," in this very
miffed tone. I couldn't help but feel that even though it may have been
childish of me to sulk, if he really wanted to see me, he could have called.
Anyway, the purpose of my relating this drawn-out anecdote is to convey to you
the group dynamic involved here. The roommate, or TB as I call her, has made it
clear that she feels threatened by me, but I don't know if it's because she
thinks I'll become better friends with him, or if she thinks we'll name our
firstborn after her. I don't know, Breakup Girl. I'm pretty shy and not that
aggressive, so this is kind of a big deal to me, even if others might see it as
a mere bagatelle. So how do I proceed? With caution? Do I leave things alone?
Anxiously awaiting your guidance.
-- Perennially Frustrated
Did he use the word bagatelle? If so, toss that
side of salt over your shoulder and wish yourself luck meeting a straight
Okay, I'm kidding around. Especially because I think
we might want to bark up a different
tree. I'm not sure there's a way to secure a, um,
straight answer from him, no matter how much we can all learn from watching
Dawson, because you never know if he knows the answer himself. So I think we
need to try and ascertain not whether he's interested in your gender, but
whether he's interested in you. Though granted, I'm sure you'd MUCH
rather hear "no" to the former.
So let's pull this apart a bit. First of all, it
doesn't matter a bit that he didn't call you. The house was already invited as
a whole. You're right, you were just setting yourself up for
Also, TB is so not your concern. True love has been
known to triumph over religious conflict, vast distance, poor taste. Meddling
roommate = mere bagatelle.
What to do? Try brokering a just-the-two-of-you
Creekfest (though I'm not sure how or where, with all these roommates milling
around). Or, in any case, some other slightly-heightened yet non-terrifying
situation. If you're not that aggressive, at least give him the chance to step
up. Though if you're feeling jaunty, you could always say, "You know Matt,
when we hugged the other night, I really wanted to kiss you." Period.
Anxiously awaiting an exclamation point.
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