The duck and start of my going out anxiety

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imageContributing blogger Mike Alvear is an Atlanta-based columnist, author and TV personality who rants on sex, dating and pop culture while living at the corner of urge and merge. Find more from him at his blog.

Here’s what happened the last time I got ready to go out…

Getting ready at home

I can’t wear this shirt– It’s so gay it practically lisps. Wardrobe change!

Ahh, better. But wait! This one doesn’t bring out the green in my eyes. Though it does bring out the red. Christ, where’s the Visine?

Okay, here’s the perfect shirt. Tight enough to show my pecs, loose enough to look like I didn’t wear it to show off my pecs.


Oh, my God! Look at that hair! I shouldn’t have straightened it. It looks like James Brown’s hair: “Fried, dyed, and laid to the side.”

What am I going to do? Wait. Got it. There. Not bad. The place is casual anyway. A baseball cap won’t look too bad.

Living room

I better do some push-ups and sit-ups before I get there. Okay, on three: “We Must, We Must, We Must Increase Our Bust. The-Bigger-The-Better-The-Tighter –The-Sweater, The More The Boys Will Look At Us.”


Oh, crap! I can’t wear these shoes! Look how scuffed they are!

Back to house

Better. Okay, check the mirror one more time. Damn, why couldn’t I have been born with two eyebrows like everyone else? I better shave the middle part so I don’t look like I’ve got a caterpillar crawling across my forehead.

Back to car

Man, I hope that guy Bobby isn’t there. An hour after meeting him at the bar, the voltage was so high a surge protector wouldn’t have helped. “Come home with me,” I whispered. That’s when I got “ambivalented.” You know, when a guy mentally works out the pros and cons of going home with you while you’re standing in front of him.

“Let me think about it,” he said. I felt like a cattle rustler trotted me out and the buyer couldn’t decide whether he liked my hooves. So back into the pen I went.

I swear, being single is so painful. I can’t believe I just stood there while he did the math in his head.

Parking lot

Okay, I’m here. Forget about Bobby. Last chance to check my look and bait the hook. Damn, I freakin’ pulled the rear-view mirror off the windshield! Calm down! It’s not like the world’s going to end if I don’t meet someone.


Now remember, calm, cool and collected. Entrances are everything. Stomach in. Check. Chest out. Check. Zipper’s up. Check. I’m going in!


Oh, crap! Here comes that new guy, what’s-his-name, the one I want so bad my teeth hurt when I see him. Will he look when he passes by?

Will he look?

Will he look?

Will he look?

Oh God, please let him look.


I knew I should’ve worn that other shirt.

Oh, No! Here comes that guy who’s always trying to chat me up. He’s nice enough but, damn, he’s got a face that would make a train take a dirt road. God, would you listen to me? I swear if the gay scene is shallow I can’t be but a foot deep.

Maybe my friend Mark’s right. “You have too many rules,” he told me. “You don’t get dates because you have too many rules.”

“Come on, Mark!” I said. “That’s ridiculous.”

“Let’s see,” he looked towards the ceiling and counted off his fingers. “They have to be tall, they have to be lean, they have to be muscular, they have to know there’s 23 letters in the alphabet, they have to…”

“Twenty-six, Mark. “There’s twenty-six letters in the alphabet.”

“Whatever. They have to be under 40, they have to be over 20, they have to be athletic, they have to remember your name, they have to…”

“What’s your point, Mark?”

“Pare down your rules and you’ll get more dates.”

I glared at him. “You mean like you?”

“Yes, like me.”

“I don’t think Pulse, Teeth and Skin are rules, Mark.”

Ducking away

Whew, that was close. The clock-stopper almost caught me.

Oh, God. Here comes that hot guy I’ve been introduced to 12 times and he never remembers who I am. How much do you want to bet he passes right by me without….

. . . I knew it.

Well, I better start or I’ll be here forever.

The start

Wait! Here comes Tooth Ache again.

Will he look?

Will he look?

Will he look?


I hate working out at the gym.

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