Dateline: So a Mormon and a Jew walk into a bar…
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1:00 p.m. – Arrive at the climbing gym. I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by seeing so many attractive straight men gathered in one place, and start bouldering.
1:08 – I go to climb a route at the same time as another guy. I back off and he says, "No, please, after you." I climb it easily because it's an easy route. He congratulates me for climbing it quickly "under pressure." I scoff, in a mostly friendly way.
2:12 – I'm climbing another wall when the same guy makes his way over and starts making conversation. He's wearing one of those three-wolf-moon shirts. He tells me he's in town on business from Utah. I wonder if they wear those shirts ironically there too, or if he's for real.
2:30 – I start climbing top rope with two other guys, but Utah is persistent. He manages not to be creepy about it though, which is impressive. He just seems loyally interested in me, and asks good questions. He manages to get me to break off from the other guys and climb with him. Utah's not my normal type — very all-American face, short and built. But he's a great climber, and that's kind of hot. He also doesn't give me advice I don't ask for when I climb, which I appreciate.
3:15 – Utah kills a climb I struggled on for twenty minutes in about twenty seconds. He says he's sorry when he comes down. I say he doesn't need to apologize for being a stronger climber, and that I could probably downward dog the shit out of him anyway. As usual, I only realize this might sound like a sexual proposition after I say it.
3:18 – I say I want to go catch a yoga class. Utah asks if he can take me to dinner. I tell him I have plans with friends, but give him my number in case he wants to meet up later. I'm still on the fence, but flattered.
8:00 – Utah texts me to ask where I am, writes "to" when he should write "too" more than once. I wonder if I'm an elitist New Yorker for being bothered, or just literate.
10:00 – After two gin and tonics I'm willing to forgive his spelling and text him the name of the bar. He texts that he's "not a big bar guy" but that he'll drop by.
10:05 – I respond, joking, "You're not a closet Mormon, are you?"
10:10 – He doesn't answer. I realize he's from Salt Lake and therefore is very likely actually Mormon. And that I'm very likely actually a douchebag.
10:15 – I text an apology and offer that he can make a Jewish joke at my expense.
10:17 – Utah texts back to say he is indeed Mormon, but that he won't be making any Jewish jokes. "I work with too many of them at Goldman Sachs, I don't want to accidentally repeat one." I refrain from pointing out that he's halfway to a great Jewish joke.
10:37 – Utah shows up, not in the wolf shirt, thankfully. He's a decent conversationalist and we talk about trips cross country and through South America. He says he's only twenty-five. He looks older.
10:55 – A riot grrrl band starts playing, and I'm into it. Ten minutes in, Utah says he's hungry. I offer him my Luna bar. He says those are for women, and I tell him to take it before I stop being attracted to him.
11:40 – Band is wrapping up and I'm getting hungry too, so I suggest we go grab a slice. He expenses it on his American Express business card. Leave it to me to finally go out with a guy with an expense account, only to eat pizza.
12:20 a.m. – My buzz is wearing off, and with it, any attraction to Utah. I walk us towards the train.
12:30 – Utah seems surprised and hurt that I'm leaving him after all his efforts. He suggests we go home and "watch a movie." I counter with the preferred female euphemism, "I'm really tired."
1:00 – Get off the train to a text from Utah asking, "You okay? You seemed to do an about face in the last twenty minutes there." I text back that I didn't mean to give him the wrong idea but that "giving someone your number isn't a contract you'll be invited home."
1:05 – Utah texts back "I don't believe in sex before marriage. So that wasn't my intention. Let me know if you want to hang out Sunday." Touche, but still not going to happen. I go home, drink a bunch of water, and pass out.