I went to my lovely friend F's birthday party at the weekend. She had picked an Irish pub, primarily because she is of Irish descent but also because the birthday girl gets to drink for free there and her guests for half-price. I must say that it wasn't exactly my kind of watering hole (large TV sceens, wet floors from all the alcohol spilled) but we had fun and danced to incredibly cheesy tunes while singing at the top of our lungs until the early hours of the morning.
What struck me about the evening however is that I felt I was on the set of a wildlife documentary ... F had invited some of her girlfriends but primarily a lot of her gay male friends. A couple of the girls in particular seemed frustrated about that - complaining to me that they were never going to find a man if they hung out with gay guys all the time. It's at that time that my friend K turned up and came over to give me a hug and say hello.
It's like the atmosphere changed in a split second. I had brought with me the only single, straight guy to the party! Not only that but one that also happens to not be bad looking and can actually string two intelligent sentences together. The two girls in question immediately asked me who he was and whether we were seeing each other - turning before my very eyes into what I can only describe as predators. I explained that K and I are just good friends and the hunt started to unfold with both girls trying to get some alone chatting time with him.
K and I spent most of the time hanging out together and I could feel the predators getting increasingly frustrated ... their evil stares at me turning into full blown sulking from one of them towards the end of the evening. I wasn't trying to get in the way at all and in fact made a conscious effort not to, but K and I get on well and were happy to catch up.
I unwittingly delivered the coup de grace when K and I left the party together to share a cab as we both live on the West side. I could almost feel imaginary knives being thrown at me as I turned my back to walk away.
K and I chatted about it on the way home - about how as a single, straight guy in New York, you can sometimes feel like a prey. Not that he is complaining about it much though but I get the feeling that it does get a little tiring after a while.
Have I ever felt like a prey? I'm not sure I would even realise .. most of the time I am blissfully unaware that I am even getting chatted up in the first place unless the guy makes it blatantly obvious - it's one of my quirks that my friends find highly amusing when a typical exchange after an evening out might go "Steph, that guy was hitting on you" - "Really?! I thought he was just being friendly!!!".