ME: Anthony, tell me that's not him.
ANTHONY: What? You don't think he's hot?
ME: For someone born pre-Vietnam, sure.
Anthony was about to introduce me to his new boyfriend--Gregory.
We were seated at Andrea's waiting for him to show up, when a guy old enough to be Anthony's father walked through the door.
Sure enough, that was the new boyfriend.
ANTHONY: Kevin, age ain't nothing but a number.
ME: You know who says that? Pedophiles.
ME: Now I know why he's late. He was trying to figure out where to park his white van.
I was being a little bit meaner than usual. The whole situation with Tommy was stressing me out, and I wasn't sure what to do about it.
ME: I'm sorry, Anthony. I shouldn't be so catty.
ANTHONY: So you approve of him?
ME: Absolutely not. I'm just going to be more civil in my disapproval.
Gregory came over and we all had our introduction. Then we sat down.
GREGORY: So Anthony tells me you're something like his--life coach?
ME: I prefer the term 'know-it-all.'
GREGORY: You're clever.
ME: Is that a bad thing?
GREGORY: No, it'll keep me on my toes.
ME: As long as their yours.
I bantered with him all night. Anthony just sat there beaming at him. When the evening was over, I walked Anthony back to his car.
ANTHONY: So you don't like the two of us together?
ME: No, and I also don't like peanut butter with onions.
ME: The two don't mix--unless you're Fred Savage in Little Monsters.
ANTHONY: Who's Fred Savage?
ME: See! You're even too young for me--let alone him!
We had reached my car.
ANTHONY: But I like him.
ME: Have you ever noticed that whenever someone says they like someone nobody ever asks why. That's why so many people end up dating people they're wrong for and for such long periods of time. Because nobody ever just asks--Why? Why do you like this person?
ANTHONY: I just do.
ME: Do you have a lot in common with him? Do you have long, never-ending conversations? Do you find yourself physically attracted to him?
ME: Or do you see a meal ticket with his own condo?
ANTHONY: That's not fair.
ME: All I did was ask. If the answer's unfair; that's on you.
That was when my phone rang.
VOICE: Hey, Kevin?
ME: Uh, yes.
VOICE: I hope you don't mind. I peeked through Anthony's phone while he was in the bathroom.
VOICE: You got me.
I hit speakerphone.
ME: So how can I help you, Gregory?
GREGORY: I thought maybe we could hang out sometime.
Before Anthony could speak, I put my hand over his mouth.
ME: Aren't you seeing my friend?
GREGORY: I think you can tell we don't connect really well.
ME: Does he not push your wheelchair fast enough around the corners?
GREGORY: You don't actually think I'm too old for you, do you?
ME: I think I see lots of attractive older men every day.
ME: You're not one of them.
GREGORY: I'm not your type?
ME: Any man who tries to date a guy younger than him so he can control him, snoop through his phone, and try to hook up with his friends is anything but my type.
GREGORY: So you're not interested in grabbing a drink?
ME: Only if I can pour it on that cheap jacket you wore tonight. Good-bye.
I hung up.
ANTHONY: I can't believe that just happened.
ME: This is why I like Andrea's--it's right near the Ben and Jerry's.
ANTHONY: Let's go.
Over ice cream, we talked out a plan for Anthony's future dating life. It felt good to be productive, and we parted laughing, which is always nice.
Then came the text message--
BRAD: We have an emergency.
Gregory was not going to be my only problem tonight.