A Broad Abroad: Mixed Signals

42-15968268When it rains, it really does pour.

At least when it comes to men, anyway. London has turned out to be pretty fruitful in the old love department. Okay, maybe not love…but like, at least.

First there’s the Brazilian, who has surprisingly managed to extend his 24-hour-fling status into a walk-on role as a weekly paramour. Our conversations are still doomed to misunderstandings and heavy accents and polite nods, but I am picking up some Portuguese. And, what can I say? The man is sexy as hell.

Then there’s the long-lost friend, who invited me up for a visit (he lives a few hours away). He had been flirting with me over instant messenger for a couple of weeks, so I wasn’t sure what to expect-would we fall passionately into one another’s arms, or grit our teeth and try to swallow our dashed hopes? In the end, neither happened-just confusion. Despite my protests, my friend had taken the day off work to entertain me, paid for every meal, took me to the movies, and acted like a total gentleman the entire evening. It was like a date…but not. Rather than leaning in and making a move, he regaled me with stories of some girl he’d “pulled” a few weeks earlier-a 21-year-old mother of two whom he’d deemed a great catch because she a) can string together a coherent sentence or two without using “lol” or “u r,” and b) she was a “real go-getter” because she’s going towards her accounting qualifications. (As though it’s so hard to find a woman with a good vocabulary and a brain.) The kicker: She’s got her neck, nipples, and the skin between her breasts pierced. This is my competition.

Of course, a fixation with another girl is one thing. A bigger warning sign was when the guy put Norah Jones (seriously-where was my Starbucks latte?) on the stereo then came to sit next to me on his bed…and then did nothing. After a half hour or so he got up, said goodnight, and then went downstairs to sleep on the couch. I stayed upstairs and scratched my head in confusion. The next day I took the train home, feeling slightly rejected and perhaps a tad bitter about the 21-year-old go-getter.

A few days later, my friend was up to his old IM flirting tricks. What did I look like in a miniskirt, he wanted to know. I shook my head. What was this guy on about? Did he like me, or not? I called his bluff and asked him point-blank about his hot-cold behavior. Turns out he does “fancy” me, but was hesitant to make a move because I live so far away. I told him he was an idiot. Truth be told, I still don’t know where I want things to go with him, but I’ve got a couple of months before I see him again. But it’s nice to at least have the option…

…not to mention my fall-back plan: Sexy Brazilian.