Dating Bradford: When Dogged By A Dog


One Friday in early February I found myself on a third date, kissing a drunken Australian water-polo player at a party in SoHo.

When we finally disengaged he slurred, "How do you feel about Rufus Wainwright?"

"You're a much better kisser," I lied. He rolled his eyes. "No really, although he was drunk at the time, so you can't ... "

"No" he interrupted. "I mean his music."

"Oh ... It's a little on the dark and depressing side, but the boy has talent."

"Well, if you're not a fan, I guess you wouldn't be interested in going to see him with me on Valentine's Day, at Radio City?"

on!" I said enthusiastically. "Anything with you on Valentine's Day
would be special. I'll throw on my best Rockette ensemble, and you
bring the chocolate." We laughed, kissed and then went to his place to
fuck all night, but not before stopping at Pieces on Christopher Street
so he could swill three more Cape Cods before getting intimate.

Day is a loaded weapon for the single set. We want so badly to make the
Hallmark holiday mean something special and yet try so hard to deny
that fact. I had an inkling the Auzzie wasn't boyfriend material when,
on our second date, I found him naked in a hot tub full of 21 year olds
at my own Christmas party. It was then I downgraded him from "hot
romance" to "dog without pants." An unsavory surprise, but once I threw
in the towel and joined the brew, I had to admit the hot boy soup went
down better than Vegemite.

Tail between his legs, he called afterward to apologize for being so drunk and inappropriate. "Bad dog, bad!" I scolded, and gave him another chance. Hence his V-Day invitation.

I called to firm up plans, he told me since I hadn't sounded all that
interested in seeing Rufus, he was taking someone else. I told him
Rufus could wail away in all his dourness for all I cared -- what I had
been interested in was being his Valentine date. Then I let a pregnant
pause grow until the baby was crowning. I finished with, "Perhaps I'll
see you next Valentine's Day then ... any Valentine's Day. Later in the decade ... ANY decade!"

dogged on Valentine's Day sucks. Being dogged by a sloppy alcoholic who
flirts with every boy within groping range while on a date brings me to
a painfully new level of pathetic. I couldn't believe I had let him get
to me. I'm supposed to know better -- I've been to every kind of
12-step meeting and self-help seminar known to man. The drunken Auzzie
was everything I'm supposed to avoid. So why did our split sting so

I ask you: When dogged by a dog, why do we still feel the bite?

(Photo: Bradford Noble)