Kiss and Tell: “I spent the entirety of my friend’s wedding avoiding three men who were trying to hit on me”
Laura, a 29-year-old writer, knew she’d have to contend with her ex, but the other two hangers-on were an unpleasant surprise
Welcome to Kiss and Tell, a series about the steamy, surprising and frequently absurd world of Toronto dating. Send your most memorable stories from the pursuit of love and lust in the city to [email protected].
—As told to Juliann Garisto
Recently, I attended the wedding of a friend I’d gone to college with. As soon as I got the invitation, I knew that an ex of mine, another former classmate, would be there: Michael. We’d drunkenly hooked up one night and inadvertently stumbled into a year-long situationship. He’s a few years older than me and handsome—tall and lanky, with dark hair and a clean-shaven face. We tried dating, but our personalities didn’t mesh well. I wanted to settle down and be in a partnership, and he was a commitment-phobe.
We saw each other on and off anyway, basically because it was convenient. But eventually I broke it off. I was never really a hook-up person, so the casual thing—regardless of whom it was with—wasn’t ideal. Since Michael refused to talk about anything remotely serious in person, I pulled the trigger over text. He never responded or addressed the message, and we hadn’t talked since.
That was a month and a half before the wedding, where I knew I’d finally have to face him. On the day, I donned a red dress. I had read some colour psychology that told me it would make me seem extra attractive—and, therefore, annoy Michael.
Michael and I saw each other as soon as we arrived, but we ignored each other. During the ceremony, I noticed two other men who were sitting in the pew behind me. They were friendly and had introduced themselves as Jake and Matt. Jake was especially hot. He must’ve been at least six-three, with bright-blue eyes and a bit of a Texan accent. He was one of the most beautiful men I’d ever seen.
Later on, during the reception, Jake approached me and we started chatting. Unfortunately, I was seeing someone at the time—we’d only been on one date, but I wanted to give it a real shot. So, while I accepted Jake’s offer to buy me a drink and was down to flirt a little, I vowed that it would go no further.
As we walked toward the bar, I noticed that Michael was following us. As soon as Jake and I stopped to wait in line, Michael put his arm around my waist and tried to pull me close to him. He’d never shown me physical affection in public before—he’d always wanted to be more discreet. I was surprised when he started saying how pretty I was in front everyone at the bar.
I took his hand off of my waist and told him that Jake was in the middle of buying me a drink. “Is that so?” he asked. Michael turned to Jake and said, “You know, man, I thought you were gay. It looked like you were checking me out earlier.” My cheeks started to burn, but Jake laughed it off. Once we had our drinks, we made a beeline out of there, leaving Michael standing alone. I was giddy.
Jake wanted to go out for a smoke on the patio with our drinks, but I was hungry and already quite drunk. I needed to put food in my belly. “I’m gonna go eat at my table,” I said, assuming that he would understand. But Jake took offence to this. I guess he thought I was trying to ditch him. He walked away and started glaring at me. Eventually, instead of coming over himself, he sent his friend Matt to talk to me.
Matt was attractive, but he wasn’t my type. He was only a couple of inches taller than me and husky. He had long brown hair that was pulled back in a bun and a big black beard. He came to my table and, in front of all my friends, said, “Just so you know, I’m engaged. I’m not here to hit on you for me. I’m here to hit on you for someone else.” I thought that was a pretty weird thing to say. He asked why I wasn’t into Jake. “Why isn’t Jake here finding out why I’m not into Jake?” I retorted. Matt said that Jake was kind of shy.
I tried to explain to Matt that I was seeing someone, but he didn’t believe me. So I pulled out a photo of the guy, who happened to be in a wheelchair. Suddenly, Matt’s expression changed. “That’s so great of you,” he said, as though it were some charitable thing I was doing. He stuck around our table for an hour after that. Eventually, he suggested that we do a double date with his fiancée and my “wheelchair beau.” I agreed, assuming it would never come to fruition.
Then, suddenly, Matt got very serious. He looked into my eyes and told me that I was his dream girl and that, if he weren’t engaged, he would already be married to me. I thought that was wildly presumptuous, but he rambled on. “You’re the ultimate catch,” he said. “I hope that the guy you’re with appreciates you. I would tell you you’re beautiful every day.” The whole speech was bizarre and totally unexpected.
Finally, a friend came to my rescue and dragged me away to the dance floor, but Matt followed us. He approached me again, but instead of trying to talk, he said he just wanted to dance. I guess the fact that he was coming on to me hadn’t fully registered. I like dancing—if you know how to dance, I’ll dance with you. So I said yes, and honestly, Matt could dance. He had rhythm and groove; he spun me around; we tangoed. It went on for quite a while.
While we danced, I noticed Michael in one corner of the room, staring me down, and Jake in another corner, glaring and pouting. It made me a bit uncomfortable, so I told Matt I was done dancing. He got defensive and told me that us dancing didn’t mean anything because he had a fiancée. Then he got mad and accused me of suggesting that he was lying about being engaged. Luckily, one of my guy friends was standing nearby and, realizing I was stuck, came up to us. That was enough to scare Matt off, and he didn’t approach me again.
But Jake kept glaring at me, and at one point I had to walk past him to get to the bathroom. “You owe me a drink,” he said. I told him to get lost. He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the night, so that was two guys down. Michael, however, always seemed to be lurking in the background, talking to friends but keeping an eye on me.
I left for the after-party with my friends, and once we got there, I swear Michael started following me everywhere. The party was in a hotel room, so there weren’t many places to hide, but no matter where I went—whether it was to the bathroom or to the balcony—Michael was there.
I finally sat down at a table with some of my girlfriends, which I thought would deter him, but no such luck. He sat down right next to me and started asking what I was doing after the after-party. It was already one in the morning, so I told him I was going to bed. I left shortly after that.
When I got home, Michael started texting me. “Totally wish you hadn’t left,” he said. And then, “You’re more than welcome to come stay here tonight.” The audacity! I didn’t answer, but forty-five minutes later, he tried again: “Had a great time tonight.” I texted back that it had been a great wedding. Then he asked, “What’re you up to?” I ignored it, but thirty minutes later, he sent a photo of a cat sitting on his lap. He knew I loved cats. I ignored that too, and he finally seemed to take the hint.
After spending an entire day running from these three men, I was grateful to finally be free of them—or so I thought. Six days later, Michael tried to shoot his shot one last time. He texted me asking what I was doing that weekend. I told him I’d be walking my dog, doing some laundry and probably working. “I was thinking maybe we should get a drink or something,” he said. I replied, “No, I’m seeing somebody.” He never answered, and luckily I never heard from any of the three guys again.