Apart from diamonds, gay men are the best friends a girl can ever have.
They have everything men have – but they understand girls so well like a straight guy would never do.
I met Eddie at one of the classes and we became great friends. He was from Brazil, originally, but his parents moved to Germany to work, decades ago, before they split up amicably when Eddie was 13 and each got remarried. So he has two sets of recomposed families who have great relationship with each other.
Eddie was gay. Obviously he was. He was the lean-and-tall type, and people said he looked like a brown-haired Ricky Martin. Which wasn’t exactly true but he liked it so much I never bothered to tell him otherwise.
There were a lot of South Americans living in Germany (as you knew from my last experience with TB…) but the Brazilians were the tallest and best-looking ones. Eddie was a head-turner. But he had a steady boyfriend already for years and they were living together for several years already. His name was Ralf. Businessman. They lived downtown Cologne at an area called Friesenplatz, and several doors away from their apartment was the All Bar One. We loved the bar. We used to spend long summer nights drinking their famous caipirinha there.
Eddie and the Bet
So, Eddie, being a true drama queen he was, was all worried that I’d end up like one of the old maidens at the FH. There were a lot of unmarried girls at the FH past their 30s (and yes, a lot of university students in Germany are over 30 – unlike in the US or in Asia, a lot of people go to work first and save up before getting a degree), but I didn’t think they was wrong – I considered that they were unmarried because they hadn’t found their One yet – or simply didn’t want to – I thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. But Eddie thought there was. He said that even the gays could lead a steady relationship, so a girl just turned 21 definitely could. Should. Have to. Must.
I told him I was done meeting people haphazardly. Look at what happened with the previously failed flings. I didn’t really want to get involved with anyone if it was going to end badly. Well, I didn’t get hurt that much by the flings because none of them were that serious, but I had previously been involved with a couple of badly-ended relationships and I hated the pain of: being cheated on, being made to feel idiotic, being made to feel inferior, being made to cry, being made paranoid – all that I would really like to dismiss. I had enough stress with the FH already.
Eddie always said, “C’est la vie!” Well yes but I could really do with a nice guy and I preferably would only get to know a nice guy; and where the heck could we find one? Definitely not at the FH after all the flingsy catastrophes!
For some time, Eddie kept pushing and pushing me to meet someone. He said that the greatest joy of a South American mother was to see their children all married off. Eddie was not my mother and I was definitely not looking to get married. Perhaps just looking for some fun. It shouldn’t hurt.
Girls around me were not of any comparisons, though. There was no pressure in our peers. Single or not single, that was not a question. The only question that mattered was about feeling comfortable with your life. And I honestly felt comfortable being single.
My other best friends were single, too. There were Angie and Laurie and Mandy. Angie was not exactly single, she was entangled in a long-distance relationship actually but it was such a long distance one I practically considered she was single. De facto single. And Laurie was having some sort of strange, complicated relationship with one of her exes in highschool who followed her to Germany. Mandy was single too, never even having any close encounter with the opposite sex all her life and definitely uninterested – she was totally concentrating on her studies, not wanting to be in any relationship whatsoever.
In the family, out of my four female adult cousins scattered in Germany, only one was single – Nattie. The others were in relationships. There was Jas, who was in a steady, solid relationship with her boyfriend (they got married last year in 2011), and the rare few times I visited her, I actually liked to see them together, and secretly longed to live something special like they had, one day. Diana got several boyfriends – she was a very popular girl who had a lot of suitors. Elisa had a rocky relationship with a guy called Si, I was her shoulder to cry on. When I remembered how Si was behaving so nasty toward her, I really didn’t want to be in a relationship with an abusive guy like that one. Elisa was too good for him. But she was in love.
So my usual responses toward Eddie’s usual sermons about meeting someone, falling in love and yadda yadda yadda were hopeless. I just said that it wasn’t the right time, so no would work better than yes. N. O. No.
Anyway, Eddie wouldn’t take no for an answer. Each and every time he’d tell me I should go out, I would say not yet and then he would keep pursuing the argument discussion for at least an hour, before I finally conceded to say, “OK, I will find this Mr. Right, and I want to find him.”
The truth is Eddie couldn’t help with the noble quest of finding Mr. Right he bequeathed upon me, either – all his friends were gay so obviously out of the list. Whenever we’d go out for coffee together, there went my chance to meet straight singles. His friends were mostly good-looking but they wouldn’t find me interesting unless my name was Adam and only if I happened to have an Apple in the middle of my throat. Well, I was out of their list, too, but they were nice people to hang out with. So, on the surface, it looked as if I never took Eddie for granted.
But, when you have been indoctrinated for so long, the ideas slowly seeped into the back of your head, waiting for a trigger to complete the inception. Thanks to Eddie, I started wishing, secretly, unconsciously, that Mr. Right would eventually stride along to find me on his white horse, after having just popped out of thin air before my eyes and he’d just know what to do and he’d hold my hand for the rest of my life. I didn’t need him to be all that perfect like in the movies and fairytales, I just needed him to be true.
I started wanting to fall in love. I started wishing that I would meet someone. I wanted to know what love was.
And one night toward the end of springtime, Destiny put a card on the table and said, “Now, Ms. C, you’re scheduled to meet someone.” Even though she didn’t tell me how strange the circumstance would be.
After what was probably too much of caipi washed away in a couple of hours, we sat down on his computer and found the Yahoo! Dating site ad embedded on one of the Yahoo! Pages we were browsing on.
“God, this site is created especially for YOU!” Eddie was suddenly struck by a lightning and before I knew it, he was registering me into the dating site. It was free for girls – paid membership for guys. He also created my profile in German. I told him I’ll write it in English and French because I secretly wanted to meet someone abroad, someone who would sway me away from boring life in Bonn.
I didn’t believe in love found over internet – I definitely didn’t. So I told him I’d try it but I couldn’t promise him anything.
So there I was, laughing with Eddie, one evening in his apartment, conscious but unconscious, half torn between the idea of meeting someone, but bewildered by the fact that internet could – and would be the matchmaker. Well, Eddie and the internet. I finished up and then clicked the “SUBMIT MY PROFILE” button, halfheartedly, unsure of what I was doing.
We all heard of the bizarre case of Armin Meiwes. The German Cannibal met his victim online. So I was kinda terrified that the only people I’d meet on internet would be wackos. Eddie assured me I was overreacting. I was posting on a Yahoo! Website, not a strange blacklisted gory website.
To ensure me, as well as to make his own joke, also, goes without saying, as a test to prove his ever-radiating charms, Eddie also made a profile for himself. He told me blatantly that he’d get more hits than I would because he wasn’t afraid like I was – but that he didn’t have my Asian charms and that could be getting me more hits, finally. We agreed that whoever got the less number of hits would pay the other with better number of hits a trip to Ibiza. We were going, anyway. That was the plan for the coming summer. (My female best friends all had other plans and Ralf would be away on a business trip to the States for three weeks)
At that time, Yahoo! was the most popular thing going on the net. It had been for years. I always had my Yahoo! Messenger on whenever I could, with that nickname: girlfrommarss (Okay, two s’es because the one with just one s at the end was clearly unavailable). (Girl from Mars? From the most boring town in Germany called Bonn, more likely)
I think I wasn’t sure what was to be expected. What kind of outcome I should be waiting for. The truth is, I wouldn’t have met your father, Louis, if it wasn’t for Eddie.
Years after, I still remembered that evening when we decided to roll the snowball of fate down the hill, and even though we lost contact when your father and I moved back to France, I would always be grateful for my old gay friend who steered me toward the website formerly called Yahoo! Dating.
If it wasn’t for Eddie, you wouldn’t be here today, Louis. And I thank all Heavens I listened to him. He was right. Love does happen over internet – in the most unimaginable ways.