Circle of Friends

What is the proper protocol for meeting a friend of a friend online? A very cute guy liked a comment I made under a post by one of my facebook friends. Not a person I actually know, of course. Just the friend of a friend. Wait, the post was by a friend of a friend. So the like was by the friend of a friend of a friend.

We do have three friends in common. On facebook. Only one of which is an actual, in person, real life friend. An actor I’ve known for a few years. Not well. Just casual friends. He has a dazzling circle of handsome gay friends. They all seem to be about the same age, and most of them are on some sort of sports team. A gay version of dodgeball or something. Costumes are involved. Or are those uniforms? Same thing, I guess, in the gay world.

Two of his dazzlingly handsome gay friends are also facebook friends with me. One of them I’ve never met, although we have exchanged email a few times. The other one I have met, but only very briefly. He was in a play, and I went to see a performance. The friend in common that I know in real life was there that night. Which was how I met the friend of a friend. We were introduced in the lobby after the performance.

He gave me about five seconds of his attention, during which it was decided that I am not attractive enough to warrant any further notice. Which he made very clear. I’m always saddened when I see a handsome gay guy live up to the image of a superficial West Hollywood stereotype. I considered removing him from my friends list on facebook. Not out of spite, but out of the lack of a reason to keep him there. Then I thought the real life friend we have in common might find that improper, so I just kept things as they were.

So now I have three friends in that gay circle. One of whom I know in person, one of whom I’ve only met once very briefly, and one I’ve never met at all, but have exchanged emails with a few times.

Finding friends as a kid was difficult, I thought, but I cannot even begin to imagine how complicated it must be now. For kids. Of course, this sort of thing only seems complicated to people over thirty. Anyone young enough to have known nothing else has no trouble dealing with online social networking. Or maybe they do. Maybe there is an entire generation of future therapy patients in the works. Time will tell.

Meanwhile there is the newest very cute friend of a friend. He liked my comment, but did not add one of his own. Curious, I clicked on his name. Adorable. His profile is not set to private, so I was able to browse through his photos, and read his wall posts. He’s an artist. Talented, and from what I can tell, extremely sweet.

In short, I find the guy attractive. I wanted to click like on something of his. Wait, that didn’t come out right. What I mean is that I wanted to return the favor. Show him I took an interest in him by trading a like for a like. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

The trick is to click like on something obvious. Something a casual visitor to his site would notice. The profile photo, for example. Or the artwork he drew, which is featured at the top of the page. Definitely not the super sexy Mickey Mouse costume he wore for Halloween two years ago. Very hot. Mouse ears, red shorts with yellow buttons, white gloves. Nothing else. His body is near perfect. Toned, lean. A hint of muscle, but nothing steroid bulky. Just enough hair to be manly, without having to invent cutesy labels like otter or cub.

I would, however, invoke an animal to describe one feature. If ever there was a doe-eyed boy, this would be him. Large brown eyes, with long lashes and beautifully arched brows. Seriously, this guy is a doll, and the Mickey Mouse picture is adorable.

As much as I would love to like it, however, there is no way to do that without coming across as a stalker who poured over every single photo on his site, and found the sexiest one.

Which brings up another dilemma. Is he gay? Just because we have three gay friends in common does not mean that he is. Gay. There are no romantic pictures with ex-boyfriends, or ex-girlfriends. His relationship status was left blank. He does seem as if he might be gay, but then again, I would easily believe that he was straight. Isn’t that always the case with guys I find attractive? It has to be the straight guy who could be gay or the gay guy who is almost certainly straight. From all the given clues.

It’s that in-between area that I am drawn to. You’re gay but fix up cars yourself? Oh yeah, that’s hot. You’re straight but can bake, and you cut your own hair? Same thing. Hot.

So how to proceed? Do I send a flirtatious note to a potentially straight guy who might think I’m stalking him? What’s the rule, here?

After some deliberation, I chose the safest photo. The artwork he drew himself. What artist wouldn’t welcome praise for his work? Since we are not friends ourselves, I was not able to click like on the photo. So I sent him a brief message. Two lines. Complimented his drawing. Said to consider the message a like.

Most likely, he won’t reply. Probably straight. Or if he’s gay, he might be using the same five second rule as friend in common number two. Either that, or he’ll wonder why I didn’t send a friend request. He looks young enough to know the rules.


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