I need blunt, direct advice about a recent brief crush.
Please help me NOT stalk my neighborhood waiter.
Anon because, well, weirdness and there is a good chance I am being a hand-wringing ninny and would rather not have that google-able.
So I read this thread
and it got me thinking about a recent interaction I had that is still playing out in my mind. I would like some advice.
Here is the setup:
Me: Mid-30s gay guy. I am great with people and regular dating situations, but when the romantic/attraction stuff becomes chemical (which for me is VERY rare) I lose a lot of judgment.
I recently had three or four interactions with a waiter at my local neighborhood diner.
1. I drop in to get a quick bite, get seated, and notice my rather averagely handsome waiter. Over the course of the next hour I catch him looking at me and smiling. Not a friendly smile, but an "I see you" sideways smirk. We make direct eye contact a number of times across the room.
Ordinarily I am a flirt and can give and get, but as soon as I caught this my chest implodes and I feel like the universe is collapsing. Hyperbole? Yes, but it was chemically immediate and very powerful. I think about leaving my name and number, but then chicken out at the last minute. I was physically shaking.
2. A few days later, I decide to go back in and get seated in his section again. He sees me reading - let's say Bulgarian - and says "WOW, you read Bulgarian?" I told him that I am trying to read it to get used to the phonetics, but don't understand a lot of what I am reading. It turns out that he is Bulgarian and we have a chat about it. He sits at my booth and asks me to read some of it to him. I do, and he says "not bad. Wrong, but not bad." We then go back and forth and I can barely meet his eye. He then goes into the case system for the verbs and uses the way English and Bulgarian say "I love you" as examples. Oh man, I am so gone.
3. I go back two days later. I am not seated in his section, but I notice three of the waitresses are looking at me and giggling. He is with them. I go up front to pay and the cashier/manager smiles at me and yells the waiter's name as I walk away. Waiter comes over and asks how my Bulgarian is going. I tell him that I wasn't trying to read it today, but was working on something else. "Don't worry, we will get you Speaking it soon!" he says, and I leave.
4. Two days later, I go in. At this point I am completely out of my mind. I am not seated in his section, but he is there. I am not sure if he saw me there or not, but he almost had to have. I finish and pay, but before I leave I decide I can't let this drag out. I have to ask him out. NOW. This can't fester. But he is busy. I don't want to bother him with personal stuff with all of the tables he has, so I write a note to him and ask the waitress if she would give it to him. As I hand her the note, I see the cashier/manager walking up to her in my peripheral vision. The note said: "I have come in twice to ask you out, but you are either too busy or I lose my courage. Call me. Name, Phone, Email." and then write my name in English & Bulgarian. I leave.
So this was Friday last week and no call yet. I am pretty sure I am fucked.
Now: I am grown, for the most part rational, and have dealt with this (how happy was I to learn the word limerance!) twice before in my life. It will dissipate soon enough, this lack of sleep and thinking thinking thinking jumping every time the phone rings OMG the email inbox dinged mess.
I understand that I do not have a relationship with this man. In any way, shape or form. We do not owe each other anything.
This time I nipped it in the bud, but there are lingering questions:
-I screwed up and didn't give my little 6th grade note directly to him - should I assume he got it and isn't interested or should I try again directly? If so, when?
-Did I screw up this guy's work environment? Was I out of line? I am representing all of our interactions without embellishment.
-How long should I wait before I go back in as a regular patron? This is my neighborhood restaurant and I don't want to go 8 blocks out of my way every time I want a BLT. For the past week I have been avoiding the place.
I have no intention of stalking this guy and don't want to be the creepy patron who keeps coming in and skeezing everyone out with unwanted advances. I have worked as a waiter myself and know what that is like. On the other hand, whether he got my info or was able to piece together who left it if he did is a big unknown and it is always stupid to assume rejection outright.
Sorry for the length. This hasn't happened in years and I am confused what to do (or not to do). I don't want to waste an opportunity, but I don't want to waste my time either.
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org