Everyone takes a bullet for a friend, now and then, by playing the wingman. And when you’re a lesbian and she’s straight, it’s a no-brainer to let her pursue the hot guy while you entertain his potentially less-hot friend. And so it was, the night my friend Kiersten and I went out on the town for a girls’ night out.

We walked into our favorite neighborhood bar to find a troupe of female performers setting up and Kiersten’s two neighbors, Dave and Gibson, hanging out at the bar. Before we went over to say hi, Kiersten told me she was interested in Gib–who was so cute, even this lesbian noticed. “But if he wants me,” she added, “he’s gonna have to court me like a motherf***er.” You go, girl.

Right away, Kier and Gib fell into conversation, heads as close together as they could be without kissing. I turned my full attention to Dave, a conservative-looking fellow–reminiscent of a grown-up Alex P. Keaton–sporting a manicured beard, red cashmere scarf and dark overcoat. Great, I thought, this guy’s probably as tightly wound as they come. He peered intently into his iPhone. I braced myself to take one for Team Kiersten and asked him what he was doing. He was writing an ode to the run-on sentence on Facebook. He handed the phone to me and asked if I would add a stanza. All right, I thought, as a writer I can get behind that. After I messed around with his iPhone for a few minutes, he casually mentioned he’d dropped it in the toilet recently but, hey, it still worked–and the toilet wasn’t that dirty at the time. I hastily handed it back, laughing.

A one-woman band started playing on stage. The music sounded strangely off-key, shrill, and brought back haunting memories of every Lilith Fair that, as a card-carrying lesbian, I attended through sheer peer pressure. “This music makes me want to give up being a feminist,” I groaned to Dave, holding my ears. He smiled sympathetically and said, “Don’t worry, you won’t feel that way in the morning.” I had to admit, this guy was growing on me.

Eventually, Kier and Gib joined in conversation with us. Topics varied from awesome documentaries about strange, geeky subcultures featuring adult men who live in their mothers’ basements (Second Skin and The King of Kong) to this question: which was more of a misguided masculine statement–hanging fake testicles from the hitch of your pickup (“I hate that!” Dave said, vehemently) or tattooing your face? “That guy is just making a statement to the world that he’s not serious about ever having a career aside from tattoo artist,” said Gib. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages. Even better, Dave bought us drinks all night like a perfect gentleman, Kiersten had a fabulous time flirting with Gib, and I was chastised into remembering to never, ever judge a book by its bearded, cashmere cover.