My Friend's Birthday Weekend In Palm Springs
Oh dear God, is the only phrase that comes to mind at the moment. My dear friend from LA is throwing a weekend birthday bash this weekend in Palm Springs. I'll know about 6 of the 1200 guests, not a problem as I'm a social delight but that isn't what has me worried... What has me worried is that they are going to be LA GAYS...all of them...and here I'll be, feeling like the country gay among the city gays. Where do I live? Vegas of course. That's not what makes me the country gay obviously, what makes me the country gay is that I've been with the same man monogamously for 16 years. I haven't been to one gay bar in all my time in Vegas. I'm the straightest, effeminate gay in all history!!! My guy is out of town so I'm flying solo on this one, which is probably better as my guy has no time for the put on swish talking that sounds as though everyone's tire has air leaking. There's no chance of me fitting in - none. I'm not thin enough, buff enough, I'm not tan enough, my teeth aren't white enough, I haven't had enough surgery or movie deals. Oh God, why didn't I stick to that work out plan? Maybe when I go to the tanning salon this week they can give me a stencil for my abs...oh dear Lord, I don't care that it's going to be over 80 degrees, I can't and won't take my shirt off. I can't do it. I can't get the 8 inches onto my biceps and off my waist before Thursday. Maybe I can Karen Carpenter it and throw up from now until Thursday...then I'd have extra skin...perhaps an ACE bandage?? Too crazy...stick to a plan...as my mother always says, "Plan your work and work your plan." What does that even mean?? These are successful upwardly mobile gays, you know the kind you see in the Range Rover gay ads and the ones with the sunken cheeks in the gay magazines. I'm about to walk into an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog looking as though I came out of the Field and Stream!!! HELP!!! I refuse to be the Charles Nelson Riley among the Robbie Williamses...no caftan and large glasses...maybe Truman Capote...a nice linen look with hat...oh God, I'm too short too!!! I AM Truman Capote without an interesting novel or touch of brillance to make me seem eccentric! Breathe...I must breath and do Yoga non-stop for the next four days. Maybe I can have people pledge me like a marathon. Stop coming up with fund raising ideas and figure a way to raise your metabolism. It's all too much...I can't take it, I can't possibly take it...okay, well maybe I can. I adore my friend and he came to my 40th so there's no way out. Where's Roy's tiger when I need him...that's the only way out. Being mauled by a tiger...okay, I live in Vegas but still, no chance of that really happening. Must think, I'm a wonderful liar but there's no way out of this one. I must resign myself to the situation. I haven't bought shorts in three years - I'll have to go to the mall tonight...all those long shorts making me look even dumpier than I am...and then I'll tan, there's no hope, I may as well buy the God Damned green wig and accept the fact that I will be the Oompa Loompah of the party. Imagine how droll I'll sound, "What? You mean it isn't a costume party? I had no idea...gee, do I feel silly. Change? Oh...umm...well...this is all that I brought...wear something of yours? That's so sweet but I'm sure I can't imagine doing that 22 inch waist speedo it's true justice." It's a bit like seeing the accident in your rear view mirror...all you can do is brace yourself and take it. (Sounds like the first time I had sex but that's a story for another day, I'm too upset.)
Coming Soon...The Weekend...
Well, I'm on the other side of the weekend now and here's the report. They say it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong, in this case it's just a short Jewish boy saying, "I was wrong." Not only was it one of the more relaxing weekends I've spent in my life, I believe I met some really swell people that will be in my life for awhile. Here's the thing, there were a few gay couples who had been together for awhile so that was my crowd that I hung out with mostly which I believe made it easier. Had I been there with just the swinging singles, it may have been a different story. Now some of these revelations are going to sound obvious or even ridiculous but I must say them none the less. I guess that without knowing it, I've been a bit of a gay snob. "I'm not jumping from bed to bed and I don't need to spend a weekend with everyone hubba hubbaing one another." that would be a typical response from me. Thing is...there really IS a sense of community, a sense of warmth that I believe comes from the common bond, not of sleeping with the same sex but the struggles one faces in growing up homosexual in America. There was plenty of laughter but there were also hugs on goodbyes, even people you barely knew. And not hugs to feel one another's asses as the religious right would have you believe but a caring, it was great spending time with you, you matter type of hug.
Is it disappointing to not have outrageous stories to tell, "then they came out naked, except wearing feather boas and did Ain't No Moutain High Enough, ala the Supremes." Or is it just that when you make fun of something, even self-depricating, you on occasion have to look inward. Was it my own fears of not being accepted? Attractive enough? Special enough? That made me feel the way I did before and the way that I feel now that it has passed?
All I know is that there is comfort in walking with people who have walked in your shoes. And just because the people are gay, doesn't mean that they are stiletto heels, by the way.
Oh sure there was hilarity abounding and it would make a nice 90 minute play, God knows, the dialogue was brilliant but when it was over, I was left with clarity - I enjoy being a gay (sorry about that, Flower Drum Song) and being around these people enriched my own soul - who knew?