Tuesday, February 24, 2009

VD - Not Just a Social Disease Anymore

For many years now, my single friends and I - and the occasional other bitter pills with which I associate, and who "fondly" recall their single days - Valentine's Day has not so affectionately been VD. A common social disease for sailors and ne'erdowells the world over a few decades ago, it seemed an apt way to summarize a made-up and very commercial holiday. Other than selling tons of flowers, chocolate, stuffed toys, etc., VD is also the day that makes single folk everywhere feel the uncomfortable pressure to partner up or face the unpleasant reality of feeling like a romantic loser.

I have long suffered as a singleton, and I am not yet a convert to the wacky world of being partnered; however I am happy to report (very happy indeed) that for the first time in my life, I had a date this year. The date was the guy I'm seeing, my on-again, off-again long time play buddy. I announced to him that we should date a week or so ago, which you would think wouldn't be a big leap as we have been making out and playing around for 3 or 4 years now, and yet it needed to be said. Note: when I proposed this idea, he actually seemed surprised - but he reacted with a friendly, smiling and lackluster, "Okay."

Romance isn't dead.

So, the day before Valentine's Day, when I said to my new "partner," that we should have a date on VD, he again responded with a rather lackluster, "Okay, but we have to do something cheap - 'cause I'm so broke right now."

I actually thought he was going to back out, which would be why I actually spent the day with an old high school friend, Ellen. We had a fabulous time of it - sitting in my room, chatting while she was knitting (such a charming and old-school habit, for which I admire her greatly). I toy with the idea of taking up knitting, but really - do I need to be any gayer? Anyway, so we hit up Wal-Mart and engaged in what is either the worse kind of excess, or just a good ol' time - depending on how you spin it. We went to Wal-Mart to acquire steak and lobster tails - partially paid for by her LoneStar card.

I know, I know. The obvious objections to someone on welfare buying steak and lobster leap to mind, but this would be the friend whose husband left her for her cousin; the LoneStar card thing is a by-product of a bad situation and she is using it exactly as it is meant to be used - as a supplement. She is working and in school, and the kids are well-fed ... and, after that meal, so too is her poor but sophisticated gay best friend.

That said, we had a lovely VD with lovely food ... and it was so much fun just cooking with a friend, something we should all do a lot more often, don't you think? There was wine and feta stuffed olives, peach cobbler and all.

I followed this up with drinks and ribaldry with my darling friend, Loaded - who I need to start seeing more often. The spot was Sparks, a gay bar on Walzem Rd., well off the beaten path. Sparks has two things going for it, a devoted neighborhood crowd and the presence of apparently every black gay in San Antonio. I saw more black ass that night than I've seen in years ... and that was just when one particularly large man decided to drop trou.

Loaded and I wound up heading back to the gayborhood; it was near midnight, and I actually got a message or two from the guy I'm seeing asking where I was. I went shopping earlier in the day, picking up some lovely items -including a vintage suit. Whether me or the suit, Mark was happy to see me. And I don't even mean that in the usual dirty ways. I mean that as I was standing at the bar, as he walked through the doors from the kitchen, his face lit up.

A week or so ago, the Czarina and I were in my car and headed over to meet his partner at one of their properties. Andrew smiled as we pulled up, and Warren commented, "You know, seeing his smile makes my whole day." It was a rare and lovely moment, simply honest and purely loving. Life requires as many of those as possible, and for once what Mark and I shared was not lackluster; it was magic. His face lit up upon seeing me, and it was all I could do to take him in my arms and feel his arms around me - to fall into him and kiss with an innocent, deep passion ... the very thing that comes from knowing someone a long time, and feeling each other - for better and for worse.

A few minutes later, when I commented that he was my first Valentine (ever), that it was nice to have someone, Mark uttered the two words I didn't realize I longed to hear until I heard them, "I'm yours."

Romance really isn't dead.

The rest of the weekend was lovely ; I spent it with Mark, and something about waking up (late) with him, Monday morning, just felt about right.


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