Odd man out
Originally uploaded by ImAfUzzyOne - Pond photos coming soon!
"I was made for you, and you were made for me."
From the discussion that came through the comments from last nights post, I was thinking about how amazing it was when I met Michael. Most of my adult life has been as a single person. I definitely dated here and there, but not many serious relationships. I often felt like it was difficult for me to meet the right person, because I was a bit outside the box as far as gay men go.
Growing up in my household as a kid, I really embraced the lifestyle that my parents had. They seemed very happy, loving each other, and raising a family of four boys. They both worked full time, and still managed to get my three brothers to their cub scouts and baseball practices, and me to my theatre rehearsals and music lessons. Yes, I was a glee kid. Last week was my parents 54th wedding anniversary. That is what I wanted. I wanted a long term relationship, filled with kids, and anniversaries.
When I met Michael I was driving a mini van filled with the kid's sports equipment and school supplies. It wasn't exactly a dude magnet. No, there was definitely nothing sexy about my ride. I used to tell friends that I felt like a gay man, living a straight life. Now that I am older, I see that there are many gay men living the life that I always wanted. They just were not in the clubs. Actually, Michael was.
When Michael and I met we were just two guys in a dance bar out for a good time. We hit it off right away that fateful evening. We could tell right away that there was a strong physical attraction. We danced, flirted, danced, kissed, dance drank, smiled and kissed some more.
The description of our meeting was actually not such a unique experience. Okay, maybe I don't usually make out in the bar after just meeting someone, but you get the idea. What was different about Michael, was that when we got to talking we realized we had both found someone of substance. For me, I had been in this situation many times over the years. The only difference was when a guy would start asking about going back to my place, or me going back to his, I would chime in with, "well, you see, I have three children at home that I need to get back to." You could start counting the minutes to the exit door from that point. I wasn't what most guys considered a catch. I was a complicated catch. Again, not exactly what most single guys think of as sexy.
When our first night of meeting was coming to an end, it was time to fess up that the car he was giving me a ride to was a mini van, because I had three children. As I said the words I expected the usually "wow, that's really cool of you. You must be some kind of saint." Followed by a quick exit. With Michael I got a big smile, and a story about what brought him back to living in the states after many years in Norway.
In the years prior to our meeting, Michael was married to another nice guy from Norway. At some point in their relationship he was feeling that it was no longer what he wanted. And, he was feeling the pull back to the Bay Area, as his mother had taken custody of his two nieces and nephew. Michael knew that she needed some added support, so he chose to leave Norway, and return home to help out his mother. Michael was a very involved uncle. His older brother had some issues over the years, and wasn't able to care for his kids. Michael stepped up to the plate, and showered them with lots of attention and guidance. As he shared this with me with both kind of smiled at each other. Here we were. Two single guys out at a dance club, drinking, dancing, laughing, flirting, and we both had three kids who depended on us. Could this be fate?
So by now I suppose many of you are humming the ever so familiar Brady Bunch tune. I know I was. And while Michael's crew didn't live with us, they were included in all of our kid trips and special occasions. We did all that we could to be a part of their lives. When we were married we exchanged blended family wedding vows where we committed to each other's children, and became one family. This was too good to be true. There we were. Two regular guys, with good jobs, family values, big hearts and lots of love for each other. Everyone who knew us were amazed that we had found each other. "How perfect is that?" we would often hear.
So here I was, a middle aged guy (but on the young side!) finding that 'dreams do come true', or that 'good things do come for those who wait.' I don't really believe in fate, and yet, I also find myself saying at times that there are no accidents. I don't really know what to believe. What I know is he was the one that I had waiting forty something years for. I found someone that fit.
Now I find myself back where I started. Actually, I'm not where I started, because my difference is now magnified.
Today a couple of other gay guys in the office were talking in the hall way. I stopped to join in on the conversation. Sort of a gay water cooler moment. They were talking about re-starting the monthly gay men's "meet after work for a drink night." They told me to check my email, and be sure to join them. They mentioned that I had never been to one of these nights, and that they would love for me to come. One even looked at me with tenderness, and told me that I really needed to do this for myself. I smiled and said sure, it sounds like fun. Later when I had a moment, I opened up my email to get the details of the event. I saw that it was going to be on a Tuesday late afternoon, around 5:30pm, at a martini bar down the street from the office. "Perfect." Oh, wait, that's when I pick up Remy from school, and then drive over to meet with Arianne and her therapist, then drive over to Ocean Beach to pick up Dante after his jiu jitsu class. Within a few minutes I found myself telling one of the guys that sorry, but I have obligations with the kids, and I won't be able to make it. It's funny, I have no idea what it is like to have the freedom to go from work to a nice piano bar and enjoy a refreshing drink with the guys. It's just not part of my reality.
Once again, I'm the odd man out.