On Monday after work I went home to make dinner for the kids. Monday at my house is pizza night so when I say I "made" dinner, it means I made the call to Papa John's to bring pizza to my house. K has class until late on Monday so I knew should not be home for a while. I got the kids situated and then I got ready to leave. Tonight was the first meeting of the "Rainbowlers" and I wanted to sign up.
K got home a little earlier than I expected so I was able to leave earlier. Good thing too, because I hit a bunch of traffic on my way to the bowling alley. When I got there, there was nothing obvious saying "Homos over here" so I bravely went up to the person at the desk and asked where the Rainbowlers were meeting. "If you head over to the bar, the 3 gentlemen there are with the league." she said with a smile. I should have known to check the bar first.
I walked into the bar and the 3 guys sitting there all seemed normal enough, but hearing 2 of them speak caused my gaydar to ping. The third guy was Asian and if he was hanging out with white guys he MUST be gay. The Asian guy was younger (by younger I mean mid-30s) and the other two were probably mid to late 50s. After introducing myself, they gave me a form to fill out and told me they would get started in about half an hour. I also found out last year they had about 100 bowlers so there will be lots of opportunities to meet people.
I was pretty early so I took a seat. After a while people started coming in. I watched as they greeted each other. Lots of hugs, some kisses, and an occasional, "Honey, it's so good to see you!!". It seemed like a very friendly bunch. More good news for me.
These 2 guys sat next to me. Scott & Tony. They seemed to only know each other from bowling together for a few years. After a few min of talking to each other, Tony asked if I was bowling with them. I said I was and we struck up a conversation. It seems they are both from New Jersey and we talked about how you can't get a decent bagle or good seafood in the south. We also talked about how hard it is to get good BBQ in the north. I was pretty happy with the ease of the conversation. This bowling thing was looking promising!
As we were chatting Tony said, "You see that guy there. The one dressed up.". I looked over expecting to see a man in a suit, but what I saw was a man wearing what looked to be a dress stolen from the set of a 1980's Cyndi Lauper video. He was not a passable woman, in fact he didn't really try to be. He had long hair tied with a pink ribbon and bow, but he wore no make up and didn't have fake boobs. Tony said he asked the guy last year if he was transitioning from man to woman, but he isn't. He just likes to dress up. Tony went on to say that despite his strange appearace, he was a pretty nice guy.
I have never had an urge to crossdress myself, and I really don't understand people who do. To each his own, I guess. I mean, I'm a guy who likes guys who is looking for acceptance so who am I to judge, right?
More people arrived and it was almost time for the meeting to start where they go over the rules for the year and vote on any changes. I was happy to see that the vast majority of the guys seemed to be within 10 years of my age. If it was mostly 20-somethings, I may not have been as comfortable there.
The meeting was boring. They could has just passed out the rule sheet and let us all read it. When it was over they asked about teams needing additional bowlers and people who did not have a team. I raised my hand. Since I didn't know anyone anyway, I said that I would join any team.
"We have an open spot." a notably masculine voice behind me said. I say "notable" because many of the men spoke like stereotypical gay men.
"OK." I said as I turned around. Of couse, the voice belonged to dressup guy. I was immediately uncomfortable but as I thought about it, what the hell. Everyone else in the room seemed to accept this guy, there was no reason I couldn't too.
So, now that I am on a team, bowling starts in 2 weeks.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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