T and I had an argument a couple of weeks ago. It was not a big deal, in fact, I cannot even remember exactly what it was about. While talking on the phone, I said something he didn't like and got upset. I didn't like that he got upset by what I said and then I got upset. Rather than argue on the phone, we ended the conversation. I was still fuming. I was home alone. I was frustrated and I wanted to talk to someone about it. The problem is, I had no one to talk to about it. This made me more upset. I doubt he did, but if T had wanted to he could walked to his sisters room and said, "You will never guess what Jim said to me. Can you believe it?" T has a support system. He has a large family he can rely on. The family members he is closest to, are right there in the house with him. It is not in his nature to discuss our relationship with his family, but that's not the point. He could if he wanted to. Just having someone available to talk to is comforting, even if you don't take advantage of it. So there I was, home alone and fuming. I was getting more and more upset with T, but then I realized it was not his fault that I do not have a strong support network. I was really upset with myself and jealous of him. (There was also a part of me thinking that if we lived together and we had had this little spat in person, we would have worked through it and neither one of us would have been upset, but this post is not about that.) The bottom line? I am too isolated. I am an introverted person who likes to be around people, and spends way too much time alone. I don't have friends I can lean on if I need to and I don't have friends that might need to lean on me. I need to fix this. As I get older it is not going to get any easier to meet new people and make friends. It's not easy now. I spend a lot of time at K's house with the kids. When I get some free time, I like to spend it with T. When the hell am I going to have time to cultivate friendships? But I need to do it. Before long, my kids will be grown up and they will not need me around as much. When the little ones become teens, they will prefer to hang out with their friends than their old man. What will I be doing then? Who will I hang out with? Even if T and I were living together, (which is still a long way off, if ever) I would still want more people to interact with than just him. I guess I could count K, but that is not enough either. I see myself having friends over for dinner. Or barbecuing in the backyard. Having a friend (and his partner) over to drink a beer and smoke a cigar on the back porch. Getting a call when someone needs a ride to the airport or to take their car to the shop. Friends I can talk to when I get upset or will talk to me when they are upset. Friends I can ask advice from, or offer advice to. There has to be people looking to make connections to others people. I really don't care if they are old or young, gay or straight (but gay friendly), kids or no kids, married, partnered or single, and race, just someone nice looking to meet other people. Where are they? How can I find them? I am tired of being isolated.
I think I had said before that I work for a British company. It is a small company, with only seven employees in the United States and only two of the seven are here, including me. For the past few weeks, however, I have had three British visitors here working in the office. They are good guys and I like listening to them talk. It's kind of like working at Hogwort's. The only down side really is that two of them smoke like chimneys. Honestly, they must go outside every 20 min for a smoke break. I don't really know how they get any work done. The when they come back in they stink up the office since the smoke smell is on their clothes and breath. I am not really as bothered by it as it sounds. It's annoying but I am not bothered enough by it to write a whole blog post about it. There is one thing and I am not sure how or even if I should do any thing about it. When they arrived, I picked them up at the airport and brought them to a hotel near the office. As they grabbed their bags from the trunk of my car one one them said to me, "All right, I am going to take a shower, grab a fag and then I'll meet you in the office about half 3." "Half 3" means he would be in the office my 3:30 that afternoon. Grabbing a fag? What the hell is that? Instantly I remembered that a "fag" in Britain is a cigarette. And he said it so casually, that I don't think he meant anything negative by it. It was no different from than when he called the trunk of my car "the boot". Over the next few days I heard him casually use that word. "Let's have a fag, and then we will answer that email?" "Let me finish this fag and I will look at that problem." "Put on the kettle and after this fag, we'll have tea." I don't think they know I am gay. I am pretty sure neither of these guy have been to America before so they may not even be aware that "fag" is an offensive term here. I am not sure if I should say something or not. Maybe I should just ignore it
While I was still married and and pretending to be "bi" I would read blogs about gay guys who were just living their lives and dream about that life for myself. Some blogs were about the single gay guys with large social circles who are open with everyone about who they are. Others were about the guys in committed relationships, like the marriage I had with K, except they were just being who they are. Having access to the lives of these guys helped me in immeasurable ways as I worked my way out of the closet and into real life.
Yes, I know that every relationship is different and I do not expect my relationship with T to be like anyone else. There are some relationship types I aspire to. In one of the relationships I really admire, the blog author describes his relationship with his husband as like 1950's couple. While they are both men he (the author) takes on the 50's husband role, and his husband being like the 50's housewife. (This is a crude, abbreviated description of how he has described his relationship.) While I admire, and to some extent am jealous of their relationship, I know that my life with T would be different. I am pretty manly guy and I am not really "housewife" material. It's just not in my personality, right? T was over the other night. He came to my house after work and we planned to go out for dinner. There were some pretty strong storms in the area and as we left the house it started raining so hard, it was very difficult to see the road. We turned back to my house and I made some dinner for us. I will not tell you what I made so as not to embarrass myself but T pretended to like it. After dinner we would shower and then snuggle in bed and watch a little TV. "Why don't you go ahead and get in the shower. I'll clean up down here and meet you there." I told him. He agreed, kissed me and headed up stairs. I cleared the table and as I loaded the dishwasher I realized I was smiling and humming to myself. T would have been happy to help me, but I was happier to send him upstairs and do it myself. Maybe there is some 1950's housewife in me after all.
If you girl and you find yourself with a gay dad, there should be some definite advantages, right? At this point in the post I was going to do into a laundry list of stereotypes that should make it easier for a gay man to relate to his daughter. But after i wrote a bunch of them out, I realized that I don't fit most of them, a neither do the few gay people I know.
This past week was the annual Father / Daughter dance. It was the third one I have attended with my daughter. She looks forward to this every year and honestly I have a lot of fun with it too. For a gay guy I am not much of a dancer. Actually, I am not much of a dancer compared to any guy, but my daughter did not care. She was happy I was there with her and I was glad to be there. It did not take much time for her to ditch me and head into the crowd of screaming girls (ages 6 to 9). She would resurface a short time later, take my hand and lead me to the snack table where she obtained a slice of cake and a glass of punch. She had one bite of the cake and 2 swallows of punch before she handed them to me, "Can you hold this?" she asked before she vanished again into the crowd to dance "Gangham Style" Before the end of the night, (which for this dance was 8PM) she did ask me to dance with her, we got our picture taken and went to inspect a large water fountain in courtyard. It was a nice time with my special little girl.
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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