In a strange blog twist, I posted this picture last week saying that T and I have never been dressed up together. Well now we have been. Who knew? (When I wrote the previous post I didn't know the dress code for the party.)
When the guests started to arrive, T and his siblings all had jobs to do. They had worked it out in advance. One would act as the MC and coordinate the band and make sure the guests knew what to do. Two of them maintained oversight of the kitchen and keeping the food hot and replenished. T and the other siblings were in charge of greeting guests as they arrive and showing them to their assigned tables.
I hung out at the back of the room near the main entrance. I wanted to be near T. I maintained some distance so I would not be in the way. I liked watching T as he greeted the people coming in. He was so warm and friendly. It made me think that when we are living together we should have dinner parties. T is a good host.
Most of the people were distant relatives or friends of his parents. People I would likely never see again, so I didn't mind he did not introduce me to most of them. But there were a few he did. Once was an older woman he has known for many years. One of his closest friends. He has told her about me and our relationship.
"This is Jim. My boyfriend." he said. "I know" she said with a smile towards me.
I smiled and filled up with happiness.
While I did have a seat assignment, I made the decision that I was not going to sit in it. I was going to stay with T. I was going be there if he needed to do anything. More importantly, I was going to be near the man I love. I was a little worried that he might want me to sit so as not to get anyone gossiping about us. But it never happened. I stayed by his side through the entire night.
A whole bunch of other things happened that night.
While I was stand there one of T's sisters came over and handed me some cards. "Hold these. I think there is money in them." And she hurried away. I tucked them into my jacket. This continued as people arrived. I was handed all the cards and envelopes that guests brought.
T has another close friend. T describes him as being like a brother. I have seen him several times at T's house. He has always been nice and friendly. Tonight he was in charge of photography. He took a million pictures. At one point he came a took a picture of T and I. We stood next to each other and smiled. Snap! Later he came back. I was holding a water bottle, but T put his arm around me. Snap! Later he came back a third time. This time we stood close and both put our arms around each other. Snap! Each picture made me a little bit happier.
I was one of 4 white guys at the party. T's niece is married to a white guy. He was working as the bar tender for the event. The other two are T's CPA and his lawyer. I also made the observation that I was the tallest guy in the room. (I am 5' 10")
Since I spent most my time standing in the back of the room. In my suit. T's sister, the one that kept handing me checks, joked that I looked like a Secret Service agent. All I needed was an ear piece sticking out of my jacket. I thought that was funny. I mentioned it to T and he thought it was funny too.
At the end of the night T again greeted everyone as they were leaving. I stood nearby. Most of the people ignored me, but occasionally someone would shake my hand and thank me. I thought that was a little strange since I had not really done anything. I smiled and thanked them for coming. One elderly gentleman came to me and said, "You have done a great job with security." At first I was not sure if he was joking, but I don't think he was. "Thank you, sir." I replied. Once we were alone, I told T about it and we both laughed together.
Staying with him for the evening and in public was special. I felt like we were there together, not just there at the same time. I told him so and thanked him. He opened himself up to some uncertainty in how people would react. I wanted him to know that I appreciated it.
I fulfilled my "security guy" persona one last time that evening. Everyone was a flurry of activity breaking down the event. There was a lot of stuff that needed to be removed form the church and loaded into cars. Lot's on mini-vans and SUVs packed to the gills with stuff. What did I take in my car? I took all the stuff from the gift table, of course. Who else would you trust with all the portability valuable gifts people brought for T's parents?
So as you can see, this night was a tremendous success for me. T's mother made a point of thanking me for all my help and it was clear to me she was happy I was there. T and I drove back to his house to unload all the stuff. when it was done, my car was blocked in so we sat next to each other by his koi pond.
It had been a long night. We were both tired. My feet hurt. I was very happy.