Mar 7, 2008
A post the other day at Frontier Psychiatrist's made me remember something from the dim recesses of my mind. I had almost forgotten (suppressed?) it.
I had my first gay date at an ice cream shop.
It was an outdoor venue a few feet from a sewerage canal, but still...you'd have sworn we were in a 1950s sitcom.
Except there was no humor...at all. Well, that is until I think about it now.
It was all very innocent, and bizarre. It clearly set a precedent for all subsequent bad dates, that much I know.
I had met him by way of the newspaper. This was in the days before the Internet, if you can imagine. I had responded to the one other ad in the local paper for a gay male who was not old (i.e. my age now). I was 22 or so, and he was 19. At that age, even a few years seems like a lifetime, however.
I don't remember much of details, but I know we had a chat on the phone. It turned out that we were both shamefaced westbankers. Imagine that. We had a connection. I could even hear him trying to mask his accent with what sounded like some sort of pidgin Wasp.
So we decided to meet. He knew of a ice cream shop near his parents' house and asked if I'd meet him there. I nervously agreed. I had no idea what he would look like, neither did he.
All I knew was that he had "strawberry blond" hair, a term I had never before heard applied to a male. It's a term that no man should probably ever use, to tell you the truth. That should have been a clue.
He arrived a bit late, because as he said, "I had to get some product worked in my hair." Admittedly, he did have great hair. The fluorescent blue bug lights on the ice cream shop patio didn't do much to highlight his "strawberry blondness," but then they weren't doing me any favors either.
We sat down and talked. I honestly have no idea about what, but somewhere in his drone he mentioned that he had "modeled" for something called "Abercrombie and Fitch." I half imagined that he was making this up, because I had never heard of such a pompous, clearly ridiculous made-up name before.
He claimed that he'd been "discovered" by some sort of talent hunt and photographed for an ad, with a number of other such young people. To his credit, it wasn't completely outside the realm of possibility, since he did look like a slightly off-brand Ralph Lauren model, but even as naive as I was then, I was doubtful.
Later in the conversation I found out that he was "independently wealthy" too. Model looks and independent wealth? Too good to be true, no?
His independent wealth, it turned out, was the result of a law suit involving his landing on his head after falling off of a building a few years earlier. The settlement was meant to help him with the severe brain damage incurred. He was spending it on expensive sweaters instead it seemed. Not a good investment.
The last time I saw him was in the park a few months after our first meeting. He announced that he'd changed his name. He was now to be referred to as "Kenyon, after the college." The ennunciation had gotten even more pronounced.
Then and there I made a pledge to steer clear of anyone who changes his name. It's a rule that's served me well.
Eventually, a year or two later, long after I had lost contact with him, I met someone at his college. Being nosey, I asked if he knew him. "Oh, yeah," he rolled his eyes. "I know him. Have you seen him lately? Boy, he's gained a lot of weight."
Somehow that made me smile inside.
Anyway, to recap: my first gay date was with a very pompous brain damaged male "model" at an ice cream shop near a sewerage canal.
What about you?