Every single gal should have a gay boyfriend. And, it should be a committed relationship. I have a gay boyfriend, and I will never choose another. I may be friends with other gay men, but I only have one gay boyfriend. It’s a lifetime commitment for me. I’m sure he has other straight girlfriends, and, that’s okay. I can share his attention, but I just can’t break apart the pieces of my heart that are attached to him.
I first met Michael in Michigan where we both worked for Whirlpool. I had relocated to our corporate offices, and I was recently single after breaking up with a man to whom I was engaged. All of my Yankee co-workers told me I should date the new HR Director who was also from the South. I guess in their mind us Southerners understood each other. Unbeknownst to me – and everyone else – Michael just wasn’t into girls. He hadn’t “come out” yet. So, we went on a canoe trip. Looking back, asking Michael on a canoe trip was a disaster waiting to happen. But, good guy that he was, he went. He was hung over from the night before. At least it doesn’t get as hot in Michigan as it does down here, or things could have been worse. But, I could tell he wasn’t very comfortable with the whole thing. We still laugh about that trip.
My 50th Birthday Party at Micheal’s Place… he apologized that his finest was packed away, but I thought it was fabulous!
I remember going over to his house for a visit – we became friends after the failed date – and he offered me some leftovers. The leftovers he served me were the makings of a 5 star restaurant and fabulously presented on beautiful dinnerware complete with complementary place setting. The fact that I have no gaydar is not lost on me. He dated a friend of mine for awhile, and she told us that something seemed wrong because he seemed to really like her as a person but he never wanted to kiss her. When he finally came out to me, there were so many things that just clicked into place. In my mind, the pieces audibly clicked together, and I was really glad, because then it meant we could be friends without any worries of the whole sex thing getting in the way.
He is from Pontotoc, Mississippi, and, by the time I moved to Memphis, he was there, too. We rekindled our friendship just about the time my second marriage started falling apart. He was in a committed relationship at the time, but his partner wasn’t exactly committed. His relationship was ending, too, and we just kind of fell into each other’s arms getting through that time. He bounced back a lot quicker than I did, but I remember being so attached to him during that time. I was really afraid of men and was very uncomfortable with male energy, and he was this great mix of man and girlfriend all rolled into one. He lived between my work and my apartment, and several times I drove up in his driveway in tears. I’d call him and ask what he was doing. “I’m in your driveway,” I’d add. He’d let me in, give me a big hug, help me curse out my ex-husband and feed me country cooking. That cornbread was the salve on my wounds, and it worked every time.
My 47th Birthday Party
My divorce was final pretty close to my 47th birthday, and Michael wanted to give me the best birthday ever. His beautiful home was decorated with a baby grand piano and beautiful, formal furnishings. His home felt so elegant but also very homey to me, and he makes this divine strawberry cake which is my very favorite homemade cake. I can taste it now. He told me to invite as many friends as I wanted to, and he would prepare and serve us dinner. It was one of the most special evenings of my life, and I felt so loved. My best friends in Memphis were there, and he treated us like queens – pun intended.
Michael married his husband Darren a few years back. They went to Vermont to say their vows, and they have been on a journey to move to New Orleans, the city where Darren was born. It has taken them 5 years to get there via Miami. They moved a few months ago, and I was really excited to be close to them now that I’m in Baton Rouge. He’s been sharing moving tips with me, and, right in the middle of my packing, he texts me.
Me: well, what?
Michael: They closed my office today
Me: OMG .. what?
Michael: We have to move to Houston.
They had just closed on their house in New Orleans in March. Now, they were moving to Houston where they know nobody. So, once again, we’ve been on a path of similar happenings. We are both in limbo now. He’s on his way to Houston this morning. Yesterday he posted on Facebook that he and Darren were now officially homeless. I am, too. I’m staying with a friend just waiting to get in my new place and move my belongings. We had a two hour phone conversation the other day while he was driving back to Pontotoc to retrieve some belongings. Michael is a nomad, too. We’ve both done this numerous times before. We know the drill. We’ll both be in limbo for a few months – or more – before the dust settles. Then, we’ll be in the rebuilding phase. When this started with me, he was done and settled in New Orleans. Now, when my relocation is done in Baton Rouge, he’ll still be in limbo in Houston. Life throws us some curves.
I asked Michael what he remembered about that canoe trip, and he said, “I remember being terrified of snakes falling out of all those low-hanging trees. Being a redneck from Mississippi, I didn’t know I didn’t need to worry about that so much in Michigan and was scared to admit it to you… didn’t want to be a wuss. I also knew I’d met a wonderful friend that day and was terrified that it was really a date and .. not being “out”… that I’d lose what I thought would be a wonderful friendship if it was a date. And I knew it was 🙂 ” Michael knows I thought it was a date, and I had a huge crush on him. But, even if I crush on somebody, I let it go if there is no reciprocated interest. I’m more about the relationship. If I care about you, I don’t really care what form it takes … I’ll nurture that. I was disappointed that he wasn’t into me, but really I have the best of both worlds now. I don’t ever have to worry about us breaking up. I don’t have to deal with his quirks and idiosyncrasies. I have a great friend, a male helpmate and a fun girlfriend all in one.
I never made it to Miami for a visit. I was busy loving my single life and spending money on Hawaiian and Costa Rican retreats. But, I will go to Houston. I have other friends there, too, but I’ve become really cognizant during this move how important this relationship is to me. Michael grounds me, and he supports me in a way that nobody else does. For one thing, he is a nomad, too, and he understands the whole flexibility in living arrangements thing. A lot of people don’t get that, and it’s a big part of who I am. We both have to put our stability in relationships and not in place. It takes a different level of commitment and flexibility to keep those relationships intact. It also takes a reliance on technology, and we use it to our advantage. Our relationship ebbs and flows … is closer at some times than others. But, he is always there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on. I’m not sure what I do for him, but I know he feels this relationship is special, too. He’s shown me how important I am to him with his love, his gifts, his pampering, his food and his presence. Every gal should have a gay boyfriend like mine. I can’t wait to sleep in his lovely home in Houston and wake up to one of his fabulous home-cooked breakfasts. Good morning, Michael... have a safe trip. Find you the perfect cowboy hat and boots. Houston will love you, but not half as much as I love you!