Two Birthdays and the Surreal World

        I had a wonderful escape with friends this past weekend. Two adult birthday parties in one weekend in two different cities. I feel guilty for saying that I didn’t have time to miss the kids. But it did make me appreciate them more and have more patience with them after my return. I also feel more invigorated, not quite so drained, even though I didn’t actually sleep much.

        There were some beautiful things to write about on this weekend adventure. Sixty- to seventy-year old men who are probably handsome if you could see them under their Santa Claus-sized beards, oversized insulated plaid shirts, fur ear flap hats, and wire rimmed glasses. Many of them had a gentle mirth about them. I think that some of their contentment had been fed by the fact that seven women dressed to the nines in red cocktail dresses had descended for a wild night of wine, dancing, and the candy necklace game on their usually sedate pub in Pt. Townsend. Nothing warms an old mans heart better than two women in red dresses rolling on the floor trying to bite a piece of candy off each others neck without using their hands. I never ended up on the floor, but I think that’s only because they all knew I outweighed them all by 30 lbs. and it probably helped that each time they approached I yelled, “Be careful, I’m freakishly strong!” 

        The following night I found myself in a karaoke bar for only the second time in my life. A friend from high school who lives in Seattle was turning 40. It started a little tame like most parties when they first start, but then gradually ramped up as more and more people arrived and took their turn at the mic. The inflated Santa and reindeer took up the majority of the four-foot by six-foot stage, so every crooner was sharing the spotlight with the current symbol of conspicuous Christmas consumption. I’m having a difficult time choosing the highlight of the evening.

           Was it the robust frosted-haired woman with obviously fake boobs and (we couldn’t confirm) butt implants who did a hip thrust head bang dance less than a foot from a few performers even though there was an empty dance floor? She improved her score over the course of the evening by occasionally pretending to make out with the inflatable Santa on stage while people she didn’t know performed, and just before getting kicked out, she asked the host in a very raspy cigarette influenced voice, “So this is a birthday party, huh? Is there cake?” Or was it the barrel-chested 45-year old with a real live mullet and classic 80’s skin-tight faded blue jeans that showed up just in time to wail out his Bon Jovi song, complete with air guitar, head flail, and playing catch with the microphone stand. He was in some ways sad, because he didn’t realize that the looks and stares he was getting were not in admiration, but that’s how he was choosing to take them. 

        And there is nothing like a gay man. There were several at this party and I hate to generalize, but I’ve never seen so many well groomed, thoughtful, kind, and considerate men with gorgeous shoes and tasteful coats in one room before. More than a couple of them could have become my BFF if I lived a little closer. I’m convinced there is fag hag in my blood. I also finally learned from them the proper way to wear a scarf, although theirs were better color-coordinated than my own. 

         I learned a lot this weekend:

1. I don’t need to write fiction, when real life has so much to offer.

2. Getting away from the kids for a couple of days is something no mother should feel guilty about.

3. It’s easy to meet new people if you are willing and you have a venue.

4. A mixture of bluegrass and Grateful Dead music is actually pretty damn awesome.   

          I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.  

Lorraine Wilde


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