23 October 2010


College was a great time in my life: coming out; making life changing decisions; using my collegiate status to get laid. Undergrad was also the dark period where the onslaught of my five-figure credit card debt began due to my sad realization that 1. everyone loves a generous college guy and that 2. gays are supposed to look good. Regarding the latter, my chosen aesthetic and the source of eighty percent of that debt was Banana Republic. I died for Banana - the store also - primarily because I was a minimalist at heart and the monochromatic color schemes fit perfectly with my personality. I also loved Banana because it was where I found the courage to man-up and act on my attraction to other men.

The closest mall to the university was at Willow Grove. It was there I discovered Banana. Grey straight-fit slacks, poplin button-downs, chic-patterned ties, smartly-dressed sales associates? I fell in love.

I went to that Banana Republic every month over those four years. Now, every time I went, I took notice of one particular sales guy. "John" was about 6'2, slender, maybe around my age, and had the most beautiful piercing blue eyes. Melt! Funny thing is I ended up working at BR as a part-time sales associate/greeter/work all the god-awful shifts and now know that each year he was given more responsibility. From door greeter, to floor, to register - he was moving up in the world. My senior year was when "John" was on register; and every Saturday, he was there.

I think it was the smirk he gave when he asked me if anyone helped with my purchases that made me swoon. Or maybe it was when he asked if I found everything okay. Or maybe it was when he asked if I wanted to save 15% by signing up for a Banana Republic Card. Whatever it was, I always walked out heart racing and at least $250 more in debt. Sometimes I would imagine him handing me my sales receipt and while I walked out pretending to examine the math, I'd find his number scribbled followed by "call me" . . . and a smiley face. Then I'd go home, wait the obligatory two days, date him, adopt a Cambodian kid and set up shop in the Bala Cynwyd suburbs of Philadelphia.

But, alas, my final summer in Philly was upon me and the truth was there: no number, no date, no smiley face. Although, I did make out with a killer wardrobe to rock on my first post-college gig. I packed up my belongings with a heavy sigh and headed back up to New York.


Autumn in New York City is awesome; something about the orange leaves on the concrete pavement amidst the bustle and noise of urban life is soothing to me - call it romanticism, call it corny. It also helped me get over missing the City of Brotherly Love so much. Until I went to the movies that one Wednesday evening. I caught the film Serendipity starring John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale who play young lovers who feel like they were not meant to be together at that particular moment, but leave it up to fate for them to be able to find their way back to each other which, years later, happens. But could it happen? Can it?

I pined over it that evening. Can that truly happen and work out? The following Saturday morning, I jumped in my car and headed back down to Philly with a short note. The note was simple.

"Hi. I saw Serendipity earlier this week and thought this was worth a shot. Here is my email address. Hit me up if you are interested."

I walked into the Willow Grove Banana and headed straight for the counter. No "John!" Just a cute black chick.

DeeCue: Hey, I was wondering if you could help me out.
Blick (Black Chick): Sure; what can I do for you?
DeeCue: There is a guy that usually works around this time. He obviously isn't working right now otherwise I wouldn't be talking to you.
Blick: Uh-huh.
DeeCue: Do you know who I am talking about? Blue-eyes? White guy? Crazy cute? About yea high?
Blick: That could only be one of two guys who work during this shift normally, and that is "John."
DeeCue: Cool. Well, can you give this to him for me the next time he comes in?
Blick: Sure.

And so I walked out, drove back up to NYC, and waited.

One week later, I got a call.

DeeCue: Hello?
John: Hey, this is "John." You wrote me a note and left it at Banana last weekend?

Point of the conversation: Take a chance already.

- DeeCue

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