07 May 2011

Plus One

In recent years, my best friend and former college roommate, Parker, has become something of a gay socialite. With this title comes a plethora of invitations to various events held by the "Gay-Tarati" : a very specific conglomerate of fashion-forward yet socially astute gay men composed of writers, comedians, downtown celebrities, scenesters, and Broadway alumni.

Although he's completely brilliant, hysterical and adorable, he doesn't quite blend in with the other attendees at these functions. He still wears thrift store treasures, forgets to put on deodorant and would rather make a joke out of his unruly chest hair than give a shit about keeping it maintained. Because of this, I typically get a call two hours before an event is about to start begging me to be his plus one. His rationale: he'll at least have someone to laugh with and will ensure he is not the most embarrassing attendee in the room. Having known me since the early years of our gay youth--he knows I'll always be the one getting two more free drinks after the open bar closes, smoking under the "No Smoking In This Area" sign I somehow didn't notice until someone is pointing at it while reprimanding me, and saying the ONE unmentionable thing that offends the other participant in my conversation. Sometimes, he may be so lucky as to get the holy trifecta--like the night I was dragged to a Summer Solstice party being held by a rather famous singer/diva's daughter.

Upon entry we were told to not breathe a word of said Diva anywhere near her kin. After giving each other a sideways glance, we of course said, "Fuck that..." and decided to quote uncannily lame lines from Mommy Famous' poorly received mid-80s feature film debut. Halfway through the night, we decided it would be best to fashion these sound bites as responses to questions, and to pepper them only when we were in conversations with the daughter herself. I don't think I have to say we added no Facebook friends that night.

Pretentious celebrity offspring aside, I don't attend these parties with the intention of being an asshole. And that's the sad part of our power duo. Like Romy and Michelle at their senior prom, we simply just have fun and you either get us or you don't. I would like to go so far as to say we're the furthest from bitchy queens. As a non-member of the gay elite, I just somehow always manage to ask the one question to a member of circular conversation that is a common knowledge unmentionable. I also never seem to quite know who is who amongst the elite and taking it one step further, never know who's dated who.

This posed a problem the night I accompanied Chris to a premiere for an off-off Broadway one man show. Following the show, a majority of the audience went to a club for the after party. Once there, we descended on the open bar and the formalities of declaring our love for the show. We also mingled amongst ourselves. I was having a blast and laughing my way through several vodka tonics when I caught eyes with a super cute guy in his early thirties. I introduced myself and we started talking. He said he was an actor (who isn't?) and he shared a manager with the actor who was in the play, hence the opening night invitation. I said I blew someone. Instead of being repulsed or worse, following with an icky comment, he laughed and we carried on from there. We inched closer as the night went on until his arm eventually found itself wrapped around my shoulder.

At this moment, I noticed a recently outed former child actor plunk down on the table in the front of us. Knowing Chris first masturbated to reruns of him during his teen years, I turned to look for him. After a few seconds of not being able to locate him, I turned back to see my future brusband holding hands with Mr. Nick-at-Nite. I instantly pulled away from my guy's arm and said through a laugh, "Seriously?" His response: "Oh, no, that's my boyfriend."

Again, I chortled, "Seriously?" As I started to get up, he gently pulled me back down and said, "No, its not like that. He's fine with it. Here, I'll introduce you." Through shocked awe, I met his boyfriend. He then said, "I have to be honest. We saw you at the play. I instantly said to him, I want him tonight"

Now, I'm all for an open relationship and especially those that are all inclusive. However, this was far too trippy for me. I tried a threesome once and found that the math involved wasn't worth the effort. I could only imagine the psychological effect that would result from including a former cast member of the TGIF line-up to the equation. If you had asked me when I was eating my Kid's Cuisine on my big 5th grade Friday night if I'd ever imagine being forced to turn down the opportunity to bump pussies with a Bop magazine mini-poster boy, I would have never said no. Yet, I did just that. For the first time at these functions, I didn't say anything embarrassing or vulgar, I simply told the boys to have fun and I excused myself to go look for Chris.

When I found him twenty minutes later, he was huddled by the bar having a debate over Papaya Dog versus Papaya King with a pair of Asian twins known for having adverse reactions to Tequila. I asked them to please excuse my rudeness and pulled him toward the door. As I told him of my recent run-in with what I assumed was uncharted gossip in the Gay-tarati, he wasn't phased in the slightest. "Oh girl, everyone knows about them. Funny part is, I think you're the only one who's ever said no. Seriously, I think everyone here's told me stories about them..." I asked him if they'd ever tried anything with him and he said he'd never been asked. But if he had, he would do it in a minute.

So there we were again, even left to our own devices, we were the only two outsiders in a room full of those who fit so perfectly in. With a belly laugh, we returned to the bar and did a shot with the Asians. After bumping elbows for a little while longer, we went back to his place, got Papaya King and watched Nick-at-Nite. We laughed when my missed opportunity to be an insider entered the screen to a chorus of a laugh track, and I didn't regret where I was at all.

Point of the conversation: Sometimes, the view of the inside is so much better from the outside.

- Lean


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