May 3, 2006
I did not say anything in advance so as not to prejudge or damn a situation before it occurred. I intentionally went very low profile on this one, even with myself. No expectations. No mulling and worrying. I knew it was going to happen, so I just put it out of my mind until it was here, then I did it.
I should have worried.
Colin got married this weekend. Since things are long over between us, I didn't expect it to jog me, but it did.
He called a couple of months ago and told me that he was marrying Zoe, the lesbian who ended up carrying his baby. She had a miscarriage with the first pregnancy, but was well blossomed into the second attempt by the time the wedding day rolled around with her compact little bump barely visible beneath the empire waist of her multi-thousand dollar princess wedding gown. Whoever says that lesbians aren't at all girly have a very limited experience with lesbians.
It was a formal church wedding, complete with weeping relatives and ushers and more flowers than a Martha Stewart funeral. If anyone went to a wedding on Sunday where the maid of honor was the bride's lover and the best man was the groom's ex-lover (not that you would know any of that from the presentation of this Trumpesque production), I was the one standing by the groom looking perpetually puzzled.
I don't know what I expected. Maybe pink dyed poodles or a chorus lines of trannies or Liza soloing or bridesmaids in comfy shoes, I dunno. Hell, for all I knew, we were going to the office of the justice of the peace in jeans. But, um, no.
For those of you who do not recall, when Colin and I split, he was desperate to have a family and I, well, was not. He was fitfully planning procreation with two highly volatile lesbians. After a point, the scene got too intense for me and I bowed out gracefully with the intent of preserving friendships on all sides, although the lesbians were technically expendable since their drama tended to give me spine splinters. I guess everyone involved got closer after the miscarriage, which I can fully understand, and plans progressed from there.
When the second pregnancy seemed to be a success, Colin decided he wanted the baby to have his name, which Zoe refused to do unless she also had his name. The wedding was announced.
Parents, of course, were thrilled, having long ago given up on the idea of hosting a conventional wedding for their beloved offspring. No expense was spared. I was fitted for a tuxedo promptly after arriving on Thursday and had to eat off the inside of my face every time the tailor mentioned the "cummerbund."
Zoe has that whole Paris Hilton persona going on. She weighs about 100 pounds dripping wet, has the platinum, silky hair and typically wears as few clothes as possible. She comes from a ridiculously wealthy family, as does Colin, and the respective in-laws were beyond ecstatic to have money marrying money, not to mention the brass ring of wedding photos to stack around the marble mantles and grand pianos. The bridal gown and bridesmaid/maid of honor dresses were all designer produced. Zoe told me that the shoes she was wearing were a steal at $800. I'd say "stealing" was not the crime in that transaction.
I had a wonderful hotel suite to myself, which I loved. Room service was covered by the bride's family, so I stuck it to them with a fully stocked mini bar and lots of food. I don't know if the TV was picking up cable or satellite, but it was also fully stocked with channels, so I used it a good bit too. My room had a patio with a private jacuzzi, so I was good to go there as well. I offered to pay for my room or some of it, but Colin quickly informed me that the bride's family would be deeply offended if I did and to just shut up and order something to eat, so I did not pursue the matter any further. Colin, in addition to me as best man, had groomsmen, four in fact to match the four bridesmaids Zoe collected, but I did not see much of them. The lesbians and Colin's immediate family were literally the only people I knew of the several hundred who attended, so I laid low.
Thursday night, if you can believe it, there was an engagement party. I'm not sure Miss Manners would approve of an engagement party 47 seconds prior to wedding, but they went for it. I did not realize until we got there that a gift was expected. In fact, I had not even considered a gift since I did not realize it was a "real" wedding. I thought we were just doing a legal thing to change the names of pregnant mom and baby. But, um, no.
The engagement party was themed. (Insert rolling eyes here) I had to wear a toga and I actually did look most striking in it. All of the food served was finger food, so we walked around nibbling on fruit and tiny sandwiches with no crusts and caviar, which I do not eat. There was a string quartet playing (No "Jump, Jive and Wail" going on here) and, I found out later from one of the catering guys with whom I shared a joint out back, oxygen was actually pumped into the banquet room.
When I came back into the building, I took a service entrance that led into a narrow hallway where I could get to the main banquet room without going through the front door where everyone is announced and all eyes turn to you. (The catering guy clued me in) Just before the second door that led into the food room there was a stage entrance with some heavy curtains around it and I could here something going on just on the other side of the curtains. From the sounds and the ruckus, it sounded like someone was sick or in trouble, so I eased back the corner of the curtain and saw Colin tongue kissing and dry humping Zoe against a wall. This was something akin to nonchalantly pulling back your shower curtain to find a rotted corpse hanging from the shower head. It's like opening your mailbox to get the mail and instead, finding a severed dog's head inside. It's like turning on General Hospital, only to find a Seventh Heaven rerun. I threw up a little in my mouth. I stared for a couple of seconds, trying to get my lying eyes to convince my seized up brain of a completely positive ID. Yes, this was Colin. I recognized the lay of the back of his hair, the flexing of his shoulder muscles under his Italian shirt and the leather, monogrammed man bag I'd given him for our first anniversary that was tossed onto the stairs next to them. Yes, this was Zoe the Militant Lesbian. I recognized her perfectly manicured nails pressing into his back, the slim, petite leg that was circled around his hip and most specifically, the self-satisfied look on her face when she pressed against him after the kiss, caught my gaze and grinned wickedly.
I held her gaze for a few seconds longer as she humped him like a poodle on a milkman's leg, then I closed the curtains and went back out the service entry. Thank God I'd insisted on a rental car instead of the limos everyone in the bridal party was taking to the engagement party. As I got back to the hotel room, I saw the message light was blinking. I didn't want to deal with anything anyone had to say, but I did my duty and took the message. It was Zoe's mother, fussing that I was obligated to make a speech at the engagement party and had defaulted on my best man responsibilities. I called her on her cell phone and told her that I wasn't feeling well. The speech would have to be limited to the reception. After that, I drank, watched TV and went to sleep.
On Friday, we had to have final tuxedo fittings and pick them up if no alterations were needed. I got there early and thankfully, Colin was not there yet. The little guy got me finished up and out of there quickly. I saw Colin pull up just as I drove away.
The rest of the day was open. Colin had been very clear that he did NOT want a bachelor party, which was just as well since I would not have a clue who to invite and had not interest in orchestrating it. As I said, when I left home, I thought this was a simple affair and that such formalities would not be needed. Thankfully, the latter was the case, even if the former was not.
Around 9pm, after a day of napping and watching TV, I started feeling closed in, so I took myself down to the lounge/bar and ordered up a White Russian (I was eager for one I had not made myself for a change). When I went to pay for the drink, I felt a crumpled piece of paper in my pocket and realized I still had the phone number of the catering guy from the engagement party. In a rare moment of WTF, I gave him a call and as it turned out, he lived not far from the hotel. He came over and we spent most of the night drinking and talking and having a wonderful time. He is Italian, a Brandon Routh-type. The drinks got me all loosey-goosey (no watering down in this fancy establishment) and I charged all but my first one, including his, to my room. I figured if they could afford $800 shoes, they could afford a $500 bar tab.
The next day dawned brightly, hot as hell (much like the night before - wink wink nudge nudge) and I had to be at the church (I should say "cathedral" to be accurate) at 1pm for rehearsals. It was grueling watching this wedding planner coordinate about 25 people through their steps and cues. All wedding planners should be gay men. Period. Straight guys have no business trying to choreograph shit. Colin, I guess still oblivious that I was onto the fact that he was a gay man with the hots for his soon to be female wife, was trying to be friendly and cordial, but I felt weird around him. I now know how women must feel who live with a man, have children with a man and then in a sudden Maury Povich moment are confronted with the man admitting that he is gay. As long as I knew Colin, there was never a moment of confusion or debate about his gayness. In fact, I'd never met a gay man who was more comfortable being a gay man. I had no clue how to deal with this new insight to his character. My mind reeled with all kinds of thoughts from the idea that he had a twin brother I knew nothing about to the thought that someone slipped him some X and he was just lovin on everyone and on to the not so likely idea that he slipped and fell into her crotch and she was holding him hostage. I mean, what could it be but what I actually saw?
I gave short replies when spoken to, tried to focus on the endless.freakin.rehearsal and craved getting out of there. Finally, it was over, THREE HOURS LATER and just as I was about to make good my escape, Zoe's damned mother appeared before me like an apparition from the seventh level of hell. She had a limo ready and was making sure I did not bail on the rehearsal dinner. The wha'? Since this was the first I'd heard of it, I tried to bow out, but the women was a ferret-faced, single-minded pit bull. (Picture Greg's mother from "Dharma and Greg") I insisted on driving myself, but promised her I would be there. I went home, changed, gave myself a pep talk in the mirror, then left.
The rehearsal dinner was not toga-centric, just semi-formal. I started drinking pretty much as soon as I got there, but there was a king's table of food, so I ate a good bit as well. As it turned out, I had to give a speech at this thing too. I mean, how many speeches can one disgruntled orator make? There were 3-4 toasts made before mine and they were kind of "roasty" in nature, so I figured it was OK to be sarcastic and said something about "I hope that Zoe does not mind the taste of Sage in her mouth since it's likely still on Colin a good bit in certain places." I swear to you, the room went deadly silent. I said, "Cheers" (to which no one cheered back), chugged my double scotch (they had NO Captain Morgan's and NO mixed drinks! I mean WTF??) and sat back down and then her dad made a speech about his little girl growing up, blah, blah, blah.
Even though an excruciating two hours and many cups of coffee passed between my last drink and the time I could manage an escape, Colin still refused to let me drive to the hotel, which was about a block from where the rehearsal dinner was held. Menace to Society = Sage. He chewed me out pretty good about the speech and I just didn't say anything. He babbled on and on about how I had never supported his decision to have a child and that I was acting out like a child myself and needed to respect how important tomorrow (the wedding) was to him.
Natter natter natter.
I curled into a fetal position against the door of my rental car and then continued to listen as he walked me up to my room with his chastisement keeping us company all the way.
When we got to the room, he was just getting to the part about how his behavior had disgusted and embarrassed him, so I made sure he'd said all he wanted to say and then it was my turn to talk about disgusted and embarrassed. It was not a happy talk. The long and the short of his response to what I'd seen was that after the first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, they decided to take no chances with the second and conceived "the old fashioned way." After that, Colin was sufficiently intrigued to follow up and I guess the three of them, Zoe, Colin and the maid of honor, are a happy little cluster now (and baby makes four).
I have no qualms with heterosexual intimacy. I have no qualms with any kind of consensual intimacy among adults. I have qualms with being blindsided. "You never asked" doesn't quite cut it for me.
I told him that I needed some time to myself and he came over to give me a hug, which was OK. I hugged him back and then felt him start to nuzzle my neck. (?!) I pulled back and he laughingly reminded me that this was his last night of freedom and that we should use it well. I politely declined (and hated myself for considering it even for a second, which was more like several seconds) and sent him on his way. As it turns out, he has full plans to remain faithful to the women after the wedding, which means no guys for him after tonight. Picturing Zoe's face when she saw that I had caught sight of them making out was more than adequate to return my flag to less than half mast and let the past stay in the past.
The present, however, was now, so I called up Jack the Caterer (I love saying it that way), asked him if he minded if I used him to get a bad taste out of my mouth. He didn't mind at all, so I spent the evening cleansing my palate and collecting the wherewithal to stand by Colin the next day while he wed his baby's mama.
Wedding. Reception. Nothing worth mentioning. When I stood up to give the best man toast, everyone looked at me like I was Garth Brooks about to sing about friends in low places (or enemies in particularly low, "I'm such a woman because I 'turned' a gay man" places). Zoe narrowed her piggy, overly-made-up little eyes at me and I delivered a speech that made the angels weep and the saints stand up and applaud. Not long afterward, I slipped out of the reception hall without saying hi, bye or kiss my ass to anyone and drove to the airport where I chucked out a coupla extra Benjamins to leave four hours earlier than my ticket predicted. As it turned out, they were more than happy to accommodate me AND move me to first class.
After we landed (I never check luggage, so I was able to leave the airport right away), I almost cried with relief to see the Impala in the long term parking. Lord, I missed my girl after cheating on her with a rental car. We hauled ass back home and soon I was in my own hot tub with all of the necessary relaxation tools around me, totally ignoring the message on my phone from Colin. I got in yesterday afternoon and I still don't know what it says. I'll have to work up to that one.
Of course, at the airport when I went to open the trunk of the Impala to toss in my back pack and garment bag, The Head was sitting on the spare tire, grinning madly through all of its splits and holes and divots and a few chew marks from Brutus. A note was pinned to it that said, "Welcome home, buddy." I picked up The Head, gave it a big kiss and tossed it in the back seat. I was just glad to be home.
A News and Gossip column will follow later this week. Right now, after reliving all of that to type it out to you, I just need to decompress for a while.
See ya soon.
All the best,
Prior Off-topic Columns
January 26, 2006
November 15, 2005
August 15, 2005
June 2, 2005
May 19, 2005