A relative of mine and his lady friend invited me over to her house for dinner. I was excited. I enjoy their company and I don’t get to see them often and this was the first invitation I’ve gotten to see her house. But when I hung up the phone I realized that in the conversation about me bringing something---no---she had slipped in the fact that her brother would be there, too. Whoa! Were we being set up on blind date? I thought. Would they do that, did they do that?
I searched my memory bank for what I knew about the guy and all I came up with is the fact that he’s my age, not married and, like me, he’s a liberal democrat and a news junkie. I’d also heard he's a foodie, loves to cook (and I’m cooking impaired). Ya, I know what you’re thinking. A match made in heaven. I was thinking Yikes! What should I wear? Answer: What I always wear---slacks (gray) with a blouse, in this case a lavender blouse with a row of hidden buttons. Hey, at least it’s a silky blouse and not my default cotton pull-over.
I was scheduled for a haircut on Monday, the dinner party was on Sunday. I couldn’t do anything about that except be happy that I hadn’t crossed over into the land of Wooly Mammoths yet. The hairdresser also trims my eyebrows. I could do that. I also gave myself a manicure and checked my upper lip wondering if it was time to get out the Nad’s Waxing Strips and as I applied one I questioned if I’d be doing all this if the brother wasn’t going to be there. You’ll never know because I’m not telling what I decided. Hey, every story needs a little mystery. I will say that I made sure to watch the Sunday morning news programs so I’d have fodder to talk about, if needed, because I’ve been trying with some success to become an x-news junkie. It was time to catch up.
When I got dressed for dinner I autopilot put on my heart-shaped locket with the chamber inside that holds some of my husband’s ashes because it looks great with my lavender blouse. I took it off. I put it back on and took it off one last time. What if someone asks about it and I actually liked this guy? A dead husband’s ashes around a widow’s neck might creep him out. I’ve met a few women who think it’s creepy.
The time to leave arrived and I dug out a bottle of wine to take along. My relative has Italy running through his DNA and he would love the spicy cherry wine I bought last year. I got to the house before the brother and when he walked in I thought he was a good looking guy, nicely groomed and friendly enough. But not my type even though our conversations the rest of the evening were fluid and fun. If it had been a real first date, I would have marked it an eight on a scale of one to ten. At dinner he said, “It’s really pleasant to sit down with all democrats!” And from the conversation that followed I gathered people in the brother/sister’s family get into some pretty heated debates and tongue biting at dinners like that. We all agreed, it was nice to be surrounded by like-minded and informed thinkers. That doesn’t happen often in the land where Mitt Romney's father once reigned supreme in the Michigan Republican Party and President Gerald R. Ford cut his baby teeth.
The brother left the dinner party first and the rest of us were sitting out on the patio when I asked: “So what’s your brother’s story?” And my host ran through his educational background, his work history, where he lives. Yadda, yadda, yadda and ended with, “He’s gay.” I smiled broadly. I had thought as much but I wasn’t sure if it was something the brother kept from his sister. If he was still in the closet, can you imagine how hard a dinner with a widow would have been for him?
“He doesn’t live in the gay community,” she added after spilling the gay beans. “He’s not like that.” I wondered exactly where the gay community is in town. I’ve never seen it on a map, on neighborhood signage or a marquee. Gay people live in the next square mile! Be open-minded if you enter.
“That you know about,” I replied.
“Well, he does have one friend,” she admitted with a sheepish grin.
Don’t they all, I thought.
Now, I can’t quit wondering what HE thought about us being paired up like that. Did he sense that I have good gaydar or did he think I showed interest in him in a way he wouldn’t want? Did he think his sister told me up front before issuing the invitation? Did he know I would be there? Questions, questions---those who have the answers will never get asked. It was a great evening and that was enough. All in all, I was actually relieved that it turned out the way it did. The whole idea of being “set up” brought out mixed feelings and I’m not sure a romance book is something I want to open up again. But in a training wheels kind of way, I can highly recommend a first “date” with a gay guy in your post-widowhood life. You get to relax and interact with a man without all those hormones getting in the way. ©