I hear your collective gasps and am not entirely surprised. I admit, on more than one occasion I have made much ado about how I think there is not much ado about this thing you people call romance. I have watched countless friends meet the man (or woman) of their so called dreams and promptly go on mental holiday. They stop being their own people and become zombies. It’s like they have unzipped their heads and let their brain fall out. Don’t we have homes for people like that? If not we should.
I’m wary of becoming one of those people. But apparently, I’m not immune to it either.
It started out innocent enough. I encountered Soldier Boy (his name changed to protect the guilty) at one of the various events I attend and pretend to be interested in. He was tall and beefy in all the right places. That certainly caught my attention.
“Are you staring at me because you think you know me, or because you think I’m cute?” he says approaching me.
“I’d like to know you,” I found myself saying out loud. Note to self: if you think what you’re saying sounds like cheesy porn dialogue, it probably does. I need to learn not to speak.
“Would you?” Soldier Boy countered with a mischievous smile.
Sold! To the flamboyant blonde with his mouth hanging open and drool forming in the corner of it.
For the rest of the evening, we sat in a corner telling each other all about our lives. I was delighted in how much we had in common. We both hail from the Midwest. We both like the color blue. I spend my day working in a gay gift store and nights writing about my big gay life. He’s in the military (hence the name Soldier Boy) and wants to write about his experiences over in Iraq. I like guys in the military. He likes guys who like guys in the military and guys he thinks are funny and cute. Like me.
Oh shit. Again.
“You should let me take you out for dinner this week.” he offered. I accepted.
We parted company that evening and I was left with this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. Kind of like all of my internal organs were doing somersaults and someone had reached in and scrambled my very being. Now for some of you, this would have been just a regular Tuesday night and it probably would have involved Elbow Grease. For me? Dare I say it was that feeling is you get when you really, really like someone. Or so I’ve heard.
A day later Soldier Boy called and we did go out for dinner and then for a walk. I’m proud to say I was a complete lady and it was a very sweet and wholesome evening. He even walked me to my door, where he proceeded to give me a simple kiss and asked if we could see each other again. I, or should I say the fat girl in high school being asked to dance that had taken over my body, said yes. So we did go out again. And again. Somewhere along the way, quicker than you can say Camp Pendleton Scandal, dinner quickly gave way to dessert, if you know what I’m saying. It was fun, relaxing, and comfortable being with this guy, something I’m not altogether used to, because lets face it, matters of the heart have never been my forte. I usually run screaming towards the hills. But not with my Soldier Boy. For the next two weeks, life was perfect.
Just when I was about to become one of those silly people that doodles their married name in notebooks and starts thinking in we instead of I, reality set in.
“I have to go home,” he said quietly.
“Oh, is that all,” I replied, somewhat relieved. “I thought you were going to say you had to go back overseas.”
“Well, I do, but I need to go home first.”
So much for relief.
“Oh, well, um, I guess that makes since. That’s your job,” I replied, trying to stay calm and reasonable. “Of course you want to see your family before you go.”
“Yeah. There’s something else I need to tell you though, but you have to promise to not get upset.”
In the next few moments, dear readers, my fantasy romance ended. Abruptly. I won’t go into the gory details because I’m really trying to limit the amount of four letter words I use in my writing. Suffice it to say, the word fuck proceeded and followed every other word out of my mouth and I was upset. But I’m not sure who I was more upset at. Him for dropping a bomb on me (ironic choice of expression, don’t you think?) or myself for taking a mental leave of absence and becoming one of those lovey-dovey dopes that I’m so critical of? Maybe I was upset because I was angry at the wrong thing.
So, are we back to square one, you might ask? Not necessarily. I leaned something extremely valuable from this episode in my life. Love, it seems, is not a weapon of mass destruction. People, on the other hand, can be far more dangerous when they use it incorrectly. But I’d like to see my mind changed about that, too.
I think this just might be the year I go about doing that, dear readers.
Title Inspired By the Song: "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" (listen/watch here!)
Artist: Bette Midler
Available On: The Divine Miss M.
Originally written for The Empty Closet, New York State’s oldest continuously-published LGBT newspaper established in 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.