Gay Day 2013


divas of drag - iv“Would you like the honey sherbet facial, the hot towel foot exfoliation, or the spearmint stress reducing scalp massage?”

“Oh, I’m going for the foot exfoliation. Look at these things.” I present my feet to my sister and her friend, A, and they both frown and shake their heads.

“Dreadful.”

I nod in agreement and tick the box next to hot towel foot exfoliation. And then I rejoice, for Gay Day 2013 has officially begun.

I have spent 38 years as a happily straight man and everything about me bespeaks this reality. I dance like an epileptic penguin, can’t match a belt with anything, and on the blue moon that the situation arises, I love sleeping with women. Furthermore, I am chubby, sloppy, and incapable of combing my hair without leaving a cowlick.

But, like most straight men, I am not without a gay side. I collect messenger bags and shoes the way Madonna collects stupid fucking accents and stupider fucking hobbies (Kabbalah, my ass). I took to the European man purse with disturbing immediacy and I once cried at a Deborah Winger film.

It is my opinion that every straight man should locate his gay side and spoil it occasionally with a Pink Lady or a coconut butter nipple massage. So once a year, just once a year, I indulge in what Gamien (Gay Damien) would do if he was let out of his cupcake lined, pizza crusted, bourbon smelling closet.

Oh…despite the name, Gay Day involves no man sex and absolutely no God Damn Barbara Streisand.

Gay Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year. And before you send me to sensitivity training, just shut up, stow your indignation, and understand that Gay Day is not about mocking gay men, and it is in no way a caricature of the gay men I know. Of the many gay men I know and love dearly none have a pink Poodle, none have a lisp, and none have asked me to attend a Barbara Streisand concert.

Gay Day is about me; it’s about Gamien.

Today’s Gay Day is relatively mellow compared to the pedicure and manicure and Cosmopolitan Gay Days of Yore. There is a massage, a hot towel exfoliation, and I peruse Elle in the bathroom instead of Maxim. We shop for shoes and I test drive the word “divine” a few times. “That water is divine,” and “that exfoliation was divine,” and “that running shoe is divine.”

“Come on, girls,” I shout at my sister and A in my best, raspy Harvey Fierstein, “let’s get some snacks!” We pick up hors d’oeuvre pastries, and a sinfully delightful spinach and artichoke dip.

Normally the conversation of two thirty-something married women would drive me to bludgeon my own brains out against the wall of a Wawa. However, on Gay Day, I am sworn to uphold my part of the conversation as Gamien. We talk about kids, contractors, and bathrooms.

A gives us a tour of her house, and I marvel over the glorious interior. The bathroom draws a genuine “delightful” from me and I imagine lounging in A’s bathtub up to my nose in coconut lime breeze bubble bath. “Awful, just awful,” I gasp, upon hearing what color the bedroom used to be, and “Exquisite,” when my sister comments on the baking pans in the kitchen. I rub them as though they are Steve and Eydie tickets.

We adjourn to the pool, where we straighten it out a bit by chugging down Miller High Lives. We even that out by listening to George Michael and swimming amid a garden of brightly colored flowers. We warm ourselves in the sun under a canopy of dozens of butterflies who seem to be celebrating my special day with me.

There is one froo froo shot in the evening. My sister and I listen to show tunes as we drive back and sing along like cast members to whatever show tune comes on her random feed. We refrain from kicking like the Rockettes in order to avoid setting off the air bags.

I suppose the most interesting – and potentially disturbing – aspect of Gay Day is how similar it is to every other day of my year. Aside from listening to George Michael and Gamien’s tendency to exclaim loudly at bake ware, he and I have a lot in common. Neither of us can match belts to anything.

I sit down to write and, helping me ease back into my straight self, YouTube is kicking some Neil Diamond. Eventually, I shed off Gay Day 2013 and Gamien goes back into his closet. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers comes on the random mix, Diamond’s duet with Streisand. That sneaky witch got in.

“Fabulous.”

  1. #1 by Andy on August 16, 2013 - 8:29 pm

    I am absolutely stunned there is not one single mention of Spritzerfest in this entire post. Tsk, tsk.

    Incidentally, I’ve learned through my wife that “amazing” is the straight-equivalent of “fabulous.” It must be pronounced correctly with heavy influence on the second syllable: a-mhaaaaa-zing. It also helps to feign a breathy voice a la Lauren Bacall. Best used when describing any (and I mean ANY) banal detail when house hunting.

    Example: “Oh my GOOOOOOD, this curtain rod is amhaaaaazing!”

    Who knew curtains could inspire such bewildering astonishment?

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