Preparation modeBill's Briefs, Latest Issue Thursday, August 31st, 2017
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
The excitement mounts as September starts with the arrival of my partner of 44 years for a two month visit. Later I will go to Japan for an equal time. In the interim we are together through daily phone calls. Since I retired our living arrangement is a long story, but it works for us. Preparations are in full swing. I’ve stocked up on his Oreos, cranberry sauce (jellied) and bread and butter pickles.
Orchestrating the in-house appearance includes arranging the shirts with a missing button or seriously wrinkled to be placed to show off their deficiencies without being obvious. The difficult-to-reach burned out ceiling light can be left as is to let him discover on his own. The clean-it-yourself carpet spray lurks under the sink slightly hidden to be surprisingly noticed by accident. It isn’t that I couldn’t do these little chores, but I am aware how eager he is to be useful.
All couples know when living together for years certain patterns evolve and there is no point in trying to change them. My advice to save time, energy, eyeball rolling and the silent treatment is just do it! I know my ironing skills will always be limited, so I’ll give it a go for a few minutes and then without argument let him take over to do it “right.”
I am just setting the stage. Don’t we all do it? If you’ve never had a long-term partner, wait. You’ll understand. Diluting the joy and anticipation of his visit is the drudgery I must endure for the sake of having to hire a cleaner. Obviously I have to wash, dust, vacuum and pick-up before she arrives and sees my burrow in its natural state. I can’t take a chance on her later falsely reporting I live in a sty and the place actually needed cleaning.
San Diego formal
The weather and welcoming LGBT atmosphere have been major components of our retirement satisfaction in San Diego. The pleasant temperature allows a relaxing diversity of casual dress. The fur coats, fluffy boas, evening dresses and high heels can be tossed; although some find use for them when gussying-up to strut their stuff at those special community functions.
I recall attending my first wedding here. I decided to forego a suit because of the heat and settled on a light sport coat. On arrival, I was shocked to encounter shorts, short shorts (on the guys!), T-shirts, flip-flops and funny cigarette smoke. No one batted an eye (except maybe at me). I am used to it now, but admit to missing the visual expression and acknowledgment of the seriousness, importance and specialness of some occasions.
I guess I still hope to meet there the handsome man in the Hathaway shirt advertisements of yesteryear. Now, when in want of a touch of decadent elegance, I glance through Vanity Fair (I do not subscribe to such frippery. A friend begs me to swap his copy for my Archaeology Review). Such extravagancies were never suitable for my world. For events of merit, I don my “San Diego formal.” That is a shirt (long-sleeve), trousers (chinos marginal) and shoes. In winter’s frigid low 60s, a jacket is permitted and perhaps socks. The women’s edition is basically the same with a bit more color, plus a tie for some flair. Outside of the Hillcrest environs, people’s dress may be drab and old fashioned, but one mustn’t prejudge. That is the wonderful part of living here: our life style can match our clothes and our clothes can match our life style.
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