The past two weeks I've been a hankering for either a char grilled hamburger or Eggplant Parmesan. Since Bill (my partner) doesn't like to eat out, I have to persuade some of my very small (and select) circle of friends to go out with me. I've tried eating by myself (and have done it many times) but it's not the same as enjoying a night out with friends dining.
Tonight I got lucky. My longtime friend Ed (since high school ) came down from his home in Pennsylvania to spend the weekend with another friend at his place in Rehoboth Beach. They usually go out to eat on Saturday night. I invited myself along. One has to be aggressive in these matters sometimes.
We had a very pleasant night at a local restaurant in Rehoboth Beach (Zorba's) that welcomes the gay crowd but is open to all. That the restaurant is "open to all" I found out quickly when, while waiting for my friends outside Zorba's, I watched as two dads unloaded three kids and a two month old in a bassinet into Zorba's. Thus, dinner was guaranteed to be punctuated by a crying and screaming two month old baby. When my friends arrived I suggested that we go elsewhere because I did not care to pay money to dine next to a squalling baby. My friend Ed told me to "relax and go with the flow." Oh yes. I took his advice. It didn't take long until after we were seated that the baby starting to cry. I have to give the dad credit though, he did quiet the infant down which is more than I can say for other parents who usually let the little darlings squirm, scream and generally make the dining experience very unpleasant for the other diners in the restaurant. My friend was right, it wasn't too painful. Still, I would prefer to eat in a restaurant and not a day care center.
While I was waiting for my friends to arrive another man got out of his car and strolled by me and gave a knowing "Hi." Uh oh. I'm being cruised. Strange straight men don't say "Hi" to me. It just doesn't happen. As charming and good-looking as I am (at least I think so), straight men look right through me like I'm invisible. Only a gay man would attempt to start something with this 67 year old geezer. After observing the two dads and the kids and the bassinet baby, I wasn't in the cruising mood. In fact, I'm never in the cruising mood these days. Just not interested. Thus, it wasn't too much of a surprise when my fried Ed told me a "friend" of his would be joining us and pointed to the guy in the armless T-shirt. I said "Oh him. He was just cruising me." Oh for the days of yore when I was all sexed up and went in for something like that. Those days are long behind me. No complaints and no regrets from this one.
The four of us went in, were seated, and were given a board with the specials. My friend Ed saw the calves liver and ordered that. I ordered the Eggplant Parmesan and was not disappointed. I got my eggplant fix. I should be good for at least a month now. Monday night I get my char grilled hamburger fix when I dine at the Purple Parrot in Rehoboth Beach with my friend Harvey.
We had a very pleasant dinner. We engaged in some gentle teasing of Ed of the times when he had a breathalyzer device installed on the steering wheel column of his car due to a DUI. Poor Ed, he had to blow into that device every time he wanted to start his car. Many times he couldn't get it started because he was too nervous. If it didn't work then he had to wait a period of time before he could try it again. He told us of the time he spent the afternoon in a mall parking lot because he couldn't get his car started. The parking lot security guard came by and pointed out to him that he was spending a lot of time in the parking lot. Oh the good times. I don't know if the authorities use such draconian measures now to deter drinking and driving but it sure did work with Ed. He doesn't drink and drive at all now.
We stayed so long at our table that the waitress came by and suggested that she was going to have to charge us rent for using that space. Oops. We overstayed out welcome. Not a problem. We left a big tip and ventured out into the early Saturday night with the sun still shining at 8 pm. Oh how I love these long summer days with friends. It took a lot of years to get to this point in my life that I could enjoy a summer Saturday night out with friends. Who knew a bunch of old guys could have so much fun just talking?