Me giving Mom The Hug April 19 2010
Actually it's Sunday morning now. 12:33 am to be exact.
I just finished watching "A Few Good Men" with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. I can't stand Cruise but he is a good actor. Of course I love everything Nicholson is in, and this movie was no exception.
I rent four Netflix movies at a time. It's been several weeks since I've seen a good movie so I decided to order some old movies that were proven to be good. My next movie is "Dead Man Walking." I don't like Sean Penn either but he is another damn good actor.
So this is how I spend my Saturday nights now. In the previous century I used to go out every Saturday night. In fact I lived for the weekends.
My turning point came one Saturday night when I was 37 years old. I remember the age because I thought I was over the age limit to be out cruising the bars. I was at my regular watering hole, the 247 Bar on 247 South 17th Street in Philadelphia. The 247 was a leather and western bar. My usual drag was jeans and a plaid shirt. Every now and then I would don my leather vest, and in the winter my leather jacket (of which I still have both in my closet.)
That Saturday night when 2 am rolled around and the bartender flashed the lights on and off several times and yelled out "Last Call!", I thought to myself "What am I doing here? I could be at home sleeping in my nice comfortable bed instead of drinking my standard three gin and tonics and going home smelling like an ashtray." That was the night I decided I had enough of the bar scene.
With a few exceptions since that time, I haven't been to a gay bar. I haven't missed it. And I think it's safe to say they haven't missed me either.
So what do I do Saturday nights now? Well, for the longest time I used to work at the hotel (the Hampton Inn in Lionville, PA.) That was my social life. I loved it. I got to meet a lot of people (and some nice looking guys too who HAD to come up to me to get checked in while I checked them out) plus I had the adventure of working in a hotel with friends which was always fun.
Me at the Hampton Inn, Lionville, PA - fun times (worked there four years) 1999
These days I only work part-time at a hotel. Wednesday and Thursday nights. I worked the day shift today due to an illness of one of my co-workers. The hotel where I work now is much smaller than the Hampton Inn where I worked and often was the only front desk clerk. The Hampton Inn had 120 rooms. Where I work now they have 22 rooms and 2 suites. Much, much smaller. But guess what? I still get to meet a lot of interesting people. And yes, I still meet the hunky guys. Today I checked in a tall, dark and handsome man of about 35 years of age who made me wobble at the knees. I had a hard time (no pun intended) tearing my eyes away from him to the computer to check him in. Even the sight of his beautiful blond wife and two adorable little tykes did not diminish his hunk appeal in my eyes No siree.
So you ask what's the picture of me and my Mom doing at the top of this posting? I've been thinking about her a lot these past few days. The end could be in a few weeks for six months. I don't know. This is what makes it so difficult. But I want to remember the good times with Mom. I think this was the last picture I have of the two of us where she is smiling. She isn't doing much (if any) smiling these days.
Giving her a hug like this is an inside family joke. My Mom was never a hugger. She grew up without a Mom (her Mom died before she was two years old) and her father was distant. She never got a hug growing up. My brothers and I have been trying to make up for all the hugs she missed over the years. She still doesn't know how to hug. I don't ever remember her hugging any of us. But we're hugging her, even if it is like hugging a tree trunk.
So this is what is important in my life these days. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and the lifestyle to which I always aspired to and living near the ocean. I don't the bars at all. Everything in its time and place. I'm at the right place for this time of my life now. And I am happy.
Me and my gin and tonic on some Philadelphia gay bar dance floor back in the 70's - fun times