Tuesday, May 22, 2018
My Canadian travel buddy Pat will arrive here at Casa Tipton-Kelly tomorrow afternoon. I'm just about ready for him. Of course I had a wrench thrown into my plans (again) by having to work again today. As I have posted many times before I work part-time at the hotel but I really work as a substitute worker. Enough said.
Pat visiting reminds me of the many excuses I've received for not being welcomed when I visit.
A couple years ago when I visited Pat in Toronto, I thought I would contact a former classmate of mine who I haven't seen since we graduated from high school in 1959. He moved to Canada during the Viet Nam war. I'm assuming that's why he moved but I don't know for sure. All I do know is that he never came back. He's some big deal professor in college now in Guelph, Canada, not far from where Pat lived in Toronto. Since I am the class historian cum record keeper I thought it would be cool if I could visit Glenn (no last name out of respect for his privacy which I'm sure he wants). I wasn't expecting to stay at his place nor for him to take me out to dinner, just a drive by visit. After several attempts at trying to contact him I finally heard from him. He told me he wouldn't be able to see me because (are you sitting? This is very original) his nephew was visiting from Scotland and this was the only time he could see him. Uh, okay. No visit, no loss.
Another brush off happen two years ago also. A friend of a friend of mine (Don McK of Philly, who Pat and I are visiting next week) lives in Palm Springs. I suggested a visit while Pat and I were in Palm Springs. Now understand, we had our own place to stay and we weren't expecting to go out to lunch or dinner, just another drive by visit because of the gregarious person that I am. I suggested to Don to contact his friend. Don did and got back to me. His friend told him that he had the flu (as well as his partner) and wouldn't be able to see me. Uh, okay. No visit, no loss. Got the message.
Now the last excuse really takes the cake. Last year during our visit to Philadelphia, I was invited to a Christmas dinner by my high school class. I could bring a guest. I brought Pat. While in the Downingtown area I thought I would drop by my old and long time friend Bill B. and visit, and introduce them to Pat. My friend, said he would get back to me. When he got back to me he told me the family cat had died and his daughter was distraught and it wouldn't be a "good time" for a visit by me and MY FRIEND PAT (we're gay).
Now this is a friend whose home I have visited many times, by myself. Never with a friend, gay or straight. I know his wife strongly disapproves of my "lifestyle". One time years ago, after receiving many invites to visit them at their cottage the Chesapeak Bay I opted for a visit. I said I would bring my friend Pat. I was told I could check into a hotel. In years past I have visited the family cottage and the understanding was I could (and did) stay overnight. He has another couple who stays (straight) overnight at the cottage. But me and my same sex friend? We could go to a hotel. I opted to pass on the "visit." Of course my feeling were hurt. I have invited this couple to stay at my place here many times but they have never taken me up on my offer. I would not discriminate against them because they are straight and would sleep in the same bed. I don't feel my home would be despoiled by WHATEVER they do in bed (God, I can just imagine). But this story has a funny end. At the Christmas dinner my friend attended with his wife. Someone asked if I had visited them at their home and my friend stumbled out an answer "Uh, no. Our cat died". As he said this I detected him roll his eyes. I just smiled to myself.
You know folks, after all these years when I think I've steeled myself against discriminated, I'm always surprised to discover it still hurts.
Isn't it ironic that the business I'm in is hospitality? And I will be working tonight filling in for my co-worker who has another emergency.
That's me, Mr. Hospitality.
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