Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The Greater Good
A few weekends ago was West Hollywood Gay Pride. As I am emerging from my cocoon-like isolation from the gay community, I did indeed feel like attending and celebrating and maybe discovering more of my old gay self. I had attended Long Beach Gay Pride in May with a friend, met some more friends of his and we all had a great time. After Long Beach Pride, we made plans for West Hollywood Pride and I assumed we would have the same good time.
It is said the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. It seems this year's parade drew a larger number of spectators than I had remembered from past years. Once the parade ended we headed for the festival grounds at West Hollywood Park. Everyone else appeared to have had the same idea as the parade spectators followed the parade into the festival area, flooding the entrance gates. Upon seeing the entrance lines snaking back down Santa Monica Boulevard, the rest of the group now seemed less interested in waiting in the entrance lines. (I later found out it took a co-worker less than ten minutes to go through the line.) It was then suggested we head over to one of the group member's favorite bars, the one with the Neon Penis.
I must interject that this is a group of great guys and I did want to remain with the group to further enjoy their company, so I fought my disappointment, anger and frustration at the possibility of not attending the festival, and not buying the items I was looking for. I was not that fond of the Neon Penis the last time, though I did have a good time with the company, and did hope to again this time albeit with a change or three in the make up of this particular group. I must also say I am a believer in public transport and use it when possible to save wear and tear on my car and to save money from the outrageous fuel prices I can hardly afford and to also leave a lighter carbon footprint. Since West Hollywood is notorious for limited non-resident parking, and price gouging on food, beverages and, especially, parking for Pride Weekend, I suggested we take public transportation from the light-rail station nearest my house. I did the necessary research, calculated the route and necessary stops, and alerted the troops to the details. As I was also the one who suggested taking public transport in the first place, I felt responsible for getting the guys home safely. Plus, as we met at my house and one of the other guys drove us all, I had no car at the station, and not wanting to be the wet blanket on this group, and feeling I had no other real choice in the matter, I acquiesced and we returned to the Neon Penis, costing me my pre-paid ticket which I could ill afford to give up.
While I did indeed enjoy the company of the five other men in the group, I was not enjoying myself as much in the bar. Shortly after our arrival, one of the men asked me if there was anyone I found interesting. I scanned the masses and reported back, "No." Sure, there were handsome men there, but none that I felt drawn to. None I felt I wanted to talk to. None I felt I wanted to get to know. I concentrated my focus on the group and getting to know them better. I spent the majority of the afternoon talking with the guys, learning more about them. I also will fess up to occasionally scanning the crowd for a handsome face and/or nice body to look at. I saw a few from time to time, but no one I really wanted to get to know. And maybe I was in this mood because even though I was with great guys I wanted to spend more time with, I was in a place where I just didn't want to be.
As it came time to head home, after all I had to work the next day and had my kids to feed, we walked to the subway and caught the train home. Recognizing my disappointment at not attending the festival, the guys thanked me for being such a good sport, and going along with them. One of the guys even met someone, and thanked me for agreeing to go because if we hadn't gone to the Neon Penis he wouldn't have met this guy he really liked. While I felt validated by the group, and appreciated their recognizing my feelings, it was very difficult, but I bit my tongue to keep from saying that I could have met someone special at the festival. But, the truth is even if I had met, or seen someone I found interesting, I would not have acted on it for a number of reasons, many of which I have already gone over in past posts.
Things happen for a reason at the time they are supposed to happen. Maybe the reason I didn't get to go to the festival will be revealed later. Maybe I was to learn the lesson that sometimes it's better to go along with the group for the greater good in order to further lay the foundation for friendships than to be a real bitch (a side of me I don't like to show). Maybe it was to look at how I react to sudden changes of plans (I hate them!).
Maybe I just have to stop overthinking and just go with the flow, relax, let it be, etc.
But, don't I need to know what aggravates me, or understand why I react the way I do in certain situations to know myself better?
Let me think about that.