Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Worlds Collide

In an early post, I mentioned a story about when my military friends and my gay friends met. Since I'll be taking care of four children today (What was I thinking?) I thought I'd just tell that story now.

When my husband was in flight training, we would go to the Officers' Club every Friday afternoon for free munchies and beer. Our friends were mostly like us, young married couples with a few single guys thrown in the mix. Only one couple had kids though. One particular Friday, after an hour or two of drinking, the fellow with kids said he had to get going because he was taking his kids to the Monster Truck Rally that night.

Hmmm. Monster Truck Rally. That sounds really fun to a bunch of half-drunk fly boys. Being the indulgent souls that we are, my sober friend and I drove the whole group to the arena. We parked next to a Korean restaurant and made our way to the Seventh Layer of Hell.

Dem boze got awful rowdy around all that testosterone. We were walking back to the car when my friend insisted that we dine at the Korean restaurant. I wasn't thrilled with this idea. I tend to get embarrassed for other people when they act like drunken fools. But, like a good little wife, I found myself heading toward the restaurant.

"Look at these guys," one of the loudmouth drunks I was with slurred to us. There was a group of about 8 or 9 "club kids" hanging out by the door. They were our age. One in particular stood out because he had bleached, spikey hair and was wearing leather pants and a leather duster. I got all tense as a few of the jerks in our group made comments about their group. I could just imagine a scene from West Side Story breaking out at any moment.

I was avoiding eye contact as I got near the door, when I heard someone say, "Hey Tuna Girl!" I looked over to find my good friend from work wearing all leather. I hadn't recognized him because he looked quite different at work in his polo and khakis.

"Hey!" I shouted back and got hugs from him and the couple of other gay boys I knew in the crowd. Now I am standing in the middle of a crowd of fly boys looking shocked and a crowd of gay boys looking ready for a verbal free for all.

My husband, being very much him, pushed through to my side and greeted my friend warmly. I introduced everyone around. We all went in the very small restaurant and filled every table. We proceeded to spend a couple of hours there, all getting to know one another and having a grand old time.

Of all the parties and social events I attended while we were in flight school, this is the one I remember most fondly. And it was completely impromptu.

It's a stupid little story, but I heard my friends tell it a bunch of times. And it always made me a little proud.

It's always strange when different parts of your world collide. Thinking about my wedding always cracks me up because there were whole universes colliding. There were a ton of cops, a bunch of ROTC cadets, some military officers, my whole college softball team, my assorted lesbian friends, my family, and of course the freakiest of all, my in-laws. And we had a blast.

Mostly though, I think I'm just glad that I am able to associate with so many wonderfully different types of people.

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