Monday, October 08, 2007

The City Boy Does Bayou Fabulous

It has been ages and ages since I've fallen back on an old blogging staple and told you all about my weekend.

That's because I have no life.

But I actually have something to tell about this past weekend!

Last week sucked major donkey ass. By Thursday afternoon I was ready to lose it. I have seriously never felt so alone or so much of a failure.

But I had something to look forward to. We were exactly half way through this deployment and my best friend was coming for a visit.

I can laugh about it now, (or actually, I can tease him mercilessly about it now) but Patrick's trip from New York City to the bayou started out on the wrong foot. In a move worthy of only sitcom characters and tourists, he went to the wrong airport.

It's a good thing he's a skinny, little, running bitch because he had to sprint between gates in the Atlanta airport to make it to the last flight out. But the kids were thrilled to get to stay up late and pick Uncle Patrick up at the airport.

On Friday morning, I took the kids to school and Patrick and I had the whole day to ourselves. We did the authentic suburban housewife thing and had pancakes at IHOP and shopped at Target. But we also explored a gallery/design store that I've driven by a million times and never ventured in.

It was so nice to have Patrick here. I don't think I even realized how alone I've felt until I had someone here to just be myself with.

After school, Patrick babysat my son so I could take my daughter to her violin lesson without her little brother in tow. The last time he babysat here, my son left a softball-sized surprise in his diaper. Luckily he's past that now. The boys decided to go for a walk instead.

That evening, Patrick did a very brave thing. I hired a sitter and Patrick and I headed down to the art festival to man a food booth fund raiser for the kids' school. Not only did he fry up corn dogs, dish out pizza, and serve up Icees but he had to socialize with a couple of Southern moms and their husbands.

Of course he charmed them down to their very last y'alls.

It was definitely a World's Collide moment for me. I always get a little nervous when two separate parts of my world come together like that, but I don't really know why. I think I'm always a little nervous that people are thinking that my husband is being duped. I truly don't care what people think of me, but I don't want anyone to ever think anything less of my husband than he deserves. And here I am showing up all around town with a handsome guy in tow.

Which is why I outed Patrick the first chance I got.

Okay, that's not true. I outed him because the conversation naturally flowed that way. But still.

Patrick got to meet a few of my closer friends, which was very nice. He also got a chance to see me in a way that I'm not sure he ever has before. He got to see me in my element, doing my thing, with my friends. Of course I'm a giant dork so I'm not saying that it was a treat for him or anything.

On Saturday we returned to the festival with the kids. Their violin school performed on stage. They both played great but there was a poking incident at one point. While it was nice for me to have my kids close together on stage, I think my daughter would have preferred for her brother to be way across on the other side.

After they played we ate fair food. Patrick even went all out bayou style and had gumbo and dirty rice. Then we perused the artists' booths for a while enroute to the children's activity area.

I was so incredibly grateful to have Uncle Patrick with me just then. Trying to keep two kids happy with all the available activities by myself would have sent me over the edge. We were all hot and tired and the kids had been on stage for an hour. Having another adult, especially one who loves my kids, to help shepherd them through each station was just what this tired mom needed.

I think we earned a night out. I hired the babysitter one last time and Patrick and I set out for a fun evening.

We ended up spending the evening doing local things I've never done before. We started off at a restaurant I've always wanted to try. We killed some time in a bookstore looking for gay authors on the shelves. (They were few and far between.) Then we headed to the gay bar.

Yes, I said the gay bar. We only have one here. It's location in an old railroad station made it seem a little creepy from the outside. But I had done my research and knew that it was supposed to be a fairly decent place.

That whole experience was quite surreal for me. First of all, when we walked in every patron at the bar was glued to the college football game on the televisions. Even the tranny bartender was yelling at the screen. I've been to a lot of gay bars (for a straight girl) , but I've never seen one like this.

And our drinks only cost 9 bucks. Nine bucks! And I got Grey Goose.

Once the game was over, we explored the massive place to find three different dance floors and a performance space. I was surprised but pleased to find a very diverse crowd. I guess I'm used to big city bars where there are so many gays and lesbians that they can segregate into their own cliques and their own establishments. But the crowd here was a mixture of every kind of LGBT person under the sun. And they all seemed to know each other. It was a friendly place, though no one but the bartenders talked to us.

But the drag show was an abomination.

After the bar, we headed to a casino. Although I've been to a couple of events at the local casinos I've never actually ventured onto a gaming floor. Patrick and I mostly ended up gawking at the freak show of humanity. And we ordered breakfast and coffee before heading back home.

On Sunday we went to brunch and the boardwalk. But Patrick's visit came to an end all too soon.

I spent most of Sunday afternoon explaining to my son that he couldn't go home with Uncle Patrick. Both kids cried when we left him at the airport. And the dog still hasn't forgiven me for sending her one true love away yet again.


It was so wonderful to have my friend visit. I know that this damned bayou isn't exactly at the top of the list of places he'd like to visit. But Patrick took time away from his life and his work to give me some much needed companionship and fun. We were all exhausted by the end of the weekend, but it was worth it.

By the way, if you talk to Patrick ask him to demonstrate the new accent he picked up. Y'all will done think he done lost his mind.

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