Monday, January 18, 2010
Public Displays of Affection
Throw in the Food Gays, a birthday, the faerie princess margarita wand, and a holiday, and it's a recipe for success.
This particular photo of the two of them was part of our ongoing mockery of the new trend of Public Displays of Affection in Facebook and Twitter profile pictures. (Maybe it's not that new, but we're just now noticing it.) We disapprove.
I'm (by no means) a prude. There is a time and a place for such things -- like the privacy of one's home, office, car, or perhaps a darkened movie theater (with the popcorn box that has the fake bottom, for example) -- but public profile pictures that your Mom can see are not that time and place.
And this is where I would normally insert an amusing conversational anecdote from college recounting the opinion StanPetter provided Dean Mount about PDAs the summer we all worked together in StudentLife -- but I can't, because I just used his real name. I haven't seen StanPetter in about a 100 years (everyone used his fullname -- much like they always did with mine; I never heard anyone call him Stan; I didn't know him terribly well, but he did have a cool dog), but I think the story's really only amusing if you know his name... and honestly, if you know him. (The same could be said of Dean Mount.) So that was a pretty worthless digression. (And if it turns out he went into Law, I guess it'll be deleted soon anyway.)
But his position -- as I recall it -- was pretty much the same as mine: a little hand-holding here and there is perfectly acceptable, but for any more than that, one ought to retire to a room of one's own. Of course, we didn't have BlackBerries and iPhones back then, so we would've had to chisel our images on the cave walls of our dormitories, but you get the general idea.
Though I will say, in my old age, I find myself eating more and more of these words, very publicly. My designated Straight came to lunch with us today, for example, and I must confess (because if I don't, the Food Gays will), that it is not unusual for us to cross the line -- not across the boundaries of good taste, much less pornography -- but to a degree that I think is surprising to anyone who knows me. (Or even, who does not.)
It would be fair to say that I'm not known for expressing affection, in public or otherwise -- probably because it is generally presumed that I have never felt any. I have seen people visibly flinch and recoil if he goes so far as to put an arm around me, and I think that's just because they like him, and fear for his safety. (I can picture what they want to do in these circumstances, which is wave their arms wildly in slow motion while screaming, "Nooooooooo-ooooooo-ooooooo...!" It's written all over their faces.) In general, he is terrible for my Image, because all the things I'm known for (I never sleep, I never cry, I never sweat, I never hug) he is in a position to suddenly refute outright. (Actually, I don't think he's ever seen me cry, and unless I've been physically injured, he's not all that likely to. I don't think he's seen me sweat either, come to think of it.)
I do worry that this whole crew likes him. I fear that no good can come of it. One of them has already expressed to his wife with wistful resignation that while it would be great to have another guy who can golf in this social circle, he knows better than to get attached. Chef Tom gestured to him at some point during lunch as we were planning our next brunch menu, and I think what I said was something like, "oh we don't even know if we'll still know him by Valentine's Day." (I think what he said was something like, "I. Can. Hear.")
While everyone likes him, the Gays are especially enamored, and were visibly thrilled to see him today -- because he was InTROUBLE last week (the BFF named this time, "The Sadness"), and they had their doubts. He, of course, never even knows when he's InTROUBLE and if he does, he is almost always wrong about what he's inTROUBLE for. (To be fair, those two had maintained a modicum of faith throughout "The Sadness" and ChefTom had said with great conviction, "don't you worry honey. That man knows which side his brioche is buttered on.")
They are very sweet and honest and open and they just told him outright today they were glad he was back, and his very sweet and honest and open response was that he didn't realize he'd been gone.