Friday, July 4, 2014

Loring Park Episode #42: But The One Thing I Have Is My Pride

I survived Pride Weekend and it is a goddamned miracle.

I am a JOURNALIST now! I ventured to The Eagle on the Friday the week before Pride Weekend where Log Jamz was presenting the Forest Disco. While I was able to preview it for the "What's What" section of L'Etoile Magazine, I was hoping to write a substantial article about it for LOLOMG.Blog's "LOL/OMG On the Town!" feature. Unfortunately, journalism is all about being on time and they want things to be written 24-48 hours after an event has happened, not, like, three weeks later. This is probably what they teach you in journalism school.

So, I'll just write about it here instead.


I am never quite sure of myself when I go to The Eagle, but I've become kind of tight with DJ Fancy Restaurant in a social way (I even got on the list once!), and I was going with my best friend Erin. There were $4 specialty drinks if you wearing flannel or no shirt at all, but they were all rum-based. I was briefly worried that Erin would take her shirt off for the sake off feminism, but she was driving. She also pulled a Jakey Emmert and left her debit card at the restaurant she was at previously, and this was after we drove around downtown Minneapolis forever to find the drive-up Wells Fargo ATM because she didn't want to get out of the car.

It's probably why we're best friends.

Anyway, the event wasn't very crowded, probably because a lot of people hibernate before Pride, and I couldn't find anyone to interview! Celebrity was there and sat directly across from us, so of course I diverted eye contact like we were in eighth grade.


What would I say, anyway? "Your Twitter was soooo interesting today!" The moment has to be organic. And it has not been organic when I have stood next to him at the bar, or when he has stood behind me or next to me on the dance floor, or when he liked my comment on Facebook under his personal account, or that time we were stuck in an elevator together at the Hyatt. That last one never happened, but it is definitely in the realm of possibility. Also, my goal is not to bang him because if this is She's The Man, he is Channing Tatum and I am Eunice. I just want to get my picture with him and borrow one of his hoodies and never give it back.

I was getting nervous! What if I had no story? Here are my notes from that evening:

Plaid Shirt
Separate space
Girl from Mariah event
Lumberjack shaving with an axe
Picked up at 1130
Few people not wanting to pay
"Flawless" by Beyoncé
Either "Dark Lady" or "Gypsy" by Cher
Shirtless muscle dude
Shirtless chubby dude with bowtie
Cliquey but not so much
Rugby players are dancing in shifts
Big butt song
Empowering gay men to do what they couldn't or felt
Girl team is Valkyries in Chicago

Oh! The one valid thing about this whole story is that I spoke with Joe Thorson, who is the captain of the Minneapolis Mayhem Rugby team. I was trying to bust his balls about how I wasn't being recruited for rugby. In my mind, I was being hilarious, because I have the same height and weight as I did in ninth grade. Joe rightfully took me to school.

"We're not about recruiting people," Joe told me. "We are about empowering gay men -- or all men, really -- to do things that they felt they could never do." He educated me on why so many athletes are closeted, and conversely, why openly gay men feel sports was something they could never do. An acquaintance of mine told me that the rugby team was the first time he had ever felt accepted in his life, and I believed him. We also met a very nice heterosexual ... half-back? Half-kicker. Sidekicker. God dammit. I am a horrible fake journalist.

Erin had to turn in early, so I texted my friend Sean, since we usually go to Jetset together and Jetset is closer to The Eagle than The Saloon. Erin dropped me off at his apartment and we ventured to Jetset.

Several people from my high school got married that weekend -- including one of my dearest friends from that time who I haven't seen or spoken to in years. I'm sad about it, but not in an angry way. . The last time we hung out -- six years ago -- I had just moved back home after completely fucking up my New York college experiment, and I was bitching about how when I was in high school, my mom would hide the PlayStation controllers without telling us why, and I could literally hear her mentally check out at that point. And why wouldn't she? She was a college senior with her shit together and a bright future, and I was a Peter Pan manchild who had squandered my ticket to success and freedom. I am five years older than my closest gay friends, and I don't find that to be coincidental. People grow up at different times. Every now and then she'll heart one of my pictures on Instagram, and even that's more than I have a right to ask for.

I bring this random nostalgia up because one of the other St. Anthony weddings was there, and it was a random high school reunion! At Jetset! Who knew? I ran into Under Armour, who is good with names. Sean bought me a few drinks. It is an unspoken social contract we have. He is a bit older than me and has a job that reflects that. I am a social butterfly and my disposition reflects that. Therefore, he buys the drinks, and I help him mingle. It's not like I'm hot shit or an expert at sex or dating (I still have cobwebs back there if we're talking about that). I'm just helpful with being outgoing. Sean was in a long-term relationship for, like, eternity. It didn't work out. When that happens, you have to reset everything. You have to learn how to flirt and date all over again, and the older you get, the more difficult it is. For example, tonight's lesson happened when Sean was trying to put an after-bar together ("after-bar" is when you have a nightcap in someone's apartment).

"Do you want to come over after?" implies sex, so I was trying to get him to say, "I'm having an a-bar/after-bar if you're interested", which implies things are platonic and in a group setting. I also cringed when he told his neighbor that he recognized him from Grindr. Yes, Sean lives in a building that is practically entirely populated by young gay professionals, but you can't just say that. "I know you from Grindr" is the new "Karen, you can't just ask people why they're white."

Anyway, I had about three drinks at The Eagle, and then two at Jetset, and Miles was there and I was trying to resemble a grown-up and talk to him about his new business venture because this was Jetset, and then Celebrity was there but I'm pretty sure he changed clothes in between, and I was on my fourth drink when I made it back to the patio to talk to a kid from high school who has recently come out. And good for him! We discussed the clubs. And otters. And how he never came out because he played football, which reminded me of the conversation I had with the rugby team captain, in earlier moments of sobriety. And how the groom's mom saved my cell phone after the high school graduation party and I wrote her a card in gratitude. And how I had one hook-up in high school and people still talk about it, because this is fucking St. Anthony.

"You never hooked up with anybody else?" he asked.
"No," I said. "I liked a lot of people."
He said a name that I forget. He said a second name. Then I slapped him, because feelings are dumb.

We're going to talk about The Real Housewives of New York City for a little bit, and I promise this will all make sense.

First of all, I am the only one watching this season and that makes me sad, because Carole Radziwill is my life. She is everything that I would want to be if I was on a reality show: Self-aware, open, understanding of the genre that she is in, and blogging the hell out of it the day after it airs. But I cannot be Carole. Because, since I am delusional, financially destitute, and lacking a strong moral compass, I am Sonja Morgan.

Let me explain.


In this episode, Kristen goes to Sonja's dilapidated townhouse to get a facial on the balcony (is there anything more lovely than a facial on a balcony? I love summer). Sonja wasn't even there because she was at a dude's house the night before, so Kristen starts without her. The facialist says a bunch of gossip about people that may or may not be true. Sonja gets there, and the facialist says that she heard that someone ran into Sonja in Los Angeles and she was at a bar flirting with Carole's ex (but then-current) boyfriend, Russ.

Kristen is all "OMG! He slept with you?!" and Sonja is coy. She smiles. She doesn't say yes, but she doesn't say no. She likes the attention. It makes her feel desired. It makes her feel it helps her socially. She has no regard for the feelings of Carole or Russ. A rumor is a rumor. People talk. Whatever.

We will get back to this when I go over the recovery party at Lawrence's, but it applies here, too, and yes, I am being obtuse and cryptic on purpose.

When you don't squash a rumor -- or even an assumption -- down on purpose, because you are enjoying the high that it gives you, without regard to the other people who are being talked about, you are being the Sonja Morgan. You are not being the Carole Radziwill (who has a Peabody, and an Emmy, and has been on Oprah). You might not think this will matter, because surely it won't get back to the person being talked about, and definitely not back to you.

But it will. Because you can take the boy out of St. Anthony, but not the St. Anthony out of the boy. Or something like that.

And that person whose feelings you put aside for your own five seconds of an ego boost will call you every name in the book. That person will call you out on the fact that you, with the low self-esteem and insecurity complex, you got a high and a power trip off of a fire that came from a match that you didn't necessarily light yourself, but when the flames got high you sure as hell fanned them instead of pouring water on them. That person might even say you're a psycho and a sociopath, and your feelings are hurt not because that's a mean thing to say but because Holy shit, that's not exactly wrong.

 Live life like you're on a reality show. Don't let them give you a bad edit.

On we go.

Oh, I could talk about the fact that Sean and I ended up bringing a boy and a girl home and the girl passed out on the kitchen floor while me and the dude made out on the couch and his tongue was pierced, but to say that after I was just proselytizing and trying to redeem myself for bad behavior would feel dirty, and not in the fun way. So let's not.

I will say that Sean randomly gave me five of his size medium Abercrombie & Fitch shirts, tea tree oil, and cab money. Going to Sean's apartment is like Christmas.