Housewarming – 6:02 pm

I thought no one was going to show.

I really did. I’d irrationally convinced myself that EVERYONE would find something better to do.

The people who had initially RSVP’d as “going” were dropping like flies, including some of the people I most wanted to have with me for this celebration.

I may have thrown my phone at one point.

Yes, I definitely threw my phone. After being mean to someone I care deeply about.


I’m pretty sure I completely melted down at one point (phone throwing being a big clue). Ask Troy. It wasn’t pretty.

Let me adjust the first sentence of this post a little: I thought no one but Oliver was going to show. Oliver is a bestie who helped us prep the food on Friday and then arrived early on Saturday to help us set up.

Those friends are worth their weight in gold.

Thank you, Oliver.



Troy, Oliver, and I are sitting in the living room waiting for the expected 20+ guests to arrive, with tables and countertops full of food and drink to feed at least 40. Troy had to force me to sit down. I was apparently channeling my mother and kept “checking” everything for the umpteenth time to make sure everything was ready.


It’s what I/we do.

And I was feeling like I wasn’t important to anyone. It’s a thing with me. I’m mostly used to it (and getting better at not believing it. Slowly.), but I was in acute distress.

What if no one comes?

Did I mention I’d thrown my phone earlier?



Then, people began to arrive.

And by the time the house was full (20 of us, all told – just about perfect without being able to spill into the backyard). Full of a varied span of friends from my college years in the 80’s to people I was just meeting that night because they were with their spouses, friends, or partners.

It was amazing.

The time span from oldest to newest:

  • One of my first friends from 2AB Bryan Hall at MSU (the Honors floor of a quiet hall – we may have been nerds) in 1986 (THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS AGO) and her wife. I wrote and read a poem for their wedding last year. They are in the veterinary world, so the poem is full of animal references. I’m kind of proud of it. Speaking of the vet industry, they brought roaches for my bearded dragon. How cool is that? I mean, yeah, creepy, but thoughtful and cool. George, my beardie, LOVES them. I may need to get more.

  • And then I made new friends Saturday night. The spouses, partners, and friends of the people I love and those who have helped me navigate my journey “Out” and continue to help me find my “tribe” as a gay man over the last few years.

Thirty-seven years.

In between those chronological extremes, there were a couple of my trombone choir family from FPC, my bestie Christophe (yes, another bestie – I can have several – love isn’t pie), who made a point of coming for a few minutes even though he was flying to France the next day for a family emergency. There was a friend who used to be married to one of my favorite cousins. And a former student from my teaching days in the early 90’s who has become a dear friend. I even had a beloved server from my heavy drinking days in the 2010’s who has become a good (and HILARIOUS) friend. Some people think it’s strange when a server or bartender becomes a friend (or when you’re friends with people who are ex-spouses of family members). It’s not. Friends can come from anyplace.

It’s only weird if you let it be weird.

Besides, who said “weird” is bad?

Don’t “yuck” someone else’s “yum”.

So there.

The rest of the crowd consisted of those who have become friends as I’ve worked to find myself, mostly since my 2018 suicide attempt or my official “Coming Out” of 2020. Living authentically isn’t easy, but “we can do hard things” (thank you, Glennon Doyle), and it’s a lot less hard when journeying with people who have either already traversed it or are crossing over alongside you.

It was pretty awesome.

Troy didn’t know a soul except for Oliver (they’ve become fast friends – they Snapchat all day. I’m too old for that). But I think he quickly connected and felt enfolded by them, aided by their love and affection for me. If he didn’t, maybe he’ll write his own blog entry – ha!

The last friends left around 2am. And it was still too early.

Troy and I stayed up until 4, reveling in what we labeled an “unadulterated success”.




There will be more. I love to entertain. I love living my life in the open. Finally.

It only took half a century.

I plan to make the most of the second half.

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