The South End, where Frank and I both live, is a predominantly gay neighborhood. So far in my experience living in the Northeast, I’ve settled in very proud and openly gay areas of town: the West Village in NYC and the South End, Boston….. One would assume I love gay men, but unfortunately, I have to admit that I’ve never had a real true gay friend. Any avid Sex and the City fan knows that besides loyal girlfriends, there’s nothing like a good gay male bud who’ll go shopping with you, check out men with you, and give you home decorating advice.. I am sad to say I haven’t experienced this first hand. From this moment on, finding a gay friend is going to be a priority of mine.
I hold Frank’s hand tightly as we stroll down the neighborhood streets. It’s a subconscious reaction to the long and lingering ogles Frank frequently receives. What can I say, I’m a possessive women! The colorfully clad men like what they see when it comes to my boyfriend. Maybe it’s the slightly tighter than average jeans he prefers (I second that!), or his tall, lean frame? Or maybe it’s his *majestic* curly hair, or his striking good looks? It’s hard to say exactly what attracts them. But I will say that the hand-holding has been warmly welcomed from my man, so what is a possessive gesture for me, is a statement of heterosexuality for Frank. Thank god almighty, I’m getting my public affection at last! Who cares if it’s to prove to the South Enders that he’s taken…. by a woman?
On Saturday night we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Aquitaine, a French restaurant on Tremont. It had all the staples of our favorite French bistros: kitchen cloth napkins, mirrored walls, old photos of Paris on the walls, tasty French baguettes, Cote de Rhone and steak frites. But with all these typical French staples came a few fun, curious flares of the South End:
#1. While at the bar, Frank and I couldn’t help but notice the he/she who was enjoying his/herself between two men… We couldn’t quite work all that out in our head. Was she an “M to F” as my college Women’s Studies classmates would say? In transition? Or maybe just confused? A form of self-expression? Definitely. We decided to give up on fitting that puzzle together. Some things are better left unknown. And furthermore, he/she is free and welcome to do whatever and whomever he/she wants. Who are we to judge?
#2. Forty five minutes later and finally seated, Frank hesitated before pointing out that the old photos on the walls were less focused on beautiful Parisian street scenes, and rather focused primarily on images of marble statues and their close-up male genitalia. I’m not talkin’ David-style statues. These were different. Nice subtle touch! I’m sure Frank appreciated these fine pieces of art watching him eat his steak frites.
And finally #3. Just as one set of “life partners” beside us got up to leave, another set took their spot. We did our best not to eavesdrop but that’s damn hard, especially when one of us (Frank) has a bit of a focus problem, and the other one of us (me) grew up with a father who cannot and will not pass up a good opportunity to listen in on a nearby table. The next thing I know, Frank and I are commenting to each other about their conversation. There wasn’t a lot of noteworthy chit-chat going on, but we did come away from that Saturday night with a great idea. Epic salads! Yep, at one point during our neighboring couple’s meal, they decided that since tonight they were indulging in a high-cal meal, tomorrow they “simply must make totally epic salads for dinner.”
Guess what Frank and I made for dinner tonight? Totally. Epic. Salads.