introducing... Wes Duncan*
Wes Duncan* gives us a glimpse into the life of a single New York social Don. Through commentary laced with occurrences and thoughts both entertaining and true, he shares his insight on relationships, life and the always lingering possibility of love. If you’re looking for benchmarks for dating, a navigation guide to dating or old-fashion comic you’ve come to the right place.
A Scavenger Hunt for "Happily Ever After"
The New York Athletic Club on Central Park South (not too be confused with New York Sports Club, nah, The New York Athletic Club is more country club-like, while the New York Sports Club is more Chi Chi’s-like), stands gangsterly at the foot of Central Park, poised like a mafia king pin, holding court at one of the grandest locations in New York. The club’s invitation only membership roster includes big chips galore; a couple hundred Olympic medalists, professional athletes, multi-millionaires and celebrities -- money, both old and new. Sounds like the appropriate place to find a midsummer suitor, meet a seven figure piece or at least get my feet wet in a different tax bracket (well, my feet weren’t exactly what I was looking to get wet).
I ain't saying I’m a gold digger, but I ain't (how could I – don’t judge me) with no broke...you get the picture.
So when I received an invitation to my friend Molly’s (Molly is what I call all clueless, rich, white girls, who sport Kelly bags financed by trust funds) engagement party, I wasted no time calling her mother’s personal assistant to RSVP.
I am not completely sold, on the whole marriage thing – heterosexual, homosexual or otherwise. But, I am sold on free of charge top-self sprints (grey goose on the rocks, with a splash of lime thrown in for effect works for me), thought provoking conversation and a pass inside these folks private club.
Happily ever after! Holy Matrimony…cut that sh*% out, it’s not natural. I take that back, it’s not natural for some of us.
Over the years there have been a few honorable mentions scattered out there holding it down. Ozzie and Ruby, Will and Jada, Oprah and Gayle, opps my bad, I meant Oprah and Stedman (suuu (twisted face), they were engaged; have been together for more than two decades, so, let’s just include them for the hell of it, Oprah is good people – but wait, doesn’t, that sound like some palimony/civil union/community property courtroom drama, whoa, never really thought of that until I started writing this, Oprah hold it down ma, get it in writing or Dude will stick you for your loot, I’m just saying) have all unintentionally fouled us, single by choice, forever looking, almost divorced or bitterly divorced mortals into believing the complacency they’ve managed to settle into, could possibly move in the same rhythm for us.
The engagement party was last Tuesday and it started at 7:00pm, but I was on CP-Time (that’s Colored People’s time for you non-colored folks). I arrived fashionably late and damp, properly attired in a jacket, respecting the club’s strict dress code. Unfortunately, the heat wave was in full-effect, leaving traces of moistness all over my Calvin Klein.
Yuugh! I took note of this, arriving sweaty was a small set back, but without any doubt, through the dampness I knew, I was STILL, BIG PIMPING! That’s what we do in New York, we don’t complain about the weather, its apart of the experience – rain, sleet or Tuesday (wasn’t that heat wave some different kinda stuff, man), we endure in spite of. A quick stop in the men’s room solved this problem.
After I stopped at the bar for my party favors (a shot of Patron and a grey goose on the rocks, with a twist of lime), I spotted Molly on the terrace with a couple of her guest, playing Anderson Cooper, giving news updates (which went on for the remaining hour of the party). I made the mistake of rushing over to say, “Hello.” It was HOT Tuesday, African hot but the record breaking temperature, which left parts of Queens, without power for more than seven days, couldn’t compete with the humid conversation I walked into.
Molly was going on and on about how “people, don’t respect marriage” and “love is something serious, that should be cherished.” Then she weighed in on suspected arsonist Dr. Nicholas Bartha (can you believe love allegedly made him blew up a seven million dollar upper eastside townhouse to kept his former “happily ever after” from getting the loot from the sale of the property) and Peter Cook (can you believe the perception of love made him cheat on his wife, former supermodel Christy Brinkley and soon to be former Mrs. Christy Brinkley-Cook). She also talked about how she had read about gay marriage litigation in Washington, adding that she felt “the gays” (again clueless, she has no idea I likes a boy in my bed on occasion) are too promiscuous for marriage. Silently, I was screaming, “Molly, SHUT UP!”
Is this the thought provoking conversation, I had anticipated? Damn, damn, damn...she’s spitting all this knowledge about dysfunctional and defunct marriages, at an engagement party being held in her honor. In spite of her diverse insight on the subject, she’s STILL getting married in a couple of weeks.
I am sure, Molly thinks her situation is better, its NOT!
Should I tell her that her soon to be “happily ever after” offered me more than an invitation to their engagement party? It’s likely, I will never tell her either. Knowing Molly, she wouldn’t care that he is gay or bisexual or whatever he is; with his fine-wanna-be-Brad Pitt ass (Yo, let me tell you, different time, different place I could roll with Dude). After all, I had heard from Molly’s own mouth, when we attended college together out West, about her trysts with women. I guess she’s speaking from experience about “the gays.”
My clueless, Kelly bag toting friend maybe on to something, “being too promiscuous” may lead to the demise of happily ever after. However, she omitted an important fact from her news report. She should have told her guests that this fact is true regardless of sexual orientation.
Sadly enough, we often approach relationships and even marriage, like a statement included in marketing materials for The New York Athletic Club, "Welcome to our home and our traditions." It seems we’ve accepted the possibilities of dysfunctional or defunct relationships as apart of our “home, and our tradition.”
I had a brilliant time at the engagement party, but I left tipsy, without a seven figure piece and with a head full of garbage about relationships and marriage, which only further intensified my skepticism about, happily ever after – especially as it relates to life in our community.
On some off-the-chart level, the prospect of "men marrying men" and "women marrying women" or even seriously dating for that matter, will more than likely always be laced with unavoidable wondering – wondering thoughts, wandering eyes and wondering who I can lay besides my spouse. Why? Because, we all still, "have a lil ho" in us -- laughing out loud! Nah, seriously, it will likely not happen because situations of complacency (being with one person) have always been optional in our community.
Yeah, the boys and girls in the House on the Hill, rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage last month. Our “home and FAM traditions” have become a political platform for the politically incorrect. Imagine that!
Still, I can't image government legislation prompting hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian couples to rush out and book Colin Cowie to plan an elaborate wedding in Vermont, Massachusetts or Canada. It will NOT happen, 'cause we don't know Colin Cowie like that (and even if we did, most of us couldn't afford his event planning fees -- ya ain't Oprah!) and because marriage still hasn’t become a truly respected part of “our home and FAM traditions."
Even in the face of HIV/AIDS, the random DL hookup scene (internet, bathroom at Luke & Leroy’s, Christopher Street, Park Slope or cruising the dime outside the "let-out" at Sky on Saturdays) is usually the relationship of choice, with marriage being a non-negotiable alternative.
Side note, Did you know that a new HIV infection occurs ever 6 seconds -- whoa! Yo, I'd advise you to make the kat straddling you put a condom on his jimmy -- oh and condoms, work for sucking jimmies too, just make sure you use the flavored ones to avoid the nauseating taste of spermicide and plastic. What? Stop frontin'; acting like the only thing you’ve ever sucked was a lollipop. You are probably online now looking for something to put in your mouth. Just request a condom Kid -- cool?
In Massachusetts, of the more than 7,500 couples who become legally married, only 45 have legally divorced (but I’m sure, there are few among the remaining 7,455 couples roaming clubs and the internet or sitting at home with their boos pissed off watching LOGO, nah, I'm just playing, they’re sitting at home watching LOGO enjoying each other’s company, wink, wink). This doesn’t prove whether or not marriage in our community will or will not work
Until a gay/bisexual/lesbian friendly cupid descends on Gotham City, like Batman and Robin and unmasks the true villain attacking us; the true villain being our strained emotional capacity and twisted sense of always looking for something better, we're just stuck talkin’ ‘bout marriage and being committed to one person. All jokes aside, that's exactly what we should be doing – talkin’ ‘bout it – talking about commitment and pondering whether, "happily-ever after" and "holy matrimony", can work for us.
Truthfully, I do believe a few of us (ok, until someone shows me concrete numbers, like numbers from the US Census or something, I think I’m correct to say a few, this number is really, really small), have a lil Ozzie and Ruby or a lil Will and Jada or a lil Al and Star (uum (twisted face), bad example, sorry) in us. Owning “the notion” of being single at will and sexually free has never allowed us to seriously consider happily ever after or holy matrimony. That’s always been apart of our “home and FAM traditions.”
But wait, hypothetically speaking, let's just say we do get married in masses and change our "home and FAM traditions" Will we all then become a, Dr. Nicholas Bartha waiting to blow up a house? Or will we become a Peter Cook-Brinkley looking for a pre-adult hottie to make us feel young and diesel again?
Maybe? Maybe not? (Wait – all this marriage stuff is confusing. I just thought of something, if Dr. Bartha and Peter Brinkley are examples of our fairy tale view of happily ever after, should we buy a fire insurance policy to protect our things or buy a 45 in case some fool sucks-us-in and then tries to trade-us-in for a younger model?)
Like a complex unsolved physics equation, I am not certain of the answer to these questions. But, there’s one thing I am certain of and we should all think of this when we stand around at parties or the water cooler at work gossiping about the demise of someone’s failed attempt at happily ever after;
“We are all emotionally fragile mortals, on a scavenger hunt (on our hunt, we may not blow up a multi-million historic townhouse, be among the first same sex couples in our state to marry or get caught boning a 19 year old) in search of our own treasure chest filled with happily ever after and regardless of where our scavenger hunt for happily ever after takes us – along the way, we will all ache and rejoice because of love (or the perception of love).”
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout...
* Wes has never been married, but he knows heterosexual and homosexual couples who are married and some who are divorced. Is “happily ever after” possible? Let him hear your thoughts. Email him at email@example.com