Sunday, November 30, 2008

One Big Happy Family

Yesterday evening, Perry and I went to Nick's 50th birthday party. I think Perry and I were the gay contingent (there was also a high school contingent, and at least one guest that the other guests couldn't identify). Nick is one of seven kids, and five of his brothers and sisters, and his dad were there plus aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and lots of in-laws.

It was a big sprawly, loud, wonderful, happy birthday party. His family took Perry and me in like we were long lost relatives and made us feel completely at home. Nick (arrived late...) had a big grin, and made the rounds greeting everyone and being such a gracious guest of honor. I was really happy that Perry dragged me along to this joyful family affair.

I met Nick over ten years ago, and we worked a lot on local gay community stuff. We've kind of lost touch over the years, but have seen each other occasionally. Nick is still delightfully Nick. I've always thought he was a sharp looking guy. And he just gets more mellow, and good looking! At the party, his family had put together a collage of pictures, and it was very precious to look at. On the table, next to the cake, was his high school graduation picture. He looked like a stoner with a subtle smile and the wisp of a mustache playing across his top lip. Ah, the 70s, how we miss them!

The gift un-wrapping ritual featured Nick ripping wrapping paper off a mountain of gifts which featured tools, alcohol, and one Ken doll. Perry and I had "forgot" to put a tag on our gift, but somehow Nick, and everybody else, figured out who gave him the Ken doll.

We met most of Nick's brothers and sisters. I had a couple of memorable and delightful conversations with a brother, a sister, an aunt, and a sister-in-law. Nick comes from one of those quintessential American Families. The kind that's initial capped. The kind that Barack Obama and John McCain claimed to speak for. The kind that gives me infinite hope for America's future.