Monday, January 15, 2007

Ice! Doubt! Pee!

The boyfriend and I were supposed to road-trip to Dayton this weekend so I could meet his grandmother. But the prospect of dying along the highway in the massive ice storm sweeping the continent over the weekend kept us safely in Chicago—and kept the boyfriend’s grandmother from finally meeting her first gay grandson-in-law-to-be, a title I hope she never tries to embroider on a set of towels for me.

Suddenly faced with an open schedule, we did what most couples do to celebrate surprise bouts of unsupervised free time together: Errands! And brunch! And theater!

The brunch was a final meal for our AIDS Marathon training group; one of us got a job in London, and we all sent her off in style at the diner where we clogged our arteries all summer after our runs. The team obviously wasn’t expecting the boyfriend and me, but we were all able to squeeze together at a small table and have a lovely time reminiscing. And snarfing down food. Like total pigs.

The theater was Doubt starring Tony-winning Cherry Jones, who was spectacular. The boyfriend had seen the play on Broadway and had wanted to share it with me when it came to Chicago this winter. We’d kind of written it off, though, given our jam-packed schedules, but when the weekend opened up, we beelined to the theater and got ourselves some kick-ass seats. The show examines the ideas of sexual abuse, political hierarchies, racism and doubt in the absence of concrete evidence in a 1960s Catholic school. The script is nicely paced and well-written, filled with innocuous little details that become huge conversation points on further inspection—a theatrical device I totally love if it’s handled well. Which it is. I love how the entire plot—is the priest having an inappropriate relationship with the boy? how can we prove it if the boy hasn’t even shown any signs of abuse?—is such an apt metaphor for the faith in the absence of proof that drives the church in the first place. I didn’t understand why the statue of the virgin kept moving in the background, though. And I totally don’t get the purpose of the little “snapshot” poses at the end of every scene. I was also a little disappointed in the ending. I’m not giving away any details by saying this, but the play seemed to be a little unfinished. Seriously—when the play ended, I wasn’t sure if we should clap or wait for another scene. I can’t tell if it was from the writing or the acting or the staging or some combination all three, but that’s really my only criticism. And for the record, the boyfriend and I had complete opposite opinions on the play’s probable truth.

The errands were … um … do you really care that much about my errands?

Saturday night we were just on the verge of making some concrete plans when we got an invitation for dinner from the guys I’m living with until we close on the condo. After a garlic-themed meal that sent me into the stratosphere of happy-tummyness, we hunkered down in front of the TV and watched The Women, a movie on the must-watch list for any licensed homosexual … which I still hadn’t managed to see at the age of 38. And I found it a little dull. The actresses all play the sassy, fast-talking ’30s society dame thing with such over-the-top conviction that they all kind of blur into the same character after a while. And if there is any clever dialogue, it’s totally lost in their rapid-fire delivery. I like the hats, though. And I loved watching a 40-something-looking Joan Crawford try to play a home-wrecking ingĂ©nue. That woman was just creepy.

Now it’s Monday and I just had a physical in my office. The boyfriend and I are opening life insurance policies to cover the mortgage should one of us die, and part of the new-life-insurance procedure involves blood and pee. And the company issuing my policy actually sent a nurse to my office to collect my liquids today. Handy! So I just spent half an hour in a conference room answering a litany of embarrassing questions, being measured on a portable scale with a tape measure attached to it, bleeding into a collection of tubes, and sneaking off to the bathroom to fill two vials with pee—without anyone knowing what I was up to. Of course, the moment I reached the point of no return in the stall, the whole office found the need to use the bathroom. So much for my dignity. At least my hands stayed relatively dry.

Now I’m off to the gym. Then to a fitting. I’m fat.

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