When I was 23 I worked in the Men’s Sportswear department at Macy’s.
It was another time back then, when sales people actually helped customers select clothes.
There were about 12 of us selling Izod shirts, khaki chinos, and valour sweat suits to anyone who would walk into the store. I was on 3% commission and desperate to afford my rent……..and/or cute sweaters and Calvin Klein fragrances. That motivation made me a pretty aggressive salesman back then and all the others knew to stay out of my way when I was selling.
All the others except for Kylie.
Kylie was in a Work/Study program for her High School – It really didn’t matter what, or how much, she sold; because she made the same measly hourly wage regardless…… she was only there to earn an “A”.
This was during her “Robert Smith inspired – Goth Stage” and she wore nothing but black layered clothing and patent leather “dominatrix” boots that laced way above her knees and somehow made her appear even shorter than her 5′ frame already did. The only color we ever saw her wear was the meticulously selected shade of “Blood Red” lipstick on her pale, pale face.
Kylie was only 15 when the HR department assigned her to Men’s Sportswear to help with floor coverage. To me, ”Floor Coverage” meant she was only there to direct customers to the restrooms, or a fitting room, or, most importantly here, a commissioned salesperson – like myself – to ring their purchases.
But Kylie didn’t quite see it that way. Every time I turned my back, that little B#%$& was ringing-up another big sale.
What the Hell?
That little girl bugged me to no end. Yet, she saw me (who was SOOOOOO old to her) as no competition what-so-ever……Basically, because I wasn’t.
Then, one day she did something totally unexpected for a Mortal Enemy to do….she gave me a Christmas card, with a photograph of a ghost town cemetery on it (seriously, a cemetery, on a Christmas card)……and in the envelope, a tiny little sand dollar – because, she thought I’d like it.
Nail. On. The. Head.
Flash forward through 20 plus years, several jobs, a couple relationships, some bad decisions, and a few good ones too.
Friends ever since.
BTW, I still have the card and the sand dollar.
But, of course I do,
For all those unsuspecting straight guys out there, if your girlfriend has that special gay …..”You get the gay too”. It’s a packaged deal…and there’s no debate…….so just accept it.
Every girl needs a gay man in her life just to escort her to her X’s wedding and make fun of the bride’s terrible taste, and to gently remind her that she’ll never find a new boyfriend if she continues to leave the house in a pony-tail and Ugg’s.
And when she does land a boyfriend, there are always those early moments of feeling the other guy out. Both guys are thinking,” Just who is this Dude hanging around my girlfriend, and what exactly are his motives?” That’s certainly what I thought when she started dating Gert. He was a (slightly taller than me) German who had spent his entire life in El Paso, Texas. He moved to Dallas after college and was charmed by Kylie the moment he met her. Ohh, and everything he knew about gays he had learned from TV.
Our first interaction was at a group dinner out. Afterwards, another friend asked me if Gert spoke much English because he had only said about 5 words the whole evening….placing his order.
He didn’t have much to say……..He was busy feeling me out.
One night, Gert (prompted by Kylie, of course) took me to dinner to thank me for taking care of his Guinea pigs while he was out of town. Like anyone would ever have to pay me back for Guinea pig sitting.
It was the first time the 2 of us were together without Kylie.
He rushed back to tell her that “Pleated shorts were O. U. T.” and he wasn’t sure who Taye Diggs was before, but now he knows “that he is a tall drink of Hot Chocolate”.
He had found in me a friend to truly hang out with. I now had someone to drink beer with and we both had Kylie to drive us home after all that hanging out beer drinking. But most importantly, I knew he was someone who could be everything for her that I couldn’t be.
Now, years later, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without either one of them in it.
They got married on Maui a few years ago.
Of course Jamie and I were there ……. and then we stuck around for the honeymoon as well.
All of it. We honestly didn’t mean too, but we did.
Packaged deal, remember?
Here are several gratuitous pictures of the 4 of us eating…….In Puerto Rico,
On our Caribbean Cruise,
and my birthday…..
There are a LOT of pictures of us eating……
When I heard that they were expecting a baby in April – I was just about to bust.
I have been collecting baby clothes for them since their wedding. Honestly, almost about to give up and donate everything to “designer clothes needing” children when they finally broke the news. I was beginning to have this fear of dying and my family being thoroughly “creeped out” by finding boxes of baby clothes in my garage. A LOT of boxes.
…. and all little girl’s clothes.
I just knew they would have a girl.
…and yesterday, They did just that….
We welcome Madeleine Maurine Peck into our lives……
( She has no idea just how spoiled she is going to be )