We were the only gay couple at the party. Everyone was very friendly, and I think they were touched that Tobi had brought his boyfriend. People can be compassionate about this. It is my hunch that the meanness of the Republican political machine over the past few years is causing a backlash-- I got the impression that some of the straight people at the party were rooting for us. Maybe I'm imagining this, but it seemed that way. In any case, I was touched by their generosity of spirit.
At dinner we sat across from a charming Asian-American coworker of Tobi's with an outgoing personality and great sense of humor. She and her boyfriend had spent some time in Japan so we got to compare notes. As the night wore on our section of the table became the most boisterous. We definitely had the best jokes.
Tobi's boss likes to visit wineries and stock his wine cellar from his travels. He had brought all of the wine for the evening from his collection. Some of it seemed to be rather fancy. I don't study wine so I'm not sure. During the cocktail hour before dinner, he and I had the following exchange:
ME: So I understand that you are an oenophile.
TOBI'S BOSS (bluntly): What's that?
ME (realizing that I've blown it and that there's no recovery): A person who likes wine.
TOBI'S BOSS: I don't know, but I like Hilo.
ME: (blinking involuntarily) Excuse me?
TOBI'S BOSS: I don't know if I like Hawaii but I know I like Hilo.
I don't remember much after that. I may have eaten some more of the oysters that were being served as an appetizer, but I can't be sure. Gratefully, we sat down to dinner shortly afterwards and things started to improve.
* * *
Sometimes I feel very, very lucky. I have the cutest, nicest boyfriend you could ask for. I'm looking forward to 2008.