Sunday, May 1, 2011

Attractive Shop Clerks and Friends Who are Neighbors

Originally Posted on January 14, 2008

They said it would snow. It did, but would you truly call a dusting “snow?” Also, you’d think that temperatures above freezing would actually dry up the ice from roads? Or, that homeowners would invest in a green-friendly ice melt formula to let pedestrians not worry about slipping and falling…and calling their lawyer.

Yet, the supposed snowstorm did not stop me from slogging a big SUV around for some critical errands this weekend. This is where the MotorGeek work really takes place.

It began Friday after work, when I had to race from St. Paul to the St. Mary’s campus in South Minneapolis to pick up a $170 textbook for the “Non-Profit Marketing” class that began last Tuesday. You read it right: $170 for a textbook. It doesn’t look like much, but someone has to put a price on his or her theory on a particular subject somehow.

With mission accomplished, it was time to party. Admittedly, I have not been social in months. I had a slight experience the weekend before, which was OK for the most part. Through the bTalk podcast, Shannon promoted a new “bear bar night” at Innuendo in St. Paul. Before he went on the “Bears on The Run” tour, Shannon worked at the Eagle/Bolt complex in Minneapolis. Since coming home from the tour, he became a bartender at one of the newest bars in The Cities. It helps to have a well-known name from the community to draw clientele for a new place.

With the Explorer in tow, I attended the new bar night. Shannon was behind the bar serving up drinks, while there is a beer bust cashier available by the entry. Once inside, I ran into many other peeps I haven’t seen in months. We’re talking people going back a decade to newly met gentlemen. The one thing I will not do on this blog is to drop a slew of names in a moment of bandwidth. Just the ones that made the scene will be propped instead.

The Innuendo space is quite good. It has a main floor and uses the lobby of the building as an overflow for the crowd. There are a couple of upstairs nooks: One for a pool table and other amusements, the other as a chill out lounge. There’s also a downstairs chill out spot as well. The bar is small, but it works. There is also a kitchen for food service. I have to give credit to Sean for making the space what it is. I also thanked Shannon for giving this a go.

The next morning, I went on another mission: Shopping. That's always an adventure in itself! The thing about clothes shopping is not just the stores that you go to. It is also about the quality of help you receive. Being a single gay man, the latter can take on a different aspect to the adventure. Being a bear-identified and chubby built man, there are certain places you’d expect a particular “quality” of assistance.

To the point, does it seem that at every Casual Male store there has to be a token big fella employed on the premises? Making things even more interesting, most of these guys are rather attractive, at least in my paradigm of attraction. It was a challenge knowing that these attractive guys are indeed off-limits to me.


You all heard of “gaydar,” right? Well…let’s see say that as attractive of the guys assisting me were, there was nothing blipping that indicated anything other than closing the visit with “thank you for your help.” Therefore, no flirting was attempted and no phone numbers were exchanged.

To further tease my wanton desires, you can also add the pizza delivery guy that came with my dinner later that evening. This is a good omen because I always wanted t live in a oplace where the pizza delivery guys were at least in the realm of fantasy, despite their obvious incompatible sexual orientation. This is the point in the evening where I begin to slip into the mantra of “it sucks to be single.” A frying pan to the head would correct such spiral thinking.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to dine with some of my new neighbors in this part of the area. Thanks to my friends, Dan, Keith and Mike, this began a connection with a swath of North Minneapolis and neighboring communities populated by bear-identified guys. Most of whom I know…some of them are truly friends of mine.

This trend continued Sunday at lunch with Dennis and Daniel, a couple more friends of mine from this quadrant of the region. They bought a charming home in the Camden neighborhood of Minneapolis, several blocks from their former residence. They live in a peaceful neighborhood full of other couples and families with young children. It indeed reminded me of an older version of my current neighborhood in Robbinsdale.

Hopefully, I will see more of Dan, Keith, Mike, Dennis, Daniel and others living in our neck of the woods. Being in a community where other like-minded people are close by helps ease the tensions of settling into a new home.

Certainly with the load I am carrying with full-time employment and part-time graduate education, there certainly has to be room for the occasional social opportunity. There needs to be some sort of connection with the world to balance out the stresses of work and study. Whether it is by vicariously ogling various attractive people in your travels or connecting with the great people in your life, just being out there helps in the greater balance of your world.

This is what one does on cold winter nights.

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