Monday, July 31, 2006

My first (mostly) gay party

A faint but persistent buzzing breeched my sensory fortress, rousing me from my sleep to a drowsy stupor. I reached to the phone, turned off the alarm clock and went back to sleep.


A ringing noise pierced into my skull, carrying my straight into the realm of the conscious. Someone was calling.

I picked up the phone, confident I can articulate myself clearly enough as not to betray any trace of sleep. “Hello,” I answer the infernal ringing device. I sounded extremely drowsy.

“We’re on the way to the city.”

“When do you think you’ll reach there?” I asked, hoping against all hope that they would need as long as possible.

“Half an hour,” the caller replied. Shit.

I scramble about to wash up and get dressed. I even decided to forgo the coffee.


A fellow waiter had recently moved house, and arranged to have a housewarming party, to which his fellow front-end staff at the restaurant were also invited.

The objective for us rendezvousing in the city was to purchase a housewarming gift for him. For me, it was also extremely convenient as it allowed me to avoid entering a house full of strangers alone. Thus I had jumped at the suggestion of “let’s go together,” the keyword being ‘together’ because it explicitly rules out the concept of ‘alone’.

It so happens that this colleague is homosexual, so in fact I would be entering a house full of homosexual male strangers.

Not to be homophobic, but I am uncomfortable when surrounded with things that I am not familiar with. Worse still when the things in question are people and not mechanical parts.


When I finally met Muira and Tracy, they had already purchased the coffee machine, which was conveniently packed in an impressive large box. Good, that would sufficiently impress the recipient.

We made our way to the house with no troubles. The host greeted us warmly with a big smile, and made appropriately happy and gleeful noises when presented with the impressively boxed but not gift-wrapped present. This being a housewarming party, the welcome included a quick tour of the house.

We arrived at the kitchen to dump some of our things in a corner. A little knot of middle aged men were in there chatting. The host asked if we wanted any drinks.

As the host was filling up three glasses with water, I was told that some of the men were looking at me. As it would later be recounted to Tracy’s friends, the moment we breezed into the kitchen, n pairs of eyes swivelled in our direction, completely ignoring the girls to glance at me.

I started to feel slightly out of place; and was formulating plans to avoid further uncomfortable glances. I decided to stick to Tracy and Muira, and maybe even single-handedly conjure-up a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of appearance just to tell the universe that I am heterosexual. But what the hell is the boyfriend-girlfriend look?

And if that question could be answered, the problem was not resolved. Just because another girl is engaged doesn’t mean other heterosexual men will not sneak glances at her, out of curiosity or whatever. I had a similar problem.

So my plan was doomed to failure on both fronts. I stuck close to them anyway, and probably ended up looking like an antisocial, homophobic, clingy idiot.


Seated close to us was an Australian man in his early to mid twenties. We were talking quite freely in Mandarin.

“That man across me is quite cute,” Muira remarked.
“Yes,” Tracy concurred.
“I wonder if he’s that type…”
“I have an idea!”

2 pairs of eyes looked at me. It did not feel like a very good idea to me.

“Where are you all from?” the young man piped up.
Oh shit he speaks Mandarin!

Later, an autopsy revealed that he might have heard the remark about cute, but the homosexual reference was probably too subtle for him to catch.


After an hour of feeling out of place, we left, citing work commitments. Which was partially true- Muira and I had to work the dinner shift, which was not to start for another 90 minutes.

So we took refuge at Tracy’s friends’ house which was conveniently located a very short distance away.

So here I am. Having a few homosexual colleagues sure opens your eyes a bit more. And you get interesting stories to tell your parents, siblings and cousins. Oh, and to blog.