Archive for November, 2010

23
Nov
10

What if you threw an orgy and nobody came?

The invitation got the wheels of my already-overheated imagination rolling.

It was for a birthday party for a girl I knew from the gym. I had been reintroduced to her at a party I attended a couple of years ago – the Global Warming Party, so named because of the pool in the backyard, heated to hot-tub-like temperatures in the middle of winter. The birthday girl had been there, and it was as debauched a party as I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. Let’s just say, skinny-dipping was required, not just encouraged, and there was a downstairs room set aside for people whose carnal desires got the better of them.

The emailed invitation from the birthday girl – we’ll call her Fannie – mentioned a room for dancing plus the requisite DJ, a bar, and a clothing optional atmosphere. I thought a hot tub was also mentioned. The party was at a house, which meant that there would be extra rooms in which to crash, if necessary. The downside was, with Vancouver real estate prices being what they are (and houses in the city all but unaffordable except to the rich), the house was in a suburb, over half an hour’s drive away from the city.

Still, as the day approached, and my imagination became more fevered, the party took on Fall-of-the-Roman-Empire dimensions. My girlfriend, R., took little convincing, with the caveat that, should she start feeling like prey for a room full of white slave traders, we would leave.

Saturday night came around and, after a long drive on an unseasonably cold night, we arrived at the two-story abode. Once inside, we greeted by a guy in a bathrobe – Fannie’s boyfriend – whose eyes made him look as though he’d swallowed a bottle of cough medicine. He was having a conversation with the owner of the house, a guy named Gary, about who owed what when it came to bar supplies. It was not a good omen.

My spirits sank with each new discovery, except for the birthday girl’s near-birthday suit (a white mesh bodysuit). The house was unfinished – the rooms upstairs, including the living room and two bedrooms, were almost all completely empty. The food consisted of bulk plastic containers of croissants, no doubt for the morning (the invitation said the party was going to be going until the following afternoon). The “bar” was actually the kitchen, which had been cordoned off with tables and chairs. Except for a few people upstairs, it seemed empty, and there was little noise come from downstairs.

In the kitchen, as we sipped our vodka drinks, much was made about R; Fannie was quick to point out my girlfriend’s physical attributes, while the few guys standing around nodded agreeably. Shortly, our respective ages came under scrutiny. This was getting uncomfortable.

Downstairs, we found the only inhabitable space, a TV room with couches and carpet and a glassed-in three-person sauna. (There was no hot tub; I must have been hallucinating when I read the email. Perhaps I still had an image of Jessica Pare in Hot Tub Time Machine in my mind.) One sport wasted no time in stripping down to the altogether and getting his sauna on. He wasn’t the only freedom-lover – two other guys proudly displayed their fetishistic tendencies. One, Brent, was a short black guy in a belt that emphasized his equipment, the other was a Terence Stamp-type in his 60s and dressed in BDSM gear.

There were some nice moments – people shared some memories of Fannie, for instance (Brent told a story about being at an orgy with Fannie, who commented on the proceedings as they went on around and to her). And Fannie, singing a tune from her stage days revealed a surprising (to me) talent.

But here’s the thing – there was no music. And we knew no one – well, I knew the birthday girl, but barely, and I sort of knew Terence Stamp from the gym – so we stayed more or less silent. If there was going to be an orgy, which the email hinted at (my feverish imagination notwithstanding), these weren’t the people we wanted to have one with. We knew the time to leave had come when Terence sidled up to R. and started telling her his philosophy of life while she tried to keep her eyes off his pierced 60-year-old nipples.

So we pulled a quiet leave, sneaking upstairs and grabbing our stuff. On our way out we ran into our bleary-eyed host, Fannie’s boyfriend, who thanked us for coming. My first orgy – if it’s ever going to happen – can wait.

18
Nov
10

Girlfriends and comic books

Vancouver Comicon at Heritage Hall, Nov 14 2010. Robyn Hanson photo

There are certain things you don’t immediately let on to someone you’ve just started dating. Unless, that is, you’re totally clueless (something I can definitely lay claim to in the past… and probably again sometime in the near future as well. Maybe even in this blog post).

These include (off the top of my head): your negative opinion of your mother’s cooking; the fact that most of your wardrobe comes from indie-rock shows; and that your comic book collection could fill a regular-size closet.

Each long (and semi-long) term girlfriend I’ve had has had to come to terms with the fact that yes, their boyfriend is a comic book loser. Not that I have tried to hide it, though maybe I should have. But it’s one of those male things women seem to accept in guys, like hockey jerseys, Rush albums and a crush on actress Paz de la Huerta.

I recall a number of years ago when I was going through a geeky process of filing all my comics away in special protective bags (with special cardboard backing, of course). There I was, a grown man (in his late thirties!) in the middle of the living room of his tiny one-bedroom East Van apartment, surrounded by copies of The Invisibles and The Uncanny X-Men and who knows what else, when my cousin came in and said, “Wow. If ___ is still dating you after seeing this, she must really like you.”

One of my exes actually drew her own comics on a semi-regular basis. They were pretty good, too, even if they didn’t have the Hulk or Spider-Man in them.

Comic-book nerd selling off his comics. Robyn Hanson photo

The reason I bring all this up is that R., my girlfriend, got a first-hand taste of comic-book geekdom this weekend. With another move, the second in three months, coming up I had decided that it was time to sell of my collection, or at least a major portion of it. So I rented a dealer’s table and hauled six boxes over to a local Sunday afternoon comic convention. This is not something you want to do alone, plus I figured the presence of comely lass at my side couldn’t hurt sales, especially in the comely-lass deficient (except for the odd Emma Watson type) environment of a comics convention. Hence, I recruited R.

To her credit, she stuck it out ’til the very end as collector after collect (almost all male) pawed through my boxes of comics, most selling for 50 cents or a buck. Fortunately, it turned out that she knew the people at the table next to us. They were selling T-shirts, not comics, so they were even more out of place than we were.

So this blog post is going out to R., for sticking it out and being a good sport (as well as my gopher). And to any ex that I ever dragged to an X-Men movie: I’m sorry.

Read more about my experience selling off my collection here.

 




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