Tag Archives: birthday

Conception Day

Today is my conception day.

That is the day I was conceived – or the day spermatozoa met ovum and mixed genetically to create the blueprint for your’s truly.   And nine months later (plus a couple of weeks for good measure) your humble blogger was born.  And you know what they say: you can’t make an homelette without breaking an egg  (that’s a bad French pun).

Is it peculiar for one to know their conception day?

The year was 1967 and the world was about to embark on the “Summer of Love”.  Scott McKenzie was telling people to head to San Francisco with flowers in their hair.  But back in my industrial hometown (called ‘Steeltown’ by the locals) I don’t think many folks were wearing flowers.

April 15, 1967 was, of course, a Saturday night and although it would have been exciting to have been conceived in the back of a ’59 Chevy or under a blanket at a Jefferson Airplane concert (my father actually saw Jefferson Airplane once),  I was – simply – conceived in my parents marital bed.  And when I say ‘marital’ I mean in the apartment they were shacked up in at the time.

My parents were not married until 1972 when I was four.  That would make your humble blogger a…

I never really minded being called a ‘bastard’.

This seems like a good spot to quote Edmund’s bastard soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s  King Lear:

…Why brand they us
With base with baseness? bastardy? base base
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got ‘tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,–legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!     (Act I, Scene II)

But what does my legitimacy/illegitimacy matter now?  After all, my parents are still together after almost 40 years of legal marriage.  And The Gay Groom can’t get too self-righteous since I lived in sin with the Husband for nine years before we got around to getting married.  But then again, marriage between the Husband and I didn’t become legal until a number of years into our relationship.

But I digress.

I wonder if a blog can get anymore self absorbed than to discuss one’s own day of conception?   After all, I wasn’t really there.  And since I am a staunchly pro-choice, I don’t view a fertilized egg as anything other than a fertilized egg.  So why bring it up?

Ironically, in addition to being the fateful day that sperm crashed into egg, it is also the fateful day that the Titanic crashed into the iceberg (April 15, 1912).

Titantic Disaster, April 15, 1912

That’s right, 102 years ago today the the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two and a half hours after hitting the iceberg.

1,517 people were killed.

By the way, how many of you knew that your humble blogger once had a affair with someone who was in the film Titanic.  That’s actually a true story.

But only a bastard would kiss and tell.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Am I a ‘Daddy’ Now?

50 Year old designer cum director Tom Ford with younger pals.

For Father’s Day, a re-post of my Daddy blog:

———————————————————————————————————————-

The husband gave me an Instinct Magazine for my forty-third birthday last Sunday with the article “How I Went from Daddy Chaser to Being the Daddy”.

The husband likes to think he’s funny.

The article was a short fluff piece (kinda like this, though I’m sure the writer got paid for his piece) about turning 40.  Not that I have anything against fluff pieces…

Now your humble blogger really doesn’t mind turning forty-three.   Though I do know that I don’t turn heads like I once did.  Canadian author Alice Munro wrote a short story about a woman who suddenly discovers that men don’t notice her anymore and is devastated.  For me, that realization came over a number of years.   Yet I still do recall the days when I believed that any man that didn’t look at me when I walked into a bar had to be straight.

Perhaps I was a tad conceited in my youth.

But that really doesn’t happen anymore.  Though I still might get a couple of turns of the head…  and, much even to my surprise, I’m amazingly alright with that.

Especially since I was (as I said) a tad conceited in my youth.

Perhaps my nonchalant attitude is partly due to being married.  Just who am I trying to impress?  And for heaven’s sake why would I need to impress anyone (this ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude comes with age too)?  After all, I have a husband at home who loves me – laugh lines around my eyes and all!

So today ‘Daddydom’ feels rather like slipping into a warm bathtub – a little hot at first but quite comfortable once you get used to it.  I remember being told by a boyfriend that when I was a mere thirty years old that I had a “pre-daddy thing goin’ on”.  I didn’t like that, but the truth is I sorta felt ‘daddyish’ for quite some time.  Perhaps because I never really related to younger guys – and from the beginning, I’ve always been attracted to men that were older (not Methuselaha older – just a bit older).

Yes, I do like those salt and pepper haired men – or even just salt.  And there is always that confidence that mature men seemed to possess that the younger chaps didn’t.

But though I do like older men, it used to irritate me to see mature gay men wearing clothes made for youngsters. We’ve all seen those forty and fifty-somethings in ripped jeans and Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts… still hitting the raves after twenty years – sometimes looking every twenty long years of it – but then your humble blogger tried to be more thoughtful.

After all, we are really the first full generation of out gay men to make it to middle-age.

And we should allow this lucky generation to find their own way.  So if some older gay guys out there still like to wear Abercrombie and Fitch when their straight counterparts have moved on to the Arnold Palmer collection from Sears – what the hell.  And if they want to Rave to 90s music till the cows come home – what’s it to me?

Who am I to be so judgmental anyway?

And I have to admit that some of those older guys still look good in Abercrombie and Fitch.

So what do you think?  When does one become a ‘Daddy’?  Or does one need to become a ‘Daddy’ at all?  Could it be that the term is outdated?  Are there any other silver fox admirers out there?

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

anderson-cooper-andy-cohen

Sexy Daddies Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen

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Another Bloody Birthday Blog

Where ya been, Gay Groom?

I’ve been asked this a few times over the last month as I have not been posting with my usual infrequent randomness.  Well I’m happy to announce that your humble blogger’s novel, Shirts and Skins, was finally bought by a US publisher and will (barring any unforeseen problems, pitfalls or tragedies) be published in May 2012.

So for the past month I’ve been doing some editing, re-editing, and re-re-editing (and even some writing) and now, happily, the copy edit (that’s publisher-speak) is in the publisher’s hands and the ARCs (advance reader copies – that’s publisher-speak too) have been sent to some fellow authors and mentors (including Governor General Award winner and Order of Canada recipient Nino Ricci, CBC Literary Award short-lister Lauren B. Davis and the uber talented author and journalist Michael Rowe) to provide a ‘blurb’ (a nice sentence or two about my book – yet more publisher-speak) for the book copy.  In a couple of weeks I have my photo taken for the back cover of the book.  I can’t decide what to wear.  I’m thinking white shirt and blue blazer.  Or should it be my brown jacket?  And then there’s the whole smile or no smile question.

Over the next few months I’ll be blogging about releasing my first novel.  Hopefully the experience will help emerging writers who are about to go through the same thing.

But since today is The Gay Groom’s 44th (good lord!) birthday, I thought it would be a good time to stretch my blogging muscles again. And they are a bit rusty. I hope I don’t pull something…

As I mentioned last year in my “Gay Groom Turns 43″ blog, your humble blogger was born on the day the Tet Offensive began (click here to read my Tết birthday blog from last year).  Now the Tet Offensive won’t mean much to anyone under fifty (and isn’t as cool as Levon who was born on the day “when the New York Times said god is dead”) but the Tet Offensive was a very big deal back in 1968.  It was (according to historians) the turning point of the Vietnam War.

Unfortunately, the Tet Offensive was not a good turning point for the US.

Speaking of turning points, do you recollect when Anne Bancroft threw that drink in Shirley Maclaine’s face in The Turning Point (the 1977 film about two rival ballerinas coming to terms with middle age)?  I’ve always wanted to throw a drink in Shirley Maclaine’s face too.  But I digress.

And now, like Anne and Shirley, The Gay Groom is also coming to terms with middle age.  But as I’ve said before, I look at birthdays as another year that the world has been blessed with me. I think everyone should look at their birthdays that way.  And with my book being released, 44 should be a rather interesting year for The Gay Groom – and rest assure he’ll continue to blog about it the whole bloody time.

PS:  Thanks to everyone who left birthday message here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

I have the best readers/friends/pals/family/etc.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Conception Day

Today is my conception day.

That is the day I was conceived – or the day spermatozoa met ovum and mixed genetically to create the blueprint for your’s truly.   And nine months later (plus a couple of weeks for good measure) your humble blogger was born.  And you know what they say: you can’t make an homelette without breaking an egg  (that’s a bad French pun).

Is it peculiar for one to know their conception day?

The year was 1967 and the world was about to embark on the “Summer of Love”.  Scott McKenzie was telling people to head to San Francisco with flowers in their hair.  But back in my industrial hometown (called ‘Steeltown’ by the locals) I don’t think many folks were wearing flowers.

April 15, 1967 was, of course, a Saturday night and although it would have been exciting to have been conceived in the back of a ’59 Chevy or under a blanket at a Jefferson Airplane concert (my father actually saw Jefferson Airplane once),  I was – simply – conceived in my parents marital bed.  And when I say ‘marital’ I mean in the apartment they were shacked up in at the time.

My parents were not married until 1972 when I was four.  That would make your humble blogger a…

I never really minded being called a ‘bastard’.

This seems like a good spot to quote Edmund’s bastard soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s  King Lear:

…Why brand they us
With base with baseness? bastardy? base base
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got ‘tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,–legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!     (Act I, Scene II)

But what does my legitimacy/illegitimacy matter now?  After all, my parents are still together after almost 40 years of legal marriage.  And The Gay Groom can’t get too self-righteous since I lived in sin with the Husband for nine years before we got around to getting married.  But then again, marriage between the Husband and I didn’t become legal until a number of years into our relationship.

But I digress.

I wonder if a blog can get anymore self absorbed than to discuss one’s own day of conception?   After all, I wasn’t really there.  And since I am a staunchly pro-choice, I don’t view a fertilized egg as anything other than a fertilized egg.  So why bring it up?

Ironically, in addition to being the fateful day that sperm crashed into egg, it is also the fateful day that the Titanic crashed into the iceberg (April 15, 1912).

Titantic Disaster, April 15, 1912

That’s right, 99 years ago today the the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two and a half hours after hitting the iceberg.

1,517 people were killed.

By the way, how many of you knew that your humble blogger once had a affair with someone who was in the film Titanic.  That’s actually a true story.

But only a bastard would kiss and tell.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Am I a ‘Daddy’ Now?

50 Year old designer cum director Tom Ford with younger pals.

The husband gave me an Instinct Magazine for my forty-third birthday last Sunday with the article “How I Went from Daddy Chaser to Being the Daddy”.

The husband likes to think he’s funny.

The article was a short fluff piece (kinda like this, though I’m sure the writer got paid for his piece) about turning 40.  Not that I have anything against fluff pieces…

Now your humble blogger really doesn’t mind turning forty-three.   Though I do know that I don’t turn heads like I once did.  Canadian author Alice Munro wrote a short story about a woman who suddenly discovers that men don’t notice her anymore and is devastated.  For me, that realization came over a number of years.   Yet I still do recall the days when I believed that any man that didn’t look at me when I walked into a bar had to be straight.

Perhaps I was a tad conceited in my youth.

But that really doesn’t happen anymore.  Though I still might get a couple of turns of the head…  and, much even to my surprise, I’m amazingly alright with that.

Especially since I was (as I said) a tad conceited in my youth.

Perhaps my nonchalant attitude is partly due to being married.  Just who am I trying to impress?  And for heaven’s sake why would I need to impress anyone (this ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude comes with age too)?  After all, I have a husband at home who loves me – laugh lines around my eyes and all!

So today ‘Daddydom’ feels rather like slipping into a warm bathtub – a little hot at first but quite comfortable once you get used to it.  I remember being told by a boyfriend that when I was a mere thirty years old that I had a “pre-daddy thing goin’ on”.  I didn’t like that, but the truth is I sorta felt ‘daddyish’ for quite some time.  Perhaps because I never really related to younger guys – and from the beginning, I’ve always been attracted to men that were older (not Methuselaha older – just a bit older).

Yes, I do like those salt and pepper haired men – or even just salt.  And there is always that confidence that mature men seemed to possess that the younger chaps didn’t.

But though I do like older men, it used to irritate me to see mature gay men wearing clothes made for youngsters. We’ve all seen those forty and fifty-somethings in ripped jeans and Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts… still hitting the raves after twenty years – sometimes looking every twenty long years of it – but then your humble blogger tried to be more thoughtful.

After all, we are really the first full generation of out gay men to make it to middle-age.

And we should allow this lucky generation to find their own way.  So if some older gay guys out there still like to wear Abercrombie and Fitch when their straight counterparts have moved on to the Arnold Palmer collection from Sears – what the hell.  And if they want to Rave to 90s music till the cows come home – what’s it to me?

Who am I to be so judgmental anyway?

And I have to admit that some of those older guys still look good in Abercrombie and Fitch.

So what do you think?  When does one become a ‘Daddy’?  Or does one need to become a ‘Daddy’ at all?  Could it be that the term is outdated?  Are there any other silver fox admirers out there?

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

 

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The Gay Groom Turns 43

It was 43 years ago today that The Gay Groom was born.

To be precise, I was born 43 years ago today at EXACTLY 11:40am – which makes sense since I’m not one to miss lunch.

Your humble little blogger being held up for his first photo shoot when he was just a few hours old. January 30, 1968

I am told that at 8 pounds 11 ounces I was considered simply enormous in those days.  Today it’s normal to have nine or ten pound babies – or even seven or eight babies that add up to nine or ten pounds.  But that’s unpleasant to think about so let’s change the subject, yes?

I was also born on Tết.

Tết is the Vietnam lunar New Year and that really shouldn’t mean anything to anyone (not counting the Vietnamese, of course) except that in the early hours of January 30, 1968 the Tet Offensive erupted, in which North Vietnamese forces and their Viet Cong allies attacked major cities in South Vietnam.

The Tet Offensive proved to be the turning point of the war, delivering a fatal blow to political support for the war in the United States.

It’s no coincidence that the main character in my first novel was also born on the first day of the Tet Offensive.

Tet Offensive Targets

In 1970 I celebrated my second birthday in Hamilton, Ontario.  1970 must have been a year for very high hair (though Hamilton was usually a number of years behind the curve on fashion so my mother might be wearing 1964 hair for all I know).

The rest of us look rather uninterested with the whole birthday business.  And we shan’t even discuss my white turtleneck.

My mother must have made the guest list since, except for my brother, I know nobody at my birthday party.

My second birthday in 1970. My mother has very high hair. The rest of us look rather uninterested.

My second birthday in 1970.

In 1972 it was considered the height of class to have your birthday at McDonald’s. Well at least it was in my hometown! The most exciting part was getting to wear a McDonald’s paper hat.

I’m not sure if children still go to McDonald’s for their birthday or not.  Are they too sophisticated these days for a burger, Coke and a piece of cake.

Fourth birthday in 1972. Remember birthdays at McDonald's?

Sparklers are scary!

My fourth birthday was also infamous as being “Bloody Sunday”.

What was Bloody Sunday?

On January 30, 1972, British soldiers opened fire on a march in the town of Derry, killing 13 Irishmen and injuring many others. Many people consider this the event that started over a quarter century of violence between the IRA and the British.

The events depicted in Bloody Sunday were also immortalized in the 80s U2 song “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and continue to have political reverberations even to this day.

Of course I didn’t know all this was happening in Ireland as I ate my McDonald’s cake.  I probably didn’t even know what Ireland was.

Scene from Bloody Sunday in Derry on January 30, 1972

Now let’s skip ahead a few years or we’ll never finish!  And the Gay Groom is getting tired (he’s 43 after all!).

For anyone who wasn’t there, yes, the 80s were just as much fun as people say.  Granted our music was crap (or at least terribly derivative) and our clothes were shiny and odd looking (and don’t get me started on the mullet).

But we did have a lot of fun in the 80s.

This is your humble blogger in 1986.  The The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred just two days before this photo was taken.

My 18th birthday. Wearing the unfortunate 80s mullet.

And one more photo from my 21st birthday in 1989. I think I looked pretty snazzy in my John Cougar Mellencamp concert shirt (his fantastic Lonesome Jubilee tour). I think my birthday wish that year was that I would finally lose the bloody mullet!

My 21st birthday in 1989 (with an ice cream cake)

So here I am, turning 43.

And does it bother me to find  myself yet another year older?  Nah.

Your humble blogger likes to look at each birthday as yet another year that the world has been blessed with him…

And so I’ll continue blogging about the life of a 43 year old gay married man until I have nothing left to say – and that hasn’t happened yet.

The Gay Groom today

Coming soon: When am I officially a ‘daddy’?

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Happy 72nd Birthday, Mom!

My mother turned seventy-two today.

Though that may not seem like much to a lot of folks, it’s quite an accomplishment in our family.  Rarely does your humble blogger’s kin live as long as that.

We usually totter off the stage long before seventy.

So now every year my mother makes it past seventy is like a gift (it’s a gift we still have her around and it’s also a gift for The Gay Groom… as  I think my own life expectancy rises the longer my mother decides to stick around – so I’m pushing for her to make it to ninety!).

This is a photo of my mother in from 1964 when she was a mere twenty-five years old (a few years before your humble blogger came on the scene):

Mom looking sharp, 1964

To quote Rhoda from The Bad Seed: “I have the prettiest mother, everybody thinks so…”

I’ve always identified far too much with Rhoda in The Bad Seed.

But I do think I had a good looking mother (that is compared to some of the other kids growing up in my neighbourhood – a lot of those kids had real creeps for mothers).

Anyway, my mother is half Native Indian (the new Huckleberry Finn would call her a ‘half blood’ – which I don’t actually like much).   Her own mother came from a reserve in northern Minnesota.  I never actually met my grandmother because (as I’ve mentioned) the family drops dead early and, sadly, my grandmother being no exception died in 1960.  But Native Indian my grandmother and mother certainly were and…

Obviously this makes the Gay Groom (among other things) of Native descent as well.

That is why I still (even at the age of forty-two) cannot grow a full beard.  Indians don’t have a lot of hair (on their face or chest).  You never saw a John Wayne western where the Indians had beards (as Wayne picked them off one by one) did you?

I still root for the Indians in old Westerns.

Your humble (‘two-spirited’) blogger has always prided himself on his Native blood, going so far as to even have an Ojibwa blessing read at his wedding.

And it was my Native blood that gave me these dark smoldering sexy almond-shaped eyes that drive the men wild… or at least they used to.

But I digress.

So I called my mother today to wish her a happy birthday and ask her how she was celebrating her birthday..

“Boy, seventy-two is really old!” I said to her.

“I know,” she said.  “Who would have thought anyone in our family would live this long?”

She went on to say that for her birthday she went to Bingo (old people love Bingo), had dinner out (old people love eating dinner no later than 4pm), and then a slice of birthday cake (but not a large slice since that would keep old people up all night).

She also thanked me for the pink roses the Husband and I sent.  I thought that the “Happy Birthday” balloon attached to the flowers might be tacky but what the hell…

After all, one only turns seventy-two once.

This is a photo of my mother at my wedding back in October, 2009:

Mom and me at my wedding, October 2009

She’s also holding up pretty well for seventy-two.

In fact I still think I have the prettiest mother…

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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