The Gay Communication Game and Social Etiquette
With regards to the above title; like tequila and coke, the two generally don’t mix well!
The same holds true for combining this "gay communication game" with social etiquette, the combination of the two can create a very incompatible duo.
For example, the other night at the local bar in Connecticut, I overheard friends talking about another friend’s New Year’s Eve party, and yet, there is no invite for yours truly, which struck me as quite odd, being that both of the hosts were just at my annual Birthday/Xmas party less than a week before?
I questioned myself as to whether I offended them in some way? Did they perhaps compile the guest list months ago, way before my party? Or, did they remember that I was allergic to their Siamese cats? (I did make several visits to the bathroom to wash my face the last time I was in their home). So then, what happened?
As I have discussed in past articles on the topic of gay communication and the games being played where someone always gets hurt -- it is the holidays, with all their forced frivolity, that often puts undue pressure on many of us to always be somewhere festive. And, not being invited to a party could possibly jeopardize a friendship if we find ourselves, surprisingly, off the guest list for no apparent reason.
I know that some of you are probably thinking, "what’s the big deal about not getting a party invite?" But, despite whether or not you personally care about getting an invite to a friend’s party, I tend to believe that most of us really do.
So, at the news of not being among a select few who were invited, images came quickly to mind of high school, and feeling like the proverbial social outcast; only this time, not because of my "secret" gay identity, but the result of finding myself outside of the popular kids’ social circles once again.
Most assuredly, memories of high school were not all that bad, recalling how I had a "secret" boyfriend/best friend in junior and high school; a very popular soccer player and all around stud with a bevy of girlfriends, who made social (sex) life go a whole lot easier.
Regardless of our friendship, I was rarely invited to the "cool kid’s" parties because I was his secret, and I didn’t get to "hangout" with his crowd since I wasn’t "into" sports or, the ladies.
Unlike the younger generation of gays today who can be more open within their social groups, men of my age (early 60s), tended to find themselves outside of the "straight" community during their teenage years because of our "secret." Or, were like my best friend, able to fit in with the group of popular kids by playing sports and keeping the "gay thing" on the "down low."
But, for the majority of my generation, it was more difficult to assimilate with the more popular kids because of fear of having one’s secret identity exposed; a fear that often led to many of us isolating ourselves from the majority of our classmates. That self imposed isolation often resulted in being viewed as loners, or, basically, outsiders.
Nevertheless, let’s depart from this nostalgia trip and return to the topic at hand; gay games and the more obvious mistakes or errors in judgment with regards to social etiquette.