Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Tie? Nope...

This is the second (and last for now) of my bloggetory about invitations to and attending dressy events.  I sparked a spirited conversation with yesterday's post.

Goodness knows, I get more than ample invitations to such events.  Such is the nature of my civic work and spirited community activism.  But despite some people's thoughts that these events are enjoyable, they aren't to me.  That's "to me" -- not to others.  But the mere thought of having to dress up -- and in the case of "black tie," wearing a tux or formal wear (as my friend SJ's comment from yesterday, where a Scot may wear formal highland regalia) -- just doesn't work for me.  At all. Period.

In the last several years, I have declined all such invitations.  And I don't lie about it.  I just tell whoever is inviting me that I don't like such events because I don't like to dress up, and do not want to come. (I also have to admit that I hate shelling out money to rent formal wear, as I never would own any, though I love watching the rental proprietor's face when I tell him that I will be wearing boots; no formal shoes for me!)

To me, it's worse if there is dancing involved.  Some of these events have a band or DJ and and dance floor, inviting people to dance in whatever way works with the music being played.  Gawd I hate to dance.  I am such a friggin' klutz that everyone -- I mean everyone -- who has tried to dance with me (or teach me to dance) has run for the hills (my partner included.)  Seriously, when everyone else goes "cha-cha-cha," I go "bing-bang-boinnnng -- fumble-crash-fall -- oh, I'm sorry I stepped on your foot again."

My huge family who seem to have weddings often (the "greats" are all getting married now) kinda know that when they extend an invitation to me for their wedding, that my partner and I will show up for the church service, see the family, smile, shake hands -- then as soon as the service is over, we go home.  That's my doing, though my ever-reluctant-to-socialize partner has no qualms about ditching the reception, either.  And I don't attend weddings held out-of-town, where I can't "escape."  (One fairly recent exception, where I was Best Man for my twin brother at his formal wedding in Venice.  But even then, the minute I gave the toast at the reception, I left.  My brother and my new sister-in-law knew I was going to do that, and understood.  They didn't like it, but they understood that I would be sooooo very uncomfortable, they let me go as soon as I could gracefully exit.)

Some people think that all gay guys like to dance and are good at it, as if the gay gene is also in control of the ability to dance.  Not true.  There are a number of gay guys who don't like to dance, and there are a lot of straight guys who dance well.  The ability to dance and the interest in dancing has nothing to do with one's sexual orientation.

Plus, I don't know if all families are this way, but I see a lot of behaviors that I would rather not see after they become lubricated with alcohol which usually occurs at wedding receptions.  Tongues get loose, and people say the silliest, strangest things.  Not nasty, mind you.  Not about my being gay.  They're all long past that and know not to say things like that.  But they boast and brag and just drive me crazy because I know "the real them" and know that a lot of what they're saying isn't quite the truth.

I seriously have wondered if my choice not to attend these events has held me back in some way.  Perhaps by choosing "not to play the part," I possibly have excluded myself from being considered for a promotion or an appointment to some prestigious group, board, or panel.  I don't know what I don't get asked to do, but I do hear the a few others brag about the big gig they were invited to participate on because they attended such-and-such an event, or played golf with the big cheese.  (I'm not a golfer, either... oh my, what great lack of social ladder-climbing skills have I!)

But I digress... and perhaps am feeling that I am a bit unusual.  Heck, we all are unusual in our own way.  But my strong feeling of "ick" keeps me away from these things.  Black tie?  The only black tie you'll see on me is a leather tie I wear sometimes with a leather shirt.  That's it.  Just me.

Life is short:  learning to say "no" helps maintain sanity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, bro', I am just about to go out to an evening black tie function. It's a part of my job. I am glad you don't have a job like mine with your feelings about such attire. You'd die. Plus, nobody would recognize you in a tux, and it would be incredibly more difficult for you to perform CPR on all the people who would faint right away upon seeing that. :-)

Warm hugs always,