Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MAL: Leather Weekend

It's that time of year again when the second-largest gathering of the Leather Clan occurs in the United States, at an event called "Mid-Atlantic Leather," held this year January 14 - 17 in Washington, DC.  I see on various forums and posts that I read that a lot of guys are planning to attend. (I wish my friend Paul, whose image is to the left, will be there; alas, he won't. But doesn't he present the epitome of a hot Leatherdude?  Woof!)

The headquarters hotel has changed to the Hyatt Regency instead of the old, ratty, Washington Plaza.  The Hyatt is a much nicer property, but also expensive and not very convenient to Metro (our subway system).  Though the walk from Union Station (trains and Metro) isn't bad ... I once worked at a building right behind the Hyatt, and the walk was about six blocks ... not "that" far.

Anyway, while I would like to see some of my friends from out-of-town who are attending, I do not have an interest in attending the various MAL events.  Being an old, monogamous, Maryland suburban-boy, spending time in the city is not my cup-o-tea.  Weighing the "hassle-factor" of getting there is a major part of my thought process.  There is no free parking anywhere (even on weekends), and driving into the city and out again is challenging.  Further, most of the events occur late at night, and I am definitely not the night-owl.

But wait, you say!  There's a Hotboots party on Saturday afternoon!  (2 to 4pm at the Green Lantern bar).  You have those Custom Brown Dehner Field Boots that you want to show off. (Or, let's say, show something different from the typical Chippewa Hi-Shines, Dehner Patrol Boots, and Wescos). Been there, done that... bartenders are surly, you can't take pictures in the bar, and with construction completed for new buildings near the bar, it's hard to find a place to park, and Metro is even further away.  Plus, as usual, my partner doesn't want to go as he detests social things.

There is also a motorcycle show at the DC Convention Center the same weekend.  I may be able to convince The Partner to go to that, as I scored a couple free tickets and there is a Metro station right there for convenience.  We'll leather up and look at the new bikes and gear and such ... maybe.  It's all weather- and mood-dependent (the mood of The Partner being the decisive factor.)  I've learned to take each day as it comes, and if he's up for it, then we'll go ... if not, we won't.  No big shakes.

So, if you are going to MAL -- have a great time!  The weather should be rather typical in Washington for this time of year:  cold, but not frigid; and the little bit of snow that fell yesterday should be gone by the weekend.

Be safe, have fun, and by all means:  wear your leather and tall boots!

(Image to right was found on the 'net, and is the classic image of a leatherdude who may attend MAL -- though personally, I never could understand why he is wearing sunglasses at night. Part of the "image," I presume....)

ADDENDUM: Three people wrote to me to ask, "why didn't you just reserve a hotel room and stay, rather than drive in and out of town each night?"

Answer: I am sorry that I didn't address that issue in the original post. To be honest, I conk out at 21:00 (9pm) each night. I can't handle activities that go on after that. Further, I can think of a lot of other things on which to spend US$700, which is what I estimate the cost of a hotel room for the weekend to be, with taxes, etc. It's not worth it to us to take a hotel room when we wouldn't be participating in most of the MAL events which take place after my bedtime (and also recognizing that we are truly monogamous, and we do not play around with other men.) Further, I learned from attending IML in Chicago that guys clomp up and down hotel hallways late into the night, and it's likely we wouldn't be able to sleep well. I know, I know... who sleeps at these things? We do....

Life is short:  realize your priorities change with relationships and age.

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