|After The Golden Girls, Pollo Del Mar snapped photos with three of her favorite people, Michael Bonella, Antuan Raimone and Andrew Slade, a.k.a., ‚ÄúBeefy,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúDancer‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúGlo Wurm.‚ÄĚ
Notorious Sainted Glamazon About Town
Today I cried‚Ä¶ Again. Given the last week, though, it was expected ‚Äď and par for the course. Since I picked up my boyfriend at the airport on Dec. 8, I have cried at least five different times ‚Äď and not once for the same reason!
When Dancer arrived at the airport last week, it was our first visit in nearly two months. Though I planned to spend seven days with him in New York City shortly before Thanksgiving, unexpected events forced me to stay home. Trust me, I cried then too, but for completely different reasons than when I saw him standing outside the Delta terminal last week.
The more recent time, I found myself overcome with a combination of emotions. Primarily sheer excitement about seeing the person I love brought me to tears. However, if I‚Äôm really honest, there was also a great deal of fear involved, too!
Over the last six-and-a-half months, I have joined Dancer in cities around the country. We‚Äôve done Los Angeles, New York and Seattle together.
However, aside from our initial two-and-a-half weeks in San Francisco, while his touring cast of the Broadway sensation In the Heights played the Curran Theatre, this was his first trip to visit my home. And, even during those early days of dating, he‚Äôd never been to my apartment. So, I was a nervous wreck!
Obviously, he knows about my career, and has even seen me in action, but he has never witnessed the insanity first-hand, from ground zero, if you will. While Dancer assured me before his visit that he was excited to spend a week in my life, to see what all goes into my hectic work and social calendar, I didn‚Äôt believe him.
There are some things you just can‚Äôt be fully prepared for, I think. A drag queen‚Äôs home could be one of those.
In many ways, I realize now, our long-distance relationship allowed me to ‚Äúshield‚ÄĚ Dancer from elements of my life which I fear might scare the average person. It also allowed me to metaphorically hide from him, taking refuge in the private sanctuary of a home he‚Äôd never seen.
I justified that there was no real need for him to know about ‚ÄúThe Wigwam,‚ÄĚ the name friends have given my bedroom because a wall of hair stares down from styrofoam heads above my bed. Even I don‚Äôt want to deal with my closet, so packed with drag it seems to belch pink and black feathers every time the door opens. And what would any normal person think of the large shoe-filled Tupperware containers stashed about the place?
Needless to say, I was more than a little anxious when I finally opened my front door to him for the very first time. I stood aside with nervous anticipation as he slowly walked through the place, taking everything in. It was like watching someone peruse a museum!
Dancer examined the magazine covers featuring WWE professional wrestler Batista, ‚ÄúSupermodel of the World‚ÄĚ RuPaul, Drag Race star Ongina, Will & Grace star Shelley Morrison (‚ÄúRosario‚ÄĚ) ‚Äď all articles I have written for various national publications ‚ÄĒ framed in my living room. I thought I saw a smirk when he noticed the sash I won at the 2007 Miss Trannyshack Pageant pinned to one wall. He quietly examined my many pictures with friends and family..
‚ÄúIs that Anna Nicole?‚ÄĚ he asked curiously, ‚ÄúAnd her raisin husband?‚ÄĚ
He pointed to a badly pixilated computer printout amid a group of certificates, plaques and awards hanging up near my television. I grinned and nodded. ‚ÄúThat was part of my very first professional drag number,‚ÄĚ I told him, ‚ÄúAt Cookie Dough‚Äôs Monster Show.‚ÄĚ
Finally, taking a deep breath, I walked to my bedroom door, opened it wide and flipped the switch. Bright, overhead lights illuminated in all its glory (or, perhaps, lack-there of). ‚ÄúAnd this,‚ÄĚ I said nervously, ‚ÄúIs ‚Äėthe Wigwam.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
He stepped inside, paused for a moment, then turned to me with a silly grin on his face.
‚ÄúIs that it?‚ÄĚ he asked. ‚ÄúI thought it would be much‚Ä¶worse ‚Äď and, honestly, have a lot more wigs.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe rest are in a tub,‚ÄĚ I said with a laugh. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre stuffed under the bed.‚ÄĚ
Relief washed over me. For a second time, my eyes welled up. I felt like my secrets were finally revealed. Dancer had stepped behind the curtain and realized that the Wizard was just a man, and that seemed perfectly OK with him ‚Äď mess and all. It felt so freeing!
For the next several days, I dragged him all over town, where people legitimately clamored to meet my much-discussed but seldom-seen boyfriend. He was with me that first night, as I hosted MARY-GO-ROUND at Lookout. Two evenings in a row, he attended The Golden Girls, watching both shows each day. (After his first time seeing the show, he jumped from his seat in thunderous applause when I walked through the curtain to be introduced; I can‚Äôt tell you how good that felt!)
Sunday, Dancer was with me again at The Caf√© when I hosted The GlamaZONE. Afterward, when many of the girls from the show and I gathered at Orphan Andy‚Äôs for a late dinner and conversation, he sat quietly, absorbing it all.
‚ÄúThat was really my first time watching you do your thing,‚ÄĚ he told me the next day at Pier 39, where we enjoyed an amazing dinner before the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation‚Äôs one-night-only Shrektacular Holiday Special featuring the cast of SHREK the Musical with special guests pop star Debbie Gibson and show-stealing local cabaret sensation Jason Brock.
‚ÄúIt was a little overwhelming,‚ÄĚ Dancer admitted of being surrounded by my friends, ‚ÄúI think that‚Äôs because it was the most drag queens I‚Äôve ever been around at once. But I enjoyed watching you in your element, knowing how different you are when we‚Äôre together.‚ÄĚ
For some reason, at that moment, I cried again ‚ÄĒ I think from gratitude. Dancerr‚Äôs observation ‚Äď his realization that when it is just the two of us, things are incredibly different ‚Äď is one of the things that I most value about our relationship. It‚Äôs something that makes it so special to me, and I am certain he recognizes and values that as well.
The next night, our last together during this trip, I tried my best to pretend nothing was wrong. I made dinner. We laughed and joked, cuddled on the couch, watched TV and discussed when we would see each other again ‚Äď shortly after New Year‚Äôs, when I visit him, ideally, to watch the last Broadway performance of In the Heights on Jan. 9, 2011.
Never one to miss out on the fun, Little Piggy Del Mar, my five-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, squirmed his way into the mix too. At one point, he rolled onto his back and sighed audibly.
‚ÄúHe does that when he‚Äôs content,‚ÄĚ I told Dancer, who looked down at him and smiled.
Later that night, in bed, we snuggled close, whispering ‚ÄúI Love Yous‚ÄĚ and trying to enjoy the last few hours before his flight. Sadness about his impending departure welled up. And, yes, I cried.
The next day, as I returned Dancer to Delta Airlines, the tears sprang up once again. This time sadness mixed with something new, though. No, I was not happy about sending him cross-country to his home. Obviously I was anything but pleased to know I will be sleeping alone again. Being aware of exactly how much you will miss someone is never easy. I would have loved him to stay even one more day.
Yet, we have established a pattern which tells me our relationship is developing at just the pace it‚Äôs supposed to, in some greater cosmic scheme of things. I have seen through our experiences together that distance actually brings us closer. Absence really has made our hearts grow fonder.
So as I watched him walk toward his boarding gates, I was still crying as I climbed back into my car and headed home. Suddenly, it was as if the tears streaming down my face washed away the sadness.
Driving down the highway, it felt like my heart heaved an audible sigh. And maybe it did, because all I felt was contentment.
Follow ‚ÄúThe Glamazon‚ÄĚ at Twitter.com/TheGlamazonPDM. Email her directly at Pollo_DelMar@Yahoo.com.