Sunday, June 20, 2010

dinner at eight

My father kept his Chris-Craft in the little seaside town of Saugatuck, Michigan, along the Michiana Dunes. It was a quaint seaside tourist village that was full of antique and craft shops, outdoor cafes, and art galleries. In other words, it was Homo Heaven. Just two hours north of Chicago, and a straight shot from Detroit, it had over the decades gained the reputation of being the Fire Island of the Midwest. Dad was unaware of this when seeking stevedore service for the Chris, but as I was living in Chicago at the time, it became my vacation home. I spent many enjoyable long weekends in the dunes.

One weekend, I was on the boat with my friends Cliff and Brian. My Dad and stepmother, Wanda, were staying at their nearby Condo. They called to suggest that we should all do dinner. Father and I were both adhering to the Mutual Nonaggression Pact of 1986, and they always liked my friends, so I had no concern that we would all have an enjoyable evening.

We made reservations at the Cafe Sir Douglas. It was the nicest restaurant in the little town, and was part of the oldest gay resort. I had many happy memories of the resort and its many facilities, including the sparkling blue pool and the notoriously anonymous "Dunes Rooms" accommodations for the friendly traveller. I decided not to give the folks a full tour. I rounded up my friends and headed over to get my folks. We chatted during the short drive to the cafe.

As the three pointed star led us into the parking lot, the headlight beams illuminated a whole row of Jeeps and Blazers. Trucks were everywhere, and I wondered to myself as I parked between two Broncos, whether it might possibly be "Womyn's Weekend".

We walked in to the cafe, myself first, Cliff and Brian, and then my folks. The host recognized us and said, as our table wasn't quite ready, perhaps we would like to go downstairs and wait in the bar. I wondered if he had noticed that my parents were with us.

I descended the circular stairway into the Island of Sappho, accompanied by my snickering friends and my bewildered parents. The bar was crowded, and absolutely female. An attractive woman offered her seat to Wanda and then asked if she would like a drink. She declined graciously. Dad looked around and commented, "I wonder where all of these girls come from." "I think most of them are from Detroit" was my reply.

Dad went off to the men's room. On this particular evening I knew that he would require no accompaniment. I turned to Wanda and asked, "Does father understand that he's in a room surrounded by three hundred Diesel Dykes?" "Well, Dear" she said. "Your father doesn't think in those terms."


fsnissen said...

Good one, Jeff. You made me smile. Needed it right now. Take care, my friend.

Birdie said...

I picture my husband at such an establishment and think I would be grinning the entire meal.