I was at a dinner party earlier tonight celebrating the gay marriage equality law that recently passed in New Zealand. Most of the people there were couples, with a few singles spread around. After making my social rounds, I grabbed some food and found an empty seat at a table to eat. Next to me was an older gentleman, who I had met when I first arrived. He was a racehorse trainer with a very interesting life story.
He told me about his travels, how he lived in England and Australia before returning to New Zealand because his father was ill. Then he found a job here and ended up staying. Naturally we got to talking about relationships and joked about how we felt outcasted to the singles table.
As he was telling me about his life, it dawned on me that I was looking at myself twenty years from now. I don’t know what came over me, but i suddenly became very sad. Here was a good looking man: successful, well traveled, and single. All the qualities that I saw in myself as well. I’m actually quite proud of those qualities too. But somehow being in a room with couples and celebrating gay marriage, made me feel unaccomplished. Like I had not reached my full potential of happiness because I did not have a partner to share it with.
I asked him if he felt lonely. He stopped eating, looked at me, and said, “yes, sometimes, but there’s not much I can do about it now at my age.” He went on to talk about how gay culture values youth and that he was beyond his prime. He was partly joking of course, but also stating some hard truths. He seemed content though and I’m pretty sure he didn’t go blog about this conversation when he got home.
My left eye has been twitching for the last three days. I stopped drinking coffee thinking that maybe the caffeine was contributing to it. I think all the packing and going away drinks with friends, might be more stressful than I’m realizing.
As I was leaving the party, my friend Luke, who was the first gay person I met in NZ, came up to me and gave me a big hug. He squeezed my shoulders and whispered that he hopes I find whatever I was looking for. My eyes swelled up, but before a tear could escape my twitching eye, I broke from his embrace and gave him a big smile. When I smile, my eyes get squinty, putting pressure on my tear ducts and cutting off any potentially embarrassing waterworks. These Asian eyes come in handy sometimes.
Thanks to @agaysianvagabond for the story!
This is definitely something on my mind as I am approaching my own birthday. I am a few years away from 30, and not sure what I have accomplished when it comes to finding a long term partner. Though I am excited for what’s to come in 2017.