I turned 50 a year ago tomorrow (March 9) but started celebrating back in July 2013 - in fact, the "kickoff" for what has turned out to be over a year and a half of celebrating this milestone, was the 10th and final Bad Boys on the Hudson.
That I'm doing three Bingos this month has aroused questions, by the way, of when I'm going back on my word that that really was the 'final', but I can assure you, that was it.
As a side note, it's been 10 years since the 10th and Final Bad Boys Pool Party and while I would LOVE to do one again, trying to find stars and a location would be challenging (I think that's the right corporate word, right?).
When I lived out in California, it was easy to grab stars because they were friends or at least colleagues that knew of me. And the location that we used for the five years in Palm Springs has changed hands a number of times since then and... well, ultimately it's probably better to leave the past in the past.
I worried about that when I started planning these three Bingo nights - but thankfully last week allayed those fears.
Anyway, the 50th year emerging from the starting point of the final Bad Boys party, so, it's been a lot about endings - the Final weekly Bingo, for example.
But also fulfilling a 20 year dream to judge the Mr. IML contest. And it turned out to be with a sensational group of leatherfolk - I don't think I could have asked for a better group. We've all stayed in touch with other sporadically throughout the past 9 months and, at some challenging points, have been instrumental in keeping me on an even keel.
Then, there was hosting Folsom East which, it would turn out, would be my last time since they're going in a different direction this year. But I can't complain. I did two years on stage (2011, 2012) then during the year that they just didn't have the street fair (2013), led a beer bust. Then, back and co-hosting with Witti Repartee in 2014. So getting to (basically) be an integral part of the last four years is pretty damn good. So, no complaints.
I've traveled for work and caught up with lots of friends some of whom I've lost touch with and some who are more recently new in my life. I even dated someone for a couple months and even though it was long distance and didn't work out, it was nice to have that boyfrieny thing again after a kind of longish absence. Plus, I caught up with a few guys that were some 'might have been boyfriends' for me... and in all cases, it was clear to both of us (although I can only really speak for myself) why it hadn't happened the first time around. And in all cases, we tacitly decided not to pursue something (although in all cases they were also long distance and I think I have learned my lesson about long distance relationships at long last). But in all cases, I kind of re-met them as who they are today and, in a couple cases, re-discovered the friendship we had had.
I'd like to say that I got laid a lot in my 50th year but I have to admit that outside of the couple weeks last summer (spread out over a couple months) that I spent with the guy in the long distance relationship, I got laid exactly twice.. One was good, the other meh and if either/both of them are reading this (unlikely but possible) I'll let them decide which they were.
It's not that I feel that I'm not sexy - because the last thing I would want is for anyone to think that I think just because I'm 50, I'm not desirable anymore (because our community really has an issue with age and it's really a bummer but that might be a topic for another time). I just got tired of what turned out to be the hookups and meaningless sex. The problem is that I went into these hookups thinking that "this is how I'd meet someone" and you know, it does take awhile, but even I eventually figure out that nope that's not what hookups are for. So two years ago I deleted my profiles on those sites. I havent really missed them especially when I hear from friends how it's all the same people with the same damage. But I haven't yet figured out where one does meet eligible gays, so if you find out, please let all of us know. :)
I traveled a lot for work and for those of you following my FB updates, you know that I've had a ... challenging boss/employee relationship. I was so stressed out by him that at Christmas I honestly thought that I might be having a heart attack. I was not and I've been looked at twice since then by my doctor and no, I am fine. Oddly though, he's been kind of good to me this past month. Whatever Mercury retrograde did to him... more please!
So tomorrow I turn 51 and I suppose that it won't feel much different than being 50. But I feel that I've accomplished and completed a number of things that will set the stage for whatever is next and new. And as an added bonus, this August 4 I celebrate 20 years since I started. Not sure what (if anything) I'll do publicly, but I definitely will observe it one way or another.
Thanks for checking in here and hope to see those of you in NYC at this weeks Bingo night on Weds March 11 where we'll celebrate this birthday. Cake? Possibly. Birthday spankings? Always. :)