Thursday, February 16, 2006

Happy (Late) Valentine's Day!

So... I hope you had a great Valentine's Day.

Oh, me? Well, thank you for asking...

I rented a car Tuesday morning to make the evening a little special (not to mention comfortable). I got a Jeep Liberty (which seemed appropriate, as we were going over the mountain to Park City for dinner)... Anyway, I left work early to run errands, and discovered that the car smelled of wet cigarettes (ew!)... so while I was out and about, I swapped-out the rental ( a little silver Jeep Liberty ) for a car that didn't have the added feature of causing nausea ( a little black Jeep Liberty ). Then I rushed home and straightened-up the place a bit and changed clothes.

A little after 6:30 he called to say that he was 10 minutes out... so I hopped downstairs to the Italian market and purchased a couple of fancy-schmancy sodas for the road, and a handful of Italian candies ( two "kisses" and to "devil's balls" ).

Anyway, my date gets cold easily, so I put a sheep's skin throw ( I've got several — I love those things! ) on his seat, and brought down a nice lap blanket that I purchased in Iceland... in case he got cold. When he arrived, the car was ready, and a mixed-CD that I'd burned especially for the drive to Park City was in the player... So we climbed in and hit the road. It was a lovely drive, and he held my hand most of the way... which really made my evening. We chatted about all sorts of things — school and work and life — and when we arrived, we walked to the restaurant (Café Terigo) holding hands.

I don't much care for kissing in public (regardless of orientation), but I love holding hands. Love love love it.

Dinner was nice... an opener of coconut-crusted shrimp with a vinegar dipping sauce, a shared pasta papparadelle with chicken sausage, and a shared chocolate crème brullée ( I've decided that I don't like crème brullée... this was a perfect specimen, but I just don't like the caramel shell... anyway... ). After dinner, we walked Park City's Main Street, holding hands and chatting — and popping into the occasional art gallery that was still open. We then drove around looking at the big homes before heading down the mountain.

Back at my place, we came-up to my loft, where we talked and cuddled... then I gave him a small gift and sent him home before it got too late (and before I got too caught-up in the moment to mind my Ps & Qs).

So there you have it... a perfect evening with an amazing guy. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine for some time after he left. Yeah, I know that I'm a hopeless romantic... but that's okay by me.

11 comments:

Ariel said...

I, for one, am shocked and appalled

that you don't like my favorite dessert.

Silus Grok said...

Sorry, sweetie... I guess I'm just a panna cotta guy.

* mmm... panna cotta... *

Ariel said...

I'm not sure whether this is an appropriate place for this comment, but I'd like to get it out of my system.

I'm a molly mormon. There, I said it. Not only that, I'm the sort of molly that believes that BK Packer is a prophet, that the BOM is at least somewhat historical, and that homosexual activity is a sin. But I have a problem. When it comes down to specifics, I have trouble staying consistent. I don't always agree with BR McConkie. I have trouble with the fact that Joseph lied to Emma. I try not to think about the origins of the Book of Abraham.

And when I read that you had a wonderful date for Valentine's day, I thought "how wonderful." I wish I could really believe that the date was ugly and sinful, or that I could really believe that it was beautiful and right. But I'm stuck in the middle, and I don't know what to do about it.

Silus Grok said...

You're a molly that doesn't use proper titles when refering to General Authorities? Forsooth!

I believe that the Book of Mormon is historical (inasmuch as its authors really lived, et cetera); I believe that Elder Packer is a prophet — but I don't believe in infallibility. But yes: I don't have a problem with my being gay. It's inconvenient, certainly, but not a sin... I don't know whether it's a trait (like being left-handed) or a handicap (like being a quadrapeligic), and I don't think I will in this life... but in the mean time, I'm happy. I love the Lord, and I love serving in his Church. I know the Church is true... and I dig guys.

We all have our little demons, I guess.

: )

But I strive to keep my temple covenants... so these dates are just dates.

If you haven't already, I'd encourage you to read my first guest-blogging stint over at Nine Moons (linked-to in the right-hand sidebar), where I discuss being gay and Mormon.

And no: this is the perfect place to say such things.

Ariel said...

I should clarify- I don't believe that "digging guys" is a sin. Making out on a gay date plants itself firmly on the other side of my line. Cuddling, though? I know my mom would say that it's inviting temptation, that you should just ignore all the great guys you know, and try to live a "normal" life. But after reading your post, I don't have any problem with guys dating, or cuddling. At least, I don't think I do.

I suppose what I really want to know is... what's it like, to be gay and LDS (believing the doctrine and supporting(?) the policy of the church)? I'd also like to know what it's like to be gay and Mormon (meaning the LDS culture). If dating is preparation for marriage and we are only to date persons we would marry (reference: tons of YW lessons of dubious truthfulness), and if gay marriage is wrong (I'm still that much of a molly), that tells me that gay dating is "wrong." But you keep your covenants, you won't marry a man, and it makes you happy. Is that wrong?

I'm trying to figure myself out. And part of that means discovering what I believe about you.

I winced while typing the "improper titles." I think I'm trying to redefine myself as a recovering molly. It's hard to throw off some of the tradition.

Thank you for being willing to discuss this. If you'd prefer, we can continue via email. mertigress at gmail dot com. Either way is fine with me, but I don't know how private you are about your feelings about the church.

Silus Grok said...

Hey Ariel... first off, you really should read my series on being Gay and Mormon. It was the subject of my first guest blogging stint over at Nine Moons. It goes into my feelings on the matter pretty fully.

: )

Now... about dating: I don't grant your premise; dating is not simply preparation for marriage. I know plenty of people who never married, but dated plenty... and they still reaped many (many) benefits from their dating.

I date for the companionship, for the sociality, for the kiss good night... for a chance to see myself through another's eyes. I've learned more about being a gentleman, about how to navigate the strange world of intrapersonal relations, about selflessness from dating the few men I've dated than all the women combined... and how is that possible? Because I _want_ a second date, so I have to play the game. It's a wonderful tool for learning so much about ourselves.

: )

meems said...

Have you tried Haagen Daas Panna Cotta ice cream? it's yummy!

Ariel said...

I've read both of your guest post series, and I took the opportunity to re-read them over the last couple of days, and type out my questions as I read. I had just finished when my computer crashed and ate what I had written, so these are the questions I remember.

About dating: do you take flack from your leaders about it? Is it a serious source of temptation, and if so, is that outweighed by the benefit of companionship? Do other LDS gays see it the same way?

Kissing is sexual, so why is it okay for couples who haven't made a commitment to each other, whether they're gay or straight?

Are your partners okay with the fact that you're not willing to engage in unchaste behavior or commit to a long term relationship? It seems like straight guys would tire of that (from girls) pretty quickly. Are most of them dating you for the same reasons that you're dating them?

You're anti-SSM but hoping for future church support of SS relationships- are you asking for church supported outside-of-marriage relationships? Would the support you're hoping for necessarily exclude adoption of children? If so, do you think it's possible for the government to do the same? Do you think the church will give homosexual members permission to have sexual relationships, given previous statements against that?

Why are kids deserving of both a mother and a father?

You believe that breaking the law of chastity in a homosexual way is of the same seriousness as the same action in a heterosexual context. Initially, I disagreed with you, but upon further thought, I realized that I had absolutely no basis (that I could see) for that belief, aside from implications in The Miracle of Forgiveness. Do you find that many church members hold the same opinion? Do they seem to have what they believe to be basis for it?

Is the Proclamation canon? I've heard "no" from everyone except you. (Or maybe that was a commenter on one of the threads? I can't remember.)

Thank you for your guest-posts. They got me to think about why I believe what I do.

Silus Grok said...

"About dating: do you take flack from your leaders about it?"

I've been out to my bishops for 10 years... though I've only been dating for the last year. It didn't come up with my bishop in my last ward, though many people knew (EQ presidents, friends, people who wanted to set me up on dates...) ... and I've just recently moved into a new ward. Here, my elder's quorum president knows and the second councilor in the bishopric knows... and tonight, my bishop will know. It should be interesting.

: )

Wish me luck.

"Is it a serious source of temptation, and if so, is that outweighed by the benefit of companionship?

Of course dating is a source of temptation... isn't/wasn't it for you? And yes: it's worth the risk.

"Do other LDS gays see it the same way?""

I can't speak for other gay Mormons... we're of several minds on every topic touching our situation.

"Kissing is sexual, so why is it okay for couples who haven't made a commitment to each other, whether they're gay or straight?"

I don't grant your premise.

"Are your partners okay with the fact that you're not willing to engage in unchaste behavior or commit to a long term relationship? It seems like straight guys would tire of that (from girls) pretty quickly. Are most of them dating you for the same reasons that you're dating them?"

My _dates_ are just that: dates. I'm a little smitten by my valentine, but otherwise dating for me is really casual. And not everyone is looking for a long-term relationship or a hook-up... so a date with me isn't any different than a date with another man (except I'm so much more charming). What's different about me is the reasoning behind my choice to date as I do... but how often do you get into the whys and wherefores of dating strategy _with_ your date?

: )

"You're anti-SSM but hoping for future church support of SS relationships- are you asking for church supported outside-of-marriage relationships? Would the support you're hoping for necessarily exclude adoption of children? If so, do you think it's possible for the government to do the same? Do you think the church will give homosexual members permission to have sexual relationships, given previous statements against that?"

Wow. Um... I don't support current SSM legislation. I don't know what I would support, though... I haven't made-up my mind. And as for the Church, well, I hope for further light from the brethren. And I believe that further light is forthcoming, and that it will be affirming in some way of homosexuality. Now, what form it will take beyond that, I don't have any idea. That's why I'm hoping for further light.

: )

"Why are kids deserving of both a mother and a father?"

It's mostly just folk wisdom underscored by a line from the Proclamation, but I believe that two-parent homes offer emotional balance, and that two-gender couples offer addition balance beyond that... and I believe that blood parents (when they know what they're doing and love their children) have a bond beyond circumstance... and I think children sense this.

Man. That wasn't much of an answer, was it?

"Do you find that many church members hold the same opinion?"

No.

"Is the Proclamation canon?"

Absolutely not. And until it's canonized, it has little more weight than a Church manual. That said, I think that some form of it will find its way into our canon. It really is a wonderful (and, in my opinion, inspired) document.

Ariel said...

"Of course dating is a source of temptation... isn't/wasn't it for you?"

No... I'm not really dating at the moment, but when I was, I was rarely in situations or with people where things could go beyond cuddling (and it was even more rare that they actually did. I've never actually "made out" with anyone, though not for lack of opportunity.) I suppose that temptation will be more common when I start dating seriously, instead of just for fun.

You don't grant that kissing is sexual? Maybe it's the brainwashed YW in me speaking, but how is kissing not sexual?

"How often do you get into the whys and wherefores of dating strategy _with_ your date?"

Uhh, fairly often, actually. I'm fascinated by sociology, and a good percentage of my dates share that interest.

I did enjoy your insight about heterosexual parenting, and it strikes me as something that's likely to be true, although I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Why do church members feel the way they do about the seriousness of homosexual sin vs. heterosexual sin? Is it doctrine, or culture, or both?

I'm so glad you agree that the Proclamation isn't canon. I was worried for a while there.

Silus Grok said...

Sorry about the delay, Ariel.

Busy busy busy!

: )

Anyway, on kissing: kissing is physical, but that shouldn't/doesn't translate directly into sexual. But I understand the confusion. You're not alone: how many YSA wards have heard the "morality" talk and wondered what constitutes "passionate" kissing?