As is my custom on cold winter days, I choose to wear leather jeans, boots, and when I go out, I wear a leather jacket.
It struck me funny when I was escorting three lovely old ladies at the grocery store, a rather good-looking guy with a trimmed beard and buff bod looked me up and down and said,
“oh, that leather thing is going on downtown. Did you just come from there or are you on your way?”
I could have come up with some crazy response, but instead, I just answered truthfully,
“No, I know about that event. My husband wasn’t feeling well so we decided not to go. This is what I usually wear on weekends around the neighborhood.”
We had a short but pleasant conversation. He is gay and new to town. He said that he was considering going to the event but three things held him back: 1) he didn’t know anyone and did not want to go alone, 2) he said that he didn’t own any leather gear except a dressy leather jacket and felt that he wouldn’t “fit in,” and 3) he thought the price of entry was steep.
I gently explained that a lot of single guys attend the event from all over the country (and the world) and they’re generally a friendly bunch, albeit some travel is close cliques. But not everyone at MAL is “cliquish.” By attending, he could probably make some new friends.
I also explained that if he wore denim jeans, boots (not sneakers like he had on), and a casual shirt, he would fit in just fine. Not everyone who attends MAL wears leather. Most do, but not all. I also said that there was an exhibit hall where vendors could provide all the leather gear he wanted.
He smiled at the thought, but said, “hell, I don’t even own any boots. Do you know where I could find some?”
He asked me that? LOL! Sure, I can provide some suggestions.
I gave him my email address and suggested that he contact me and I could help him prepare for next year, and also perhaps welcome him to the area over coffee or lunch. He thanked me for the offer. But he also wondered about me — he suggested that we connect by sending texts, and I had to explain that it was “email or nothing” since texting is blocked on my stupidphone.
One of my little old ladies needed some help reaching something on a high shelf, so I had to beg my leave and return to what brought me to the store. After my senior pal toddled off, my new friend said, “you wear all that leather all the time?”
I explained that I usually wear my gear when it’s cold out, and said that since I own all the gear, I wear it regularly and often. Such a waste to have nice leather and only wear it once a year.
I could see his eyes light up. He concluded our brief conversation with, “that makes sense. I’ll look forward to taking you up on your offer and seeing more of your leather.”
Sure thing… happy to help. Newbie leatherdudes and little old ladies at the same time 🙂
Life is short: get use out of your leather gear!