Since 2011, I have built another blog-inspired friendship with a guy who once referred to himself as “OBMIT” for “The Only Booted Man In Town”. Subsequently in 2014, OBMIT began going by “WC”. Blog readers have probably viewed many of his comments on various posts. In fact, he was among my first guest authors when he wrote “A Booted Man in an Unbooted State” in April, 2011.
Subsequently, WC and I have exchanged almost daily email. I say “almost daily” …
…because we are both busy guys and while we both try hard to keep in touch, there are times when a day or two may go by with nothing more than, “busy… back again tomorrow.”
Good thing about developing a fond friendship is that friends understand when friends have things going on in their respective lives and have to deal with family and personal matters that take priority.
WC is keenly interested in boots. When we first began communicating via email, he admitted that he was still wearing what he called “dr#$$ $x03$”, code for dress shoes. He is a performer in his church, has a wife and children, and works for a living where dorky dress shoes are commonplace. But as we had ongoing dialogues and as I wrote more on this blog about wearing boots, and that it is quite normal to do so, my friend developed more courage and began wearing boots that he likes when he went about his daily activities, including wearing them where he works.
And about two or three years ago, he rather proudly told me that he only wears boots now and that he has given away (most of) his dorky dress shoes to Good Will. He has purchased boots that fit his style and that he likes — tall, with bold colors and higher heels. Thankfully he is a graceful guy and can walk in higher-heeled boots without tripping, which is my problem.
Over time, when I have occasionally “thinned the herd,” I have offered some of my boots to WC and he has bought some of them. But that is pretty much a side story to the greater and deeper friendship that we have.
WC has been very sympathetic about my spouse’s health condition and has listened to me vent some frustration at the disease and the behaviors the disease was causing The Spouse to demonstrate. A great “listening ear” is a good measurement of a friendship — equally demonstrated by my blog-inspired fellow biker S about whom I wrote in my previous post.
WC also has a great sense of humor and does not take himself too seriously. He is thoughtful, caring, and kind to all he meets. He is sensitive and has shared concerns with me that will remain between us, but clearly illustrate our commonalities.
Where we are different may be in politics and religion, especially where same-sex marriage is concerned. I think that The Spouse and I have proved to WC that two men can have a loving, caring, and supportive relationship that deserves the right of recognition by the state through marriage. Not civil union or legal partnership, but to have and secure the more than 1,000 specific legal rights only granted by the Government to married couples. WC pretty much admits this change-of-heart in a comment here.
My marriage to my man and the experience of getting the legal right to marry him has been enlightening to WC. I think, in a way, WC’s open-minded listening, with some occasional questions along the lines of “help me understand better,” has fortified our friendship further. WC and I are both of like minds when it comes to disdain of weddings, froo-froo, and frilly trappings that some over-the-top gay dudes have done and we read about here on this interwebby thing-a-ma-bob. I’m a man. I love and am married to a man. So be it.
It would be great if some time, somewhere, WC and I could meet. He lives in an area of the United States that I will not visit on a work-trip, and as busy as he is raising a family, it is doubtful that he may travel my direction. He does not ride a motorcycle, so a biker buddy trip won’t happen like it will happen for S and me in Utah this summer. But there is always a glimmer of hope that a meeting may occur, somewhere, sometime. We both would like that.
In closing, I value strong friendships built first on common interests, then learning more about each person, and listening. I treasure WC’s insights, boot thoughts and questions, and take a little credit for turning him into the “always booted in an unbooted state” guy that he is.
Life is short: friendship is built, and is a treasure.