Wow, I certainly feel every minute of my 49 + years today.(LOL) It looks like I've finally reached the age where it takes me three days to recover from every one day of debauchery. We did have a great time, and it was a real gift to see the whole thing through my friend Dot's enthusiasm and joy. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be in such a closeted relationship for so many years and not be able to proclaim yourself as a lesbian proudly. Especially with her robust personality. But even in the pouring rain I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Our sordid tale begins on Friday, when Genie packed everything we drug up to take in the car like the trooper she is. We packed as if we were going to Mount Everest (OK, I admit it. For several days before this event I made cookies and gathered various snacks for the hotel room. I have indeed become my own mother, as well as mother to those around me.) There was some concern about our leg of the trip to Dallas, because I 35 was virtually a parking lot for a while early in the day because of a mysterious "paper" accident. Genie puzzled over how paper could shut down a five lane stretch of highway, but we pressed on in preparation. Our friend Mackie called to inform us she had arrived at her hotel room, and the "paper" was removed from our path (as reported on the evening news...must have been a slow news day in Dallas), so off we went on our adventure. No threat of unruly paper would keep us from our mission this day.
Once at the hotel, we found that rascal Mackie ready for PRIDE lounging on her balcony checking out the action below in her flame printed pajamas. Soon after, Lisa and Dottie arrived and checked into the hotel, and Mackie changed into actual street clothing much to the relief of the female staff of the hotel, I am sure. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, the meeting of the final "Dallas Five" in the same room without flame throwers or asbestos suits. It was at this moment, with wit and quips whizzing in every direction, I realized this wasn't going to be your average weekend romp in the city.
Piling into Lisa's Jeep (with back-seat antics too delicate to be repeated in polite society), we drove around the Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn district of Dallas, and each of us was moved to remark how similar it seemed to "the gay ghetto" concept rumored to exist in most major metropolitan areas. Pride flags, lesbians and gay men littered the street in all manner of dress and undress, and for Dottie it certainly proved an eye opener. We decided to dine at a Dallas institution, El Fenix Mexican Food, where we arrived just five minutes before closing and still were treated like the queens we obviously were. Great food and company, chatting and eating like civilized folks with table manners and everything. Who says you can't take lesbians anywhere? We finished our meal while discussing the next item we were to accomplish. DRAG QUEENS.
No PRIDE event is complete without drag queens, and Dot had never seen one up close and personal. We found a fabulous little bar where there were rumors to the effect that, in the right light on the right night, you could actually see this rare plumed group. Upon entering Dot was welcomed personally by Miss Gay Rodeo Association Queen for 2007, and they became fast friends immediately. I had the pleasure of giving Dot her very first dollar bill with instruction on tipping her very first drag queen for charity, an honor I'll not soon forget. After the experience, and seeing how well she took to the spirit of it, I doubt it will be the last.
Of course we hooted and hollered and had a great time with the performers. Mackie worked the drag queens like a pro, and I am sure there were more wiggles and giggles than usual because of her expertise. When the show ended, Dot was asked to come back and perform with her fiddle the next night at a special charity event for the Hospice Care House in Dallas, and how could she refuse a bunch of begging drag queens?
Now, considering our advanced ages, you'd think it was time to return to the hotel for a good night's sleep. You'd think, but you'd be wrong. Now it was time to seek out our sisters, as it were, and off we went to a real big city lesbian dance bar. We arrived just in time to witness the evening's pole dancers, and this certainly separated the butch members of our party from the femme right away. Eventually the evening progressed to actual dancing, and a great time was had by all. I am sure I moved parts of my body I didn't even remember I had, and I hadn't even been drinking. But eventually the abundant cigarette smoke overcame us, and we were forced to call it a night.
Well, not quite yet. The giggles from the back seat grew so intense Lisa and I decided to heck with taking this group anywhere, just load them in the back of the car and drive around all weekend. I was raised right in this regard, don't look, don't ask, don't tell is all I will say about it. As we were driving, Mackie spied GIANT Crayola Crayons and wanted her picture taken with them. Well, heck, she was the birthday girl (59? 60?, only her mother knows for sure) so we had to oblige. So here we were, scrambling over giant lit up crayola sculptures in the middle of the night taking pictures of Mackie. The big burly security guard who drove up in his little go-cart didn't find in nearly as amusing as we did. Being the photographer, suddenly all the jokes I had made about dragging up bail flashed before my eyes. "Damn...not on the first NIGHT!" I thought. Seems like we had to have written permission to take photos of these "special" crayolas. I drawled in my sweetest southern manner, all the while explaining to the guard that we were tourists, it was her birthday, etc. Lucky for us, we went on to play another day, although Lisa and Genie assured us they would have bailed us out. Eventually. (LOL)
And just think, in six more hours, we'd be up and going again.