Darren and I arrived at Loring Park about fifteen minutes before my two-hour shift in the company booth. I chatted with two women I know from the monthly GLBT meeting, and I learned about doling out the freebies to passers-by. (Not that there was too much to learn.) People seemed quite pleased by our give-aways, but the biggest hits were the caramels and the Sweet Tarts. (Sweet Tarts?? Go figure.)
My friend Jay arrived a few minutes after I did, and we spent the next couple hours chatting with people who wanted to know more about our company and what we do. Quite a few passers-by were interested in finding a job with us, and it was a good feeling to assure them that it's a very gay-friendly company.
Naturally we met more than a few total freakazoids over the course of two hours, but we also got to talk with some really sharp, interesting people who would be great additions our workplace.
Best of all, a bevy of sexy men strolled by, and we saw a lot of cute dogs. In both cases, WOOF.
(Speaking of sexy men, many thanks to my friends who stopped in to chat a bit with me. I enjoyed seeing you!)
As for Gay Pride itself, I'm afraid I found it as underwhelming as I usually do. I didn't even really get a chance to walk through the park to see the other booths and pick up free samples of lube. (It's all about the freebies, people.)
Once we finished our shift, Jay and I packed up the booth, and then we and our dashing partners went out for a really tasty Thai dinner. We were joined by my good friend John, whom I met the same night I met Darren, eleven years ago. The relaxing meal with a group of really nice guys was definitely the high point of the day for me.
Rather than return to the park after dinner to see En Vogue perform, Darren and I headed home to the sedate south 'burbs by 9:00 or so. Darren mixed up a strong batch of his (patent pending) cosmos, and we enjoyed a chatt on our balcony as the sun set over the pond.
I'm sure I'll volunteer to help out again at the festival next year, because it was a really positive experience, and I was happy to help out my GLBT group.
However, I'm more certain than ever that I'm totally over Pride at this point in my life. Been there, done that. I'd much rather spend the day at Ikea--or snuggling on the couch with Darren and Hudson. That's the reality of my gay life, and I couldn't be prouder of it.