Is gay dinnertime different than straight dinnertime? I know that might sound like a ridiculous question. But I'm going into details below to show why I'm asking.
I'm not sure when gay men in other parts of the country normally eat dinner, but I know what they do here, in NY and Philadelphia, and in places like South Beach, Key West, and Palm Springs. I know this is common in Boston and Maine and Provincetown as well.
What prompted this post was a status update I saw on facebook last week from a local friend of mine, a gay man. I have a lot of friends on social media, and many of them live right here in New Hope and have known me for a long time. And this particular friend I'm talking about is 27 years old, so I don't think age really matters with this topic. I have friends in their 70's who I know feel the same way...in fact I find that they feel even stronger about this topic.
My friend posted something to the effect of this:
Having a late brunch and enjoying the peace and quiet.
This happened two Sundays ago, and it was at 5:30 pm. I clicked "like" and then told Tony these friends were having a late brunch. We never gave it a second thought because we've had late brunches like this ourselves many times.
But a few hours later I noticed a few people had commented on my friend's status update. One, a straight woman friend of his, said something to the effect of this:
lol...that sounds more like an early supper to me.
Others commented the same way and I started to see a pattern. I've seen this pattern before, too. Tony and I have straight friends and lesbian friends and whenever we go out to dinner with them we always expect to go early. We do it because we like them, but neither one of us is fond of eating dinner before 8:30 pm. And the dinner reservations with the straight friends and lesbian friends are almost always set for 6:30 and 7:00 pm. We're finished by nine and it's like WTF do we do now. It's too early to go out anywhere. It's too early to go home to bed. And it confuses the hell out of our poor dogs.
Again, I'm only talking about the places with which I'm familiar. It might be different in other parts of the country or world. But I know gay men/couples who dread going out with straight couples and lesbians for this early bird special reason. Tony and I aren't like that. We're more than willing to accommodate our friends...as frustrating as it can be sometimes. (I'm actually not hungry that early, so I sit and pick at my food and wind up either taking it home or they take it away...and then I'm hungry at 10 o'clock and Tony sends me a look.) And, once in a while it would be nice for one of our straight or lesbians friends to accommodate us for a change and make a dinner reservation at 9:00 instead of 6:30.
We never have this problem with the gay men we know. When we plan on getting together for dinner we just assume it will be after 8:00. Sometimes Tony and I don't eat dinner during the week until after 9:00. And I'm wondering if this is the pattern everywhere? And if all gay men are like this? I'm sure we can't be the only ones, because I know for a fact that a gay couple who live near us have flatly refused to go out with certain people anymore because they eat too early.