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Summer Work Party, a Swimsuit & a Prize

I think everybody knows I work at this construction company that also does home refurbishing. Or, if you're new to the blog, well, that's what I do.

I've been working there since graduating from high school and in addition to making some pretty good money, I've also learned a lot of new skills that really interest me. It's been a lot of fun to learn how to make different things like custom-made kitchen cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc. We also do stuff like knocking down walls to change the size or appearance of rooms, putting in new windows, doors, etc. I'm not one of those "construction workers" you see doing all kinds of outdoor work with hard hats, hard bodies and showing ass cracks when they bend over!

The guy who is the boss of the home refurbishing unit (which I'm a part of) is a really cool guy. He just turned 62 and is the kind of guy I'd be proud to have as a grandfather or uncle. He's not your typical "macho" cave man construction type, but is actually a really sweet, kind and gentle type of man. Everybody loves him. I mean, he's definitely the boss and you can't walk all over him. When he tells you to do something, you never, ever argue with him. And he definitely will not put up with anybody slacking off. I've seen him angry twice, and he never looses control or is mean, but you definitely know he means business. He's kind of taken me under his wings but he also expects a lot from me.

After I had been working there about a month, I gradually began coming out as gay to everybody. I never made any big announcement but just started working it into the conversation whenever the guys would talk about their girlfriends or wives, or talk about when they did over the weekend. I got a lot of stares at first, and sometimes there was this "loud silence" when I referred to Brad, but nobody ever hassled me or treated me unfairly.

It's pretty obvious that one guy doesn't like me, and I don't think it has anything to do with any problems we've had on the job. He's probably the most conservative guy there and is always spouting these ridiculous political opinions that often aren't based in any kind of rationality. I guess it would be safe to say that most of the guys working in my unit are more on the conservative side, or at least right of center. But I think I've earned the respect of everybody and I get treated as just one of the guys. I get a lot of ribbing because of my age (I'm the youngest one there), but it's all done in a playful way and I actually enjoy the attention because I feel like I fit in pretty well.

Well, every summer our boss has this huge cookout at his home where he invites everybody and you can bring one guest, usually your spouse or your girlfriend. Unfortunately, my unit doesn't have any women workers like the other two home refurbishing units do, so it's always assumed that the guest will be a wife or girlfriend. So, this year, guess what? They added a new category. You could bring your spouse, your girlfriend or your boyfriend!

So, another "first" can be added to mine and Brad's life! And guess what? We had a ball! Only one problem, though. The boss has this really big house with a huge swimming pool in the backyard. So far, so good. I love pools and swimming, but made a decision to buy a new swim suit.

I have a drawer full of Speedos, and that's all I've ever worn when I go swimming. I sorta chickened out though and decided not to push the envelope with this crew. I knew I would be going out of my comfort zone since I would not know half the people coming (spouses and girlfriends). So, I decided to get one of those "regular," "boring," "HUGE," pieces of cloth commonly known as your "traditional swim suit." Shopping for it was very painful (I know it was painful for Brad having to put up with my bad mood looking at all these things I really didn't want to buy).

I felt like I was buying something that was meant to help me "fit in" and was not really something that reflects my style or taste. But, I figured, one step at a time. Maybe next year, if I'm still there.

We did have a good time, though. I was determined not to be in a bad mood wearing this new "thing" called a "swim suit." When I jumped in the pool, I felt like it was going to absorb all the water in the pool and make me drown (okay, so I can be a little drama queen sometimes!). Well, I didn't drown, but I did feel like I was wearing a formal suit, like a coat and tie, long pants and shoes. Totally weird feeling!

AND, I won a prize! The boss always has a drawing for three prizes that add to the excitement of the party and they definitely add to increasing our morale. First prize was a week-long trip to the Virgin Islands. Second prize was an all-expense paid weekend at one of the 4-star hotels in Boston, and third prize was a gift-card for $100.00 and twenty free movie passes.

Well, Brad and I are not going to the Virgin Islands. We're not going to a 4-star hotel. But, we are getting $100.00 and tickets to 10 movies!

I'm gonna see if I can return the "thing" called a "regular swimsuit" and get my money back -- but I think it's in that category of "nonreturnables", like underwear, so I'm probably stuck with it. But, I might use the money to get me a new Speedo and, if I can twist his arm, get one for Brad. Brad says, "We'll see about that."

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to go with Brad. Just one more "first" we can add to our list. A growing list, I might add!
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