Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Close Encounter

A few days ago, I went out for supper with occasional London blogger Close Encounters. I don't usually meet people face to face when they know about this blog, however I do sometimes make exceptions for established bloggers. Although I've been in intermittent email and MSN messenger contact with Close Encounters for well over a year now, we'd never actually met, so as we were both at a loose end last Saturday night it seemed like an ideal opportunity.

"You know that I look a lot older than my Avatar, don't you?," I warned him in an email on Saturday morning.

"I'm sure that I can deal with your age," replied Close Encounters shortly afterwards, "You may have more false preconceptions about me than I do about you!"

So I booked a table in a decent restaurant and the scene was set.

I arrive first, and I'm sitting in the restaurant bar when Close Encounters arrives. Finding out what another blogger looks like is simultaneously both an exciting and a tense moment, just like a blind date! But face to face he looks very much like the solid reliable guy that I was expecting, and it doesn't take long for us to settle into an easy conversation.

"You know, you're the sixth blogger that I've met now," I tell him while we're looking over the menu, "and they were all interesting guys :-)".

"Well I hope I don't disappoint you!" replies Close Encounters, looking slightly nervous.

But of course he doesn't. The nice thing about meeting other bloggers is that neither of you need to introduce yourselves to each other. So during the course of the evening we chat about just about everything imaginable, ranging across the people and boyfriends in our lives, work, gym, Internet, and of course blogging.

"You know, I found your old encounter posts quite uplifting when I first discovered them," says Close Encounters at one point during the evening, "I haven't been an out gay guy for nearly as long as you, and reading about a gay guy just having simple wholesome fun helped reinforced the notion that I wasn't doing anything wrong by doing the same thing!"

"Well, you've got quite a few encounter posts of your own now :-)," I say, "so in turn I guess you're now helping the next generation of gay guys too!"

It was a great evening and almost before we knew it, it was time to leave. Hopefully we'll meet up again at some point. As my relationships change with boyfriends P and S this year, I think I probably need more contact with dependable guys like Close Encounters!


Anonymous said...

Wheres that restaurant, it does look nice?

GB said...

I'm not going to answer here the question about which restaurant that is, especially from an anonymous commenter, but if anyone wants to know I'll be happy to answer by email.

GB xxx

Monty said...

You and your "lowering of expectations"...! LOL It all sounds quite familiar! Though, I must say I have been disappointed with CE's lack of posts of recent times!

PS Hope I was included in the "interesting guys" remark! ;-)

Love your work GB - although I'm now safely boyfriended, I must agree with CE that reading your blog did help me feel OK about having FUN when I did! Thanks! And when are you coming to visit us in the land of Oz??? :-)

GB said...

Yes Monty, of course you're included as one of the interesting bloggers that I've met :-). Sorry to say though that I haven't got any trips scheduled to Oz at the moment, but you never know!

Take care, GB xxx

Soul Seared Dreamer said...

I take it this restaurant is one of your haunts then. LOL.

I can appreciate the whole wanting to keep your identity to yourself.