It is Formal Night on Seabourn. Many cruise lines have dropped their formal nights as passengers prefer to travel light and dress casually. But Seabourn passengers take formal nights very seriously. Gordon and I are no exception. We primp and preen for some time, preparing to meet our adoring public. Finally we emerge from our stateroom, looking pretty good
Or at least I thought we did. It seems that Gordon as usual succeeded;
but me, not so much.
Gordon’s adoring public are indeed adoring, and the first of which has just entered the bar
He is a gay man determined to be noticed, as he enters the room and his 70’s, rather loudly. I am assuming that he is gay because no self respecting straight man would be seen dead in what he is wearing, which is not to say that a gay man should be seen alive in it either. I am also assuming that he is in his 70’s because, well, if he is not, he is not aging well at all.
He has a round cheerful face that reminds me of the man in the moon. There is an air of confidence about him, which he is going to need considering what he is wearing. His trousers are a rather loud tartan, all bright greens and blues with a splash of pink, obviously worn in honour of the fact that at this very moment we are somewhere off the west coast of Scotland. A dubious honour indeed, but we should be grateful that he is not wearing a kilt. As bottoms go it is rather colourful. The same could be said of the wearer. Not wanting to overdo the colour (too late, I hear someone cry) he has decided to wear a black dinner jacket with the trousers. Not a plain black jacket of course, but one with its lapels covered in black rhinestones that shimmer wildly under the lights. I hope I am not being unnecessarily cruel when I say it is not a successful look.
He is crossing the bar with two friends, when his eyes alight on Gordon. His eyebrows shoot up to where his hairline would be if he had one. He changes course immediately, leaving his two friends to manage without him and heads directly over to Gordon. At this point I should let you know that Gordon and I are sitting at a small table enjoying our usual champagne and caviar, but I have yet to enter into this man’s line of vision. He is intently focused on Gordon.
His face lights up into an easy and engaging smile, and his eyes twinkle with mischief, at least I think that is what they are twinkling with.
“I just love, love, LOVE, your suit” he says rather extravagantly to Gordon, as his hands fly everywhere. “You have to tell me where you got it. You look fabulous!” Normally this would be a great compliment, but, dear reader, consider the source.
He has yet to even notice that I am sitting at the same table.
He tells Gordon his name. It is Jack which seems wildly inappropriate for the outfit.
When Gordon tells him his name, Jack’s face sags for a moment. OK, it has been sagging for years, but it sags a little more and his bottom lip quivers. He lost his partner of 50 years a couple of years ago, and his partner’s name was Gordon. He takes a moment to compose himself and then goes on to say that he is now doing what Gordon would have wanted him to do, and that is traveling the world in style, attempting to spend all their money and having a fabulous time. At this point it is impossible not to admire the man, despite his outfit. It takes a lot of guts to do what he is doing and to reach out to others. If he ever notices that I am there, I might tell him that.
“We simply MUST do dinner together” he says to Gordon.
“We would love to”, Gordon replies, with heavy emphasis on the pronoun
Jack hesitates for a moment as he allows his eyes to leave Gordon. They settle on me, quickly scanning from head to toe. Oh dear, an insignificant other.
“Yes, of course” he says, with little enthusiasm “Let’s make a date” and with a pirouette and an extravagant wave to go with his look of disappointment, he leaves.
But the evening is young, unlike Gordon’s next admirer………………