You know it is a sign of an epic Pride when your bedsheets are covered in glitter and the sight of a rainbow flag makes you feel nauseous. It has been five days since the celebrations ended last Sunday and I am still in full recovery mode. After 16,000 glasses of bubbles, I’m afraid the only flame I still have rising inside of me is heartburn.
Now I know what you are thinking. As a former Reality TV Dating Show star with six subscribers on Youtube, I would naturally be moving to the front of the line at every gay bar on Davie Street. Or, perhaps, if you had pictured me out at sea, I would be on a boat cruise, sipping vodka waters and jamming to Calvin Harris in a glistening mess of sweat, tan and abs. However, neither scenarios could be further from the truth.
The story of my Pride begins at my future husband Ritche’s place in the heart of the West End. After waking up at a very respectable nine o’clock a.m. Sunday morning, I envisioned my day would play out like that of a 31-year-old-well-adjusted-adult-homosexual-male who makes good life decisions. Dousing myself in SPF 60, I planned my agenda for the day: Get to Ritche’s for a responsible glass of bubbles, see Justin Trudeau’s oufit in the Parade with a mature cup of dark roast, and meet up with Donna for a grown-up lunch. Well as it turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried.
With my blonde friend Kate and a pink bottle of bubbles, I buzzed up to Ritche’s apartment dressed in a modest pair of jean shorts with a slim-fitting navy-blue T. Ritche is Hawaiian-Japanese and quite possibly the most fabulous person I know. The two of us met five years ago at a house party, and decided that making out in a washroom was more interesting than being around the company present.
As Ritchie opened his front door, the three of us hugged and kissed before getting stuck in a web of paper cranes. Once untangled, our host gave us the grand tour.
“There is tequila in the freezer, croissants on the buffet table and a working washroom next to the bedroom. Everything a bitch needs to have a good time.”
Once Ritche finished bowing, the three of us cracked open the first bottle of bubbles and pressed play on the Spice Girls debut album. Glancing down at my watch after taking the first sip, I noted the time to be only ten past twelve. Plenty of time to shoot back another glass and then get down to see the Prime Minister, I reasoned.
Forty-five minutes later and half-in-the-bag, I turned down the pop music long enough to scream at Ritche.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU LET ME MISS J-TRU!” I squawked from the patio. “He was right there!”
“Settle down Fox” he replied, refilling my glass. “This is what Instagram is for.”
Seconds trickled into minutes which spilled into hours and before I knew it the apartment had filled up with the likes of straight men and women all in their early to mid-twenties. Vodka shots were flowing, the playlist had jumped ahead by two centuries and the buffet table looked like it had been attacked by velociraptors. It didn’t occur to me, until then, how many younger friends Ritche had in his entourage.
Sitting in the middle of the couch while Grimes played, I felt like Zach Braff in Garden State and half-expected someone to tell me they invented Velcro. I am not sure how much time passed while I was anchored there; but I vaguely remember a revolving-door of twenty-two-year-old women and a young electrician in white socks who I could not take my eyes off of. What a difference a generation makes I tell you! These kids grew up waiving the rainbow flag while they were still in a stroller.
“What the hell happened to him??” A familiar voice broke through the fog and centred my vision back into focus. It was my best friend Claire and thank Meryl for that. Before I knew it, she had thrown me over her shoulder and dropped me onto the counter in the washroom.
“Your glitter is a mess Rugged,” she said, bribing me into one glass of water for a single sip of her pinot grigio.
“My glitter?” I questioned, before letting out a high-pitched scream once I saw my reflection sparkling back at me. Without my knowledge, my toned-down outfit had literally grown wings. With copper glitter on my beard, a rainbow bandana wrapped around my neck and two pink fairy wings popping up over my shoulders, I had been transformed into a Pride float. After embracing the look for a moment, I felt an unwelcome sense of panic light a fire underneath me.
“I LOOK LIKE A POKEMON!” I yelled jumping up to my feet. “WHAT IF SOMEONE TRIES TO CATCH ME?”
“HEY!” Claire slapped me across the face, “THIS IS YOUR SHIT, NOT MINE. Now let’s go.”
Leaving the kids behind, the four of us (Claire, Ritche, Kate and me) emerged into natural daylight as the Glitter Squad. Stumbling through the flowered streets of the prized West End, we were a radiant force that was easily distracted and barely standing up straight.
Now the truth is, I know we just got going but I have a two o’clock Aquafit class before a five o’clock start at the restaurant. If I pressed fast-forward on the day, you would find our Squad stuffing our faces at the Moxies on Davie, taking an extravagant limo ride four blocks down the street to English Bay, and passing out on a log drinking rose while watching the sunset.
I will tell you before I go, the story of my Pride ends at McDonald’s drinking milkshakes and eating French fries surrounded by the people I love.
“I want a tropical destination for our wedding,” demanded Ritche, eating one French fry at a time.
“Ugh! You are incorrigible!” I replied, taking a sip from my vanilla milkshake. “For the last time, you know I cannot exchange vows in the sun. How about Seattle?” I countered.
“Fox, you have milkshake all over your beard,” Donna looked up from her phone for a second to point out.
Kate was laughing so hard she was not much use to the general conversation.