The Sweet Scent of Old Spice

March 31, 2008 at 12:40 pm (Sweet sticky things, Waxing Nostalgic)

Mizelle had just moved to Portland when I met her, ten or eleven years ago. She came from southern California via Salt Lake City; a cute punk lesbian with a posse of girlfriends.

They were quickly dubbed ‘The Spice Girls’. I mostly hung out with Mizelle, but the bunch of us would go on little adventures. We saw Nashville Pussy at La Luna, but I had to wait outside the bar. (At 36, I didn’t think I’d need ID. D’oh!) They made up for it by taking me to the Acropolis for strippers and steak. I took ID that time.

On Tuesdays it was stripper night at the Egyptian Room, and we went a few times. I’d sit at the rack, with about $40 in ones. The girls would sit on either side, and I would sprinkle dollar bills as the dancer would move by. One dancer, June, liked Mizelle, so we got a lot of attention. Was it weird being one of the few guys there? Not at all. But one of the other male barflies introduced himself, welcomed me, and warned against hitting on bartenders or women I didn’t specifically know. I assured him that I was going home with the girls I came with, and “understood.”

When MAD Magazine had a Spice Girls cover, I photocopied and laminated it and hung it on my wall. They groaned.

A lot has changed in ten years. Mizelle met a guy who changed her view of men, got married and divorced, then met another. They’ve been married about a year, and Mizelle is expecting a baby, like on Thursday. (A doctor’s appointment coincided with Bill Clinton’s speech this morning. I told her she should show up, belly out, to see if he got nervous.) Last night was her baby shower.

And three of the four Spice Girls were there! After a wild and crazy lesbian youth, they’ve all met guys and started having babies. It was quite a different scene from ten years ago.

For starters, I wasn’t the life of the party, clutching a can of Olde English 800 and keeping the dialogue going. (I had a virgin colada.) I still found a spot in the corner, and let the crowd work me. Instead of keeping liquored-up hopefuls from messing with the girls, I was watching toddlers throw wiffle balls in the house, and keeping the cat from attacking them.

And my, how the girls have grown! They look like mommies and grown-ups now. WTF? How come they aren’t eternal teenagers, like me?

They were happy to see me, as were a few of Mizelle’s old boyfriends. We both have always been civil and friendly with exes. I thought it might be weird to have them all together, but it wasn’t, at least as far as I could tell. We shook hands, caught up, and when Mizelle opened my present, a snap-at-the-crotch Motorhead onesie, the simultaneous laugh and eyeroll took us all back.

It makes me feel a bit old, seeing them like that. They tickled the white in my beard, and I was careful not to point out how respectable they looked.

Happens to the best of us, I guess…

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