My girlfriend and I are preparing for our annual trip to Provincetown, Mass. A few minutes ago, she clicked open the Provincetown events web site and started reading off our entertainment options for the week.
“Oh, honey, we’re in luck! It’s Lesbian Week,” she said, genuinely excited. Lesbian Week. That didn’t surprise me a bit. After all, we are going to P-town off-season, which is the only time any smart gay-centric town holds a “lesbian week.” The prime season is saved for gay boys who generally don’t quibble when it comes to high-season room rates and cocktail prices. I’ve been going to P-Town since I was in my 20’s. Back then, I wouldn’t even consider going in off-season. But now, in my 40’s, I place high value on peace and quiet, and consider any form of excitement suspect. Plus, I get cranky if I have to wait in line for anything.
My girlfriend read the first listing: “It’s something called a ‘Lesbian Foam Dance Party,’” she said, wrinkling her brow. “According to this, it’s THE event that everyone has been waiting for. Hundreds of gallons of foam will be pumped on the dance floor.”
“I have been waiting for many things in my life. A dog that respects my authority. The perfect mai tai. My mother’s approval,” I said. “But never have I found my self waiting for a ‘foam party.’”
“Yes,” she said. “It sounds dangerous. People will slip and fall. It’s not for us.”
I suppose I should mention that my girlfriend was quite the player back in the day. She is a very pretty blonde with an always hungry libido, so she never lacked for womanly company in her younger years. In fact, if she were 27 instead of 47, I imagine she’d be the key demographic for the foam party marketers. But now, she’s a mom of an 11-year-old boy and spends much of her time fretting that neither the boy nor I eat enough vegetables. So instead of salivating at the thought of skittering around a foam-slicked dance floor with a gaggle of the advertised “half-dressed girlies,” she’s worried that one of us might break a hip.
We both entered middle-age with a bang. I mean that literally. We each left long-term relationships for each other, and there were several shots fired from enemy camps. But that excitement ended a few years ago, and we’ve become cautiously respectable. We’ve forged new friendships, family questions us when the other doesn’t attend an event, and we garden. We bought a hot tub last year. Not for sexy time. But because we’re achy from all the gardening.
So, this week, as we pack, our suitcases will be filled with Fresh Produce clothing, a brand that masquerades baby wear—cozy, colorful and generous cottons—as suitable attire for the middle-age frame.
Will we let loose at all on this, my 25th year of visiting P-Town? I guarantee that on one night we’ll go to dinner wearing our matching Fresh Produce sundresses. (Yes, I insist that we wear at least one matching outfit on every vacation because I’m a weirdo and, in spite of her protestations, I think she’s secretly aroused by it.) As we stroll hand-in-hand down Commercial Street at 5 p.m.—to get the early bird special and avoid the crowds—we’ll pass the bar that is hosting the foam party. And as we pass, she’ll look longingly at the crowd, remembering a time when she would have been the belle of the foam ball, and I’ll say, “Do you want to go in?”
And she’ll say, “Are you kidding? One of us will break a hip.”