Idyllic Gay Living book backstories

Cover Page
It’s rare, but every once in a while, Bob and I end up in the kitchen side by side, usually when I’m contributing to cooking with some “sous chef” task—and Bob will start giggling.

When I ask him what he’s laughing at, he’ll say something to the effect of, “Whenever this happens, I picture us in some magazine as the idyllic gay couple living their idyllic gay life.”

That’s what inspired me to create this book cover.

Page 1
After we finally settled into our new galley kitchen with new drawers and cabinet storage, the first time I dried one of our wooden spoons (of which we have many), I asked Bob if we had a special place where we kept them.

There was a ceramic jar right on the counter next to us (see it for yourself), and he just looked at it without comment as his answer.

Now, whenever I dry a wooden spoon, I ask, “Do we have a special place where we keep these?”

Page 2
I have a wickedly annoying habit of rarely asking just one question. They usually come in groups of 3, as if I’m trying to cover all the possible questions around a situation.

It’s to the point now where Bob answers each question, in order, each time.

Page 3
On our fridge door, we have a current-month calendar with events, appointments, and reminders on it and a schedule of our dinner meals for the current week. I handle the printing of those whenever they’ve been updated.

We use a lot of Tupperware, so inside the fridge, Bob labels each of the containers with what it is, and the date we made it, to make things easy to find and to help us prioritize what needs to be eaten first.

Page 4
One of our favorite “light” desserts is Jello with some Cool Whip on it. The first several times Bob made it, I exclaimed how good it was, and he countered with how easy it was to make.

This exchange has become our standard tête-à-tête whenever we have it now.

Page 5
We make our bed every morning.

I am not a morning person and Bob is. He likes to share his dreams while they’re fresh in his mind—and often does while I’m still trying to wake up.

Also, the time on the bedside clock is an inside joke. Whenever we see that time on a clock, we always yell, “BOB O’CLOCK!” because “8:08” looks a lot like “B:OB” (more so on some clocks, like this one, than others).

Complete aside: We both wear boxers, not briefs, but this book-making app didn’t have boxers in their “clothing” selection.

Page 6
Each month, Bob picks up our prescriptions from the pharmacy and refills our pill dispensers from the pharmacy bottles for the next week.

Even though we each take our prescribed amount of pills each day, never missing any, they never come out even at the end of the month.

It boggles our mind and exasperates us each month.

Page 7
As part of an addition we put on our house in 2016, we added a wet bar in our dining area and a utility sink in our laundry room.

Often, I say how much I love the bar, and Bob says how much he loves the sink.

Page 8
We bought this one-time, impulse shopping item—a lid that fits on top of a soda can and covers the hole there to keep bees out, which we thought would be good for when we’re sitting out on the deck with a soft drink.

This exchange often happens whenever we use one, which has always been indoors where there’s no chance of a bee ever being.

Page 9
I don’t have any interest in—or knowledge about—gardening (flowers or food), but Bob loves to do it, and he knows a lot about it.

On the rare occasion (I think it’s happened twice in 5 years) that he asks me if I would run outside and pick a small amount of an herb to use in cooking, I do it with trepidation just hoping I’ll be able to find where it is in the yard and then recognize which herb is which.

Page 10
Bob is a movie connoisseur, and I’m a voracious reader.

For each movie and book we watch and read, respectively, we write “a 10×6” (a 10-word summary and a 6-word review) about it and then share it with each other.

Some of Bob’s movie 10x6es.

Some of John’s book 10x6es.

Page 11
One of our very favorite games is Catch Phrase. We just love it. We have 3 versions of the game, and we play—just the two of us—fairly often. An hour will easily fly by while we’re doing so.

There are a couple of clues we give from which only a gay guy would get the answer. The exchange depicted here is one of them.

Another one is:
Clue: “One of the most important exhibits in the Smithsonian.
Answer: “The First Ladies’ Dresses collection.”

Page 12
After one of us says a pun, we’ll both purposefully laugh in this same, loud, exaggerated manner as if it’s the funniest thing we’ve ever heard.

Well, one time we had a friend over when we did that, and she looked at us bug-eyed and said, “You two even laugh alike!”

This just cracked us up, because she didn’t realize we were doing our exaggerated “punny” laugh and that we don’t laugh like that all the time.

Page 13
Daily, we do the USA Today Crossword puzzle online, which has a theme to it. We always try to beat our time record (highlighted in red, see our current record), and then we identify the theme responses (highlighted in green, see an example of these).

Once, we read an article about the main puzzle editor, Erik Agard, committing to bring more diversity to the puzzle, in both its clues and answers, so now we look through the answers and clues to identify ones that refer or allude to women, people of color, GLBT people, and other traditionally under-represented groups.

Page 14
There are 2 things about this one:

1) We almost never say each other’s name when we talk to each other, and every once in a while when one of us does, the other person always does the same in response.

2) Occasionally, we’ll find ourselves saying something louder the second time if the other person didn’t seem to know the answer or understand it the first time, and then we crack up about it.

Page 15
Bob and I have both seen the Grand Canyon (although not together), and both of us felt the same way about it, which is that we felt obligated to look at it longer than we would have on our own because “people can just look at it for hours.”

Well, not us. We’ve decided that 10 minutes is plenty of time to look at anything.

Now, after looking at anything famous—or that other people might look at much longer—after a minute or two, one of us will say this.

Page 16
There are 2 things about this one:

1) A high percentage of the time that Bob sees himself in a picture, he’ll note that he still has that shirt or those shorts, or whatever.

2) Whenever we see someone wearing some piece of clothing with a camouflage pattern, we’ll pretend like we can’t see it.

Page 17
Once or twice before COVID, Bob cut my hair, and it was fine, but I preferred to go to Great Clips (with my $9.99 coupon) to get it cut. Well, since March [2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic], he’s been cutting it all the time at home.

He seems to enjoy doing it, in spite of my trepidation and being kind of particular about my coiffure.

Page 18
2 things in this one, too:

1) Every once in a while, Bob will (knowingly) go on and on, further refining details about something like Hank Kimball used to do on Green Acres, a 1965-1971 sitcom of which we own all 170 episodes.

2) And sometimes when either one of us has been talking for a while, particularly when the other has started to leave the room, or is already in the other room, we’ll yell, “Are you still talking?”

Page 19
This alludes to something that happened before we were married, but we refer to it often, because it was so funny at the time—and this anniversary salute wouldn’t be complete without Frances & Vincent being in it.

We drove up to Battle Creek so I could meet a lot of Bob’s family. On the last night, we’d gone to bed at about 8:30, because we wanted to get up very early (like 4 a.m.) and get on the road. But, I woke up at about 11:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep.

I whispered over to Bob to see if he was also awake, and he was, so we got up and left right then for our 12-hour drive back to Raleigh.

Page 20
Whenever anyone says (and people say it a lot):

“Can you believe it’s been [x] years since…,”

we always say, “Was it [x-1] years last year?”

Because if it was, then we can believe it’s [x] years this year, because that’s how years work!

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13 thoughts on “Idyllic Gay Living book backstories”

  1. I love how fussy you make yourselves seem as cartoon characters, but when you host in your real-life lovely house, all the apparent fuss you make behind the scenes when no others are around makes it seem that you are among the most laid-back of laid-back people when others visit, which is lovely.

    Also, #15 about the Grand Canyon made me recall a moment that David Chase, his husband Gerard Cortinez, and Pat (my wife) still tease me about: We were hoping to see a couple of world-wonders during a single afternoon of our Southwest road trip some years ago. I drive us up to the booth at the Petrified Forest and ask, “What can we see in like 10 minutes? We’re in a massive hurry.”

    • Thank you for sharing that insight about our hosting, Sarah! It’s a classic example of things you can never know about how others perceive you unless they tell you. It’s such a gift, and I appreciate you for sharing it. ♥

      Such a coincidence that I was searching for a (different) photo on my Facebook timeline, and just came across this one taken during the time you allude to in your comment!

      Too funny about the massive hurry comment, which of course, totally resonates with me!


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