Gay 'marriage' cards
While our arbiters of style may consist of a disproportionately large number of gays, there’s nothing quite as hideous as the ‘creativity’ displayed by someone who wants to flaunt his style under the horrible misconception that it’s tasteful/adventurous/avante garde/interesting/etc whereas it’s kitsch (in a bad way) or just plain awful.
I shudder when I think of waking up in the chintz-festooned (synthetic fabric, of course) and pillow-laden four-poster bed that dominated the tiny ex council house of some man I’d found attractive the night before. That was on the outskirts of Newcastle. The thought of waking up surrounded by hundreds of porcelain figurines of Disney characters in Epsom isn’t something I feel the need to do again. Then there was Cape Town anaesthetist who had too much money – everything seemed to be orange and brown (this was before the retro seventies look came back into favour) and a preponderance of over-large furniture in leather made me wonder if I’d had sex in a furniture showroom. While not really a fan of minimalism, it has the advantage of reducing the number of cardinal style sins that can be committed in a small, confined space.
I won’t get on to dress sense apart from mentioning how much more common it is to think of ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’ when in the company of older gay men than it is amongst older straight people.
Weddings are the perfect vehicle for the worst in kitsch bad taste being glorified to an embarrassing extent in public. So when it comes to gay ‘weddings’, you just know that there are going to be some spectacular explosions of bad taste. But does this have to extend to gay wedding cards as well?
Strolling around Manchester on Sunday, James wanted to visit Clonezone (WARNING: not office safe!!) to buy a few things like music (yeah, right!) and look at their cards with Mike and Kevin in mind. I decided to tag along as I needed to buy some fags. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! I don’t make a habit of wandering around porn shops but whenever I do, I’m always amazed by the bizarre array of gadgets and devices that allegedly heighten the sexual experience. What do those strings of red balls do? Why would you want to stick an electrode up your arse? Do people actually use those 18 inch dildos or are they implements of torture?
It felt as if my eyes were out on stalks but I think that may have had more to do with the class A after effects than any assault on my innocent sensibilities. I did, however, like the idea of the ‘mould a dildo from your own cock’ kits. I can think of someone in particular that I’d like to give that to. The kit, not the result. Maybe both, actually. Anyway, moving swiftly on…
There was a large array of cards, mostly of muscle men with unfeasibly large dicks, against one wall. Hiding away in the corner, much like a blushing bride, were the civil union cards. They had every right to blush - some were coy, some twee, and some were stereotypically very pink.
There is nothing inherently wrong with pink (it can look good on the right person and in the right context) and the pink triangle has a very admirable history but I do sometimes wish that pink wasn’t the colour associated with all things gay. It seems to be the colour most prone to being accused of being kitsch or being used in the kitschest way possible. Perhaps that’s Barbie’s fault? But, I digress - back to the cards…
Even though they all tried to look understated and tasteful, most of them managed to stumble into the realms of the seriously kitsch. And all of them presumed ‘new love’ whereas many civil unions are between men who are very devoted to each other but who have been together for many years beyond their seven-year itches. While many straight people will live together for many years before legalising their bond they do that out of personal choice. I don't know if cards for that specific type (delayed legalisation) of union exist. Probably not. Or, if they do, they're probably ironic or tongue-in-cheek. However, the legalising of gay partnerships that have existed for many years owing to the illegality of such unions is unique amongst the ways in which partnerships have been legalised until now. Not having a straight equivalent, I wonder if anyone has designed cards more appropriate to such unions? Cards for that sort of union have never been necessary in the straight world so possibly not. I’m sure someone, somewhere, has produced cards appropriate for this type of union?
I’ve got two cards to get before the end of the week. Both for couples who’ve been together for a rather long time. I suspect that whatever cards I get, I won’t be entirely satisfied with them.
This selection of cards includes some acceptable ones amongst the sort that don't make me want to rush out and stock up on them.