In this, our second guest post, Vincent shares some deep thoughts, and recollections, about what Valentines Day really means to him. Enjoy!
MLB VALENTINES GUIDE: THE “HE” CONSIDERS “HIM” EDIT
When Ryan asked me to prepare a post for Valentine’s Day, I immediately said yes. And almost instantly realized it was a bad decision. For both him and I. For him, first, because the post was originally to deal with issues of beauty, grooming and other men’s care products – a range of items about which, I must shamefully confess, I am far from being an expert on; unlike my dear friend.
Therefore, the post could only be a disappointment to him. And to me as well.
Being with the same guy for more than ten years somehow subdues the whole Valentine’s Day euphoria. I thought a nice dinner at a restaurant would do. I hadn’t even thought of buying my husband a present, much less writing a post about it. This was bound to be a disaster!
Needless to say, I felt terrible. For being both a bad friend and a worse husband. I could somehow cope with the first one (Ryan shared half the responsibility for not choosing his guest writer wisely) but the second one really got me down. I’m one of the lucky few gay men who manage to happily live a lifelong, committed, healthy relationship with another guy; which in the gay world, is as rare as a good Britney Spears song or a wrinkle on Madonna’s face. It might not even exist. This then, is surely a thing to celebrate on Valentine’s Day! It may even be deserving enough of making every day Valentine’s Day!
So I put my head to it. I needed to find a gift. And as with any gift, I wanted it to be meaningful. I thought about Valentine’s Day, and the love we celebrate on that day. In particular, how lucky I was to have found love in the arms of a young, handsome Venezuelan. I remembered how we met; we were co-workers; how subtly our bromance turned into a romance. I remembered too our first kiss. I had never kissed a man before, and to be honest, it was an experience. You start by feeling very tense and very excited, and then, when caught up in the action, you can’t help noticing things you hadn’t expected of your first kiss. Like, for instance, how his skin, shaved in the morning, burns your cheeks. Or how penetrating the smell of his fragrance is, the smell of a man’s fragrance.
Understand that, when you are in your twenties, and have only made out with girls, you’re used to the girly smell of a kiss, the rush of rose, jasmine and peach. It’s very sweet and naïve. But with a guy, it’s a totally different reality. It smells strong and it feels manly; it’s both fresh and empowering and for every breath you take of this masculine musk, there is the promise that somebody will be by your side, somebody who will take care of you.
The smell of his perfume lasted much longer than our first kiss. It remained in my head for hours, and to this day, ten years on, each time I come across that same fragrance on someone else, an imperceptible smile lights up my face.
These and many other thoughts crossed my mind while preparing this post. And then I realized that I had the perfect gift for him.
So, I will be offering him the perfume he was wearing when we started going out, Kenzo Homme. This may not be the most original gift, but it is a meaningful one. It holds the memory of those two young, foolish men of ten years ago. It holds the promise he made that day to take care of me in the years to come. And it continues to hold the promise that I will be by his side for as long as I have breath in my body, and Valentine’s gifts to be offered.
Today’s Guest Writer Vincent hails from the east of France, a place of fine wines and renowned gastronomy. Vincent and his husband are recent arrivals to South African shores. Vincent works in financial services for a multi-national company by day, and writes for his blog A Brand New Sky by night. The blog seeks to explore and explain South Africa, in all its uniqueness, to non-South Africans.