Photos by Photo Pink
Well, this is quite a story (and it’s mostly true), so if you are easily offended, you might just take a look at our photos and be done with it. One Saturday evening in November, many, many years ago, two boys met in a bar on the dance floor of Roscoe’s in Chicago. This is all pre JDate, Match, eHarmony, OkCupid, and all of that nonsense, as the internet had barely even been invented.
This meeting was done the old-fashioned way: in person and without the help of an iPhone. It is amazing they even met; the odds were against them. Barry had flown to Chicago from Grand Forks, North Dakota to attend an international education conference. Several of his friends were in town as well (Krista from Norway, Jo from Scotland, Lisa and John from North Dakota, and Harlan from Minnesota). Tim had arrived a few weeks earlier from New York City (where he was attending medical school) to do a month-long rotation with Cook County General Hospital (where the series ER was set), and he was staying with his friend Jennifer.
That evening, Barry had dinner with Jo and Lisa at the Coq d’Or in the Drake Hotel before hailing a cab to Roscoe’s for a bit of dancing and carrying on. While dancing to Madonna’s ”Die Another Day” — vodka somethings in hand — a large-breasted lesbian and two of her gay sidekicks began dancing next to them. Unbeknownst to the lesbian, Jo was happily married to big hunky Mitch, and not knowing this, the lesbian bent down to give Jo a big wet kiss on the lips. Jo, being caught off guard, screamed in her thickest Scottish brogue (barely understandable), “I’m married!” The lesbian and sidekicks then ran off the dance floor, offended. Jo turned to Barry and said, “I have to go make this right.” And off she went.
While all of this was happening, big hunky Tim (an athlete his entire life) had started dancing with the group. Barry asked him, “Are you with the large-breasted lesbian?”
He timidly shook his head no and continued sipping his Heineken, averting his eyes and giggling like a geisha.
After the failed kiss catastrophe happened, and Jo and the lesbian trotted off the dance floor, Tim and Barry continued chatting and dancing. Soon Jo returned, confessing that she had just had an altercation with a drag queen (she had a chipped tooth and missing pinky toenail — unfortunately for Jo, she had found the wrong end of a size 14 stiletto), and she said, “I’m going back to the hotel to nurse my wounds!” Tim and Barry continued dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Tim, always being hungry, then suggested they go to an all-night diner and have breakfast. Tim had two breakfasts that evening; Barry was so nervous and awestruck by Tim, he could hardly have a bit of fruit tea. Upon Tim finishing his seventh meal of the day, they both got in a cab. Tim was dropped at Jennifer’s place, and the cab continued on to drop Barry at his hotel. However, before the two parted ways, phone numbers were exchanged...and the rest is history.
This article originally appeared in Volume Two of Catalyst Wedding Magazine.
Barry lives and works in New York, NY. He enjoys scandalizing friends and family with an annual irreverent holiday letter, as well as officiating the occasional marriage ceremony for close friends.