July 19, 2006
A Tale Of Two Dances
Along with suntanning on the sumptuous white beaches, debating which local farm stand has the tastiest tomatoes and getting a good VISA workout from village boutique shopping, one of the reasons singles love to come to the Hamptons is to engage in the romance dance, hoping to find another successful, sophisticated mate to share in the above listed and other after-dark activities.
At a certain age, hope can wane in finding a mate who is truly available and arrives without enough baggage to crush even a seasoned skycap. While dating divas and debonair Don Juans may prefer to keep their good lovin' options open, many others yearn for depth and intimacy to create a bond to fortify them in the category 5 storm we call life. A hefty supply of bottled water and batteries aside (which every smart single girl has anyway), we want to create a safe haven to protect us from harm.
At two fundraisers last Saturday in the Hamptons prime social season, the desire was alive and well and pulsating through tents across town. The Empire State Pride Agenda hosted its annual Tea Dance with over 1,000 supporters playing in the field. While the straight population still joins in the fun (I'm told my ruffles and lace give me away every year) it is a strong gay and lesbian community, members of whom arrive in their RL best to meet and greet and contribute funds to the organization which is dedicated to the rights of them as individuals and as families.
You don't have to be gay to understand that the modern notion of a family is not necessarily nuclear any more. The roles of provider and homemaker are almost always cross-pollinated, and the stork is racking up loads of international frequent flyer miles.
I often wonder if it's easier to get along with a member of the same sex because of the male Mars v. female Venus intergalactic struggle. But you may feel better to know that love is still love and personalities can either clash or meld no matter which side of the polo field fence you're on. Even living in 2006 there are certain prejudices that still exist and despite the fact that the straight population (and more than a few politicians) are willing to abandon their own marriages, they don't want gay people to form their own.
Across Montauk Highway and under the big top in Southampton, the swirling sea of well-dressed guests at the Parrish Art Museum Midsummer 10 party was chock full of good catches. While many of these thirty and even forty-something singletons may not previously have had the desire to "settle down" (when are we going to come up with better semantics for the joys of a committed relationship?) they now believe finding "the one" holds more value than a palm pilot full of potentials. No wonder guests even fly in from Europe for this crème de la crème of DNA combinations. Many have achieved career success in business or the arts and find themselves looking for another sort of fulfillment.
Surprisingly, even those with the whole package of looks, smarts and success have not yet found their Mr. or Ms. Right. In speaking with one handsome perennial bachelor whom I assumed would have been snatched up long ago, I discovered it is this very problem of where to meet someone, especially if you spend more time literally fishing, which led friends to bring him to this event.
So no matter which tent you're under, the key it seems is not to sit it out — but to dance.
But can someone still explain to me where the tea is supposed to come in?
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