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Glove Love

I know what people say, awright? I've been called limp-wristed ever since I started this relationship, an' ya know what? I'd pop the bird at 'em, if I had enough digits.

Sure, it ain't been easy. I mean, I'm an ovenmitt--backyard barbeques, Mom takin' potroast an' apple pie outta the oven on Sunday, Gran'ma carryin' in the roast turkey on Thanksgivin'... My roots are about as middle-America as ya can get. My Mom, lovely little kitchenmitt--gingham print--useta talk about lookin' forward to when I'd bring home some nice girl, and start poppin' out mittens.

It isn't like I didn't try. I dated--I dated all kinds. There was that uptown opera glove. White satin, yowza. It didn't bother me that she was so much taller (I mean, c'mon--elbow length?). What bothered me was that she was snooty and pretentious. She said my Mom's scalloped lace trim was 'sweet', but boy, her tone! There was the rubber glove--a nice, blue collar girl my Dad--the 'Grill King' barbecuemitt--could really relate to. She was a good kid, but she figured out what was going on with me long before my family did. She married a workglove, and they're happy. Mom really liked the kid glove I dated for awhile. We met in church. Talk about demure--one little pearl button at the wrist. It didn't work. She was a right--so far to the right she made most conservatives look like Abby Hoffman.

Then there was that latex glove. Neither Mom nor Dad ever warmed up to her, though Mom did say she thought it was nice that she was in the nursing profession--such a clean, respectable career. *snort* If only she knew. That glove was a sports groupie. Catchers' mitts, goalie's mitts, boxing gloves... She did 'em all. She was a size queen, too. She'd started life as a petite, and was an Xlarge by the time we quit dating. It was hinted that not only wasn't I big enough to suit her, I was too soft. Fabric can't compete with leather, I guess.

By the time we quit, I had realized something about myself. I knew that I was bi--with a heavy leaning toward gay. We never really discussed it at home, but my folks figured it out. Mom quit trying to set me up with 'the darling little fingerless mitt who used to work for Madonna'. My Dad actually started talking to me about 'a real nice young gardening glove' he met, who seemed to be at loose ends. I love 'em, but who wants to be set up by their parents?

Anyway, I did my exploration bit. I went with dashing racing gloves (damn, it's hot when they have the fingers cut off), rugged work gloves, a few 'bad boy' black leather gloves (though I gotta admit, the gauntlets scared me--I'm not into S and M). I had some good times, but it was all fun and games--never anything serious, ya know? Then I met him.

It was in the Meat Section at a big department store. I'm in the restaurant business... All right, all right--I work the kitchen at Arby's, but I'm important to the work, dammit. And I'm interested in our product. So I was in the butcher section, studying different cuts of meat. Know your material, right? And there he was, studying the Ground Meat section. He was so serious, and looked so irritated. It was like a literati browsing the Remaindered section at a bookstore.

I sort of casually sauntered over, and he spoke first. He pointed at a huge, lumpy pack of pale pink meat and said, "Look at that! Disgraceful. My company recommends a pound of hamburger..." And I recognized him. Of course--the Hamburger Helper glove! Damn, I was standing next to a celebrity! I'd always expected a star to look, y'know, a lot plainer when they didn't have the make-up and special lighting. But there he was, no enhancement, under florescent--which is the harshest illumination in the world next to kleig lights, and he looked fantastic! I'm lucky I didn't just space out, but I still heard him continue, "...but when the consumer cooks that they're going to end up with about nine ounces of meat and the rest water, fat, and gristle! It's shamefull. I bet you could find more nutritious protien in a hot dog, and you know what those are made of."

He knew his meat. It was love at first sight. I agreed, and mentioned something about how hard it was to be sure that we got quality beef in the Arby's, the need to keep our standards up, our dedication to customer satisfaction... Then he smiled at me, and said he knew my work. He knew my work! If I had a bladder, I would have wet myself. Upshot was we left together, went to the nearest Handlebar Restaurant for a few fingers of bourbon and some fingerfood. That was how it started.

We took it slow. We didn't even hold hands till the fourth date. Of course, given our nature, holding hands involves a full-body hug. It was nice. I finally had someone who took my culinary ambitions seriously. No one on staff at Arby's want's to hear my suggestions. Hammy (yeah, that's my pet name for him--but nobody else uses it, get me?) understands. He's the one who pushed for them to include the 'recipes' on the boxes of his product, telling people how to bring a little creativity into they life by stirring mushrooms into the Potato Stroganoff, or waterchestnuts into the Rice Oriental. He's lobbying for them to recommend bacon bits with the Cheeseburger Macaroni. Coming from a fast-food background myself, how can I not support something that will taste like a bacon-cheeseburger?

We live together now. I want to be with him till we're both so old we fall apart, then I want to be with him in that great Rag Bag In the Sky. I love everything about him--his little round nose, his toothbrush-bristle eyebrows, I had a friend once hesitantly point out that he only had three fingers. I responded, "Yeah, and I don't have any feet... or a nose... or ears. Your point is?" Neither one of us is perfect--in the eyes of the world. But to each other... Ah, the eyes of love.

I can hear you out there. "Yeah, ya also got no genitalia! Nyah! How the hell can ya have any kind of sex life, let alone a satisfying one?"

My response? They don't show ya everything on commercial television, pal. And besides...

Ya never heard of hand jobs and fisting?