Featured in our May/June PRIDE Issue!

It’s getting warmer outside. The sand is beautiful; the water is calling my name. Swimsuit season is here. Great!

Just a few years ago when I was still in my twenties, I looked forward to this time of year. What I really looked forward to was showing off my body in AussieBum’s latest and greatest. Now, since I passed the big 3.0-mark I tend to look forward to gay ski weeks’ après ski hotties over the boys of summer.

The reason I bring all of this up isn’t just the impending hot weather. It’s because I have a date with a surfer. I know, it sounds hot. In reality, I’m freaking out. My body hasn’t seen any sunlight in four months, I forfeited my gym membership and my last lap was around the casino buffet. I’m not being hard on myself, just realistic.

I’ve got eight days to turn my thirty-something sun deprived body into a surfer’s dream date. The first thing I will do is call my girlfriend, Pepper. We all have a Pepper in our lives, right? She was cute, lots of fun and liked the same things I did so I dated Pepper briefly until she wanted to kiss me. Let’s just say that didn’t work out.

I know what Pepper will say. She’ll tell me I look great. She’ll tell me to just be myself. Then she will ask me why the hell I’d accept a date invitation right after I had indulged in eggnog and Christmas cookies for a whole month (maybe more).

She definitely won’t sugar coat it for me. In fact, she will tell me to get my fat behind to the gym and work out for eight days straight. Then she’ll tell me get a spray tan and put on a double layer of Spanx garments. Can you envision what I’d look like? I’d be the only guy at the beach in Spanx and full body wetsuit looking like a rubber toothpaste tube squeezed in the middle. No thank you, Pepper.

I could call Mom, of course. Moms always want the best for their sons. My mom would tell me to relax and just have a good time. She’d say if my surfer date was worthwhile, he wouldn’t notice my bloated midsection. She’d have me in a tank top and board shorts faster than I could say “catch a wave.” Probably with knee-high gym socks, too. What a vision! Now that I think more about it, I’ll just act like I called Mom and save myself an hour-plus of listening (yeah, I said an hour-plus).

Or maybe I should ask my friend Josh. Josh has a great body, beautiful eyes, sparkling white teeth and perfect hair. He would first stroke my ego, pump me up and then inadvertently, I hope, find a way to say something like “even if I looked like you, I would still wear Speedos.” I’ve decided I will just save myself that low blow.

OK, so I learned something from Pepper; I should just be myself. Mom taught me that I should just relax and enjoy myself. Josh didn’t really teach me anything.

Maybe I’ll call my surfer date and tell him I feel a cold coming on but I know I’ll be better by September, maybe even October.

By Ryan O’Connor