I wrote last about a regret I have from my past. Today, being what I am, I want to write about a near miss--a regret I don't have.
I was on a business trip in New Orleans, and as is often the case I found myself mesmerized by the amazing looking men all around me. Bourbon Street was a modestly interesting diversion, but my friends knew I was Mormon and assumed I wasn't interested in more. I probably surprised them with my laid back approach to things they were sure I would find offensive. Later in the trip I excused myself from the bar we were in for some fresh air, and I headed to the gay bars at the far end of the street.
I had never been in a gay bar before, and it took some courage to overcome my reservations. But I could see through the door exactly what I wanted at that moment--hot dancers. Long story made short and boring: I went in, I made some friends, I got pretty hot and bothered and ended up a few hours later in line for admission to a so-called "Turkish Bath". I didn't know exactly what was behind those doors, but I knew it would be gratifying, and at this point someone could have brushed me with a feather and made me explode.
After waiting several minutes in line and speaking briefly to the anonymous older man standing near me in line, I realized how out of control (and out of character!) this was for me. Some younger guys came in and took their place behind me in line. I realized that I was attracted to them, and for the first time in my life, here was an immediate opportunity to actually follow through on that attraction.
I walked away. And I told my wife. And life was hell right after that, as you can probably imagine. And now, quite a bit later, I am very happy I had the courage to choose the path I did. I exchanged the long term regret of having gone in, for the lesser and immediate regret of not getting off that night. And the pattern of exchanging gay regrets for family regrets has brokered me quite a good life currently. I have a beautiful little son who I can't get enough of, and an open-minded and brilliant wife who is as understanding as she is hilarious. And for this, I have no regrets.