When the one that got away is David Sedaris

david Sedaris inscription

In 2002, I took my girlfriend to the San Francisco Opera House to hear David Sedaris read his latest material. As a long time Sedaris fan, I was shocked my new girlfriend, a confirmed member of San Francisco’s Gay-Quada, knew nothing of gay icon Sedaris. I wanted to squeal like David “Really?!”

This from a woman who can explain in-depth the differences between cubs and otters in the gay’s subculture of bears, yet she knew nothing of Sedaris? Where was she from Sweden? Well actually yes. So I was thrilled to introduce her to Sedaris and actually did so in the flesh at his post show book signing. When my turn arrived I ran to the table before I could begin my rabble, David looked me up and down and

said “Well HelLO!”

Ignoring the comment, I jumped in going on rapidly about how my dad loved his Santa’s helper at Macy’s story. Then I began to process two realities, first David was not connecting with his own story- the one that put him on the map in the US- and second I think I was just coveted by David Sedaris.Suddenly my ego engorged I thought me, coveted by David Sedaris? Me? I was no Hugh, Grant or otherwise. Is this how Monica Lewinsky felt when she met Bill Clinton? What if David slid me his hotel room key? I suddenly heard myself uttering the phrase use by the Republican Party in the 80s to explain away wrongdoings

“Things happened.”

I don’t know what kind of things might actually happen exactly but who cares, I think David likes me!!!

Then my girlfriend popped her head around my broad muscular yet sensitive shoulders (I’m imagining this is David’s internal monologue)

”Who’s this?” He said flatly.

“Oh my girlfriend”

“What’s her name?”

“Kajsa” ( pronounced Kai sa) , she said smiling.

David curled his eyebrow then asked, “Kajsa, what kind of name is that?”


“SWEDISH!” he cried and I realized she knew that he knew that she was in the Gay-Quada.

Then he did as any gay man does upon meeting my now wife he ‘connected’ with her. The scene began to blur as I accepted that I’d lost my dream man David Sedaris to my dream women Kajsa Hallberg. As they performed a gay Vulcan mind meld I looked down at the book Mr. Sedaris signed for my dad with the inscription ‘Your son enchanted me!’ Yes, enchanted  as in past tense, I thought, Things happen. Before they exchanged e-mails or planned a getaway in Palm Springs I took her by the hand and said, “Nice to meet you, we’ve got to go.”

I then walked away from the one who got away David Sedaris and took the one he almost got away with, Kajsa Hallberg out the doors of San Francisco’s Opera House.

Ten years later, we met him again in Sweden  at the Lund Humor Festival. After his reading we approached his book signing table and I opened with “David we met you 10 years ago in San Francisco.”

“Yes of course I remember you.” He sarcastically yet kindly replied. We all laughed and I thought


For David Sedaris’s article which inspired this click here.



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