Friday, October 29, 2010

if you say so...

Whether they are surreptitiously lurking to scare me and witness my pathetic self defense tactics and scary movie slut screams or using intellectual tactics to make me feel stupid, for some reason, a lot of my friends get a lot of pleasure out of trickery.

A lot of my friends have made it their short-term life goal to actually get me to watch a scary movie out of sole purpose of seeing me fall apart in a movie theater. The phrase “public spectacle” doesn’t even begin to describe the level of absurdity that my shrieks, tears, and public crapping of my pants would attain. Since I’ve never seen Superman wet his pants and cry in the corner for hours, so this analogy might not work, but scary movies are my kryptonite. So getting me to go to a scary movie or thriller is about as likely as me going on Maury Povich to get the results from a paternity test.

That’s an easy fix. As far as the intellectual trickery, not so. Sometimes it appears that I am completely gullible, and I assure you that it is not some false naiveté front used to come off as adorable clueless. Sure, I have been made to think that I have been pronouncing the word ‘retard’ entirely wrong my entire life. Maybe ‘rah-tard’ is the proper annunciation… My friends got a kick out that one. But my ‘gullibility’ stems directly from my utter disdain of being wrong. So, if you say your car has a certain feature that I have never heard of that seems really pointless/stupid, I will nod along and assume you are correct. The only alternative is to vehemently argue the contrary only to be caught with the egg on my face when I’m proved wrong.

If anyone has a modicum of credibility and declares anything with enough confidence, I will believe them. There are plenty of friends who have long worn out my trust in anything they say. Seriously, they could walk up to me carrying their own severed arm saying they were just in a car accident, and I would still need to see photographic evidence, a police report, and a certified copy of their medical bill. For the rest or people I don’t know very well, unless it pertains to TV shows I watch, Kelly Clarkson/Taylor Swift, and a myriad of other varied and pointless topics, I will assume you are subject matter experts on anything you tell me.

But, I am a firm believer of “fool me twice, shame on me.” So, you better hope you get a huge laugh because your fooling me will probably be a one trick pony. I will never believe a word you say again... But seriously, do cars have vibrating seats? Because that just seems stupid.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dear Taylor Swift,

Ok, I’m 48-hours into owning/listening to Taylor Swifts third LP, “Speak Now.” Let me just say, I am amazed. Now, I will be the first to say that the Grammy performance was abysmal and I wouldn’t categorize her as the best voice I have ever heard.  But this girl can write. Track after track, I find myself more in love with Taylor. When I listen to her songs, I feel like I’m reading her diary and/or burn book.

I guess that’s just her appeal altogether. Twenty something gays (myself included) and just about every girl who has been dumped, cheated on, or loved a boy who didn’t know she existed, can feel like this famous ‘every’ girl gets their feelings. A lot of my friends who absolutely hate her will agree that she is a talented song writer and believe she should just be a professional lyricist, but the fact that she is singing such personal/revealing words makes you know the music is genuine. Even her contemporaries like Carrie Underwood (who has an enchanting/powerful/unexplainable vocal talent), has dabbled in song writing. However, you wouldn’t know it, because they lack the depth and personal rawness that Swift weaves into every phrase.

Anyway, “Speak Now” serves as the ultimate transition album. Much like Britney Spears’s “Britney” album, Taylor is still very much a young girl who is taking her first steps into adulthood. She’s left behind songs about fairytales and high school crushes. She’s grown lyrically and developed music that older, more mature audiences (myself NOT included) can somewhat relate to while still staying true to her unrefined signature sound that is her appeal. All of this, and she didn’t even have to dance with a boa around her neck or get her face licked by a back-up dancer.

For anyone on the fence about getting this album, hop off and get on the greener grass where I am sprawled out with a bottle of wine and my iPod on repeat. “Speak Now” has her classic ‘gotcha’ songs (“Better Than Revenge” and “Mean”), whimsical tales of falling in love reminiscent of some of her younger work (“Enchanted”), and tracks with a new sound that show a lot of growth (“Haunted” ). For all the emotional cutters out there, Taylor never fails to deliver the anguish (“Back To December” and “Last Kiss”).

There is no debate. I love Taylor Swift. But I have to come up with a way to really piss her off and get her curls in a wad so she can write a song about me… I know! I’ll spread an Interweb rumor that she is a direct descendent of Adolf Hitler who controls the weather and wrote the screenplay for “Glitter.” I bet she calls the song “Gaysian Blogger Done Me Wrong (Oh, Oh, Oh).”

UPDATE: I just read (a little behind) that she was named Entertainment Weekly's Entertainer of the Year!  
Simultaneously proving her talent and that top hats should make a comeback.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Having just written about first impressions, I find it a seamless segue way to how you sometimes really can’t judge a book by its cover. I’ll vaguely allude to people in my office as inspiration+explanation (insplanation? Yes. I like it. Use it. It will catch on). Anyway…

Little old ladies are supposed to be adorable, moderately cranky to the point of being amusing, and pitied to an extent (because they will probably die before you). In a way, you assume they are as sweet as your very own grandmother or the kindly gentlemen in the Werther’s Original commercials of yore. I unfortunately assumed this and let my guard down. There is a woman I work with who looks and sometimes comes off as sweet as homemade apple pie. But underneath that homely façade, she is evil. She is so unpleasant and unfriendly that I don’t want anything to do with her until her retirement party… or possibly her wake.

What of the books that have covers somewhat similar to yours? Case in point: fellow gay at work. You might think that this common ground would serve as a connection that could make us office BFFs… But then I remembered the rainbow is the LGBT flag because it represents all of the differences prevalent in this community. Some of us are bright, beautiful and vibrant human beings… while others suck at life. It’s even worse when other office gay thinks that you have some reason to have any sort of conversation just because neither of us can play volleyball Top Gun style. The few times we have even run into each other at some gay bar, I avoid him like the plague.

Finally, the worst of this entirely library… You’ll see this particular coworker, and from a far he looks like a perfectly normal, middle aged man. Then you realize that every time he opens his mouth, somewhere an Amber alert goes off. This is the kind of creepy that makes you feel like a ghost just walked through your body (and touched you inappropriately on the way out). I’m not effing around. This guy makes me want to scour every post office in the Metroplex for his picture, call John Walsh, collect my reward, and then immediately take a Silkwood’s shower. And every time he talks about his ‘wife’ I just picture a dead body in a freezer. Bleck!

While I’m sure the phrase was coined to avoid prejudgment that would deprive you of meeting a really great person who may have an off-putting physical feature or unsteady gait, no one ever warns of the stinker books who happen to have moderately appealing or harmless looking covers. Well, consider this your warning… Also, to add insult to injury, all of these people are inept, not very good workers, and practically unemployable anywhere else.

PS – Use ‘insplanation’ today in a sentence.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

first thing's first.

It has been described as either a fatal flaw or a life-saving defense mechanism. I believe I am a good judge of quality. I may have come across my share of wolves in sheep’s clothing, but for the most part, when I meet people, I can be fairly certain, on first impression alone, if they will be loved or hated.

I don’t think I’m the only person, unless they have been heavily drinking (like “leaning against a wall for standing support” heavily), who always puts his best food forward upon meeting a new people. So, I don’t understand why certain people make such horrible first impressions (like “I wish I could crap my own pants to have a reason to leave” horrible). As far as I’m concerned, your first impression with me is your make or break moment. It’s like on American Idol. You get that one moment to let me send you into the Hollywood of my good graces, or you get zonked and end up on my mental blooper reel of hot messes.

Upon a very rare occasion, I am wrong. Some of my close friends started as enemies and then I slowly realized we had things in common or I was just around them so frequently that forced civility gave way to a friendship. I like to call these people the “leaners.” They lean into you so much and aren’t deliberately mean, so to be outright hateful to them or object to their presence is more energy than to just mildly ignore them when they are around. However, a lot of the time people I immediate hate are put into the category of people I hope our next and only shared experience would be Armageddon.

Meeting someone is like eating an amuse-bouche. If you are less up on culinary jargon or Spanish (which I am certain that phrase is) or you don’t watch Top Chef, an amuse-bouche is a one-bit morsel that is not ordered but chef prepared and sent out as a small preview of the chef’s talent, concept, and skill. Technically, it means “mouth amuser.” Instead of walking into some horrible sexually-charge double entendre, I will simply say that your fist impression is your chance to tell another person “this is why you shouldn’t turn around and walk away forever.”

All that being said, more often than not, I don’t think I make a very good first impression. I am a terribly shy person unless I am in my environment. Like koalas who can’t mate in captivity or something like that… My ‘environment’ is my safety-net of close friends and a cocktail. If you’ve met me ‘in the wild’ I probably am extremely obnoxious, loud, too hyper/ADD, and have a face you just wanna slap. It is NOT pretty. If you happen meet me when I don’t have my back-dancers or at a party where I don’t know more than half of the guests, I am a boring wall-flower who makes lame conversation if any at all.

In conclusion, I will try and work on being more open-minded to people’s bad first impressions. And thank you to anyone who has met me and not turned around and walked away forever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

faith + fairies.

A recent unfortunate experience of a very close friend of mine brought this about. It’s an issue I have struggled with. I was raised in a semi-functional, strong Christian family who have experienced its share of trip-ups and trials. My father is the most amazing minister I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from. My mom lived with a stronger faith and such an intense love of Christ it couldn’t be contained. Their strong conviction of their beliefs served as the perfect worldly example for my siblings and me. Like the faith of a child, when I was younger I embraced my beliefs and the Good Word without question.

I possess a strong faith in my beliefs. But at the same time, I believe in myself: who I am, what I believe, and my personal life-experience-defined boundaries of right and wrong. As I grow older, wiser, and somewhat jaded, I find it harder to balance my faith and my lifestyle. The number one thing that comes between my relationship with God is his more fervent, vocal ‘followers’ who have perverted His teachings and Christianity into the ideology of hate and exclusion.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on anything. I just know my experience and my beliefs. Recently, I have somehow managed to begin rebuilding my faith. Whether subconsciously or with some forethought intent, I had disconnected myself from the church because I chose to believe that the people behind those doors didn’t want me there. I mean, I don’t even like to crash parties to which I’m not formally invited.

You would think the religos and the homos would be able to relate on common ground. We both like to judge, theatrically grand-stand, be exclusive, and dance (that one public access Plano church has the moves)! But on the serious, the religious zealots who protest our parades, preach hate, and subvert the Word are going against everything they claim to believe.

I don’t have the time, energy, or desire to even try to change their minds or have a drunken face-off with one of the grammatically incorrect picketers, rather I’m pleading with those who are or have questioned their faith based on the loud and crazy to reconsider. These people represent a fraction of a much bigger picture. Unfortunately, I find it hard to relate to those of less than ideal situations who might (like Beyonce in Dreamgirls) be at a (religious) crossroads. I have a loving, accepting family that have found room in their hearts for their God and their gay. Their acceptance allowed me to wrestle the demons my sinful life and reconcile them with my faith.

My dad always says (and I do mean always, because he reuses jokes/anecdotes A LOT) “when some people get to Heaven and look around, there will be a lot of surprised faces.” But maybe, I’m wrong and they’re right. If they are and every gay person is going to Hell, it sounds like quite the party!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

peeling the onion.

I probably have as much (or far less) experience in dating as a suburban tween in desperate need of a Pro-Activ refill, but like most things I have opinions on, personal experience or expertise is not always a prerequisite.

My lack of experience is a direct result for my complete disdain for the dating ‘game’ altogether. Like football, as much as I love watching people fumble with their hearts and endure emotional tackle after tackle, I hate playing it and I am really bad at it too. Now, the chase is always fun, the anticipation is moderately entertaining, and if all goes well, once you get to the post-game, facebook official dating phase, that doesn’t suck. But all of the rules are the worst.

The initial dating game is like going to a job interview for a position you don’t even know you want yet. Sometimes first dates are great, and sometimes I just sit and talk about TV because I am utterly bored and starving for conversation. But, once you survive that, and you actually want to see where it may or may not lead, you’re really in the thick of it. Why do I have to wait an obligatory amount of time before 2nd contact or to reply to a text? Why is a text that says ‘have a good day’ considered too nice guy-ish? Why do full-grown young adults reduce dating to a childish back and forth?

I’m not looking to profess my potential love or expect a marriage proposal one date in, but why can’t the game just be a little more straight forward? I wish people could just set aside the procedures and politics of dating, nut up, and just come and say, ‘hi, I think I might like you. Would you like to go on a date?’ Or, ‘that last date was really fun. You are a super neat guy. I would like to continue going on dates with you.’ That old check yes or no song is pretty cheesy but it would be a huge time-saver.

Also, first date stuff. I don’t need a credit report, a background check, or your medical history, but give me more than your job, the fact that you like ‘going out’ on the weekends, or a movie you just saw. A wise woman once said “I just wish people would tell you immediately when you meet them, ‘Hey, I’m so and so. Here’s all the weird stuff about me.’” If you got a speeding ticket a few years ago, maybe keep that to yourself. If you served time in prison, I definitely want to know and if the real thing is anything like Oz. If you have chronic bed wetting, a history of domestic violence, or any other red flags, please feel free to fly them before the appetizer the waiter announces the specials. If you don’t get some of this out in the beginning and then come across a big deal breaker 10 dates in, it turns dating into peeling an onion. You peel away layer after stinky layer until you're just... weeping over the sink.

As for me… Quirks, weird things, and what not, let’s see… I rarely cry in real life, but fall apart during Pixar movies, certain songs, Brothers & Sisters, romantic comedies, and underrated sequels about an elite crime-fighting team backed by an anonymous millionaire. I pop my back. I can be very selfish, but, in my defense, I’m about to celebrate my silver anniversary with myself and that’s one relationship that might always win. I’m stubborn as hell when I know or think I am right about something. Other than all that and my night terrors, I’m perfect.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bon Appétit

No matter what’s going on in my life or how my day has gone, there is always something that more often than not makes me feel good: cooking. I think I might be totally stealing from Julie & Julia, but it is extremely comforting and therapeutic to know that barring some kitchen catastrophe, my effort, time, and energy will produce a delicious finished product.

I’m the kind of person who likes to have all his little ducks in a row. I follow most of the rules of civilized society, always colored inside the lines, and would be overjoyed if I could quantify and plan a majority of the rest of my life. Since that sort of extreme planning usually leads to disappointment and just begs life to throw a curve ball straight at your cup-less crotch, I think I find my anal retentiveness can be fully indulged in my kitchen.

I think my joy of cooking comes from the aspects of my personality I embrace and those I wish I possessed. As previously stated, there is that sense of elation I get from the organized and predictable properties of all recipes. Dough rises, water boils, this spice does that, and that ingredient does this. It’s a beautiful science that yields results if one is disciplined enough to follow direction.

I’m no gourmet culinary artist. I have, on a very rare occasion, whipped up a pretty disappointing entrée. But, for the most part, I would say I am a good cook. However, I am not a very intuitive chef whatsoever. I cut corners where a recipe allows and sometimes adapt recipes I have cooked multiple times, but I lack any sort of creativity or sense of adventure in my cooking. I cannot approach a meal (or many parts of my life) without a clear, thought out plan of attack. I know many people who can dive into their pantry and somehow salvage a delicious meal without cracking open a single cookbook. I have recently tried to venture into ethnic cooking, but the flavors, ingredients, and methods are daunting. I made a Chicken Tikka Masala and was calling the friend who gave me the recipe like a culinary lifeline because I didn’t want to mess it up. It turned out great, but I could have saved myself a lot of stress by making a roast and potatoes.

I suppose a balance of the strict, straight-forward ‘2 cups here, 1 pinch’ there approach and the more carefree ‘let’s see how this plays out’ cooking technique would do my kitchen and my life some good.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Here's an idea: DON'T!

Earlier in the week, I put on my sympathetic shoes and walked daintily through an emotionally charged minefield. I wanted to deliver my opinions with as little disdain and anger as possible. But, apparently, there are still selfish teens out there who refuse to think outside of their own small worlds and really consider the devastating consequences of their actions. I’ve put together a well thought out, straight forward, and poignant ad campaign in response to the senseless string of selfish acts of desperation. Here it goes: “Teenage Suicide – DON’T DO IT!”

It seems everyone in the media is swarming to the defense of these kids. They are demonizing the bullies, the conservative right, religious groups, and pointing the finger at just about everyone but these selfish little snots. I have now lost all sympathy whatsoever and am giving into my anger…

So, personal moment. I learned exactly what the word ‘gay’ meant when I was in 6th grade. I had ‘the feelings’ prior to, and had been teased my whole life about my more effeminate mannerisms/behavior/awesome personality. However, I never knew what ‘gay’ was. When I finally put a name with a face, I highly considered taking my own life and ‘saving’ myself from a future of being different/outcast/ostracized. I would even pray before I went to bed that if I didn’t wake up ‘normal’ I’d rather not wake up at all. It sucked! But, even my pimple-faced, bowl-cut, bigger than average head knew that this was selfish. I loved my family and friends far too much to put them through something far more horrible than the cards I was dealt. Plus, I loved myself far too much to let a perceived weakness/flaw/imperfection undo everything I was and, more importantly, could be.

I survived. Thousands of homosexual individuals (many who grew up in a MUCH less socially accepting climate) survived too. Gay or straight, life is all about surviving. My anger and lack of sympathy actually is being stirred up by two different personally relatable issues. It’s October. This is breast cancer awareness month. You may or may not be aware that a little over a year ago, I lost my mother to her battle with bone cancer that came after 8 years of being in remission from breast cancer. My mom fought tooth and nail to overcome this devastating diagnosis that stood between her and her husband of 30+ years, her 9 grown children (5 of us, 4 via marriage (we’re Lutheran, not insane)), her 7 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. She endured surgeries and treatments best described as agonizing. At no point did she selfishly throw in the towel and take the weak fool’s way out.

You can ignore bullies, transfer schools, seek counseling in the NUMEROUS free 24-hour hotlines, and be embraced by the LGBT community that bands together like the mob. Unfortunately, people fighting terminal illness can’t do any of these things as a viable means of survival. Whether it is cancer, AIDS, or any other disease that comes with its very own 5K race, there are people all over the world who FIGHT for their lives. Sadly, not all of them will win this fight. So, no, I don’t really care that these perfectly healthy teenagers with nothing but their lives in front of them waiting to happen that thought it was just too much.

In conclusion, gay teens, stop killing yourselves! Everyone else, save a life and grab a boob near you!

celebrity soap box.

There are a lot of things in this world that I have a slight (at best) level of knowledge on. Anything that has to do telling time on a traditional clock face, math above basic algebra, and topics deemed ‘appropriate’ work conversation, I have what we’ll call a passing acquaintance. If there is one thing I’m usually 100% sure about, it would be my opinion. I have a personal disdain for any celebrity endorsement or involvement in politics. It makes me want to boycott that artist/actor/reality show star in every way possible. Even as the target demographic being affected by these issues, I still can’t fully support their support…

We live in a country where most of its citizens prefer to jump on celeb bandwagons or leap to the seemingly ‘trendy’ side of current social issues regardless of how uninformed they are or what they truly feel is the right thing. Most people spend about as much time deciding what they ‘believe’ or how they’ll vote as I spend deciding what to order at a BK Drive-Thru. (No brainer! Two Whoppers with everything but cheese.)

I understand that they are trying to be helpful and there quite possibly are some troubled individuals out there who find it helpful to feel as if they have successful celebrities ‘in their corner/closet.’ But, I believe that the voting, informed, and relevant members of society, are turned off by impassioned rhetoric of the Sarah Silvermans or Lady GaGas of pop culture. I know I am. Again, on a level, I quasi-appreciate their support. But, does anybody take Lady GaGa seriously on any topic outside of outrageous head ornaments, overproducing music videos, or using bacon as a fashion statement? I wish some of these more influential organizations would use real people with personal stories to tell to spread their message. Personally, I am more apt to listen and be emotionally affected by the real deals than a celebrity who cannot relate to me in any way whatsoever.

But, since these celebrities will not be reading this blog and will continue to spread their opinions like legs at an OB-GYN, I am pleading for them to be do it right.

1) Please stop bashing conservative/religious groups and blaming them solely for these issues. Sure, there is a negative vibe coming from the right, but it’s the extreme end. And we all know the extreme end of any spectrum is as crazy as they are loud. You are alienating an entire voting base that, if you played your cards right and spoke like an intelligent individual, might be swayed. Most of America is pretty moderate anyway. PS – it’s not like EVERY single democrat/liberal political figure is out there campaigning against DADT or helping plan my fabulous gay wedding to Astronaut Mike Dexter.

2) STOP SWEARING. I’ve already seen a couple videos where celebrities have posted up in front of their webcams and thought they can be influential by using profane language. It’s a turn off and it only further validates your lack of intellect. I don’t remember Martin Luther King, Jr. saying “I had a m***** f***ing dream!” Keep it clean, and people might listen and not just hear you.

3) Have and maintain a track record of support for these issues you so fervently speak for. Show me that you did more than have your publicist release a statement or pick an opportune time to be in the spotlight. If you can’t do more than offer temporary lip service for an issue, I think you’re just pandering to your fans. Most celebrities’ endorsements for issues are trendy at best. They get on their soap boxes for whatever issue is hot or most controversial, then selfishly withdraw until the next national issue, natural disaster, or disease gets attention so they can hitch their star to it.

Unfortunately, our country has become a field of mindless automatons who vote for whomever Oprah endorses, buys whatever Steve Jobs markets as the second coming of Christ, and read more periodicals concerned with what celebrities are wearing/doing than relevant current events. If these YouTube videos, blogs, or tweets lead to actual positive social change, then I guess we all win. But, I can’t swallow the thought that this change came about by mere sheep following a lost shepherd.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's your party, and I'll cry if I want to.

So, if it weren’t enough to have Halloween, my very own birthday, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Columbus Day all in one season, a lot of my friends’ birthdays seem to be in the fall and run strong through the early winter. Since this season is quickly coming upon us, I thought I would shoot my mouth off about one thing I absolutely despise about this time of year...

So, you’re social. I get it. I would like to think I am too. You have lots of friends who come connected to other friends and trickle-down acquaintances. You don’t want to leave anyone moderately special out. So, your solution? A big, fun, lavish, loud, busy, nauseating group dinner. I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but I would rather eat a jar of jalapeños with a mouth full of canker sores than sit through a 15+ person dinner. It literally makes me want to take a Xantax with a Patron chaser.

I will NEVER understand why people think these are socially acceptable/productive events. I mean, you can’t possibly get good face time with all of your attendees. You focus on the people sitting around you or make some half-a**-ed attempts at mingling around an already busy table. And my luck, I always get stuck to your ex-boyfriend’s gym partner whose stank breath is the only redeeming quality of his personality. Also, splitting the check requires math skills that would make an Asian girl cry. The other alternative is to make that poor server split up the check 30 ways from hey now.

Can anyone who has hosted one of these monstrosities honestly say you love these dinners? Can you think of any person who doesn’t say they have a big birthday dinner to go to without rolling his/her eyes and/or sighing? In my self-proclaimed correct opinion, no dinner should include more than 6 people, 8 if they are REALLY awesome.

I suggest you forgo your giant dinner, have a quaint dinner with your 5 closest friends and throw a party for the rest of your loyal fans. If you don’t want to host a party, have a happy hour, pick a night you and your friends all go to a bar y’all never go to, or pretty much anything that isn’t a group dinner that rivals the Last Supper. I think social engagements require a bit of discrimination. It’s great to have a lot of friends and no one likes to be a social butterfly more than me. However, unless you are throwing a lock-up-your-husbands blow out of a party, it is not necessary to invite every single person you know.

Intimate engagements are much more enjoyable anyway. Also, the idea of a obligation invite makes my stomach turn. My rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t hang out with the person one on one ever, don’t feel bad for not inviting them to a party you’re hosting. And if you’re not invited to a social event, who cares? I would like to think we’re all grownups and losing any sleep over or being personally offended by not being included in something will just lead to a lonely, bitter, and early death.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dark Cloud Dossier.

One of the most annoying and painfully effective defense mechanisms I possess is passive aggressiveness. I’m not particularly proud of this, but it is the one and only constructive ways I know how to approach animosity. I guess I’m writing this as a “How-to deal with John Boerger’s evil twin” mini-manual and/or tri-fold brochure. So, like a Gilmore Girls Marathon and a KFC 7 PC bucket (preferably legs and thighs), let’s dive in!

Passive aggression might not be the most accurate way to define my behavior/coping device. But, it probably appears that way. I get quiet, sulky, and withdrawn (usually classic signs of a passive aggressive behavior). I don’t know what to label this, but it’s not a pretty picture or pleasant to be around. There are just a few things that someone needs to know when witnessing this behavior, a 12-step program, if you will (or however many steps I can think of…)

1.) I am pissed, borderline seething. A dark cloud has loomed over my otherwise sunny and annoying personality, and I’m bringing the rain.

2.) There is probably/absolutely nothing anyone can do to snap me out of it. Whether it takes an hour or a week, this just has to run its course.

3.) I’m not just sulking. I’m thinking, evaluating, and rationalizing. Unlike just about ANY other moment in my life, I’m actually trying to think before I speak.

4.) Best course of action? Ignore me. And by ignore, I mean completely forget. Approaching me first is borderline dangerous and discussing it amongst yourselves in my earshot/eye line is just tacky.

5.) Don’t be upset or personally offended that I don’t immediately want to glaze over this situation, argument, or bad mood. Chances are, I’m not precisely mad at you. I just need space and time to think.

6.) Finally, if and when I come to you, the issue WILL be discussed and hopefully a peaceful resolution can be reached. Please don’t act like time alone heals all wounds, I might not have wanted to do it immediately, but we are gonna hammer this out.

This isn’t the best or most efficient way to deal with stuff, but it’s the only way I know how to not be EXTREMLEY aggressive. Unlike people who tackle emotionally charged situations while the paint is still wet, I am trying to avoid emotional/irrational/hurtful outbursts. Too many people go in with guns-a-blazin, and end up, more often than not, shooting themselves in the foot. I’m not repressing or ignoring my anger, I am simply organizing it and trying to pull as much unnecessary emotion/anger out of the thought process. That way, I can speak with a level head and far less swearing. I’m usually more easily understood because I can focus on staying out of my head voice. If all goes as planned, I can hopefully come out the trenches with my dignity/integrity intact, and best case scenario, win the fight.

Believe me, this is NOT quasi-psychological self assessment. I took a lot of psychology classes in college. OK… I took the SAME class A LOT of times…

Friday, October 1, 2010

the OTHER way out.

I’m trying to write this as tactfully as possible. I would like to be sensitive but still be able to express the emotions I’m feeling to the necessary extent. I’m confidently certain, I might not be agreed with by many and the overall message I’m trying to convey might not be received well. A recent string of tragedies have lit up the news cycle. My heart breaks for the friends and families of these four individuals and, to a certain extent, I acknowledge the need to address the epidemic that has become bullying in our country.

I’m upset. I’m upset with the shallow, close-minded, and immature bullies out there who made these teens feel like sub-human, outcasts who were put on this Earth to be their emotional punching bags. I’m upset that our society still likes to imbue this innate idea in every generation’s mind that being gay (or different in any way) is justification for ostracism. However, more than just about anything else, I’m upset with the victims who took such drastic, selfish, and insane measures.

Suicide is probably the worst thing that a person could do. It’s worse than bullying. Sure, you’re not getting your jollies whittling down the self-esteem of your peers, but you’re tearing apart your family and friends while depriving yourself of a future worth so much more than a period of unnecessarily cruel growing pains. Everyone gets bullied, and on a much more relevant level, every single person goes through extremely emotional and tragic events in their lives. Believe me, I wouldn’t be here writing this if I let every comment on the playground about my race and/or sexual orientation drive me to suicide. I wouldn’t have made it to the 7th grade actually. But my adolescent emotional trauma aside, if you can survive your teenage years, it only gets worse…

That’s right. Life is hard. A lot of the time, life just plain sucks. Pick up a newspaper. People all over the nation are either unemployed or underemployed and trying to scrape by with families with the bare essentials in order to survive this horrible economic climate. Countless others’ lives have become a literal battle against cancer, and not all of them win this battle. But they fought it all they could and didn’t give up. I have personally felt the loss of this horrible disease, and it they were and occasionally are the worst months, days, and moments of my life. Whether it is a car accident, a terminal illness, or at the hands of a deranged murderer, too many people get their lives taken from them by no fault of their own. But, these people didn’t throw in the towel and end their lives on their own selfish terms.

So, if there is anyone out there who is debating on whether or not they should take their own life please find a resource, talk to someone, count all the blessings you do have in your life, and, I can’t stress this enough, toughen up! There are more resources, advocates, and support groups out there. You don’t have to feel invisible, isolated, and hopeless. And if none of those things work out for you, by all means do it now while the stakes aren’t as high, because you clearly aren’t ready for the s***-storm that can and will be ‘life.’ And that life doesn’t care if you can handle unemployment, cancer, a death of a loved one, or any other tragedy, it will just happen.

I’m not sure what this will accomplish other than a good outlet for my frustration… But, if I could offer any advice on dealing with a bullying, it would be “don’t get even, get better.” I am 100%, verifiably, without a doubt in my mind, confidently sure that I am BETTER than any and every low-brow, low-rent, low-life that thought I defined my self-worth by what he or she thought of me.