HIS-tory

Yet, another break-up and you are doing the post-mortem with your girlfriends over wine, cheese cake and cocktails. You ensured that the ‘mixologist’ is someone heavy on the vodka and light on the conscience. And every time you swear this is the last time… but deep down you know that it won’t be. We all do!! Then, tomorrow comes and you are still feeling like a plastic bag just drifting through the wind and you are screaming for a fresh start. And it’s like Cher heard your prayers and out of nowhere your door bell rings, your phone rings, you get an email or text message, you looked over your shoulder while shopping, you get a complementary glass of wine, the elevator door opens and wha-laa in walks ‘HIS-tory’ again to ‘be there for you’.

During high school, I wasn’t too fond of History, but the older I got I find myself approaching ‘HIS-tory’ with a new perspective. ‘HIS-tory’ is that guy who is ‘right for now’, but you just can’t get a relationship working with him – strangely. He comes in ever-so often when you are at your lowest point, helps you ‘get over an ex’, wines and dines you and put another notch in your self-esteem. Rest assured, ‘HIS-tory’ knows exactly what he is doing!

So, here am I coming from work on a dead beat Friday and  heading to the supermarket, and my phone rang. Looked at the number and thought ‘’Damn!’’. So, having drunk all the cocktails possible, ate all the cheese cake and being through post-mortem upon mortem, I think my Doctor would prescribe a little ‘’HIS-tory’’. So, I answered the call and in walked HIS-tory came in my life as fast as a Japanese orgasm (1 minute tops); and I thought to myself, ‘’things are gonna heat up pretty soon’’. Needless to say, within the hour I was sipping on some wine and before mid-night….well, just say I FELT BETTER…..

So, what’s the deal with ‘HIS-tory’? Does he have a radar to know when you are lonely and vulnerable? Is he like a predator that just lies in the dark and wait for us to be ‘available’ and easily devour-able? Or he is just an angle who is sent to help us through a rough patch in our lives and leaves when we are ‘ready’ to move on and re-integrate within society. Or is he a combination of all of the above (if that’s all possible)? Break-ups are awful experiences in our lives and it messes with our self esteem, our self perception, and faith in people. On some level, I am glad ‘HIS-tory’ has that ‘6 sense’ and visits us from time to time, like the tooth fairy; and like the tooth fairy, leaves something under our pillow to help us sleep through out the night while we recoup. There is so much your friends can do; there is so much retail-therapy can do; there is so much a cocktail and clubbing can do to heal the pain of a nasty break-up. Helllllll………who doesn’t like to feel needed? Who doesn’t like the attention? – I do, so I know you do, too.

So, hurry up with that post-mortem of your ex, drink that cocktail, eat an entire cheese cake, go shopping, go clubbing; and wait patiently for ‘HIS-tory’ to ride in on his big white horse to save you once again because you know you like it. But remember, ‘HIS-tory’ has to go back to his wife in the suburbs so never fall for him. LOLOLOLOL…

Die Alone……

As I lazily flip through my Facebook photos, I came upon some shots that I couldn’t recognize. The guy in the shot was absolutely fabulous, corky, was wearing a chic pink-checkered-printed shirt with a denim pant and recently faded out Mohawk haircut. He was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, some would say. He had a striking resemblance to me, but for some reason, it appeared to be a stranger. Hell, it was me for sure. Yester-year: precious times that have flown by so swiftly. It was as if my yester-years were laughing at me, jeering me and reminding me that I am quickly approaching my 30s. The big THREE-O. The point of no return. In the lovely world of the gays, 30s are the same as the 60s in the ‘straight’ world. I then thought to myself, ‘’Where has time gone? Is it that I waited too long to settle down? Is that I found the ‘right’ guy and I let him go?’’ [Then that brought on a whole different tangent of which one of those losers….I meant….exs was the ‘right one’ and if that were the case, what I could do to get back the ‘right one’. But then my Fag-hag called with yet another dilemma and interrupted my thought. Fag-hags always trumps day-dreaming!] Anyhooo, these serious questions continued to flood my mind as I thought of all the dates, the blind dates, the ‘’online dating’’, the guys I met at parties and clubs, the young guys, the older guys, all kinds, colors and creeds (except a Jew) …. [wait again, I hope I am not painting a bad picture of my repertoire.. ]

But don’t be fooled, these are the questions that a lot of persons have unanswered. Having my second cosmo’ cocktail (which I so love), this lead me to question Ingrid Michaelson (in her song, ‘’Die Alone’’) and wondered if she was wrong; am I going to eventually die alone? In her song, he promised that if you told the guy that you loved him and stop loving yourself, you wouldn’t die alone. Is she wrong? My friends think I am overreacting and being a drama queen. But that’s what friends should do: support you in your lowest moments. And I think many guys are there!!

Everyone has dreams. And late at nights some of us would stay up and dream of the fabulous boyfriend who would become our husband (or life partner); the amazing wedding or civil union; the adopted Asian baby; a brown-stone house in the city and a summer home at the beach; the anniversaries; the birthdays; the Christmases and New Years together and the list goes on and on. But when you are getting older and you can’t seem to land the fabulous boyfriend yet in order to decide on wall paper of the kitchen and what color your baby’s room should be; you start to fall in despair. And nobody likes to feel desperate and alone. Everybody wants their happy ending.

In ’Sex and the City’, Charlette said it well, ‘’WHERE IS HE?’’ [~ as she earnestly searched for her ‘Mr. Right’ and continued to find Mr. Not-right] This question has been on the lips of many guys; and yet it’s unanswered. Have you been dating since you were 16 years old? And as eager gay-beings, with each guy you date, you would hope that he is ‘the one’. Then two months later, there comes the break-up and you are back to the drawing board trying to find Mr. Right (now). At what point do you call it quits? At what point do you throw in the Gucci scarf? At what point do you start taking in the cats and dogs from the neighborhood shelter? At what point do you tell your friends to shout the hell up? At what point do you just call a spade a spade? That’s what I need to know!! Only if I had all the answers.

Finding yourself in this ‘die alone’ dilemma isn’t a warm feeling. It tends to feel cold, hopeless and painful. But there are two options available to guys who are in this position: (1) flight like a Drag-queen on Rupaul’s Drag Race, or (2) buy a blank Christian Dior avant garde gown and wait patiently for your funeral. What is it going to be?

Enie Menie Minie Mo!!

So, it’s a typical spring weekend: cocktails and pastry all Friday night while chit-chatting on Facebook; sleeping in late Saturday morning to be awoken by the mid-day sun; a lazy lunch date followed by light shopping scouting out the sales; talking with my Mom on SKYPE….. blah blah blah. But this weekend, the issue of ‘choice’ came up: the argument of passing up on one thing in order to do something else: the discourse of looking at ones limited resources, analyzing the options and making an informed decision to do ‘A’ instead of ‘B’. I was forced to discuss OPPORTUNITY COSTS!

Some people hate making choices, while some find it an easy task to do. I’m not sure where I stand on this spectrum, but all I know is that some choices are second to nature and are self made. Some choices do not require the convening of a grand jury and the presentation of facts from both parties and a vote to determine the ‘way forward’. Some choices should be almost predictable. SHOULD!!

Now, opportunity costs may seem like one of those technical economical terms you only hear on the business segment of the news or if you stayed awake during your ‘Econ’ lectures in college! But it’s so basic to nature. As fabulous human being we are, we encounter ‘opportunity costs’ on a daily basis. We have choices. We choose to do one thing instead of something else. We choose to buy a Ralph Lauren spring scarf instead of paying off that visa credit card. We choose to have another slice of pizza instead of a salad. We choose coffee instead of tea and fish instead of steak. We choose to date a tall, handsome European Investment Banker instead of a short, ok-looking Japanese school teacher. We choose to stay in an unhappy relationship instead of fighting the fear and leaving that bastard. We choose to surround ourselves with specific friends instead of others. We choose to invest in some friendships and relationships instead of others.

But one thing is sure is that with ‘opportunity costs’ comes the ‘’option’’ that wasn’t chosen; the visa card that wasn’t paid; the salad that wasn’t eaten; the steak that wasn’t ordered; the tea that wasn’t drunk; the short Japanese guy; the happy life you could have lived if you had just been a little more brave and left him; and the friends and lovers you mistreated and constantly hurt.

I’m not naive! I know that life is filled with alternatives/options and we have to choose one over another and forgo the benefits of not having the one we didn’t choose. But the beauty with life is that it gives us some simple choices that when we analyze the benefits we can receive from acquiring either ‘option’, there is a clear winning. So then, why is it that some people constantly choose the ‘’wrong’’ option? – hate over love; sadness over happiness; temporary vices or permanent friendships; one night of lust over a long life of companionship. I’ll never know!

OK!!!! So, I know that choices are an individual thing and no one should ‘judge’ someone else for making his/her choices. But, when it comes to friendships and relationships that you are a part of, clearly you are allowed to ‘appeal’ the ruling of the ‘court’ and the decision/choice that has been made. But then, do you really want to know why you were passed up for something ‘better’? [I would!] Who likes to be the runner-up? Who likes to know that you have been consistently investing in a friendship and when a simple choice was given, you were left un-chosen? And I guess the most hurtful part is that if you were passed up for the simple things, what will happen when the big issues come?

Choices! Values! Choices aren’t made in isolation. Each option in a ‘decision tree’ has a value attached to it. ‘Value’….a tricky word. It’s like ‘love’. How do you measure it? How do you show it? Well, lucky for us, like love, our human reactions say everything about how we feel/value things. Open my closet….Feel free to go and nose around. You can borrow any sweater you want from my closet, EXCEPT my Liz Claiborne and DKNY ones. And that’s because I put a highER value on those. So, don’t be fooled! When our friends make choices regarding us, either way, a big PRICE TAG has been stamped on our faces. What does yours say? – DISCOUNTED or CUSTOM MADE?

So, however the dice rolls and whatever ‘price tag’ you got stamped on your forehead, just make the best of it, because it’s life. On the flip side (there we go again….choices) ‘KARMA’ is a big BITCH! Watch out!

It’s not an easy road….

Look at us now! A decade or two later and you can vaguely see the scars (~and I’m not talking about Mac make-up working magic here); we don’t cry anymore (or at least not for the same reasons); we are bandaged up and all our bones are finally being reformed; we emit love instead of the hate that we were shown; we embrace instead of repel; we lend a helping hand instead of standing and watching someone perish; we walk up-right and proud instead of timid and ashamed. We have over-come.

Being a kid growing up wasn’t an easy thing for most of us. The ‘normal’ kids have to suffer with acne, sibling rivalry, fitting in, ‘’full-ing’’ out, trying to find him/her self, parents aspirations conflicting with theirs’, voice changes, puberty, girlfriend boyfriend dramas and the list goes on. All these issues have a major impact on one’s self confidence. Ok!!!! So, that’s for ‘normal’ kids. Now, let’s look at typical gay kids growing up in a not-so-gay-friendly environment. These kids have to ensure that they are not seen as ‘Sissies’: God forbids if you cry after falling off your bike or out of an oak tree; want to take piano lessons instead of playing soccer; like to a shower more than once a day; enjoy watching ‘Dora the Explorer’ instead of ‘Dragon Ball Z’; and help your Mom in the kitchen instead of trying to peek on your neighbor’s daughters. Constantly throughout their child-hood into adolescence and teenage years their ‘voices’ are being muffled for fear of not sounding too ‘gay’, fear of not being the ‘baby’, fear of not ‘showing emotion’, fear of not fitting in, the fear of not being like all the other boys, the fear of being the only one who sounds like Barbie and not like Ken, fear fear  fear  fear  fear.

Fear! It’s a bitch, and not in the good way (Oh yeah, there is a good way of being a bitch)! Come on, let’s get REAL here! What happens to a child who grew up in fear of not being himself? Well, two things can happen: He can either turn into ME….. or, an adult who has major self-confidence issues!  Ok!!!! Ok!!! Let’s do me first (hmmm, where have I heard that before?? Lolol). So, you know my story….. Grew up in a religious house-hold, my mom eats, breathes, and sleeps with Jesus (hold on…. that sounds wrong…anyway), my father died before I came out (but I’m sure he knew), my sister is cool with whatever, my older brother is an EVIL, VINDICTIVE, WICKED, BITTER, ANTI-GAY, CLOSETED bastard who deserves happiness (lolol), and my oldest brother lives somewhere on earth (DON’T ASK!!!!) Growing up in a rural community, I was called all the names you can thing of because I wasn’t a ‘normal’ kid… ohhhhh.. plus I was fat! Good lord! (How did I ever make it out? Damn!) My ‘friends’ use to tease me that I behaved ‘girly’ and what made it worst was that I loved playing with dolls (and that’s some weired shit…a gay kid who loves to play with girls…How do you explained that? Lolol). Anyhoo, as I got older, the teasing continued. But one thing was very constant in my life (even to this day): my mother’s love and support. My mother never disapproved of my behavior nor asked me to change. She showed me loved and I think that is what has been keeping me throughout this journey. Getting older, I soon realized that people can be cruel and are scared of things that they do not understand or deviate from the norm. I realized that I have no choice in who I am, and what I like. I soon came to the conclusion that I can’t afford to lose my voice; I will not allow people to rob me of my joy; I have to be self assured and confident in who I am as a person and what I want; I will never be burdened with unconstructive critiques and ignorant negative comments; But I must love myself, walk upright and proudly and value the family and friends who have stuck with me throughout the down times.

But, everybody isn’t so lucky to have support from family or friends. Not everybody can survive the constant bashing and negative criticisms; the teasing; the public humiliations; the child-hood horrors; the teenage scares and the constant gray clouds over your head. It can be exhausting! And eventually some people don’t see any hope, no sign of change, no glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel (but perpetual darkness). At this point, confidence in oneself grows frail and the years of ‘torture’ have finally triumphed. Self confidence destroyed!

It’s not an easy road. Many see the glamour and the glitter and so they think it’s a bed of rose. But, who feels it knows. [Buju Banton]

Buju Banton warned us that it wouldn’t be an easy road. Though many of us are smiling and it seems as if it has been a bed of roses, it hasn’t. All we can do is to remain strong, draw strength from the past and look forward to the future; and while we enjoy our ‘gayness’, reach out to out fragile and less confident brothers and sisters around us.

‘till I’m laid to rest………………….

<<<This article is dedicated to all the guys who are fighting with confidence issues, and especially to my dear friend B.H. who has been through a rough past and is been encouraged to look for a brightened future. Love you B.H.>>>>

Case studies… closet cases… and aliens…

So, you might have met him on the train, at the supermarket (no comment *guilty look*), at work (no comment, again), at the gym, walking home from the movies, at the movies, at your Soho hair salon, while shopping for that ‘must have’ scarf to match that ‘needed to have’ sweater you bought last year, at church (no comment, again), at a friend’s BBQ, while partying with your girls, or just sitting at the park. But one thing was sure: he made the first ‘move’!

In the gay fraternity, all (or most….) gays are equipped with two things: impeccable ‘oral’ presentation skills and a GAYDAR. Now, if you are asking what a GAYDAR is, you should be glad you found this blog! A GAYDAR is a gay-guy’s inner instinct that tells him if someone (he has come in contact with) is straight or gay [as we know it]. This GAYDAR becomes more reliable over time and as one gets more ‘seasoned’ in Gayville. Some GAYDARs are so good/reliable that it can pick out a guy on the ‘’DL’’ out of a crowd of Muslims at prayer time at a Mosque! It can’t be explained (or we just don’t want to give away the secrets)! I trust my GAYDAR; I follow it and I don’t think it has failed me – It’s just that the guys are so deep in the closet and in denial that even if you are offering an ‘amnesty’ to them to come out of the broom-closet, they just get scared and deny deny deny deny!

Are we too hard on them? Do we expect too much from them? Come on! What exactly do they expect us to think when they were the ones who approached us with that charming dashing smile, offered us a drink, invited themselves back to our apartments, arranged dinner for two, volunteer to go shopping with us at Victoria Secret, helped to choose our mother’s Christmas present, hung with us on our loneliest night and sat with us while waiting for bad news. I might not know much about ‘heterosexual male friendships’, but I’m sure they don’t do that (well, unless they are Indians… lolol.. And that’s a whole new drama). So, should we have been blamed to think that they were gay [as we know it]? Shouldn’t we have expressed our feelings? Were we wrong to have ‘tried’ something with all those signs pointing on ‘green… go ahead’? Should the GAYDAR be responsible for these tragedies? Or maybe, just maybe it’s a case of denial and NOT mistaken identity. Who knows?

Closet-case vs. Alien-among-us! Which is easier to deal with anyway? It’s like choosing between a volcano or a nuclear bomb; a plaid flannel shirts or a paper bag; advance calculus or advance trigonometry! Come on!!! OK! So, because our GAYDARs are programmed to pick up the slightest of ‘gay-rays’, it will automatically pick up a closet-case. And for the record [I don’t know where I got this phrase from, but I need to return it…hmmmm], a ‘closet-case’ is a guy who is obviously gay (as we know it) but he is stuck so deep in the closet that he brain-washes himself to think that he is NOT and often times burdens himself with a girlfriend and in a worst case scenario, a marriage without a prenup’ and ten kids (God only know how he got them). These are the ones who constantly reach out for help, ergo come across our radar. But somehow even though they are reaching out for help, insist that they are ‘’OK’’ and ‘’STRAIGHT’’ (as we know it).

On the top side (pun INTENDED…lolol), they are those few ‘aliens’ who, for some reason, should have been born gay (as we know it), but I guess the Memo got lost in the mail and so have been condemned to live a ‘’STRAIGHT LIFE’’ (as we know it). Then you might ask yourself, why do they constantly show up on the GAYDAR? Well, just say that although the Memo was lost in the mail, you can always rely on those ‘chatter-boxes’ who will pass on useful information and somewhere in those aliens DNA, their souls cry out for the good old ‘’GAY LIFE’’ (as we know it). Ergo, they subconsciously find and make gay friends just to be around the fabulousness, which is gay; they try to acquire taste in fashion and fine arts, as the gays do; and strangely, from time to time, pretend to get drunk and make-out (to say the least) with a guy they feel comfortable with. [No comment, AGAIN… damn!!!]

For that reason, every time you meet a guy and your GAYDAR goes off, deep down you might hope he is not another case study, not another closet-case, not another alien. While the case-studies will make you pull your hair out; and the closet-cases take up all the space in the closet and may never come out, the aliens aren’t too bad, right? (At least the aliens know how to choose a good restaurant).