Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Now Shut Up and Fix It!!!

Life Lesson: Guess IS your fault!!! No no...I know this is tough, but it's the truth...sometimes, you do something...that causes an issue...and you need to fix it! DON'T BLAME IT ON SOMEONE ELSE!!

I was having a conversation with someone I dated recently; we'll call him Spin. At the time we dated, I was a little broken, he was a little broken and our broken pieces...were cutting me. We're still friends...I care about him very much, think he's incredibly sexy and often have to fight the urge to tell him to forget his boyfriend and remind me why I liked kissing him! (I know he's happy and he's still a little I don't have to fight too hard).

Anyway, Spin was telling me, "My boyfriend doesn't want me to come to the events he's hosting. I don't know specifics, but he's been saying things like, 'they wouldn't be fun for me.'" (Sidebar...knowing the events in question...mind out of the gutter pigs...that's like saying a fat kid wouldn't like cake).

He continues, "He later told me that he's trying to maintain a level of professionalism, and I didn't help at the last event. I don't know what he's talking about."

"Did you ask for specifics?" I queried.

"I'm afraid he won't tell me, he's not much of a communicator."

To make a long story short (too late)...after more details about the evening, he realizes..."Wait, I got drunk and threw multiple, drunk hissy fits." (My words, not his...and thank goodness he realized his version...before I had to say mine).

So Spin sent his boyfriend a message telling him what he realized and how he will refrain from drinking at the events he plans. The response he got was really sweet and made him cry; it was something that he hadn't heard before and was something he really wanted.

It's way easier to say, "It's his fault...he's being an ass...he won't communicate." In other words, it's easier to focus externally. It's way harder to look at our own behavior and find something we're embarrassed by. In other words, it's harder to focus internally.

The funny thing is...the more we focus internally...the more control we give ourselves over our lives and the outcomes. You cannot control someone cannot change someone else. can control and change you...and sometimes, that's the best/fastest way to get what you most want.

But that's not the end of it...the end of it is to then forgive yourself. Yes, it was your fault and yes, you could have done better (and you will going forward), but you did the best you could at the time. So accept your behavior, correct it, apologize if necessary, then forgive yourself.

You've just grown...and how wonderful is that, why feel guilty about how you got there!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Can't Hear You!!!!

So my friend Lauree over at Simply Leap has been writing about fear...that voice that wakes you up at 3am with dread and messages of doom and despair.

Don't you love that voice in your head? It's a nasty voice, spouting an old message, that no longer has relevance to you life. It's because it no longer has relevance, that it screams all the louder. I hear it as, "You don't need me...need me...need me...hear me..listen to how awful you are and having me around helps!!!"

My voice is a voice of failure...that no matter what I do, I will never be good enough. Recently, he really scraped the bottom of the barrel. I had just gotten a grade for my most recent writing assignment in my summer class; my 9th 100/100. My first thought was a gloomy, "He just gave that to me because I'm smart."

WAIT...WHAT??? How is that a negative?? Yes...I am smart Yes, I've been doing phenomenal work in grad school. He must really have nothing bad to say if he's trying to spin that into a negative.

I laughed when I realized what I was telling myself. More importantly, I was proud. It told me how far I'd come; how much I've progressed that my voice of failure was no longer one of failure, but one desperately trying to hold on by using positive things against me.

I don't need that voice anymore...and he knows it.

What does your voice of fear tell you? Better yet...what do you tell it? I've found it's very effective to say what I've wanted to say to every ignorant idiot I've passed in my life...

"Shut up Bitch!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Emily Post is Gonna Cut a Bitch!!!

I'm taking a break from watching True Blood...have you ever noticed, no one on that show wears underwear?? The women are always a shirt tear aware from bearing their breasts and the men are usually shirtless...jeans perched on their hips, the tiniest amount of pubes showing...

Um...there...I wanna live there...I don't care if there are Vampires, Witches, Werewolves and Werepanthers (What the hell are Werepanthers...that's just stupid!) always killing people; the men are hot and underwearless (you can keep the breasts)!!!

But I digress...

So this weekend, I was at Vlada, a dark, trendy gay bar in Hell's Kitchen that is known for their house-infused vodka (I recommend the ginger...helps with the next day's hangover!). We went in celebration of our visiting Brit's birthday. In attendance were the members of The Gay Assembly: Sparkles, Dr. D., Pretty and Young-Man and of course...yours truly!

While sipping smart cocktails and shots that tasted like puke (thank you Young-Man) Dr. D. shared that he found a boy at the bar, attractive. Dr. D is shy. He rarely chats up a guy that he finds attractive (unless they are an under 21, under-cooked, local college student...but I digress). Knowing that Dr. D. would never approach said attractive boy, Sparkles decided to intervene; calling over the hot as hell, barely dressed waiter, he inquired about the gentleman in question. HaHBD Waiter shared that he was there alone and drinking Hendrick's and tonic.

So...Sparkles ordered a drink to be sent on behalf of Dr. D...the drink was delivered with a message of interest...and...NOTHING!!! I repeat NOTHING.

The attractive boy barely looked up from his phone, let alone came over to thank Dr. D for the (very expensive I might add) drink.

I was horrified.

As I looked around, while my friends and I were laughing and drinking, he was not the only one lost in his phone. Anyone who was there alone, was nose deep in some text conversation. In the world of Grindr, Manhunt and Facebook, we've lost our ability to flirt. There is something exciting about going to a gay bar in the city for a drink, solo. You sit down, chat with the bartender and make a few new friends...or perhaps find a date.

Part of that experience is buying someone a drink...or being bought one. I've never not accepted one, and always said thank you; even if I wasn't interested in the sender.

With so much accessible via our phones, we've built up walls. We don't have to be open and available. We can sit there and text our friends or find a guaranteed hook-up, rather then be open to the possibility of putting ourselves out there to finding a new friend...or to be rejected.

"You can't see me and I can't see you, so you can't reject me" seems to be the mindset behind this trend. What that also seems to mean is that we don't have to acknowledge others; acknowledge their fears and insecurities. We're losing our ability to manage basic politeness and with that, our humanity. We've extended the "ignore" and "block" features of a social media app to everyday experiences.

I would have cost him nothing to look up, smile and mouth a "thank you." He would have been opening himself to nothing more than a smile and a "you're welcome" from Dr. D.

It's time we regain our humanity. It's time we put our phone in our pockets, look up as we walk or sit at the bar and smile at people as they come and go. It's time to remember those basic lessons we learned as a child:
  • Say "please", "thank you" and "you're welcome"
  • Do unto others and you want done to you
  • If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
So in that vein, as we walked by the formerly attractive boy at the bar...I said nothing at all. (But you can bet I stared!!!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's hard out there for a pimp!!!

OK Boys (and girls...and boys who are girlie...and girls who are..wait...) it's honesty time. We've all been on a gay cruising site: Adam4Adam, Manhunt, etc. Whatever your reasons...I'm not judging...

So lately, I've found myself less turned on by the pictures and I am absolutely astounded by what people put up to sell themselves as someone I would want to spend a brief period of time wrestling around with in a vat of Vaseline. I'm not talking about the pictures of just a penis...or an exposed and spread rectum...I'm talking about much worse here goes; PJ's list of shit that should never be in your profile pic:

- Children: That does not say sexy...matter of fact, it says registry as in sex offender registry. I don't care if they are your nephews or your children from your sham marriage, I don't want to feel THAT dirty.

- Pets: Again...not says lonely and friendless.

- Your friends (especially your female friend with her face blurred out): Unless it's a couple, looking for a third, I don't want to see a picture of your friend kissing your cheek. I'm sure you can find a solo picture of you with that great douche-bag smile on your face.

- Dirty...ANYTHING: Finger nails, athletic shorts, furniture, walls, dishes, unmade-bed. Again, this does not say sexy, it says poor hygiene and the last I checked, good hygiene was one of those things I looked for in a person I wanted to make out with. The only exception is if you have one of those dirty jock fetishes...and if you do...we should not be talking anyway.

- Random Douche-bag things: Fake flower leis, sombreros (especially mini ones), stuffed animals...oh GOD make it stop...I don't need to see this stuff, none of it says sexy!

- Your tatty furniture: If it looks like your furniture came from the Salvation Army in 1979, and you are not a college student, find a new place to take the picture. It just feels like a bad 70's slasher film waiting to happen.

OK Boys... with these rules in mind, I look forward to seeing you new and improved pictures...happy man-trapping!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hmm...which gender shall I be today??

So I was reading Mommy with a Penis this afternoon. Hutchins posted a story about his son Bash walking in dressed in in a princess gown and sparkly shoes. Well, when it rains, it pours in PJ's world, because just last week, I was reading an article by my Human Behavior professor, that was written for the Advocate about Gay parents and gender-bending children.

Both of these stories got me thinking about a dress. My dress. The dress I wore up until the age of probably 6 or 7. I would really like you to think that my dress looked like the one pictured. Alas it did not. Oh my dress was green and white, floral of pattern, but it was not this well cut or stylish. No mine had a big full skirt, and poofy sleeves. I can't honestly tell you where the dress came from, or how it came to be mine, but it was. It was the dress I would pull out anytime I wanted to feel pretty, run around in my mom's heals, wear a few pieces from my earring collection (a whole other story) or be...wait for it...CATWOMAN. Yes, this little gender-bender had a fascination with Catwoman and somehow, in my mind, I thought that this dress and a black mask created a look very similar to hers (Ahh the power of imagination).

I remember one time, some friends came over and I felt like it was a CATWOMAN moment. To my horror, my black mask was missing. No sweat, being a creative child, I improvised with the folllowing perfectly acceptable substitution... is a Yogi Bear mask...and yes, it looks nothing like CATWOMAN...but...neither did my dress, so it worked in my world. I'm pretty sure I got in trouble that day...I remember getting in trouble anyway and I think it had something to do with my dress...again.

The funny thing about my parents was that I had a dress and a box of earring WHICH THEY OBVIOUSLY GAVE ME (dur), yet, they weren't real happy about either. They didn't take them away (although at some point I stoppped wearing them and they were no longer around) but they really didn't like it. And you know what, I'm pretty sure I knew it.

I loved dresses and heals and pretty things. I wanted girls toys, a sister to play with and I constantly told my mother I wanted to be a girl. Looking back, I knew that my parents hated every moment of it. I wasn't the child they expected. And in some ways, I wasn't the child they wanted.

I love telling the story of my dress. My audience usually gets a laugh and so do I as I remember with hysterics walking out in a green floral dress and Yogi Bear mask. I love that we; Arlene Lev, Hutchins and I are talking about it. Hutchins is my new hero. I love his patience and support of his son. I know without a doubt that his son will grow up to be whomever he is supposed to be...dress or no dress...and that he will think back to those moments and laugh/cry/be jealous of his size, who knows, but he won't think about the fact that his parents were embarassed by his actions and probably didn't like him.

Fast forward. I am a guy. I love being a guy. I'm a jeans and t-shirt wearing gay man who loves fixing his house, working in the yard, driving his jeep, lifting weights, etc. I don't want to be a girl (sure I have my girly moments...HELLO) and I dont' wear dresses anymore (that period where I was the drag hostess of a burlesque show aside). My dad and I have a great relationship (mom passed when I was 13) and I genuinely like the person I've become.

I'm also really excited. I'm really excited to be working on my Masters of Social Work and working to become a therpist. I look forward to the day when parents bring their children to me, concerned about the child's gender-bending and I get to help the parents become more comfortable, not the kid (he/she is probably already there).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You get more flies with honey.

So I have been reading a phenomenal book for grad school, Management Rewired, about why traditional feedback doesn't work. The best part is that it discussed how you can get what you want more often by asking questions, rather than making demands.

Serendipitously, I also just got smacked with a couple overdraft charges because a bill and a deposited check hit at the wrong time.

I called my bank and stormed around and got ticked off...blah blah blah...and I got nothing. No offer to fix it, no offer to refund the charges, nothing.

So, the next day, I decided to try a different tactic. I went into the bank (to make sure I didn't get the same person on the phone), sat down with a financial services rep, chatted amicable, and asked her to remove the two charges. She did so happily.

It's fun to storm around and be the b1tch. I think deep down, we all want to be feared. We all want to be Alexis Carrington or Joan Crawford (played by Faye Dunaway) scaring the crap out of some board of directors into bending to their will. Ultimately though, it solves nothing.

You are no less strong and formidable, if you smile and ask nicely for what you want. Chances are, you're more likely to get it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tales of a 4th grade nothing.

Well, I'm not in 4th grade, and I am certainly am NOT nothing. I am however a new grad student. It's interesting being back in school after 12 years.

I'm a 12 year corporate dweller and senior first line manager. My job is to lead. I teach leadership and rate my employees on their leadership prowess. In the world of academia, I am not "the more knowledgeable other," so therefore not in charge. It's very strange for me to have to defer to someone who, while further along than me in their field, possesses none of the leadership, presence or professionalism that I would expect the "leader" to possess. For example, I finished a summer class almost 2 months ago...and we've still not received our grades (A peer of hers graded our papers and turned in grades in just over a week). When asked, the professor has more excuses than I have unnecessary purchases on my credit card.

Online classes are also a new and fun challenges. Um...for anyone who thinks that online classes are easy...FAIL. I have more work in this class than any other. And...instructions for projects can be vague and when the teacher takes a few days to respond...well, let's just say, I get frustrated.

Overall, I'm loving the experience, and really enjoying meeting people interested in the same area of study.