Saturday, July 19, 2014

The first date that never happened

Not trying to win a game of "My Life Sucks Worse Than Yours" or anything, but my adolescence was pretty rough. Glossing over some details because they're irrelevant to the story at hand, I'm surprised I made it out as unscathed as I did. I'm still carrying some baggage over it, and probably will for a long time.

I first came out in 1980, when I was 15 going on 16. After I'd told myself I was gay, I told my best friend. We'd been messing around a little and I felt I could trust him with it. I'm not sure if it was the same night or some time later, I also told him that I was in love with him. It may have just been a simple adolescent crush, but I'd fallen for him and deep and hard. I could go into detail about the physical that I was attracted to (those eyes! That ASS! OMFG, that ass!) but everything else? not so sure. I remember he was a pretty decent guy for a while, but I guess getting my first "but I love you as a friend!" speech immediately after telling him I loved him does that to a person.

About a year after I'd told him, a 3D movie called Comin' At Ya! was released and never having seen a 3D movie, I wanted to go. I also asked D. since you hang out with your best friend at the movies. Somewhere along the way, much to my dismay and horror, my father invited himself along. During this time, I wasn't getting along too well with him, my mother advising me I don't tell him about my being gay, but I really didn't complain about it. He and D. got along okay, though, so it was pretty cool to them. It galled me my father invited himself to the movie with us because I'd felt it was bad manners (probably didn't matter because, after all, he was my father) but I'd wanted to hang out with D. by myself.

Because I wanted to, somehow, treat this as a date.

I wasn't sure how, though. I wasn't sure if I could get away with anything like trying to hold his hand or doing the yawn-and-stretch-my-arms-over-my-head routine to get my arm across his shoulders, but since I was in love with him, I wanted us to do "boyfriend" things. You know? But with my father with us, I had no hope of anything happening like this.

Of course, it was only made worse when my father sat between us.

No, he had absolutely no clue what was going on between D. and I. Honestly. He was just a clueless parent who was hanging out with his son and his son's best friend woo boys' night out. I was absolutely mortified he'd come along but since D. had no idea what I was trying to engineer, did it really matter?

Of course, it did! I wanted to have a "boyfriend" relationship with this guy, so I'd hoped we could do things that I could call "dates" and make myself a bit more happy than I was at the time.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I was a deluded little puppy if I thought I could get away with calling us going to watch that incredibly, totally, and very, very execrable piece of shit 3D movie a date, even if we'd gone alone, much less with my dad in tow. I've learned over the years you can't fake being in a relationship, no matter how much you want the other guy.


It wasn't another two or three years before I officially went out with somebody on a real date, but even that was probably questionable since it was with the guy I wrote about in my previous post, Names have been deleted to preserve my sanity.

So, yeah, I'm a hot little mess.

The trailer for "Comin' At Ya!":

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Names have been deleted to preserve my sanity

Trying to get back into this habit of this blogging thang, I had a couple topics in mind that I was going to pursue, the others being "write what you know" or "I was the third gunman on the grassy knoll in Dallas". I decided on this one because it's probably just as funny as my trip to Dallas (hint: you really shouldn't accept paper bags from strangers in bus terminals, either in 1963 or today. LOLZ!)

April 15, 1986, is a rather dubious anniversary for me, an achievement that I really wouldn't wish on almost anybody. For our friends who aren't in the US that are playing along at home, April 15 is the date we have to have our tax returns filed. The day in 1986 has a more significant meaning for me.

It was the first time I broke up with somebody.


The only reason why I remember the date is it's Tax Day. The other times I've left a guy/been left by a guy/told somebody to fuck off and die? Don't remember. And since it has the double dubious achievement of being on a Tuesday again this year, thanks to the serious fluke of a jacked-up calendar system, it began a longtime love affair with the day. Garfield hates Monday? The rest of the universe can't wait to TGIF? Me? Hooray for Tuesday. Look. I even have an Official Theme Song.

Anyway, I really should have seen it coming, hindsight being 20/20. There were a few areas where we seemed to work but everything else? You know how everybody was charmed and oohed and aahed and giggled when Patrick Swayze told Demi Moore "ditto" when she said she loved him in Ghost? I was screaming internally in abject horror, "TURN BACK! RUN AWAY! FAST!" To me, the declaration "ditto" wasn't soft, sweet, and romantic; it was just a repeat of what I went through with the guy. When I said "I love you" to the guy, his response? "Thank you."

Let me repeat that so it sinks in: "Thank you".

Nowadays, I see it as an emotionally stunted reply from a person who was afraid or unable to make any sort of commitment. Yeah, he did ask me to move in with him but so many other things about the relationship were so fucked out of the gate, it's not funny. First and foremost, the age difference. Now, for some it might work but in my case, it was probably a serious hindrance: I was just barely 20 and he was about to turn 40+.

Or it might have been his lying about it: he somehow had gotten somebody at the DMV to believe he was about 3 years younger and had it faked on his license. And rather than doing something like getting some Grecian Formula and covering up the grey at his temples, he'd bleached hair back to the light ash blonde he was in high school before going brown during college.

And his chest hair. Dear Sweet Jeebus Crisp, yes, his chest hair. As much as he liked...things...done to...other things...I have to say L'Oreal Light Ash Blonde #1AB doesn't taste good. So not worth it.

I was also going through some serious growth myself at the time, so I really shouldn't probably shouldn't have probably pursued the relationship but he seemed to be into it on some level. Probably not the same that I was, but I think he did feel something. This began my "Every Love Song I Hear On The Radio Reminds Me Of You" phase, which lasted well until I was about 30 or so, but being barely out of puberty and finally, FINALLY, FINALLY having a Boyfriend really colored my outlook. Can y'all say "starved for affection"?

I was a serious poster boy for my mother's saying, "When you're in love, you get stupid". I turned a blind eye to much of his assholishness and responded to him with more assholishness. He also had another boyfriend he saw occasionally (and wound up with permanently after we split), whom I knew about and was "cool" with, even though I was seething with jealous rage over the arrangement because I was Real Mature about it.


Through a series of unfortunately events I'm loath to discuss here (sorry, that much shame and embarrassment prevent me from going any further), barely over a year and a half after we'd gotten together, things fell apart. I was working a part time job as a secretary/administrative assistant (a job I lost shortly after the break-up due to budget cuts, my final day shortly after National Secretaries Day, grind that salt into the wound even deeper with a wedge of lemon), and we started the morning with a serious argument. I went to work and on the bus ride there, I finally made up my mind it wasn't good for me to keep going. Hell, it wasn't good for either one of us to be in such a toxic atmosphere any longer so in the short time I had between getting to work and actually having to start, I called him up and told him we were through.

I was rather surprised when he started crying because I wasn't aware he was emotionally capable of anything more than "Thank you" when I said I'd loved him. Apparently, somehow, somewhere, I meant something to him, as he did me, but it seemed obvious that we couldn't continue to live in the same house and have a serious relationship any longer. Yeah, sure, I tried to continue the "we can still be friends" routine but things were so strained between us, I couldn't even do that (when I came to his place to get some stuff after I was moving to Milwaukee and he was moving in with the Spare Back-Up Auxiliary Boyfriend, I'd warned the people who came with me he might be a bit of an asshole. As we were leaving and out of earshot, one of them turned to me and said, "You were right. He's more than an asshole.")

And that's what April 15 means to me.

And for those turns of the calendar when April 15 lands on a Tuesday, well, imagine my delight.