Tag Archives: gay

Flip-Flop, Plop-Plop, give the dog a bone.

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(Part I: New York)

My daughter’s little six-year-old arm hung out the window, waving a pitiful wave, as she cried, “BYE MOMMY!  I’ll miss you!  wahhhhhhhhhhh!”

Airport departures are not what they used to be.  In the olden days, I would have been the one actually departing, on an airplane, and she could watch the plane leave.  It’s much harder to have her drive off (well, she’s not actually driving yet) and leave me on the curb.  After she departed, I entered the airport to begin my own departure.  Three hours early.  Sigh.

Security makes me paranoid now, even though I am an old hat at crazed security.  I start obsessing over my little tiny shampoos and lotion and whether or not they are in the appropriate plastic baggies.  What if one sprung free?  Will I be escorted from the airport, burned at the stake for dropping a shampoo in my carry-on, all loose and not contained in a Ziploc?  But, as usual, I made it through the lines.  I made it through the bagel and coffee line.  Now I could focus on my trip.  My twentieth high school reunion.

But first, to New York City for a whole 36 hours.  Somehow I managed to get on a bus to Port Authority all by myself.  This was a moment of pride for me because I was sure I’d end up in Detroit.  I talked to the bus driver.  I talked to the first two ladies on the bus.  I double checked with all of them that this was the bus bound for Newark.

“Well.  Actually, we’re in Newark right now.”

Oh god, I’m such a dip shit.  “Oh yea, I know that, I meant to say Port Authority.  Gee.  I must need some caffeine.  ha.  ha.”  That was a lie.  I’d already had too much caffeine in the airport.  I’m just stupid sometimes.

We drive and drive and mostly sit in traffic waiting for our exciting turn in the Lincoln Tunnel.  Waiting.  Oh man it’s like 96 degrees.  The pathetic air conditioner on the bus can not match my overpowering armpit smell.  Or is that the boy in front of me?  He looks like he could be European.  Yep.  I’m gonna blame him.  Not my natural deodorant that only works for 30 minutes (that I applied over six hours ago).

Stinky Europeans.  

As I smell my own body odor, and that of the boy in front of me, I can hear some loud ass voices from the back of the bus.  Awful, arrogant, obnoxious duck-like sounds.  Without even looking, I know they are from Jersey.  I have learned this from the intelligent rants on The Jersey Shore.  I turn up Eddie Vedder’s Ukulele Songs.  If music could get you stoned it would be this music.

We finally arrive, but no one tells me.  The bus stops and a few people stand up.

“This isn’t Port Authority is it?”  I pose my question to a couple who look like they could possibly be New Yorkers.  I don’t know what that means because everyone is New York looks totally different.  All I can be sure of is I seem to be the only one not wearing designer flip-flops or stiletto heels.  I’m wearing Keens, because they are comfortable and sensible, and protect my toes from bombs and missiles and stilettos.

They look at each other, quizzically, perhaps because I am a raging dork… or perhaps they don’t speak English.

Finally, after a kind of weirdly long pause, the husband answers that yes, it is Port Authority, and I have just enough time to jump off the bus.  Whew.  Maybe they just wanted to see me run in my functional shoes.

Somehow I find my friend even though he blends in nicely with his designer flip-flops and we catch a cab to his apartment.

The rest of my time is a tour of beer (yay), gay bars, and designer stores… all while wearing my toe protecting Keens.  Oh.  There were some awful toilets along the way.

My god.

New Yorkers seem all high and mighty with their awesome theater, music, culture, art, and incredible food… why can’t they master the clean bathroom?  Designer flip-flops and filthy slimy bathrooms?  It seems like a recipe for disaster to me.  Take my advice, New Yorkers, either clean those bathrooms or start wearing Keens.  It is an accident waiting to happen.

Like a mom, I carried my wet wipes with me everywhere.  I hovered over toilets.  The air squat.  This is really why women do lunges and squats at the gym all the time.  We are toning and prepping for our inevitable toilet hover.  If you are not strong, you will have to sit.  Or hold on to something.  I was just so glad that my daughter wasn’t with me because I’m not yet strong enough to hold her over the toilet, without her pristine booty touching the lid, while she goes to the bathroom.  I didn’t wash my hands.  I used my wet wipes because it seemed cleaner.  In Colorado we have nearly zero diversity and rarely wear heels, but our toilets are nice.

The two gorgeous men that I stayed with had a lovely bathroom, and I could sit to pee -a nice change after doing the hover.  But, when you are a guest in a studio apartment, sleeping on the couch, how do you make doo? (I don’t mean while sleeping on the couch.  That’s just weird.  At least I could toot though, because they had two dogs who were willing to take the blame.  And after that much beer, bad smells are bound to erupt from your colon.) The nice smelling boy’s bed is right next to the bathroom.  There is no fan in there, it’s one of the first things I noticed.  Agh.  I must not have pooped when I was younger, because I don’t remember these things stressing me out ten years ago. Suddenly travel is all about toilets.  And art.  I had one full day in New York City, and we spent a good chunk of it at the Museum of Modern Art.  It was beautiful.  The Monets, the Picassos, the Degas, and the bathrooms.

Thank you art people of the world.  You not only display pieces of art I have only seen in books, pieces that I can stand in front of and absorb the size and texture and color and emotion of, but you also are considerate enough to provide clean bathrooms.  Finally!

I hit the gift shop later, where I purchased a few items to decrease my guilt levels resulting from abandoning my daughter.  I found craft projects, postcards, books and toys, but no t-shirts.  At least no t-shirts that said,

“I took a dump at the Museum of Modern Art (and it was nice – so nice that I could have worn flip-flops).”

(…to be continued, part II: back to Jersey, 20 years later)

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Personally, I love pigs.

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My first experience with a cop in the United States was in high school.  Just like most of you out there, I had grown up hearing, “Ahg, don’t they have something better to do than to give me a ticket for going 5 miles over the speed limit?”  My mom claimed tears as the number one defense mechanism required to escape tickets as a woman.  This from someone who claimed to be a feminist.  “Or lie, tell them you’re on your way to a funeral.”  All sound advice for a child.  Remember, this was before Cops became a huge hit on television, and spawned numerous other hits like “Cops in Snow, Cops in Heat, When Good Cops Attack.”  Cops was our first reality show.  I remember actually seeing someone I knew on Cops, once. The most surprising part of it was that he was not a criminal, he was a cop!

So there I was, in rural New Jersey, with a boy, in a car.   Totally innocent situation, right?  It was probably about one a.m.  We actually were just sitting there talking.  Of course, that was not the case ten minutes before.  But, the cop didn’t know that.  There was a “rat-a-tat-tat” on my window.  After realizing that Jason was not out there with a chainsaw, waiting to hack me to bits, I rolled down the window.

“Well, what do we have here?” said the female cop.

If I hadn’t been so drunk I probably would have been terribly nervous.

“We’re just talking.”  I said, profoundly.

“Well, I need to see some ID. And a driver’s license, sir.”

He actually had a driver’s license.  All I had was my ID card that I used in Saudi Arabia, to get me in and out of the gym and pool area.  I handed it over.

“Well, little lady.  Saudi Arabia?  Huh. You expect me to believe that you are from Saudi Arabia?”

“I am.  I am here for boarding school.”

Hmmm.  The wheels were turning.  My arrogant self could hear them.  We did have a rather annoying school full of kids from all over the world, so she believed me.  Instead of recalling my training from ten years prior, I failed to tear up and reverted to my natural defense mechanism…

sarcasm.

“Okay darling, well, I think we should give your parents a call and see how they feel about you being parked in a car, during the middle of the night, with Bob here (yep.  Changing his name… because I can do that!).”

“Fine.  I’m sure they couldn’t care less.  Here’s their number (I pompously included the country code).  You’ll have to call them in about eight hours though, because it’s tomorrow there.  They are already at work.” (and, yea, there weren’t cell phones back then – imagine a time without cell phones or the show Cops. Weird.)

Can’t you just see the total lack of respect?  My shoulders were moving like I was a Jerry Springer guest; I was feeling PRETTY impressive.  My truth was even more confusing than a lie!  I loved it!

“Um.  Okay.  Maybe I will call them.  Anyway, it looks like nothing is going on here.  Get her home, Bob.”

See, I fared rather well.  But why did I feel so agitated and defensive?  I’m sure that female cop was just looking out for me, making sure I wasn’t being raped in the woods, or kidnapped by some pedophile.  I mean, it was New Jersey.  Strange shit went down in those thar’ woods.  Not quite Deliverance shit, but still some kinda shit.  I mean, Friday the 13th was filmed there for a reason.

Why do we teach our kids to disrespect the police?  Start listening to yourself.  You’ll say stuff like, “Damn cop. Why on earth would they pull me over when there are banks being robbed?” and then five minutes later you’ll say to your kid, “See the police man (or WOman)?  If you are ever in trouble, call them.  If Mommy falls down and doesn’t get up, you want them to come.  If someone almost runs you over on the way home from school, call the police.  If you are lost and scared, find the police.”

Do you see the hypocrisy?  We tell them WE are above the rules of other people.  That WE can speed through a school zone because WE are a parent with a child at that school and WE don’t want to be late.  Of course, WE would never run down a child crossing the road there, because WE are perfect.  How are our children supposed to understand that cops are there to help?  Or to realize their intention is to keep kids safe from some creep in the woods.  (sorry Bob, you weren’t actually a creep.  creepy scenario.  maybe you were a creep.  eeeeek!!!)

No.  All cops are not good.  You’ll see stuff on the news EVERY single night about how crooked they are.  But, just like teachers (see how easily the name Mary Kay Laterno comes to mind?), do you ever hear about how amazing they are?  Do you ever think that every single day, while that one cop is screwing off and giving them a bad rep, there are hundreds and thousands, extracting children from burning cars, breaking up violent domestic spats, being shot at for simply doing their jobs, and saving kids – kids like yours.  When my neighbor’s baby stopped breathing, she came straight to my husband.  He held that little guy, checked for breathing, did CPR, all while I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off – corralling my daughter and my dogs while calling, wait for it… 911.  My husband just kept working.  He didn’t even look flustered.  They are trained for this.  They don’t judge the situation first, they save lives first.  Unfortunately, this baby had not been breathing for too long.  My husband kept working until the “on duty” first responders came.  A woman scooped the baby out of my husband’s strong arms and into the ambulance.  The mother spun in circles, wondering why they weren’t in more of hurry.  You know why our neighbor brought her baby here? Because she knew that my husband is a hero.

He saves lives.  At least he tries.  Which is more than most people do.

He also gives people tickets when they speed through a school zone.

He was in “cop-mode.”  I was in  “loony-chicken-protective-mother-keep-dogs-out-from-under-foot-mode,” which was quickly followed by “smudge-my-house-like-a-crazy-hippie-mode.”  FYI: if you have an emergency, do NOT call me.

Stop being so self-absorbed, people!  Look at what you do all day.  Do you risk your life by sitting in your cubicle?  Are you so important that running over a 7-year-old to get to work on time seems rational?  Would you call the cops if you were in trouble?

Take a minute, next time you’re pulled over for some slight infraction of the law.  yea.  Go ahead.  Turn on that brain.  It still works, even though you’ve been killing it with Kardashians.  Why did they pull you over?  Did you do something illegal?  Accept it.  You made a mistake.  Everyone does.  Who cares?  But this man, or this woman, who is doing this job because they care about helping people (because, trust me, it’s not about the money) is trying to keep people safe.  They are not after you.  That’s like being homophobic and thinking that Elton John wants to bone down on you because he’s gay and you’re a man.  They are not targeting you because you are driving a Mercedes.  They are targeting you because you are driving a Mercedes really fast (probably stalking Elton John) and they’d rather give you a ticket than pull yet another body from an accident.

Get over yourself for a second and be a good person.  Try it.  Thank them.

Thank the police, and set a good example for your kids.  They may need a cop one day.  Are they going to call one if you keep bitching about that ticket?

Stupid is as Stupid does

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I have found in my life that a) some people are just stupid and b) hatred usually comes from something we don’t understand.  Oh, and c) men never really learn to wipe their own butts.

I dated a guy in college.  He approached me at a club, teasing me for dancing in overalls. (side note: there was about a four-year period in my life in which I believed whole-heartedly that  overalls were appropriate for every occasion.   This was prior to my discovery that pajamas are also appropriate for every occasion – and they don’t drag on the floor when you drop your pants to pee).

Yes.  I was (and still am) a finely tuned hot chick, what can I say?  I actually went to clubs to DANCE, not to meet boys!  Weird.  Soon, no matter how hard my overalls tried, we started dating.  He worked at a gas station.  I don’t recall him having any other goals.  He had a serious hang-up about riding the bus – thinking that it would make him look poor or like “white trash” or something.  Okaayyy.  The gas station job won’t though.  Public transportation… baaaaadddd; minimum wage….. good?

One day we were chatting, prior to his departure with his cousin to visit his family in Nebraska.  He admitted to me his fear of traveling overnight, because his cousin was gay.  I guess that he had incest and homosexuality confused?  Is it technically incest if it’s your first cousin?  I don’t know.  I’m not an expert on incest.  What I do know is that I laughed and laughed, and maybe even peed a little.  I thought to myself, “Gee.  This poor gay cousin of his has to go to Nebraska?  Now THAT’s scary!”

I told him that if he dozed off in the car, the chances of waking to a close encounter of the cousin-kind were pretty damn unlikely.  That poor, stupid boyfriend of mine seemed to think that being gay meant being uncontrollably attracted to anything with a penis, especially while driving a car across Nebraska in the middle of the night.  Interesting.  I schooled him, the best I could.  Coming from a bubble head to a boy with only 3 functioning brain cells, it may not have been effective.

The next time he proved his lack of cerebral functioning to me was when he mentioned his all-knowing-uncle, who lived in the mountains of Colorado.  In Colorado, if you wander away from ski resorts and popular hiking trails, you will quickly learn that there are people in the mountains who have never left.  Their ancestors never left.  It’s a mystery how they even got there.  They play banjos and cut their toe nails with shanks. It’s like Deliverance Country, with far less oxygen.

“Did you know that slavery was really not that bad?”  He asked me, out of the clear blue sky.

“How do you figure that?” I asked, trying to hide my horror.  He proceeded to tell me that his uncle, who was a not only a man of the woods, but a militia man, informed him that slavery was a choice.

You may be wondering why I would date such a human?  Well, have you seen Zombieland?  Woody Harrelson?  Still looking good to me.  He looked like Woody.  That is really the only reason.  Shallow girl that I am.

if you don’t believe me… check out this link to Woody… there’s even a banjo

I asked him why people would actually choose to be slaves.  He said, they were offered jobs in America, rescuing them from the terribly (free) lives that they had been suffering in Africa.  I’m guessing he is now a firm believer in the school of “the holocaust never happened.” I mean, the sheer lack of intelligence was fascinating to me.  It was amazing.  I told him that no person would choose to give up their children, leave their families, and move to a strange place to be beaten and treated as less than human.  Well, maybe a militia man… He pondered it (or maybe he was just pondering his pant size), and said that I could be right.  Really?  Guess which one of us works at a gas station, dude.

Fortunately for me, the next guy I dated had a brain.  Well, he still has most of it (other than the parts that I seem to be shrinking with my woman powered ray gun).  He’s my husband.  He does not look like Woody…but I think in the grand scheme of things, that’s okay.  Better to look like himself and have more than three functioning brain cells… and believe that slavery DID happen… and believe that the holocaust DID happen… and believe that not all gay men want to jump his bones.

My bubble is an airy place, I admit it.  BUT, it’s not a stupid place.  I don’t hate much.  The things I hate are simple:  I hate political commercials.  I hate colds.  I hate having to do number two in a public bathroom.  I hate mosquitos and flies, especially when I’m doing number two in a public bathroom.  But most of all, I hate stupidity.  Don’t be stupid.  It is harder to make a shiny pink bubble when you are thick.

The other team’s bubbles

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I remember the first time I identified someone as being “gay.”  He was my junior high social studies teacher.  My parents called him “gay,” kids at school called him “gay,” but all I could see was that he wore giant rings, and his bald head was very shiny.  Like my bubble.

Throughout junior high I remained rather unaware of what this concept really meant.  I had a giant poster of George Michael in my bedroom, wearing a pink t-shirt and short shorts.  I gazed at that poster for hours while my sister and I played the Ouija board, asking the spirits to make George appear in my room, to prove spirit-ness.  My sister got a copy of a picture from someone’s dad who had seen Wham! at an airport. We spent hours drooling over George Michael, and wondering if Andrew had anyone to drool over him.

In high school I pretended to no longer like Wham!  as I started at a new school in the states.  Here we were, late 80’s, posters of Led Zepplin and the Grateful Dead were required, for some weird reason.   I still listened to Madonna and Wham, the Cure and the Pet Shop Boys behind closed doors, but was not brave enough to hang up that beautiful poster of George.

I went home for break when I was 18 (home being overseas – high school being in the U.S.).  I met a new boy.  Oh man, he was sooooo cute.  I couldn’t even stand it!  We hung out a lot, and even though he was a little older, I thought I should at least give it a shot.

By now, being intoxicated and blonde should have at least gotton me to first base, friend or not (this is what I learned in high school).

So, I made my inebriated and likely rather messy move.  I ran strongly, confidently, boldly – into the firm and bouncy, yet impenetrable wall of my bubble.

DENIED!

My epiphany took months. I never thought of the possibility that I was completely and utterly wrong for him.  Wait a minute here, he did talk about Madonna an awful lot.  He did have a velvet painting in his room.  He did love to dance. There were signs.  I was just too damn bubble headed to see them.

This hunka burning love went to a few parties in my hometown with me.  He introduced himself as my boyfriend to a couple key players who had been incredibly intimidating to me, back in my junior high days.  One in particular.  She was the social queen of junior high (at least the female queen.  Apparently my social studies teacher had been the actual queen of junior high).  She wanted to eat him up.  She flirted shamelessly.  And what did he do? He told her that he was mine (admit it, you want to hug him, just reading that). That was sweet, especially because he was SO NOT mine.

He was probably hanging out with me, trying to find my old George Michael poster.

So, I learned that this particular boy couldn’t be in my bubble, in that way… but his bubble was pink and shiny, too.  I liked looking at it!  What can I say?  He taught me a lesson in how important it is for every woman to have an exceedingly hot gay friend by her side.  A gay friend can make women jealous, they can make men jealous, and they may steal your Ricky Martin poster – but it’s worth it, isn’t it?

Those gay male friends are always welcome to visit my bubble.  They don’t really need to be in it though.  They have their own shiny, pink bubbles.   And, I must admit, their bubbles are way more fun to dance in.

p.s.  Don’t be a hater.  I didn’t know Matthew Shepard, but he lived close to me, overseas. He was murdered close to me, as well.  If you don’t like something, it’s probably because you don’t understand it.  Eat a banana and be nice.