Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm A Giver

We've all seen them before. Shriners, Socialists, and the Boy Scouts of America...beggars. Tens of people all around us, everyday, manage to find themselves in some sort of ridiculous pickle, as they hustle help from meaningless strangers. The world can easily be divided into two groups: the "haves" and the "have nots." We've all heard these tired colloquialisms, but it's true. I roundly consider myself a "have not." You either belong in beauty pageants or American Idol. Those poor pageant girls are hotmesses and could really learn from people like Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. Clay and Ruben are a twenty-first century Simon & Garkunkel, riveting "haves" in my book. Instead of appealing for tiaras on television, those shellacked "scholarship-opportunity" damsels should really be knitting socks for six-toed babies or contributing to the Fox News Channel. Much like the engineering behind the Peanut M & M and the structure of the post-birth vagina, humanitarianism has long fascinated me. I would totally posit myself a giver if I wasn't me, as I amass nausea from most people and shoulder an innate selfishness with pride. My struggle with charity emanated as a youth.

Fifth grade was a big year for me. Not only did I have to reel in my self-importance as an elementary senior, I attended a different school and exploded into my brand new training bra. I also met Janice Osbourne, a grade-five colleague and grade-ten "have not." Janice, looking back, was probably clinically-depressed, and, worse, quite poor. She was a tragic riot that I generally avoided. However, one day, she revealed to me how pathetic she felt about her home life and how sad she was not to have any friends, beleaguered by the fact she felt unpretty. Even at my tender age, the charity gods and/or Mother Teresa tested me. Before this point, my philanthropy ended with dropping dimes in the "Help Save a Child" basket at Mexican restaurant cashier desks. Janice embodied the fucking dime basket. Her attempts to present depth did not impress me, yet I did resolve to take her under my wing and teach her about life and how to be modern girl of the nineties. But with recess in fifteen minutes, I needed to hurry.

I sat Janice down and instantly shouldered flashbacks of giving my parents the "sex talk" a few months prior. What a debacle. Janice needed to comprehend that she should first be a girl. "Since you do not have a penis, you are not allowed to sport a bowl-cut for hair or wear Doc Martens," I said. When she needed inspiration, Dolly Parton would serve as a perfect example of modern femininity and provide appropriate examples of makeup application and hair height. She appreciated that visual more than I would know at the time. After we discussed the oh-so-important facade, I realized I must delve deeper and classify her personality disorder. I was seriously involved with psychoanalysis that year and strove to stretch my expertise with this new case study. "Janice, the root of your problem is poverty. If you pretend to come from money, as I do, all of your stressors will disappear. All smart people build walls of lies to protect themselves. I certainly do. If you construct a moneyed persona, popularity awaits you," I proclaimed. Janice thanked me for the advice and went to the girls' bathroom to stare in a mirror and think about our discussion.

After my pep-talk with the adolescent version of Paula Poundstone, I confided in our teacher, Ms. Collins, about my concerns. "Listen, Janice's problems are bigger than you and me. She either needs to speak to a counselor about her condition, or she requires an exorcism faster than I can say 'too legit to quit,'" I explained. I presented a detailed plan of action for the post-exorcism remodification, knowing that awareness of this issue was tantamount. Failure to act would force me to call the Department of Children's Services, whom I had on speed dial as a looming threat to my father. Ms. Collins exhibited deep concern over my story. Being a teacher, her salary didn't allow for Botox, and furrows severely creased her forehead. She thanked me more than really was necessary for my benevolence and general compassion for human suffering. I brushed it off and asked her what she thought about third-world adoption's impact on the Bosnian War.

The faculty sung my praises for the rest of the semester. At the end-of-the-year awards ceremony, the county Superintendent of Schools honored me with the Kerr Cup for "Outstanding Achievement in Integrity, Community Service and Charity." I never really spoke to Janice after that. I was a god.

I brought AWARENESS to Janice's plight. But, what's more: it forces me (to this day) to review my self-awareness. Janice and I are quite similar, but perhaps I built better lies. Awareness is education. It is more vital than my bronzer, and I find that to be the biggest act of charity. As with the alcoholic quitters in AA, you first have to admit you have a problem. We need a constant dialogue amongst each other about the world's shittiness, and we need a constant monologue with ourselves.

I am sure Janice blossomed into a fascinating lesbian that certainly pays it forward.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Italian Stallion Rideth

My friend, Brian, and I rendezvoused at an Italian restaurant last week for dinner, and as much of our conversations invariably devolve, we discussed our prostates, sex lives and our mutual yearning to wear assless chaps on an episode of Glee. My prostate, ever the belligerent little devil, happened to be fighting with my bladder at the time because it was rather restless, but Brian's remained sated from the previous weekend. As he reclined back in the rattan chair completely relaxed, he smiled and said "I loved hearing about the nipple-sucker debacle again in your blog." Shit. Brian was already well aware of Areola-gate 2008, having heard the story at a previous dinner/drink-fest/pity party, and he regaled me with a story of his own. As I dipped my breadstick into the goat cheese and tomato sauce, I shuddered from two things. When he mentioned something about a headboard and a horse, my mind raced first to a certain Italian Stallion. Before I could segue into a Mr. Ed visual, the restaurant hostess also sat an unfortunate-looking woman in the table next to us.

When I say "Italian Stallion," I don't mean Sylvester Stallone. This guy was slightly less tragic and I'm sure a few years younger than Stallone's latest face. He did have a body like The Situation and a face like a younger Adrian Pasdar from Heroes, however. I met the Italian on a magical night at a drag show, the air perfumed with blackouts and MAC cosmetics (I'm also calling him Italian because I don't remember his name. He may very well have been German. Point is: I didn't care). Per the usual, I attended the show with a girlfriend to imbibe and dance and had no desire to meet anyone. I wasn’t in the mood to talk to boys that night. My only wish was to speak directly to vodka, trannies and Jenni, my girlfriend of choice that night. By the seventh vodka tonic, I managed to lose both Jenni and my eyesight for an unknown amount of time, only to recover and discover her chatting up the Italian and beckoning me over. He wanted to buy me a drink. After I made a fuzzy mental note to acquire a bed pan that night, I accepted the drink which tasted oddly of Jäger (you know, with that horrid taste of candied yams mixed with Robitussin). I loathe Jäger. I believe I downed two shots quite easily.

Blackness.

Apparently, Jenni thought we should have an escort back to my apartment which was about a three-minute walk from the bar. I do not recall this because I recouped my intoxicated lucidity only after we stumbled back inside the gate of my apartment building. Jenni dialed her husband to come retrieve her, and my clothes disappeared as I slid into the apartment's communal pool. I had just cajoled the Italian into the pool when Jenni's husband, Adam, called. He was near my street but appeared to be lost and desperate. Midtown Atlanta at three in the morning screams "gay," so I immediately jumped into action to save him from the city's homo wilderness. Obviously, reciting him my satellite coordinates to plug into his GPS would not work, so I grabbed Jenni's phone and flashed out onto the streets in my chlorine-sodden briefs. Before I realized the pavement would decimate my latest pedicure, I reached Juniper and 10th and claimed the traffic light pole to maintain balance and strike a pose for passers-by. Adam dictated his whereabouts and eventually made his way to Juniper. However, to be safe that he not lose his way again, I calmly walked out into the intersection to wave him down and direct the oncoming traffic (the VW Jetta is much bigger in close proximity). I hugged Adam freely when he parked next to me in the street, my arms still flailing in the wind in case cops in the nearby area needed to check on our security.

In hindsight, I count myself lucky for not being arrested. That mugshot would not be pretty. Once Adam and Jenni departed safely, my attention swerved back to the Italian. He managed to find my apartment, borrow a Coke from the refrigerator and engage in a conversation with my roommate, Lauren, all by himself in his underwear. I beamed with pride. Once settled and dry, I introduced him to my bedroom, and he introduced me to his package. As things rarely faze me, I can count on one hand the times when I've become horrified and speechless. This penis public appearance floored me...it was the size of a beer can. I knew then that I would never snap back from this anaconda about to strike and grimaced at the irony of my affectionate name for him, Italian Stallion.

Blackness.

I regained consciousness as I was bowled over the toilet, ridding my body of the Jäger shots and my turkey club sandwich from dinner. The Italian rolled out of my bed and came to what I thought would be holding my hair back. No, he hoisted me up as I wiped my mouth and led me back to bed for round two.

Blackness.

Brian relished this story immensely, and I realized a few vital quirks about myself. I talk about sex way too much, so I need to rein it in and table the one night stand talk. I'm thrilled I make the mistakes of my earlier twenties less often, and I appreciate my hatred for beer even more. Oh, and thank God for blackouts.

The stuffy old woman in the table next to us, apparently eavesdropping on our dialogue, had heard enough. She leered at me with disgust and summoned the hostess to seat her in a table on the other side of the restaurant.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

He Loves Me Not

I loitered on my couch the other night in boy shorts and no shirt, shoveling peanut butter, mayonnaise and Dorito sandwiches down my throat, and three things occupied about thirty-seven seconds of solid thought. First, my association for mayo and depression really must stop. Second, Joan Rivers categorically needs to be back ON the red carpet and kick that dumb bitch Ryan Seacrest off her platform heels, and lastly, I would like a man to literally fall into my lap. The idea of love, in all its abhorrent anatomies, has started upsetting me the past several months. I am twenty-eight years old and have refused to fall in love – between the time spent doing my hair and figuring out the inner-workings of water retention in my body, I couldn't find the time. If I wasn't so impressed with my appearance, this no-hearting past would chap my ass. Today, I don't have love, yet what you don't have you covet, and since I cannot play the Santa or priest role, no man will fall into my proverbial lap to claim my heart or cop a feel. After my last birthday in August, I decided to alter my Facebook relationship status. I concocted a very competent, strategic plan to achieve this goal of love: delete my MySpace account because its ad revenue tracked too poorly for my standards and acquire a man before Guy Fawkes Day.

After I remembered I never had a MySpace account, I immediately instigated an audit of other social networking and/or dating sites on which to find Mr. Right. Since eharmony.com hates homosexuals and Grindr's talent only includes iPhone whores, I narrowed it down to Craigslist and Match.com. While Craigslist had a lot going for it like penis shots and retarded power bottoms, Match won the day. Speaking of Craigslist, is it odd that I used to scan the listings, memorizing faces and ball sacks on the off chance that should I make their acquaintance I could head for the nearest police station?

The profile process on Match is daunting. I am usually accustomed to people judging me based on seeing me in person, drunk, so this endeavor to verbally "sell" myself like a cheap cup of semen was a little intoxicating and worrisome. Yes, this profile would need to transform my bitter, cynical personality into one of sincerity, niceness and depth, and I couldn't necessarily stand on looks or hair alone. Naturally, I squirmed. The next day at work, I canceled my afternoon meetings, popped two Xanax and tuned my iPod to ABBA. I find that combination most conducive to the creative writing process. After a couple of hours and a few reviews by my direct supervisor, I sputtered into the "In Your Own Words" field:

"Looking for something serious...but I don't take myself too seriously

The headline space isn't long enough to hold a Julia Roberts plot where I find a great guy in an irreverent mix of comedy, but that's what I wanted to say. It defines my personality and how I live my life. I enjoy a little levity mixed with my sincerity. But, don’t get me wrong. I’m a sweetheart, and I would love to tell you why.

I was born and raised in the South, and I hold courtesy and respect values very near to me. I live in NYC now, and it amazes me that people refuse to hold the door open for others or let a few little old ladies off an elevator first. I remain very close with my family. I still call my parents "Mama" and "Daddy." As I've gotten older, I (frighteningly) see so much of myself in my parents. I'm tender-hearted yet to-the-point like my mother, with a healthy dose of vanity. Resembling my father, I'm driven, devoted and loyal to a fault. When I left the roost, I attended the University of Georgia, and majored in Advertising and English (after a brief stint in Architecture). Once I graduated, I did the damndest thing – I got a job in my degree field, Advertising, and I’ve been in the industry ever since.

That's my background, but I apologize for the parent-talk. Today, I am a study in clichés. I do tend to love those gay stereotypes. Fashion is imperative, and good, smart design can take my breath away. My dream career mirrors a life stylist of sorts – interior decorator, architect, artist, sculptor, and personal stylist, all bankrolled by innovative clients. NYC for a Southern boy like me is a dream, and I'm so glad I'm here. Without going on and on and making you read too much, I must start a little list of likes (afterall, we need to give you time to respond to me): I am as well-groomed as a show dog; I am known for my cartoonish, pompadour hair; I do say things like "OMG" and "btdubs;" I believe I am too tall by 2 inches; I tend to multi-task and never rest, yet relaxation is what I strive for; I can't pick one Golden Girl to be – I'm all four, carrying each of their attributes on my padded shoulders; I adore raunchy teenage comedies; I'd like to think I'm fairly witty; I’m not religious because it hurts my head to think about it; however, hearing "Amazing Grace" make me cry; my sometimes shyness can come off as aloofness.

Let's leave my clichés and talk about what gets me. I am looking for a delightful, intelligent man that ultimately accepts me for me…the good, the bad and the early morning. A man that is confident in himself, and secure in and loyal to our relationship. A man with style. A man that has passion to complement mine and a strong sense of humor for his friends and peers, but saves the best lines for me. I ask for honesty and self-respect. I admire a goal-oriented man that I can learn from, that pushes me into new directions I wouldn't have thought possible or enjoyable.

I want to fall in love with this man every day."


With the biographical vignette written, I uploaded my best Facebook pictures so that onlookers could reconcile my terrible personality with someone approaching attractiveness. My bullshit goes a long way if I look pretty. If you've been on Match, you’ll agree that it might as well be sponsored by the ASPCA because about 77.9 % of those guys look like they just staggered out of a kennel. And, that kennel could possibly be tied to Michael Vick. Despite the canine conundrum, I turned off "Dancing Queen," took two Excedrin to re-caffeinate my body from the Xanax lows and hit the submit button.

All of my hard work paid off. I have gotten nothing but positive responses from fifty-seven-year-old balding men from Iowa.

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oily Night Stand

I adore the art of the one night stand...well, not so much the other participant as the ideology beneath the sheets. One night stands are single-handedly responsible for the greatest social movements of our time: gay pride parades, Oprah Winfrey and the welfare system. Politics aside, this horizontal taboo really tickles my kitty. Earlier this year, I embarked on a night's sojourn to Williamsburg with a gentleman caller. He looked like "man-of-steel" Clark Kent, with black-rimmed glasses and a perky, half-cocked smile on a stellar face. SO my type. In the incredibly long taxi ride to his apartment, I squeezed in a quick Kegel exercise sprint to prep for the early morning's work. With the pungent odor of over-cooked bok choy and the musk of a teacup poodle in the car, I then reflected on a particularly painful hookup experience. Not painful like ass-splitting. More like just demoralizing. Nevertheless, I became firm...in my resoluteness to trudge ahead and not let this night go limp.

A few days before my twenty-fifth birthday, I needed to avoid a lonely bedroom, so I did something I never do: I ventured to a bar by myself to hang out, yet I had no intentions of filling that bedroom. Flying solo mixes bravery with desperation, so I cannot clinch the appeal of that hunt. At my usual spot in Atlanta, Blake's, I perched myself against a mirrored wall and drank, as the lighting was most flattering in that spot. I make it a point to never make the first move, so I was relieved when a few minutes later a potential mark ambled his way up to me and introduced himself. He offered me a shot of tequila, and I hastily accepted and requested a double as a drag queen began to serenade us with "It's Raining Men." Before I comprehended my dwindling sobriety, I found myself in a booth with him, ferreting various appendages like teenagers in heat. Within a few short breaths, he asked me to come back to his friend’s place - he was "in town on business." Of course he was.

I didn't pose any questions or concerns about this random apartment or invisible friend. Just as I was both thanking and cursing the tequila, he lunged for my left nipple, stripping my shirt off. A Dyson vacuum cleaner could not produce the amount of suction as this guy. I could not detach him from my nipples no matter how hard I tugged his hair. You can ponder my horror as this human breast pump continued to search for something around that sensitive area. I was almost ready to yell "I have no milk you asshole" when he released his grasp, reached for the nightstand and introduced a bottle of olive oil. I sighed, relief washing over me. He wanted to take a break from sanding my areolas and eat some bruschetta.

No. He brought no bruschetta. I was the crouton.

The substitution of olive oil for Astroglide really bewildered me, but I welcomed the distraction from the nipple rape. Yet again, he proved me wrong. With newly moistened lips, he latched onto me again and began to suck, tug and plunder. When he came up for a quick breath of air, I sneaked a peek at my chest and noticed blood speckling beneath the surface of my nipples. I'd often imagined what Twilight's Edward Cullen (my hero at the time) in the sack would be like, but no daydreams prepared me for this onslaught of gratuitous, Italian vampirism. I cannot bear repeating the epic events of the next half hour, but I eventually wangled out of his clutches, sopped up the oil dripping from my body with my clothes and dashed out the bedroom door. I’m not sure how I strapped on my shoes as I hurled myself down the apartment stairs, but I did.

My nipples and mouth were raw and bruised for the next three days. I employed heat compresses to reduce the purpling of my lips, as I needed to be camera-ready for my birthday. Although, pictures do exist that display the faint bruising of my lips, and my eyes have a little less sparkle. I blotted Vaseline on my nipples and walked hunched over for that time period so my shirts would not rub against my chest. An aromatic hint of Little Italy followed me around as well, and I immediately discerned how lucky I was not to have been an extra on the Sopranos.

When we arrived in Williamsburg, Mr. Kent led me to his apartment. I knew he, this new one-night-hero, could easily emancipate me from vampires and Tony Soprano should the situation arise. I slid the glasses from his face and lamented, "oh, Superman, where’s your steel?"