The Unequivocal, Completely Logical, Perfect Sense Making Truth Of Day Light Savings Time (I Think)

I have always been a fan of Daylight Savings time.  Seriously.   I like the variety.  The change in the routine.  Every so often it gives me something new to shake things up and that’s a good thing.  I never really understood why people complained about the change and acted like it was a big deal.

I was young and naïve.

This weekend, things were a little busy for me.  My honey do list was long (and by honey do I mean, “honey, do.”)  (And by “honey” I mean me. I’m single and live alone. Who else would I mean?)   So I was a good little boy and I got up early to get started.   I stopped by Unsvelt Girl Who Run’s Drive-way Sale  (this is like a yard sale, only it was held in the drive-way instead)  (just in case that needed further explanation)  (which I’m sure it didn’t)  (but wouldn’t want to take any chances.)   Then I met with Green M&M for Lunch and then did about six hours worth of shopping.   E-gads did I shop, and I didn’t get it all in.  Groceries had to wait till Sunday.

I went home, put everything away, cooked and ate dinner watched a little TV and went to bed early (and by early I mean, it was still Saturday and not into Sunday yet.)  (No really, I went to bed early.  In fact it was even before 11:00 when I went to bed.)  I went to bed early because I knew it was the start of Daylight Savings Time and I knew the time was going to spring forward (Can we really still say that when it’s no longer spring? I mean congress went and screwed with Daylight Savings Time and now it’s still officially winter according to the calendar and we’re moving the clock forward?   So what, now it’s “winter forward, fall back”?)

I woke up on Sunday morning when my alarm went off at 8:30… Of course that was really 9:30 because I hadn’t changed the time on the clock yet. (Sidebar: I have three atomic clocks in my house and the only one that is not currently an hour slow is the one on my night stand and that’s because I manually changed it before I went to bed last night.)  After showering and dressing I headed out to the grocery store where I was pleasantly surprised to see that I got all my shopping done in less than an hour and I got great produce (I guess there’s something to be said for grocery shopping at 11:00 on Sunday Morning and not 8:00 on Saturday night.  Yes that’s right, folks!  I have a booming social life!)  I was home by 12:30 and putting away groceries.  My refrigerator is slightly larger than a thigh high hooker boot box so this was a significant undertaking.  I ended up rearranging the majority of the fridge in the process.  I finished the groceries, whipped up a batch of banana bread (if you can call hand mixing a stick of butter and a cup of sugar “whipping up” a recipe), made a nice spinach and steamed shrimp salad, and cleaned the house.

Since the DVR was clear of my weakly must-sees (shocking, I know!) I read for a little while before cooking dinner and then watched Iron Chef America while I ate. Now, this post is not really about my activities in the last 52 hours (much to your relief I’m sure), the real point is that by the time Desperate Housewives was half over last night, I was fighting to keep my eye’s open.  No fewer than three times I had to hit the rewind button on the remote because I had missed something that happened or what someone said.  So the minute Desperate Housewives went off, I threw in the towel, knowing I’d never make it through Brother’s & Sisters.

I went into the restroom to take care of the usual before bed business including brushing my teeth and reinserting my invisalign.. aligners, and headed for the bedroom.  And as luck would have it, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, wide awake, and thinking to myself, “Tomorrow morning is going to suck!”  And that’s when it occurred to me, Daylight Savings Time is a cruel trick of nature or Congress or Benjamin Franklin or the Easter Bunny or whoever!  Why, in the name of all that is holy does the time change for Daylight Savings Time occur at 2:00 AM on Sunday morning? This is just cruel, particularly in March when the clock winters forward and we lose an hour.

Think about it.  It’s Sunday morning and your alarm clock is going off at 9:00, only your body thinks its 8:00 and doesn’t want to get up yet.  You force yourself to get up but your body is displeased and rebels for the first hour or so until finally it kicks into gear and goes with the flow.  You go through your day and all is well until evening when your body is ready to call it quits from not getting enough sleep but it’s only 9:00 and you don’t want to go to bed too early because you know if you go to bed too early you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and then you won’t be able to get back to sleep until its almost time to get up and then you won’t want to get up.

You do get up, because you have to be a responsible adult but your Monday is ruined because you didn’t get enough sleep and so you kill an hour or so at your office writing a semi-nonsensical blog post about the time change being bad and the whole thing could’ve been avoided if the time change just hadn’t happened.

Here’s what I propose.  Daylight Savings time should begin and end at 2:00 AM on Saturday morning giving us the entire week-end to adjust, and not just one day. Then Monday will be just fine and everyone’s blog posts will make sense and all will be right with the world.

Conveniently though, today is National Take a Nap Day and I think I’ll do just that!  The end!

I Am An Official NANOWRIMO08 Winner, Yay!

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His Tragedy Gives Me Hope

I know this guy.  A really wonderful guy.  He’s kind and compassionate.  I’ve never seen him angry.  Of course he is a vendor with whom I interact in a professional capacity, but I feel as though, I’ve known him and worked with him long enough that he’s more than just a vendor to me.  He is a friend and as a friend seeing him angry wouldn’t be completely unreasonable.  Yet it doesn’t happen. He’s always positive and upbeat.  He’s always encouraging and supportive.  He’s diplomatic and charismatic.  He’s always very peaceful and I really enjoy dealing with him.

You might wonder why this seems so incredible to me.  Why is it so noteworthy?  You see, my friend has every right and reason to be completely messed up.  No one could blame him if he was a miserable, unlikeable, pitiful excuse for a man.  He suffered greatly in his early days, both due to his environment and directly at his father’s hands.  And later when the world learned of his experience, no one could have faulted him for having been affected by it.

You see, my friend isn’t just any man.  He isn’t just any formerly abused child.  He’s the son of a psychopath.  My friend’s father was a very disturbed, evil man, who manipulated hundreds of people and is directly responsible for one of the most infamous and horrific mass murders of my lifetime.  My friend is the only living biological son of The Reverend Jim Jones and his wife Marceline.

With a name as generic as Jones, you’d never imagine that my friend could possibly be the son of such a sick individual.  I’m only aware of it because a former co-worker, big on over-sharing, told me about my friends history one day several years ago around this time.  Yesterday was anniversary of the massacre that took the lives of over nine hundred members of “The Peoples Temple.”  If you don’t know the story, You can find out a little bit here and here.  I’m not going to recount it in this forum.  The truth is, I wouldn’t have known anything about it if it weren’t for my mouthy co-worker, but as a person who is fascinated with disaster and destruction I couldn’t help but do some research afterward.  Like most people I’d heard the various catch phrases about “the Kool-Aid” (which it was not) but I didn’t know the story, and never before that day was it so personal.

Thirty years ago this week, the disaster took place.  The things I’ve read, and the television shows I’ve seen about the event are chilling to say the least.  I can only imagine what it must have been like in the days and weeks after the mass murder for my friend, (I can’t call what happened suicide.)  Knowing that he had survived this tragedy when so many innocent people died at his father’s proverbial hand, I can only imagine the survivor’s guilt that he must have suffered.  Likewise, I can only imagine the years of therapy it must have taken for him to become the man he is today.

In preparing to write this post today, I did a little internet search for information and I came upon a story about my friend and his appearance in, but disinterest in watching, a documentary type special, a couple years ago, about the Jonestown Massacre.  While I have read stories in the past about my friends life, I happened across this and was, nonetheless surprised:

The younger Jones concedes he went through hell and back trying to come to terms with his ordeal. “I’ve finally found a little peace.”

That peace wasn’t in place at Jonestown. “Then I was always enraged with my father, and I showed it openly,” he says.

“There were even times when we squared off in front of everybody at the Temple, with guns pointed at each others heads,” Jones says.

“But did I help anything? No, I really think I made it worse. I increased the fear and dread in the community. My rebellion was all about making him look wrong. There was little about standing up for the people in the community. I could no longer rationalize the sickness and the wrong of what he was doing, yet I rebelled from the safety of royalty.”

…with guns pointed at each others heads.”

It’s hard for me to imagine my friend holding a gun, let alone, pointing it someone’s head.  Especially at his own father’s head.  How tragic in it’s own right that such a thing should happen.  I’ve never discussed my friend’s father with him.  Part of me would very much like to.  I have many questions that go unanswered, but I just can’t help feeling like, perhaps he doesn’t want to talk about him.  Perhaps, he shares his story and does his interviews with news outlets out of some sense of obligation or responsibility but doesn’t desire to talk about it with people with whom he has a personal relationship.  I can imagine he’s got some incredible, exciting stories to tell.  If it weren’t such a tragic and disturbing true story, I would very much like to hear (or read) them.  But they’re surely not incredible, exciting stories to him.  They are the stuff of his tumultuous early years which is very likely better left buried.

Often, I have thought about what it must have been like for my friend, to grow up in such an environment.  I know, from reading my friends own writings on-line, that Jim Jones was a very disturbed and often violent father.  I know that he was addicted to drugs and carried on in a sexual manner, not appropriate for a father or a husband, and certainly not for a Pastor.  I know that my friend had a miserable childhood that included, among other things, multiple attempts at suicide by over-dosing on his father’s drugs.  I think about these things and I think, “Man!  What am I moping about?  My life was a walk in a park compared to that.”  And then I found this.

The other night, I watched the MSNBC special presentation, Witness to Jonestown.  I wish I could remember more specifics, but as I was watching this show and my mind was drifting on and off of what I was seeing and hearing, I was suddenly snapped back to the reality of the show when I heard a woman say, “You weren’t allowed to disagree.  You weren’t allowed to have a different opinion.”  I have expressed that very sentiment, almost word for word many times, in reference to growing up in Vengeful Mother‘s home.  And today I read the brief article “A cult is like abusive relationships…  You are trapped like a caged animal.”  The interview with Deborah Layton, a survivor of Jonestown, read, in a lot of ways, like a description of my own childhood as I was being raised by VM:

“…plays on people’s insecurities and gives them a sense of order in the world…

“You find a niche… where everything is black and white, where this way is good and the other way is bad.”

The logical consequence of this thinking, however, is that any deviation from the cult leader’s [Vengeful Mother‘s] thinking is automatically condemned. Members’ individuality is suppressed and subject to fear and suspicion…  “It’s an abusive relationship…you can’t extricate yourself without hurting yourself or your family. You are like a caged animal.”

There is a frightening and painful similarity between the way Vengeful Mother controlled me (and in many ways, still does) and how someone like Jim Jones controls the members of his Cult.

Come to think of it, my amazement at my friends ability to heal from his tragic early days also gives me hope for my own future.  Encouragement that I can and will find peace in my own life without the bonds of my previous existence holding me down, preventing me from finding a place in this world where I can fit in and be happy, healthy and whole.

Shaking Things Up

I’ve never really claimed to be clairvoyant or to otherwise have ESPN, but from time to time things happen where I feel like I could predict the future.

Actually, I should take a step back.  When I was a child of roughly 11 years old we had an event at our family church.  There was a traveling minister that the pastor had brought in, and on the last night of his little conference, he asked for the parents to let him pray over their children before we were sent off to the children’s services for the evening.  I choose not to make a statement one way or the other about my beliefs of what this man had to offer.  It would be an entirely separate post unto itself.  But suffice it to say that I do not imagine that he was a complete quack, though perhaps took some things over board.

“I’d like for the children to line up here, in the front of the auditorium,” he said, “and I’ll hold my hand over them and pray for them.  If the Lord gives me a special message for or about any of them I’ll share that.”

We all went to the front of the church as asked and lined up for him to pray for us.  As I recall it, and we’ve already established that my memory is less than exact, he held his hand above our heads, one by one and praying for us alternately in tongues and in English.  There were six or eight children before me, two of whom were the pastors children, but nothing happened with any of them.  And then he came to me.  And he froze.  And he said, “The gift of prophesy.  God has given the gift of prophesy to this young man.”

Boy, was I excited at the prospect of being able to predict the future.  What a wonderful gift, i thought.  Naturally, Vengeful Mother was right there to shit on it.

“It’ll only happen if you stay in the church and honor God’s will.”  She might as well have said the rest of what she was thinking, “in the way that I see fit.

For years after that I lived with the simultaneous thrill of possibly being able to “predict” the future, and the fear of not measuring up to God’s (Vengeful Mother‘s) expectations.  Eventually, I reached a point of not wanting the gift if I had to “be good enough” for it.  I wanted to be “good enough” just the way I was.  I found myself being unwilling, or afraid to experience this “gift of the spirit”.  And yet, in the back of my mind, I repeatedly heard this minister, “God has given the gift of prophesy to this young man.”  The minister didn’t mention any conditions.  Just “God has given….”

I’ve experienced a lot of instances where I felt like “I’ve been here before.” or “I’ve seen this before.”  Lot’s of people would tell you , “Oh that’s just deja vu.  It happens to everybody.  Here’s the biochemical explanation for that….”  But to me, it doesn’t just feel like “Oh it’s just deja vu.”  It feels like more than that.  It feels like more than just an after-image, or a synapse misfire.  It feels real.  It feels like something I already knew about. And, it’s happened a few times.

Nearly ten years ago, Vengeful Mother, told me about a car accident that the parents (married for over 50 years) of D-Lite‘s (Vengeful Mother‘s best friend’s) husband had been in.  They were both left in comas immediately following the accident.  The husband of the couple died of internal injuries a few hours after they’d been admitted to the hospital and the wife was still in a coma but had broken both of her legs and was really banged up, but was expected to live.

I asked Vengeful Mother, “What do you think will happen when she wakes up?”

“What do you mean?” VM asked me.

“Well,” I said, “I know that this is kind of mellow-dramatic, but I know it’s been known to happen where people in a situation like this are heartbroken over their loss and end up dying for no reason other than that.”

VM expressed that she couldn’t answer to that and we’d just have to wait and see.  Two days later, when I got to work, I got an e-mail from VM that said something along the lines of, “You have always been very spiritually attuned, even if we don’t really realize it until later on…  D-Lite‘s Mother-in-law woke up from her coma yesterday afternoon.  After they confirmed that she was relatively stable, they informed her of her husband’s death.  Shortly before midnight she went to sleep.  She never woke up.”  There was some mention of her not wanting to go on without her husband.

In that instance, I didn’t even realize I’d had that certain sensation, but I did, in fact, know that this would happen.  Over the years I have had hit and miss experiences to help me learn to trust that feeling.

Most recently was the morning I woke up having dreamed that my Grandfather had died and about the result of his death.  I hoped I’d be wrong and as the time wore on, I began to feel like maybe I was wrong, and then I got the call.  Fifteen hours after I woke up from my dream, I was informed that Papa had just died.  I had known it would happen.  I wanted to be wrong, but I knew it would happen and I wasn’t surprised when I was informed.

I woke up yesterday morning, with one of those feelings.  It’s been nearly 48 hours since I had the dream and things are looking up…

But, the night, before last, I dreamt, that at some point, during the day whilst I was away from my home, the Bay Area was rocked by a six point something earthquake.  In my dream the shaking lasted more than 30 seconds, which, for those who aren’t familiar, usually guarantees considerable damage.  For instance the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 was a magnitude 6.9 and lasted only 15-20 seconds but did billions of dollars worth of damage.

Now I don’t say there WILL BE an earthquake of such significance anytime soon.  I certainly had no indication in the dream of what the date and time was.  I just know that I woke up from the dream feeling apprehensive and relieved, because while the earthquake was serious and real in my dream, here was a minimal amount of damage done…  At least in my own world.  I can’t actually speak for the Bay Area as a whole.

At any rate, I didn’t write this to be alarmist, I don’t expect anyone to believe it.  I’m not sure I believe it myself.  I said that over the years I’d learned to trust that feeling.  That may be an overstatement.  Over the years I’ve learned not to discount that feeling.  So. I hope I’m wrong, and I probably am, but in the meantime, every time I feel a shake, every time I hear an odd rumble, I’m looking up.  I’m checking fluid levels in bottles and glasses for vibration.  I’m checking my hanging Philodendron, “Phil,” for sway.  And I’m watching the surest barometer of all, Scared Kitty who will freeze in place, and then coming running for comfort and safety.  I check all these things to make sure I’m imagining it all.

Eventually, the feeling will subside.  I’ll lower my defenses…  And that ultimately, will be the point of no return, the point when the next big earthquake will hit.  Until then, I just wait for my premonition, to be proved.  It has to happen eventually, right?

Seven Days? Really? Only Seven Days?

I can hardly believe it’s been only seven days.  Only seven days since one of the greatest history making moments in my life time, the election of our first “black” President.  I have to use the quotes.  It’s not that I don’t see the historic value of what happened.  It’s just that, to me, Barack Obama isn’t a “black” President.

Really, Barack Obama is 50% African, and 50% American.  (Hmmm.  I never thought of that before this moment.  I guess I can safely call him an “African American” without having the terminology grate against me.  I have a hard time calling black people “African American” because the vast majority of them have never set foot in Africa and neither have several generations of their ancestors.  And because the “politically correct” terminology changes from one day to the next and I don’t see how “black” can be offensive unless you’re just looking for an excuse to be offended.)  But from the moment the results were in and he was our new president I couldn’t help feeling like all the hoopla was a little bit of a farce.  This man is not “black

A day or two after the election, I saw something on the TV.  A handful of gang banging, pants sagging, puffy coat wearing, bandanna displaying, gold tooth flashing hoodlum type young black males, showing their exuberant enthusiasm that finally, “we will be represented.”  And all I could think was, “He doesn’t represent YOU!”  Barack Obama is an educated, well spoken, contemplative, sophisticated, only HALF Black man.  Something those boys on my TV screen will never have the capacity to understand.

I don’t mean to belittle his heritage.  That’s not my point at all.  But the reality is, stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.  They’re usually based in some amount of reality.  And the reality is that Barack Obama is not a “stereotypical black man”.  I hope you don’t think that makes me racist, because it doesn’t.  But if you come away from this with the idea in your head that it does, well…  I think that’s something I can live with.

There’s no end in sight to the overblown propagandization of the monumental accomplishment that is the election of our first Black President and I am sincerely glad to have been a part of that accomplishment.  I really do see the greatness of that accomplishment and certainly would rather have it this way versus the alternative.  I am not sorry that Barack Obama is going to be our next President.  But by the same token, I am not a disciple of the Obama movement.  Certainly there were better options out there.  I still, to this day believe that Hillary was the right person for the job.  That she should have been our 44th President and that if a woman was going to hold that office in the next two decades it would be she.

I’m constantly reminded of the Saturday Night Live sketch from earlier this season with “Sarah Palin”, played by Tina Fey, and “Hillary Clinton”, played by a quite pregnant Amy Poehler.  The ladies were delivering a joint press conference (the “I can see Russia from my house.” sketch).  “Sarah” made a comment about knowing that “Hillary” agrees that it’s time for a woman in the White House, to which “Hillary” lost all composure and said, “Noooooo.  I didn’t want a woman in the White House!  I wanted ME in the White House.”  It was of course an extremely humorous moment but it also spoke volumes, in my opinion, to the status of this nation!  Are we ready for a woman in the White House?  I don’t know.  I’d like to think so, but I’m just not sure.  Were we ready for Hillary Clinton in the White House and more specifically in the Oval Office?  I say, without a doubt, yes.  Then again, the facts don’t seem to support my assertion so perhaps I’m wrong.  I know I was ready, but I may be alone.

It is equally hard, if not harder to believe that it’s been only one week since the devastating news that indeed, I have been stripped of a right that, honestly, up until earlier this year, I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.  The right to fall in love with the man of my dreams and fulfill that dream by marrying him, just like my sister was able to do with the man of her dreams.  Just like Unsvelt Girl Who Runs and TV Addicted Mom, and just like the vast majority of the rest of the world.

I still find the irony of the situation equal parts amazing and disgusting!  It seems as though Proposition 8 was approved, at least in part, because of the record number of Black voters that turned out for this election.  Let’s face it.  There’s a decent chance that Barack Obama would not have been elected if not for the record number of Black voters that turned out to vote in this election and yet, based on the polling data, these are the same voters that voted in favor of Proposition 8.  The reason given?  That they didn’t see the correlation between the discrimination that they face periodically and that their ancestors faced on a daily basis, and the discrimination that is now to be heaped upon me and thousands like me.

If you’ve read this blog much in the past you probably know that I am an “average white boy.”  (Although Green M&M says, “If you got a drop, your black, honey.”  Which I guess probably means that I, the original average white boy, am also black.  I got a little bit of everything in me going way back!  At one of her sisters parties a long time ago, I was referred to buy a drunk back guy as a “light skinded brother” so who knows.)  They don’t come much more average than I.  The thing that makes me not average, not part of the majority?  The thing that makes me a part of the minority set?  The fact that I’m gay.  Currently, gay individuals are still a minority.  We probably always will be.  But because this percentage of Black voters who were part of the exit polls couldn’t see how I was being discriminated against in the same way that they are, or that their parents or grandparents were, they voted to take away my rights and put me in that minority position.

There’s a youtube video from Kieth Olbermann:

that has made the rounds on the internet today, that I must say I’m quite impressed with.  But one of the things that struck me the most was this.  In his commentary, Olbermann says, that forty odd years ago Mr. and Mrs. Obama would not have been allowed to marry in 16 of the states of this great nation of which their son would grow up to hold the highest office.  Roughly a third of the country, just 40 years ago.  And the body they have to thank for that freedom is the California Supreme court and yet, seven days ago that same race of people made a major contribution toward stealing away those same rights from the likes of me.

It was not my intention for this post to be yet another political rant, for in truth I am a political know nothing. I’m just amazed to find that it has been ONLY seven days since this historic, but nonetheless tragic day took place.  It feels like an eternity to me.  I’ve been through so much in the seven days since.  And yet, really, I haven’t been through anything.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008, was a rough day for me already.  I was late for work, as usual, having overslept, as usual, and barely arriving at work in time for my 9:30 Tuesday Morning Torture Session, otherwise known as my departments staff meeting, as usual.  It wouldn’t be so bad by itself, it’s just that we have been having literally the same meeting for the last six years.  The agenda never changes.  Douche Bag is just as flippant and ignorant and oblivious as ever.  Country Dumbkin is just as late as ever, and just as disruptive as ever.  The agenda doesn’t change, and Unsvelt Girl who Runs (who at the rate she’s going will need a new moniker soon) and I continue to stare at the table and wait for the agonizing hour to end.  It always ruins our days and makes us want to jab our eyes out with our pens.

Deb, my therapist, had advised me, via voice mail, that there is a poling place near her office, and that I may need to allow myself a little extra travel and parking time (there is only street parking near her office) before our appointment.  So I had to leave work early to fight the traffic and the parking problems.  I am a Permanent Absentee Voter so I didn’t have to worry about fighting the lines at the polls, thank God!

I wish I could point out some particularly offensive events of that day.  I’m sure their were some, it’s just that there’s nothing out of the ordinary about it so I don’t remember anything in particular.

I went to my weekly therapy appointment where I asked what I felt was a simple question, “What good does it do me to know why I feel the way I do if it doesn’t make it stop happening?”  I didn’t like her answer, or anything else, much, about our visit.  I realize that happens sometimes and I’m not contemplating ending our relationship.  I’m just really tired of this stage of things and I’m ready to move on and I feel like I don’t know how to do that.  And sometimes I feel like she holds the key and just isn’t sharing.

After therapy I came home and turned on the TV.  I honestly felt like I already knew the outcome.  There was virtually know way Obama was not going to win and when I got home and turned on the tube it was already 207 electoral votes for Obama to 134 electoral votes for McCain and we were only minutes away from the West Coast Polls closing.  I was disappointed to find that no one was talking about Prop 8 yet.  I knew the out come of this one too.  I was just praying that, there but for the grace of God, I would be wrong.  And then the reports started coming in.  And Prop 8 was passing and I could feel my future slipping away.

But more than losing my future, I could feel my present slipping away.  I could feel all the confidence and certainty I had built up over the last two years dwindling.  I was being told by 52% of the voters of California that it was not OK for me to be the person I was born to be.  The person that God has made me.

A snippet of a song keeps going through my head, and while it doesn’t completely fit, the chorus and the sentiment of the singers does.  It’s from a scene in Rent when Maureen and Joanne are breaking up at their engagement party:

Take me for what I am
Who I was meant to be
And if you give a damn
Take me baby, or leave me.

So often I feel this way and want to scream this to so many people, especially in my family, but after last Tuesday, I felt like 52% of the state of California was saying back to me, “Yeah, thanks.  Given the option?  I think I’ll leave.”

I stayed home from work on Wednesday.  I did it in part because I stayed up way to late watching the returns and just hoping that by some miracle the numbers would turn around and we’d begin to see the “No”s climb before ultimately defeating the measure.  That, as you know, did not happen.  So I stayed home because I was up until the middle of the night praying for a miracle.  I also stayed home because I was, honestly and truly pouting.  I may be 33 yeas old, but I couldn’t help myself.  I stayed home to pout because I just couldn’t face anyone.  I couldn’t bare to pretend that I was fine and that all the shit that would absolutely be dished out on me at work didn’t matter.  I was hurt and depressed and I had to stay home and pout and cry and rage and generally be a sore loser.  Even now, as I think about it, I’m angry and I have tears that well up behind my eyes just begging to come out.  Because I feel impotent to make a change.  Unable to get through to anyone, and a thousand times less sure of myself and my orientation than I was on Monday, November 3, 2008.

The rest of the work week was pretty average except I couldn’t get over my hurt and anger, perhaps I still haven’t.  And then Friday.

On Friday, while I was “working” (which probably amounted to writing my all about Eve post, Vengeful Mother popped up on my computer screen, via Instant Message and said, “Why don’t you come home for Thanksgiving.”  I was completely on the spot, caught off guard and utterly speechless.  I have no desire to go to VM‘s house or spend any one on one time with her ever again.  I love her but I can’t tolerate being with her and I’m just not ready, not strong enough, to stand on my own while being around her and experiencing the vitriol and judgement that she spews.  I had to say no, but how?  So I told her as little of the truth as I had to, in order to put it to an end.  “I can’t.  I don’t really have the money, other people in my office already have the time off, and I have a prior existing engagement.”  Fortunately, it was over at that.

But Friday was just a long, hard day and it culminated in my shameful humiliation on Craigslist and my disgust with myself on Saturday.  What I haven’t previously stated is that I was up until nearly 4:00 in the morning pursuing my demise and I had to get up on Saturday morning to go and spend the day with Green M&M to whom I would be loathe to say anything about my Craigslist extravaganza.

Yesterday, already feeling like I’d lived a lifetime (albeit a bad one) in the seven days past, I was on Facebook and saw something that I think is telling, and that upsets me.  Not long after I made the, in my opinion, monumental error of setting up a Facebook profile I located an old high school friend of mine who I haven’t seen since the summer after graduation and have had very limited interaction with.  I made the effort to reconnect with her this time around and have been feeling guilty because I have been procrastinating answering her “How have you been.  Hope everything is good.” e-mail because I don’t know what to tell her.  I don’t know how honest to be with her.  And then today I saw this, “RNJ is really tired of seeing the commercial advertising the TLC show on the so-called ‘pregnant man.’  That’s not a man, it’s a woman dressed up as a man. Nasty.”  That makes it seem pretty clear to me that I can’t talk to her about what’s real about me.  And I can’t help feeling just a little more rejected by the world around me.

Seven Days?  Really?  It’s only been seven days?

The Low Road

Last night history was made.  Fifty-two percent of the voters in the State of California have voted to legalize discrimination against a whole segment of our population.  A segment of which, I am a part.  I’ll be honest.  I’m truly surprised at how I’m affected by this.  I didn’t think it’d be so hard on me.  In my heart I knew this would happen and yet seeing it has really hurt me.

I hoped and prayed (yes, prayed!) that Proposition 8 would fail and that the people of California would recognize that marriage equality should stand.  That they’d understand that two men being married or two women being married, would have no effect on the “sanctity” of their own marriage, despite their own marriages 50% or greater chance of ending in divorce.  But, I felt it, in my heart, or in my spirit, or in the force, or whatever you want to call it, I felt it and I knew that Prop 8 would pass.  So I should have been prepared for it and not be so hurt by it.

This is my third post regarding this subject since last night and in the first two I took the high road.  It was a short trip!  I’m done with that.  So if you prefer the high road, you may want to stop reading this post now.

THIS IS BULL SHIT!!!  All you hateful, fearful people out there who voted in favor of proposition 8 are shits!  Every one of you.  You should, each and every one of you, be forced to wear a scarlet Y on your chests (if it were up to me it’d be branded on your foreheads, but I’d settle for the scarlet Y) so that everyone else can identify you and then you should all be EQUALLY mistreated.

You should be forced to drink from a separate drinking fountain, to ride in the back of the bus.  You should not be allowed to sit at the lunch counter and you should have to stand silently off to the side with your hat in your hands and your head down.  Your children should be taken away from you and your marriages should be annulled!

Am I over reacting?  Maybe.  But what’s the difference?  I am not a “flaming queen”.  To most people, if you and I stood next to each other, the thought that I might like to pack fudge, or smoke pole, wouldn’t even come to mind.  To me, that’s just one simple way of pointing out that you and I are the same!  So why should you be entitled to a different set of rights than I?

You may believe that what I do is wrong.  You know what?  That’s OK.  I’ve got plenty of people in my life who feel the same way.  One of them even gave birth to me.  You don’t have to approve of my lifestyle, or what you perceive to be my choices, but that doesn’t give you the right to determine what I should and should not be allowed to do.  Do you not know that you are violating the very moral precepts that you are claiming to uphold?  The Bible tells you to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  The Bible tells you to “judge not, lest ye be judged.”  The Bible tells you to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

And if the Bible isn’t enough for you, how about the principles upon which this country was founded.  Our Founding Fathers specifically set up this country with Separation of Church and State in mind.  They came here from a country who’s religion dictated the government and how people were treated and they wanted to escape it.  Separation of Church and State means that your religious views should not have an impact on our laws.  I wouldn’t even mind if churches were allowed to refuse to marry a gay couple because it violates their moral belief system…  Oh wait, THEY ARE.

Anyway you slice it I only hear you telling me that God doesn’t approve of what I do therefor the governments job is to make sure I can’t do it.  THAT’S WRONG!  On many levels, that’s wrong, but I’ll address it just from church and state.  The religious view may be that I’m a sinner, and that I’m going to hell.  I don’t believe that, as I, too, am a Christian, but I respect your right to believe it.  But unlike you, I’m not trying to take away your right to believe it.  My right to marry, however, is not different from yours on a legal front.  And trust me.  Your marriage is on two fronts.  You may be married in the eyes of the church.  You may have had your wedding in a church, or at least a religious ceremony, but you are also married in the eyes of the law, separately from the church.  That’s what your marriage license is all about.

So what’s the harm in my having a legal marriage?  What’s the harm in my planning a lavish wedding ceremony (not to be held in your church)?  What’s the harm in my making a considerable contribution to the states flailing economy by having my wedding in California and spending all my wedding money here in this state?  You have your wedding in your church with your religious piety and I’ll have my wedding in a park or in a back yard or in the little gay bar on the prairie for all I care, but it should still be a LEGAL MARRIAGE.

You know, I will admit that I’m a little surprised by my vitriol on the subject and the way in which it’s been expressed thus far.  The truth is, I’m far less angry than I am hurt.  Cut so deeply, shaken to my very core.  You see, I’m 33 years old.  I’m what I call “newly gay”.  I’m technically still a “gay virgin”.  I don’t have any relationship prospects.  Shit I don’t even have any gay friends.  I’m completely alone and usually feeling pretty sorry for myself because of it.  And I honestly doubt that I will ever have an opportunity to be impacted directly by whether or not Gay Marriage is actually legal.  That would require me to have relationships and to find a man I want to share my life with.  Probably not an easy task.  And while, I’m sure most people will say that I’m taking this too personally, or just plain wrong, I can’t help but feel like this decision is a personal affront.

You see, for most of my life I convinced myself that I believed that gay is wrong.  I convinced myself that I wasn’t gay.  I convinced myself that there were other, perfectly logical, and morally acceptable, reasons why i felt the way I did.  It has taken a lot of prayer, and research, and self exploration and meditation and work to reach a point where I no longer believe that gay is wrong.  I no longer am in denial of the things that I know are true about myself, and I no longer HATE MYSELF for feeling the way I do.  And yet in spite of all that, it doesn’t take much to shake my resolve.  It doesn’t take much for me to question myself.  And I’ll admit that a big part of the Prop 8 battle, for me, was the idea and the hope that just maybe, in a very public, enormous way, society at large would tell me, “Hey.  We believe in you.  We agree with you.  You’re OK, just the way you are.”  Lord knows I need to hear that last part, over and over again.

So there you have it.  I knew, before the first returns came in that Prop 8 was going to pass.  I hated it, and I hate (just a little bit) the people that voted for it, but I knew it.  I guess I’m not really angry that it passed.  I’m not really angry that so many ignorant people out there don’t understand why it was wrong, even if they think it is “moral”.

I’m angry because for the bazillionth time in my life, I’m being reminded, slapped up side the head with the proof that, I must not be OK.  And It hurts.

Bittersweet

History was made in more ways than one, last night.

The really wonderful thing is that Barack Obama was elected President.  The 44th President of the United States of America is a black man.  I think its a sad commentary on our society that it matters.  But it is also a giant step forward for our society that we’re here.  No longer is the office of the Presidency an old white boys club.  It is truly awesome news and yet, I don’t have it in me to get excited about it.

You see, other history was made last night, too.  By a very small majority, voters in the State of California legalized discrimination in the State Constitution.  As of now, it is no longer legal for Gays and Lesbians to marry in the State of California and I think it’s despicable. “No longer legal”.  It was legal, for a handful of months.  Not because some “wayward” Mayor decided to take it upon himself to instruct his staff to issue marriage licenses to gays.  Not because some loop hole was found to make it possible until the loop hole was closed.  It was legal because the California State Supreme Court determined that it was unconstitutional to prevent any one human being from marrying another.  It was Legal doctrine that permitted us to marry.

And now, due to the hatred of the people, it is legal doctrine that takes away that right.  How is it possible, in this day an age, that any other argument, any other perspective can over shadow the fact that this proposition strips away basic human rights?

Sadly, I find it difficult to celebrate a victory in the election of Barack Obama as our next President, while I mourn the loss of our civil liberties.