Patience, Grasshopper

I guess when I was a kid, I wasn’t  very patient.  Scornful Mother used to tell me on a regular basis to have patience.

“Honey, you just have to have patience.”  She’d tell me.

“I have patience!” I’d reply exasperated.  “I’m a Pediatrician.  I have little patients.”

I’m sure it’ll come as a huge surprise to find out that Scornful Mother, didn’t find this particularly amusing.

Unfortunately, I’m really not much better now than I was back then.  I’ve learned that throwing a tantrum or heaving an exasperated sigh, usually won’t make things happen any faster.  And I’ve learned that, sometimes, things that are not within my control?  I just have to wait, no matter how much it sucks.  When I keep my wits about me and remind myself of this fact I usually do OK, but it’s easy to get really uptight about it and throw a tantrum (even if it’s only in my head.)

bbbsI’m in one of those situations right now.  A little over a year ago, I applied to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.  At the time they were not able to accept me into the program because I have a DUI on my record that I got in January, 2004.  BBBS requires that you not have had a DUI within five years, and that you only have gotten one ever.  I reapplied late last year, knowing that it would take time to get the process done and that by the time it was all settled I’d probably have hit that 5 year anniversary.

It’s been a bit of a long haul.  The person with whom I’m dealing laid my application aside and forgot about it.  I waited nearly two months before I finally e-mailed her to find out where things stand and that’s when she realized what had happened and set me up with an interview.  I understand how something like that can happen, they’re a non-profit organization and they’re understaffed, I’m not really angry about it, it just adds to the level of stress I feel about it.

I had the interview and it went fairly well.  The coordinator told me then that it would take some time to find a suitable match for me.  As liberal and progressive as the bay area seems to be, she told me that a lot of parents and guardians do express a desire for their child not to be paired with a homosexual.  This is disappointing certainly, but not such a huge surprise, I guess.  She told me at the end of the interview that she would send out my reference checks the following week (It was a Thursday night) and then it would just be a matter of how quickly they came back.  She didn’t send the reference checks out for three weeks.  Again, they’re understaffed so I can understand how this can happen.

A couple months passed after she sent the reference checks out and I hadn’t heard anything, so finally, I checked in again with her, and it was at that point that I was informed that I had, indeed, been accepted as a Big Brother.  She informed me that there is an orientation/training session “late in February” and that she’d get back to me with more information.  I’m still waiting to hear about the training and I already know I’m going to have to follow up with her to get the information.

I’ve passed the five year “anniversary” of my DUI.  I’ve been accepted into the program and now I’m just waiting to be matched to a “little”  I do understand that these things take time and I’m not angry or upset about it, it’s just the waiting…

I hate waiting!  And I’m anxious about this.  I know it’s a good thing for me to do and I hold a lot of hope that I’ll be matched with someone with whom I can really connect and be a help.  I’m sure that once we’re settled into the relationship it’ll be great…  I’m just dreading the first meeting and I want to get it over with!

I hate waiting, but I’ll just have to have patience.

I have patience.  Wait– Let me say that again.  I have patience.  Give me a minute.  I’ll convince myself in a sec… I have patience!

Oh, LORD, give me patience!!!  And if you could hurry?  That’d be great!

Not Enough Love and Understanding

It really sucks when your dearest friend in all the world is 1800 miles away.  It sucks a lot actually.

It sucks when you’re only guaranteed one day (not even a whole day) with your dearest friend, once a year.

It sucks when your friend decides that she’s going to bring her boyfriend with her and so your one day (not even a whole day) per year isn’t even one on one.

And it really sucks when people who are supposed to be mature, grown up people, can’t manage to behave that way and have to ruin a precious experience for someone else.

In my post titled It’s All About Eve I talked about my relationship with “Eve”.  I talked about how very important she is to me, and how despite being a gay man, she’s the love of my life.  Obviously, moving to California when she was staying in Oklahoma was a harder choice because of my feelings for her.  I don’t think I knew when I moved that she came to California every year to visit her Grandparents, so naturally I was thrilled when I found out, the first year, that she would be here and I could spend some time with her.

I was very anxious the first year, while driving down to her Grandparents house.  At the time, from where I lived it was a nearly 70 mile drive (this year, only about 45) which gave me plenty of time to worry and stress about how it was going to go.  I knew Eve’s parents, but I had never met her Grandparents and I was anxious about meeting new people (go figure.)  I was asked to be at her Grandparents house at 9:00 in the morning, which seems reasonable enough on it’s own, but with the 70 mile drive on California highways I didn’t know what to expect as far as traffic is concerned, I didn’t know how long it should take (70 miles on all highways should, theoretically, take about 45 minutes).  I left home at around 8:00 in the morning and stopped for gas and breakfast along the way.  I arrived at the house around 9:10 and was hassled for being late, and then sat around for another fifteen minutes waiting for Eve and her clan to be ready to go.  I didn’t care.  I got to see my friend who I missed so much.

I spent the day with Eve, her infant son and her parents.  After a long, planned to the minute day of shopping, or recreation of some sort, we returned to her Grandparents house where we had dinner, after which Eve and I went out on our own for some one on one time.  I returned Eve to her Grandparents house around 10:00 or so, in the evening and called it a night, before my 70 mile drive back home.  I didn’t care.  I got to spend a long, pleasant day with my dearest friend.

On that first visit, Eve’s infant son, developed an ear infection.  He was miserable and in terrible pain and had no other way to convey that than to cry and fuss.  Eve’s Grandfather, was horrible about it.  He complained throughout dinner that the boy was being noisy and disruptive and why couldn’t Eve do something about it?  He acted like the boy should have been able to control himself and act differently, while simultaneously acting like Eve was somehow at fault for not doing something about it.  Besides his issues with Eve’s son, he was not terribly hospitable to me, but mostly he just ignored me.  I was gracious and grateful and tried to stay out of everyone’s way and was very grateful when Eve and I were able to go out after the meal to spend some time alone.  It was then that she informed me that her Grandfather had always been a vicious, horrible, unkind, temperamental, hateful man and that no one liked him.  The visit’s were mostly for the sake of the Japanese Grandmother, whom, I’ve only ever heard referred to as “Obachan.”  “Grandpa” was only about 5’8″ but must have weighed nearly 400 pounds (if not more) and had difficulty walking without leaning on something to support his weight.

A few years ago Grandpa got very sick (he’s diabetic), was hospitalized and ultimately had to have two or three separate surgeries during which both of his legs were amputated, the right one above and the left one just below the knee.  He lost a significant amount of weight, and not just from the amputations.  He is also legally blind and can’t see anything more than to know that there is a vague shape in front of him that is not familiar but he doesn’t know who or what it is.

When he no longer had legs and was far more dependent on Obachan, his demeanor started to change quite a bit.  He’s still surly and he has some really unpleasant moments but he started to appreciate his wife more and treat everyone with a little more common decency.  Or so I thought.

Three of four years ago, when I came for my visit the whole posse was going to go to a Chinese buffet and I was supposed to meet them at the Grandparents house at 11:00.  By this time, I had grown quite accustomed to sitting around and waiting when I arrived because no one was ever ready and I was bout fifteen minutes late.  This time was no different, except that it only took about five minutes for everyone to get their poop in a group and out the door, yet somehow it was still all my fault.

“They,” (both Grandparents,) “are diabetic and have to eat on a set schedule to keep their blood sugar level,” Said “Big-D”.  This is what Eve’s son calls his grandmother, Eve’s mother.  I can appreciate that and respect that they’re trying to maintain said schedule.  With that in mind, however, I would think they could have gone on to the restaurant and just called me on this new fangled contraption I had, called a CELL PHONE and told me they’d gone on without me and that I should meet them there.  That’s what I would have done under the circumstances.

On that particular occasion, when the waiter brought the check, I reached into my pocket and took out some cash to give to Obachan to cover my share of the bill.  She would not take it and I was told to put my money away.  (This happens every time but I never assume or take it for granted and I always express my appreciation.)  This event was no different.  Obachan refused my money and I said, “Thank you, very much.”  Apparently, Grandpa didn’t see any of this and while he didn’t say anything to anyone at the time, he got his panties in a bunch because I was “ungrateful and unfriendly.”  He told Eve the following year that he didn’t really want me to come around because I wasn’t friendly, I never talked to anybody and I wasn’t grateful for their generosity.  After finding out what his problem was, she explained to him that his perception was inaccurate and stopped him from denying me “access”.  But when I arrived, she made a point of pushing me to proactively say hi to her grandparents.

Now, I know that sounds reasonable enough and like I shouldn’t need to be reminded, but here’s the thing.  I have never been introduced to her Grandparents any more than to say, “These are my Grandparents.”  Eve’s Grandmother is Japanese.  Her Grandfather met her during World War II (I think) and brought her back to America with him.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that fact except that, I can’t understand a word she says!!! Her Grandfather, as I have already stated is blind as a bat and doesn’t seem to even know I’m in the room most of the time.  And again, I’ve never been introduced to them.  I have no idea what their names are or what I should call them, and I realized the other night while telling all this to Insightful Therapist that I can, and should ask Eve, in private, what I should be calling them but it never occurred to me before and I haven’t done so.

How incredibly uncomfortable for someone, who is an outsider to begin with, is tremendously socially awkward and has not been properly “initiated” into the group to be left to fend for himself in such a setting.  And how insanely unfair to ridicule and belittle that person when they don’t perform to your standards.  I was angry when Eve informed me of this turn of events and I wanted to run away and cry after having been put in that situation, but I did not.  I dealt with it, because I wanted to see my friend.

Every year it’s a variation on a theme but it’s the same old story.  I try to make sure I’ll get there “on time” but I’m coming a great distance at such an early hour and a little leeway is in order.  I’m often “late” but not by more than fifteen minutes.  I always have to wait while Eve and her clan finish preparing and I’m hassled because I didn’t arrive on the dot at the assigned hour.  It is ALWAYS Eve that holds things up.  So not only am I harrassed for being late, but I’m forced to sit around and try to make conversation with the people I did not come to see.  After 10 years, this is not such a hardship but it is still stressful to me, because of all the negative treatment I know I can expect.

This year was different from the get-go.  In setting up plans with Eve and the boyfriend, she said, “Just tell me what time you’ll be here and we’ll figure the rest out then.”  This translated, to me, as, “It’s just going to be the three of us so there’s no pressure.”  I told her 9:30, but wasn’t able to get out of the house before 9:15.  I called her and told her this and she said no big deal, no one was ready anyway.  (Big shock.)    I had to stop for gas and breakfast on the way and I arrived at Eve’s Grandparents house around 10:45.  I was ushered into the kitchen/dining room and instructed (by Eve) to “have a seat at the table and talk to my parents.”  Obachan was in the kitchen and I said hello to her on the way through, which amounted to making eye contact with her (so we’d both know who I was talking to) and saying, “Helloooo!  It’s nice to see  you again.”

So I sat at the table with “Big-D” and “Saba”, (Eve’s step-father is Israeli) and chatted with them about the weather, and about work (Saba always asks me “hows your job”, it get’s really old trying to be polite and not say, “It sucks big gorilla dick and I wish I could quit but I don’t have any other prospects or any hope and I’ll probably die at this job because I’m worthless and can’t do anything else and I hate it, but thanks for asking.”), GPS devices, an offer of seeds (pumpkin I think), Invisalign (I have it and therefor declined the seeds) and Sudoku.  (Bear in mind, I did not know that it was going to be anyone besides me, Eve and her boyfriend.”)  Every five minutes Obachan would say something I couldn’t understand and Big-D would say, “I’m ready.” and Saba would say, “I’m ready” and I would say, “I’m ready.  What am I ready for?”  and no one would make a move for the door.  Three guesses who we were waiting for, only this time, she had a decent excuse.  Eve was on the phone with the VA trying to straighten something out for Grandpa.

While we were waiting a woman I’ve never seen before wondered into the kitchen and milled around for a little while.  I did not say anything because she had not noticed me,  I was in a room full of people who knew both of us and I was uncomfortable, and I was in the middle of a conversation with Big-D and Saba.  Where I come from, when two people who do not know each other encounter each other and there are others around who do know both parties a third party introduction is the considerate course of action.  Apparently, that is not the case in this household.  Finally, this woman looked across the room at me and said, “Who are you?”  I told her who I was and somehow I became aware that this was Eve’s aunt but still no one made any effort to introduce us.  This was the moment it dawned on me, again, that I was never introduced to Eve’s Grandparents and this is probably the reason I’m so uncomfortable being around them and expected to be the one to start up a conversation.

When Eve was finished with the VA, we headed out with Saba, Big-D and Obachan in one car and Eve, the boyfriend (TBF) and me in my truck.  We went to “the Japanese store” (I’m sure it has a real name, but again, I’ve never heard it – and I certainly couldn’t read it) and afterward Eve, TBF and I broke off on our own.

We had lunch at Tony Roma’s and went to the mall were we went to the movie theater and saw “Roll Models” (Pretty good movie but it was a little bit ruined for me by the six people who decided they had to sit in the top row with us and asked (five minutes after the movie started) if we could move down and make room for them, only to be disruptive the whole time and then I overheard one of them, during the final credits, say, “That’s the first time I’ve ever gone to see the same movie twice in the same day.”)  After the movie we (and by we I mean Eve and TBF) did a wee bit of shopping.  We then left for dinner and went to a Cuban restaurant (I’ve never had Cuban food before.  Don’t know that I ever will again, but it wasn’t terrible.)  After dinner we decided to go shoot some pool but Eve said, “Before we do, I’d like to go back to the house and drop some of this stuff off.”  That should have been the fist indicator of trouble right there, but as I was backing up to get enough distance between my truck and the vehicle in front of me so I could pull away from the curb, I literally forgot there was a car behind me and I backed into it.  Fortunately, it was really just a nudge and there was no damage done to either vehicle and fortunately, the owners of the vehicle (after the hostess finally tracked them down) were perfectly fine with the situation and didn’t even ask for my name or insurance information, but talk about your harbingers of doom…

The three of us returned to the Grandparents house so that Eve and TBF could offload their haul and while we were in the house, Grandpa started in complaining about how Eve had not taken care of all the things on the list…  Every year Eve’s Grandparents give her a few hundred dollars and in exchange, Eve takes care of some items on a “honey-do” list generally having to do with inputting information into the computer, or as in this case, talking to the VA.  Grandpa was having a tantrum because Eve had not taken care of all the items on the list which she said, he had told her not to worry about because other parties were dealing with those things.  And then came an issue with his watch.  (I know what you’re thinking, “what does a blind man need with a watch?” I was thinking the same thing but then I found out that apparently, it talks to him, so, yeah!  OK.)  Something wasn’t right with the watch and Grandpa and TBF went off to Grandpa’s office to find the instructions for it.

I had only been half paying attention as I was talking with Eve’s, now 10 year old, son and watching him play a video game (and I did not want to be a part of – or in the vicinity of – the conflict) so I missed a lot of the action but it was at this point that I heard her complaining to Big-D about Grandpa’s attitude about things and the fact that he apparently holds on to things forever.  “He made a comment about me ‘pulling an Eve'”, she said, in reference to something that had happened when she was 16 years old, she’s now 32.  It was also at this point that I found out that Grandpa had made a point of telling TBF what an ungrateful ingrate I am.

Eve said we should go and sit in the living room and wait for TBF to finish with Grandpa and then we’d go out again.  I asked her, “It sounds like maybe it would be best if I left?”  And she told me no.  That’s when she said we’d leave in a minute.  So we went to sit in the living room and not two minutes later, TBF came into the living room and Grandpa called Eve into his office.

Now, I have tried really hard to look at this situation from other peoples perspective and not be unduly angry but I’m having a hard time not taking this thing personally.  Eve went to see what Grandpa wanted and was gone for almost an hour while I sat in the living room with TBF making small talk (which I suck at) and waiting.  About fifteen minutes into this I felt like I should leave but I felt like if I left without saying good-bye that would be rude and if I interrupted their conversation to say good-bye that would also be rude and give Grandpa more excuses to dislike me, so I sat there looking at the TV with the “The Lord of the Rings” on (Which I do not want to watch.  I read the books as a child and felt they were very demonic) and listening as TBF’s breathing slowed and then turned into a quiet snore.

Finally, Eve came back into the living room, mouthed, “I’m so sorry” to me, and then woke TBF up to tell us (him) about the conversation.  “Do you know what this was allabout?” she asked.  “He’s throwing his little princess fits, (see I come by it honestly)” she told TBF, “because I’m his only Grandchild and he feels like I come all this way to see him and he still doesn’t get to spend time with me because I’m ‘always off doing other things.'”

Now if I look at this from Grandpa’s perspective, sure, if that’s how he perceives things I can understand why he’d be upset.  I don’t think I’d have chosen that moment to talk about it when my Grandchild had a friend waiting for her, though…  If I look at this from Eve’s perspective, I know she was pissed.  I know she wanted to “have it out” with Grandpa but she was going to wait till morning.  I can understand, though, that if this conversation that you feel strongly that you need to have comes up before you planned to have it, you need to follow it through and talk it out with the other person.  I really do get that.

And because I absolutely love Eve, I don’t want to be mad at her.  Nonetheless, I think she could have handled it better.  She knew I was out there waiting for her.  If I’d been in her shoes I’d have told Grandpa, “Hold on one minute.  I want to have this conversation but it’s obviously going to be a little bit and Kevin’s out there waiting.  Let me go send him home and I’ll be right back.”  And then I’d have come out to the living room and told me, “I’m so sorry to do this but I really need to have this conversation and it’s obviously going to take a while so you probably should go ahead and go after all.”  If she’d told me that I, of course, would have been dissapointed but I would have understood it and I would have gone.

None of that happened, though, and in reality, I’m only seeing this from my perspective and my perspective is that her crybaby, whiny-assed Grandfather, deliberately decided to take that moment to have this conversation.  That “always off doing other things” really meant, going off and spending the day with the ingrate, and that it was his intention to ruin the rest of my visit.  And no!  I am not paranoid.  I can’t help it if they’re all out to get me.

But here’s the thing.  As if that weren’t bad enough and enough evidence to support my argument, here’s the rest of the story:

Five minutes after Eve finally rejoined us in the living room, he wheeled his way into the arch-way (can’t roll his wheel chair on the carpet, I guess.) and started talking, to her as if we were not in the middle of a conversation (I’m supposed to believe he didn’t know I was there?)  He started talking to her and it was obvious that he was stretching for things to say (“When you get back to Oklahoma” (this was their last night in town) “see if you can find out who the ‘author’ of this painting is.”?)  This went on for about five more minutes and then when it was obvious that my time had ended I told her I should be going.  It was about 9:30 PM and we’d had a long day together.

After making me seek out and say good-bye to Obachan and Grandpa, I got to the door with my shoes on my feet, coat on my back and car keys in hand, expecting that she would walk me out to my car as usual (and, I guess, hoping for a bit of an apology for the way the evening had turned out – for which I would have absolved her of all responsibility) but instead, she gave me a hug, opened the door and stood aside.  I hate to think I’m making more out of that then I should but there was an almost physical feeling of not-right-ness to it.  I don’t think she’s ever, not walked me out to my car and I don’t like that she didn’t do it this time.

So here I am, nearly a week later, and I’m still bothered by the experience.  And I’m bothered that I’m bothered.  And I don’t know how I should react.  I want to ask her about it but I don’t want to blame her, and I don’t want to piss her off, which I have never succeeded in doing and she swears I can’t…  but I never believe her…  and I’m sad…  and I want her to be a more constant part of my life…  and I want her to be a boy…  and I’m sad…

Miscellaneus, Meandering Introspections (With A Song And Dance To Boot – OK Maybe Not A Dance.)

I’m stuck. I feel completely bogged down. My mind is cloudy. There are so many things that I want to be doing. So many things that I need to be doing, but I can’t seem to make any progress. Part of it is that the things I need to be doing I do not want to do.

I’m at work, of course. That’s where I should be in the middle of a Monday afternoon, but work is the farthest thing from my mind. I really need to get out of this job. I get absolutely no satisfaction from it whatsoever. There’s a lot of busy work that I could, of course do, but I’m just not interested in it. I have tasks that Douche Bag has given me to do, but I know he hasn’t thought of them again, and honestly, if they’re not any kind of priority to him, why should they be to me? Some of what he’s asked me to do, shouldn’t have been put on me in the first place, but as usual, he’s completely out of touch and doesn’t think about what he’s doing.

My mind is just full of random thoughts about what I want, where I want to be, how I want to change, what I’d like to be doing.

Last night I lay in bed, wide awake until about a quarter two, just staring at the ceiling and wishing. Wishing I wasn’t alone was a big part of it. Not just not lonely, but really not alone. For the first time that I can recall, I had this longing to be held. To be wrapped up in a pair of big, strong arms. Leaning back into a smooth, hard chest and listening to a deep, soothing voice whisper into my ear, that things were going to be OK. It wasn’t a sexual thing, although, I’m sure it would have lead to that. It was just a need to be taken care of and to know that I was not alone in life. Not alone in my world. That I was not going to spend my life that way. I felt so small and weak in those moments. So alone and unwanted and powerless to change it.

I spent some time this week-end, trying to think of ways to change my life. Things that I could do to try and find some fulfillment. All the things that I thought of, lead to feelings of fear and anxiety. Sickness even. I feel so overwhelmed. So desperate.

It’s not the depression, Per Se. I’m not in the same place I was in February when I had to take time off of work and attend an Intensive Outpatient Program to try and get my feet back under me. It’s hard to explain how it’s different, just that it is. I feel more like I’m on the verge of something and if I could just figure out what the next step is…

I’ve really enjoyed keeping this blog. I’ll admit that some entries have been better than others and I’m sure this one will end up at the bottom of the heap, but maybe if I can write out my thoughts I can begin to pull back the veil a little. The blog has been fun. I’m finding that I really enjoy writing and it’s something I would like to be able to do more of with more talent. I’ve often longed for a form of employment that doesn’t require a 9 to 5 scenario and that doesn’t require me to go to an office for a specified period or on a specified schedule. Something that allows me to work at my own pace (more or less) and is fulfilling to me. Oh, and something that pays well. I feel like writing could be that thing. But I don’t know what to do with that thought.

I’ve done some (read: not a lot of) research on the subject of writing classes but everything costs a lot of money. I’ve thought maybe I could just try submitting some random pieces to some newspapers and/or magazines but really I don’t know what that process entails, or whether they’re interested in such things. I don’t know the legalities of it all. Does my work belong to them if I sent it to them for consideration without prior arrangement of compensation or conditions? Do they want only things that are topical? And if so, how do I know what to write about and send them when I don’t know how publishing works, and, at least in the case of magazines, a few weeks will pass before current events are written about I could be perpetually behind the times.

I’m tired of working for a manager and an employer who doesn’t appreciate me. I realize this is a common affliction but I’ve never had it this bad before. My job is not important. It’s not important to me, certainly, but it’s not important to anyone else either. Douche Bag rarely pays attention to what I’m doing. He asks me to perform tasks that should be handed off to Unsvelt Girl Who Runs or most recently Fantastical Engineer and then the only time he pays any attention is when he’s complaining or “yelling” about something. It’s not that he’s abusive or hateful. It’s that he’s oblivious and ignorant.

There is absolutely no appreciation shown for my work. And I suppose, you might say my paycheck is appreciation enough, but you’d be wrong. It’s not appreciation enough. Don’t get me wrong. Appreciation without the pay check wouldn’t be enough either, but both are really needed in order to be gratified.

I don’t want my job to be my life. Unless it’s something really great and exciting like, writing best selling novels, or being a big movie star. And even if it were, I’d still want time away from the work. I’d still want friends who really want to see me, spend time with me. I’d still want to be somebody to somebody.

Somebody to somebody… I wonder if that’s really what this is all about. Just one real connection to make all the other shit in my life more tolerable… I’m thinking now of the song by Christina Aguilera:

“Somebody’s Somebody”

Watchin lovers walkin’
Hand in hand they pass me by
Wish I was one of them
Wish I had somebody
Wakin’ up beside me
Looking into my eyes at night
I want a love to call my own
I want someone that I can hold
Want someone wanting me
Wanna feel how it feels to be

Somebody’s somebody
Someone’s someone
Some sweet lover’s lover
I wanna be that one
Someone faithful to someone faithful
Someone kind to someone kind to me
Somebody to somebody who loves me
Who loves me

Spending all of my time
Spending all my time with me
Where is that someone who
I can give my time to
Searching for that lover
With the love that will change my life
I want two arms to hold me close
I want the thing I need the most
Somebody needing me
So I can feel how it feels to be

Somebody’s somebody
Someone’s someone
Some sweet lover’s lover
I wanna be that one
Someone faithful to someone faithful
Someone kind to someone kind to me
Somebody to somebody who loves me
Who loves me

What I’m looking for
Is someone to love me more
Than I’ve been loved before
With love so right
What I need to find
Is someone to hold me tight
What I mean is I want to be

Somebody’s somebody
Someone’s someone
Some sweet lover’s lover
I wanna be that one
Someone faithful to someone faithful
Someone kind to someone kind to me
Somebody to somebody who loves me
Who loves me

Somebody’s somebody
Somebody’s somebody
Somebody’s somebody
Somebody’s somebody
I wish I was
Somebody’s baby

God, I hate the way I’m sounding right now. I’m not a needy person, or at least I never thought I was. Come to think of it, Green M&Ms mother once told me she thought I was needy, right before she physically assaulted me (there’s a story for another time). But that’s the only time I can remember anyone ever defining me that way and I don’t think it’s true. I’m also not a clinger. I don’t need to hang all over my significant other at every free moment of the day. ‘Course that may stem from the fact that the public displays of affection I’ve been a part of previously never did feel quite right, and any consideration I may have had to public displays of affection with someone who would feel right (a man) were verboten to say the least and more likely to be dangerous. Before now anyway.

No, I’m not needy and I’m not clingy and I’m not desperate, at least not in the way it’s usually stated. I’m not the type to latch on to any man who’ll look my direction, just for the sake of having a little physical contact. I want a real, lasting love with a man who will wake up beside me. Who will look into my eyes at night. Someone who will be faithful, who will want me. Someone who will change my life. I do want two arms to hold me close and I’m beginning to think the thing I need the most really is someone who needs me, because it’s not just a one sided proposition. I need to be held and loved and taken care of. But I need to do those things for someone else, too.

I’ve always heard people say that you have to be happy by yourself before you can be happy with anyone else. I’ve always chosen to believe that because it’s easier than facing the feeling that no one wants me. But I don’t believe that. In fact, I kind of feel like, you need to have an emptiness, albeit just a little bit. You need to be lacking in some way. You need to have a whole in your life, in your heart, that can only be filled by a significant other. Not by any random other. Not by a just-for-tonight other, but by a significant other who will be those things you need him to be and for whom you can fill the empty places as well. To quote a movie (and up the cheese factor a bit) you need someone who will “complete” you.

Maybe a lot of my emptiness is about being without one special person in my life who will mean everything and to whom I will mean everything. Maybe if I had that special someone to share my life with, all the trials of the day would seem like less of a burden because I’d know there was someone waiting for me at home. Maybe I’d be stronger and more able to face the rest of my fears if I had someone who was in my corner, rooting for me all the way. I don’t know.

So I lie in bed and I think about this conundrum. I need a man in my life. I need someone who will be all these things for me and for whom I can do the same… But how do I meet someone to share my life with when I don’t meet people at all? When I’m afraid of meeting people. When I’m literally scared sick of even the thought of exposing myself to situations where I might.

Insightful Therapist (I talk about her often enough, I decided it was time she had a kitschy nom de plume) has suggested a few things that all amount to social gatherings. I made the mistake a year or so ago of telling her that I thought my drinking was “a bit out of hand”, and she’s been on an AA kick ever sense. She thinks that going to a meeting such as that would be a good opportunity for me to learn that there are other people in the world who have had similar experiences as I. And that I can find other coping mechanisms besides drinking (I thought that was what I paid her for.) She’s also suggested a coming out support group. Something I have considered, and honestly since November 4, I’m more willing to do, but I’ve come up with exactly nothing as far as information and resources on the subject. I’m sure I could probably ask her for something but if I ask her, that kind of puts me on the spot to follow through.

But even in looking for the resources to consider the possibility… Sick to my stomach… Every time. I don’t really understand why it is that I have such a physical reaction to the fears that come up around this. If I’m rational about it, I know nothing physically harmful will happen and I might gain something from it. But there is a lot of emotional damage that could be done. A lot of harm to my self esteem that could come from it. And then you add the bonus fear and shame of having to publicly confess to something that I’ve kept locked away inside me for so many years (“I’m an alcoholic” or “I’m gay”) and it becomes too much for me.

So to those of you who’ve made it this far into this post, I apologize for the self-pittying, mopy, drivel. I didn’t really set out to do that… Then again, I didn’t really know what I did set out to do. For those of you who’ve gotten this far, and have an opinion, I’d honestly like to hear it. Please leave your feed-back in the comments, and if you have any resourses you’d like to share, I’d be grateful for those as well.

Cold Turkey

Yesterday, I confessed to an addiction.  Today, I’ll tell you about another.

I’ve been a drug addict for six years.  It’s true.  Every single day for the last six years, I have taken mood altering substances that my body very quickly became dependent upon and without which I turned into an unrecognizable monster oddly reminiscent of an enormous ass, but one that would sooner kill you then feel like you’ve let him down or disappointed him in anyway.

I’m not talking about anything you’d snort or inject, in fact, I’d have to check with Ex Con Older Brother to be sure, but I don’t think you could even buy these drugs on the street.  The internet?  Sure.  But not the street.  No, the drugs I’m talking about are the Doctor sanctioned, Government approved, Pharmaceutical Company foisted kind.  Yes, that’s right.  I’ve been taking Anti-Depressants for the last six years.

Today, however, marks the last day of this addictive behavior.  No longer will I assault my synaptic pathways with artificial fortification.  No longer will I ingest these foreign substances to do what they will with my psyche.

[ Gosh, I feel a little like I should be standing barefoot on a couch after an overnight drinking party shouting at my friends about our flaccid penises (peni?) and making deals about losing our virginity by prom night.  And if you don’t get that reference – American Pie – then I don’t want to be your friend anyway.]

Today I am taking back control of my emotional well being.  It isn’t actually, really cold turkey  I made this decision back in April when I was taking 300 Milligrams of Welbutrin and 40 milligrams of Celexa on a daily basis.  I felt like I was in a haze all the time.  I felt like I wasn’t able to access my feelings.  Like I wasn’t having a genuine experience.  And I felt like this ride was never going to end unless I stepped on the breaks and got out of the car.  So I did.

This whole ordeal started a little over six years ago–  Well, really it started 33 years ago with my childhood and my genetics and my divorced parents and my general state of misery, but I don’t have all day to write and you don’t have all day to read and if I tried to put it all in here, WordPress very well might explode, but not before you found me boring and hit that nifty little arrow in the upper right corner to take you to the next random post!  So with that being said…

We’ll pick up this ordeal six years ago.  I had been working for about four months for The Company that Created the HMO and wasn’t really loving it (I was an Administrative Assistant for fuck’s sake) but it followed a nine month period of unemployment where I could barely pay for my car with the unemployment checks I received ever other week, let alone rent and utilities, or assisting Green M&M, who graciously allowed me to move in with her, with expenses.  I had been drinking a lot, and feeling really dejected because I wasn’t able to find another job and I was at a really low point in my emotional cycle.  So when the opportunity with The Company came along, I really had not choice but to take it.

One day I had had a blow up with a co-worker and I didn’t know what to do about it so I made an appointment with the Employee Assistance Program Counselor, ostensibly to talk about work relations and how I could deal with this person.  I sat for an hour with this Counselor who talked to me for five minutes about my coworker problem and then asked me all kinds of questions about my life, my childhood, how I live now, etc., etc., etc.  Then she said, “You sound depressed to me.  Here.  The Company that Created the HMO offers all these classes and they’re bound to fix you.”

OK, so that last part may not have come out quite like that, but all these years later, that’s how I feel about it.  The counselor referred me to the Oakland Adult Psychiatry department of The Company that Created the HMO where I was pared up with a Psychologist that I would get to see once every six weeks (whether I needed it or not, I guess.)  They never did offer me any assistance with the coworker and we continued to have conflict until the day she went on maternity leave and then decided not to come back.

Once every six weeks, I’d go to this appointment with this woman who looked strangely like a Yahoo Messenger avatar making the “angry” face and who always made me feel inferior and pathetic.  She kept urging me to go to this Depression Overview Class that was offered.  It was supposed to give me a better understanding of what I’m dealing with and was a precursor to the eight week Depression Management Class she also wanted me to take.  I resisted it for some time but it was obvious to me that I was not going to get what I needed from attending these sessions with Avatar Face and something had to give so I went.

Up to that point, I had been determined that I was not going to take medication and I did not want anyone else to know what I was going through.  I resisted the class because then people would know.  I gave in and attended the class and one of the things they focused on in this class (not even 2 hours) was the idea of medication, how it works, and why I should take it.  I will acknowledge that it has been six years.  I will acknowledge that I was uncomfortable in the situation and wanted to go home.  And I will acknowledge that I was desperate for someone, somehow to make me better and take all this pain away.

All those acknowledgments being put out there, do not change the fact that what I remember the instructor of this overview class saying was that I’d take meds for two to three years and that while I was taking them, not only would the stabilize my neurotransmitters but it would correct the problem in my brain that causes the imbalance in the first place.  So, OK.  Two or three years…  I can accept that.  Especially if I’ll be all better after.

I set an appointment with a Psychiatrist at The Company and got a prescription from her for Paxil.  The prescription was, take 10 milligrams a day for the first week and then bump it up to 20.  About this time I inquired with Ex Con Older Brother who I knew was also taking Paxil and he informed me that it worked, for him, like flipping a switch.  That he started taking it and almost instantly things changed.  I really wanted that for myself so within six weeks, with the Psychiatrist’s approval I increased my dosage twice, first to 30 milligrams and then to 40.

It took a little while for it to completely kick in but once it did, I felt great.  Best I’ve ever felt.  I had confidence, I enjoyed people, I was in great emotional shape.  It was around this time that Green M&M and I decided that neither of us had anything to lose and so we decided to give a “friends with benefits” scenario a try.  This was when I found out that some of those side effects they tell you about were going to be a problem.  I was having serious sexual side effects and couldn’t’ get past them.

I asked my doctor to help me out with this problem and her solution was to take me off the Paxil and put me on Welbutrin.  Her instructions were to taper off the Paxil over the course of 10 days.  Which I did.  Which is when the aforementioned unrecognizable, enormous ass, monster appeared.

I crack jokes and be obnoxious about this because it’s easier to face, but the truth is, it was an emotionally excruciating, hold on for dear life, MY GOD HE’S GONNA BLOW, volatile two weeks and I really didn’t think I was going to make it.  It’s easier to laugh now.  I’m reminded of a Saturday Night Live commercial parody not too long ago about a Birth Control Pill that would make a woman have her period only once a year.  In the fast talking, fine print they talk about how during that one week-end out of the year you better hold on to your hat ’cause your gonna lose your shit, etc., etc., etc.  It says that you should alert your law enforcement officials as they may wish to lock you up as a preemptive measure.  That’s how I felt.

When I think about these times I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude toward Green as well as some shame over the way I acted.  In truth her actions set me off on more than one occasion but my reactions were out of control excessive and she put up with a lot of vitriol from me during that period of time.  It would probably have been easier for her to just walk away, but she didn’t.  She stood by me and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.

Anyway, once the psychotic episode passed and I was back to “normal” whatever that is, I was on just the 300 Miligrams of Welbutrin.  It’s the only Anti-Depressant with little or now sexual side effects.  What I’ve learned in the recent past is that it’s also commonly know to increase anxiety in those who are prone to it (I am.)

I took Welbutrin by itself for nearly four years, never really feeling like it was doing me any good, but afraid to say anything for fear of what they’d recommend next.  But when the time came that I couldn’t stand it anymore, this image approximates what I was feeling.  I felt like I was standing right down there at the bottom of this mammoth wall of rock, knowing that on the other side of this structure was millions of gallons of water just waiting to burst through and destroy me.  I felt like I was standing at the bottom of that wall looking up at the top, and just watching as the wall slowly crumbled knowing that at any moment the water could break through and all would be lost.

At that point my Psychiatrist recommended adding the Celexa to the mix, and while I’ll admit that it did seem to help for a time, it really just put me on top of the dam.  No longer was the wall crumbling.  No longer did I fear that it would all come crashing down on me.  Instead, I was standing on the road, looking out at all the water, all the feelings and emotions, knowing that disaster lay before me, but then again so did the potential for good.  But either way, I couldn’t get to it.  It was inaccessible.  And if I tried, I just might drown.

It’s strange, but knowing that all that was there, and that I couldn’t get to it had a two fold effect on me.  First it sent me into a deep despair.  On the advice of my therapist I took a leave of absence from work and went into an outpatient treatment program that is offered by The Company that Created the HMO.  I don’t particularly feel like the program itself offered me anything of value, other than time away from work to regroup and collect my thoughts.  But six weeks later when I was back at work full time and I was more in control again, I realized something else.

In a very real way, the meds have been that dam for six long years.  The only reason those millions of gallons of water are back there waiting to crush me, is because I built the dam and backed it up, rather than making an effort to tread it as it flowed through.

I never wanted the drugs.  I never should have taken the drugs.  I will never again take the drugs.  What I needed was therapy.  I needed steady care from someone who could help me to come to terms with my issues and help me to find that I’d be OK all the same.  I needed a life vest and a kayak, and an oar (am I over-doing the metaphor?)

I took the drugs because I heard “You’ll take them for two years and you’ll be fixed.”  I took the drugs because The Company that Created the HMO isn’t interested in dealing with life long problems, they want to send you to a class that amounts to them saying “Suck it up.  You’ll be fine.”  I took the drugs because once I started them, I was afraid to stop, lest I end up in that puddle of anger and tears and desperation on the floor in my closet that I had been during the Paxil/Welbutrin transition.  I took the drugs because I didn’t know how not to.

But I finally made a decision.  The best decision I’ve made for myself in a long time.  I will not take the drugs anymore.  I started this process in April.  I was taking two tablets of each medication.  So starting on May 1st, I took one and three quarters.  On June 1st, I reduced it to one and one half, etc., until today, Friday, October 31, 2008.  THE last day, I will take my drugs.  Starting tomorrow, I will be drug free.  Starting tomorrow the last brick will have been removed from that dam.  The waters will flow freely and I will wade through them until I’ve learned to swim peacefully from shore to shore.  It may be a struggle sometimes.  Some days will surely be worse than others, but so far I’m strong and steady.  The current isn’t that bad.

I’m Going to Have to be A Cliché

I do, so very greatly, hate a cliché, but I’m gonna have to do it anyway…

I HATE MY BOSS!!!!!

I work “for” quite possibly one of the stupidest people I have ever experienced in my life.  Actually, I wish that were true.  Were it true I’d be able to make some kind of excuse for him.  But he’s not.  He’s very intelligent.  Very capable.  He has a degree in chemistry and has been in building management for many years.  He certainly knows how to keep his most demanding and whiny customer’s happy.  He just says, “Yes.  Whatever you want.”

What he doesn’t know is how to satisfy his employees or his most reasonable customers.  He’s unreliable, forgetful, placative (is that even a word?) and, I hope unintentionally, dishonest.  He’s oblivious to his surroundings, doesn’t monitor his employees behavior and doesn’t ensure justice or fairness within the department.

Recently in one of our weekly staff meetings, my boss, whom we shall call Douche Bag (DB), gave the annual re-iteration of the company dress code.  He also pointed out that this dress code doesn’t supersede the department management dress code if it’s more strict than the one he was reviewing.  This dress code was pretty standard stuff really.  No shorts, no t-shirts, no tennis shoes, no words on your clothes, no flip flops, no sweats or tracks suits, nothing you’d wear to the gym, no tank tops, no visible underwear.  The dress code he was reviewing specifically did not ban jeans as long as they’re neat and clean, however, he was sure to point out that our director does not want jeans worn.  The very next day, one of my co-workers, our Financial Analyst, was wearing something I believe are called “skimmers”, made out of wool Glennplaid material.  Yes the material was something that is office appropriate, but the design of the item, without question is SHORTS!  This is an issue that is personally offensive to me because we participate in a voluntary program with PG&E to reduce energy consumption on hot days to try to prevent rolling brown-outs.  On these days the temperature in the building could rise to be in excess of 80 degrees and I feel that on those days we should be allowed to wear shorts to work as long as they’re well kept.  But, we are not allowed to do so.  Therefore, as a male, every day of the week I am required to wear long pants and it does  get very warm on some days.  If Financial Analyst is allowed to wear shorts, than I should be allowed to wear shorts.

I believe that DB made a point of reviewing this document because some time ago, I began wearing jeans to work on Fridays.  He did question it a time or two, but I informed him that we were told we had to follow the same dress code as our “parent” department, National Facility Services (NFS), and that I was being led by example.  NFS employees wear jeans all the time, not just Friday, but I can live with one day a week.  I intend to continue to wear jeans on Fridays.

My friend and Co-worker, Unsvelt Girl Who Runs, is our Department Secretary who hates the word Secretary.  Some time ago as a joke I called her our “Adminary” and it stuck.  Unsvelt girl is my personal friend, but for the purposes of this rant, I shall refer to her only as “Adminary.”  Adminary, routinely spends considerable time, hanging out in my office and doing nothing.  It’s inappropriate and I know it.  So does she.  And so does DB.  But he never says anything about it and it’s gotten to the point that he comes looking for her in my office if he needs her.  Adminary wears flip flops and tank tops to work almost every day.  DB says nothing.  Adminary is often a few minutes late in the morning.  DB says nothing…  he just adjusts her time card, falsely to make sure she gets paid for 8 hours.  Amdinary tells me that she often ends up with a few minutes of overtime pay.  But she never works overtime.

Our Chief Engineer, quite frequently comes to our office and asks Adminary to validate a parking ticket.  At first no one thought much of it.  Then we started noticing that he was dressed in his motorcycle gear and ready to leave when he was doing this.  Chief Egineer has his parking paid for by the department on the days he actually drives to work instead of taking public transportation.  I pay $95.00 a month for my parking.

And then theirs our Conference Service Coordinator.  She’s old and stupid.  I wish there was a better way to describe her but there’s just not.  Adminary and I refer to her as “CD” which stands for Country Dumbkin.  Why?  Well, because she grew up in a small town in Arkansas, in the COUNTRY.  And well, she’s just plain DUMB.  And who doesn’t love a good play on words.

Country Dumbkin is the worst offender in every way.  She is oblivious to her surroundings.  Doesn’t think about how her actions impact others, and thinks she’s equal to Financial Analyst and myself, even though she is an hourly, union employee, just like Adminary.  She’s rude and condescending to Adminary, and Financial Analyst and me, and for that matter to many of her customers.  Strangely though, Country Dumbkin can do no wrong.    CD acts out during the staff meeting?  DB laughs, blows it off and keeps on talking.  CD answers her phone, on her wireless headset while still sitting at the table in the staff meeting, and DB acts like it’s not happening.

CD usually doesn’t show up at work until 8:30 or later.  This means that at 8:00 when the department opens and people start calling in with complaints or requests for Conference Service, Adminary has to juggle it all, along with her own responsibilities.  CD almost daily takes an hour and a half for her lunch.  This is something that was set up by payroll, for all hourly employees as a once in a while, only to be used when necessary, kind of thing.  NOT to be used daily.  CD does it daily and DB says nothing.  By the way, CD’s lunches often extend past an hour and a half.  AND during the school year, she will then turn around and leave the office for 20-30 minutes to drive to pick up her grand children from school and deliver them to her house (even though there are buses they can take and they are teenagers) without clocking out.  DB doesn’t notice.  CD often “accidentally” forgets to clock in or out, and DB fixes it without question…  again, making sure she has her 8 hours a day, and probably also managing some over time.

I have worked for this man for six years and three months, and it has long since been established that I am a late person.  I come in to work late, I usually stay late, and I often skip my lunch breaks.  I am salary, by the way.  I do not punch a clock and I do not get docked in pay if I don’t work a full eight hours.

On Tuesday, June 10, 2008.  I left my office at 5:00 to head to my weekly 5:30 therapy appointment.  I had my shit packed and my “Magic iPhone by Apple” on.  I walked out of my office and closed the door behind me.  Walked passed DB’s door to the back room to grab a fresh bottle of Diet Pepsi, my life’s blood, from our refrigerator, and walked back past DB’s office door on the way out.  “Good-night everybody,” I said on my way by.  As I continued to walk toward the door, I heard CD who sits in a cubicle in the reception area say my name, but it was faint, I was in a rush (and I don’t really like her) so I pretended not to hear her as I walked out the door and made my way toward the elevator.

I was standing in front of the elevator that was about to open when I heard CD calling from around the corner, and then appear around the corner saying, “‘DB’ was calling you.”

The elevator doors opened.  “I have an appointment I have to get to, I can’t come back,” I said as I walked on to the elevator.  In my mind I, of course, began imagining the worst, all the while knowing that my boss is spineless and I had nothing to be concerned about.

I returned to work on Wednesday and not a word was said about the transaction.  Guess my fears were for not, I thought.

On Thursday, June 12, 2008, I got to work around 9:00 in the morning, my usual goal that I often miss.  I left the office at 2:30 in the afternoon to drive the eight miles to my therapists office for my weekly 3:00 appointment.  I returned to my office at about 4:10.  Now normally, I’d have gladly stayed until 6:00 to make up some of the time.  Yes, that would have been only seven and a half hours, but once again, I’m salary and that works.  On this particular occasion I actually had social plans after work for which I had to leave at 5:00.  Social plans, for me, are a rare thing indeed, so anyone who knows and understands me should have actually been quite happy for me.  But no.  My boss called out to me again.  This time I heard him and I returned to his office door, “Do you have a doctor appointment?” he asked.

“No.  but I do have some where I have to be,” I said puzzled and a bit annoyed.

“You need to put in your eight hours,” he said through gritted teeth, seemingly afraid someone might actually hear him have a backbone, “it’s not fair to everyone else if you don’t.”  I just stared at him blankly.  Frankly, considering all the other crap that goes on in my office, I couldn’t believe that he’d have the nerve to say anything.  “You didn’t get here until what, 9:30?”

“9:00,” I said matter of factly.

“Did you skip lunch?”

“No,” I said.  “Actually I had a Doctor’s appointment then.”

He said, “I need to know your schedule.”

I’m quite agitated at this point, “It was a standing appointment.  I’ve had it every Thursday for nearly a year.”  He hasn’t noticed this before now?

“Well, you need to put in your eight hours.  Even if you’ve got all your work done you still need to put in your eight hours.”  IS HE KIDDING ME WITH THIS?  Seems like possibly the stupidest thing I’ve EVER heard. 

“I usually do,” I said with clear anger in my voice, “but now I have somewhere I have to be.”  I walked away.

Today, Monday, June 30th I arrived at the office between 9:00 and 9:10 this morning.  Good for me!  I did not take lunch, in fact I never left my desk, accept to use the bathroom.  I’m in a financial crisis, which is a matter for another post, but absolutely a cause for great anxiety and a foul mood, which despite everything I did quite well at containing and keeping to myself, but I digress.  The point being I packed lunch.

I arrived today around 9:00 AM.  I did not take lunch, I ate at my desk.  I packed up to leave at 5:10 PM.  I closed my door, went for my necessary Diet Pepsi and walked back toward the front.  He stopped me again. 

“Yes?” I asked, already knowing where this was going.

“Where are you going?” He asked, clearly annoyed.

“AM I HOURLY, NOW?!?” I asked, definitely upset.

“When did you get here, 9:30?  You need to put in your eight hours.” 

“9:00” I said, “MAYBE TEN AFTER.  AND I DIDN’T TAKE LUNCH.”

“Why not?  You need to take lunch.  You need to get outta here” (Truer words were never spoken.)

Once again, I stared blankly.  After a pause to contain my temper (probably shouldn’t have.)  I said, “I’d rather leave around 5:00.”

In typical Douche Bag fashion, not wanting to deal with me while I’m angry if he can help it (Trust me, this time he can’t help it) he said, “We’ll talk about this tomorrow.  We’ll come up with a schedule for you.”  I walked away again.  Fuck no, we will not come up with a schedule.  I am salary.  I DO NOT get docked if I don’t work eight hours.  I also DO NOT get paid more if I work over eight hours.  And according to DB, as told to me four years ago when I first became salary, “If you worked four hours, you worked the day.”

I’ll be truly surprised if he actually says anything to me tomorrow, but I’ll be prepared if he does.  I’ve got my notes together.  I’ve got my argument ready and I’m not taking any shit this time.  If I get fired, it’ll suck, but I’ll be better off!  That man has a stick shoved so far up his ass he’d have to open up and say “Ah” to remove it, and the worst part is, no one knows what the real issue is.  I’m certain it’s not my schedule. 

Fucking Douche Bag!!!

I Did the Right Thing?

Ok.  So, it’s late.  I’m drunk and I shoulda been in bed a long time ago, so I’ll make this quick…

I was instant messaging earlier this eveng with a 14 year old kid I met through an on-line support group type website….  He’s a nice looking kid, and most of our conversation was about his relationship with his parents now that he’s come out to them…

Toward the end of our conversation, though, he mentioned that he was horney and looking for someone to get him off.  He was clear that he wanted me to be that someone…  But I wouldn’t work with him because he’s a child and I’m an adult and I know better thatn to get involved in a child’s world…

He kept insisting that it was ok…  That I can’t get in trouble for on-line conversations…  But I told him, cute as he is, it wasn’t worth the risk for me…  he’s just too young…

What does the world at large think?  I pretty much know that I did the right thing by not getting involved….  But did I have anything to be afraid of?

It’d be good to know.  It’s also good to CYA!!!!  🙂

My First Gay Date… Sort Of.

I’ve had my job, in the Facility Management office of my building, for just over six years.  In that time, I’ve had interactions with many types of individuals, vendors, repairmen, engineers, etc.  When I started I was, among other things, responsible for approving and coordinating building wide events in our building lobby.

There is an individual with whom we have dealt on a number of occasions, who coordinates education fairs.  He works for the University of Phoenix here in Oakland, CA.  I will call him UOP Guy.

UOP Guy and I communicated on multiple occasions about education fairs in the lobby.  One day when I was sill an Administrative Assistant UOP Guy invited me to lunch as a show of appreciation for my efforts to help him coordinate his education fairs.

I spent the next few days after the invite, experiencing anxiety over the possibility that this might every well be a date, I just wasn’t sure.  I was still very closeted, and still in denial to myself.  And yet, I was willing, at least at that moment, to take the chance that this was in fact a date.  How would I handle it if it were?  I had no idea.  Part of me hoped that it was just that.

UOP Guy and I met up for lunch that day and I was very nervous about the whole thing.  I imagined it was a date.  I tried to make sure I said the right things.  I complimented UOP Guy on his choice of restaurant and the type of food/environment it provided.  I smiled politely, I laughed at all the right moments.  I commented on what a great time I’d had and how we should do it again.

When the lunch was over, UOP Guy walked me to the door and bid me farewell…

I walked back to work befuddled as to what had happened, and what might come next.  While we had a few interactions in the interim, UOP Guy and I didn’t communicate much for a good year or two.  By that time my title had changed and UOP Guy and I didn’t have much interaction at all, yet he invited me to lunch again.

It was at this lunch that UOP Guy began to talk to me about his girlfriend and their living arrangement as a couple living together in San Francisco, apartment life, parking problems, et. al.

I was even more befuddled.  My instincts told me that UOP Guy is gay, and I’ve fantasized about a lovely life as a same-sex couple living in San Francisco with a great social life, healthy bank account and a great apartment in which we’d live.  If only that damn bitch (he said playfully) weren’t in the way…  Assuming she even exists.

To this day, I have very little interaction with UOP Guy.  I wish I had the courage, strength and knowledge of our culture to know what is welcomed and whether/how to make an advance, but I don’t.  I just get to wonder…

I would sure like to find a guy with whom I have things in common, and I can be myself.  But from where I stand now I don’t know how to tell who’s who and what they represent.  I sure wish we wore signs or something.