Thursday, May 29, 2008

The fag hag

We’d been spending all of our free time together. Everyone at work assumed we were a couple. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the fact that we held hands and had nicknames for each other. I called him Beanie. Maybe people thought we were together because every once in awhile, still wearing our ridiculous required ties and aprons after work, we’d end up on the back porch of the bar, making out and messing up each other’s hair.

We were sort of perfect together. We liked the same things: Getting wasted. Drinking. Playing drinking games. We both liked soup. We could talk or not talk for hours. We were the exact same size (Like, really. Even our hands matched. Well, OK. Maybe that’s not so good. But when we were wasted, it seemed super funny to swap shoes.)

There was a problem, though. I had a boyfriend.

Later, I found out that there was another problem. He wanted a boyfriend.

I was angry.

“Why didn’t you tell me? Why did you kiss me? Was that real?”

All my teary questions had teary responses.

He was afraid to tell anyone. He wanted to kiss me. And apparently, I was everything he’d ever wanted. Except for the vagina. That, not so much.

“If I were straight, I would’ve proposed already.”

Well. Fucking great.

But the strange part, the one I didn’t realize until it happened to me, is that falling in love with/making out with a closeted gay dude, well, it made me feel fat. I know, I know. Unrelated body issues, obviously. Projecting.

Clearly. But still.

Ever heard of a skinny, super hot fag hag? Well, maybe the SATC kind—but we’re not talking about the queers you go shopping with, who go meet random gay strangers in an underwear bar, but the ones who, oh, I dunno, MAKE OUT WITH YOU. They don’t pick the skinny bitches in stilettos, do they? N-No. They’re not going to meet up with you and eat a croissant with you at Tiffany’s.

These are the queers who seek out the girls who fall in love.


At least I ended up getting something, nay, a few things, out of it. Ditched the boyfriend who was so bad he drove me to a smallish, 30-something closeted queer. I hit the gym and dropped the 30 or so lbs. that qualified me for the elite fag hag club, and then I learned to play wing man at gay clubs.

It’s easy. Gay men love me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

If She's A Freak In Between The Sheets, I No Longer Stick Around To See If It's An Isolated Incident

It all begins with a midnight rendezvous with a chick who casually checks me out a few years ago while I'm working at a cafe in Rochester, NY. As it happens, I'm on break from a long time GF and view this as an excellent opportunity to get laid. So we do the dirty deed and I walk out as if I had just slept with Jenna Jamison (in her prime); I mean it was without a doubt the greatest sex I have ever had.

Fast forward two years and I begin to date the girl because of her prowess in the bedroom, as well as a few other redeemable qualities such as my belief that she was a pretty cool chick. I live in Milwaukee; she lives in NYC and after a year of dating I decide to plug my nose, take the plunge and move in with her. Sure she had her issues, but honestly what girl doesn't?

All is gravy for quite a while and then thing begin to slip. It starts with calling her every night before bed which I detest but decide to go along with because I thought I genuinely liked the girl (notice I didn't say love). Next, as we begin to live together, the cuddling that was previously intermittent because of the distance between us becomes a mandatory nightly affair. This becomes a sore spot for us both, as I enjoy being comfortable and she craves the affection her parents never gave, which I am now required to provide.

The last phase begins with her occasionally "flipping her shit" at home, and of course leads to more chaos between us both. She decided to see a psychiatrist to deal with that and other things she had been dealing with (her grandma had just died). She comes home to tell me that the diagnosis indicates that she's Bi-Polar (fucking wonderful). I tell her to consult another doctor for another opinion, concluding perhaps the stress of our relationship coupled with her grandma's death might be the cause for her recent instability. She doesn't want to hear it.

After a month of dealing with this new and exciting condition I decide after she has a complete meltdown in Crate & Barrel (on 59th St. in NYC) over my comment that the store was over priced (she defended its cost effectiveness as if her family owned the company and loudly exclaimed I "didn't know what the fuck I was talking about" in front of a minimum of 500 people). I decided it was best to get the hell out of the relationship.

She doesn't take it well and the next few months of my life are enveloped by a psychopath who calls in excess of 100 times a day, shows up at my office and even goes as far to tell me I got her pregnant. (The funniest part about this is she also faked a miscarriage and when we were at the hospital the doctor told us both that her pregnancy test came up negative. Her response was that her last test had also come up negative and that a blood test would clear things up. The doctor then told us that urine tests are just as accurate as blood tests, much to her chagrin).

Furthermore she tries to extort money from me, which is hilarious because much like other 20-somethings in Manhattan I am living hand to mouth, and threatens to ruin & humiliate me at any cost. The finale is when she calls and tells me that she thinks she's going to kill herself. I decided to take one out of the page of Seinfeld and told her to go ahead and do it. That way I would never hear from her again. What can I say....I'm a pretty insensitive cat when people try and fuck me over on near historic levels. She insisted that I come to her place and stop her, which was luckily followed by a call from her aunt indicating that if she ever contacted me again her family would endorse a restraining order.

The point of this experience is quite simple. If you happen to sleep with someone who blows your mind and is everything you would expect in a porn star, consider a brief yet effective psychiatric evaluation. It could just save you from making the stupidest decision you'll ever make in your life.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

“Girls go to Mars to get more candy bars; boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.”

The 7-½ -year-old, drop-dead gorgeous twinzers left this afternoon after spending the night with me. Following a rousing game of fetch on the front lawn (they like to pretend they’re Irish Setters), we had a nice supper. Afterwards, we snuggled on the sofa under an afghan and watched a Harry Potter movie. It was the one with Gary (my ultimate date) Oldman fighting Professor Lupin, the werewolf. Scary enough for little girls—but there was also a lightening storm going on in P-town.

Min was worried about the thunder and Sky has nightmares about werewolves and ghosts. I told Min that lightening was a problem for golfers, but we were pretty safe indoors. I told Sky that I’d never heard of anyone being hurt by a ghost; and anyway, werewolves are made-up creatures. I reminded them that wolves are noble beasts, and not so different from dogs. It was the werewolf prefix (“were” from the OE “wer”, meaning “man”) that presented the real danger to human children and all females.

The girls allowed as how some women were dangerous, too. True, I said. Out of every million violent people, you’ll probably find one violent femme. But as I once told an English lit professor (to happy cheers from my female classmates), I could rattle off the names of every famously bloodthirsty bitch in history during one class period; whereas, if he mentioned the names of every famously monstrous bastard, he’d have to have his sons take over reading the list for him after he’d died of old age.

Don’t worry. I didn’t tell the girls that all men are jackasses. They’re not. I didn’t tell them that most men would fuck mud if they couldn’t find anything more challenging. Most will. I did tell them that if they’re ever lost, they shouldn’t look for a policeman to help them—they should look for a woman.

Today, after the girls left, I went out for a very stupid coffee date with a seriously stupid man. The non-fat mocha was good; but, even without a watch, I could hear the clock ticking away the wasted minutes.

I was inspired enough to do a little thinking during the walk home. I knew I wasn’t ready to give up men. Aside from their natural protuberances, which I (God help me) deeply appreciate, they have a certain nasty something, and a scary, yet comforting, smell about them that I’m drawn to. But, screw it. I’m done wasting time on culls.

New Dating Rule: I will have no more first dates with American men (other than musicians, who are primarily party animals and don’t pretend to be otherwise). From now on, I’m strictly saving my dance card for men from the UK.

Sure, I know, lots of Englishmen are cads and bounders. But Jack the Ripper aside, they tend not to claim otherwise. And yes, they can be a bit kinky; but they nurture their kinks--they’re pleased with them. Plus, they read. They know things I could be, conceivably, interested in learning about. They have at least a passing knowledge of who Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern might be. And, like I said, they don’t usually pretend to be nice guys.

So, that’s it. Middle-aged men are on notice. No more corn-fed, smiley-faced flat-talkers from the Midwest for me. No more Oregon-born, holier-than-thou, bearded vegan hiker dudes. Leathery old Laguna surfer boys can just shoot the frickin’ curl for all I care. And every pizza-faced, sweatshirted Cubbies fan and angst-ridden, Italian-loafered New Yorker will just have to look elsewhere. I’m through.

I want to close my eyes and imagine myself in a raunchy Victorian novel. Or in an English country garden. I want to look into eyes that contain an unquenchable spark of mischief and intelligence. I want to know up front that my date is able to form complete sentences and can make a decent martini. I want him to teach me the subtleties of Scotch and know a swede from a radish. I want him to be a citizen of the world, not an American idiot. I want him to appreciate me for my wit as well as my ass, and understand himself well enough to know what the fuck he really wants—particularly if he thinks he wants me. And last, but not least, I want him to appreciate (and be able to identify) a Merry Widow when he sees one.

In short, I want every boy/girl encounter to be a pulp-fiction think-fest and a mini-vacation overseas. I think I’m up to the challenge. I love kippers for breakfast, bangers and mash for tea. I bake a mean scone and know my way around a crumpet. I was taught to say “tomahto” rather than “tomayto” and “tea towel” rather than “dishrag”. So, bring it.

No more Yankee coffee dates. No more inane conversations with men who wouldn’t know Marian Anderson from Marianne Faithful or Chaucer from chalk. When I sell the book (or win the lottery), I’m packing my London Fog, my copy of Fanny Hill and my Merry Widow and booking a first-class ticket to Heathrow. I hear the place is crawling with devil-may-care Pommies.

Meanwhile, werewolves of London calling? Sign me up: tally-ho and pip-pip. I’ll meet you at the Starbucks on SE 37th.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Date is a Date... is a Mate

Being a lesbian means you’ve been marginalized by society and have to fight for things like children and rights. But no one ever talks about what’s hard about being a lesbian.

When a guy likes a girl he asks her to dinner or a movie and they hang out. We call this testing ground for compatibility “a date”.

When a girl likes a girl and she asks her out to dinner or a movie, we call this “a terrible dimension of ambiguity.”

I have a lot of gay girlfriends – the non-sexual kind -- the kind your mom says, “I’m having lunch with the girls” or “do any of your girlfriends baby sit?” I also have gay girlfriends that I’m interested in romantically – the kind your mom says, “Please don’t tell me that’s your girlfriend” or “do you any of your girlfriends not have psychological disorders?”

The problem for lesbians is that no one ever knows which category they’re in and everyone is too scared and intimidated to figure it out. This is why lesbians don’t date.


Few will argue that a dinner between a man and woman getting to know each other can be considered a date. This date abides by pre-existing social norms – and by norms I don’t mean driving and door-holding. I mean, the guy wants to have sex with the girl.

However, when I pluck a girl out of the maelstrom of uncategorized “girlfriends” and ask her to dinner without indicating specifically that THIS IS A DATE, I’ve pulled the pin from a slow-release ambiguity grenade.

The dinner will go on with the expected chitchat and drinking, laughter and gossip. While I may go into this with a DATE mindset, for her, there is nothing to distinguish us from just being friends – because according to our social norms, girls have girlfriends, and girlfriends eat together. No biggie.

This is when I realize it’s time to do something crazy. It’s time for me to put myself out there and show her where I stand. It’s time for me to do something that says, “I want to do more with you than paint your fingernails.”

I pick up the bill.

This move generates one of two responses. A NON-RESPONSE, because she also thought this was a date. Or a plea to “Let me pay half” paired with visible panic racing through her eyes.

The former – this mythical non-response – has never actually happened, because, as I mentioned, lesbians don’t date. So in trying to single-handedly reconfigure my social stratosphere, I’ve marginalized myself in an already marginalized subculture. In my own panic, then, I reject the “let me pay half” offer out of pride, and what happens next is the girl will be very, if not awkwardly thankful, and hug me goodbye, and send me a “thanks again” text on my drive home, and never call me ever again.

And that, I suppose, is what makes Asian babies so appealing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to tell if your long distance non-relationship is headed for failure.

A. You have to think really hard about what interesting thing you will talk about when you finally call him back so you don't end up talking about the weather again.

B. When he asks you what you're wearing in a voice that makes you want to hurl, your first instinct is to hang up.

C. You're still not having anything resembling an interesting conversation and he goes for the gold:

"Do you think we have good sex?"

All the real answers run through your head before you finally just say a simple, "Yes," just to get off the whole painful topic.

D. You tell him you have to go because "I have to go talk to my roommate."

E. Your entire conversation just makes you want to cry. Or laugh. Or both at the same time. Because it was just that painful.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

barking spiders

I didn't used to be much of a vocal farter. Not when anyone was around. There are those girls out there in the world who just go for it, and hey, more power to you. I can rip a wicked belch like nobody's business (seriously, you wanna have a contest? Get me a diet coke.), but I've never been interested in having anyone listen to my ass speak.

But with Poster Boy, I'm over it. No reason to leave the room, or try to muffle the sound with a cough. I refuse. Because he's literally made me vomit from one of his gut busters before.

Literally. I'm not speaking figuratively here. Here was the sequence of events:

We were hung over in Dublin. Wake up, bleary, head screaming, we're pretty sure it's about 2 p.m. local time. All of our hostel roommies are out and about, the French guy's bed is made, they're probably all walking about on this crisp fall day on literary tours. He let one go, and I had a brief, probably 5 second pause before the smell hit me in the face. Suddenly, my already upset stomach just decided it had suffered enough abuse, and I sprinted to the tiny bathroom just in time to revisit my previous night's Irish Stew (and about 15 Guinness).

But still, even though he is known alternately as Poster Boy and That Guy With the Worst Gas On the Planet (yes, he does have other redeeming qualities), every time he hears -- not even smells, mind you, just hears -- the tiniest little "poof," he scrunches his nose and says, "Gross!"

Well, he did for awhile. Now he just glares at me. And I give him the finger.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Craigslist Personals - A Woman For Hire

I work the door at a bar, checking I.D's, taking covers, flirting, etc. I do not, however, take the flirting beyond the door and so I turn down the half-assed attempts to take the door girl home.

Except Cigarette.

Cigarette is the nickname of a guy who used to work at the newspaper I interned at long long ago. I never knew him, didn't recognize him when he walked in and was thrown off when he called me by name. From my friends' stories who worked with him, he was creepy and weird, always smelled like cigarettes and had the impolite habit of staring at your chest with his unsettling, red-rimmed eyes.

The bar was busy that night, more so than usual, and I didn't have time for my regular shift drink and flirting. So later, when Cigarette approached me to ask for my number, I was distracted and harried.

"I don't really give my number out to people. Safety thing. Uh, but we can trade emails or something," I said.

He disappeared in the crowd and returned a few minutes later pen and paper in hand. Without a word he thrust them at me.

I blinked, distracted, and said, "What?"

He said, "Your number?"

The line of people waiting to get into our normally not so busy bar was growing. Fast. I scribbled the first three digits of my number before realizing what I was doing. Fuck it. Whatever. I'll deal with him later if he actually calls.

He called a few days later, left a message about coffee. I returned his call a few days later, leaving a message saying thank you but no. I didn't give any reason, just thank you but no.

The next day, a number I didn't recognize called.


"Hi, is this the woman for hire?"

"Excuse me?"

"The Craigslist ad for the woman for hire, is this you?"

"What? No. You have the wrong number. I don't have any ad on Craigslist and certainly am not a woman for hire."

"Is this xxx-xxx-xxxx?"

"Yes. Shit! Is there an ad with that number!? I didn't put that on Craigslist!"

I'm panicking now, reeling with the thought of a Craigslist personals ad soliciting me as a woman for hire. I quickly review the list of people who might find it funny to do this to me. Several come to mind.

"No no, it says a woman for hire with your number. You'll come to my home and service me. It says that. You'll come to my home and service me."

The conversation escalated to him insisting I come over and me insisting that the ad wasn't me. The voice sounded familiar. I looked at the number again and recognized it as one I'd seen recently. It clicked. Cigarette.

"Is this _______?"

"It says you'll come to my house and service me."

"Is this _______!?!"

He never denied or confirmed who he was, instead repeating the services for hire advertised in the personal. I began shouting at him about how fucked it up it was to do this to a woman, and who the hell does that sort of thing, and what the royal fuck, and who the fuck do you think you are, and you're a fucking creep, etc., then hung up.

Cigarette called back twice. No answer.

Months later, he slunk into the bar again.

"Uh, hi."

"Uh-huh. Hi."

"Look I'm sorry about the Craigslist thing. It was a bad joke."

"Uh-huh. It's a three dollar cover and I need to see your I.D."

Friday, May 16, 2008

everything should taste like bacon

Yesterday the sun finally came out, and it was the perfect day to be the perfect couple.

I came home from work and went for a bike ride with Poster Boy.
Tra la la.
We took a lovely town/river path, stopped to chat with some friends who were having a burger on the Red Robin patio.
Tra la la.
Aren't we cute on our bikes (his: BMX Cruiser hers: Schwinn)?

Just peachy.

We decided that with our sunshiny burst of energy, we might as well go grocery shopping at our local discount food mart, Food 4 Less. We loaded our reusable grocery bags up in the school-bus sized yellow shopping cart.
Whee! Aren't we green!

We headed toward the checkout line. I'm unloading the cart onto the belt, Poster Boy's distracted by something, I dunno, US Weekly? But then I see at the end of the aisle a display featuring what may be the single most wonderful invention of our time.

Bacon Salt. Because everything should taste like bacon.

"Bacon Salt!" I shout and point.

Poster boy glances over. "Oh, yeah. Ha. Bacon Salt."

"No!" I insist, "Seriously. Grab some. That's bacon salt!"

He doesn't seem to get it.

I notice it's almost $4 for a tiny jar. But really, I don't know how else to explain the necessity of this item. It's salt. That tastes like bacon. Bacon Salt.

"Come on. We don't need Bacon Salt," he says, trying to walk back toward me, away from the cardboard Bacon Salt display.

"Yes. We do. I need it. I need Bacon Salt."

I know we've been trying to be frugal lately, but this is serious.

"No, we don't."

He looks me in the eye. I stare back.

"I can't believe that this is where you're trying to put your foot down. Over Bacon Salt."

I've stopped unloading the cart. I think the cashier may be watching the exchange.

The earth's rotation seems to slow as we eye each other. He weighs the consequences. I think about Bacon Salt in home-cooked baked beans. On tomatoes (BLT without all that fat and calories!). On chicken. On a nice, juicy grilled burger.

Finally, Poster Boy smarts up.

"You want original, hickory or pepper?"

We went with original. And my scrambled eggs this morning were fan-fucking-tastic.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

the butcher, the baker, the arms and legs shaver

I once dated a man who shaved.

Well, dated might be an exaggeration. I knew him. In the Biblical sense. You know, for awhile. It was a friendly hookup kind of deal. “Hey, I’m drunk. You’re drunk. I’m bored. So … you wanna do this?”

We’ve all been there, right? Right?

Hm. Well, fine. Maybe not.

Anyway, when I say he shaved, I don’t mean what you think I might mean. A lot of us trim our bits and pieces. But men who shave their arms and legs, their backs? I’m going to venture a guess here; perhaps that’s a bit less common.

The guy, we’ll call him Shiny, he used to be a stripper. That’s when he started shaving. It’s part of the act, part of the show. If you know a dude who’s in theater, he probably wears makeup. If you know a German chick on a swim team, she probably shoots steroids and has roid-induced backne. Know a salesman? He lies. And if you know, or, Biblically-speaking, Know, a stripper, he probably shaves lots more than just his stuff. Why? Well, I think the hairy sexpot dude thing went out of style with Burt Reynolds. (Or did it? Moustaches seem to be making a comeback)

So, generally speaking, the strippers, they go pretty hairless. Even Shiny. He was no skinny-boy gay club stripper, either. He’s the beefcake sort, and worked a club that focused on the bachelorette crowd. Looked sort of like a Marine. (Side note: No, Marine-style men aren’t so much my type, but, like I said, we were killing some time.)

I learned a few things from Shiny.

Here’s a short list:

1.) Beefcakes aren’t necessarily douchebags. OK, maybe that’s not such a shocker to everyone. It was to me.

2.) I don’t get how dudes put up with our prickly legs. Seriously? Ouch.

3.) While it’s fairly well known that lonely straight dudes will proposition strippers to purchase some sex (and they must get some success from time to time, one must assume), women are much less apt to offer cash. But just as likely to proposition. The difference? The chicks think they should get it for free.

I’d guess this is the ladies projecting the standard availability of easy tail for any lady at any bar on any given night. But those strippers, they’re not so easy. For one, a lot are gay. For two, a lot are taken. And three, it’s a totally different deal when the lady’s about fifteen sheets to the wind and the dude is sober as a priest. Or maybe that’s a bad example.