on mother’s daze

Oh hai. Apologies for living under a rock since January. Let me bring you up to speed you wonderful handful of loyal readers.

In mid January I stepped onto my bathroom scale and the sheer, abject horror of seeing a digital display mockingly read “199.5” sent my delicate flower sensibilities into virtual meltdown. You see, I’d been avoiding the bathroom scale for months just like one does with folks that one owes money or that furry, bear dude who gave one the crabs.

I have never ever weighed almost 200lbs. The number played havoc with my mind as I still saw myself as, oh…somewhere around 185lbs even though I’d been buying larger sport coats just to cover off-site meetings, and the out of town business trips to the corporate office. I could no longer get into the tres expensive Burberry, Asaia, or HUGO BOSS suits that still, to this day, hang in sober judgement of my 44Short, fat-ass self.

It’s one thing to be old(er) in the gay community but it’s an entirely other matter to be old and fat. Invisible doesn’t even begin to describe the silent judgement of rail-thin office millennials who cluck their pink tongues should I even look at the Dunkin’ Donuts box in the employee lounge.

Oh, sure. There are exceptions to the ‘old and fat’ gay isolation rule: do you have a big cock? Do you have, say, a big cock and a summer house in Montauk, Long Island? These areas of visible wealth eradicate both years and pounds off virtually every fat ass queen I know. But I digress.

The very next day post-bathroom scale debacle I returned to EQUINOX. It’s important to mention the gym brand as you will appreciate that my stupid ass self has, monthly–since 2013, paid a growing membership fee to essentially perform a fairly robust elliptical/cardio routine as one of the club’s invisible gay guys. (insert ‘gay and old’ as reference point) January of this year my membership hovered somewhere between $143/month and a gazillion dollars. I do love me some Kiehl’s hand cream though so I keep going back. ahem –

Since that sub-zero day in January I’ve remained somewhat faithful to a gym routine, portion control at mealtime, and I’ve stopped swilling bottles of Chardonnay. I can definitely count on one hand the number of cocktails I’ve had since January. I’ve lost 11lbs. I’m out of the 44s size and back into the nebulous 42s arena. One can still look somewhat together as a 42s. The 44s basically communicates “here, look at my old man belly.” And not in a good way.

I searched online for that BMI measurement thang and at my height {5’9″} my ideal goal weight is 165lbs. That’s what I’m working towards but in all frankness I’d have to lick toilet seats at the airport and come down with a nasty case of ebola to get THAT skinny. One can hope. And hope remains eternal.

Today is Mother’s Day. It’s always a sad and meditative-type day for me. My mother is now framed as ‘the woman who brought me into this world.’

Her mothering days ended sometime in the late 70s when she wigged out and had a strangle-choke hold around my neck. I can type that nowadays and the hurt of having one’s mother try to kill them doesn’t sting nearly as much as it used to.

I left home that very day. I also suffer deal with panic/anxiety. A therapist told me that panic anxiety disorder stems from repressed anger. I’m proud of myself, really– to have compartmentalized a narcissistic mother. The past many, many years have been fine without her. I can’t say that I miss her. I can say that I miss “mothering” as there have been times in my life where only the support of a mother’s love could soothe. Oh. And a hefty slice of chocolate cake with inch thick frosting. That soothes as well.

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the resolution will be televised

Oh joy. Another new year. Yet another opportunity to swim above or very near the line of utter complacency and mediocrity. I can say that as today my ‘pleather’ “COMPARE AT” belt ripped at one of the buckle holes. I mean, for fuck’s sake, I paid a solid $9.99 cash money and expect the damn belt {reversible for us versatile types} to last more than, say, two years. But the poor dear committed ‘belt suicide’ what with my fat gut pushing up against the sole constraining device that keeps the general public from silently muttering “probably glandular” versus “oh my freakin’ gawd what a fat fuck” at a cursory passing glance. But I digress.

On the top shelf of my closet I have Dolce & Gabbana, two Versace, two GUCCI, and one PRADA divoon belts that have mysteriously shrunk to fit someone with more style and chic élan than my current 20lb extra self. I hate that their smug lil’ duster bags and boutique ribbon handled shopping bags mock me whenever I glance upward. My first –and last waking thought, each and every day, is how did I gain this extra weight? And I know the painful truth which I quell with yet another chardonnay.

And while I’m quite certain I can round up enough men to bang my phat ass I just don’t feel sexy enough to do so. Pretty is as pretty does and I do not wish to enter the realm of someone’s fatty fetish worship. No sir, you do not get to jiggle the man boobs. My solo ring master private circus will remain in my bedroom with a lights out act until further notice.

New Year’s Eve was dullsville. I was in bed, out like a light, at 11pm. I didn’t hear a thing; it must have been a quiet night in the neighborhood as usually there’s at least one hi-rise balcony idiot with metal pot lids clanging in the New Year. The new year/first day was spent removing a bit of Christmas trim as one does. My tree is still up but it’s minus all the gold ornaments, the flickering flame lights, the tree top angel, and the fussy tree skirt. I purchased a new tree this year; it’s a winter wonderland flocked-type tree and minus any snow on the virtual ground I’m now guaranteed that proverbial white Christmas. At least in my living room.

This weekend I will bite the bullet and shove the rest of Christmas 2018 back into storage and memory. There were small moments of joy but a lot of sameness, too, as I traverse yet another year–post breakup, as a single man. I think it was Charlotte on ‘Sex and The City’ that noted the amount of time one needs to get over a relationship is exactly half the time of the relationship duration. So, lemme do some math: together for 25-years… looks like this summer will be the half-way point since the breakup. I sure hope there is someone waiting—wanting, and needing– my love on the other side of this chasm of dark despair.

happy nude rear

With the flip of the calendar we all enter clean slate/fresh start territory tomorrow. When I was younger, much — this notion filled me with the hope of new career challenges, jet-set vacation travel, and the promise that my youthful energies would carry me wherever I focused them. New year’s day at this age is pretty much ‘meh.’

I dislike my advancing curmudgeon ‘been there/done that’ mindset but in reality…I HAVE been there. And done that. I don’t entertain anymore; I’m rarely entertained, either, as the social circle I’m firmly trying to embrace probably views this evening as amateur night. Those folks are in black tie once a month; getting dressed up is called ‘Tuesday’ and thus this evening really doesn’t deliver unless one, of course, has traveled across the pond. Or has some illustrious theater person as a winter house guest in Palm Beach:

“Stop by around 11:00..we’re doing a light salmon buffet and Tom’s entertaining us all with his scenes from HAMILTON!!!”

Ahem. But that is not my evening here. Today is miserable. Cold, rainy; a metaphor for all my unfulfilled promise of the past year. I did not organize my life, let alone my closet. I did not lose 10lbs; in fact, I probably gained ten pounds. My love life is one long stretch of self-inflicted hand jobs with a rising penchant for kinkier porn because, well, who hasn’t seen a twink take a big cock? It’s 2019, people… that degree of smut is almost quaint in its predictability.

I don’t wish my last post of the year to be Debbie Downer. There are many blessings in my life; I’m not blind to that fact. But I digress; let’s focus on New Year’s Eve parties. Specifically NYC socialite Kitty Miller’s New Year’s Eve house party. The year is 1953. It all looks so picture-perfect. Elegant as shit. No doubt the most coveted invitation by the mere appearance of Reed and Diana Vreeland. Do come sit beneath the GOYA, sugar.

Happy New Year, bitches.

what child(ish) is this?

I think most everyone becomes a kid at Christmas, don’t you think? I mean, we all still have secret wishes and expectations regardless of rational, adult thought. I know there’s no jolly fat man in a red velvet suit swooshing down the chimney as my apartment fireplace is ‘faux’ and I alone control the ‘faux’ fire logs. But that fact did not diminish the hope and excitement of my two feet hitting the bedroom floor yesterday morn.

BW_nativity

The tree was the same though. A couple of festive, holiday-themed gift bags, a tin of Christmas shortbread, two bottles of wine, and a scattering of Christmas cards artfully arranged beneath flocked branches signaled no visit from Santa as the silent tableau was exactly the same as the day before. And the days before that. I guess my inner child needs adult therapy to believe ‘magical thinking’ will produce a Christmas day that doesn’t feel like the second Tuesday of, say, August.

The weather refused to cooperate with my magical thinking yesterday, too. I did not get the proverbial ‘white Christmas.’ I simply must have a white Christmas; I don’t care about snowfall on any other day of the year but for the love of the newborn Christ child can’t we have snow on damn Christmas day?! But it was a fairly mild day here in the midwest; the sun lazily poked through overcast clouds a few hours. I had my tree lit and my old-fashioned plastic ‘candleliers’ were plugged in, glowing orange flames, but you wouldn’t note either from the streets as it was too damn sunny to enjoy the lights. Meh.

In other “White Christmas” fails, I swiveled my desktop Mac to face the sofa. As is my annual tradition, I enjoy settling into a large slice of pie mounded with whipped cream to enjoy the timeless, ever-classic Irving Berlin “White Christmas.” It is THE quintessential Christmas film and while some of my youthful contemporaries roll their eyes and espouse the joys and LOLs of a more modern holiday movie like “ELF,” well, in all frankness — do fuck off with that nonsensical shit. I’m talking Bing Crosby crooning the movie’s namesake tune, talented Rosemary Clooney back when she had a waistline, and the tapping toes and weightless whirls of Vera Ellen. (Vera didn’t have a waistline, btw…she had a thorax)

But even that wee bit of joy was stripped as my DVD kept ejecting. I had no idea what the fuck was wrong and like any ‘i-can-fix-anything’ butch male I continued jamming the DVD into the tiny slot until it all got the best of me and I gave in to the karmic curse apparently placed on my Christmas day joys large and small.

I did phone out-of-state family and that’s always a feel good time as siblings recall childhood memories of Christmas past. It’s our collective memories that keep those distant holidays alive. Phoning mother, on the other hand, was chore-like and I wasn’t disappointed with her standard litany of “…it’s just another day…” She’s getting up there in years and has managed to isolate herself into certain dire circumstances; I know that hard decisions need to be made soon. And none of that business will go down easy. But I digress.

I’m on holiday for the remainder of the week; a much-needed break from the fast pace I’ve been managing in the workplace of late. Today I plan to visit a couple resale shops and knock about in search of the discarded silver serving pieces for a hidden treasure. I don’t need a thing but enjoy rescuing a blackened bit of silverplate that perhaps graced a holiday table long ago. Once home, the fervor of polishing brings not only a shine to the odd drinks tray but to my day as well. Keeping busy helps my mind stay focused on the here and now while keeping the ghost of Christmases past — partnered, a sparkling tree crowning wrapped gifts, and a dining table surrounded with the company of friends (now deceased or aged and apathetic to Christmas traditions) — well, firmly planted in the past.

a few daze before christmas

Well this is me procrastinating. My goal today seemed so concrete as I drifted off to sleep last night. My best plans are made right before I cross over from the nervous reality of being awake to sleep mode with all reality suspended. What few hours I do sleep are often peppered with absurd and unbelievable dream states. Recently I gave a foot massage to a well-known home shopping channel host; I think I had a boner. I know, right? Call the doctors. But he’s very handsome, half my age, and I think we’d be the most awesome social scene gay couple in Palm Springs!

Today I will head out to fight the crowds of shoppers again; yesterday’s trek into department store holiday hell was fairly easy. I had a list and kept to it. Now is not the time to browse for ideas. Now is the time to grab it and wrap it. And invariably this time of year I see so much shit that I WANT. But I do manage to pass it by cuz tis’ the season to think of others. But it was just as hard and shaky for me to let go of the Ralph Lauren fake Chinese porcelain end table lamp as it must be for a recovered drunk to walk past the town liquor store. And it was such a great “compare at” price tag, too. But then I really don’t need another lamp. But then… Ralph Lauren. So there’s that. FML

I can tell that I need to snap a Xanax in half to head out today. The crazy nerves of getting shit done as well as escalating Christmas expectations are mounting. My best holidays are where I’m able to keep expectations at zero. That way if a kind neighbor knocks with a jar of marmalade Christmas day I’m pleasantly surprised and delighted that anyone should care. But this year is different: I’m running a non-stop mental list of folks who I think will gift me a lil’ something. And I need to shut that down. It’s toxic thought to have any expectations come Christmas…particularly at this age. On the other hand, maybe I’d feel better with that Ralph Lauren lamp. It could happen; I’ll add it to my list.

merry, mary

Wow. Here we are. Christmas 2018. I checked my archives and I’ve managed to post (and not post) for six years. It seems the muse strikes at the holidays; they’re such a time of reflection, don’t you agree? We either pin our hopes on what possibly may land beneath the tree come Christmas morn or stir the embers of faded memories that recall Christmases past. Another house; the kids still at home–no empty nest; a healthy Christmas bonus — a living room floor filled with gaily, foil-wrapped gifts…don’t those types of memories always rise this time of year? I recall a $10,000. (net) Christmas bonus back in the 90s. It was the Reagan era, wasn’t it?!  Greed is good; I filled the condo with real pine, real poinsettias, premium vodkas, and better imported wines that year. Le sigh.

I have a tendency to dwell in the past. And yet, if you process it logically–the past was once ‘in the moment’ and I bitched and whined for happier days then, as well. I think it’s my genetic nature to swim in dark, murky memories. I like to pick at nearly healed scabs.

Mother became sadistic at the holiday season. “See these gifts?” as she’d sweep through the family room in a waft of Gloria Vanderbilt perfume from the garage to her bedroom closets. “Here’s everything you’re getting for Christmas; if you want to ruin the day…go ahead and snoop through these bags.” We were teens; insolent, lazy, and mainly coming out of our respective bedrooms for Bugles snacks and Cheez-Whiz. But I digress.

It is pouring rain today. If this was snow, I’d be harnessing huskies as it has been a downpour since my early a.m. waking. And while I do have errands to run I may just futz with the holiday trim that is up. I can shop my walk-in storage locker and come out with at least three separate Christmas trim looks. I’ve gotten better in my advancing years: I’ve kept the color scheme to gold and red the past few seasons. It seems to work. And I can always add more gold or more red. Though I truly long for one more ‘vintage’ Christmas tree look. The one with Shiny-Brite ornaments, tinsel, and those big screw in-type light bulb strands. (and that look is all in storage, too.) I just need the right mood to think about dragging all that out as it does sort of pull one back into another time and another place. While some of those memories are cherished. Just as many are sad AF. But let’s wallow in boo fuck’n hoo another post.

sliding into the holidaze 2018

I received an email inviting me to a local tree lighting festival and screamed a thousand screams inside. Don’t get me wrong: I love the holidays. I also hate the holidays. I don’t know that I can attribute that to a Gemini star sign or the fun house, hall of mirrors that defined my childhood holidays via mother’s loose grip on what she could do and what she should do.

It’s funny. Now that she’s up there in years her memory or recall of events is rose-colored. “Oh, I just toss a wreath on the door nowadays. But you do remember how I decorated the entire front of this house with lights and pine. Remember the green foil door?”

No. Actually I remember swaying on a wobbly ladder back in the day, hooking lights and living in fear that something wouldn’t look correct to mother’s artistic watchful eye. I decorated THAT house. And I took it all down. And that’s the thing about holidays. Or holiday memories, I mean. They magnify all that is good in a family and all that is bad. Just like weddings and funerals do.

I recall coming home from school one day and making some gleeful remark about Christmas coming while mother, clad in 70’s peach Vanity Fair robe, manhandled a coffee pot and a KOOL. My coming home from school often aligned with her rise and shine. A fact she kept hidden and stage-managed very well from my father’s knowledge. Household tip: place the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the living room floor before your man gets home. But I digress.

I must have been 15 or so; you know how jumpy and awkward teens are to begin with. But my comment on the pending magical holidays garnered a swift backhand across my face. It came sudden. Swift. And with deep, hot anger. It’s as if my youthful joy was not allowed or merited in the presence of someone whose own early childhood was rocked by divorce and near abandonment.

And it’s why–to this very day, in my own advancing years, I refuse to back down, give in, or toss in the towel when it comes to holiday trim and decorating my own home. I see some peers doing less and less; others jet off to warmer climes during Christmas so they frame absent holiday decor with “…it will only be up for a week and then we’re all in Barbados…” But for me each year presents a renewed challenge to make it brighter, more shiny, and exceedingly joyful. It takes all that I’ve got to not slide into the ‘why bother’ mentality that envelopes mother’s holiday season.

It also serves as a visual reminder: I am nothing like her. And I am everything like her. Come hold my ladder, dammit.