July 01, 2006

It's Hard To Be Me...

“I’m just completely at the end of my friggin’ rope,” I wailed to my newest, closest confidante, who in turn nodded sympathetically and offered me a drink from her sippy cup.

Yes ladies and gentleman, I have resorted to taking council from an 18-month-old baby.

With the month I’ve had, who could blame me.

I’ve recently begun the process of moving into my new apartment. I’ve taken to calling it a process because, being who I am, I can’t just move in somewhere until it meets the Serial Blonde seal of approval. The best part of this is I have my landlady’s full permission to make the space my own and do whatever I want to it. Lucky me, right?

Yeah. Lucky. Keep reading.

The previous tenant, a lovely, creative woman, got a little too lovely and creative and had painted the entire space bright yellow and lilac. That’s right. BRIGHT YELLOW AND LILAC. Imagine if you will the end result of Big Bird and Tinkie Winkie ejaculating all over your house…and you might have a better appreciation of how I felt. I wanted to cry. But I didn’t have time to. With the fifteen years of wall priming I was about to undertake, who had time for a BEACHES moment? Certainly not I.

Whoever perpetuated the stereotype that gay men are born decorators is full of shit. I would rather endure a penis swab at an STD clinic. I spent a week agonizing over paint samples. I like bold, dominant colors, like red. But who knew there were so many variations? Apple, fire engine, blood from tearing my hair out. We’re talking hundreds of shades here. And don’t even get me started on the window treatments. The plan was to be creative and design my own. Perfect on paper. Excruciating in reality. I am quite possibly the only homosexual on the planet that hasn’t the foggiest flippin’ notion on how to work a damn sewing machine. I did happen across a print that I thought would look fabulous on the windows, but all hell broke lose as a result. It was blue. That’s when I started to hyperventilate because I had already spent so much time debating the merits of red, and no, I won’t mix red and blue because, for that matter, I could have just left the yellow and purple up, thrown in some orange, painted a green stripe through the whole mess and held this year’s PRIDE festival in my fucking living room and…why is that sales girl looking at me like that? That’s when I noticed my reflection in the storefront window and realized that at that very moment, Cujo and I shared more than a passing resemblance.

At times like this there is only one thing you can do.

So I said screw it and drove to Wendy’s for a Frosty.

I wonder if Martha Stewart ever does that?

Amidst the chaos of decorating, my parents and friends have tried to be supportive and helpful. Notice the use of the word “tried”.

My Mother, God bless her, kind of makes me want to be on drugs when we discuss my new digs.

“Are you sure you want to put that there?”

Which is followed twenty minutes later by…

“I still don’t think that’s going to look good over there.”

And my favorite…

“Do you even need a bed?”

My best friend Aaron was amused when I mentioned the possibility of working with the color blue. He made the mistake of asking, “Blue? Isn’t that kind of masculine for you?” I wonder if he’d ask me that if I had him bent over the counter with his pants around his ankles and his ass in the air? I’ll give you masculine, all right.

My girlfriend Louise seemed completely puzzled by my stress level, but tried to be sympathetic, in her usual back handed way. “I don’t know why you’re getting all worked up about this. Everything will be fine. WE’RE going through the same thing with our house and you don’t hear me complaining.”

The key word there is “we” as in she and her husband. The only “we” I have are the voices in my head…who unfortunately are not going to help me paint or move. So the new key word is “no” as is no she doesn’t understand my stress level because she is part of a “we” and I am just a “me”.

Damn. I knew I should be more supportive of gay marriage rights. I overlooked a perfectly valid form of volunteer labor.

This brings me back to the baby, the one person in my life who has managed to be a calming influence (okay, second…my Dad has actually been extremely helpful and more importantly, low on opinions!)

Right now the baby and I are playing inside her playhouse.

Hey, it’s actually not so bad in here. And it’s a neutral color.

Essential Download: "It's Hard To Be Me"
Artisit: Cyndi Lauper
Available On: Shine

Originally published in the July 2006 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published GLBT Newspaper, published since 1973 by the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.