In Which I Learn, Again, To Keep My Mouth Shut

Last night, I had my second therapy session since my prodigal return.  It’s frustrating to me that even after two and a half years of weekly sessions, I still find it awkward and uncomfortable at the beginning of these appointments.  I generally experience quite a bit of anxiety on the day of the session, leading up to my appointment as I feel some unexplained (and I’m sure unwarranted) pressure to “do it right”.

As I sat in the waiting room outside Deb’s office yesterday I began to go over the list in my head.  The one where I run through the things that are on my mind.  The things that I have been thinking a lot about.  The things that…  Well, the things that are things, not feelings.  Even after two and a half years of weekly sessions I still find it difficult to identify, and be comfortable with many of my feelings and emotions.

Yesterday, I forgot most of the day that I even had a session.  I mean I didn’t forget.  I knew I had to leave work early.  I knew I was going to the appointment.  I didn’t forget to go.  But I didn’t think about it all day.  I didn’t dwell on it.  I didn’t worry about it…  Until I was driving there.

When my time had come and she opened the door, I walked in, hurled myself upon the couch and let out a long, exasperated sigh.  I told her exactly what I just told you, that I had managed to avoid the anxiety, until this moment.  She asked me what it was about and I said that I never knew how to start things off.

“I think you just did,” she said.

I told her, “Now I’m just running through the list of things I shouldn’t say.  Including that I shouldn’t say that there’s a list of things I shouldn’t say.”

“Things you ‘shouldn’t’ say?  Why?” she asked.

“Because, it’s reporting.”

Apparently, when in therapy, reporting on your life is not “doin’ it right”.  They want to know what and how you feel.  When I don’t know the answer to that, or don’t know where to start with that, it’s easier to fill the silence with reporting on what’s been going on.  Filling the silence, also not necessarily “doin’ it right”.  The silence, though, is unbearable to me.

I know I tend to make assumptions or read into what she tells me but she has said in the past that it sounds like I’m “reporting” to her and how did I feel about… whatever I was talking about.  I guess I gathered from that, that reporting is not good.

“Well, it’s been a little while, maybe you should tell me what’s been going on,” she said.

So I started to run down the list (I didn’t get very far.)  I told her where things stand with my quest to go to college (pretty much no progress has been made) and how happy I was, when I got my high school transcript to see that it had my ACT scores on it so I didn’t have to figure out where to track them down.

And then I told her about my birthday gift from my mother and how it had gotten lost in transit and the cell phone conversation that took place on Friday.

My mother was very testy with me on the phone and was noticeably annoyed by the fact that I was apparently not giving her my undivided attention.  I suspect she was also annoyed that I did not answer the phone when she called.  She didn’t have it in her to understand and accept that I didn’t answer the phone because I was in a noisy place where she wouldn’t be able to hear me, nor I her.  She didn’t seem to understand and accept the fact that I called her back as soon as I left that noisy place but that it meant I was driving and yes, I had to split my attention between her and the road.

I flashed on a memory of my childhood.  I was having my 10th birthday and was spending the summer at my father’s house.  My mother, brother and sister and I had just moved to Oklahoma the year before and we were to spend our summers with my father, his wife and her two sons, at his house in Ohio.  We had just finished dinner and were starting to eat my birthday cake when my mother called to talk to me.

I was ten and there was cake.

I sat at the table, eating my cake and talking to my mother.  Around me the rest of the group were continuing their conversations and having a good time.  Finally Mom commented that it sure was noisy and asked what was going on.  I told her that we were having cake and somehow conveyed that I was still sitting at the table eating my piece.  She said, “What?  You couldn’t be bothered to get up from the table to talk to your mother?”

Let me reiterate people, I was ten and there was cake!

Nonetheless, I understood I had apparently done wrong and said that I would go into another room, to which she replied, “Don’t bother.  Just put your brother on the phone.”

I remember this event so clearly, and I “learned” from it that you’re supposed to give your undivided attention when you’re on the phone, especially to my mother.  Folks remember that.  If you’re ever on the phone with my mother, PAY ATTENTION!!

But here’s the thing that Deb helped me to see.  On both occasions, it was my birthday.  If ever there is a time all year long that “it’s all about me”?  It’s on your birthday.  Your birthday is the one day each year when you have every right to be selfish and make everything about yourself.  My mother called me on my birthday and when I didn’t drop everything and focus all my attention on her, I was in trouble.

I realized that this is always true.  It doesn’t matter what day it is or what the circumstances are, IT’S.  ALL.  ABOUT.  HER.

Now for the irony.

When I arrived home last night, my mysteriously disappearing birthday FedEx package was at my door.  It had a new shipping label that they had created on it.  Obviously, it turned up somewhere and they reshipped it four days late.

I called Mom to tell her the package had arrived and wouldn’t you know it.  I got her voice mail.  It’s not the first time.  She uses her cell phone exclusively and if she sets it down in another room she doesn’t always hear it ring.  No big deal.  I left my message and went on about my day.

Forty-five minutes later she called me back.  I was in the middle of preparing food for today and instinctively, I felt the need to explain the noise.  I also held off cooking dinner while I was on the phone and as a result I didn’t eat dinner until nearly 10:00 last night.

In the middle of the conversation she told me that her TV was dying.  I’m not surprised, she bought this TV in 1988, but what occurred to me after the fact was that the TV was on, while she was talking to me.  Apparently, undivided attention is not a two way street.

Toward the end of our conversation I asked her if she still watches David Letterman.  I wanted to know if she knew what the big deal was bout the joke he made about Sarah Palin’s daughter.  I wanted to know how seriously his job was in jeopardy over this.  I should have known better.

She launched into an emphatic diatribe about how hateful all the late night comics had become and how she just couldn’t stand to listen to them any more since George W. Bush was in office and they were always picking on him.  “George W Bush is a good Christian man and a great President and I just couldn’t stand to listen to them say hateful things about him.”  I bit my tongue.

Then she said, “Barack Obama is just crazy.”  She told me that in one of his books he said, ‘when it comes down to it, I’ll side with the Muslims every time.’

I couldn’t make out what she said and asked her who he said he’d side with and she replied, “The Muslims.  You know the ones who want to kill us?  He’s crazy.  Anybody that wants to shut down Guantanamo Bay and turn those guys loose on American soil, is crazy.”

Now, I don’t agree with my mother on a lot of things politically related, but I also know that one of the stupidest things you can do is get into an involved political discussion with someone you’re close to and you don’t know that they agree with you, so I keep my mouth shut about my politics.

I kept my mouth shut as she went on about how “wonderful” George W Bush is and how “terrible” Barack Obama is and then she said this:

“You may not agree with me, I don’t know, but if you’ve gone that far a field, I just don’t even want to know about it.”  (Imagine, if she doesn’t want to know about my politics, how she must feel about my sexuality!)

It was pretty clear, I think, from my lack of response that I did not agree with her, and things got crunchy and the conversation ended quickly after that.


I don’t know.  Maybe it just sounds like I’m ranting.  Like I’m just one more person who doesn’t get along with his mother and boo hoo, poor me. Get over it!  But it just really served to remind me of just how… incompatible (?) we are?  That doesn’t really seem like the right word; we’re not dating.

But that’s kind of what it comes down to.  How can we have a relationship if it’s all one sided?  I can’t really talk to her because it’s always about making sure that her needs are met.  Meanwhile, mine fall by the wayside, as they always have.  My whole life it’s been this way.  My needs, my feelings, they all take a back seat to hers.  I learned from a very young age not to express any thoughts, needs or feelings that conflict with hers.  And by rote, I learned to subvert my thoughts, needs and feelings to anyone and everyone particularly those in some sort of authority over me.  The worst part is I think I do it to those who do not have authority over me.  I hate to think that’s true, but it probably is.

So what is the answer?  How do you stand up for yourself and your own needs without disrespecting the needs of others?  It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard and yet, it feels like it’s nearly impossible.  In my  experience at least, being direct and assertive makes people angry and defensive.  Being passive/aggressive, well it makes people angry and defensive, and it breeds the same.  Trying to express your needs in a light hearted and joking way, gets you over-looked.

I continue to hold out hope for a better tomorrow.  I continue to desire a life wherein I have close friends and family who like each other and get along well and interact peacefully, but truthfully with each other.  I continue to hope for a life where my needs are met and I’m able to meet the needs of others and it all works out for a greater purpose.  Is this possible?  Am I hoping for something that I can never have?  What is the answer?

Birthday Weekend

I’m back at work after a four day week-end and oh the boredom and annoying-ness of it all.  I hoped somehow I’d return to this God-forsaken place refreshed and renewed.  Ready to take on the environment with a new attitude and better spirits.  Alas, new attitudes and better spirits are in short supply and I seem to have missed the boat.

Friday was my birthday and the only way you could not already know that is if you’ve never seen my blog before or if you live under a rock.  Because my birthday fell on a Friday this year I took Friday and Monday off with the foolish thought that maybe, just maybe there might be some sort of road worthy excursion to be had, but sadly, none such excursions took place.  It’s just as well, really.  By the time I finished paying all my bills and doing the necessary grocery and household items shopping this week-end, there was no money for road worthy excursions anyway.

Michelle took Friday off with me and together we went to lunch at ye old Cheesecake Factory where for the first time in I don’t know how many visits, I ventured outside of my usual choice of Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes and ordered the Four Cheese Pasta with Chicken.  Hey, it was my birthday; I’m allowed a little splurge, right?  The food was good, though I’d have preferred the large dollop of Ricotta cheese that they plopped on top to either be mixed in, or not be there at all.

After lunch we wandered across the street to the movie theater where we watched My Life in Ruins, the latest film written by and staring Nia Vardalos.  I loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding and was very impressed with her talent after that so when My Friend @NiaVardalos told me that she had a new movie coming out and that she needed me to go see it I was only too happy to comply.  Folks, this movie was great, and Nia looked amazing!  If you haven’t seen it already, run, don’t walk, to your nearest cinema and watch it.

After the movie we returned to The Cheesecake Factory to purchase our cheesecake for later.  I don’t know anyone who can actually eat a meal AND eat cheesecake while actually AT The Cheesecake Factory.  I can never decide on one preferred type of cheesecake so I end up getting two pieces, one Chocolate Moose Cheesecake, and one Godiva Chocolate.  I always tell myself that these two pieces of cheesecake will last me for days and days because I WON’T eat the entire slice in one sitting.  Then I take my cheesecake home and eat the entire thing in one sitting.  So much for good intentions.

We decided to have a drink at the bar before we left so we fought the crowd (it was after 6:00 on a Friday) and made our way to the counter were the very handsome bar tenders ignored us for about five minutes.  Finally we ordered our top shelf margaritas and sat down to enjoy our drinks and chat.  Midway through a sentence, Michelle and I both stopped and stared as we watched the cuter of the two bartenders pour a shot of Patrón tequila into a glass.

Michelle asked him what he was making and he said it was called a Patrón el Diablo (note to self; remember this drink next time you go to ye old Cheesecake Factory.)  He told us it had Patrón Silver, Pomegranate and Grapefruit juices.  I imagine there was more to it than that, but then he stopped mid sentence and walked away.  I thought he was ignoring us, but then he came back with a straw and used the old dip-the-straw-in-the-glass-and-put-your-finger-on-top-of-it-to-take-a-small-sip-worth-of-the-drink-out-of-the-glass trick and put it in a small glass so we could taste it.  It was muy yummy and you could taste the Patrón which is quite possibly the best tequila ever.

Now the story might have taken an interesting turn here…  But it didn’t.  He walked away and that was the end of that conversation.  Ah well, he most likely would’ve been more interested in Michelle than me, anyway.

When we first sat down at the bar, my cell phone rang and it was my mother.  I sent the call to voice mail because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear her and that we weren’t going to be terribly long.  I would call her back when we left.

You see, for the first time in more than four years, my mother sent me a birthday present.  Normally, it’s a day or two before my birthday and she asks me, what do you want for your birthday that doesn’t cost more than about $30.00.  I think long and hard and can’t come up with anything (‘cause I’ve already bought myself everything I want that doesn’t cost more than $30.00) and finally come up with the same thing as the previous year.  A series of books she told me about that sounds interesting but I’ve never gotten around to buying/reading.  Then when it’s said and done, I get nothing.  This year, she told me on Thursday that she’d gotten me a present and after asking where I wanted her to send it (home or work.)  She told me that it was to arrive at my house by 10:30 AM Friday morning.  I was going to be home and I got out of bed around 8:30 so as to be ready to answer the door when the FedEx driver arrived.

Having already told me that the gift was roughly 10 x 7 x 1 I was pretty sure I knew it to be one of the books she and I had discussed repeatedly for years prior, but I was excited to get the gift nonetheless.  Around 9:30, I saw a FedEx truck go barreling down the street and I was surprised it didn’t stop but figured my package must just be on a different truck or he would be back.  When I left at noon, it still had not arrived, so I put a note on the door for the driver to leave it and I went to meet Michelle.

I called my mother back when we left The Cheesecake Factory and she told me that she’d received an automated e-mail from FedEx telling her the package had been left at my door at 9:28 AM.  She was noticeably annoyed, I can only assume first, because I didn’t call her to tell her I had gotten the package and to thank her and then because I didn’t answer the phone when she called.  Then she was testy because there was noise in the background.  Noise that amounted to Michelle telling me I was about to take the wrong entrance ramp to the highway (I wasn’t) and then the sound of my accelerating on to the highway.  She seemed unconcerned that the gift hadn’t arrived and honestly, I don’t know if she’s going to pursue it with FedEx or not.  She was so snide about it, I decided not to ask.

I dropped Michelle off at her house and then I went home.  I turned on the TV and the Wii to be a good boy and do my EA Sport Active Workout, but first I did my Wii Fit Body Test and the graphic on the screen of the Balance Board was wearing a party hat and threw confetti my way!  And then she (the balance board is a she) told me I was obese and that I’d gained weight… Bitch!

Saturday, I sat around on my obese, more weighty butt and watched TV most of the day (after having slept till 11:00.)  Fortunately, it was a rest day for the EA Sport Active.

Sunday, I got up and prepared my shopping list, took a shower and headed out to take care of my shopping.  I returned home around 4:30 and after putting away my haul, I commenced thoroughly cleaning my bathroom.  I started cleaning the kitchen as well, but when it was creeping up on 7:00 and I still had to work out and prepare and eat dinner, I decided I better call it quits for the day.  (Nice thing is I got a gold medal on my EA Sport Active journal for having additional activity, in the form of housework, for the day!)

On Monday, K and I had plans to go to lunch together.  She has been off for over a week for her son’s eighth grade graduation, her parents visit and her own birthday which is one week before mine.  I picked her up at about 11:45 and we made our way into and across San Francisco, where we went to lunch at the Beach Chalet.

She surprised me when I picked her up with a gift bag to which four very large balloons were tied.  The gift was a large coffee mug with superman on it.  Very cool!  I’ll update this post with pictures.  Let it be said, that Mischa is most unimpressed with the balloons which are currently hovering in wait in my living room.  Let it also be said that I am a dead beat friend that didn’t get K anything.   Yes, I suck.

The Beach Chalet was awesome.  I had made reservations in advance and as a result we got a nice table by a window looking out across San Francisco’s Great Highway, over Ocean Beach and right on out at the water.  When we first arrived there was a cruise ship coming in and heading for the Golden Gate Bridge (I should have taken pictures.)  The view was incredible, the food  was delicious and the desert was so decadent!  We shared the Chocolate Sand Castle.

When I returned home, I checked around, but my FedEx package still was no where to be found.  I went inside, cleaned a little more, worked out again (so glad today is a rest day), made dinner and settled in for the evening.

All in all, it was a pretty good week-end and pretty good Birthday.  I couldn’t have asked for too much more!

And sadly, now I’m back at work where it seems, I wasn’t missed at all, and wishing I was just about anywhere else.

I wonder when that cruise ship leaves port again….

Plus One

By the time many of you read this, I will be another year older.  Well, I won’t be a year older, I’ll be a day older or possibly even just a few hours older, but the number that is my age will be plus one.

I have very mixed feelings about this… Or maybe I have no feelings at all about this…  You see, there was a time when I didn’t think I’d live to be thirty.  I’m not dying.  I don’t have any degenerative or progressive diseases, not that I know about anyway (and if I do, I don’t think I want to know about it.) There are no curses or trends of early deaths in my family; in fact, very much to the contrary my grandparents all lived to a very old age, except my maternal grandfather who was in his early 40s when a man, distraught over his wife leaving him, wore a dynamite vest onto the same plane as my Grandfather and detonated it in the lavatory, killing everyone on board.

No, I didn’t think I’d live to be thirty because growing up, thirty seemed old.  Thirty was “too late” to accomplish anything.  I figured if you hadn’t made a life for yourself by thirty, you never would.  To this day I struggle against that belief.  Thirty was old in my mind, and I have never been able to imagine myself as an old person.  I always assumed I was alone in that feeling.  I still don’t know that I’m not, but I have found that as I get older, so does my image of what “old” looks like.

When I was coming up on my thirtieth birthday, Michelle and I were still roommates and we were about to move.  I wanted to ignore my birthday and focus on the packing and move preparations.  Michelle made a “special”  dinner (special is in quotes because she made surf and turf, which she makes anytime there’s even the slightest  hint of a worthy excuse, like a birthday, or a holiday, or a Saturday) but that was the extent of my celebration. On June 10, 2005, I got a text message from my friend Heather, who lives in Oklahoma, saying, “Happy Birthday!  I guess you made it to thirty after all.”  I replied with “Thanks!  But my birthday’s not for two more days.  A lot can  happen.”  You see, I wasn’t living in fear of dying.  I didn’t really figure at that point that I would die.  It was just  that I’ve never been able to imagine myself getting old and for a long time old was defined in my mind as thirty.

If you’re reading between the lines here, then you realize that, yes, I still have doubts about my own longevity, and I think I’m OK with that.  While my grandparents lived to ripe old ages, my Paternal Grandmother died at 86,  of cancer after a four year battle.  My Paternal Grandfather died just shy of 93, presumably of “old age” but not  before slipping into dementia and depression.  He lived four years after his wife died and all he wanted the entire time was to be with her.  And my Maternal Grandmother?  I don’t know what she died of, other than just plane  giving up.  She was a miserable woman her whole life and she was kind of determined to stay that way.  Sixty  years of Anti-depressants and addiction to Valium, followed by a 6 month stay in an assisted living facility she finally gave up and willed herself to die at the age of 84.

None of these are things I want to experience and if I’m not very vigilant I could easily experience all three.  No, I’d much rather die in my fifties after, hopefully, living a full life, than live into my 80s and be miserable and  sickly.

Wow, once again, on a major tangent.

Anyway, tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be 34 years old.  When I turned 30, I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening.   I’m not sure how I’ll feel next year, turning 35, but for now, 34 is not so bad.  I’m still waiting to feel like I’ve built a life for myself and given the major changes I’m considering, it may be a while still before I feel like I have.  And  yes, sometimes I get twinges of feeling like that makes me a failure, but frequently people tell me, and I choose  to believe, that at 34 years old, I’m still young and can accomplish a lot in my life…

My feelings are mixed for other reasons as well.  Growing up, we never made a big production out of birthdays.   I’ve never had a birthday party.  Not a single one.  There’s never been anyone to invite to one.  I don’t make  friends easily and when I was a kid I was even worse.  In my family, a birthday “party” pretty much consists of a  dinner out, but nothing special because we ate dinner in restaurants all the time (mom never wanted to cook) and possibly a Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake.  Believe me when I tell you, Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is not nearly as bad as it  sounds.  It’s actually quite delicious, but like the dinners out, Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake was a  regular staple in our house so that wasn’t particularly exciting either.

Michelle turned 40 this year, and her sister threw a big party for her.  There were at least 30 people at this party and they were all there to see Michelle, to wish her well, and to heap gifts up on her ancient head.  I had a nice   enough time, except for one isolated incident but it served to remind me that I haven’t, and probably won’t ever,  have an experience like it.  Poor me, whatever.

You know, I’ve written many times and verbally commented many more times, about how much I dislike contrived holidays in which you’re supposed to go through special efforts to show your affection for someone you care  about when that should be a daily occurrence.  I guess if I was honest, though, I’d have to admit that when a  birthday (and I would imagine an anniversary) goes by largely unnoticed, it is a bit of a slap in the face, like you’re deliberately telling the person that they don’t matter to you and so there’s a part of me that wants certain people to make a big to-do about my birthday, even while I know that if they did, I’d be embarrassed about it.

I’m so not sure where I was going with this post, now that I’ve gotten this far in.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I’m taking the day off work.  (In fact I’m taking Monday off work and making a long  week-end of it.  Since my birthday falls on a Friday this year, I thought there was potential for a birthday trip or  something so I made sure I had the time for it.  There is no trip and I’m still off Monday, but I’m ok with that.)   Michelle and I are going to go run around a little bit. No firm plans yet, just a movie, probably food, maybe  miniature golf or  something.  My mother has already informed me that a gift is on its way (first time in three or four years).  It’s a book.  I would assume I’ll get an e-mail from Erin.  She’ll send it to my work e-mail and since she doesn’t know that I won’t be here, she doesn’t know that I won’t see it till Tuesday.  Heather will likely send me a text.  K will likely send me a Birthday Tweet (I did for her.) And well, now that I’ve written this whiny post about how pitiful my birthdays always are, I’m sure I’ll get a few “Happy Birthday” comments, all of which is, or will be, appreciated.  Mostly, I’m just grateful to take some time off work to relax AND clean my house… If it’s possible to do both of those things at the same time…

Happy Birthday to me!

One Year

A year ago, I was in a precarious emotional state.  I was three months out of an “Intensive Outpatient Program” after having been in about as deep a depression as I’ve ever been able to conceive.  I was feeling better, but not exactly well.

I came to work everyday, despairing about the job that lay before me, my only solace coming from the fact that I knew no one would be watching what I was doing. I came to work and I did the bare minimum of what I had to do and spent the rest of my time playing various and sundry computer games, just waiting for the day that someone would come to my door and tell me that IT had noticed the inappropriate use of company assets and that I was fired.  I imagine a part of me hoped for that.

One day, K mentioned that she’d started a blog.  It was a secret blog and to this day, I haven’t seen it, but it started me thinking.  I started searching the internet for blogs and started reading a few.  Finally, I decided that maybe a blog would be a good idea.  Lord knows I have time on my hands.  Lord knows I like to write.  Lord knows I’ve got things to say that no one wants to hear.  I might as well say it to a blog.

At the same time, I was struggling with my own identity and sadly this struggle has been an on-going theme in my blog posts.  I had been working with my therapist, Deb, for awhile about my sexual identity and the fact that it had been so difficult for me to accept that I’m gay.  I was coming to terms with it and things were getting easier, but I still had a lot to think about and deal with… Who am I kidding?  I still do.  But I was coming up on my 33rd birthday and I was determined to stop hiding (in many ways) and start living my life.  And so I decided that my blog would be, at least part of the way for me to stop hiding and start living.  With that in mind, I guessed the blog had to start at the beginning of this story.  What follows is the very first blog post I ever wrote.  Some of it, is somewhat embarrassing and I contemplated editing it before re-posting it, but in the end, I decided to stick to my honesty policy.  Some of my personal, real life friends never knew about the original blog (which was not Riggledo) and this will be a first for them.  I’ll try and keep my mortification to a minimum.

So without further ado…  ‘Cause I can’t think of anything else particularly moving to say, here is the very first blog post I ever wrote:

*Note:  The remainder of this post is at least PG-13.  If that has you worried, please to stop reading here!

The First Day:

Today, as they say, is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m trying to start something new here and I hope it works out. Sometimes I have a lot to say and no one to say it too so maybe this will be the place. I certainly need the anonymity.

I am two days away from my 33rd birthday and I am completely alone and isolated from the world. I’ve spent most of my life dealing with clinical depression but I think I’m coming out of that now. I’ve made the decision to stop taking the medication that I’ve been on for about 5 years, but I know from previous experience that this is not something that you do quickly. The plan I’ve laid out for myself to stop taking the meds has me continuing being medicated until October 31, 2008.

Another reason why I feel that the depression is lifting is that after literally a lifetime of denial and disbelief I’ve finally come to acknowledge the fact that I’m gay. I always have been, and in retrospect I’ve always known it, but it was commonly held that being gay was the most grievous of sins and that there was no chance of happiness (let alone eternal life) if one were gay. I barely dated in high school. Due in part to the fact that I was very unpopular and had very low self esteem. (Still do.) I never felt good enough for anyone else and the one true girlfriend I did have in high school was just rebounding from her previous boyfriend. They ended up getting back together after we took him along with us on a “date” to see the school play. I didn’t have a car, she drove and they dropped me off first. Can you say “writing on the wall”?

I literally only had one other date the entirety of high school. A very sweet girl who I never thought I stood a chance with, but with whom I had shared a “moment” the last week of junior year and so I gave it a shot… It took me 5 months to ask her out and was very surprised to find that she agreed. Being the blithering idiot that I am, I invited her to a concert that was still two months away and didn’t have the presence of mind to ask her to do something before then. By the time the concert rolled around she had a boyfriend and was going with me as a “friend”.  I always wanted a girlfriend but I just wasn’t the kind of guy who bounced from girl to girl and I didn’t have the guts to ask girls out.

Meanwhile, I’d go home after school, pull my “International Male” Catalogs out from under the bed and find a good picture for inspiration while I touched myself. “I’m not gay,” I told myself. “I don’t want to be with one of these guys. I want to be like them.”  I wonder now how common that lie is among the young, closeted, fearful gay community? I DID want to be like them. I wanted to be muscular, and tan and smooth. I wanted to have a full head of beautiful hair (I started losing mine freshman year. Who says God isn’t cruel?) But I also wanted to be loved by them. Taken care of by them.  To make love with them. I wanted to see what was beneath the surface of the bulges in those skimpy bikini bathing suits and thongs on the pages. I of course never admitted any of this to myself back then, let alone anyone else.

I went on to college and decided that this was going to be where my life began. No more being self conscious or embarrassed about myself. I was going to live. I was going to make friends, I was going to date and I was going to find my future wife. My future wife! I happened to go to the same college where my sister was a senior and she and I shared an apartment.  There wasn’t going to be much experimentation there, what with us having been raised in a Christian household and even straight sex was a no-no before marriage.

There was a girl in my sister Erin’s choir that I thought was cute.  Erin said, “She’s sweet. I approve.” So I asked the girl out…she turned me down flat. A bit later I met another girl, Cheryl, also in the choir with Erin. She was also approved of and we did go out a few times. Was never officially called a date and in retrospect I don’t know if Cheryl thought it was, but I was falling hard.

The day before finals week ended, I rear-ended a Ford F-150 with Erin’s Geo Metro. There were no injuries fortunately, but the car was in bad shape and I had to pay for the repairs. As a result, no more college for me. When I realized I wasn’t going to be going back I sent a letter to Cheryl telling her that I wasn’t coming back but that I really enjoyed our time together and would like to maintain our relationship… I never heard from her again.

Shortly after that, I fell for a girl at work, Kerri. We were going to get married, but I didn’t have a car and my employment options were pretty limited. We agreed that I’d leave town for six months and live with my father in Ohio. He had a car I could drive and I’d get a job, save up for my own car and then come home. I was gone about six weeks when she cheated on me. I was devastated and didn’t recover for years… Close to ten I’d say.

In the midst of all these “relationships”, never once did I have sex. Sex! I was horny as could be most of the time. I was a male in his prime years after all… I was also terrified.

What if I did it wrong?
What if I wasn’t any good?
What if she wasn’t satisfied and broke things off with me?
What if I don’t like it? Oh, now wait! Of course I’ll like it! I’m a guy. We’re supposed to love sex. It’s all about the “pussy”, right?

My hand was my best friend… along with my International Male Catalogs.

My fiancé broke up with me when I was 19 years old. About a year later I was hit on by Kimberly, a woman who was funny, attractive and assertive.  I thought it was great! I asked her out, we went on a date, we had fun. I heard from other sources that she really liked me. At the end of that first date, I drove her back home and we stood in her family driveway for a long time just talking and laughing. It was time to leave and I leaned in to hug her (I was a good Christian boy; I didn’t kiss on the first date.) While I leaned in to hug her, she leaned in to kiss me and she won. It was cold, sticky and completely without chemistry. Immediately I started thinking, “I gotta get outta here. How fast can I make that happen?”

We had plans for lunch the next day. I stood her up. I sat in my car at the top of the hill by her house and waited for her to leave and I put a note in her mail-box telling her that she reminded me of my ex and that I thought I was ready but I just wasn’t.  Pretty cowardly… and not very smart considering she knew where I worked (at the mall) and that was where she picked up on me in the first place.

Later I moved to California.  I met a girl randomly through work who made no secret of her attraction to me. I went out with her once and we had a nice time. She wanted to spend the night but I wouldn’t let her. (I was scared.) The second date was a disaster and I never saw her again.

That was 1999. I haven’t been on a date since.

In August of 2001 I was laid off from my job without ceremony. I was given no severance other than the wages I had earned and any unused vacation time. I couldn’t even afford to pay September’s rent. I moved out of my studio apartment in San Francisco, and in with my good friend Michelle, who said she wasn’t letting me move back to Oklahoma, where I’d come from. We shared her one bedroom apartment for nine months before it was obvious I wasn’t going anywhere, anytime soon and her lease was up. We moved into a two bedroom apartment near by and lived together until this past September, two weeks short of six years.

Michelle is a very nice, caring, wonderful person. She’s also damaged in some way. She doesn’t really have any friends besides me and her large family. I don’t understand why. She’s not socially inept and she’s pretty, but she doesn’t have a lot of friends and she hasn’t dated since 1994. In May of 2003, we decided that maybe we should have a “friends with benefits” kind of situation. I wasn’t getting any younger, and at 28 was still a virgin. She wasn’t getting any younger and at 34 hadn’t had sex in 15 years. What the hell, right?

WRONG! I never really enjoyed it. It was never good for me. I could barely feel her except for when she was on top. I had no stamina and she was impossible to please. She didn’t like to “have to do the work” and the only way I could stay with her was if she was on top. I never had the nerve to explain that to her. One night in a drunken fit she got mad because she was always on top, and because for a brief moment I got distracted and lost my erection. I don’t remember what she said, but it was the final straw and I got up and walked out of the room and that was the last time we even tried to have sex. It’s been three years.

The first time we were together, I went down on her, ’cause, ya know, that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? I’d read enough to know that women don’t normally climax very easily with straight intercourse and that the “right” thing to do was to get her going first and then go for the main event. I was only there for a couple minutes, but it was long enough to know that the only kind of pussy I like is the kind with whiskers that purrs and curls up next to me on the couch after he’s eaten his fill of food. The whole experience was disgusting to me and I couldn’t do it again.

Through all this I realized a few things. I didn’t like giving a woman oral sex. I didn’t like looking at her jiggling flesh (boobs, etc.) while she gyrated on top of me.  Having sex with Michelle wasn’t the explosive, all encompassing, thrilling experience that I always thought it would be. Oh and that guy on the train this morning was sexy… Wait, that’s not what I’m supposed to be thinking. But it was. And it still is.

So there it is. I know I’m gay. I know there’s no point in denying it anymore. I’m not just wishing I was like those guys in the catalog, I’m wishing I was with them.  Now that I’ve got that part out of the way, I just have to figure out how I’m going to shed a lifetime of shame and denial and fear. How am I going to make today truly be the first day of the rest of my life? Well, to tell the truth? I don’t know. But come along for the ride and I guess we’ll figure it out together.


I just realized that I’m coming up on the one year Anniversary (Blogiversary?) of my blogging life.  Obviously, I started someplace else, before starting Riggledo but it has been one year none the less.

It seems kind of hard to believe, but it’s hard to believe that it has only been one year.  It’s not so much that sooo much has happened…  Although I suppose if I think about it, a lot has happened.  It’s just that my sense of the time that’s passed, my recollection of where I was a year ago vs. where I am now, looking back over it all, I can’t believe that it could possibly only be one year.

I posted my first post on my old blog on June 10, 2008 and I’ve been going strong ever sense.  On Wednesday, June 10th in a cheesy excuse for sentimentality (something I don’t really do all that well) I will re-post for your reading pleasure, the first blog post I ever wrote.  It really is the beginning of my story.

I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit to know what it is, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait!

Now, get back to what you were doing.  We’ll talk again soon.