Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bad Luck

OMG! Someone please get me a rabbits foot, horseshoe and anything else that can bring me some good luck. I don't like to complain because I do realize that I'm blessed. I have a very good life and I should be grateful for everything that I have. I can't help but have this intense feeling that things are just not going my way lately.

Last week, UPS refused to deliver my soap.com and Target orders to my apartment. Soap.com had to send out an entirely new order to my office and I had to go all the way to 43rd and 11th to the UPS warehouse to pick up my Target package. It was just a headache and completely avoidable. I ended the week with two more kicks in the pants. I get this stern email from someone - totally left me what I'm now calling my "bitchface". And to end the day, I turn on the TV only to watch 5 minutes of Suits before my DVR dies.

The week began with me noticing that the trash bag in my kitchen trashcan had a hole in it. Ah, 10 egg yolks were now covering the bottom of my trashcan. Wonderful! Next was the appointment to get my DVR fixed. Time Warner called me at 4:15 to say that I was next on the list for the repairman. He should have arrived around 4:30. Over the next 2 and a half hours, I had to call Time Warner more than 4 times to figure out where the hell the technician was. Everyone was really friendly, but still inept. I come home from the gym to find that my relatively new Metrocard is missing. I don't know when or where it fell out of my bag, but I know that it's gone. $104 down the drain! And to cap off the evening, I bake my chicken in the oven for 35 minutes and sit down to enjoy my dinner while watching the premiere of True Blood. I take one bite and spit it out instantly. It was horrible! It must have gone bad, so it smelled like it was in a hot dumpster for a week. So...no dinner. I can't! I just can't!

But, I have to realize that it's just small stuff. Gay marriage is now legal in New York. I have a great job that pays enough to afford me a large TV with Time Warner cable sans roommate. It's just been a rough few days. I just keeping repeating Shania Twain lyrics in my head, "Up! Up! Up! Can only go up from here!"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meredith Baxter / Performance

Oprah may have ended her show, but I continue to learn from the re-runs. I remember seeing the original airing of her explosive interview with Meredith Baxter. She played the mother of Family Ties back and recently came out as lesbian. Shockingly, her sexuality was not the main topic of the interview. She discussed the struggle with alcohol and an abusive marriage to David Birney. The relationship, while violent at times, was more emotionally devastating.

The relationship began to take its toll on her and she started drinking. One thing that resonated with me was that she was so good at hiding it. No one would ever have guessed how painful her life was off the set. She never wanted anyone to know that something was wrong. Even her dearest co-star, Michael Grouse, never knew there was such dysfunction in her home.

I can relate to that. Now let's be clear, I had a very good childhood and wonderful parents. But I can also see now how my parents' divorce affected me. If something was wrong with one parent, I would never want the other to find out. One New Year's Eve I was staying with dad and step-mom. He told me that I could stay up until 10:30 and they went to bed before that. I remember crying. I'm not really sure why - it may have been because I missed my mom, it may have because I'd miss the ball drop. I'm don’t really remember. But I remember that my dad woke up and let me call my mom. When I got home on Sunday night, my step-dad asked me if everything was okay at my dad's that weekend. I lied and said that everything was fine, even though I'm sure my mom told him the whole story.

I feel like I had to become a peacemaker very early. I wanted everyone to be happy. I didn't want there to be drama in the family despite the divorce. I needed to protect everyone and wanted everyone to get along. I feel like that's something I still do. I feel that I keep my feelings to myself in hopes of making everyone's lives easier. I remember doing it in college all the time. When people would ask about Brian, I would say that everything was fine. I can honestly say that it was never fine and I was never fully happy, but I felt that need to protect him and put on a happy face. I feel like that it's something I still do today. Body image is such a struggle for me (as I'm sure it is for most gay men), but I have to play it down. There have been times when I felt like my life was like a performance. When I walked out the door in the morning is the like the raising of the curtain at a play. Meredith Baxter also mentioned wanting to please everyone and not wanting people to think badly of her. I know exactly what she means.

I'm fascinated by her story. Tonight, I went out and bought a copy of her new autobiography, Untied. I'm excited to see how she struggled and overcame her demons.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sun's Dry Cleaning

It's rare to find someone who really enjoys their job and puts everything they have into doing their job well. I met one of those people today. I dropped off my laundry for the first time at my new cleaner. A good dry cleaner is priceless in New York, so I was a little apprehensive. I was pleasantly surprised to get a very detailed itemized receipt and to learn that I could use my debit card. But the best part was the woman working there. She told me that she would have laundry ready in the evening and the pressed shirts and pants the next day. That was fine and what I expected, but then she said that she'd have it already today.

I felt a little bad because I didn't need to have it rushed. I felt even worse when I realized that I probably be able to pick them up in the evening because I had running club with people from work. After our run through Central Park, I took my time and enjoyed my walk home. I was surprised to see that Sun's was still open - it was past 8:00. She was so friendly and told me to come in. I was my normal, Pennsylvania self - making conversation and smiling. As I was walking out, she told me that if I was running late that I could call her and she'd wait for me.

That shocked me! I was instantly so happy and grateful. It's so rare to find someone who will go above and beyond, especially for something I'm sure she's not being paid too much to do. It really brightened my day - it's the little things that really make a big difference.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


After all the anticipation of moving, reality sunk in. I found myself standing in what seemed like a tiny room while surrounded by countless boxes. Last Friday, I moved into my new apartment. It was a crazy day - the movers came and loaded all my stuff into a truck in under and hour.

Once I was finally in my new place, I felt overwhelmed. Where do I start? After a thorough scrubbing, I began to unpack all my kitchen stuff. I quickly filled my cabinets only to discover that I had a lot more stuff than I had cabinet space. Oh well. Who really needs multiple cake pans? I then cleaned the closet, unpacked my clothes and then got on my hands and knees to make sure the floor was clean enough to eat off of (important because of the 5 second rule). Thank you Mr. Clean.

Slowly it began to look like a storage unit and more like my new home. Antonio helped put together my TV stand. We make such a good team. By the end of the weekend, I really began to feel comfortable. There is a lot more work to do - still need to buy some furniture and hang my Madge artwork. But it's mine! I love coming home at the end of the day and relaxing without having to accommodate a roommate.

When I think about it, this whole experience is remarkable. I moved from Radford where I was paying $290 a month for my share of a 4 bedroom apartment to New York City. Now I'm paying $1450 for a studio apartment. While it may seem like I'm getting a raw deal, I see it as a huge accomplishment. To come so far in such a relatively short amount of time isn't lost on me. If I were keeping a gratitude journal (like Oprah suggests), this would definitely be a big part of it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Packing Up / Moving Out

Reality is really starting to set in. In less than 48 hours, I will be in my own apartment. It's such an accomplishment, especially in New York. I'm incredibly excited, but also a little nervous. Am I going to miss Spencer? No. But I think it doesn't have anything to do with him. I am ready to not have a roommate at all. I'm ready to be on my own. I wish him the best - he and I just weren't compatible to live together. That type of forgiveness is something I've learned from Oprah :-)

Like I mentioned, the time is drawing close. My bedroom is a labyrinth of moving boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap. As if I didn't have too little space before, I just added a 42 inch TV to the clutter. They could either deliver it a week after I moved in or I could drag it from Best Buy on my own. I put it in a cab - the driver seemed really confused when I told him I only wanted to go 1 block. But he was really helpful.

I think things are really coming together. I've got the ConEdison and TimeWarner accounts set up. I'm picking up the keys tomorrow. I think that I'm ready for anything. Let's just hope things run smoothly.

The only thing that scares me is being alone. Don't get me wrong - I am glad that I won't have a roommate anymore. I just worry that being completely on my own is going to be a little lonely. Spencer and I don't talk much but I kinda like that idea that he's there. He's not a bad person, so I know that I could talk to him if I needed something. I'm sure these types of butterflies are typical. One thing for sure is this train is moving full steam ahead. There's no turning back now.