Diary of a Late Bloomer
I have a candy dish on my desk at work.
This was something I initiated when I first started at my job years ago. It would, I thought at the time, encourage my co-workers to feign interest in me for at least as long as it took them to plunge their sticky hands into the bowl and snatch a Snickers bar.
And indeed, it worked. People from all over the floor stopped by to pretend to ask about my day, to tell me their problems in excruciating detail, and to generally stick around just long enough to assuage their guilt at using me for chocolate. I developed relationships – albeit ones predicated on giving people free shit – that I might not have otherwise.
But then, something began to happen.
People would come in to grab “just a taste”, as they would whisper when I was on the phone, and then, when I looked away to Purell the receiver or polish an award, they’d grab three more “tastes”.
They’d announce that they had been sent by a laundry list of people who were having chocolate emergencies, and would scoop up enough candy bars to require an insulin pump.
And I would come back from lunch to find the bowl – which had just been filled up that morning – empty. Save for some weird streaks apparently left by someone attempting to lick it.
Okay, maybe I’m just being petty. After all, isn’t human interaction what we all crave? Aren’t emotional bonds and friendships what life is all about? Aren’t those gifts that more than offset the cost of some stupid Milky Ways and Butterfingers?
And really, what is a moment where a co-worker tells you about her uterine cancer worth? How can you assess a “value” to someone sharing the story of her boyfriend stealing all her stuff and leaving town? What possible “price tag” could you assign to someone who texts you the photo of the girl they just hooked up with on Tinder and then comes in to give you, pardon the pun, the blow by blow?
I’m gonna say $29.95.
So that’s $89.85. This candy costs me about $250 a year.
The rest of these greedy bastards better pay up.
What song do you want played at your funeral?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I hope it’s not an omen. I mean, I eat right, work out, and play tennis. (Yes, I’m sporty now. Shut up.) But you never know. And I’d like to be prepared. I mean, everyone will naturally be distraught and devastated, and I don’t want them screwing this up.
So I started asking people for ideas.
My best friend suggested Highway to Hell, which I thought was a little rude. If anybody’s in the carpool lane or selling oranges on the offramp, it’s him.
One of my employees recommended Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead. I’m sure he was kidding, and for the moment he still has a job.
And then, last night, I was re-watching an episode of Smash, the TV series from last year about the making of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. And Katharine MacPhee sang the finale number from the show (after Monroe dies), called Don’t Forget Me.
THIS, people, is a funeral song. It will yank the tears right out of your unsuspecting ducts. And it has a BIG finish. This is no plaintive, molasses-slow Wind Beneath My Wings ballad. It’s an 11-o’clock number that positively screams standing ovation.
And really, don’t you want people to stand, clapping and whistling, when you’re dead?
At 6:25 a.m. this morning, I was on the elliptical machine in our guest room, minding my own business, when suddenly, I appeared to be riding a bike on a Tilt-a-Whirl.
This was immediately followed by the thought everyone has during an earthquake: “Am I about to die, or can I finish this?” Followed immediately by: “Thank God I’m not sitting on the toilet, because, I mean, really.”
As the morning wore on, friends from around the country began to text and send Facebook messages.
“Are you okay?”
“Oh my God, is your house still standing?”
“That must have been soooo frightening.”
“I’d be scared shitless right now.”
I sighed. It was a 4.4. Yeah, it was a shock, for about ten seconds. Then, you walk around the house, straighten a few picture frames, and go back to working your glutes.
At first, I blamed the media for whipping this minor earthquake into a media event, terrifying out-of-towners with nightmarish notions of crumpled buildings and flattened cars.
And then, I realized the truth: those friends and family in the Midwest and east weren’t traumatized. They were enjoying a well-deserved moment of revenge, a chance to rub our sun-kissed noses in our perfect California weather. It was, plain and simple, a chance to even the score.
But that’s ok. We here in LA understand your petty, small-minded behavior. And we forgive you. After all, 19 feet of snow in one winter will do that to a person.
I work at a big TV network, which, as you can imagine, is a nonstop orgy of glitz.
Yesterday, for example, I was walking past a friend’s office when she called me in. She and two other women were whispering urgently. Maybe they’re trying to decide who to invite to the Emmys this year, I thought. After all, isn’t that why we work in such a sophisticated, glamorous business?
“How may I provide excellent service?” I asked.
“As the token ‘mo,” my friend said to me, referring to the fact that I am, weirdly, the only gay guy in the department, “it is incumbent upon you to do something about the straight guys around here. They dress like they’re attending a monster truck rally.”
I sighed. It was true. The men in this department tended to dress as if they were fleeing a burning hotel at 3 a.m.
“What do you want me to do about it?” I replied. “I try to serve as a model of good taste. I can’t exactly ram it down their throats.” (I expected one of them to thank me for teeing up that line, but nothing.)
“You need to hold a seminar.”
Here, then, is my four point tutorial on DRESSING FOR SUCCESSING.
1) Dockers should only be the province of men for whom said waterfront pier provides employment.
2) Shower sandals are considered footwear only by those attired in bath sheets.
3) When a shirt is marked down 80%, all those people who didn’t buy it are trying to tell you something.
4) If you believe that your work apparel should express itself with clever phrases and puns, remember that you’re barely interesting enough yourself; pretty much no one wants to hear from your clothes.
So we’re at brunch the other day with our friends Nicole and Joe. A nice brunch. A hotel brunch. With Blueberry/maple sausage. Lobster pot pie. Semi non-swill champagne in the bottomless mimosas.
And Nicole says to the waiter: “My compliments to the chef on the Fruit Loops.”
Contrary to reports, I am not dead. Although there is the occasional day when I wish I was. Good times.
But I’m back, and I’m gonna begin posting some shorter entries so at I can keep the new content flowing on a much more regular basis. So you’ll have no reason not to visit multiple times a week.
Think of it as Facebook, without the pictures of food and invitations to play Farmville.
A friend of mine, who we’ll call Storm (because who doesn‘t enjoy a good 80’s soap opera name) just posted on Facebook that he had received a nasty note from a friend of his. Among other things, this friend insulted the fact that Storm was single and had no significant other – only pets.
Storm replied to this “friend” that it was World Animal Day and he was very happy with his pets, thank you very much, because they give unconditional love – unlike humans.
Okay, let’s break this down.
1) Airing dirty laundry on social media is roughly akin to hair pulling, and should generally not be attempted if you are past an age that requires the liberal application of Clearasil.
2) Reading about a fortysomething man’s Mean Girls Moment is nearly as appealing as a testicular cancer slideshow.
3) No one should be named Storm.
Oh, I forgot, I made that part up.
It is unclear to me why people choose to reveal these sorts of things for the world to see. How does one even get a note like this at our age? And why would you want people to know that you had friends who would do such a thing?
Personally, I can’t remember the last time someone wrote me a truly nasty missive, but I think it involved swingset hogging and I think it was written in crayon.
But, dirty laundry aspect aside…I must admit that I totally agree with Storm.
Pets are clearly superior to humans. Pets love you without reservation. Pets think you’re dreamy, and a size 2, and intellectually superior to everyone you work with. Pets don’t judge you for eating the whole tub of Cherry Garcia, or for sleeping with that guy on the second date like a whore. Pets are, it seems, far more evolved than people.
I don’t know about you, but I would like to appear that evolved. Evidently, I’m not, since I spent the first half of this blog post judging someone. So it seems clear that I’m gonna need a little help in order to appear more enlightened.
Maybe I should start wearing a bedazzled flea collar with my name spelled out in rhinestones. (This would make me extra popular at the Folsom Street Fair.)
And eating out of a bowl that says Never Trust a Smiling Cat.
Maybe I should forget that you just went to take the trash out and greet you like you’ve been gone for months.
And pee on the brand new rug to emphasize my displeasure with being left alone for the evening.
Maybe then, people will begin commenting on my incredibly enlightened state.
“I wasn’t sure how evolved you were until you started drooling on the sofa and farting in front of strangers,” they’ll say. “Then I knew. You are so loving and accepting.”
Yeah, that feels about right. Throw in a name change to something like “Buster” or “Sparky” and I’ll be good to go.
Perhaps you’d like to join me in the quest for spiritual mastery. Care for a Snausage?