You know how when you meet a lapsed Catholic and religion comes up in conversation? Eventually it comes up as, “Oh, you’re Catholic, what are your thoughts?!?”
The response? Well, obviously, it’s varied. They’ve left the cult and can now exercise free thought and expression. But it usually starts with a clarifying variant of “Non-practicing Catholic” before any deeper response is given.
It’s like “Let me be perfectly clear, here…”
Well, that’s me and my sexuality.
People usually want to know if I know their gay friend when they are introduced to me by a mutual acquaintance. “Oh, Chris-Chris?”, they ask. our mutual friend like my eyes and ears aren’t connected to my brain.
Mentally I add, “Non-practicing” before they even finish their sentence. But I have managed to perfect the mental eye-roll. A few of those made it awkwardly out into the wild. I wasn’t the first to realize it, either. Not even always the second. I had to ask myself a few times whether the person-I’d-been-introduced-to’s eyes widened before or after my friend’s overly dramatic coughing fit began to figure out the appropriate level of chagrin or combativeness to display.
I say all this by way of introducing my topic tonight: I deleted the sole dating app on my phone a couple weeks back.
Sidebar: This is dating not mating app I’m talking about. I rarely act on the opportunities that prostrate present themselves on the mating app, but I enjoy opening it to “see who’s around”. It used to be fun to surreptitiously open up Grindr while shopping or at a show with plenty guy candy present just to see if there were other gays around. Now, though, it’s so much easier to profile gays in a crowd. Well, queers in a crowd. What with the rise in visibility of gender fluidity over the past 5-10 years, I’m no longer wondering if that hot guy is gay so much as I’m curious if that guy wearing nail polish isn’t gay. This is what I lived through the AIDS crisis for? Seems like a lot of trouble in retrospect.
So, yeah. I deleted OKStupid a few weeks back.
Not like I was actively using it. But at least I could tell myself I had a line in the water, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I was completely fine letting them app linger, tucked away in the social media folder on my Home Screen. But a while back, they sent me this bullshit:
Yeah, GoPuff knows a lot more about marketing than the folks at OKStoopid. If I wanted manipulative behaviors like that, I’d date. So I ignore it thinking, “Save me the trouble, will ya?” But, just like dating, they kept coming back like they hadn’t thrown down a failed ultimatum.
“No, they don’t.” It’s just the same Lost Boys I encounter in the bars or on the truly asocial media apps trying to assuage their shame by having an actual dating app on their phone. Poor stupid, stupid dears.
Or, channeling my inner Groucho Marx, riffing on not wanting to meet anyone who would want to meet me. In case you missed this the last 100-ish times I’ve used it…
The thing I didn’t like about this app experience wasn’t the caliber of the offerings – I’m sure it would surprise no one to hear that my expectations were set appropriately low and we’re still unmet. It was that the app was just a gaslighting shit show.
I’d keep seeing the same guys. My mental conversations would be something like, “I know I’ve swiped left on that train wreck before.”
Being <ahem> situationally charitable, I’d assume the best. About the app, not the person. When it came to the people, my thoughts would range somewhere near the “Who is this hard luck case (from me) trying to fool with a new profile?”
Turns out, it wasn’t the people trying to juice interest with a fresh profile, it was the app recycling people I had no interest in by presenting them as potential matches again. Like “It’s been 3 months and you haven’t met anyone, are you sure you can afford to be so choosy…at this point?”
Yes, I can. 1000%.
I finally gave them a hand and deleted the app myself after getting another “Your Profile Will Be Deactivated” email from them.
I’m not kidding, the next day I got two emails from them. The first was another “Your Profile Will Be Deactivated” email that briefly made Gilbert Godfried my dominant personality.
The second email almost earned Apple a repeat sale on my phone. Check it out…
Two hours after a “WTF, I deleted my profile, why are you still sending me emails?!?” email, they’re trying to lure me back with my epically useless Super Like.
Hey, OKStoopid, I kinda super like myself – at least compared to any of the people you actively call Users. I think I’ll be ok.
That’s not a declaration I make capriciously, as I admit I am wont to do. Nono, this comes years after the 50th-birthday-party-turned-dating-intervention. That led to a year of focused dating effort – also where the loathsome OKStoopid app earned its place on my Home Screen.
That led to this –
And it’s all been diminishing returns since then. Turns out, if I want oddly unsatisfying entertainment, I can binge watch a quirky series on one of my many streaming services. Cheaper than dating, less frustrating and much less potential for follow-up therapy! Plus, unless the internet goes out, binge watching always shows up.
Probably that last one. So…thanks, Facebook Memories.
Three years?!? How has it been that friggin’ long already…since I’ve had a date?
Kidding. Trying/not trying.
But I guess it’s just one more reminder that it’s been a long pandemic. If we factor those two years out, then it’s only been one year!
Don’t get me wrong, I tried to make hay out of the forced free time we all gained with the 2020 lockdowns. In April, I started NaNoWriMo – despite having two WIPs from prior NaNos still waiting for completion, then didn’t finish. Again.
I think I got derailed after a Twitter battle with a local stripper, who I’m sure knew nothing of my existence until I dared to correct him on his feed. Then I was all he could focus on, earning me featured status in his social media stories where he called me old and ugly. Not to mention a failed writer.
The young people are so woke – which seems to manifest with being disagreeable and combative. That’s regardless of the validity of their initial point. What moxy.
Sure, I’d only finished three books at that point, clearly, that’s failure in the eyes of a stripper who leaves the stage in a thong.
I actually finished all tasks associated with my job title, son. I have to imagine that a stripper’s job isn’t complete until they are clothes free. But what do I know? When I was a young man, tracing on one’s flesh was viewed differently than it is today – and I appreciate the evolution of sex work from villainized and humiliating to artistic expression and empowering.
This kid was – pardon the entendres – a dick.
Ultimately, that all stopped when he blocked me – the penultimate admission that he was wrong. The ultimate expression being actually saying it. But this is hardly the United States of Accountability, let alone Admittingyouwerewrong.
Anyway, as this was going on, I flirted with the idea of going to one of his shows and tipping him one of my books – yeah, I’ve got a few copies laying around. My overt grumpapotamus self imagined reading wasn’t high on his hobby list, see also: how he got to his current level of misery in his life.
The womenstrippers I meet driving with Lyft are all – every damned last one of them – such interesting people. Very engaging. Great stories. The male strippers I meet are all cunts. And not in that cool English slang type of way. At best, they look at me, and treat me like, I’m an ATM. Not that I go to strip clubs often…none of them have palatable beers.
I also considered going and tipping him $.02, since me giving him my figurative two cents was what set him off in the first place. Ultimately, I decided my absence was the best action for me.
Still determined to make some productive hay out of the lockdown, I pivoted to another project I’d been kicking around. When I finished my third book, it came in at a whopping 530-ish pages. I hardly consider myself a gay George R. R. Martin, so I sought out opinions from a few beta readers. They all told me it was fine.
But that length made printing costs pretty high and I think the lowest price I could charge was $19…and that was with me making less than a buck a copy. I knew there was a logical plot break that I could use as a kind of cliffhanger if I chose to split this into two books, I just hadn’t.
But with one half finished draft from April’s NaNo making me feel guilty, I decided this was the perfect time to tackle that split.
And I did it!
Well, “did it” so long as completing the split and edit of the first half. I knew I needed to flesh out the second half to beef it up a bit. It had originally suffered under the pressure of me knowing the page count was running high for one book. This was my chance to flesh it out.
But my first goal was to get the newly shortened second installation in my No One Of Consequence series back up online. Then I hit a formatting snag. Just a teensy one, but it proved to be overwhelming to my lockdown self and I never went back to finish it. I couldn’t imagine jumping to the third installment to get that story wrapped up, it just seemed wrong.
Four frustrating months go by. I spent a lot of that time considering the optics of dying during a pandemic with unfinished works. I thought it looked pretty good. Other artists somehow pull it off.
No, wait…Hemingway! That’s a better comparison. I’m a drinker, not a druggie. And we’ve established the fact that 500+ page books are not my style, so…yeah. Hemingway.
That was probably my biggest self-soothe of the pandemic.
It carried me through the next three months. Right up to the next NaNoWriMo event, the big one in November. Now I can finish!
Or…start another work.
The following April?
Ok, this was pure motivation. And adrenalin.
I had just gotten my Peloton and was jazzed to pick up the autobiographical trilogy I’d fancied when I wrote Dating Into Oblivion. When I wrote that, I was nearing the end of a year long blogging theme that had resulted from a friendly intervention at my 50th birthday party.
As a result of the collective will of my well-intentioned friends, I leaned into a blog theme I had just finished that I hashtagged fitfy. It was a play on fifty, an age I had been determined to reach with some progress toward accepting my aging self with a healthier attitude toward diet and exercise.
I’d been having trouble forgiving myself for not being able to eat and exercise like an idiot twenty-something. Naturally, my 51st birthday had involved me tapping a keg of my favorite beer at my then-favorite bar.
Anyway, knowing I had that “fitness in my fifties” notion in the back of my head, I decided to tackle dating in my fifties. It gave me something to do, at any rate. I figured the trilogy could round out with working in my fifties. It was a notion I rather fancied.
The problem was, there wasn’t much I could actually do since I’d just gotten my bike. I considered harvesting stories from my year of fitfy blog posts, as I had when I put together Dating Into Oblivion. But I considered that would have been only a portion of the project. I needed new content to complete the story.
Another partial credit NaNo for old Xtopher. PaCreNaNo? Kind of sounds like a pancreatic medical crisis.
Maybe that stripper was right.
Possibly, but improbable. Maybe what I needed was the motivation of writing something people might be attracted to en masse. My current accomplishments and WIP library all featured what I call gay shit – and I hate to break it to you, but The Gays aren’t known collectively as big readers.
It’s the pandemic – everybody else was pivoting, why not me? That sounds like a riff of a Cranberries album.
I picked a theme close to every Portland NIMBY’s heart: the homeless. Came up with a mystery plot. I even created a nom de plume based off of my parents middle initials and old world naming paradigms – JT Robertson.
Finally…in November of 2021, I completed a NaNoWriMo! Have I published? No. I’m mentally kicking it around, polishing it up. Completely retooling the voice. Flipping the plot 180 degrees.
Y’know…the basic writer’s nightmare.
April’s NaNo is weeks away.
I’m determined to finish something from my WIP list before adding anything else to it. I figure at this point, if my goal is to have a WIP library consisting of a prime number of works – it isn’t but I need to set boundaries of some kind – then I either need to finish one or add four!
I think seven is enough of a library. Let’s see if this Facebook Memories shaming is enough of a motivator to get NOOC2 published and back online. Lord knows that providing airplane reading material for a friend’s trip to Africa last month wasn’t it, so fingers crossed.
Sure enough, I woke up this morning, uncovered my laptop…and started organizing my tax receipts. Then I got this text
So I wrote this, instead. I refuse to be so known by my best friend.
To answer my original question: seen. I feel seen.
And before I begin, congrats to the Go-Gos on their recent inauguration into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
For as much anticipation taking a year off of vacation and travel created for us all, I have to say that my own came and went without much fanfare.
Which was great on a couple different levels. First, I got to deploy all my snark when asked if I was participating in Octsober. Um, it’s a family reunion-slash-vacation, so that’s a big
The second great thing – and just to be clear, I’m enumerating things beyond seeing the foursome from Texas that I call my extended family. Truth be told, they are the only other family. Anywho, the second great thing was the timing of it all. We’d originally planned this for late June-early July of 2020. And then 2021. But the parentals ultimately decided to exercise their right to cancel/reschedule on the last day they could before everything locked in 30 days out. With COVID and Delta being what it was, they made a good call.
October was the reschedule. For whatever reason, the original date lined up with my youngest brother’s 45th birthday. The fallback encompassed my sister’s 55th. This, of course, brought up my unresolved – and equally heretofore unknown – issues around 70s and 80s coffee commercials. Y’know, the ones with the butthurt housewife that’s upset when her husband orders a second cup of coffee with his dessert. They even spoofed it in Airplane!
Why don’t we ever do family vacations around my birthday?!? Surely not because it’s in the middle of January and everyone is knee-deep in their resolutions.
But the real coup d’etat on the timing was the timing! October isn’t the summer anywhere in the northern hemisphere, nor is it yet fully winter. In the Oregon high desert, that means the resort town we meet up in is itself deserted.
Also, there are no crazy temps either way. Sure, it got down to the 30s at night, but the days were high 50s-low 60s. It was awesome. Light sweater weather during the day, at worst. Then at night it was cold enough you could leave the window open a crack to get that crazy cold air deep sleep going.
Plus, the parents were on the main floor. “Age Rules” being what they are, that means that in addition to playing the TV at the same volume as their ages, the temperature was set the same way. If I didn’t open my window, I’d have woken up looking like a Costco rotisserie chicken!
All of this really bubbles up to the reality that after 4 pm, all there really is to do in Sunriver in October is eat and drink.
Well, that and watch the neighborhood deer.
What? You thought that seeing my family would be the best part of this story to me?
Don’t get me wrong, my enjoyment of my food and beverage consumption was greatly enhanced by my family’s presence. Not just because they are my blood. No, because the extended family foursome I have are Texas residents, so you know one of them was unvaccinated – and proudly declaring her natural immunity from the COVID she survived. Given her Instagram stories, I can safely guess this was from spending her pandemic galavanting around the western side of the country.
Still, I am of the opinion that she should have been vaccinated. I expended a great deal of emotional energy during the vacation trying to not lecture my 20-something first cousin on this topic. Helpfully, we seemed to be seated quite near one another at every damn meal. Well played, family. Well played.
Our usual meal routine for family vacations is that breakfast is a drop in event, we’re on our own for lunches and dinner is a family time. Generally, each person gets a cooking night but since working folk might pop in or out during the vacation according to their schedules, occasionally couples can pair up.
Me? I’m always fucked. I mean, destined to cook alone – the one time I brought someone, his grandmother died the day we fucking arrived…the nerve. I mean, lesson learned. Not that the family minds my solo-cooking misadventures, particularly since their favorite pastime seems to be harassing me while I cook. Can’t blame them, though…I can generally be relied upon to do something entertaining while cooking.
Hey, in the grand scheme of things, two small fires out of all the vacations we’ve taken is a blip at most. Right?!?
There are food related vacation traditions involved, for sure – beyond my minor conflagrations.
The ‘Phew generally orders pizza for his night. And that’s usually the day we arrive so we can ease into it.
The lil bro usually grills burgers.
The bro-in-law usually grills steak.
Mom makes spaghetti.
Dad…well, dad takes us all out to dinner. Then, per family tradition, argues with his brother about whether he can chip in. Short version: he can’t. Long version: we all had another round while they debated.
And, me? Well, since I love cooking but hate cooking for myself, I go all out. I’ve been known to pack not just a favorite knife – turns out, my LTR ends up being cutlery – but even a 10 lb pork loin and most of the ingredients for a molé or a paella pan or what have you. Hey, I’m not starting a fire cooking Mac & Cheese, ok?
You might notice the Texas Foursome was not listed. Not a bunch of cookers in that group. The mom isn’t super domestic, so they come by it honestly. Since there’s usually more people than nights, this usually isn’t an issue, though. Myself, I think this was the first time I’ve stayed the full duration.
This time, my COVID cousin brought along her fiancé. It was my first time meeting him, but it seemed everyone else had met him before briefly at some family function I missed. To his credit, he took up steak grilling duties for one meal – which my brother-in-law regrettably but graciously abdicated. I mean, who wouldn’t cede grill master duties to a Texan?!?
Poor guy. He asked how everyone wanted their steaks cooked and then served us all saddles. I know the pain of going from zero to 60 on cooking. The fires I set are obvious. His was more subtle – merely cremating a cow carcass. Why he gets a pass and I get harassed…well, further evidence of how nice my family is.
Or how much more they…like me?
That all being the case, I still found myself using my extra family time relaxing into cooking for pleasure. I had planned a beef stew over polenta dinner, with an ancillary black bean chili type dish.
Texans, remember? I knew there’s gonna be extra nights. Plus, with COVID protocols being in effect, I was pretty sure dad wasn’t getting a reservation for 10+ anywhere.
I got my stew inspiration from a cook at the restaurant on my block. The recipe served 30, so I halved it. There was 12 of us that night – the ‘Phew brought a girlfriend for the night – and everyone got one serving. Yikes.
My hecklers’ fantasy moment? Making polenta. It’s pretty easy…boil some stock, stir in the polenta and then stir as it does it’s polenta thing. I made the full restaurant recipe, but chose the wrong pan. I chose a 4-quart saucepan and needed at least another quart of space, although in retrospect, I’d have chosen a 6-quart sauté pan so I had more surface area for the liquid to cook off.
So, I fucked up the polenta. Think of it as me being a gracious host and serving low hanging fruit to my loving tormentors.
Remember, to make up for it, I had a second meal up my sleeve!
Plus, my mom pulled her favorite “I have a gay son”/Thanksgiving trick on her cooking night – handing me the spatula. So I cooked up a bunch of spaghetti.
Then, in a fit of “don’t end up like me” life lessons, I made a breakfast date with my 20-something first cousins from Texas and made a date for a breakfast cooking lessons. That sentence was…ouch.
The menu? Frittata and home-style potatoes.
I told them around midnight – it was more of a dropped gauntlet than an invitation – to meet me in the kitchen at 8 the next morning. Then we drank for a couple more hours.
She looked perfectly put together.
Surprisingly, my youngest cousin was already there when I arrived. I’d set my alarm for 745 and brushed my teeth and threw on a ball cap.
When I expressed my surprise, she was all, “What? You said 8!”
For my part, I mumbled, “Well, we’re batting .500”…you know I was still drunk if I was credibly attempting sports analogies. I started in on how easy frittatas are – I mean, do you want to make more than two omelette ever? – and how it can be something you just throw together with supplies on hand, put under the broiler and then slice up like a pizza and throw on the table.
Guess who showed up right about then? That’s right…COVID cousin!
I told them my default frittata: cubed ham, cubed cheddar and broccoli florets. Pro-tip: you can buy the ham pre-cubed and use frozen florets. Aside from that, you’re big decisions are what herbs you want to use. Garlic powder, maybe a red pepper flake and “anything green” were my loose guidelines.
I put COVID cousin on frittata prep and showed my younger cousin the potato ropes. Since we were nearing the end of the vacation, my sister – tasked with provisioning the pantry for each of these vacations and affording my uncle another opportunity to hone his “let me chip in” argument – was in high “use everything up” mode. To that end, I instructed my cousin to use the remaining potatoes.
Short cut for home style potatoes: quarter them and nuke them for 3-4 minutes to soften them up. Then cube them and throw ‘em in a sauté pan with some oil and…whatever spices you have handy!
Why? Because the M.O. for this Homo in the kitchen is “Because I can!” Pretty much everywhere else I’m my life I seem to can’t so this is cathartic.
Keeping with my traditions of affording my family opportunities to harass me while I cook and simultaneously making a near-critical-slash-comedic error, the 6-quart sauté pan I chose for my cousin turned out to be too small for that many damn potatoes.
Fuck my fucking life. On top of the ongoing Struggles of Xtopher, I forgot to get a frittata spread pic. Ugh. Will these humiliations never end?!?
But at the same time, this minor crisis allowed me the chance to show my cousins how to roll with the culinary punches. I’m no Julia Child – despite my default childish behaviors – but I’m all for her “no one needs to know what happens in your kitchen” confidence. If they walked away with any of that from my struggle of tossing 4 lbs of cubed potatoes in a 6-quart sauté pan…my work as a twice-their-age cousin is done.
Since they are in their 20s and I haven’t seen any home cooked meals posted on their Instagrams, I’m gonna guess these confidence boosting lessons will need a <ahem> booster shot.
Well, well, well…look what I found in my drafts. Coulda sworn I published this. But maybe since Tanner Creek’s wifi hadn’t had the chance to pick on the Silver Fox in a while, it glitched this into draft status instead of publishing.
After completing this week’s driver challenge, I took myself out for a well-earned dinner at my neighborhood watering hole. It’s literally on my block, I can walk there in the rain without getting wet – which is really something in Portland, Oregon!
Of course, since I’m a neurotic mess complex person, I had to acknowledge the pyrrhic nature of my celebratory dinner – I was alone…again…naturally.
The Silver Fox had decamped once again to the family estate south of town – well, south of several southwardly towns. My other frequent companion at this particular watering hole was at a funeral out of state. To egregiously paraphrase the prophet Yoda, “Fucked, was I”.
But I had earned this. And my ass yearned for a perch with a bar in front of it instead of a steering wheel.
And goddamnit if what to my googley eyes should appear but an infant baby with two daddies queer.
It was fucking a-door-able.
Me: Barkeep, another!
Proof positive here that there’s always more than one cure for what ails oneself. Some more nurturing than palliative.
I experienced a range of emotions. From the expected aaawwww-ness of an infant doing infanty things to a wholesome appreciation of a gaddy couple out for a dinner together. To envy and jealousy at that same notion.
Happily, I can report that I was misty eyed over the sweetness of the visage before me. Although, I wouldn’t have objected to anyone who thinks they know me “well-enough” who’d have bet on my potential beer-vaporizing darker emotions wresting control of the situation.
It was interesting that in the moment, I wasn’t overwhelmed with “what might have beens” over my persistent singledom. I was rather struck by how I missed my buddies. The usual neighborhood characters who live nearby – ok, all in the same building that I don’t live in – that I call friend who color in and enhance my happiness. I wasn’t lamenting the absence of that elusive something I never attained; I missed the presence of the folks I have attracted and managed to remain in the same orbit as.
Like I said at the top: I’m quite complex. That complexity only sometimes manifests in messy emotions. And this wasn’t one of them.
I’ve watched a lot of TV during The Quarantimes. Movies. Shows. Series of entire shows. Entire series of movies – like the Harry Potter and Alien franchises.
Hey, a pendulum has to swing, ok?
Some movies I’d forgotten about. Others, I’d forgotten how good they were. And a rare few that I rewatched and was left wondering “How the hell did I think this was ever good?!?”
A mind forgets. Or romanticizes. Or whatevers.
Recently, that movie rewatching pastime has provided me with an intriguing low level apathy. Don’t worry, it’s a situational low level, this has nothing to do with my usual low level apathy.
My recent apathy – call me an apathocary – has manifested as me watching WTF bad movies. My most recent being Breach starring Bruce Willis. Let me tell you, this was no yippeekayay in space. But, I know Americans today…please, watch it and then be mad at me for not warning you.
Odd side note: I realize now that I’ve been on a previously unrecognized Bruce Willis binge. Die Hard, the M. Night Shamalyan (I could not possibly have spelled that right) movies, Fifth Element, RED and then the lamentable Breach. Cue the “The More You Know” star.
But…occasionally, apathy takes a wrong turn.
I was tucked into the couch with a bag of Tapatio Doritos, a four pack of Breakside that I Kramered from the Silver Fox’s place – since I also Kramer his scale – after my monthly weigh in (still just under 200…but month one was fat loss, month two is adding lean muscle mass to these twigs!) and was suddenly paralyzed with my remote in my hand.
Still feeling burned by my acquiescence to the “Watch Next” function, I was debating watching The Last Supper. It’s a prescient movie about the Cancel Culture we find ourselves in today. Plus, it’s tomato season, so…if you know, you know.
Instead – and I’m not saying The Last Supper is off the table, by any means – I found The Intervention.
I watched it because after reading the synopsis, I was left with weird Big Chill vibes. Plus, Alia Shawkat was in it. You know what an Arrested Development fan I am!
It’s not perfect cinema, but it does a really great job of serving up that slice of life I love so much. For that alone – that representation of how lumpy life can get in this brave new century we’d probably have been better off avoiding – I really enjoyed this movie.
Unexpected side effect: it was written by, directed and co-stars Clea Duvall. I used to love her ambiguous gender expressions, but lately – read: the past decade or so – had begun to appreciate her celluloid-like appearances less and less.
From tolerating her at her initial appearance on screen through the movie where she presents not just as a normal person’s relationship issues, where I think she does a great job at being the perfectly flawed perfect partner, to the end credits – where I first learned she’d written and directed – she was the adult version of the awkward teen I’d met so long ago in movies like Final Destination. I just love her Every Person-ness. She showed me again how she’s the actual real life hero person that so often we are gaslighted into thinking Reese Witherspoon and Chris Evans are.
Those aren’t real people. They couldn’t realistically show us the pain of not having a Hollywood body. Failing that Hollywood version of a Turing Test, any drama they appear in is enjoyed under my failed suspension of disbelief.
But Clea drips real-person-ality. Seeing her navigate relationship problems…feels…genuine. Like anyone could connect to it, versus “real” people having to suspend the disbelief of their own reality to enjoy the show.
If you get a chance, maybe watch this before spelunking into the dark corners of Bruce Willis’ career.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a rabbit hole of existential crisis movies to add to my queue. And She’s In Portland is for sure going on it…stand the fuck by for further details. Beats actually dating…I mean, have you met people lately?
Don’t <ahem> forget that. Just stay home and watch movies. Consider me your Movie Yenta.
Just thought I’d pop by and demonstrate my innate – and inane – ability to offend pretty much everyone.
Effortlessly and equally, because I’m all about equal opportunity. Or abootfor my fine amis Canadiens.
Anyhoo…or anyhooha in this instance, I’ve already seen one vagina today. From behind, no less.
I’m not bragging. Not by any means. But that is basically one whole vagina more than my daily average. I would barely have to round up to drop the qualifier on that…whatever opposite form of “brag” would work here.
My rolling 12 month cumulative total is two. Well, three – if you count Sharon’s moneyshot in Basic Instinct.
Which was far more palatable than my in real life misfortunes.
Somehow, these real life occurrences seem to happen while I’m driving. If this trend keeps going, I may consider quitting. Or running for public office and doing something about/aboot Portland’s homeless and mental health crises. I mean, surrealiously, if Matt Gaetz can get elected…
The first occurrence was last Fall and I was driving up SE 7th where it turns and becomes Sandy. I saw a woman waiting to cross the street. As I slowed to let her cross, I had an abortive thought about why women wear skin toned leggings.
Oh, Gawd…those aren’t leggings!
…and I decided to punch it instead of letting her cross.
Back to today, it wasn’tyet noon and I’d decided thatI needed a caffeine hit. Because I’ve been exercising on the reg and pulled two driving shifts yesterday that were long enough that the app cut me off, I decided to be a lazy pants and drive.
I’mundecided on whether that was a blessing or not. Pretty sure it had to be a universal kindness for my old, gay eyes since if I’d walked, I’d have taken the same route and not had the ability to floor it when I registered what was happening.
Suffice to say, even a homeless person should have the <ahem> “wear with all” to decide to change anywhere but a parking space. I mean, she was one block over from the Park Blocks, where there were plenty of hundreds of years old trees to provide at least some privacy.
But, here she was, shielding her…modesty? Sure, we’ll call it modesty, by turning away from traffic while she changed. Bending at the waist, mind you, so I got the full “fur diaper” experience, as my beloathed Black Sheep Bro used to refer to hislovelier-than-he-deserved girlfriend’s preferred natural state.
For my gay ass – careening away from this visage at, frankly, rather unsafe speeds for a surface street – I couldn’t imagine how society’s misogynistically imposed feminine grooming norms would have improved this experience.
Now, to balance my offense…with a more personal touch, no less:
I realized this week – on successive days – that I have two pair of undies that have reached a level of wear that I like to call “blown out”. I’m honestly afraid to shower snd dress today, lest this become a three day streak. For the unfamiliar, I usually refer to a ripped crotch seam as a blow out.
And, let’s all take a moment to admit that – unless it’s happening to you – the sound of a crotch seam ripping is a rather soothing ASMR- type experience.
Because I’m me, and because my mind is an amusing sort of defective, I view these two instances differently:
My panda print briefs are ripping at the waistband. A particularly heinous betrayal – despite the reality that I bought these a couple pant sizes ago.
Hey, I’m working on it, ok?
The tear is in a place that makes it too easy to make the shituation worse, too. My damn finger finds that hole every time I wear them and I can feel it getting bigger.
For my mental health, I should probably throw them in the trash instead of the laundry, but: pandas!
On the other hand…
The Contorted Flattery
The other pair of undies that have blown out are a pair of…boxer briefs? I dunno. There’s no real inseam to speak of, as you’d find on an actual pair of boxers. But the style is definitely an homage to 70s era gym shorts. Well, except the backside is a tasteful mesh.
No, I’m not a pole dancer.
And I’ll have nothing to do with tasteful on this blog post, damnit!
The blow out on this pair is on the “pouch”. Ok, that was semi-tasteful. Apologies.
Once again, these undies are two pant sizes old, but I’m not letting that reality get in my way. Obviously, Big Ed and The Twins are simply too much for this pair of pants to contain.
Again, I should toss these. But since they are cute and no one sees them but me, you know I’ll wear them in a fit of “why I’m single” defiance until one of The Twins fully escapes.
One of my favorite things to say back when I was giving 50-60 hours a week to the man was:
Today’s been one hell of a week.
Chrisism. Use it in good health.
I reworked it last year for quarantimes into “2020 has been a hell of a decade“, but it just didn’t hit as hard.
Anyway, 2021 has kind of started off distinguished only from 2020 by a singular event for me: the inauguration of an adult as president. Otherwise, SSDD.
Case in point, even though I declared my dating exploits over at the completion of the yearlong effort that led to Dating Into Oblivion (I swear that there’s a link to buy it somewhere on this blog page, should you be queerious), I still maintain a profile on Adam4Adam and occasionally recreate a profile on the human cesspool known as Grindr.
But, despite the Silver Fox’s assertion that I’m too hard on people, I maintain a standard when it comes to asocial media.
While that standard may look like me doing my damndest to die alone, I swear it’s really a filter that allows others to unintentionally self-select out of my dating pool.
Basically, everyone blocks me all of the damn time.
Por ejemplo, just last night, I had a guy launch into his schtick with me. For those of you wondering what a millennial gay considers a best foot:
No punctuation, no introduction.
I can reasonably assume that the string of vowels and consonants in his profile’s headline is his name, still…confirmation would be overly taxing? It looks both unpronounceable without a little guidance and vaguely Hawaiian.
Also, to his credit, there is blessedly, no butthole pic.
This is really what happens…do you think any reaction would be reasonably considered “too hard” on these friggin’ ass clowns?
Since Grindr is nice enough to alert users when someone looks at their profile, I cannot help but notice that Sup has not looked at mine.
So…I look at his, just to kill some time in case there’s somehow a backlog in what I’m sure is the very high tech and sophisticated alert system on this…mess of an app.
Uh-huh. We’re both tops – Google it – and he specifically calls out that interested parties should not be over 35.
Really, I guess I should be flattered that while my actual age is an anagram of 35…I am most decidedly not 35, but somehow made it through his filter.
Did you read my profile?
Impressively, he responds in the negative and enthusiastically says he will do so right now. Then logs out.
My notifications are still showing me as invisible to The Gays, so I know he didn’t check me out and then – reasonably – run off into the woods.
Seventeen hours later he messages me back, seemingly having missed my anagrammatical eligibility to put Lil Xtopher somewhere I know he doesn’t want him.
I point out our disparate definitions of the term “right now” and…he blocks me.
Far be it for me to brag, but this happens multiple times a month. I know. Every month, I’m blessed to be able to demonstrate to people the benefit to themselves of not knowing me.
Namely, that without me in their lives, they can carry on blindly running full speed into pain walls that they themselves built. Heaven forbid, someone actually want to help another person become a better version of themselves. Or, y’know…a decent human being that contributes more to Gay Kulture than supporting their local STD clinic.
Remember…this is a Valentine’s Day post.
I really don’t know why I tease you by dangling that carrot shaped sex toy that – I hope – got mangled in the garbage disposal while awaiting its return to service.
That was graphic. Maybe now is a good time for a shot break.
This is my life, folks. And you wonder why I proChristinated my colonoscopy…
Except…every now and again someone seems to be looking out for me.
Now, a wise person – as I consider myself to be…shituationally – knows to take a fix up at about 1/1000 of its face value.
This is a brief tale about that one time a bar owner tried to set me up with the only other gay guy at the bar. And by “at the bar” I mean in the Pandemic Pivot of a Beer Garden that the owner of Big Legrowlski has managed to pull off. It’s really something. Five tents, broken into a group of two and three by a fire pit. Each tent has a physics defying heater mounted to the roof, meaning when I come out in December and January to support my local…I’m freezing my giggle berries off.
Anyway, last weekend, the bar owner comes over to keep me company for a second. He leads with a few seconds of small talk and then – in a fit of foreshadowing that makes me momentarily worried about the quality of his wife’s sex life – plunges into the real reason for his visit.
Hey, do you see that guy behind me?
Literally ever guy at the beer garden aside from he and I. I give him exasperated eyes.
To the left!
No mate, my left. Sorry. Sorry.
Cue up the Throwback Offenses!
Just as every Black person had likely heard a version of “I’m not normally into…but…”, every gay person has had a well intentioned abortion of a fix up from a well-intentioned straight friend who tries to fix up the only two gay people they know. Or, as in this case, the only two gay people in their general vicinity.
Argument against the existence of God: this phenomenon.
Somehow, this guy ends up joining us. Around my table, it’s: mine truly, the bar owner and then this…guy, and finally an empty seat in the clockwise position.
Buffers are important. Even when not needed.
I’d already told the bar owner “Hard pass” once we nailed down The Gay In Question. I’d even helpfully pointed out a few of the other guys at the fire pit that could eat crackers in my bed, just not this guy.
He was one of those classic “Is over 40, acts under 30″ gays.
How he ended up at my table – or why – was a short lived mystery. After being introduced by name by the bar owner but getting nothing in return (classic basic fag move) I also come to realize that this guy is a low talker.
It’s an exhausting – read: excruciating – 10 minutes. I should have just taken the hit and dragged Mumbles off to the giant elephant statue in the park for a blowie to get rid of him.
Glad, was I, that I did not.
As clumps of sand broke through my life force hourglass, I began to realize that Mumbles was into the bar owner.
The straight, father of two bar owner.
What an idiot.
Read the fucking tent, man.
Alas, this socially illiterate ‘mo starts playing grab ass with the bar owner’s nipples. That is something I will endure in a goddamned gay bar, but within normal societal watering holes, you keep that shit tight.
Not this clown college drop out.
Only minutes passed, I’m sure…but it felt like one hell of a week between meeting this guy and him crawling back into the sewer that birthed him. Small victories, though, I was still in possession of my table.
That’s enough for me. I might be perpetually single, but I can hold down a goddamned table in a beer garden in a rain storm.
You’d think that would be enough Dating IntoOblivion visitations for me for 2021, but no. Like a trooper – a. very. bored. trooper. – I maintain my usual divided attention at home while watching TV.
Shameless vs Words With Friends.
Then on the next episode, Shameless vs Adam4Adam.
Then on the next episode, Shameless vs Instagram and Facebook in a Battle Royale of short attention spans.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
The end result being that maybe I got my own date.
Slated to meet this coming (all over) Sunday at the Big Legrowlski. He seems nice, but if nothing else, this purple haired, four off-the-ears-facial-piercings guy in his 30s – I know, so many piercings for a guy that age…but at least he can commit! – will serve as a visual aid to the bar owner as to the type of guy he should drag before me in the future.
Crappy Valentimes, errybody! And, yes…I know that Part Deux preceded Part Un.
Part Un is…special. Maybe bring tissue. Or your label maker and a box to store your jadedness in.
Completely acknowledging that I’ve definitely been called worse. However, as my own most severe critic, I tend to let other people’s gentler criticisms bounce off of me and swirl into the gutter where they belong.
But while psycho might be a more popular moniker amongst my lesser fans, psychic is strictly an internal title. At least as far as I know – as if that’s not an indictment of the very skill I am claiming.
Let’s meet in the middle and call this my special version of psychic: preemptive lucky guesses.
The inspirational guess for this entry?
The Silver Fox.
A couple weeks back, he graced me with a visit so he could knock out 300 doctors appointments we could finally finish watching Ozark, which we started before he decamped to Monmouth for the end of the world. Because I’m figuratively an acerbic son of a bitch, I chose to remind him that he packed his calendar and seemed to expect me to make myself available during his free time during the two days he was in town. I also whined about his doctors appointments requiring him to fast the day before, which also eliminated my favorite social pastime.
No, I’m not telling you what that is, you really ought to be able to guess – even if you aren’t psychic like me. Ok, wait…just so none of my more sarcastic friends guess “masturbating”, the pastime in question is beer drinking!
This whining had the intended manipulative side effect of guilting him into staying an extra day – which I also complained about because that was a Friday…big drive day for me normally. But I took the day off to spend time with him.
All of this, by the way, just highlights why I should be exactly as single as I am.
Anyway, back to the acerbic part.
When we met to have dinner and watch the final episode of Ozark’s third season, I greeted The Fox with the accusation question: “Did you manage to meet with your realtor between doctors appointments while you were up here?”
Having spent enough time around me to be infected with my toxic sarcasm, he replied in the affirmative. Because he’s the Silver Fox, his affirmative response was also inscrutable.
I let it lie, but I had to do a little work to maintain my level of denial disbelief.
How does this all make me psychic?
I’m now having dreams that when I check his mail – worst paying job I’ve ever had, incidentally…but I might still add it to the resume since I’m closing in on a year in that position – I find realtor’s business cards on his countertop when I take it into his condo.
For those who have never been involved in or on the periphery of a home purchase, realtors leave business cards in houses they show so the listing agent has their contact info for follow up or whatnot. Additionally, you should just drop into open houses in your area. It’s fun to just look, plus, you may get a cookie out of it.
Anyway, I’m dealing with the dream situation by avoiding taking his mail into his condo when I check it. I’m tossing the junk mail in the recycling and leaving the few pertinent actual mail pieces in his box for now. If it gets too full, I’ll have to decide if I want to bring it over to my place or risk finding out my dreams really were visions…ostensibly, I should be able to handle a blow like that after New Years. Inauguration Day at the latest.
But I know for sure I can’t risk that type of blow in what’s left of this shit show of a year. That would definitely cause me to revisit the cho/chic suffixes I mentioned at the top of this post.
Well, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted under this theme.
Maybe it’s been 100 years, maybe only 9 months. If I’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that time is excruciating relative.
Another interesting thing about 2020 has been how the mentally lethal distractions that inspired this theme – based off of the pre-credit scenes in the original Star Trek, where some extra in a red shirt always seemed to die after beaming down to a strange, new world – have shifted. Before the quarantimes, these mental deaths were always near misses with my own mortality.
Lunch with my parents?
People emerging from lockdown 1.0, unsure of how to navigate life in “the real world” again?
A friend’s small wedding?
Family gathering in Central Oregon for my nephew’s 21st?
Bubble Boy not texting back in a timely manner?
Yeah, they all died at one point or another in my neurotic mess of a brain.
It’s fascinating that my prochristination has me finally getting this out of draft on Thanksgiving Eve. After shaking my initial misgivings about meeting my parents for lunches on their trips into town, I still get a little heebaliscious when thinking about dinner at their house tomorrow.
I overcame my original disease with lunches after just admitting that with the Silver Fox in isolation with his ex-wife about 90 minutes south of Portland, my own isolation was poised to redefine the term lonely. Knowing that I was either at home or driving made me realize that my parents were likely the only people I would actually see intentionally and with any regularity during the lockdown.
Even though I was driving with Lyft ~20 hours a week, I felt like the table between us was buffer enough, since I was completely masked up while I drove people around. Still, it took a few months before we ventured back into hug territory.
Knowing that dinner tomorrow would be just my parents and youngest brother, I agreed to the pandemic indulgence. I still took this past week off from driving, on a doctor’s advice. Right now, I feel like the biggest risk to our meal is a nosey neighbor calling the cops to report our gathering. The Governor has set a 6 people or less from no more than 2 household rule on the day. We will be only 4, but from 3 households. Since the Guv has gone the shocking extra step of encouraging people to report their neighbors if they suspect a violation of these guidelines, I’m thinking maybe I should pick my brother up along the way.
And because my parents are like poster children for great parents, Tuesday evening I start getting texts about coming out tonight to have a special dinner and spend the night.
It’s quite a nostalgic pull from the days when I lived out of state and would fly in early for holidays. But this year, I just can’t get there. I’m missing the rationalization that would make me comfortable spending that much time in their home, potentially exposing them to my city germs.
Also, there’s Myrtle. She’s kind of a situation.
After getting her, I took the advice of friends and family with cats and left her for the night with extra food – with a healthy 50% bump just to be sure – and went to my parents’. Myrtle being Myrtle, I came home to cat puke everywhere – none “fresh” – and a starving cat.
The next phase was taking her out with me.
That was an exercise in animal cruelty. She screamed the entire trip out in her cat carrier. Once we arrived, she stayed under the bed the entire visit. Emerging, from what I can tell, only once for some water and to shit on my parents’ hallway carpet.
It’s not easy being her.
So, for many reasons, I demurred on the invite for tonight. Then I woke up with a sore throat today, because that’s just my neurotic brain having fun with me.
But having skipped my nephew’s birthday, dreading the following two weeks and filling my dreams with sole survivor scenarios where my nephew, younger brother and I were the last of our clan, I wanted to go to Thanksgiving dinner.
But now the dreams are back.
COVID has messed up my sleep schedule pretty good. I won’t mix my syzzurp sleep aid with alcohol, so if I drink I’ve resigned myself to bad sleep. But it’s been next level bad these past two weeks. I’ll stay up too late and then get woken up by Myrtle around 9, after logging 4-5 hours. Or, I’ll go to bed around 10 and wake up around 2, wide awake. On the days I can fall back to sleep, it’s usually not until 5 or 6 and then Myrt still wakes me up around 9.
I think Myrtle just wants the bed. But still, I don’t want to be at my parents’ house with this crap going on and accidentally wake their dogs with my late night meanderings around the house – because then everyone is up.
But I know that part of my recent sleep problems are due to bad dreams. I just want them to remain bad dreams, I don’t need the reality my brain tries selling my unconscious self.
But overall – and I think this is something I need to acknowledge gratefully – no one close to me has died from COVID. Friends of Facebook friends is as close as its come to touching my life in reality. The back of my mind is screaming that I’m due, but I’m shushing it for all I’m worth.
No one got sick from my nephew’s birthday.
No one died after the wedding I dipped on.
There’s been plenty of non-COVID close calls because people forgot how to live after 1.0 ended, but again, nothing in my direct realm.
Then there’s Bubble Boy.
Just so I don’t bury the lead, he’s still alive.
Lil fucker got himself stabbed, though, so it’s not like he’s coming out of this unscathed.
No. I did not do the stabbing. Well, not the literal stabbing. <wink, wink>
Bubble Boy is someone I’ve hooked up with a few times over the years since I moved back to Portland. No, he is not a part of the Dating Into Oblivion blog theme or subsequent book – since we don’t date so much as we mate. He’s not interested in dating and he’s not boyfriend material if he were. But he’s a hot little nugget of a man, I’ll tell you that.
So when lockdown hit and he was up to meet, I decided – after the first three months – to go for it. It took me that long to rationalize a guy in his early 30s having the discipline to isolate or take reasonable precautions during a pandemic.
Sure enough, we start connecting a couple times a month versus our every month or two pre-lockdown rhythm. Then he goes quiet in August. After one missed assignation and a couple unreturned texts, I arrive expeditiously at the obvious conclusion.
Then I spend a week re-isolating, assuming – irrationally, I know – that he is in hospital or dead from COVID and that I’ve been exposed, symptoms lacking be damned. Also 1000% not surprised that this might have been the case that my psyche is trying to make to me.
When he finally blips back onto the radar, my reaction to learning he’d been in hospital was “Naturally” and to mentally pat myself on the back. And to be relieved he survived.
After he misses a couple more text replies and another “date” with the explanation that he’d been back in hospital, I ask if he’s sure he should be making plans to meet.
Oh, yeah. I’m fine, my stitches just keep getting infected is all.
But, c’mon. You just know that I had to demand an explanation after that overshare.
“Oh, is that all?” – Me. Really, it’s so not shocking I ended up alone.
Sure enough, desperate times did indeed breed desperate measures and he’d been mugged one night on his way home. I didn’t press for details, rather assuming it was from something acceptable like essential work.
Plus, I’m enough of a Portlander to know that we are a stabby lot.
You think I’m kidding.
Poorly, by the way. His attacker stabbed him in the collarbone. Of all the…I mean, I’ve never stabbed anyone, but I think I could do so without my blade bouncing off a collarbone, FFS. Although, admittedly on his 5’3″ self, I’d have to work to get down to gut level and avoid ribs and whatnot.
Ok, I’ve clearly put too much thought into that.
But that’s kind of the point of The Red Shirt Diaries – an overactive and macabre imagination.
To redeem myself, when we did successfully meet up post-stabbing and he interrupted the usual commotion involved in our involvement with a caution to be careful of his stitches, I replied by pushing his face deeper into the mattress with one hand, telling him this was his idea and smacking his ass with my other hand.
My little freaky-deaky f*ckbuddy seemed to rather enjoy that. But I also think he knows me well enough to know that I was, indeed, more careful of his stitches after that.
So…one more day to get through and then a couple weeks of what I know will be a neurotic red shirt-esque death watch and hopefully I can sail into the new year with a still-full compliment of friends and family, despite my relatively empty quarantine bubble.
But let’s face it, this being my life, you just have to know that I’d be the one to die of COVID in my circle. How I can’t get there with the people actually in my bubble probably goes back to being raised by great parents who taught me to be concerned for others…
You should probably wait for the laughter of your inner teenaged boy to die down before moving on…
No me pises translates from Spanish to English as something familiar.
Even if you aren’t a Proud Boy.
Or a gun nut.
And I’ll tell ya, this American is taking it back this week like The Gays took back the Proud Boys hashtag last week. Seriously, what were those bigoted idiots thinking trying to usurp pride from The Gays?
What a wonderful time to be re-watching Ally McBeal…
Not such a wonderful time to get a late night Messenger notice from Black Sheep Bro. I mean, surrealiously I’m on the West Coast and he’s in friggin’ Texas. Why he’s sending me messages at 11 PM my time?
I don’t know.
Nor do I know what brotherly charm he was hoping to evoke with this out of nowhere crap. But it didn’t do much to improve my disposition in the Xtopher vs Black Sheep Bro arena.
But I do know that while he makes me scratch my head – and delete Snapchat – and ponder whether he’s heckling me from a path I want to venture down, several others have tried calling me down similarly unappealing paths that I think they can just travel alone. Or at least without the pleasure of my company…
Take this joker on the Twitter.
Not to bury the lede, but I reported the rat bastard.
Suck on that sweaty dick, Jimbo.
If only all instances of intolerable bullshit were handled as expeditiously as Twitter handled this.
Actually, sometimes they are handled thusly, these petty bullshit things. They just are not always the matters of import that draw attention.
Lucky for all of you, dear readers, I’m not shy about holding up the lumps from my life for your appreciation.
For instance, the situation that prompted this response from Lyft.
Good old Marcy from Lyft.
Here’s the story:
I was out driving last weekend – Friday. It was after I possibly stressed myself into being ill two days last week, which is another blog post on its own. Needless to say, I was driving to play catch up on my self-imposed weekly goals. Fortunately for me, my hypochondriac episode malady occurred just prior to the first rainy Fall weekend of the season.
Unfortunately for me, I ran into a rider who seemed conflicted about a lot of things.
The first of which was the difference between a driver and a bartender therapist.
He gets in and tells me he’s going to a friend’s house to have a few drinks and hang out. Because, as it turns out, his live-in girlfriend is giving him hell at home.
For what it’s worth, I have a cat at home who prefers I not be at home.
Seemed safe enough.
Banal, one might even think if they didn’t know the feline that is Mistress Myrtle…no matter how angelic she may pretend to be for the ‘Gram.
So this passenger manages to cram a lot into this ride that didn’t even beat the minimum fare! This particular swine was absolutely rolling in his own pearls of wisdom.
I’m not sure whether it was my lacking in a certain luster enthusiasm for the quicksand caliber topics he was therapeutically trundling into.
Men have needs.
Ugh. So absolutely rapey.
At least there’s porn. Hey…what kind of porn do you like?!?
Oh, sweet! That actually just made me a little hard. Do you want to touch it?
This gem he drops as he’s getting out of the car.
No. No, I do not.
For so many, many reasons.
Do I want to Bobbit you? Yes, yes…perhaps I do.
Maybe it was something else that got me going. Maybe it was the overwhelming cumulative effect of his closeted and misogynistic monologue in such a short period of time. Or that I didn’t have a beer to wash the figurative taste of his words out of my being.
But some things I do know.
I got into my 50s being single by absolutely wasting my time on idiots like this clown – not you, Rib, you’re a dear. Certainly, I wanted to head right back to where I picked him up from and tell any angry looking women I met to dump their boyfriends.
Most definitely, I’m no longer flattered by fuckbois who think copping a feel is a reward worthy of my effort and pursuit. Had I been him, I’d have for sure known that my attached stiffy did not afford me the right to stiff my service provider.
Quite the opposite – I’d think I have enough shame to overtip if I made such a social blunder. Lucky me, running into someone with this joker’s uncommon knowledge.
Maybe I’ll understand his entitlement someday.
And then there was the whole…I just don’t know what to feel about-ness of his offer to be a side piece.
A fling…at my age.
An unsolicited pinch hitter for his main piece, who I’m sure was unaware that her boyfriend was out haphazardly recruiting.
Probably, knowing me and my penchant for being rulesy, it was more that first thing than anything else. I got to be single in my 50s by defining my own acceptable standards of behavior. One of those standards is being alone instead of being in a relational situation simply because it’s not being alone.
This fucker wanted it all. Most upsetting to me was probably that he and I disagreed on whether he was entitled to any.
Anyway, unlike with the Twitter guy, I didn’t even report this guy. I simply one-starred him – and any passenger I rate as three out of five stars or lower, the app will never pair me with again.
Personally, I think three or below is a pretty harsh scale, so I use my Star Hammer judiciously. Most of my rides – and I’m talking all but about five out of ~2500 rides – have been great.
That being the case, I break it down like this:
Regular great ride – four stars.
Regular great ride with a tip – five stars.
If you’re just a meh, I might three star you. The very infrequent individual that finds and inhabits the ass in “passenger” gets a one star. As you can tell, I don’t really find the relevance in that whole two star business…what’s that, the ass that tips?
When I was young, like my early 20s, there was a thing going around. This was before memes but after email. Sure, it was like in the days of AOL email addresses, but still. We would print them out and hold onto them to share with friends.
Now that I think about it, memes are really to young people what recipe cards used to be to 50s housewives – something to share with peers.
The pre-meme that I wanted to share?
Every day, I am forced to deal with someone who ends up on the ever growing list of people who can kiss my ass.
But that Marcy from Lyft? She ain’t on it, for sure. But she’s certainly on it…meaning, when I one starred this passenger, I selected “inappropriate rider behavior” and made a note about the indecentident on the ride but didn’t file anything formal with Lyft. Hell, I was pretty sure no one but me ever saw those notes.
But Marcy found my flag and followed up – just to tell me that she’d seen it and suspended the pig-fucker. On my mental scales of justice, I figured Marcy’s intervention balanced that poor girlfriend’s ledger.
So don’t tread on others might be the better tag line here. I think trampling in America would be a lot less frequent if we watched out for these unknown others, even when the tramplers themselves don’t seem to even care enough to look over their shoulders for witnesses before trampling.
Here’s my parting shot of Chrisism wisdom:
Do the right thing, even when no one is watching.
Hi, my name is Grumpy, Old Xtopher…and you can believe that I’m fucking watching. It’s not like I have much else to do in these End Times.