Friday, April 11, 2008

How To Be Hetero.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, How can this self-professed gay guy even think of trying to write a blog entry called "How To Be Hetero"?

Well, here it is.

Okay, I'll have to admit that really this isn't some sort of super-detailed primer on the subject or anything. It's really more of a story of what's been happening to me today.

So I've been at a work conference all day today. Except that I haven't actually been attending the conference. Instead, I've been outside at the registration desk for a good part of the day, watching people come and go ("speaking of Michaelangelo"), helping latecomers and stuff. No biggie.

We have vendors who paid us to let them occupy space at our conference. Decent, hardworking folk who are here to hawk their wares to us lawyers. I have to respect them for that.

This one guy is a little over-aggressive, in my humble opinion. While everyone else is inside, he has been accosting me with questions about the people: "Hey, do you know who this guy is? I've check out his site and want to talk to him." and "This guy had an appointment with me and kinda blew me off. Can you point him out when he comes back out?" I try to be pleasant but noncommittal.

But then, let's face it, the day gets boring sitting around doing nothing. So this guy has started talking to me about stuff that had nothing whatsoever to do with work. He started by discussing his personal life, and asking me about mine.

Hooooo boy.

It started off simply enough. He asked me where in the city I lived, what I thought of certain areas, where I like to go out...

And "where I like to go out" is probably where it all started tanking. Not knowing this guy, I was reluctant to identify any of the bars I tend to frequent, because most of them have big ol' gay flags hanging outside of them. "Around," I told him. Because I live close to the hotel where the conference, I pointed the alarming lack of places to hang out in my neighborhood. (That's actually not quite true, but oh well.) I told him that I walk to Dupont or to Gallery Place sometimes. He told me he likes to hang out at Bar Louie, in the Verizon Center. (Mental note: avoid that place.)

There's a pregnant woman working at the booth about 20 feet away from me. She's got a nice face and is, well, noticeably pregnant. What this means is that she also has a swelled bosom. Let's just say the size of this woman's breasts has not escaped this guy's attention. And let's just say, for the sake of politeness, that he jokingly suggested an illegal course of conduct involving her and some pharmaceuticals.

"Dude, that's not right," I tell him.

"Kidding, man, kidding," he tells me. Sadly, he has that smile that grants him a certain air, a certain charisma, that I'm sure has gotten him out of many a jam in past lives. I have to remind myself that he's being a total ass.

He has just shared with me one of his best secrets to picking up girls: he tells them he can speak some Vietnamese. "Chicks love that," he tells me. (He apparently finds "chicks" to be his mot juste for the opposite sex.)

"You do not speak Vietnamese," I challenge him.

"Sure I do," he tells me, and, to my surprise, he busts out with some actual phrases. Now I don't speak Vietnamese so I can't tell, but at least he has some syllables down adequately. I tell him I'm impressed.

"I guess since you're an Asian guy it wouldn't impress the chicks as much from you," he opines. "It sounds cooler when a white guy can speak an Asian language."

I have to give him some points for that. Just some. Not many.

"Big plans this weekend?" he asks me.

"Eh, I'm going to a movie tonight," I tell him. He asks me what movie, and I tell him: Prom Night. I have to explain to him that it's a slasher flick about a serial murderer as he doesn't seem to have seen any of the hype surrounding it.

"Are you going with your girlfriend?" he asks me.

"..." I say. Seriously, my mouth opened, and I started to speak, but I couldn't pick the words to come out of my mouth. Do I come out? Do I lie? Do I tell the truth (that I'm going with a gay male friend of mine)?

I think he senses my hesitation, but he interprets it all wrong. "Well," he interrupts my floundering, "at least you're taking a chick, right?" I swear he's about to give me that sideways smile-wink-double-point triple threat of treacly charm.

"..." I continue, but he beats me to the punch: "Because going to those kinds of movies with chicks is the best, man. 'Oh, I'm scared, I don't want to go home now!,' she'll say. Or, 'That was so scary, can we go back to your place?' You know what I mean."

Indeed. I knew this theory back in high school. And I wasn't even sexually active then. With either sex.

"I'm just going with a friend of mine," I tell him.

A part of me would not be terribly surprised if he would just come out and ask me point blank if I'm planning on "nailing her." Thankfully, he doesn't do that.

"That's cool, that's cool," he says.

And I let the hallway lapse back into a tersely enforced silence.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Unwitting Time Machine

I was in the middle of a teensy bit of cleaning tonight when I stumbled across an old wallet that I had replaced ages ago. So old was it, in fact, that it contained a "HRC Member" card for the year 1999. Why this wallet has remained on my shelf for this long, I don't know. I chucked it (the wallet, and the HRC membership card).

Also found in the wallet: My old Social Security Card. I had thought I lost it years ago, and thus had it replaced already. Guess what's heading straight for the shredder. Back then I thought it was a good idea to carry the good ol' Social Security card around. Since then I've learned that it's not a great idea.

Also: A tip guide. (That is, how much is 10%? 15%? 20%? How much do you tip a hairdresser? etc.) Not that I need it anymore.

And: Several ATM receipts from Riggs Bank ATMs. This was back when I used to actually reconcile my bank statements with my withdrawal receipts and checks. And when I actually banked at Riggs. (I closed out my account when they were implicated in that big Middle East money laundering scheme. Then they got bought out by Provident or some such.)

And: An old fake ID from my college days. It's tucked away in a compartment that's not meant to hold anything -- it's behind the credit card slots (nice hiding place, don't you know). When I was 19, it reported that I was 25. It was a really really bad ID. Literally, it was taken with me standing right in front of a very large poster board made to resemble a Michigan license. If you look really closely you can see my shoulder extends past the photo area onto the other fields of the card.

(I decline to post a photo of the actual Michigan ID in all its horrificness.)

Funny story about the fake ID, involving my Asshole Uncle (whom I will refer to as "AU"). One summer on my way home from college, my AU insisted that I spend a few days with him in California. I don't know why he insisted, seeing as I had always hated him growing up anyway. But my mom thought it would be a good idea, so I caved and figured I'd endure it for a few days. Besides, I shuttled between him and his wife (on one hand) and another aunt-and-uncle pair whom I liked better.

So on the third morning I'm sitting there at breakfast and AU says to me, "When were you in Michigan?" (He attended the University of Michigan, so I suppose he had some degree of affinity for the state.) "Wha?" I say. He then tells me that he's seen my Michigan driver's license, and when was I in Michigan? Remember now, that license was not only in my wallet, but in a "secret" compartment in my wallet. The SOB was freaking nosing around my wallet!

I tried to call him on nosing around my stuff, but he kept brushing it all off as if he just "happened" to see it. I knew damn well that it wasn't possible to "accidentally" see my fake ID, but I couldn't very well call him on it since he didn't seem to notice that it listed me as being 25 years old. So I also hemmed and hawed about having taken a road trip to Michigan (where I got a driver's license? My uncle isn't the brightest bulb) and just let it go. But I fumed about it for weeks after.

The worst part about that story is that I couldn't then go complain to my parents about AU clearly and thoroughly invading my privacy, since that would involve admitting to the 'rents that I had a fake ID to begin with. So I got to experience the wonderful frustration of stewing in my anger with no outlet at all. And I swore never to talk to AU again.

Anyway, that was a huge digression.

Also in my old wallet: a 3x5 index card, with a locker combination stuck to it. I have no idea what lock that combination opens anymore.

On the other half of the 3x5 are taped 2 quarters and 2 old-school Metrobus tokens. It scares me to think that 2 quarters was part of my "emergency" money. I think they were meant for use on a pay phone in the event of an emergency. (I acquired my first cell phone in 1999.) The bus tokens were, of course, a way for me to get home if I needed to ... on public transport.

And finally: two twenty dollar bills. Score! One of them is a 1996 vintage. Do they even still accept that bill anymore? Damn, it's old. But it's forty more dollars than I had a day ago, so go me!

I'm using them to buy lottery tickets.