Coming Out

For this blog, I pulled out the trusty, sanctimonious soapbox. I feel good on it…makes me feel taller.

I was brushing my teeth, counting…as usual.

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.”

Switch.

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.”

Switch.

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.”

I did this in the front and back of each side of my mouth. Brushing teeth is a counting thing.

I sometimes count out things. Particularly in fives. It makes me focus and slows my mind. I’m OK with this.

I finished my ritual, spit the toothpaste out, came up from the sink, and caught my eyes in the mirror. I was staring at my reflection when I started to laugh. Laugh is a strong word. I scoffed – yeah, scoffed – and whispered to myself, “Holy shit. I’m gay.”

Just like that. It struck me.

Now, at this point, I was 25 and married. To a man. So, this revelation at this time was…umm…less than awesome.

But the immediate calm I felt when I said it out loud was amazing.

We all have coming out stories. (Well, not ALL of us, but at least 10% of us.) Some of them are significantly more interesting than mine – nothing like a story that starts with brushing your teeth and revealing you’ve got a bit of the OCD.

I don’t share this as a “Coming Out Story.” I’ve been out. By 26, everyone I knew was aware that I was A Gay. I don’t hide it now. (Well, some might say I couldn’t if I wanted to – my hair gives it away. The lesbian faux hawk…what are you gonna do?) I don’t announce my gayness, rather I simply live my life as normal because there is nothing unusual with who I am…well, I’m unusual, but not because I’m gay. I mean, quite frankly, my need to count things is more unusual than my gayness.

So, why share it?

The “Coming Out Story” has haunted many the gay. Most recently, Jodie Foster, in what is arguably the most rambling speech I’ve heard in a while, came out as “single” during the Golden Globes, prompting a slew of responses, including one from George “It’s OK To Be” Takei. Rupert Everett, (remember him? “My Best Friend’s Wedding”…L.O.V.E. him) said do not come out, come out wherever you are.  Victor Garber is all sorts of gay.

The problem with the “Coming Out Story” is that it doesn’t change you, but it can change everyone around you. By that I mean, you don’t change, but the perception other people have of you might.

In fact, I recently had a coming out of sorts with a couple of pals. The conversation went something like this…

——————

Pal #1: (fishing in her chip bag for the crumbs) Are you gonna be gay?

Me: Umm…what?

Pal #1 looks at Pal #2 concerned. Pal #2 encourages her to ask me again.

Pal #1: Are you gonna be gay?

Oh, I forgot to set the story. Pal #1 is 7-years-old and recently had a conversation with her mom about what “gay” was. That conversation ended like so:

7-Year-Old: Do I know anyone who is gay?

Mom: Yep. Molly.

7-Year-Old: Awesome.

Then, they went back to watching TV. Pal #2 is her 10-year-old sister. So…

Pal #1: Are you gonna be gay?

She continues to eat her chips. I think she’s interested in my answer, but I’m not sure. I think she’d rather just eat her chips.

Me: Umm…I AM gay. Yes.

Pal #1: But you aren’t married.

Me: OK. But if I was gonna get married, it would be to a girl.

No reason to discuss marriage equality right now.

Pal #2: Well, you don’t seem gay.

Me: Interesting…what would make me seem gay?

Pal #2: Well, I thought gay meant three things: if you were a boy, you like boys and if you were a girl, you liked girls; that you were always happy; and that if you were a boy, you dressed like a girl and if you were a girl, you dressed like a boy.

Me: OK. Well, yes to the first point. And sometimes, to the last two.

Pal #2: You don’t dress like a boy.

Me: No.

No need to discuss sexual identity at this point.

Pal #2: You’re pretty happy.

Me: Generally, yes.

Gay. Happy. Duh.

Pal #2: And you like girls…?

Me: Yep.

Pal #2: OK.

“OK”…as though that is that.

Me: Is that OK?

Pal #2: Yeah.

I look at her younger sister.

Me: How ‘bout you? All cool?

Pal #1: Yep.

“Yep”…as though that is that. Then…

Pal #1: Can I have more chips?

And that was that.

—————

So maybe sometimes when you come out, it doesn’t change anything…it just makes you hungry for chips.

In a recent conversation with a straight friend (I only identify him as such to illustrate this point), he was adamant about the need for gay people to come out – “this is your civil rights movement. Own it. Demand equality.”

I am lucky. I don’t have the scary story of my family turning their backs on me. I have always just treated my “gayness” as just a piece of my life, but something about the way he said it resonated.

Somehow, it is my job to demand you treat me equally. There is something inherently unfair in that.

mlk

Today, as we celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of this quote: “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

He spoke a lot about silence.

Indeed, in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, he wrote, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men…”

So, friends, on a day that celebrates the legacy of a man who dared to dream, and on the day when we see an African American sworn in for his second term, I ask for your voice. I will continue to come out – that is my contribution to the change. But I ask that you have your own Coming Out…as an advocate, as an ally, as a friend.

An Open Letter to the Quils

Dear Day and Ny,

Let’s be real clear…I’m not a good sick person. More specifically, any sickness makes me certain I am dying.

Also, I have been dying since Friday. My chest is filled with something that comes out into my tissue in an odd green-yellow color. My head hurts in a way that makes me want to break my cheekbones to relieve the pressure in my face. My cough sounds as though I have been smoking unfiltered pal malls for 72 years, (shout-out to my grandpa!), and I’m only 34.

During the day, I perch on my sofa – fake working – falling in and out of sleep due to a drug-induced haze of DayQuil, Allegra, ibuprofen, Mucinex, and expired doses of Alka Seltzer Cold and Flu. At night, I double-dose on NyQuil and fall deeply asleep, leaving my dogs to dance to the symphony of snores that are undoubtedly coming from my stopped-up nasal passages. If this illness won’t kill me, the overdose will.

You’ll note that the constant in my meds is you…The Quils.

I can say that I’m finally, after 5 full days of near death, on the mend. I attribute this to you both, Day and Ny. Well…you, some sleep, and a lot of time in my pajamas.

That being said, I have a bone to pick with you both.

Day, what is with your packaging?

DayQuil tablets

I mean, I think I understand the complexities of packaging in general (well, I’m still irritated that there are only 7 chips in a bag, but I digress), but the sheet of pills inside your cardboard box, particularly for someone already high on meds and dying, is a pain in the ass.

Once you get into said box, you’re required to use Popeye-esque strength to tear off the perforated, foil-covered pills, and then somehow manage to cut into the packet without slicing open your hand on the industrial-strength plastic. It’s more difficult than cracking open a new CD.

Then, if you’re not bleeding to death (and now having to rummage around for a band-aid), you are asked to swallow the two most ginormous pills I’ve ever seen. These are what my dad would have referred to as “horse pills,” although I’m quite certain no horse could swallow them either. Why can’t they be the size of Tic Tacs?  I’m already sick, Day. My throat is enflamed, and I can barely swallow water. Hell, make ’em dissolvable and call it a Day. See what I did there?

Finally, why can’t you fill the two empty packets? Why does one sheet only have four doses when it could have six? Is this a ploy? Because just as I’m starting to feel better, I’m OUT OF DOSES, and now I have to go pick up another box. Clever, Day. Very clever. GIVE ME MY EXTRA PILLS!

Ny, don’t think you’re off the hook, my friend.

NyQuilWhy must you taste like that? No, but seriously. I’m specifically talking about when you’re wearing green, but don’t think that you’re much better in red. In red, you’re merely tolerable. And then, I only tolerate you because just as I start to realize I’ve ingested what can only be described as a step up from a mixture of the consistency of Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner and the smell of Fabuloso, I am knocked out cold.

So, thanks, guys for your ability to turn my ickypoomongitis around, but now that I’m on the mend, I simply wanted to be honest with you.

Oh, also, I may be on you right now, which is why this might be slightly incoherent.

Your loyal consumer,

Molly

13 Things in 2013 That I Know For Sure

Every year, as the new year rolls around, I make resolutions. Yet, every year, as the new year takes hold, I find myself not adhering to my resolve. I still bite my nails. I don’t exercise every day. My office is still not organized. Perhaps it’s because I don’t really care to stop these things. Or I give up too easily. Or any other number of reasons. Whatever the case, I never keep them. So, rather than bore you with a list of resolutions I won’t keep, I’d rather bore you with the 13 things in 2013 that I know for sure:

  1. FEYITA PANTING IN MAY 2009At 5 o’clock, Feyita will remind me it’s time for her to eat. Could be spring forward or fall back. I could be in the midst of a major project. She could be dead asleep. At 5 o’clock, my little possum pig dog wants food.
  2. nyquilCold medicine makes me wonky. There’s tingling in my extremities and a fog in my head – cold medicine may make the cold go away, but it makes me high. NyQuil, on the other hand, is the nectar of the gods.
  3. cheeseCheese makes most things taste better. And for everything else, there’s chocolate. This is self-explanatory.
  4. rated rWatching scary movies alone is torture. I spent a week on the couch over the Christmas break (when I take a break, I break). I watched every movie I could, then I moved into the scary movies. This is stupid. Don’t do it. There is clearly a killer living under my bed with a liquid virus that when injected into my ankle, which will happen when I dangle my feet, will make it impossible for me to escape the zombies because I will have full body paralysis. For these reasons, I leap from my bed to the floor and never EVER walk into a dark room.
  5. white tshirtI’m never gonna wear that shirt in my closet. Or that outfit. Or those pants. I may want to, but I won’t. Ever. I’m just gonna put on my favorite jeans and a white t-shirt. I should just be OK with that and get rid of that shirt (or that outfit or those pants) to make room for more plain white t-shirts.
  6. KMy keys are never where I think they are. Neither are my sunglasses or my phone. In fact, if I’m looking for something, it’s never gonna be where I think it is. And I will always need it when I’m running late.
  7. youtube-logoYouTube was designed to keep you from doing anything productive. And that’s why I love it. There’s always just one more video to watch. Like this one. Or this one. Or even this one. Full disclosure: this is why I’m usually late (please see #6).
  8. heart“Love” is a funny word that means far too many things – I love cheese. I love my dogs. I love Barbra Streisand. I love my best friend. I met the love of my life. – And it’s typically hardest to say when you mean it the most.
  9. EYEBROW_EYEKeeping one eye on the mission will make every project better. We tend to lose ourselves in the grind and forget the goal for which we are ultimately striving. Keep an eye on the mission; it gives you purpose.
  10. timeSometimes is a great time. For example: Sometimes you have to go to bed angry. Sometimes “never” is actually true. Sometimes even when you’re in love, you have to say you’re sorry.
  11. question markI don’t know all the things. I am trying more and more to be OK with this. In fact, this list – I’m not exactly “sure” of…you know? I mean, I’m sometimes sure of most of these things. Well, Feyita is pretty much a solid win every time (see #1).
  12. I shouldn’t make lists.

Happy New Year, suckas!