My father had a bit of a NIMBY reaction to my coming out.
You know, I’m not sure if that’s the best way to begin a blog post. Half of the vloggers I follow have a video that’s all about their coming out story, and I’ve never done that. Oh, I’ve told it in some fashion or another here and there, but I leave a lot out, and I’ve never had a post that’s all about it. Let’s keep it that way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: too many people conflate coming out with finding love. They are very different things.
I saw a rather boring movie called Shelter not too long ago. It meant well, but that’s the thing about all those coming out movies: they basically just want to help young gay boys accept who they are and help everyone around them accept them for who they are. That’s not enough for a movie. Some lonely SoCal teenager falls in love with a handsome older surfer, everyone finds out about their relationship, and that’s that. Our young hero never even has to tell anyone. Frankly, that’s dishonest. Coming out is never that passive. By presenting such a sanitized version of what is normally rough and messy, the filmmakers are maybe not doing the public service they think they are. Yes, it would be nice if that were all there were to coming out, but it’s never that easy. Nothing is. Oh, and our hero gets a full scholarship to a school of the arts because he’s such a talented artist. Boy, I would have liked to get a scholarship.
My boss says I need to be less robotic on the job. I think what he doesn’t realize is that I’m kind of robotic by nature. (Ironic, since the whole premise of this blog is not that I am a robot, but that I will someday build a robot army that will allow me to…oh, never mind.) Even though I smile at customers and shit, I guess there’s still something forced about it. Well, what am I supposed to do about that? Customers complain about me to him (perhaps “complain” is too strong a word, but from the sounds of things, the feedback is not entirely positive), and honestly, I’m not sure how to respond to some of their complaints. So what if I sometimes repeat their order back to them twice to make absolutely sure I’ve got it? Is that really that annoying? I can see why some might wonder why once wasn’t enough, but if that actually makes you angry, maybe you’re expecting too much. I’m doing it more for my benefit than theirs, anyway, as I am constantly forgetting shit that is supposed to be second nature. (Paradoxically, I forget it more the harder I try to remember. So maybe I should repeat orders back only once.)
What’s annoying is that I’m getting criticized not for stuff I do, but stuff I fail to do. Sometimes, I forget that we’re having a special today or I don’t know what a particular tea tastes like. Well, excuse me. I am trying to learn, but that shit takes time, and I’d have to do it in my free time anyway. I’m usually tired, but I’m almost always tired when I’m not working. This job takes a lot out of me.
I was never a master tactician. I’m not some Sherlock-style mastermind who can solve any puzzle or win any argument. As I’ve said before, I’m much more Wilson than House. (Oddly, people have compared me to House before. Probably because I’m a smartass.) My gift isn’t strategy; it’s the ability to see my way through the heart of the matter. I just keep picking away until I find out what really makes people tick. It can take a long time to get there, but I usually do, and once I do, I move on to the next thing. I’m practical. Some would say I’m an idealist, but I like to think you can be both at once.
Social settings almost always wear me out. Even when I’m hanging out a good friend, I frequently have to be alone in my room for several hours upon getting home. It’s hard for me not to be worn out by being forced to stand still and listen to someone for minutes on end. But I have to be part of the family. Maybe the reasons customers are so hard to please is because we’re all friends at the coffee shop. So I have to get along. And while I don’t try to be, I guess I still come off as a bit of a mystery.
I had a friend in college who fell in love hard in the fall semester of freshman year, then had a rough breakup in the spring. It happens. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure if I would have been better off if I had found someone way back then. Too many things were going on in my head in those days for me to fit somebody else in, as much as I wanted to. Some people meet somebody they like, and that gives them the courage to start telling their friends and family about themselves. But I don’t think I have the patience to date a closet case. I’ve been there, and I don’t feel like revisiting it.
Mainly, I’m just tired of the notion that as soon as you meet someone, your troubles are all over. I would really like to get a proper boyfriend before I’m 30, but even if that happens, I would probably spend most of my time resenting him, just as I resent basically everyone pretty much all of the time. Real change takes time. People who think that their significant other completes them are, frankly, setting themselves up for disappointment. I might have made the same mistake.