Sunday, December 12, 2010

the outside looking in

Last night was a Christmas party at one of my dear friend’s home.
In pure Brandon fashion, I dressed in one of blue and white striped button down shirts. Looking in the mirror I thought, “Not too bad, it doesn’t look like I’m trying too hard, but the jeans don’t have holes or anything.” I also congratulated myself in remembering to bring a bottle of wine (I always forget such things—when you’re raised with wine being wrong, it takes some effort to remember that you need to bring a bottle of sin with you.). After looking through facebook for my invitation, I finally texted my friend and asked for directions. I show up, feeling like I’m looking pretty good, bottle of wine in my hand. I step through the door, and quickly realize I am once again in my own little world, and it is causing me to stick out like a sore thumb—and you know how I feel about sticking out in a crowd of people, especially when I know some of them. Everyone is dressed to the nine’s (whatever that means). Very classy, fancy dresses on the women. The men in slacks, jackets, ties, sweaters, etc. The boxes by the front door quickly filling up with toy donations. Perfect, not only do I look cheap, poor, and like a project, I am also a Scrooge who doesn’t care about the kids. (Don’t worry, I brought toys later—you know, any opportunity to buy an Ariel doll—can’t pass that up!)
Jealousy and envy (along with wine) is a sin. However, when I read about such things in the Bible, it seems like they go along with wishing someone harm due to what they have, or wishing you had what they had instead of them. Therefore, I’m not really convinced that my ‘jealousy’ is a sin. I don’t feel that way at all. I’m so happy for what my friends have and the life they are living. I honestly wouldn’t take it away from them at all in order to have it myself. That would spoil it. Maybe jealousy isn’t the right word, or maybe I’m sinning and am deluding myself. (Several of you who struggle with my gayness feel that way about me all the time, so just add this to the list.)
These two friends are my ideal and that life they are living is my ideal. They are both gorgeous and stupid sexy. The type of gorgeous I could starve myself for years for and work out for six hours every day and never attain. A kind of physical beauty that you’re just born with, that is halting. Their home is perfection. Not to some, I’m sure (as some people only want new and modern), but my idea of perfection. From the time period in which it was built, to the décor, the color, the layout. Everything. Their life together conducive to longevity, to raising children should they choose, on and on.
Let me give this disclaimer. We all know that things on the outside can be very different than what they are on the inside. Sometimes, even when you’re on the inside, they are different than you realize—as I know all too well. Therefore, I am in no way saying they have this perfect life without conflict or struggle. Just because I’m not privy to it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. However, to me, that is part of a ‘perfect’ life. That doesn’t take away any of it. I don’t want or expect a perfect life. Well, that’s a lie. I want a perfect life, but I don’t expect it.
So, last night was mixed for me. By the end, and I was there about four hours, I was feeling good about being appropriately social, despite my lack of glitz. It was wonderful to be with friends and in a warm, gorgeous, Christmasy home filled with bustle, music, great lighting, and delicious food. However, it was also hard to see be in the midst of someone else’s life that seems to be where I thought my life was going (though on a less grand scale). And maybe this is where the sin comes in. While I don’t begrudge them a second of their happiness (indeed, it truly does make me happy), it really does hurt. I don’t cry every day anymore, which is nice. I did last night. Even so, I’m glad I was there. Even if it isn’t my life or in my cards, it’s nice to see that it does exist. That it’s out there. That others have found it. I may not be riding sidesaddle with a merman upon a unicorn, but I’ve seen it. It’s beautiful.


Scott said...


This could come across really trite, so bear with me. I joined a writing group this past year just to try and learn the art/skills of good storytelling and have been working on short stories…so writing even one novel during my lifetime seems as attainable as swimming the English Channel. Being that I’m at more of an elementary place, some of your post doesn’t make sense to me. Are you writing to get published? to get validated? to get rich off of it? What is the “destination” you mention? What is your motivation? (These aren’t rhetorical questions…I’d really am curious.)

It almost goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that you know you’ll be a better writer if you are writing for the pleasure of writing rather than for someone else, some supposed deadline, or to satiate some inner “should.”



BTW, re: “The Outside Looking In”, once again, “Comparison is the robber of joy”…I’m no more immune to it than you, but I can tell myself excuses for my own. :-)

Brandon said...

No, they are fair questions. Yes, I am writing for the love of it. However, I am also writing with the intention of being published. If I could make lots of money, enough to have that be my only job, great. If not, I'd like it to be enough to simply allow me to teach and write with no other work (ie massage, etc). With that, of course, come validation of my writing. Does that make sense?

Scott said...

yeah, sounds like you're on target...your motivations are good...maybe just keep reminding yourself of them and keep them clear....thanks for the response.

Does having people comment on your blog validate your writing? :-)

Brandon said...

LOL, I suppose it does in a strange way. Although, this blog is really just a place to vent, try to help my sanity. I love when people read it and comment and share their thoughts and/or own experiences--that is validating. It is very different with my writing however, as not only does it have my soul attached, like this, but also my creativity, my effort to create art, something not meant just for me but that will hopefully help/entertain/cause introspection in others. That validation process is different. While I love people reading the blog and finding value in it, ultimately, it is a very selfish and self-indulgent thing. If people disagree with what I say, think I'm a moron, etc--fuck 'em. :) This is about me. The novels are a very different thing. Hmm, apparently I needed to rant. Sorry about that! :)