Sunday, March 6, 2011

I am a Man

Yes, I will beat my chest and jump up and down. I will revel in my manliness, I will scratch my privates and fart in public and not apologize for it. I will grab my remote control and not let go unless death or cable interruptions force me to put it down. I race cars at the stop light and revel in my ability to pick up something heavy.

Yes I am a man, not a boy, not a girl. I am a man and I enjoy manly things like meat, pizza and sex. I like to burp. I like to look at a beautiful body. I am a man. I am 43: I am a GROWN man. I don't aspire to be 20 or 32 or 38. I don't want to be pretty, or young. I don't regret my youth nor do I pine for it. I stay in shape because it's good for me, not because I'm competing with, or for, a 20 something. I enjoy being a man. I love my penis.

I have worked for continually for 25 years, I have earned a degree. I have raised a son. I have loved. I have been married. I have watched friends die. I have fought for my right to exist as a whole person. I am a man. I have been a coward. I have been scared. I have laid down and prayed for death. I have been amazed at my own survival. I have been surprised by my ability to thrive despite all the odds.

I am a gay man. I am not less or more than any of my brothers. I may like "womanly" things but I've paid a price for that, and come out happier because of it. We are not "boys". We are not pets. We are not part of a "collection". You might think it's cute or shallow that we take care of ourselves, worship beautiful things like art and fashion. We're still men. We still scratch our balls.

Our relationships don't always look the same as straight men, but that doesn't mean they're not as deep or as loving or as serious. They work for us because we're men. They may not last as long, because we're men. It doesn't mean that gay relationships are any less serious, or intense as straight ones.

So don't call us boys, girlie-men, or add diminutives to our names. It's not cute, it's patronizing. I've earned my manhood, just like any other 40 year old male. We Gays are men, just like your father, brothers and sons. You might not like it, but respect it. I am a man plain and simple.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

While the Cat's Away

My hubby has a new job the requires him to travel about six days a week. So I've begun to notice subtle changes in my behavior. I'm seeing new and old habits slowly emerge as I spend more and more time by myself without the companionship of my husband of 15 years.

Before I get into these disturbing changes I would like to point out that for the last few years we've both worked at home. So throughout the day him and my dog have been my constant companions. It's worked out very well for us. Although I picked him for his intellect and sweet demeanor, I think one of the reasons I stay with him because he's the least annoying person on the planet. He's quiet, hardworking and respectful, doesn't waste words and generally respects personal space and has good manners. He only farts in private. I think the last time I heard him break wind was 10 years ago. How could you not love a man like that?

At first when his travel began, I tried to pretend he was around, and kept up the habits I normally do as a couple. I do my morning walks, pick up after myself, make a fancy lunch and dinner and watch the programs the we would watch together on TV. Generally just thinking that although he's in Montevideo or Moscow, in my heart he's in the next room doing whatever he does for his Russian software company that sends him around the world.

Little by little that pretense has gone by the wayside. More and more I find myself doing things that I did before I was married. I've begun to eat over sink again. I know that sounds strange, but why take out a plate that has to be washed? A sandwich tastes just as good eaten over the sink. No dishes or napkins needed and I can wash my hands all at once. No muss on fuss.

I've also noticed my sleep patterns have changed. No more in bed at 11 to get up at 7. Now I find myself in bed at 1AM up at 8 and a nap after work before dinner. Could this be my true sleep pattern? Or do I really like watching infomertials, then reading a good book till my eyes close.

I'm finding I like to clean the house at 11PM, I guess in case I "die before I wake." I don't want anyone to see that the peanut butter is on the counter and that there are dirty clothes on the bathroom floor. I've also found that ants come out at night. (Which I had forgotten since somebody else normally cleans the kitchen.)

I think the most disturbing is my radical change in music. Lately I've gravitated back to classic rock instead the usual disco/pop/80's music I've spent the last 15 years listening to. Led Zeppelin, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Rolling Stones.....why did I let you guys go? Lady Gaga what was I thinking? I was listening to the Stones' "Devil" thinking damn, this is some good shit. Which is what used say after inhaling....a habit I haven't returned to, but if I did, who would be around to care?

This extensive traveling is hard on a relationship. For me, who's at home the question is: how do I move forward? Do I just put my life on hold until the hubby comes home? Do I go out and do things with friends but feel guilty for not being able to share that part of my life with him because he's gone. Do I hold off on important decisions till Friday night? Should I start eating off plates again?

So many questions.....