Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This is killing me. I'm just the clueless gay husband who has no idea what to do other than reassure her. I feel like such a heel. What have I done? I never meant to hurt her. I feel like I need to apologize; but, I don't know what I would be apologizing for. Do I need to apologize for being gay? That's like apologizing for having blond hair. Do I need to apologize for not telling her sooner? It has only been a few short months since I even admitted it to myself. Should I try to act as if nothing is wrong and just go on as if nothing had happened? Or should I be a more doting husband? How much more can/should I dote? I've been cooking dinner every night since she returned, I've been putting my dirty socks in the laundry hamper each night, I've been home with her each night. I just don't know what else I can do other than holding her, and telling her that I love her.
The fact of the matter is, this is hard on me too. I'm trying to reassure her, but who can I turn to for reassurance? I'm starting to feel so very much alone. Telling her was supposed to rid me of these feelings of loneliness, not spur them on.
There was a Relief Society activity last night. She was hesitating about going; so, I strongly encouraged her to go. I felt she needed to get out of the house to mingle with other sisters and think about something else for a while; but, was that the right thing to do?
Something one of the sisters said at the meeting caused her to have a sort of epiphany. When she came home, she told me that driving home she realized that I haven't changed. I'm the same person I've always been. If anyone needs changing it's her - she needs to change her thoughts and attitude. Is this a good thing? Or is this an indication that she is blaming herself?
After we retired to bed, we stayed awake for a while and talked some more. As we were talking she cried some more. I seem to be getting really good at making her cry. I shared with her some of the things I've had to put up with in my life, such as living with daily taunts of 'queer' and 'faggot' in junior high school. Mostly, I just held her and stroked her.
I admitted to her that I'm reading blogs by other gay Mormon's and that I have my own blog. I also admitted that I've joined a few discussion groups (q-saints, gayldsmormons, etc.) and that there are a handful of people that I email with back and forth. I've tried to convince her that these are good people, many of whom have going through what we are going through, and that I gain strength from them. But, she said that this worries her. How can I reassure her that these are good things?
This morning I asked her how she was doing and she replied she was doing better. Tonight is Mutual; so, that will give us both something to do other than staying home with her crying and me feeling guilty about it.
So, this is where we are, stay tuned.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I was in our room last evening lying on the bed. I've been contemplating talking to her ever since she returned from visiting our daughter; so, I trying to determine if I had the courage to go out and talk to her, or if I was going to chicken out again as I usually do.
Then she came into our room crying. She said things have been different ever since she returned. I didn't think I was acting any different - shows you how clueless I am sometimes (OK, maybe all the time). Through her sobs, she told me that she loved me, and that whatever was going on with me that we could work it out together. And, then she hit me with a ton of bricks - she said that she was worried that I was going to leave her. I had no idea I had been acting so aloof as to cause her to even think that. I am such an idiot sometimes (OK, maybe most of the time).
To make a long story short, I told her that I had some things I needed to tell her. She then responded that she had a good idea what it was. It still took me a while to get the words out; but, eventually, I told her that I have same sex attraction. She told me she was worried about me looking at pornography because I've been spending so much time on the computer lately. I confessed that I have looked at pornography in the past, but then assured her that it is not a problem in my life right now. I then explained that I had reached out and found other people like me on the internet, Mormon's who have same sex attraction, and that I was spending a lot of time reading blogs and emailing with people I've met. She then surprised me by asking if I had a blog. I'm not going to lie to her; so, I told her I did. I then told her that I wasn't ready to let her read my blog, but that there wasn't anything in my blog that I wouldn't want her to see.
I had some printed copies of my poems; so, I asked her to read a couple of them. Specifically, Alone and The Way I Am. I told her that sometimes I feel alone; but, that The Way I Am reflects how I am feeling today.
She told me that she doesn't understand it. I assured her that I don't really understand it either; so, I didn't expect her to understand it.
We talked about counseling. I told her I had been considering it. I then explained that I first need to decide if I was going to see an LDS counselor or a non-LDS counselor who has experience dealing in gay/lesbian issues. I explained my concerns about LDS counselors and their use of reparative (or conversion) therapy and my issues with that. But, I was also concerned that a non-LDS counselor might tell me to give in to my gay feelings. Afterwards, she said she understood my concerns and would support me in whatever decision I make. She then asked if I would have a problem if she went to see an LDS counselor and I told her that I thought she should.
I told her that I didn't want the Bishop to know. She agreed and said that there was no reason for him to know. That this was between her, me, and God.
She told me that she didn't want me to tell our children and I agreed.
We talked for a while and then we went to bed. I was laying facing the wall. I could hear her tossing and turning; and, I didn't think I could lie facing her because I felt so ashamed. I wasn't ashamed of being gay, I accept that now. But, I'm ashamed of the hurt I have caused her.
This morning, after our scripture study, I gave her a hug and asked her if she was digging out of the ton of bricks I had dumped on her last night. She responded "not yet, but I'm OK".
I don't know where this is going to take us. I'm glad she knows - I didn't like keeping this secret from her. I just hope that it is something that we can talk about openly between us and that it doesn't become the elephant in the room that we both pretend to ignore.
Monday, January 29, 2007
To make matters worse, it was my day to conduct Sacrament meeting. So, I took off my suit jacket and left it on the bench next to my wife and then went and took my place up on the stand next to the Bishop. There we were, the Bishop and other counselor, as well as a visiting high counselor, sitting there with their dark suits, and me with a bright white shirt yelling out "I'm a doofus."
When I got up to start the meeting. I apologized for not wearing a suit jacket and explained what happened (which elicited some chuckles). I then added that I didn't know who should be more embarrassed. Me for not knowing how to dress myself, or the rest of the Bishopric and the Ward Correlation Committee for not noticing or telling me.
One of these days, I'm going to make it through church without screwing up somehow. But, I figure that the day that happens is the day I get released. I've forgotten prayers, to do the sacrament, to release or sustain people, etc. Now I don't know how to dress myself in the morning (I told the Bishop 6:30am meetings were a bad idea - I'm not a morning person). Sometimes, I think the reason they put me up there is so everyone else can look at me and think "gee, I'm not doing so bad" :-)
And, I thought gay guys were supposed to have this innate fashion sense. Man, I can't even do that right. :-(
On another topic, the DVD "States of Grace" came today (a day early). Not sure when I'm going to be able to watch it. I want to check with my daughter first to see if she wants to watch it with me.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
But, in reality, I live in a closet with my deep secret that I've never ever shared with anyone, even those close to me. A secret that I've only come to accept myself a few months ago. I like my closet. It's warm and cozy. But, most of all, it is familiar; it's the only thing I've known my whole life. The world outside of the closet is unfamiliar, so that makes it scary.
But, it is lonely in my closet. Part of me wants to come out of my closet and part of me wants to stay in. The 'stay in' part is winning, as it always has. The 'come out' part of me is too weak. The thing about coming out of the closet is that once you come out - you can't retreat back in. You can't un-ring the bell.
I almost told my wife last night. It was the perfect setting. My daughter was out on a date so we had the home to ourselves. Nothing pressing was going on. To get started, all I have to say is that I have something I need to tell her. After that, I'm committed and can't back out. But, I couldn't do it. I went into my home office and tried to summon up the courage. Instead, I walked out and sat down on the couch next to her, and we watched a couple of shows that had recorded while she was gone.
Why am I such a coward? Why is this so hard?
I still don't really know why I want to tell her. And, is it going to be any less lonely outside of the closet? Am I really coming out of the closet? Or am I dragging my wife into the closet? Is that fair to her? I think my head is going to explode!
This morning, I went to the 6:30am priesthood session at the Temple. As I was leaving the Temple, I paused to add my name to the prayer roll of the Temple. Is it OK to do that? Add your own name to the prayer roll? If I'm at the Temple, doesn't that mean I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing; therefore, I don't need to be on the prayer roll?
Well, I need to get going soon. The young men in our ward are playing basketball at the Stake Center, and I'm going to go take pictures. Time to put on my mask and go out into the world as your everyday heterosexual guy.
My oldest son and his fiancee (and her twin babies) are coming over this afternoon and staying for dinner; so, I doubt the opportunity to talk to my wife will come today. Maybe tomorrow. We have morning church this year and I don't have any other meetings; so, I should have the whole afternoon. But, probably not - I'll most likely just chicken out again.
On a different note, got an email from Netflix. It seems the DVD "States of Grace: God's Army II" is not available in their Dallas distribution center; so, it is being mailed to me from New York. It is not expected to arrive until Tuesday. My entry into the MoHo Book Club is starting up with a fizzle.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
There was a time many years ago when I was first married that when I heard of someone referring to himself as a "Gay Mormon", I wrote him off as insane, and whacked out, and considered the combination of those two words as incompatible and non-existent!Yup, that was me a year ago. Being gay and Mormon were completely incompatible. They were like oil and water, they simply could not be combined in a single person. A person had to decide one way or the other. Were they gay? Or were they Mormon? And then live their life accordingly.
I was also mildly homophobic. I say 'mildly' because I never went out of my way to bash homosexuals; but, I sometimes nodded in approval when others around me were doing it. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I was going around lamenting the destruction of fabric of our society because of homosexuals; but, I did express disapproval when my company announced health benefits for gay couples. And, I approved of the supreme court decision to allow the BSA to ban openly gay people from the Boy Scouts. As a side note, I'm not sure what I think of these now. Coming out to myself is forcing me to reevaluate some things that I thought I believed.
Yet, now I am calling myself a gay Mormon even while I remain active in the church, attend the Temple, etc. How is that possible? What has changed? Have I wandered off the straight and narrow path? Have I let go of the iron rod so that it is only a matter of time before I join other gay guys in the great and spacious building mocking others who try to remain active in the church?
I don't think so. Calling myself a Gay Mormon is simply my way of expressing acceptance that this is who I am. I accept that I am gay; I am starting to overcome being ashamed of being gay. But, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm glad I'm gay. Truth is, there are times when I wish I wasn't gay; but, is that any different than a tall person sometimes wishing they were a bit shorter?
So, what exactly is a Gay Mormon? To my simplistic mind, a Gay Mormon refers to a person who believes in LDS theology but also accepts the fact that they are gay - even though there are certain aspects of homosexuality which are in conflict with certain LDS teachings. I once wrote a verse about this Paradox.
I believe in the LDS church; but, I also believe it is OK for some of us to be gay. I liken this apparent contradiction to that of the garden of eden. I believe in the garden of eden as told in the scriptures; but, I also believe in scientific discoveries of dinosaurs and ancient humans. I can't explain this apparent contradiction. But, I'm only a mere mortal human being. Just because I can't explain it doesn't negate that, somehow, this all makes sense in the eyes of God.
So, today I am a happy gay Mormon. I'm especially happy because my wife comes home tonight. I never did finish putting away the Christmas decorations; but, I did clean up the kitchen and I washed the sheets on our bed. I can't wait to see her reaction to our reorganized spice cupboard. Overall it's been a long two weeks while she has been visiting our daughter and new granddaughter. She is ready to come home and I am ready for her to come home. I don't think I would do so good living on my own permanently. Truth is, I've never lived on my own. I've always had parents, college roommates, missionary companion, or a wife (and kids) living with me.
On another note, according to the Netflix queue, "States of Grace - God's Army II" is shipping tomorrow. So, hopefully, it will arrive on Saturday and I can watch it this weekend. When I told my wife I had added this movie to the queue, she responded sarcastically "Oh goody, God's Army I was so good" (I think she liked it even less than I did). Anyway, as I blogged earlier, I will approach this latest movie with an open mind and then write about it in my blog.
Now, I'm trying to decide if I tell my wife that the reason I need to watch it is because that is what my virtual book club picked for this month. I'm certainly not going to tell her it's the 'moho book club' as that would lead to other questions that I'm not prepared to discuss just now. I can just envision the conversation
me: I joined the "moho book club" and we're reviewing "States of Grace - God's Army II" this month
her: What does 'moho' stand for?
me: Mormon Homo's
her: Why did you join a Mormon Homo book club?
me: uhhhhhhhh, how was your plane trip? Was it a smooth ride? Read any good magazines on the plane? Were you able to sleep on the plane? Was the plane crowded? What do you want for dinner tomorrow night? Did I tell you what happened at church last Sunday? ...
Some things would be so much easier if I just came out of the closet. But, it's so warm and cozy here in the closet. And the world on the other side of the closet door is scary.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
So, let me give you my list thus far.
You might be a gay guy if ...
- You were always the last one left when picking teams.
- You get confused: Is football the game that uses the big orange ball? Or the one that uses the funny shaped ball? Is there a stick involved?
- Having a root canal sounds more enjoyable than watching sports on TV.
- You removed sports channels, like ESPN, from your cable directory.
- You get excited about going to a new grocery store.
- If the new grocery store happens to have a 'salt bar', you pick out several to try out. Then you go to another store to buy some little cute bottles to store the salts in. Guilty.
- You went ga-ga over movies like "The Sound of Music" when you were a kid.
- While the other boys were outdoors playing ball, you were indoors playing Barbie with a girl. Yup, that was me when I was about 8 years old. I had a girlfriend and we would occasionally get together to play Barbie. I was always Ken.
- Your first crush as a teenager was for another guy. I once wrote a verse about my first crush which I called Unrequited Love.
- If a cute couple walks into a room and you are later asked to describe them, you could probably describe the guy but not the girl.
- You've never felt so angry that you wanted to hit something, or break something. Instead, you choose other ways to express your anger such as verbal remarks or the 'silent treatment'.
- You've had an imaginary boyfriend. Beck talked about this on his blog; and, I'll have to confess that there have been times when I've had an imaginary boyfriend - yes, even after I married.
- Your music collection includes "Boy George", "Elton John", and "Enya"
- You get moody sometimes.
- You crave chocolate. And, you use phrases like "to die for" when describing a particularly delicious chocolate dessert.
- You have this weird fascination with guys in traditional female roles.
- One of your guilty pleasures is watching the Logo station on TV.
I meant for this to be fun; but, I went back and re-read my list and it isn't that funny. I guess I better not quit my day job.
BTW, here are my salt bottles. A Central Market opened up in our area a few weeks ago. I bought: Cyprus Flake Sea Salt, Murray River Austrailian Pink Flake Salt, Bali Smoked Lime Sea Salt, & Chihuahua de Mexico Wood-Smoked salt.
Aren't they cute?
Monday, January 22, 2007
Anyway, this got me to thinking about my favorite movies...
When I was much younger, my favorite movie was The Sound of Music. I think I must have gone to see that movie at least 6 times or more. This was at a time when it was unusual to go see a movie more than once. My parents also took me to see the stage version of the musical. Now that I think about it - it does seem kind of gay for a 9 year old boy to go ga-ga over a movie like The Sound of Music. I remember singing some of the songs from the movie in the Elementary School choir.
However, my very most favoritest movie of all time is "Little Shop of Horrors". The new one, not the original one. The new Little Shop of Horrors is a film adaptation of a Broadway musical which was based on the original movie. I don't just like this movie. I reeeaaally like this movie. I can't explain why; perhaps because it is quirky, like me. I have this movie on VHS and DVD. I have the soundtrack (on an LP record). I even have a book of sheet music which includes most of the songs from the movie. Anytime a local theater group, high school drama club, etc. puts on the play "Little Shop of Horrors" - I'm there.
One time, with the assistance of my oldest daughter, we painstakingly entered the music to the song "Skid Row" into Cakewalk and created the accompaniment as a MIDI file. It was a long process since I had to recreate some of the tracks on my own by listening to the song over and over because the sheet music didn't include everything (like the percussion parts). I then created a recording on a cassette tape which my family and I used to perform "Skid Row" at a ward talent night. I sang the part of Seymore, my wife sang the part of Audrey, my daughters sang as the “doo-wop” chorus girls , and my boys played the part of bums. I will never forget the looks on everyones faces as we were performing this song - it was priceless. Kind of a "I can't believe what I"m seeing" and "I kind of like it but I can't let anyone else know I like it" sort of look. You know, the kind where everyone keeps glancing at the Bishop to see his reaction. Afterwards the applause was tentative; but, at the end of the talent night when we were all just socializing, we had a lot of people come up to us privately to tell us how much they enjoyed it (and that I sound exactly like Seymour Krelborn; although, I don't know if that is a compliment or what).
Beyond Little Shop of Horrors, I like all of the Star Trek movies. I'm a trekkie from way back. I remember watching the original Star Trek TV series when it was first run back in 1966 (I was 10 years old at the time). I have a captains uniform (Star Trek Next Generation style) hanging in my closet which I wear to Star Trek conventions (although, I haven't been to one in a while). Many people didn't like the first movie. "Star Trek the Movie". It didn't have enough action in it for younger audiences nor was there an evil villain. But, my wife and I both loved it! I also love all of the TV series that have been on over the years. I was very sad after the last episode of "Enterprise" aired.
After Star Trek movies, I would have to say that "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Amedaeus" would be tied as my favorites.
Beyond that, I have a lot of movies I like; but, I wouldn't necessarily call them my favorites. I like some (but not all) of the Star Wars movies. The Harry Potter movies (although, I haven't read the books), The Lord of the Rings movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I like other quirky movies, such as: "Tremors", "GalaxyQuest", "Battle Beyond the Stars", "Labyrinth", "The Dark Crystal", "Princess Bride", "Three Amigos", and "Kung Pow: Enter the fist".
Something that the astute reader may notice is the lack of any serious movies - the kind that make you think. There have been movies of that genre that I've enjoyed; I just can't think of any at the moment (I guess they just didn't make that big of an impression on me).
So, what does this say about me? I'm not your stereotypical Mormon guy. I sing songs like "Skid Row" at LDS functions, I like quirky movies, I drink cola products. I play games with face cards (gasp!), and I didn't attend BYU (nor do I follow BYU sports). I guess being a gay Mormon fits right in with my non conformist personality.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I've been thinking about this all day. The simple answer to that question is: Yes. All things considered, I am satisfied with my life. I have a good job that has enabled me to support my family without my wife having to work outside of the home. We have a nice home in a nice neighborhood. We have four wonderful children and are now grandparents. While I do have a few regrets and things that I wish I had done differently, there is little in my life I would change if I could.
I suppose my overall satisfaction with my life doesn't always come across in my blog. That's because this isn't a blog about my life in general. This blog is an outlet for me to explore my feelings about being married, Mormon, and gay. The order I list these in is deliberate. Being gay is not what defines me; it is just one aspect of who I am. First and foremost I am a husband and father. But there is a part of me that is not compatible with other aspects of my life: I'm attracted to men. So, while I am generally satisfied with my life overall, I have this inner conflict which I must deal with. And, sometimes this inner conflict boils to the surface where I'm no longer happy, but, instead, I may feel sad, frustrated, angry, etc. It is my writings about these feelings which tend to dominate my blog space.
Saying that I'm satisfied with my life overall may seem odd coming from a person who takes antidepressants. I do suffer from clinical depression. While I believe being gay is a major factor in my depression, I don't believe it is the only factor. I have straight siblings who also suffer from depression. The Psychiatrist that prescribed my medication determined that I am 'biologically predisposed' to depression (whatever that means).
So, a corollary question might be: Am I always happy? To anyone reading this blog, the obvious answer to that question would be: No. These are the times I tend write about in my blog. The truth of the matter is, when I'm feeling happy and satisfied with my life, I don't really think much about my blog.
Being gay is not the only challenge in my life. I'm also subject to all of the normal challenges that everyone else has to deal with. While we live fairly comfortably, there are times when finances are a challenge, particularly in this phase of my life where we have college, mission, etc. to pay for. I love my children and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world; but, there are times when I am frustrated with some of the decisions they make. My wife and I do have the occasional arguments and disagreements; although, they are actually quite rare. We get along well and are very compatible with our likes and interests. Not only is she my wife and the mother of my children - she is also my best friend.
But, being gay and married is a challenge that most people do not have to deal with. I recognize that other people have their own unique challenges, some of which may be more difficult to deal with than mine. However, one thing different about being gay is the general lack of understanding and support. It's only been in the last 20 years or so that homosexuality was viewed as something other than a disease or deviant behavior. It was just a couple of years ago that Texas repealed its anti Sodomy laws. Being labeled 'gay' as an adolescent is brutal, regardless whether it is true or not. Homophobia is rampant within our society, particularly if you live in a conservative area as I do. And, most unfortunately, homophobia can also be a problem within the LDS church. For this reason, I choose to remain silent and suffer alone.
I look forward to the day when I can stand up in Fast and Testimony meeting and talk openly about the challenges I face being married and gay and the strength I gain from it. But, alas, today is not that day.
Friday, January 19, 2007
It's not that I dislike girls. My mother is a girl; my wife is a girl; my daughters and granddaughter are girls. It's just that I don't look at girls the same way I look at boys. I look at boys the same way straight guys look at girls. If a cute couple walks into a room, I look at the guy first. If you later asked me to describe the couple, I would be hard pressed to describe the girl; but, I could probably describe the guy. Lord help me if I ever get mugged by a girl. I can just see myself trying to describe her to the police - 'well, I think she had hair, two eyes, a mouth and nose ..."
I used to be ashamed about this and thought that every time I caught myself looking at another man required repentance. But, now I'm wondering if there is shame in this part of me. There is a difference between liking and lusting. I like looking at cute guys; but, I don't lust after every cute guy that I see. Lusting is wrong regardless if you are straight or gay. Is it wrong for a straight guy to look at a girl and think to himself "she's cute"? Is it wrong for me to look at a guy and think to myself "he's cute"?
I like being around other boys. Unfortunately, I just don't particularly like doing the same things that other boys like to do. Therein lies a conflict. I want to be around other boys; but, I don't want to do it by playing basketball or getting together to watch BYU football. I want to do the things I like to do. For example, get a group of guys together to cook a gourmet meal, or participate in a mens singing group. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening any time soon, if ever.
Actually, I have tried participating in singing groups. Not a men's only one; but, a large community choir with a correspondingly large men's section. I'm not the greatest tenor in the world; but, I do have a pretty good ear for music. I sightread well and I can sing on key. However, whenever you get a large group of tenors together. Invariably there will be a couple of male diva's who think they are the next Pavarotti. You know the kind: Annoying, critical, condescending, and loud. Regardless of how the music is notated, they seem to only have two volumes: Loud and Loudest. This phenomena only seems to occur in the Soprano and Tenor sections of a choir. Alto's and basses all just get along. I wonder why this is?
Being interested in model trains, I've tried joining a local model train club. Unfortunately, there aren't any close to where I live; and, driving 30 miles one way to a club meeting each week gets old really fast - not to mention the cost of gas these days. Plus, whenever you get a group of train enthusiasts together. Invariably there will be some who demand absolute attention to detail (we call them rivet counters). These guys can be very critical of the work done by others. Some of us just like to play with trains and don't really care if the pilot it positioned 1/16" too high.
I also tried joining a local photography club. I went to one meeting; but, the group seems to have fizzled out since there haven't been any meetings since then.
So, I like being around other boys; but, I seem to find fault in every group of boys I'm with. Does this make me a bitch?
My only consolation is that I get to work with the young men in my ward. I meet with the Aaronic priesthood quorums on Sunday and at their weekly activities on Wednesday evenings. I enjoy working with the youth and have done so most of my adult life. But, sometimes a boy wants to play with other boys closer to his own age.
So, there we have it: A closeted gay guy who works with teenage boys; but, he wants to be around other guys closer to his own age. Unfortunately, whenever he is around other grown boys, he turns into a closeted gay bitch and starts finding fault with everything. Can I be any more pathetic?
Plus, there is a guy at work I've been trying to meet with all week to get some information I need to complete an assignment. He keeps putting me off and I've been getting real frustrated with him. Today, I found out that the reason he has been unavailable is because he had to go in for chemotherapy treatments. Now I feel like a real jerk!
I guess I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I'm home all alone. I did have my youngest daughter at home with me; but, she is spending the weekend with friends. I have a whole Saturday where I can do anything I want to do. So, what am I going to do? I'm going to sit around the house waiting for the guy to come fix our dishwasher (he was supposed to come last Thursday; but, that's another story). I was thinking I could go down to the lake afterwards to take some pictures; but, it is supposed to rain all day. Sometimes my life really sucks! I need some chocolate!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Have these guys no shame? Here I am pouring out my heart on the challenges being Married, Mormon and Gay; and, he invites me to make friends with sexy girls. And, what is this guy thinking inviting a gay guy to make friends with sexy girls? Now, if it was sexy boys that would be a different matter (just kidding). I don't need sexy guys or gals. I just want someone to be my friend. My wife is my best friend; but, a man needs guy friends too. Someone I can get together with to go shopping (at Home Depot), do our nails (the kind you use with hammers), and that sort of guy stuff.
As I blogged in an earlier post, one of my goals while my wife is away visiting our daughter (and new granddaughter) is to reorganize the cupboard where we keep our spices (I use the term spices generically to refer to both herbs and spices). This is turning out to be more difficult than I anticipated; and, is kind of a metaphor of my life.
I went to World Market and bought this expandable stair step thing so that spices in the back of the cupboard sit higher than the ones in the front enabling you can see everything without having to move stuff out of the way. It was a brilliant plan - one that will surprise and delight my wife when she returns next week. But, then problems set in and my plan didn't seem as brilliant as I initially thought it was.
- When I first embarked on this adventure, I decided that I would organize the spices in alphabetical order. But, I quickly ran into a problem with that seemingly logical idea. It turns out that spices in the back are difficult to remove without knocking over the spices in the front.
- The alphabetizing idea ran into further complications when I realized that spice containers come in all sizes and shapes. Where is the International Standards Organization (ISO) when you need them?
- The name of the spice on the label is positioned too low. Although I can see each container with my nifty new step thingee, I can't see what is in each container.
To address these initial problems, I printed labels so that I could affix them higher up on the container so that they could be seen. I also changed my plan to put short containers in front of bigger containers and less frequently used spices in the back and more commonly used spices in the front.
But, even this ran into problems. Some of the containers have metal lids with crinkled edges making it difficult to attach a label. Also, the shape of the jar makes it difficult to attach a label near the top just under the lid. So, I adapted my plan to put all of the labeled spaces on one side and unlabeled spices on the other (while still putting more frequently used spices in the front, etc.).
Here is a picture of my first attempt at organizing my spice cupboard.
Not too bad, until you notice the mess I still have beneath the spice cupboard.
You see, we have lots of spices. I think we must have just about every herb and spice known to mankind. Don't believe me? Well, how many people do you know that have Fenugreek Seed and Juniper Berries in their spice cupboards? We must have, at least, six different Curry spices (and, you know, they are all different). This is where the metaphor of my life begins to emerge. I just have too much stuff in my life right now.
As you can also see, some of the containers of spices are several years old. We probably have a dozen or more spices in metal tins. How many years has it been since spices were sold in metal tins? Now, some might say we should throw these out since, obviously, we haven't used them a lot. But, I can't do that. Sure, they have lost some of their potency; but, they are still good. And, you know that as soon as I throw out the Fenugreek Seed, I'm going to find a recipe that requires Fenugreek Seed. Like my life, I carry a lot of old baggage that I can't part with.
Over the years, there hasn't been much rhyme or reason as to which cabinet a spice goes into. It was decided mostly by which cabinet it could fit into. So, now I have a plan to put all pure spices in the main spice cupboard and all mixes and blends into the auxiliary spice cupboard. But, this then begs the question about what to do with things like Curry Powder, Pickling Spice, Poultry Seasoning, etc.. Should these go in the cabinet with the pure spices? Or should they go into the cabinet along with Lowrey's Seasoned Salt?
Or am I just making things a lot more complicated than they need to be? I think the same can be said of my life. Do I make my life more complicated than it needs to be?
I have to get this cleaned up today because the guy is coming out to fix our dishwasher tomorrow (which has been broken since before New Years; but, that is another story). But, should I really care about what the dishwasher fix-it guy thinks about the mess I've made? Like my life, am I creating unnecessary stress?
And, am I really gay? Surely a gay guy should have been able to get this all figured out by now? Not only would all of the spices be organized, but they would be in cute little bottles with designer labels. I'm a pathetic excuse for a gay guy. I wonder what a straight guy would do in this situation? He would probably respond with something along the line of "we have spices?" I guess I'm just a gay man stuck in a straight man's body.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
My son-in-law emailed some pictures which my wife printed before she left for California. I took these to church and showed them to everyone who was interested (and even some who weren't that interested).
I made it to day 12 of my diet. I'm now on wave 2 where I have a larger variety of foods to choose from (such as fruit) plus I get an additional snack. I also started (I can hardly say the word) exercising. There is a health club not too far from me that caters to people over 50. They had a New Year's special: 50 days for $50. I'm starting out going 3 times per week for a 30 minute workout; but, I'm still waiting for that extra energy everyone talks about when you start exercising.
The next thing on my list is to schedule a visit with my doctor for a (queue dramatic music) physical examination. I haven't had a full physical in - well, I don't think I can remember the last time I had a full physical examination. I don't think I lived in Texas at the time; and, I've lived here since 1984.
Earlier this week we encountered a new dilemma with this diet. My wife signed up to feed the Missionaries this week on Wednesday. Now that we're on this diet, the question comes up - what to feed the missionaries that we can eat too. Plus, there were 4 missionaries coming over for dinner (2 English speaking and 2 Spanish speaking); so, we needed to prepare quite a bit more food than we've been accustomed to recently. But, my wife came to the rescue. She dug up an old recipe she had found when we tried this diet a year ago - Beef, mushroom, and artichoke stew. During my lunch break, I prepared everything and put it all in the crock pot. Bad idea - I had to smell it cooking all afternoon. Note to self: Don't cook things in the crockpot anymore. Smelling it makes me want to eat it. It's not that I'm hungry (well, maybe I am a little), it's just that I still haven't quite gotten over the See-Food diet I was on before (when I see food, I eat it).
So, now I'm home all alone. I've been alone before as my job requires occasional travel; but, not in my own home. It's kind of weird. The last time my wife left without me was 20 years ago (she went to visit her parents with the kids while I stayed home and worked). While she was gone, I painted the living room and dining room; went and bought some cowboy boots, and I bought a dog. Now I'm trying to think of something to surprise her with this time. Saturday I went out and bought some racks to reorganize the cupboard where we keep our spices (we have lots of spice bottles). I haven't done it yet because I decided that it would probably be a good idea to change the shelf paper too (how gay is that?).
I'm also thinking of painting our bedroom. I went by Lowes on Saturday to pick up some paint chips. I want something daring and bold! Before she left, I jokingly told her I was going to paint the bedroom red while she was gone. She responded that she didn't care what color I painted it; if I go to all of the trouble to paint the bedroom then she would come home and make a quilt to match. I'm sure she was joking too; but, I may just take her up on her offer. Not a bright apple red, more of a brick color with, perhaps, one wall a different accent color. Although, if I go with a blue motif, I saw a ceiling fan in Lowes that would look fabulous. Maybe I should start watching Christopher Lowell for ideas.
Friday, January 12, 2007
My wife is flying out to California on Saturday to stay with her for a couple of weeks. Our plan is for both of us to go in March for the baby blessing.
I guess this is it, now I'm officially old. I've never been an old person before. I'll have to talk to my High Priest group leader to see if they have lessons for how to be an old person. Being the youngest of 6 children, I'm the last one of my siblings to reach this milestone. In fact, my oldest sister is already a great-grandmother (there is a big age difference between me and my oldest siblings).
Today is my wedding anniversary. 27 years, 4 children, and now 1 grandchild. We've had our ups and downs. Fortunately, there are been more ups than downs. I wouldn't trade the last 27 years for anything.
Other than going out to dinner tonight, we're not really doing anything special. We've never really made a big deal of our wedding annivesary. It started with our first annevsary. My oldest daughter was born the day before our first anniversary by cesarean section (as were all of our children); so, we spent our first anniversary becoming used to being parents and with my wife in the hospital recovering from surgery. In the subsequent years, our focus was more on my daughters birthday rather than our anniversary. Coming right after Christmas is also a factor in why we've never made a big deal of our anniversary.
So, on our 27th anniversary, we are spending our time becoming used to being grandparents and with my wife spending the day packing getting ready to go to California (she has to be at the airport at 6:30am Saturday morning).
I'm feeling a bit melancholy today. I love my wife; but, I wish I could be the man that she deserves. A real man that doesn't have a thing for other men. But, I guess life isn't fair. Life dealt her a grumpy old queer for a husband. (perhaps I'm being a little hard on myself)
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Well, I took the challenge and scored an average of 3.48 on the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid.
One thing that I think skews the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid score towards straight (at least for me) is the Ideal column. For Past and Present I have actual thoughts, feelings, and experiences I can use to determine how to answer the questions. But, when it comes to Ideal, I'm not answering for how I was or am; but, for what I want to be. The truth of the matter is if someone were to invent a magic 'straight pill' then I would want to take it. While I'm starting to accept that I'm gay, it's not really what I want to be. So, I answered the questions under Ideal probably like many straight people would have.
There is another quiz on that web site called the The Multidimensional Scale of Sexuality which I also took where I scored as a Homosexual.
Complete set of results
Homosexual: 3 Heterosexual: 1 Homosexual with some heterosexuality: 1 Sequential bisexual: 1 Asexual: 0 Concurrent bisexual: 0 Heterosexual with some homosexuality: 0 Past heterosexual, currently homosexual: 0 Past homosexual, currently heterosexual: 0
So, what does this all mean? Absolutely nothing! While these types of quizzes can be fun, the fact of the matter is that they all try to over simplify something that is extremely complex and which, only in recent years, are we beginning to understand. It also doesn't change anything. At the end of the day, like it or not, I'm still gay.
But, this type of analysis does illustrate that there are multiple dimensions to being gay. It's not like a light switch where you are either straight or gay. There are lots of gray areas in between.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
I really appreciate the comments I've received as they help me sort through these issues I am facing by introducing thoughts and ideas I may not have considered.
I'm new to this blogging stuff; so, I'm open for any suggestions for improvement. Do you like the look? Do you like the writing style? Do I blather too much? Is there something I should do to make more people aware of it?
Monday, January 8, 2007
A few weeks ago I was determined that I was going to talk to my wife about my attractions to men; it was just a matter of finding the right time and the right way to talk about it.
But, now I'm having doubts if telling her is really the right thing to do or not. When I think of the reasons why I want to tell her I realize that they are selfish reasons that would only benefit me. I want to be able to act natural at home. There are certain things I would like to be able to do without worrying that doing so might clue my wife into my gay-ness. Such as: reading certain books (like books by Carol Lynn Pearson), watching a gay themed show (not the smutty ones), etc.
I also worry how well my wife would take the news. A couple of months ago, I talked her into watching the movie "Latter Days" which is about an LDS missionary struggling with being gay. It was on LogoTV (a GBLT cable channel); so, I recorded it on our DVR. It was a risky move on my part since I haven't told her I'm gay. I really like the movie (especially the edited version on LogoTV where they bleeped out all of the bad words), and I wanted her to like it too. Unfortunately, she hated the movie which led to some uncomfortable conversations about why I liked it. I managed to stammer out something along the lines of "I found it thought provoking". Over the next few days she repeatedly brought up different things she disliked in the movie. I've never seen her react so negatively towards a movie before; it really must have touched a nerve. Perhaps, deep down, she suspects I'm gay and doesn't want to face it; and, seeing a gay themed movie brought these feelings to the surface making her uncomfortable. Or, perhaps I'm just over analyzing the situation.
In any case, the first thing I need to decide is if telling her is the right thing to do. Will she and I both be better off if she knew? Or is it better for me to keep her in blissful ignorance? I would like to be able to talk about it openly; but, doing so could very well could backfire and cause her to doubt me and my faithfulness.
But, then I wonder if I'm not giving her enough credit. I've never heard her say anything disparaging about gay people. In fact, she has had more contact with gay people than I have. She majored in Ornamental Horticulture in college - some of the male students in that major were gay. While I was serving my mission, she dated a guy who turned out to be gay. After we married, one of the guys she worked with was gay. Even now, one of the quilt shops she frequents is run by a gay couple. I start to wonder if, perhaps, the Lord has been preparing her for the ultimate realization that she is married to a gay man.
This is a lot harder than I ever imagined it could be.
Sunday, January 7, 2007
However, in 2007, our regular block of church services now starts at 9:00am. That means my Sunday meetings start at 6:30am. That is just too dang early! I have this thing about leaving the house while it's still dark outside. There might still be some boogie men lurking around in the shadows. So, this morning, I had to get up before the crack of dawn so that I could be at church at Oh-dark:30. At least, being Fast Sunday, I didn't have to worry about fixing breakfast beforehand.
I actually got to church about 10 minutes early and was the first one there. I opened up the building and started turning on lights. I wasn't sure what to do while I waited for others to show up; so, I did what any good priesthood brother would do, I started setting up chairs. You see, that what we do if we feel like we should be doing something but don't know what. If we see chairs setup, we start taking them down. If we see chairs on chair racks we start setting them up. There are always chairs around that need to be either set up or taken down :-)
It's not that I mind going to all of these meetings. I'm just not a morning person. Actually, truth be told, I'm not really a night person either. My wife once had me take this test in one of her woman's magazines to determine if you were a morning person or a night person. At the end of the test you ended up with a score between 1 and 24 where closer to 1 meant you were a morning person and closer to 24 meant you were a night person (or vice versa, I can't really remember). As I recall, my score was a 12. So, I guess I just sort of peak sometime during the middle of the day.
Saturday, January 6, 2007
I don't want this to turn into a daily diet diary; so, I thought I would blog about something else (while my stomach growls with hunger).
All of my children were involved in band starting in Middle School and throughout High School. By my calculation, for about 14 years I went to a lot of band concerts and marching band competitions. At these events (particularly the marching band competitions), I’ve always been mesmerized by boy color guards and boy flute players. Sometimes, I would catch myself watching them exclusively and ignoring the rest of the show. I don’t know why. I don’t think it’s a sexual attraction; It’s never been in conjunction with erotic thoughts (that I can recall). Seeing males in roles traditionally associated with females has always fascinated me. I have a similar fascination with male nurses. Although, whenever I see a male in a female associated role, I can’t help wondering if they are gay (doesn’t everyone?).
Just pondering on this, I wonder if it is because, deep down, I want them to be gay. Being gay in a largely homophobic culture forces me to hid my gay side at home, at church, and in public. That leaves me feeling alone much of the time. Perhaps, subconsciously, I want some of the people around me to be gay; because, if they are gay then I am not so alone. I once wrote a verse about these feelings of loneliness:See Alone by Mormon Enigma
As a side note, I don't know where these verses come from. I never wrote like this before I admitted to myself that I'm gay a few months ago. And I find that I'm only able to write them whenever I have strong emotions about something; usually when I'm writing in my personal journal.
Friday, January 5, 2007
But, all is not well. Today my stomach isn't feeling so good. It's not too bad, but I think my body is starting to rebel. I'm having withdrawals from Christmas goodies :-)
My daughter is starting to waiver. She doesn't like having to eat all of the salad and vegetables. I'm not sure my wife is 100% for this diet; but, I'm still determined to stick with it. Things will get better in another week. That's when we complete Wave 1 and start Wave 2 where we have more food and a a larger variety of foods to choose from - like fruit. I get to eat an apple! I can also have a glass of wine with dinner; but, I guess I'll have to forgo that treat. I'm also skipping the green tea that they recommend drinking.
For lunch today, we're having a wrap made from the leftover marinated flank steak we had last night. For dinner, we're having Mediterranean Pork Chops, Broccoli with Almonds and Hot Pepper, and Toasted Quinoa Pilaf.
One thing that is making the preparation all the more difficult is that our dishwasher broke last week. Actually, it's the door latch, we can't get it open; and, it is holding some of our dishes hostage. We have an extended warranty on it; but, they told us they can't come out until Thursday of next week. So, we're short on dishes and we have to wash everything by hand. Oh well, if that's the worst thing that happens to us then life is good.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
This diet is a lot of work. I think I spent an hour preparing dinner last night. I cooked some extra chicken which we'll eat today for lunch. This morning, before breakfast, I spent an hour preparing stuff for lunch and dinner (a black bean spread for our chicken wraps for lunch and marinated flank steak for dinner). It tastes good; but, it sure is a lot of work.
The next step is to start thinking about the dreaded "E" word. I think working from home makes exercising even harder. I mean, my commute to work each day is walking up the stairs. When I worked in an office, I would sometimes deliberately park at the far end of the parking lot so that I had to do some extra walking to and from my car. And, when it comes to exercise, I'm just not that disciplined. But, I guess I'm going to have to do it :-(
I guess this is another area where I deviate from the typical gay stereotype in that I don't go work out at the gym all the time.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
A new year brings new year resolutions. This year I started on a new diet called the Sonoma diet. I believe it is similar to the South Beach diet. At least, when you go to the web sites for the Sonoma diet and South Beach diet, they look suspiciously similar.
My wife, daughter, and myself are all on the diet together which is going to make it much easier - at least, that's the plan. We tried this diet last year; but, we didn't stick with it. For one thing, we never did the pantry purge; so, there was always tempting stuff around the house. This time around, I'm going to try to follow the diet to the letter.
Yesterday was Day 0 where my daughter and I went through the pantry to clean out all of the stuff we aren't allowed to eat (chips, candy, etc.). The stuff that doesn't weigh much (macaroni & cheese, etc.) I'm going to ship to my son at BYU-Idaho. The rest of the stuff I'm going to give to my oldest son who lives in the area. Whatever he doesn't want I'll donate to the local food bank. I also threw out a big garbage bag full of partially opened packages, much to my wife's chagrin.
Today is Day 1 where we actually start the diet. As I recall from last year, the food we eat on this diet is pretty tasty. But, it's a lot of work to prepare. For example, for lunch today we had Greek salad with grilled shrimp. Fortunately, I work from home, so I have access to a grill during the day. I don't know what I would do if I actually had to drive to work and sit in an office all day. For dinner I'm making Chicken en Papillote with Vegetables. I get 33 almonds for a snack, I've been eating them in 11 almond servings. I've eaten 22 almonds thus far today. I'm saving my last 11 almonds for tonight.
The first 10 days of the diet is Wave 1 which is more strict than Wave 2 which we'll start after the 10 days. I'm kind of hungry and grumpy right now; but, I'm resisting the urge to go eat those last 11 almonds.
must ... resist ...