Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Liquid Courage

January 2000

I had this on my chest for about five years. It had to be spilled - tonight. I was at a party, where ... painfully shy ... I was once again far from the center of attention of my circle of outgoing, cool, artistically-able friends. Each of them had a characteristic that made them stand out - except for me. I wasn't as funny as some, I wasn't as outgoing as most and I wasn't as hyper-intelligent as most. I was hopelessly in the middle. Except for one thing: I was gay. And it was time to let them know that.

So, I came out that Saturday night. It felt scary. It felt liberating. And... the next day, there was a snowstorm that trapped my roommate (best friend of 12 years and counting) and me in our apartment. There he was, wondering how much of his friend from junior high he actually knew.

This began a lifelong lesson that I've constantly held on to: if you feel this is the right moment to make that move on a girl, or a guy, or come out, or tell your boss off ... and you're drunk ... think again.

I came out after several drinks. I deliberated beforehand and I needed those drinks to prepare me. But looking back - I think it's safe to say that drinking isn't the best way to get something off your chest.

Don't get me wrong. Sometimes, you need a little liquid courage to ask that person out that you think is way above your league. You may at least need a shot before you come out to your parents (hint - if you're waiting for Thanksgiving or Christmas to come out, at least entertain the thought that you MAY be a bit of a drama queen and that you may want to wait for a non-holiday weekend to privately sit down with your parents and lay things out instead of announcing it at a dinner in front of grandparents and nieces and nephews). And I have absolutely no regrets of coming out - I was BUZZED - not drunk. But when you are looking at something with life-changing consequences with parents, friends and partners, when you have that courage to say something that you wouldn't probably say sober, ask yourself this one question...

"Would I seriously be saying this s**t if I was sober?"

Preemptive Strike
Coffee hoses that impose ''no cell phone bans.' I'm not talking about people who deserve to be banned - those who yell into their cell phone and keep saying "WHAT? WHAT? You're going to have to speak up!" I'm talking about mellow people who genuinely use their phone in moderation, who don't abuse their cell phone - e.g. people waiting for job interviews or can hold a conversation without distracting others. Are you trying to tell me that their conversation about whether or not a person should pick up John Hodgman's new book is worthy of censoring while the two airheads next to you can talk (loudly) about the new Korn video without fear of having their conversation haulted by a smartass java slinger?


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