Essay, Life

FERRERO ROCHER

I’m a creepy person. I hope that by admitting that upfront, you will judge me less harshly. Also it’ll make me seem “self-aware” and “relatable,” which in turn makes you more likely to accept what creepiness I’m about to write about with more geniality.

One of my most cringe-worthy romance sagas involves someone who I don’t think reads these blogs, so I guess it’s okay to talk about him? Fuck it. He’ll have a pseudonym. I briefly considered switching the gender and writing about him as a “she” but I don’t think anyone would believe that.

It all started in a large lecture hall. I was late to class, so instead of sitting with my friends in our customary spot in the left wing of the auditorium, I just grabbed a seat towards the back.

My mind begins to wander and my eyes drift from my screen to the laptop of the person sitting in front of me. He’s doing a quiz about Legally Blonde. From the angle, he looks cute. He’s muttering with his seat companion, a girl who to this day scares the shit out of me. I don’t know why, but she looks like she could beat me up. It’s something to do with the way her mouth is.

When the class ends, I’m trying in vain to shove my laptop back into my backpack, and I see Legally Blonde’s face as he walks out with his friend.

Fuckin’ shitballs. He’s cute.

Legally Blonde pops up in my social periphery over the next few weeks, and I begin to watch for him in our class. No one I know knows him, so he takes on a host of nicknames. My friends start to notice him too, after I point him out, and we trade stories of seeing him like Yu-Gi-Oh cards. That’s not that creepy because we do it with everyone’s crushes. Legally Blonde isn’t the only one.

One day, I’m leaving the library when my friend texts me.

“LEGALLY BLONDE IS IN CVS. HE’S WANDERING THE AISLES.”

I don’t know what possesses me, but a gleeful claw grips my stomach and I’m suddenly running down the street, backpack swinging from one shoulder and legs churning as I dash across the street and tumble into CVS.

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I find my friend and we “casually” peruse the chip selection. Every other second, my heart gives a powerful throb, sending icy oxygen into my fingertips. I feel adrenaline in a very particular way: cold chest and fingers that are pumping and sending off sparks.

Suddenly he’s in the aisle that we’re in and we’re drifting towards each other with the slow momentum of planets caught in each other’s gravity. He’s grasping a box of Ferrero Rocher. I hate Ferrero Rocher. It’s too fancy, too chocolate-y.

I fix him with a highbeam smile, the kind I use when I’m being especially nice to bank tellers because I want them to like me. “Hey, you’re in my BLAHBLAH class, right? Tuesday mornings?”

He looks a little startled that I’m talking to him. “Yeah, I think so,” he says. His voice is slow, deep, soft.

“Cool,” I’m scrambling for words that are suddenly floating out of the open hatch in my head. “I’m Danny.”

“I’m Niall,” he answers, and the name is a lilt on his tongue.

“What’s your major?” I ask. He answers. “Oh, Ferrero Rocher, how fancy,” I say. He looks at the box in his hand.

“Yeah, I’m gonna eat the entire box.”

The conversation ends soon after that, but I feel electric.

Then, little pins start dropping in the map. As I make more friends, I notice the more mutual friends we have in common. I see him around more often. Then I find out that he and my roommate work together. I ask my roommate about him, and he says that Legally Blonde is straight. I’m crushed. But I don’t know if I fully believe him. He ends up being in the same club as me, which I find out when I finally end up going to a meeting for it and see him there.

I find out that he’s funnier than I am. Sardonic and cynical, but funnier. And smart. I find out that he’s quiet but quick.

The semester starts to wind down and the weather drops. It snows more. I’ve debated whether or not to say anything else to Legally Blonde—Niall—and his potential heterosexuality puts a wrench in my planning. Finally, we have our last class together.

I sit with my stomach in knots all class. All too soon, it’s over, and people start to dissipate. He’s walking out with Scary Mouth Girl. “What do I do?” I fret to my friends. “Go!” they say.

I start running through the swirling snow. “Hey!” I half-yell after him. He turns around. Scary Mouth turns around too.

“Um.”

He’s staring at me and I’m aware of everything, the snow catching on my hair and face, his dark eyebrows quirked upwards, the way my heart is forcing its way up my throat and lodging in my mouth.

Scary Mouth leaves us in the snow, going into the building we’re standing outside of, where their next class is.

“Um, do you want to hang out?” I ask around the heart in my mouth.

“Um, sure,” he answers, and some of the pressure in my chest leaks out.

“Cool. Cool. Do you like movies? Have you ever seen Sharknado?” WHY THE FUCK DID I JUST SAY THAT.

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“No, I haven’t.”

“Oh. Yeah. Me neither.” WHAT.

He pulls out his phone and I get his number. “Um, I’ll text you. Bye.” He says bye, and we separate. I walk, hood down, to my next class, the snow collecting in my hair. I don’t know if I just asked him out. I don’t know what just happened. But it happened.

We make a plan to see a popular children’s movie two days from now. Thursday. In a panic, I invite six other people and throw everything together to make it seem more casual.

My fingers are sparking as he walks over to me and my friends. We walk to the movie theater. The conversation is stilted, mostly me jabbering and him answering. When I’m nervous, I talk more, and when people don’t talk, I make up for it. In the movie, I nudge him at the especially funny parts.

After the movie, I offer to walk him back to his dorm. He says that’s not necessary. I passive-aggressively insist. He asks me more questions when it’s just the two of us, but he’s still soft and quiet. If he were a fabric he would be velvet, and I would be sandpaper. Finally, we get to the entrance of his dorm.

“Maybe, we could do this again,” I offer. My throat constricts. “Just the two of us?”

He nods, his eyes flicking to the side of me. My throat constricts even tighter, a fucking python ringing around me, resting in the hollows of my clavicles.

The moment is painful, and—wait for it—I offer up my fist. “Bye.” He fist bumps me.

“Wait, we forgot to explode out,” and I make him fist bump me again. After he goes inside, everything starts to unravel and the icy static my brain was under melts and suddenly I’m remembering every fucking dumbass thing I just did in the last two hours.

My anxiety clamps onto my head, making me relive every moment in excruciating detail, and I begin to dissect every small moment until I’ve desecrated the altar of our hangout.

This story doesn’t have a really happy ending. The semester ends, and I have one of the hardest years of my life, battling depression. When I get back in the spring semester, I feel so embarrassed by our “date”—in my anxiety-warped brain—that I don’t even make an attempt to talk to Niall.

I doubt he reads this, so I feel like I can actually be truthful and not bite my words. I really fucked up. I don’t have a lot of regrets in my life because I think it’s pointless to replay the past, but I regret how I handled things with Niall. I don’t know what could’ve been if I had been able to say something.

Other things happened after that, things that fell solely on my shoulders, and our rope became more frayed. I think every connection starts out strong as a rope, but negative outcomes mangle the rope more and more. I don’t know if we even have a rope anymore, or if I can handle having a rope with him.

I don’t know what it is about romance that makes me weak. I can talk to anyone about anything. But I can’t ever garner the courage to take the leap. So take that leap.

There’s an awesome quote by writer Augusten Burroughs. “Just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word.” I think that’s something we should all carry with us. I’m always frozen by embarrassment. And if I had burned through the embarrassment, maybe Legally Blonde and I could be friends by now. Maybe our rope wouldn’t be as frayed.

Everyone has a rope. Don’t fray.

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Humor, Life

MUSTACHES

I’m at a crossroads. And no, I’m not referring to the 2002 Britney Spears movie, although, frankly, I understand why that might be the first thing you go to. But I’m at a real-life, hard-hitting, dramatic crossroads.

I really want a mustache. Let’s back it up like a dump truck.

STORYTIME

In my freshman year, I did No Shave November, a.k.a. Beard-Gate, where the day after Halloween, deep in a hangover, I stopped shaving. For the first week, I just felt sweaty—big surprise—and greasy. For week two, I felt like I had ants crawling under my skin. For week three—Thanksgiving—my family threw serious shade at my beard. My sister screamed. For week four, I was sort of living for it.

After November ended, I decided to shave. Obviously I played around with different beard styles in between the various stages; like when will I ever have muttonchops again? But when I got down to the mustache, I decided to keep it for a day. I named it, but I no longer remember its name.

Arnold. His name was Arnold.

And for one glorious day—December 1st—I walked around with a mustache and not a care in the world. Until I realized that people’s eyes lingered on my upper lip for 0.02 seconds more than usual and I shaved it off at the end of the day. Also that semester I had a professor who had a mustache, and when I went into class that day, we shared a look and I couldn’t tell if he thought I was mocking him or honoring him.

But now I kind of want to grow a mustache again. But here are the dilemmas, listed out in a neat list for your consumption pleasure:

THE LIST I MENTIONED FROM BEFORE:

  • I don’t feel like looking like a pedophile—a stereotype, I know, but one I feel like a lot of people aren’t contesting because, again, pedophiles.
  • It’s really awkward to have a hairy lip for two weeks before it becomes full enough to be a mustache.
  • I’m in London, and I don’t feel like looking back on my photos and cringing when I look like I’m at Woodstock.
  • Fear of mortality: this isn’t related to mustaches. It’s just a dilemma I have.
  • I feel like I don’t actually know if I pull it off or not.

Luckily—unluckily—I have a picture of me and Arnold in our heyday.

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I don’t know what this face is. Maybe I had just peed myself (again)?

I think it suits me. I was going to show a picture of me with the full beard, but the pictures I found were kind of creepy, although my jawline looks incredible. Truly.

When she's serving it.

When she’s serving it.

I’m also inspired by Dillon from 1Girl5Gays, which is in the top ten of my favorite shows. It’s a Canadian question-and-answer show with a rotating panel of twenty gay guys and a female host, who was from Degrassi. She knew Drake, you guys. Anyway, Dillon is really hot and he had a mustache and it werked. But then again, I don’t know if I enjoyed the mustache or was just in love with Dillon. Very up in the air.

Side bar, 1Girl5Gays is also responsible for one of my all time favorite gifs.

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Maybe I’ll wait until spring semester, when I’m not being constantly bombarded by European paparazzi. Although—hair flip—when I arrive back in Boston, I’m expecting it to pretty much be a media frenzy. Just the life of a pop star.

But seriously guys, will I look like a ‘70s gay porn star?

Also, side bar, I don’t know if that’s technically a bad thing. It’s just not entirely my ~aesthetic~.

Further side bar, mustache or moustache?

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Humor, Life

BRASH AMERICAN

I have been in the UK for almost three weeks and I still have no idea whether Brits hate Americans or love Americans. I keep getting conflicting reports. I met this guy at the gym and he was British and said that everyone would love me, but people keep looking at me with thinly veiled disgust like I’m a toddler screaming in an Italian restaurant. I also don’t think my inability to read the denominations of coins works in my favor. The other day, I just held out my wallet to the cashier and she picked out the correct change.

My frequent refrain is: “I am a dumb American.”

It works roughly 60% of the time.

There are two major things I have noticed about Londoners, and both relate to voice. Firstly, they whisper everything. I shout everything. I am an exclamation point next to their ellipses. Before I learned to adjust my volume, I was easily the loudest person in any given room at any given time. In the entire country. When I went to Copenhagen (I’M INTERNATIONAL, BITCH!) over the weekend, the title of loudest creature in England probably went to a literal elephant or something like that.

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The other thing is accents. Obviously I am aware that there are different accents. But I wasn’t prepared to hear them full-time and for the first forty-eight hours, I swore that every British accent I heard sounded faked. Also, in comparison to the soft English roses and lilting accents, my voice is a nasally nightmare. It sits thickly in my mouth, flattening every vowel like a steamroller.

In the States, I am used to be slightly superior to everyone else. In England, I am essentially a Beverly Hillbilly.

I have a newfound appreciation for Americans. I love our bold, brusque and loud ways. I like that we’re too blunt and awkward and funny.

Also OMG SIDE BAR: I have had multiple British people warn me that British people have a much more sarcastic, cunning sense of humor, as if I have never come into contact with that and that everyone in America is still laughing at anvils falling on Wile E. Coyote’s head.

Granted, that’s still fucking funny, but we have progressed a little. Give us some comedic credit, Britain.

But I also like things in London. I like how the rain feels quainter here. Like, it’s still rain, but it’s British rain so it’s slightly more polite. And I love the mews. They’re these little cobblestone offshoots from roads with houses converted—I think—from old stables or garages. And I like how there are green spaces everywhere. It feels more fresh than New York, but it still has that buzz that I like.

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I feel distinctly American as I walk the streets, and I wonder what people see. I’m mostly of European descent—Irish (is Irish European? Or UK-ian? What?) and German and Austrian—so do I look like I fit in? Or does the American eek out of me? I walk like an American, sturdy and clomping and not at all graceful. And as soon as I open my mouth, I get clocked because I bray like a donkey.

But I’ve had two separate occasions of people asking me for directions—wait, three!—and that must signify some level of looking like I fit in. The first one was a woman asking me for directions to Heathrow Airport—Piccadilly Line westward—and someone else asked me where a certain tube station was. Also someone asked me for directions to a building and I gave them to him before realizing that I didn’t actually know where the building was. So two out of three isn’t bad.

Once I was on the tube alone—also no one talks on the tube, it’s so weird—and I wondered if people thought I was a ~hip~ Brit boy. They probably just wondered why I don’t brush my hair.

I’m learning to soften my voice, but I found that I can work the “charming American” angle very infrequently and sometimes it really works and other times you get that weird British stare that’s all “This idiot dropped tea into Boston Harbor” and there’s nothing worse than that stare. Also British people do not get my throwaway weird off-brand humor. So it’s a learning curve for both of us.

I’m also really good at looking to the right for oncoming cars and saying that cars here drive on the “left” side instead of the “wrong” side, because I realize that that’s a tiny bit xenophobic-sounding.

Side bar: Zenonphobia—fear of Zenon, Girl of the Twenty-First Century?

There’s really nothing more to say other than that I’m really enjoying scones and clotted cream. Well done, England. Truly.

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Humor, Life

THE DEFINITIVE RANKING OF TAYLOR SWIFT MUSIC VIDEOS, feat. THE INFAMOUS SHELBY

Sometimes when you’re writing blog posts, it can get a little tiring. And also, there’s only so much I can write about myself before I start to hate myself. So I’m changing the tempo, switching the beat, and doing a different kind of blog.

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I’ve teamed up with one of my best friends to bring you the definitive ranking of Taylor Swift’s music videos. Acting as a guest editor, the lovely Shelby will be helping me to decide what’s hot and what’s not in the Taylor-verse.

Side bar, this is not a little of every Taylor Music video because I’m only one fucking person, you guys. I can’t do everything.

LET’S TAKE IT FROM THE TOP!

1). Shake It Off

  • Shelby: I remember where I was when this single dropped.
  • Danny: The perfect “Fuck You” without being a “fuck you.” The beginning of a new era of pop.

2). Teardrops On My Guitar

  • Danny: This will forever be one of the greatest songs of my childhood. But Drew is not
  • Shelby: Why is she lying in a bed with rhinestones on her face?

3). Blank Space

  • Danny: A+ story. A­­­+ visuals. And a little voodoo realness for your pleasure.
  • Shelby: I am distracted by the cat.

4). Picture To Burn

  • Shelby: Remember when that “I’ll tell mine you’re gay” line was controversial.
  • Danny: Omg yeah. Also this is giving me Carrie Underwood “Before He Cheats” realness.

5). Bad Blood

  • Danny: I’m only mad because this is not a full-length film. Although when they all clumped together at the VMAs, I was rolling my eyes a little.
  • Shelby: Too many ppl.

6). The Story of Us

  • Danny: I feel like I can see a glimmer of future feminist Taylor in this and I love it.
  • Shelby: Excellent use of a library.

7). Begin Again

  • Danny: I LOVE THIS. HER LIPS. HER HAIR. PARIS.
  • Shelby: The story and the plot aren’t matching up. But I like the color palette.

8). Love Story

  • Danny: I don’t hate this. Why don’t I hate this?
  • Shelby: Wait this boy is Miley’s ex? The underwear model?

9). Mean

  • Shelby: They ran too hard with the vaudeville theme.
  • Danny: I hate this but it’s like “a good message” for the “youth” so I like it.

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THE MEH-DIUM

10). Back To December

  • Danny: Beautifully shot. Love the scarves. Scarfs? Scarves?
  • Shelby: But what REALLY happened between Taylor and Taylor?

11). You Belong With Me

  • Danny: I don’t even notice how cheesy this is. I’m lost in Lucas Till’s dimple. Don’t send help.
  • Shelby: Lucas Till = 2010 #baegoals. Fun fact: That shirt was really Taylor’s and so were the glasses. Those dance moves were also really Taylor’s.

12). We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

  • Danny: I like the song, I just wish she would chill a little bit.
  • Shelby: The whole band wishes they weren’t there.

OUCH. 

13). 22

  • Shelby: This looks stupid. We get it Taylor, you’re quirky and you bake a lot. Your whole life is an Instagram photo op. We get it.
  • Danny: The “vintage” photo border is very Microsoft Word 2007.

14). Our Song

  • Danny: Why is she writing on the mirror? She’s just gonna have to Windex that later.
  • Shelby: This rose bed looks like a Faith Hill video.

15). Everything Has Changed

  • Danny: I hate it when they use kid actors to represent the singers? Idk why. I hate kids. I guess that’s why.
  • Shelby: What the fuck kind of class are they making cookies in?

16). White Horse

  • Danny: I hate close-ups of mouths. It’s disgusting.
  • Shelby: WAIT THIS IS CLEARLY JOE JONAS BC HE BROKE UP WITH HER ON THE PHONE.

17). Change

  • Danny: She looks very “hottest girl in your Bible study class” here.
  • Shelby: It’s literally just spliced footage of one performance.

18). Fifteen

  • Shelby: This looks like someone discovered iMovie and was like, “ALL the effects!”
  • Danny: It looks like she’s in a bad teen movie’s idea of heaven.

19). Style

  • Danny: Too “artsy.” This song by itself is okay, but I just can’t with the video.
  • Shelby: 9-1-1! Taylor is touching chests and she’s only wearing a nightgown. That’s only 1 LAYER OF CLOTHING between them.

20). Wildest Dreams

  • Danny: Scott Eastwood is the only reason this video is not last place. Too problematic, and that wig is unforgivable. But I like her as a brunette.
  • Shelby: Ooooh my God. I’m moist.

21). I Knew You Were Trouble

  • Danny: What the fuck is the storyline? You might need rehab.
  • Shelby: The only good part of this video is that it led to the goat meme.

Truly this is a list for the ages. I actually really enjoyed doing this. Special thanks to Shelby and her roommate Melanie for helping me out with this post! You ladies really murdered my vagina—in a good way! Thanks!

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Rambles

IT’S MONSOON SEASON

Sometimes I look back at my blogs and realize I look like a narcissistic, sweaty psychopath, and wonder if that’s what any potential cute boys would see. And I realize that I’m probably shooting myself in the foot—romantically and literally—with this blog. But that’s fine. Plenty of people are single—Jesus never had a bae. Oh my god, I just compared myself to Jesus; I am the literal Anti-Christ. I’m Sweaty Betty.

Segue!

Anyway, onto swamp-ass!

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*****

I feel like I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a very sweaty human. I don’t think people expect it of me, because with this face and this body-ody-ody, I don’t think people expect much of anything from me.

But I’m so sweaty.

I’m sweaty but I’m also a nervous sweater. So whenever I feel awkward or uncomfortable, especially about sweating, I sweat even more. It’s really quite a problem.

The other day I went on a run, and I had to walk at multiple points, but at the end of the run, I was so sweaty that when I leaned against my kitchen table, I lifted my arm to reveal a smear of sweat. I looked like I had just done an Iron Man, with my bangs flopping against my forehead, but I had barely jogged two miles.

This post has no real point to it—spoiler alert, I guess—but I just thought of it because I was lying in bed—literally not moving at all except to drag my hand across the mousepad—scrolling through Tumblr and I sat up and I was so sweaty from scrolling through Tumblr that I reapplied deodorant. I also wear deodorant to bed. I didn’t realize that wasn’t a thing until I was in a hotel room with my parents and they were like:

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Parents: What are you doing?

Me: Putting on deodorant, duh.

Parents: People don’t do that.

My Armpits: THIS BITCH DOES.

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I’m also a handshaker, which leads to uncomfortable amounts of “Let me just wipe my hands on my pants first” jokes, which are jokes but also truths. However, I pride myself on my handshake. My mom once told me that there is nothing worse than a limp handshake, and I figured that if I already had one moist strike against me, it’s best not to add another one. So my handshake is firm but wet.

Side bar: “Firm, But Wet,” is the title of my directorial debut into pornography. Hitting Brazzers this spring! The TV adaptation will follow soon afterwards.

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I have this theory that I’m a more highly evolved human. Wait, don’t click away. It’s just a theory. But I have a theory that I’m more highly evolved because I don’t have wisdom teeth. Well, I do, but they’ll never drop down into my jawline. Wisdom teeth are, like, a holdover from when our jaws were wider so as to better mash food into our prehistoric maws. As the human race has evolved, our jaws have become smaller, making wisdom teeth not such a ~smart~ decision. That was a joke. It flopped. Much like my career. Anyway, we don’t have a point for wisdom teeth anymore. So obviously, because mine won’t drop, my body recognizes this fact, ergo I am further along in evolution than you.

But the sweating thing kind of throws off my theory. Apparently while my jaw thinks I’m some sort of post-human, my sweat glands think that I’m a Neanderthal chases a moose across the vast swatches of forest in Canada or whatever.

So I guess this post does have a point. I’m half super-evolved and half not-evolved, so I guess that makes me…regular-evolved. Fuck.

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Inspirational

GLEEFUL

I fell into a black hole today. It started with Celine Dion. I was listening to Straight Talk with Ross, and they were talking about Celine, so I started listening to her songs. Then I remembered that Lea Michele covered a Celine Dion song early on in Glee, so I YouTubed it and fell into a complete abyss.

I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon watching old Glee clips, which is completely bringing me back to early high school, circa 2009, when everyone was totally drinking the Ryan Murphy Kool-Aid.

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I stopped watching Glee about four seasons in, but I seriously watched Glee for the first three seasons at least. It really ushered me into teenagehood. Like, I learned about sex, “drugs,” cover songs, homosexuality, relationships and—most importantly—Barbra Streisand.

Glee released its first episode in the summer before my freshman year of high school, which I feverishly watched on my iPod Classic during a family trip to England. I watched it on FOX and Hulu, reading the blogs and Wikipedia pages over and over, buying every episode and putting it onto aforementioned iPod Classic. That dates me.

I actually forgot how much I fucking loved Glee until I started watching the clips again. I stopped watching after it veered off the path of “anthem for misfits” into “LET’S DO EVERYTHING” and I just couldn’t keep up, emotionally but also because I fell behind like two episodes and it was too much work to watch them.

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I dug deeper into the Ryan Murphy Fantasia. The Glee Project. The New Normal. Both iconic shows that I watched unabashedly. I actually forgot that I had watched The Glee Project but I stumbled upon a clip of it and it all came flooding back to me. It on Oxygen and it was my oxygen. I’m not going to say I “repressed” watching The Glee Project, because if you bandy that word around too much, it becomes a Girl Who Cried Wolf situation, but I will say that I may have forced myself to forget about it.

But watching back roughly twenty clips in a row, I was sucked back into high school. I remember all of the old storylines, all of the drama. I remember Quinn being pregnant! I remember Rachel’s fiery ambition. I remember having pictures of Mr. Schuester stirring a curious hot-cold feeling in my chest.

But—sappiness warning—I also remember how not-alone I felt. I went back and actually checked the year of the first season—2009—because I wanted to know exactly how old I was in relation to the show. I was fourteen when it first started. I came out of the closet at fifteen. I can’t remember exactly, but Glee must’ve been the first representation of LGBT people on television for me.

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I remember feeling like a loser, and watching these people who were treated like absolute losers—slushies thrown in their face and all—and feeling validated. I felt seen. This was before it became the clusterfuck it morphed into in later seasons, with a thousand-and-one storylines. When it began, it was smart and acerbic and achingly awkward and real.

Before it all became too much, it did something for me that I hadn’t had before. It celebrated me. It showed an effeminate young gay guy struggling with his sexuality; it showed him as a love interest; it showed him as smart and worthy and strong. I didn’t have that. I didn’t have any gay icons. I didn’t see anyone like me.

And now that it’s almost five years on from coming out, and I’m twenty, and I have accomplished so much, I forgot how much that meant to me back then. I have gained such a vocabulary for expressing myself, but I forgot how nice it was to be understood on that simple level.

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Actual gif of me.

I miss that simple magic of being gay and coming to terms with it. It has become more normal to me now, but I sort of miss the struggle and finding myself. Now everything is infinitely more complicated, and I miss the black-and-white-ness of life in 2009. It was questions of when to come out, what to do, who I had crushes on. My life has mutated into this fractious reflection, a thousand-thousand things happening all at once and everything is gray and shaded and multifarious.

I miss the rawness of having to fight against something solid and defined. I had a purpose; I was gay and had to come out; I had to navigate high school. Things are complex now. Things have nuances. And that’s beautiful too, but I miss settling in front of my computer, clicking on an episode of Glee and settling into a brief, forty-minute window of feeling completely understood. I had forgotten about that.

This post didn’t start out sappy and I didn’t mean it to turn sappy, but as I was doing more “research,” the more it all came flooding back to me. And I want to remember all of those things. The person I am today is so far from the person I was before I came out, but I feel like honoring him. He was a complete badass, and I don’t know how he—me—we—managed to make it through all of that bullshit and remain such a FLAWLESS FUCKING PERSON.

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Truly representative of how cute I am now.

I ended it on a narcissistic note, which is the usual for me. Obviously it’s just a defense mechanism to avoid lingering on emotionally-soaked moments. I don’t know how to end this post. Bye, I guess. Thanks.

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Humor, Life

LADY LOVE

“I just don’t think that ‘first love’ has to mean ‘only,’ you know?” I said to my friend. We were twelve, sitting on the camp bus. I was deciding to break up with my summer love, my first girlfriend, and I can’t even take this post seriously.

At twelve, I believed I had found true love. I was feeling the Seven Year Itch, about fourteen years early, and didn’t want to be trapped in a committed relationship. Again, I was twelve.

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At twelve, I thought that the feeling of “needing to escape” and not be “caged in” were related to the “serious” relationship were in. I was a man who needed to be out on the prowl. Obviously, it took a few years for the reality to sink in. I wasn’t afraid of commitment, I was just into dudes.

But at twelve, in the flush of romance, I did not even think about boys. Much. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.

My first girlfriend—my only girlfriend—was also my first (heterosexual) kiss at twelve years old. We had dated for two weeks before we kissed. It was in the camp mess hall, at the end of the day. It was our “two week anniversary present.” I told her to close her eyes, and I kissed her. I remember the warmth and softness of her lips and sinking into the well of prickling, pleasant emotions from being close to someone. I scurried away as her eyes opened and we went to our respective buses, which were next to each other.

“Did you like it?” I mouthed to her, separated by two windows and empty space. She nodded, and I remember how bright her blue eyes seemed, searing like stars into mine.

We dated for two months before eighth grade and two months the next summer before ninth grade. She was always pretty when we had dated, but she became beautiful after we broke up and both went through puberty; so whenever I show people her picture as a fun little, “look what I did in the closet!” trip down memory lane, they are very impressed.

I actually saw her recently. I was at the train station that serves as our local Amtrak station, going back to school from a break, when I walked past her and a male I’m assuming is her hot boyfriend. They were waiting for a southbound train that was delayed, and I was heading back up north.

I walked past her and only noticed her coiled up on the floor, long legs tucked underneath her, as I was on par with her. I felt my spine stiffen and wondered if I should stop. But what would that conversation be like? Let’s imagine, shall we?

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*****

Me: Oh my god, Darcy?

Darcy: Danny?

Me: How are you? It’s been so long. You look amazing!

Darcy: Thanks! So do you. Um, this is my boyfriend.

Boyfriend: Hey, man, how are you doing?

Me: I’m doing well.

Darcy: Danny and I went to camp when we were youn—

Me: We dated when I was in the closet!

Boyfriend: What?

Me: What?

Darcy: What?

Me: Anyway, great seeing you!

*****

Like, I don’t really imagine it going amazingly. So I kept walking. Because I was unshaven, wearing a baseball cap, and roughly seven years older and a foot taller than when we had last spoken, Darcy didn’t recognize me.

I don’t think of Darcy often, but when I do, I wonder what she thinks of me. I’m incredibly narcissistic, so obviously my only thoughts are self-centered. I often wonder what made her decide to “date” me all those years ago. This was largely before I was gripped by crippling insecurities—LOL—so I was free and uninhibited. I know what made me fall for her; she was tall and beautiful and dorky—she loved horses—and we really got along.

In fact, we got matching military dog tags that said our “ship” name. But this was before “ships” were really a thing, because it was 2007 and we didn’t really have the same Internet culture—that I was aware of. I also can’t write out our actual ship name because that would give away her name—Darcy is my blog name for her—so I guess it would be “Darny” which is lame. Not that our actual ship name wasn’t lame. Anyway, the dog tags both said, “Darny forever,” and we wore them.

My dog tag is stuffed in a tin pushed into the far recesses of my closet—ironically enough—but every so often, when I’m cleaning out my closet, I open up the tin and look at it, along with other relics of my life, mainly a Polly Pocket—in a cloth dress I made—and some ceramic mice. I have led a weird life.

Depressingly enough, Darcy remains my longest relationship, but that’s less to do with my amazing looks and more to do with my self-sabotage and fear of commitment. And my personality. And my narcissism. But did I mention my amazing looks? I did? They’re amazing.

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P.S. I tried to find a picture concurrent to the time I’m talking about, but just looking through my old Facebook pictures is making me want to lowkey snap my laptop in half. So I don’t think I will.

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