Image.

Somewhere in the “Operating Instructions for the American Gay Adult”, there’s probably a section on age 48 and how you should be comfortable with yourself way before then and therefore be doing something worthwhile like leading UNICEF drives or bringing bags of Mighty Taco to starving children in Zuzumbia as Madonna shops for her children. These are all very worthy causes and during this past year I have remarked to Earl on several occasions that I need to contribute more to the world. I’ve also suggested several times that we go to Mighty Taco but we’d most likely eat it before delivering it.

Here’s the thing, the problem is that I just sort of skimmed “Operating Instructions for the American Gay Adult” and I’m still working on that self-image and self-confidence part. I’ve put myself through several batteries of tests. I know that I’m an INFJ. I know that on a scale of 1 to 50 I’m a solid 39 (I’ll let the reader figure out what that scale is for). I’ve checked my IQ on both long and short tests, from Facebook quizzes to Mensa exams to sitting down and actually taking a real test in a real IQ testing setting and it’s a surprisingly good number. People tell me I’m a warm, sensitive guy that just lacks a dollop of confidence. The truth of the matter is that I’m the nachos without a dollop of Daisy on top. I have some zest, I have some spice, I’m crunchy and inviting but my lettuce is a little wilted.

The thing is that I have a really good memory. I might ask Earl the same question three times in the span of five minutes but by god I can tell you that sales tax was department 94 at Westons Department Store back in 1975. I have a very-accurate catalog of every insult, off-handed remark and snide comment that has been hurled in my direction over the last 48 years and every once in a while my internal Viewmaster likes to click through those little nuggets and relive things that have made me feel bad. I have no idea why I do this, I’d rather watch my old “Electrawoman and DynaGirl” Viewmaster slides but they’re long gone. I don’t remember where they are.

“I can’t be seen at the mall with you because you’re too flamey”. A chestnut from my first boyfriend in 1987.
“You could be cute if you tried”. A little nugget of wisdom from the end of my first gay date ever when I was in college in 1986. I never accurately concluded if I was a charity case or not.
“I don’t want to play with him because he’s just too weird”. Whining in 1979 from a sixth grade classmate who had some nifty electronic game that everyone else got to play but I couldn’t because in all actuality I was wicked good at it and she didn’t like being pushed from her perch from the weird boy.

Add these little excerpts of gray matter belches to the fact that my 48 year old body is starting to need some new parts, has a couple of decades of extra pounds and the intermittent but persistent stream of Internet comments such as, “You had such a great beard, why don’t you grow some facial hair again?”, and my warm, sensitive self with a wicked good memory starts to question its image in the world.

The fact of the matter is that it’s all hooey. All of it. The comments, the creaks and groans from my body, the replacement parts, all of it is just a bunch of hooey with big spitting motions. I’m better than this. I’m better than that. My rational mind knows this. And it’s time to start listening to the rational mind.

In 2017 I have just one resolution. One goal. And that is, to feel like *I* am worthy of a slow-motion entrance.

I want to make an entrance, comfortable in my clothes, determined in my walk, confident in myself. I want to drop the shlep. Yes, I need to get some parts fixed up on this old bod. I will shed some pounds (again!). And, as my loving family reminds me, I will just embrace who I am and just go with it. Yep, I’m eccentric. I can easily turn that weirdness I’m known for into a big bucket of zany (I originally typed “weirdness into zaniness” but I don’t know if ‘zaniness’ is a word. It looks like a New Age name to me.) I have lots of digits and letters that work in my favor and it’s time to start using them as powers for good.

I’m not going to be fine. I’m going to be awesome. Friggin’ awesome.

Sharing the details of this goal would be over demonstrative and there’s already too much over demonstrativeness in the world. I’m worthy of attention but not of pity. I have lists with dates but I’ll keep them to myself. This is a personal journey for 2017.

I will, however, share the video of my Slow Motion Entrance when I feel I’m ready for it. Getting ready for my Close-Up.

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