I’m Dating Again and Weird Things are Happening as a Result

Actual work conversation that occurred recently when I informed three of my colleagues (let’s call them Robert, Jenny, and Lola) that I had my first date in over six months lined up for later that evening:

  • Jenny: I have an idea! Let’s place bets on what Nic will say about this date tomorrow morning.
  • Robert: I’ll go first. I got five bucks that says he’s gonna be downtrodden and say that the guy was perfect except for one minor flaw that would mean nothing to a normal person but is in fact a complete deal-breaker in Nic-World.
  • Jenny: Good one – like, the guy won’t be an Oprah fan or something.
  • Lola: My guess is that he comes in bitching about the fact that his date checked out the waitress’s boobs and is therefore probably bisexual—yet another deal-breaker in Nic-World.
  • Jenny: Or he’ll come in and be like, “Ugh. I like him… But we have the same taste in movies, so that probably means we can only be friends.”
  • Me: Seriously, y’all? Not ONE of you is going to bet that my first date after a six-month spiritually-awakening sabbatical is going to go amazingly well and lead to a reciprocally fulfilling relationship based on trust, honesty, and mutual self-respect?
  • All three of them, in unison: No.

The next morning…

  • Me: Well, you guys. I just. It’s like… I don’t know. I didn’t like his energy.
  • Robert: I WIN!

I guess he kind of did win, but I’d like it noted that I was so not downtrodden about the situation. If anything, I was joyful and at peace — because even though this dude was normal, good-looking, and smart, he was also all “LOL that’s impossible” when I told him about my dream to eventually be a full-time author, and ain’t nobody got time for cynical dream-squashers who don’t believe in miracles.

In my date’s defense, though, I should share that there was a moment during dinner when I said, “I’d really love to be trapped in a room with your grandmother,” and I think he might have taken it the wrong way. What I meant was that, even though I’m not Jewish, I’ve always been fascinated with Yiddish terms – and so when he told me that his grandmother was a master in the dialect, I figured that being trapped in a room with her would be a golden opportunity. In retrospect, however, I realize it could have come off as predatory, inappropriate, and vaguely heterosexual — and why would he want to believe in my dreams at that point?

Moving on. In totally unrelated news, this happened on Monday:

Screen shot 2013-08-16 at 10.47.15 AMOh my God, you guys. It was huge and disgusting and it was also kind of doing the Crip Walk and I screamed and I cried and I no longer feel safe in my own work environment, BUT I’m still alive, so I guess that’s the silver lining in all of this. Like Beyoncé, Michelle, and Kelly circa 2001, I’m a Survivor.

 

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How to Not Have Nipples Show

I don’t mean to get too personal, but lately my nipples have been like, really unruly.

I normally have nothing but love for my nips, but it seems that nowadays they’re always inexplicably visible for no good reason. It’s exhausting. Even when it’s totally not cold and my shirt is totally not thin and I’m totally not pregnant, they just keep appearing through all varieties of fabric as if to say, “HEY GURL! WANNA GET SOME DRAAANKS?”

I can’t get them to calm down. The whole thing reminds me of the old adage that goes, “After a nuclear holocaust there will only be cockroaches and Cher left.” Or something? Did I make up the Cher part? I feel like I remember her saying that on Behind the Music one time. Or maybe I’m getting Cher confused with underground bomb shelters? In any case, what I’m trying to say here is that the real version of the saying should be, “After a nuclear holocaust there will only be cockroaches and Cher and bomb shelters and Nic’s relentless nipples left.”

The other day, I was having a particularly nippular morning.

(Yes, I’m making up words now. And you’re welcome because don’t even try to pretend that you’re not going to start describing everything ever as “nippular” – especially female puppies in heat and Anne Hathaway in general.)

Fed up with my unfortunate circumstance, I took to Google and searched for “how to not have nipples show,” which yielded very few relevant results because apparently I don’t know how to formulate proper sentences. It’s totally fine now though, because the next person to perform a poorly-worded search on this subject will at least be directed to the title of this post and then realize that their life isn’t so bad because (a) they’re not alone in their nippular struggles, and (b) they’ll get to add their name to that famous apocalypse quote, and cockroaches notwithstanding, who doesn’t want to be in the same category as Cher and my nipples?

The information I did manage to find via Google was so, just… not what I was looking for.

I ended up on a site maintained by a woman who calls herself “Linda the Bra Lady,” which actually sounds like the name of someone I could totally be best friends with, but not someone who would have any solutions to male nipple problems – unless of course her advice would be for me to wear a bra, in which case I’d have to tear my shirt off to show her that I absolutely do not have moobs while simultaneously Christina Aguilera-ing her with a melodramatic screaming of, “I AM BEAUTIFUL NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!”

(Can we just talk about using Christina Aguilera as a verb for a second? I’m obsessed and now plan on Christina Aguilera-ing at least two people in real life today.)

After I recovered from Linda calling me fat in my head, I ended up on Yahoo! Answers, which was a terrible mistake because THIS:

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 3.25.39 PMA few things:

  1. Yahoo, what exactly do you mean by “resolved”? Did you give Princess nipples? If so, then can you give me new ones?
  2. Something — and by “something” I mean the spelling and punctuation in this query — makes me wonder if Princess actually had nipples all along but just wasn’t looking in the right place.
  3. I thought the question itself was absurd, but then I read the responses. Click that link at your own risk, y’all.

I surveyed some coworkers about my dilemma, and at some point the whole scene took a highly inappropriate turn when I started obnoxiously massaging my chest in thought and then shot out of my chair and proclaimed, “I’ve got it! SIGN HERE STICKERS.”

You know, those stickers you’d put on a letter and/or legal agreement (and/or nipple) to ensure they get properly endorsed? Well, I took two of them out and put them down my shirt and I wish I were kidding but they actually worked wonders and even solicited a puzzled-yet-really-really-impressed look from one of my work-wives.

She stood quietly in awe for a moment, seemingly trying to figure out what planet I’m from, but then finally just said, “You know what? That’s actually kind of brilliant.”

IMG_20130524_114628_348

Sign here… ON MY OVERACTIVE NIPPLE.

You. Are. All. Welcome.

I Think This is Called Growth

So, I have missed blogging. And Keychanges. And y’all. And Debelah Morgan, singer of the infectiously feel-good 2000 pop hit, “Dance With Me,” but that’s for another post.

Despite my blog-homesickness, my recent month-long sojourn has been crazy productive, and I’m as excited as a Leprechaun in a pot o’ gold (…I don’t even know) to write about what’s been happening in my life. Remember how at the beginning of the year I went all No Fool, No More (shout-out En Vogue!) on the Internet and wrote about how I’d be officially giving up unavailable men? Well, I’m currently four months strong. As my mom would say, Holla!

I’ve been in a very self-loving, self-improving, self-awesome space lately – which actually led to me inadvertently giving up all men – yet another reason for my blogging absence. Writing about desperation, food addiction, and general inadequacy? That’s so 2012!

So far this year I’ve realized that a) I’m pretty much amazing, b) I’m not fat, and c) I may not want a relationship right now after all. And I certainly don’t need one.

Talk about some freakin’ key changes – am I right?

After all of the absurdity I’ve documented here on my tumultuous search for post-grad-school love, I’ve finally started to look within – something I used to vehemently avoid, as I found the concept of self-love to be impossible and stupid and only for self-important, self-absorbed douchebags.

Like most good things, my journey toward self-love began with Oprah. Her Super Soul Sunday series will really make you think about shit. As a result of watching it, I’ve identified elements of society, my past, etc. that have all resulted in thought and action patterns that weren’t doing me any damn favors on my search for fulfillment. I recognized that a lot of my issues were with other gay folk – so rather than continue to cast myself in the role of “outcast” in our sometimes tragically anti-community community, I decided to write another piece for the Advocate that addresses how we can all use self-love and vulnerability to grow stronger together.

Read it HERE! But be sure to come back home to momma Oprah my blog when you’re done.

With my proclamation came lots of anti-Oprah vitriol from people who didn’t even bother to read the piece – lest they get a strong dose of truth and consequently melt or something – which pretty much hilariously proved my point in the article about how we need to stop being assholes and just start transmitting vibrations of love rather than superiority.

But thankfully, the piece also proved that there are some really, really great gay dudes out there who totally “get it.”

Like this guy Stephen (ignore Karl, he was having a bad day):

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 11.18.00 AM

Or like the many others who took the time to e-mail, message, or tweet me with anecdotes about how the article resonated with them. It was inspiring, and felt great to have feedback that was more along the lines of “Wow – powerful message. Thank you for that!” rather than my usual supportive feedback which tends to be more of an admittedly baited, “You’re not fat!” (But I mean, please don’t stop with those – that phrase is music to my slightly obese — kidding! — ears and I obviously can’t hear it enough.)

Speaking of fatness – while I inadvertently gave up men, I also inadvertently lost ten pounds! Well, not totally inadvertently – I did start going to the gym five days a week and eating healthier, but it was more so because I realized that endorphins make me happy and less so because some guy struggling with his own myriad body and emotional issues told me to.

So, yeah. Things are going pretty well these days. And I guess that’s all I’m trying to say with this post – life is good, I love you all, and I’m still wholly devoted to and grateful for blogging and this blog and your blogs and, really, the word “blog” in general. Blog.

Blog!

 

I’ve Been Violated and Also Here are Some Life Updates

Um. Just when I thought the past few weeks couldn’t have been any heavier on the Internet dating absurdity, I got a text from my ex-boyfriend saying this:

  • “Hey Nic – hope your day is going well. Just wanted to give you the heads up, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think someone stole your identity again. This time on Plenty of Fish.”

And then I said:

  • “WHAT IS GOING ON SEND ME THE LINK IMMEDIATELY I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY EVERYONE DOES THIS TO ME…???!”

Here’s some background information:

Three years ago, when said boyfriend and I were still together, a friend of mine who lives in Chicago alerted me that he had come across a Facebook profile with some weird name that had a picture of me as the default.

I of course flipped out and reported the page to the site and overused the “Contact Us” feature and sent a strongly worded e-mail to Mark.Zuckerberg@facebook.com (because what if?) but then it bounced back because I guess he went to Harvard and realizes that would just be too obvious.

Luckily, my boyfriend was there to hold my hand throughout this ordeal until the profile was removed and the world made sense again.

So when last week rolled around and that same boyfriend informed me of the fact that I’ve been reverse-Catfished yet again, I experienced an epic moment of anger, déjà vu, and major ice cream consumption.

Like seriously, WTF?

I know I’m vaguely attractive in an approachable way especially if you’re drunk, but please, crazy Catfish people – if you’re going to play these ridiculous games, DO IT LIKE A NORMAL PERSON AND STEAL THE PHOTO OF AN AMATEUR MODEL.

I won’t continue on about this, because I’ve decided that I’m going to write a piece called “An Open Letter to the Guy Who Stole My Identity on Plenty of Fish” that will tell you everything you never wanted to know about this whole situation, and I’ve already said too much.

In other news, I realize that I haven’t blogged in like, weeks – so here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Watching the OWN Network and becoming a generally positive, self-loving, self-fulfilled person. (Feel free to read this unlikely bullet point three or more times to really let it sink in.)
  • Writing dating advice columns about closeted dudes.
  • Still slaving over a hot stove my memoir on a daily basis.

I’ve also been tweeting about everything pope-related ever.

At first I didn’t really care:

#ThingsICareAboutMoreThanWhosTheNextPope

Then I was like, Okay, this smoke thing is weird, and also maybe the new pope should sashay out onto the balcony to a nineties pop hit:

Sashay

And then it was all over just a little too soon:

:(

 

I’m in Therapy AKA Writing a Memoir

So, I feel like I’ve been too absent from blogging and it’s making me all like, lugubrious (my favorite word).

I mean, it’s nothing like the Grad School Hiatus of Early 2012, but I’m definitely not blogging frequently. And the weird thing is that I’m writing more than I ever have. For instance, I wrote this Advocate article about how gay men are Mean Girls and we should maybe try to be nice to each other at bars. (I wish I were kidding, but this is actually a foreign and controversial concept.)

Also, I told myself that I’d finally finish my book this year – a resolution that you can so thank me for later after it comes out and you have the pleasure of reading 70,000 words about my relationship history and it makes you feel better about your life by providing you with the comfort of knowing that you’ve never passed out in your ex-boyfriend’s car and peed all over the backseat as a result of an argument that started over whether or not he was in love with your female best friend.

You’re welcome in advance.

Despite the fact that I’m busily writing, I do kind of feel like I’m failing as a parent. Like, I really hope that when I become an actual gay dad, I won’t just start forgetting to feed my kid for weeks at a time because I’m too busy writing a book. That would just be effed up. And it would totally give gay dads a bad name, since the story would probably make national news and then crazy anti-gay pastors and chicken restaurants would be all like, “YOU SEE THAT? Gay dads starve their children so they can write books!” And so basically what I’m saying is that I don’t want to set civil rights back ten years just because I decided to share my story with the world and inadvertently become the poster-child for child abuse, so I’m writing this blog post as a way of feeding my child. Because I believe that all children should be fed regularly — you hear that, Chick-fil-A?

…Where the hell was I going with this?

Oh, right! The book.

I’m about halfway done at this point, and revisiting my past in this way is proving to be way more therapeutic than any therapy that money could buy, I think. (I say “I think” because I still haven’t actually succumbed to the pressure and scheduled that inevitable first appointment.)

Seriously, it’s like I’m living my life all over again.

For example, I just finished a chapter about a much-older foreign man who was the Alexander Petrovsky to my Carrie Bradshaw back when I was twenty and therefore a dumbass, and – as I wrote about the experience while on the train en route to work – I legitimately cried in front of strangers.

So then I thought to myself, “WHOA. Do I still have unresolved feelings of anger, unworthiness, and shame from that whole situation?” and a part of me answered with, “Yeah dude,” but then another part of me was like, “Nah…” and then the rest of me was like, “LEAVE ME ALONE, I’M JUST TRYING TO WRITE A DAMN BOOK!”

Me at 20... When I had a 42-year-old boyfriend who recently made me train-cry as I wrote about him. Are you intrigued?

Me at 20… When I had a 42-year-old boyfriend who recently made me train-cry as I wrote about him four years later. Are you intrigued?

Stuff like this has been happening a lot.

Also? I haven’t been dating at all. Which is actually kind of awesome. (Okay, how shocked are you that I of all people just wrote that?) My abstinence has been allowing me to just like, focus on me and write and work and go to breweries and eat lots of carbs and it’s lovely.

So… I’m not sure what I’m trying to say with this post, other than I’m still here. Just less frequently for a while.

Oh and I’m also trying to say that if you’re a gay dad and you’re reading this – STOP RIGHT NOW AND GO FEED YOUR CHILDREN BEFORE WE LOSE THE FIGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS!

 

Keep Hating, Pope — and I’ll Keep Loving

Moments before digging into our Christmas Eve feast this year, my mom suggested that I lead the table in saying grace.

As the recognized wordsmith of the family, I typically agree to perform this task with no qualms — spouting off whatever cliché, prayer-ish things I can think of, while maybe injecting a modicum of nonsensical humor into the mix (i.e. “…and bless my non-existent husband, and please remove all the calories from the meal we’re about to eat so that he may one day become a real boy, like Pinocchio? Like Pinocchio. Except a grown man, and without the nose situation. Amen.“).

But this year, I decided to push buttons and be all like, “Well, I called the Pope an asshole on Facebook the other day. So maybe I’m not the best person to be leading our Catholic family in prayer right now?”

And then we had a brief discussion about homophobia and religion and Italy and love and being human — and we all agreed that the Pope kind of is an asshole for calling me less than human in his annual Christmas speech.

And then we laughed. A lot.

And then I realized how grateful I am for my family.

And then I said grace.

 

That Time I Fell in Love with a Stranger (Again)

As you may or may not already know, I kind of have this problem where my main goal in life is to find and wed the real-life gay version of Mad Men lothario Don Draper — despite the fact that I’m fairly certain he doesn’t actually exist.

Or at least I was fairly certain that he doesn’t actually exist until last week when my friend Kendra and I totally ran into him on the ice rink in Rockefeller Center and subsequently discovered that he is a closet Mariah Carey fan with a really nice neck who enjoys bopping to Christmas carols.

Allow me to explain.

Kendra and I were lucky enough to make it onto the guest list for the taping of Mariah’s Christmas at Rockefeller Center performances last Tuesday, and that is where we discovered Don Draper Guy II. (For those who don’t already know: the original Don Draper Guy.)

Mariah is a deity. A blurry deity, but still a deity.

                            Mariah is a deity. A blurry deity, but still a deity.

Don Draper Guy II (hereinafter referred to as DDGII) first caught my eye because of his tall height, dark brown hair, and distinguished facial features that revealed absolutely nothing about his age. (Seriously –  we couldn’t tell if he was 19 or 43. We ultimately settled on a hypothesis of about 27, but really remained clueless throughout the evening. And to this day, for that matter.)

What really won me over, though, was his hot and manly Draper-esque neck.

Isn’t it crazy how man-necks can be so sexy sometimes? No? I have a weird fetish for necks? Stop judging me! You’re the one who reads blogs written by neck-fetish-harboring freaks with self-esteem issues. Weirdo.

Anyway, Kendra was similarly smitten with DDGII, so our entire evening pretty much evolved into a really intense game of Gay, Straight, or European? that Kendra seemed to keep winning at because of DDGII’s masculine demeanor. But then we’d both remember that we were at a Mariah Carey show and suddenly I would be back in the game.

Another game we played was Creepily Stalk the Hot Guy, at which I’m pretty much an expert by now.

In our efforts to keep tabs on DDGII, we:

  • risked our lives at a crosswalk,
  • positioned ourselves at a spot in the crowd that had a slightly obstructed view of Mariah (but a perfectly framed view of DDGII’s neck), and
  • did a few other things that I’m not proud of and refuse to divulge publicly.

As Mariah was about to appear onstage, I longed to initiate conversation with him – both to mitigate the creepiness of my stalking and also to get the ball rolling on our wedding preparations (I had some great ideas involving September 2013, swans, and Maine that I wanted to run by him).

Then I got all depressed because I realized that Kendra and I still didn’t have a clear winner in our game of Gay, Straight, or European? and I was starting to lose hope.

And then he started enthusiastically rocking out to Mariah’s holiday gem “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Score!

Needless to say, I interpreted DDGII’s bopping as conclusive evidence of his open gayness. And also as confirmation of the fact that we have “mutual interests.”

And also as his acceptance of my whole marriage proposal/wedding suggestion.

Nic. DDGII. September 2013. Swans. Maine.

Get ready, y’all.

P.S. I should clarify that Kendra and I never actually had a real conversation with DDGII. Though he did throw a chuckle her way at one point in the evening.

P.P.S. It just occurred to me that DDGII chuckled only at Kendra and not me. He’s totally straight, I’m fat, and the wedding’s off. DAMMIT!

 

Facebook Promotes Obesity, and I Don’t Appreciate It

I woke up this morning and realized that there exists a very unfortunate correlation between my eating habits and the marital statuses of my Facebook friends.

It kind of goes like this:

  • Engaged friends: sugary cereal with whole milk.
  • Married friends: burrito bowl from Chipotle.
  • Friends who just got engaged this week: entire box of Oreos.
  • Friends who just got married this week: multiple pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, various flavors.
  • Friends who just got married this week and have already posted photos from the wedding: all of the above.
  • Ex-boyfriends who are now in relationships: all of the above plus a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese, loaf of cinnamon swirl bread, entire tube of unbaked cookie dough, and the salt of my tears.

Thanks for the double chin, Zuckerberg.

Side note: I am still seeing [Awesome Guy Who Still Needs a Proper Fake Blog-Name] and he’s still awesome. But – contrary to what I’d secretly hoped – this post seems to suggest that his presence in my life hasn’t obviated my extreme need for therapy, so I guess I’ll have to get on that soon.

         Totally unrelated: My mom’s dog in his new winter coat. You’re Welcome.

 

Happy Friday!

 

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