Don Draper Guy and Nicolas: An Imaginary Love Story

Remember last summer when I arrived five years late to the Heroes party and watched the entire series on DVD in the course of about a week?

Well, that’s happening again. Except this time it’s with the superior drama Mad Men.

What do I love most about Mad Men? Probably the fact that it’s about chauvinistic male advertising executives being hot. It turns out that I have a real soft spot for pompous manly men with archaic values and a tendency to demean women. I want one to demean me! Preferably while we’re making love after I’ve cooked him dinner. (Of course.)

You can imagine my excitement when, this morning on the train, I encountered a man who was the absolute embodiment of Mad Men heartthrob Don Draper. (The Metro-North is of course filled with hot, suited businessmen on any given day, but this guy was exceptionally Draper-esque.)

As I sat across from Don Draper Guy, I couldn’t help but notice that he was wearing a wedding band. I then couldn’t help but imagine the following love story in my head (written in italics so as to aid the reader in distinguishing glorious fantasy from depressing reality):

Don Draper Guy and I share in intense eye contact for approximately thirty seconds. He then makes a weird half-kiss, half-bite gesture with his lips that I correctly interpret as a declaration of his love for me. He slips me a note with his cell phone number on it. We immediately begin a soft-core sexting session right there on the train amidst the oblivious commuters who may or may not happen to notice that Don Draper Guy and I are digitally consummating our relationship before their eyes, but choose not to acknowledge it because, like all commuters in the New York metropolitan area before 10:00am, they’re miserable.

After several minutes of continued sexting action, Don Draper Guy ups the ante by suggesting that we both get off the train at the next stop, go back to Connecticut (via his private car service that he decided not to use that morning in an effort to be more down to earth) and look for houses with his realtor.

“What about your wife?” I say, and he shrugs. I correctly interpret his shrug as, “Oh, is this ring still on? My ex-wife and I have been divorced since this morning, and I’m now totally available and gay and in love with you! Will you marry me?”

I say yes, we buy a house, and I quit my job to take care of the children from his previous marriage while he keeps doing important business-y things in New York.

I start crossing paths with Don Draper Guy’s ex-wife while picking up the kids from soccer practice. Though our relationship starts off acrimoniously, we slowly bond and eventually become besties who meet for tea and talk about everything — including Don Draper Guy’s bedroom prowess. Alex and Sandy (my step-kids) love the fact that their mom and gay step-dad are able to be in the same room together without going all Madonna-and-Elton on each other every five minutes.

Our whole unconvential family arrangement troubles some of our more conservative neighbors, but I don’t care because we own enough acreage for our neighbors’ opinions to be non-factors. Also, Don Draper Guy loves and adores me and comes home from work every night to tell me how perfect and not fat I am.

We obviously live happily ever after.

It takes a very special type of desperate gay man to be able to dream up the above scenario, so I hope you’re impressed.

Here’s what actually happened between myself and Don Draper Guy:

He compulsively checked his BlackBerry while I stared creepily in his direction and possibly drooled a little. At one point, he crossed his legs at the knee — a daring train-move that exposed his argyle sock-covered left ankle. I briefly visualized him sitting at the edge of his bed sexily putting the sock on earlier that morning. Then a weird bug/fly thing started buzzing around us and he heroically shooed it away, which I construed as him caring about my well-being. Then we got to Grand Central and he disappeared immediately into the sea of emerging commuters walking toward the main terminal.

I proceeded to power-walk my way to work while wishing I could have just stayed home and watched Mad Men all day.



Books That I Love in an Oprah Kind of Way

At the risk of being hated by responsible grown-ups everywhere, I’m gonna go ahead and admit that I’ve been sleeping in a lot lately. Except for yesterday when I woke up at 6:00 am with my roommate so we could beat the rush for the kickoff of Super Doubles at Harris Teeter. All coupons with a face value of up to $1.98 were doubled… It was GLORIOUS. But my newfound couponing obsession is really deserving of its own trilogy of blog posts, so I won’t get into that right now.

When I’m in New York, my life is as follows: I wake up early to go to the office, I attend class at night, and I do my graduate work on the weekends… all while still finding the time to abuse Facebook, overeat, and drunk-text ex-boyfriends. Impressive, I know.

But what to do when all of these responsibilities melt away in the summer heat for three months?


Yes, before Heroes (and sleeping, couponing, and blogging) took over my life, I spent much of my free time reading about other peoples’ lives (in print, like the olden days). I thought it would be fun to share some of my new favorites. I’ll try not to get all Oprahbookclubby on y’all — though I pretty much do love these books as much as Oprah loves Dr. Phil, The Secret, and pre-debacle James Frey.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker.  This memoir finally answers the age-old question, “What do a neurotic Mormon woman from Seattle and a gay Democrat from Connecticut have in common?”  As it turns out, quite a bit. Also, Elna is an NYU gal, so that helps to mitigate the fact that we fundamentally hate each other.

Here’s the thing: I adored this book. I found myself relating to her humor and overall struggle as she ran around New York City losing her innocence and desperately searching for the love of her life — only to meet him and find out that he’s an atheist! Elna, girl, I know the feeling. Granted, my version of this would be the time I met the man of my dreams and discovered he was into water sports.

Moving on.

I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.  This is one of those books that’s been recommended to me many times, but I always avoided it because people tried to sell it to me by using the phrase “fish boobs.” I know, right? Happens all the time. But I’m glad I finally came around, because it is truly the best thing I’ve read in a long time. An incredible and somewhat heartbreaking story, yet it is so hilariously told that I nearly peed myself about 17 times throughout.

Is it too soon to joke about pee after just making the above water sports reference? If so, I apologize. In any case, this book ultimately serves as further proof that I absolutely love things like prostitution, drugs, and alcohol abuse — as long as I’m not actually involved.

Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever by Joel Derfner.  Yet another NYC memoir. Joel Derfner is hysterical, and I’m jealous of his awesomeness. There’s so much truth on every page — like when he writes about wanting to get sex over with so he can eat some raw cookie dough, and then follows it up with, “I worry that my priorities are misplaced.” Basically, if the entire book-reading world turned gay and had my sense of humor, this would be an all-time bestselling sensation — right up there with What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

Borrowed Time: An AIDs Memoir by Paul Monette. I stopped reading at page 50 because that’s when I started awkwardly sobbing in the middle of Starbucks. Monette recounts his experience as the last-man-standing from his entire circle of friends — including his long-time partner — until he himself falls victim to the disease. I don’t know what it says about me as a person that I can’t bring myself to read about one of the darkest periods of gay history, even when it’s this beautifully written, but I can’t. Maybe someday — when I’m really depressed, perhaps — I’ll be able to finish it and contemplate life’s big questions. Until then, I’ll stop acting like I know anything about what it means to feel hurt and start thanking God for the daily blessing we call life.

…Is that something vaguely inspirational I just wrote? Damn you, Oprah! Sorry, everyone — I failed in my attempt to not get all Oprahbookclubby.

Just kidding about the “damn you,” O. I love and worship you always.

  • Formatting side note: I miss bullet points.

Alrighty. If anyone found this entry to be boring and/or irrelevant, worry not. No one misses reading about my life more than I do! My next post should be somewhat interesting, as my week ahead involves things like returning to the Nashville gay bar where I met Martin (who, by the way, hasn’t texted me since I declined his offer), driving 900 miles, and finally reuniting with my real boyfriend, New York City.

My Personally Most Wanted Superpowers

This weekend, I developed a very unhealthy obsession with the bygone NBC drama Heroes. The DVDs of the show were recently on sale at Target, so I naturally bought three seasons based on the presumption that there would be some hot men in skintight superhero costumes. As it turns out, they wear normal-people clothes — but by the time I realized this fact, it was too late.

Remember when I expressed worry over becoming a sequestered and obese blogger-hermit? Well, it’s happening. Except instead of blogging, my addiction has become watching Heroes on DVD.

My inner dialogue:

  • How did miss this when it was originally on the air?
  • Why am I so attracted to Hayden Panettiere when (1) I’m gay, and (2) she was 17 at the time of filming?
  • I find the character of Hiro Nakamura to be really annoying; am I racist?
  • I wish this were an HBO series. There’s so much violence, I need some sex and vulgarity in order to feel balanced.
  • If I could pick one superpower, what would it be?

If you’re looking for something really unproductive yet fun to do for the next few hours — think about that last bullet point. Better yet, pick your top three superpowers. It’s been keeping me up at night.

I finally settled on the following:

1. Flying. This is obvious. Who doesn’t wish they could fly? Sometimes, I’ll go all Nelly Furtado in my kitchen and just burst out into the chorus of her 2000 hit, “I’m Like a Bird.” It’s fun until someone walks in.

2. Mind-reading. I don’t need this superpower as much as my next boyfriend does, but it would be neat.

3. Cellular regeneration aka not being able to die. An example: during my second weekend in Nashville, my awesome roommate and some friends took me on a trip to Bucksnort, TN (Google it) for some drinking, kayaking, and general “being in the presence of nature”-ness.

As we kayaked along the creek, we’d occasionally pass by local residents (fishing, bathing, etc.) and I’d get all nervous. I assumed everyone was armed and ready to take us out — me for being gay, of course, and the others perhaps for trespassing. I suspect most New Englanders would have had the same fear.

We pulled over at an obscure little area with a 30-foot cliff where everyone got excited to climb up and jump off. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s all my dad’s fault. He once told me about his friend who jumped off a cliff into surprisingly shallow waters, hit a big rock, and almost bled to death. Come to think of it, he has told me random horror stories about pretty much everything, and I now know the intention was to prevent me from living a life filled with any kind of adventure whatsoever.

When a friend pressured me to jump, the following exchange occurred:

  • Me (staring up at the top): “I can’t do it! I have to pee! I don’t want to get an ear infection! I’ve heard scary stories!”
  • Her (at the top): “Wuss.”
  • Me (facing the other way, now peeing): “Oh my god… Whose woods am I peeing in? Is someone gonna come out and shoot me?!”
  • Her: “For the last time, Nic, this isn’t Deliverance.” (Jumps.)

If only I had the superpower of cellular regeneration. I’d have been unafraid of gun-toting southerners, I’d have jumped off the cliff, and I’d probably have played a prank on my new friends — something involving an ugly death and then coming back to life in a creepy fashion.

  • Note: my only stipulation regarding this superpower is that I would want to stop being invincible once I’m in my 90’s so I could call it a day and die of natural causes in my sleep.

Honorable mention goes to invisibility, as that is the superpower voted most likely to result in me seeing Bradley Cooper naked.

As I proofread this post, I realize how sad it is that this is how I spent my weekend.

On a closing note — for anyone who was left curious after reading my last post — Friday morning went sparklingly well!  My co-writer was incredible, and we really vibed.  We spent four hours together and ended up with a great song that coincidentally happens to be about flying.


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