Monthly Archives: January 2003

January 31, 2003

N.B.: This is today’s second post.

Among the many, many, many things I don’t understand in this world is why gay men hate country music. Two out of every three online profiles, under “music I don’t like,” list country music, usually along with some witheringly disparaging commentary.

I can only assume that these people have never heard real country music. I don’t think there’s any other music that so eloquently expresses the laughable despair of the human condition. (And remember that I not only compose for the musical theater but also make money singing Bach, Mozart, and all those other guys, so I know what I’m talking about when it comes to music.)

Take, for instance, the following lyric (the song is by Hoyt Axton and Renee Armand), the chorus of which has been my world view since I was six:

Rain’s comin’ down and the roof won’t hold ‘er.
Well, I lost my job and I feel a little older.
Car won’t run and our love’s grown colder.
Maybe things’ll get a little better in the mornin’.
Maybe things’ll get a little better.

The clothes need washin’ and the fire won’t start.
Kids all cryin’ and you’re breakin’ my heart.
Whole damn place is fallin’ apart,
But maybe things’ll get a little better in the mornin’.
Maybe things’ll get a little better.

Work your fingers to the bone, what do you get?
Boney fingers.

I’ve been broke as long as I remember.
Well, I get a little money, I gotta run and spend ‘er.
When I try to save it, pretty woman come and take it,
Sayin’ maybe things’ll get a little better in the mornin’.
Maybe things’ll get a little better.

Work your fingers to the bone, what do you get?
Boney fingers.

Grass won’t grow and the sun’s too hot.
The whole darn world is goin’ to pot.
Might as well like it, ’cause you’re all that I got.
Maybe things’ll get a little better in the mornin’.
Maybe things’ll get a little better.

Work your fingers to the bone, what do you get?
Boney fingers.

I defy you to tell me that isn’t as accurate an encapsulation of how hard it is to live on this earth as anything Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde ever wrote.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

January 31, 2003

N.B.: This is today’s first post of two. I posted last night in praise of a good friend of mine but have deleted the post because I realized that she would be uncomfortable with being discussed online in this context, even anonymously. The 45 people that sitemeter says had already visited my site by the time I removed the post are sworn to secrecy.

Remember that e-mail forward list of Children’s Books You’ll Never See? It had things like The Day Katy Was So Bad her Mommy Stopped Loving Her and Daddy Drinks Because You Cry. I contributed a couple when I forwarded it on to others, namely (if memory serves) You’re the Reason Mommy Left and You’re Different and That’s Bad.

For those of you who enjoy such things, go here for nine pages of children’s book covers twisted and warped by Photoshop evil geniuses. Here is my personal favorite:

If only I’d had books like this in my childhood, I might be neurotic and obsessive instead of the healthy, well-adjusted man I am today.

Oh, wait.

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January 29, 2003

He does like me.

He e-mailed me today and said he was sorry for taking so long to respond, but he was in first-week-of-school mode. I would have a harder time forgiving him if I didn’t suspect that he was secretly a spy and had spent the last two days on a top-secret mission to shore up the government of a politically unstable Third World nation.

We’re going out this weekend. Unless he has to topple a dictator somewhere.

In other news, I left my wallet in Starbucks this morning, packed with money I’d intended to use to squire my Czech houseguests around New York. By the time I realized where I’d left it, I’d already cancelled all my credit and bank cards and the money had of course all been taken.

Clearly the lesson is that I should stay away from Starbucks.

Not like I didn’t already know that.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

January 28, 2003

What if he doesn’t like me?

After our Saturday night date, I e-mailed him Sunday morning saying I’d had a nice time and he should let me know if he wanted to get together again. He e-mailed me back a half hour later saying he’d had a nice time too and he did want to get together again. I e-mailed him back later that afternoon suggesting that we go out on Saturday.

I haven’t heard from him since.

It’s been more than 48 hours.

There are three possibilities:

1. He is dead.
2. He reads this blog and realized when I posted about him that the guy he went on a date with is the same guy who writes the blog and he doesn’t want to date the guy who writes the blog.
3. He is a psychologically healthy person who doesn’t check his e-mail obsessively every 42 seconds and so he hasn’t gotten the message yet.

I wish I could say I hoped that the third option was true, but I don’t know that I am capable of dating somebody that well adjusted.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 4 Comments

January 27, 2003

So at cheerleading practice tonight the captains gave out the first ever spirit stick. They’ve decided that each month they’ll give a spirit stick to the squad member who’s worked the hardest, shown the most enthusiasm, been the most positive, etc., etc. I got very excited when they started talking about this, because it was obvious to me that I was going to get it. I’ve been working my ass off (by the end of last week’s practice I was doing standing back handsprings), and I’m so enthusiastic my friends are starting to worry about me. The coach even sent me an e-mail telling me how much he appreciated my hard work and what a valuable addition I was to the squad and he hoped I’d stay for a long time. So when the captains started describing (without naming names, of course) my dedication, my positive influence on my teammates, my general willingness to give 110%, I made sure not to look them in the eye and force them to betray ahead of time that I was going to get the spirit stick. They wound up their speech of appreciation and indicated that we should all do a drumroll, which we did. I shifted my weight to step forward and accept my award, the corners of my mouth creeping up in an anticipatory smile I couldn’t keep off my face. “And the spirit stick for February goes to . . . G.G.”


G.G. no more deserves the spirit stick than William Rehnquist does. God damn G.G. to hell. I hope he drops it and is cursed forever and goes to Hades.

And I’m going to start plotting now to make damn sure I win it next month.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 3 Comments

January 26, 2003

He likes me!

I feel like a junior high school girl.

He likes me! He likes me!

I wish there were a way on the computer to dot the “i”s in “likes” with hearts.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 3 Comments

January 25, 2003

Tonight I went on a date with vocabulary boy, whose name is L.

I like him.

I was so nervous the whole evening, in fact, that I barely said a word, and when I did manage to talk it was in strings of such absolute incoherence as to rival a Pentecostal speaking in tongues. I kept starting stories and stopping them midway upon realizing that the punch lines made me look stupid or judgmental or prissy or weird; this gave my conversation the grace and ease of, oh, say, the Hunchback of Notre Dame attempting to do the time step. I listened in horror as I uttered foolishness after foolishness, and when I was finally able to stop myself, it was only to lapse again into a practically Benedictine silence.

But he did pretty much exactly the same things, so maybe he likes me too.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 1 Comment

January 24, 2003

I have eaten two pounds of chocolate chip cookie dough today and am incapable of forming grammatical English sentences, much less blogging. Besides, it’s far more important that everyone go here (via Useless! Worthless! Insipid!) to see and hear quite possibly the most extraordinary thing ever to appear on the web. (Warning: it’s not entirely work-safe.)

I have tried for about fifteen minutes to come up with something witty to say about this, but honestly I think it defies commentary. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio. . . .

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January 23, 2003

Last night I got the following e-mail from the Republican I went on a date with last week:

“Am frankly surprised I have not heard back from you after an email, a phone call, and an enjoyable dinner. You seemed to have indicated or I seemed to have believed you had a nice time meeting and wanted to meet up again for something healthy and fun. Should I take this to mean you are happier ‘doing the slut thing,’ as you refer to it?

“For someone who professes to be such a unique individual, you exhibit the ultimate clichéd gay boy response. I certainly hope your musicals are more original than your response, or lack thereof.”

I’m actually in awe of how cruel and bitchy he felt the need to be. Let’s ignore for the moment that I was doing exactly what Miss Manners says to do in this situation. What did he want me to say?

“Thanks for your e-mail and call. I’m writing to let you know that I was actually just pretending to have a nice time and that in fact I found your person almost as repulsive as your politics and would sooner be forced to live the rest of my life in a Family Circus comic strip than spend another evening with you. 🙂 Have a nice day!”

I mean, come on.

Though it would almost have been worth sending that response to him simply to use the smiley face emoticon in that way.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

January 22, 2003

The one small mercy in last night’s Hurry Date event was that I got a blue nametag rather than a red one, which meant that I was sitting down the entire evening and people with red nametags were rotating in front of me every three minutes.

The problem is that three minutes, while possibly enough time to be able to tell that you don’t like someone, is by no means enough time to figure out if you actually do like him. Out of the 25 men I met last night, there were about five or six with whom three minutes seemed like an eternity; I couldn’t circle “N” next to their numbers fast enough. The man who told me he’d recently left his alcoholic partner of seventeen years and said “I just love COMPANIONSHIP and SHARING” was one of these. For the remaining nineteen or twenty, I pretty much had to guess. I deliberated for a while about the guy who’d just released a CD and who, when I asked what instrument he played, said, “I play the skin flute,” but eventually I nixed him. I enthusiastically circled “Y” for the cute guy who is a publicist for All My Children but I suspect he circled “N” for me.

I was comforted to find that virtually everybody there seemed as bewildered and dazed as I was. There was only one guy who had clearly thought up a conversational tactic beforehand; this would have been effective if he hadn’t been so smarmy. “SO,” he said smoothly as he smiled and sat down in front of me. “What do you like to do outside of work?” I stuttered some stupid answer about going to the movies and eating out and he said, “I like to cook and travel. I like to blah blah blah blah blah” and kept on going and I wanted to put my eyes out with a carving fork.

Conversations generally proceeded along one of the following lines:

—where are you from and why did you move to New York? (Most popular answer: I’m from [insert midwestern state here] and I moved here because I’ve always wanted to live in New York.)

—what do you do? (Most popular answer: I’m in investment banking.)

—why did you come to Hurry Date? (Most popular answer: because online dating can’t tell you if there will be any chemistry between two people.)

When a guy who sat down in front of me was a slow starter, I generally said one of two things: either “I’m SO BEHIND!,” frazzledly indicating the sheet of paper on which I had to circle “Y” or “N” for people, or “My head is SPINNING!,” shaking my head in charming and good-natured befuddlement. I said “I’m SO BEHIND!” six times, with exactly the same vocal inflection and desperate grin each time, and “My head is SPINNING!” eight or nine times. I was a little worried that somebody I’d just said it to might hear me and realize that, rather than the original product of my charming psyche, this was just a line, but the place was loud enough that I figured I was probably safe. At one point the guy who sat down in front of me pointed out that the seat next to me was empty. I was so taken aback by this departure from what had become the standard script that I said the first thing that came into my head, which was, “He was too cute, so I killed him. Eliminating the competition, you know.” I should have stuck with “I’m SO BEHIND!”

So in a day or two I’ll get an e-mail from the Hurry Date people with the names and e-mails of my matches, but it actually doesn’t matter anymore, because I’m in love with the guy from who just sent me an e-mail in which he used a word I didn’t know. This has never happened to me before. I’m already picking out suburbs to live in and names for our two dogs.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments