Kevin Reid is arguably the best theatre blogger in Ottawa. He’s also a comic-book conoisseur, a kindred disco spirit and all-around excellent guy. When I asked him to contribute a guest entry, I knew my niche was outside of his comfort zone but he’s risen to the challenge and then some. Kevin’s writing always makes me laugh but this piece moved me to tears.
I may have bitten off more than I could chew when I accepted this mad assignment, guest-blogging for a much prettier and far more popular blogger than myself, Adorkable ™ Nadine Thornhill. It sounded like a goof, a lark, a HOOT even…then I got the e-mail from her, listing the topics that I should try and write about:
Sex. Relationships. Dating. Body Image. Gender.
Wow. That’s…that’s a touch meatier than my usual fare, which is strictly theatrical review (and now the occasional interview…branching out, yo!). Well, I’m game! Let’s tackle those topics in reverse order, shall we? The Visitor is nothing if not thorough in his lack of knowledge. Here goes:
GENDER. I’m a dude. So, there’s gender taken care of! Wait, wait, I should pad this out a little…girls are pretty, I should mention that too. And not just Nadine (although she totally is)…most of them! Not the Nazi girls or child molester girls, of course, but that goes without saying. God, why would you even bring them up? You’re weird.
BODY IMAGE. I honestly haven’t had much in the way of ‘issues’ with my body, in my years of abusing it, and forcing it to take me places I want to go. I AM what could be considered a touch overtall by societal standards, which while I don’t feel distressed by it, does lead to me hitting my head more than the statistical norm. But hey, being tall can be fun! Like, I’m the one people go to when they need something from the top shelf, which is one of the rare times I feel needed, so THAT’S nice. Overall, I’m cool with my body image (I’m told I even look much younger than my actual age of 41 years, not that there’s been any particular benefit to that thus far. We shall see.). You should be too, by the way…Ashley Judd is, and she’s FAMOUS.
DATING / RELATIONSHIPS. Rrrrright, I’ve…no, no, I’ve done BOTH of those, I swear! Not a LOT, mind…I’m a little embarrassed and saddened to tell you just how little of my life I’ve actually spent in, you know, a close human relationship (but it’s less than 10%…have fun figuring out how lonely I am, math geeks!). Actually, when Nadine originally pitched this guest-spot thing to me, she suggested that I do a bit about good ‘date theatre’, which I’ve since decided against…who am I to advise actual functioning couples on things like that? But, uh, you might want to stay away from Titus Andronicus.
But seriously, me and dating have kind of devolved over the years. When I was a bit of a young thing, I was still reckless enough to be given to the occasional grand romantic gesture to win me a date…picture the scene: It’s the late ‘80′s, I’m in High School and working at a famous restaurant chain owned by a Scottish gentleman of some repute, trying to woo me a young gal I worked/went to school with. One day off I called her at home to see if she cared to join me for lunch. Her glum reply was no, as her Mom was forcing her to stay home and clean house all day by herself. She was particularly annoyed by this as there was no food in the house, and she was ravenous. I hung up and formed a crafty plan…Heading out on my trusty 2-speed, I headed to the restaurant and picked up a couple of lunches to go (but not before stopping at a store and purchasing a single red rose…romantic, I said), then rode over to her place to surprise her. The lunches only barely survived the trip intact (paper bags maybe NOT the best method of bike transportation I could have imagined), but still edible. I rang her doorbell and waited, eager. And waited. And…you see where this is going, right?
I ended up sitting at a nearby park with a view of her house while I slowly ate both lunches in a mope, as it turns out she had gotten called away to somewhere else at the last minute. I forget where now…but as I left, I secured the red rose in the mail slot of her door. Later on, she admitted that it was the rose that convinced her to go out with me.
AWWWW, am I right? Okay, okay, we weren’t exactly a storybook couple…more like nerdy friends who occasionally kissed, and then we broke up after a few months. Whatever! I made the gesture is the point. It was a positive action (provided you ignore the in-retrospect stalkerish image of me sitting on a public swing, staking out her house and eating big macs).
But nowadays, I seem to have lost that Romantic nerve. Hell, even asking a lady friend out on a PLATONIC date fills me with dread lately. That’s the problem with being alone for too long, gang…it becomes your default mode, whether you like it or not. I AM rereading my Robert Anton Wilson in the hopes of acquiring the tools to rewire these canalized pathways, but it’ll take time, if it’s not already too late. So for goodness’ sake, folks, get out there and socialize! Let me be your cautionary tale.
Whew. That was a little emo, but I got through it. That’s it, right? The post is…
LOVE. Oh. Shit. Okay, fine…Love. Well, as you may have inferred from the above paragraphs, me and Love…well, we’re not exactly on the best of terms. Like the gents from Foreigner, I seem quite unclear as to what Love even IS, and wish someone would explain the particulars to me. To be perfectly honest, in recent months I have been practicing a break-up letter in my head. It seems drastic, but I was all set to do it…I was going to break up with Falling In Love. Because in 41 years I still haven’t done it right. The times I fall in love with the wrong girl (always) just leads me down grimmer and grimmer mental pathways, and while I TRY and take comfort in Doctor Banzai’s claim that unrequited love is the greatest happiness, I fear I have yet to unearth the wisdom to properly understand his words. And the time I didn’t fall in love with the girl I should have, I just inflicted that pain on someone else. And nope…never again.
But then I reconsidered. This is, after all, Adorkable Undies. This is a HAPPY place, a source of joy, solace, comfort…I can’t get all goth on these hallowed pages! Something’s gotta be done!
So Love…I’m giving it another go. I won’t give up on you, if you don’t give up on me, deal? Hell, maybe I’ll even buy another girl a rose one of these days. Do people still do that? Grand Romantic Gestures? I like to think so. Lordy knows the world could use a few more of’em. And in my tentative baby-steps back towards the land of the loving, this one goes out to all the girls I’ve loved before (and currently, and yet to come…and heck, guys too! Anything’s possible, right?). Peace, Love and soul, and more Love,
The Visitor (and Winston, whom I love quite dearly, thank you very much)
Kevin Reid shares his passion for theatre and Winston The Cat on his blog The Visitorium