Friday, February 17, 2012

LIFE LESSONS #1: SHAME SHAME SHAME......

SHAME OF FOOLS........go on....sing it with me......
Hello readers!
This dark fall.....as many of you know.....I hit 40.
Or rather, 40 hits me......it the face.......with a shovel...........repeatedly....... ;-)
When "Black September" hits.....I want to embrace it!
The thing is, I have realized that at best, my life is probably half over (depending on when of the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse happens)
It is kind of a scary thing to realize......and in the words of Liz Lemon "realizations are the worst"!!!
So, it seems to me I can either become sad and step in front of a streetcar.....thus increasing the value of my artwork..........or try to become a teensy bit introspective!
So........in the spirit of introspectionalism.....(yes, I am SURE that is a word) I give you a new kind of post.
I am calling it "Life Lessons".
Now don't get me wrong, I am in no position to give advice to you. I am no Dr. Drew!
I am just reflecting on the hard-won lessons that I have learned in my almost 40 years on this earth, and sharing said observations with you  - through story!
So...let's give 'er!

Lesson #1: Shame is lame. (Yes....it is akin to 'Crack is Whack')

This past weekend I celebrated the 40th year anniversary for the Ryerson Theatre School.
For those who know nothing about me, in 1994, I moved to Toronto to go to University at Ryerson - in the Theatre Technical Production program. I graduated 4 years later, BFA in my hot hands.....ready to set the world on fire......with the knowledge that I would work in the "thee-AH-tah" for the rest of my life!!
Oh. Wait....
ANYWAYS.
It was nice to run into my former classmates and hear how their lives have changed in the decade since leaving the hallowed halls of RTS. We spent a few hours reminiscing (and drinking vodka)  - and I was reminded of a story.....a story that illustrates the point of my first 'life lesson'!
Picture it! It was a misty Friday evening in 1997, I had assembled a small get-together at my apartment
(I was gonna say soiree - but that makes it sound like a different class of party!).
Like any University party.......there was copious amounts of drinking and carrying on.
It was 2 years B.V. (Before Vodka) and there I was, pounding back my rum & diet coke's.......and my many Corona's........(YES...BEER - SHOCKING I KNOW!!!)......it was an often lethal combination of booze.......that caused my inhibitions (of which there are few to start with) to disappear. To be honest, I cannot remember most of this night.....in fact....most of the 90's is shrouded in an alcoholic haze.........but I do remember feeling like this the next morning:

yes.....those are my pjs.....and my natural hair.
So.....to make a long story short.........that night a few people crashed on my floor.
The next Monday I returned to school. People buzzing about about a party on the weekend.
It was being dubbed "The Bread and Underwear Party".
As one of the only gays in my class/school, I was immediately disappointed that I had somehow missed what seemed like a colourful and flamboyant party............how could I have missed such an event??
What I didn't realize, was that I WAS the colourful and flamboyant event!!!!
The story was re-told to me like this:
After everyone had passed out on the floor, I got back up.......in my alcohol induced stupor......carefully navigated OVER-TOP the floor dwellers, to the kitchen, where I got a single piece of bread. (I was a bit of an expert drinker - maybe even a professional - and I knew the importance of eating something to sop up the booze in my tummy!!)
With bread in mouth, I returned to bed carefully stepping over heads.....and passed out on top of the bed........here is the kicker.....I did this......in my underwear! (Sorry for the visual, folks!!)
So you can image, lying on the floor watching as a drunken homo stepped over your head....crumbs falling atop you........all the while getting an eyeful of his man-business!!!!!!
YIKES! To make things worse......when my classmates left the next morning, I was still passed out......splayed across my bed.........in my gitch, with bread still hanging out of my mouth.
GLAMOUROUS!!!!
CLASSY! (Sadly, this wasn't even the night/morning in question!!!!!)
So, imagine me, 15 years later, laughing my head off as the story was re-told at the RTS 40th Anniversary.
So......why am I sharing said story with you??
Because I don't really have shame. I didn't feel bad then.....and I don't feel it today.
I hope that I did not cause too much extra therapy for some of the straight guys who were up-close-and -personal with my undercarriage....and I truly hope that no one wakes in the middle of the night - in a cold sweat - with this flash-back...screaming BREAAAAD!!!
But the thing is, feeling ashamed of something gives it a power that it need not have.
Own it.
Whatever your story is.....OWN IT.
This little story is probably only a 3 on the embarrassment scale for me, and there are plenty of other more horrifically embarrassing stories that I feature in! But I think if you can laugh at how ridiculous you are, and people will laugh WITH you.

So that is my lesson.
What say you?
I love your comments!!!!

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