Sunday, November 28, 2010


Thanksgiving is always an emotional apocalypse for me. First, I have to deal with the flurry of media portraying perfect families throwing footballs, roasting perfectly browned turkeys, and sitting around the table being thankful for nothing but each others' company. I don't think I've ever thrown a football with my dad in my entire life. Our turkeys usually come out the color of Snooki's left breast. And my family mostly sits around the Thanksgiving table listing all our resentments silently in our head.

This year, we had company via several people from Taiwan that I barely know. People in Taiwan don't even know what a turkey is, much less Thanksgiving. They only participate because of the prospect of going to the Coach outlets at midnight. One bitch sniffed everything before she put it on her plate. She made it to the top of my silent resentment list this year.

Normal families are on their best behavior when company is around. My family does not understand this concept of keeping bones in the closet, not hanging our dirty laundry, etc., etc. In fact, the ice wine that company brings only serves as an uncorker for the mayhem that ensues.

My adorable mother complains that I have not cooked any Chinese food for our Asian guests so she plots to make a batch of last minute eggrolls. As she is being spattered by hot oil she complains about how she has to do everything around here. She collapses on a pile on the ground, claiming that nobody loves her.

My father, who doesn't really know how to be funny around mixed company without insulting me begins by asking repeatedly, "This is all the food you made despite cooking all day?" Actually, his words were, "Cook day all make only this?" At the dinner table, he interrupts the silence to make sarcastic remarks about how I will never graduate or find a job. Then he gets drunk and starts calling me "Iron Chef" and demands that I list every single ingredient in every dish to our guests.

Then he takes a skeptical look at the food and says that this would have been a good dessert if things like cake did not exist.

I've been spending the day recovering. Here is a breakdown of my hours.

Thanksgiving is also a trying time because it is especially difficult to be a closeted gay son. "No, I don't want to talk about college football." "No, I don't have a girlfriend." "Oh, the untitled 2010 Meryl Streep project? Let's discuss." It's only a matter of time before my quirkiness becomes blatant homosexual tendencies. So I'm not really sure how many more Thanksgivings I will have before the ultimate family meltdown occurs and the only thing I can do to escape is to hide in the cavity of the turkey itself.

Indeed, Thanksgiving always gets me thinking about family. And despite my efforts to lie at every turn and maintain the archetypal perfect son facade, my family is still hanging together by just a thread. So I wonder what would happen if I came out. At which point, I concede that the utter absurdity of Thanksgiving at my family's house is still a little better than Thanksgiving alone.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Are You There Citigroup? It's Me, Margaret.

There's no better time to post when people start having conversations through their comments demanding it. I also have this new rule where I don't post something new until the last post receives at least NINE comments so really this is a perfect storm.

Normally I would be asleep by this hour but I am lying in bed, wide-eyed and worried that my life has not and will continue to not turn out as I expect. I am a senior in the school of business with no job offer. Liken this to being the Last of the Mohicans or a wild, three-headed elephant roaming the streets of Manhattan; if the embarrassment isn't enough it's only a matter of time until I'm shot and killed. I told this to a fat, bald guy who works at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He thought I was pathetic.

There's this girl in my banking class that is pretty and thin but her skin has this weird sheen to it like maybe she rubbed olive oil all over herself or maybe she is made out of wax. She was talking to me today about all the job offers she is entertaining. When I thought she had left the class to go pee, she was actually answering a call to receive another offer. She told me that she has one particular job in mind and plans to move to New York City for it but the $68,000 salary she is being offered sounds too low. I didn't tell her that I'm probably going to move home after school and the $8 an hour wage at Trader Joe's sounds just right.

Obviously, I am miles and miles smarter and more qualified than these people (I got straight A's in the fifth grade). I can't understand why I'm being shunned by every employer like I'm the egg salad in a Ruby Tuesday salad bar. Maybe there is some sort of scarlet letter on my back that I don't know about. Maybe they know I'm gay.

It would be hard to pinpoint the exact mistake that caused the derailment of my hopes and dreams, but I'm going to try anyway. Maybe it was the time I spent three months sunbathing and watching Desperate Housewives reruns instead of getting a summer internship. Maybe it was the time I switched to business because architecture was too hard. Maybe it was the time I switched to architecture because pre-med was too hard. I probably shouldn't have eaten an entire can of sour cream and onion pringles before my office interview with Ernst & Young.

My father, who is deeply invested in preventing me from shaming the family name, would probably say that I lack the confidence to endure the hardships that come along with the things I really want in life. And that this is all my fault because he was the best father in the world. And it's also my fault because I am gay and therefore a complete and utter failure. (This is a hypothetical and absolutely unrealistic world where I have come out to my parents.)

Though I've never really considered that being gay would have an impact on the other areas of my life, I'm beginning to see that it does. Maybe my fear of rejection and the constant swirl of doubt in my mind has prevented me from pushing myself to be something great. Instead, I've settled on just fitting in because deep down, that's all I really want.