Thursday, July 31, 2014

TCD in the VOB: 2014

Whelp. I've got another TCD under my belt.

It's kind of a tight fitting belt after mom stuffed me full of all kinds of delicious foods and one kind of pretty mediocre brownies (You know what you did, Mom. You're better than those brownies.).

I'm not sure that I've ever been quite as excited to head home for Tall Corn Days as I was this year. I talked about it so much that friends who have absolutely no connection to Sioux Rapids, IA were starting to bring up TCD in the VOB with full comprehension of what that mash up of letters means (Tall Corn Days in the Valley of Beauty, fyi). One co-worker even counted down with me to what she called "Iowa Christmas." 

Mom seemed to be equally excited to have Katy and I both home for a weekend. She'd started planning meals weeks in advance, at one point calling me to ask me to bring a back-up crock pot for her.

Well...she almost asked me to bring a back-up crock pot for her.

"I'll be leaving 'Kato at around 4 on Thursday, so expect me around 7ish."
"Okay...I was going to ask you to bring your crock pot home with you..."
"Are you asking me to bring my crock pot home with me?"
"'s not a big deal."
"I can bring it if you need me to."
"No...I don't want to bother you with it. You have enough to worry about."
"It's really not a problem."
"Oh, no. I can make due without it."
"I'm literally looking right at it. I can just grab it right now."
"I mean...I don't even know if I'll need it."
"Do you want the 5 quart one or the 7 quart one?"
"Just don't worry about it...the 7 quart."
"...Okay. I'll grab the 7 quart."
"Just if you think about it!"

God love her...

It wasn't all smooth sailing in the lead up to TCD weekend though. 

I have a this thing that I do where I completely ignore things that I don't want to deal with in the hopes that everything is fine, and everything worked itself out (it never does). This is precisely what I'd been doing with my car for the past seven months. 

It was straight up hemorrhaging coolant, and instead of going somewhere and getting it looked at, I just dumped gallons of coolant into it every month and only drove it in ten minute increments so it wouldn't overheat. I had no clue how it would handle the almost three hour drive home.

Also, I hadn't had the oil changed in seven months, the left blinker was out, the speedometer didn't work, I'm missing a license plate, two tires needed to be replaced, my back driver's side window doesn't roll up, I'm pretty sure I lost my insurance information, and I definitely lost my gas cap. 

But the coolant thing was what I was super concerned about.

I ended up filling it to the top and then immediately taking off for home, staring at the temperature gauge for three hours straight, looking away only long enough to skip to the next song on The Reunion Playlist. It was the most anxiety ridden trip of my life.

I made it home without my engine imploding, and Dad immediately went out to look over the damage I'd inflicted on that poor Buick Regal. After about twenty minutes he walked back in the house rubbing his forehead. He looked up at me incredulously, threw up his hands and exclaimed, "All of that, and the f#%!er doesn't even need more oil. I don't understand how that car is still running. I wish I had that f#%!ing car."

Turns out, the water pump hadn't been at all...for a number of months. He took it in to get repaired the next day while I slept in, and they were able to fix a good number of the problems. 

When we rode into town to pick it up, I got a pretty good lecture about how I needed to take better care of my car (because my plan to just marry someone who would do it for me isn't panning out). I know when Dad starts in about checking my fluids or whatever, it's best just to let him tire himself out, so I nodded and agreed for ten minutes. 

We stopped at the gas station afterwards and he got out to fill up my gas tank for the drive home. I was entertaining myself with a funny cat gif or something when I heard through the open window. "Jesus Christ, Christopher!" He leaned in to the car and, in probably the most exasperated tone I've ever heard, asked, "Where the f#%! is your gas cap?"

"You're still gonna pay for this gas, right?"

Travis, Beth, and I had a lake day on Friday. We spent the afternoon on probably the most amazing pontoon I've ever seen in my life. It was straight out of the 70's with a funky green paint job and a grill bolted to the deck. It had been run completely out of gas, and we ended up having to borrow a gas can from a guy and his awkward 15 year old son who were launching their pontoon from the same dock. Travis and Beth struggled getting the beast refueled while I held us in place against the dock (complaining for every second of it), and the 15 year old stared slack jawed at Beth's boobs.

After getting the boat out onto the water, having a few drinks, passing around a bottle of champagne, and jamming the eff out to some Michelle Branch, we decided to get into the water. After a few minutes in though, we realized that we'd made a mistake, and that it was far too cold to be swimming (plus my drink was empty).

Travis was the first one to get out of the water, and as he was climbing back into the boat, he broke the shit out of the ladder. Beth and I bobbed up and down on our foam fun noodles, looking up at the three foot gap between the deck of the pontoon and the water we were going to have to drag ourselves out of, knowing full well that neither of us has successfully completed a pull up in our entire lives. I wondered briefly if there was some sort of DNR emergency rescue number that could be called in case of situations like this.

A plan was hatched to get me in from the back of the boat. I knew that all of my strength is in my legs (I have the upper body strength of a kitten) so I decided to hook my legs up on the deck and use them to pull the rest of my body up. Beth floated behind me offering suggestions and directing me where I could get the best traction.

Travis supported us by laughing continuously from the time that he broke the ladder, to when I flopped onto the astro-turf deck, gasping for air and reaching for my drink.

The original plan ended up with me hanging upside down from the side of the boat with absolutely no way of pulling myself up, so we scrapped it. I ended up throwing a leg over the side of one of the pontoons (which, thanks to some quick Googling just now, is one of those two floaty things under the boat. I then cautiously stood up (soaking wet on the incredibly slippery metal surface) and leapt towards the deck.

And if your wondering if maybe I'm being a bit hyperbolic about this situation, luckily there's this grainy cell phone footage of the incident that Travis took rather than helping his distressed friends.


My recollections of Friday night are a bit hazy. I remember everyone deciding to take it easy that night, reminding ourselves that TCD is a marathon not a sprint, and then I remember gulping down mouthfuls of Jag between shouts of, "I'M SO BAD AT SHOTS!" and "SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING FOR THESE, RIGHT?!"

The TCD parade started at 10 o'clock the next morning, and I was up, neither bright eyed or bushy tailed, but I was ready to get back into it. Typically we get to the parade, and my entire family is already four drinks in, and they're constructing some sort of beer can artwork in the yard, so I grabbed a few beers on the way out the door.

Apparently the entire family matured this year though, because after I took my first few drinks, I realized that I was the only person on the whole block who was drinking openly at 10 in the morning while children ran around collecting candy and old people riding by in antique cars stared out their windows with judgey looks in their eyes.

Luckily my sister can be counted on to have just as little shame as I do, and she cracked one open in solidarity.

I made a brief appearance at my 10 year class reunion, but peaced out when it looked like I was going to need to watch people golf if I was going to continue to hang. Sorry 'bout it.

After leaving the reunion, I met up with Travis, Beth, and a group of Beth's friends from Sioux Falls to continue the festivities on a sandbar down by the river (possibly the most small town Iowa thing we could have done that afternoon), and we stayed there until it was time to move on to the fireman's dance down in the park.

I struggled with how I was going to tell the story of the dance. Nothing too noteworthy happened, but I'd feel remiss if I didn't share at least a few of the highlights. So here they are.


- I made scathing, snarky comments about the new band they got to perform and was almost immediately brought to tears when they played Cruise (I seriously can't understand why I can't handle that song).

- A huge scene was made when I spotted my friend Stacy across the crowd, shrieked, and pushed through a lot of people to give her a hug.

- I danced with a gentleman in a manner that was inappropriate for a small town in Northwest Iowa.

- I had a religious experience with a breakfast burrito that only cost me one drink ticket and, after finding cheese improbably far from my mouth, my dignity.

- A drunk guy cupped my ass while sloppily winking at me, and I started deciding what our adopted children's names would be (be honest, is Charisma the stripper-iest name I could give a girl?).

- Beth played late 90's Robyn and S Club 7 at the bar, and I danced in a manner inappropriate for a small town in Northwest Iowa.

- I had to explain, again, to the bartender what goes into a Vodka Soda (and asked for two so I wouldn't have to go through it again).

- Quite a few ill advised text messages were sent at all hours of the morning.

- I went to my family reunion the next day and had one of those moments where I decided to really step back and look at my drinking habits (which I quickly forgot about after a nap and some Diet Coke).

Only 12 more months 'til TCD, you guys!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Reunion Playlist

My 10 year high school reunion is this weekend.

I kinda thought I'd be in a different place in my life by now. I mean, when I pictured this event (always in the far far off future) I imagined I'd be thinner, with a more successful career, and married to a super hot dude who can't get enough of me.

That's...not...really what's happening this weekend. I mean, I'm still looking better than I did in High School. I lost 70lbs after my Sophomore year of college. Yay, me! But since then, I've steadily gained 20 of it back've read this blog. You know the mistakes I make. Tonight, for instance, I've already resigned myself to going off the diet I've been on (for two. whole. days.) and eating an entire pizza for supper. 

The whole career thing isn't going so hot either. Sure, there's this internet famous thing that's bound to happen sometime, but I'm still working at the same job I got when I started college. I joked to someone the other day that they only way I was leaving was feet first. 

Then I went and quietly had a panic attack where no one could see me.

As far as the super hot husband...the other day, the guy I thought I was seeing brought a date...on our date.

So...that's kinda where my life's at right now.


It's Tall Corn Days weekend, and Tall Corn Days weekend is the happiest weekend of the year. I'm gonna go, I'm gonna spend time with my friends and family, and I'm probably gonna be super wasted through most of it. 

Get ready, Iowa.

As is my tradition with all major events in my life, I decided to make a playlist for the weekend. Something to psych me up as the week of work before my weekend of fun draaaaaaaaags on. My constant need to soundtrack my life, coupled with the insane nostalgia I've been feeling in the lead up to this reunion, brought about what I think is possibly my favorite playlist in existence. 

What was to be a Greatest Hits Album, pulling from all of my high school mix CD's, turned into a 62 track Spotify playlist containing the greatest mix of songs from 2000-2004 that I've ever seen. It perfectly encapsulates the moody, angsty, super gay, yet super into popular rap music, high schooler I was.

Going through these mix CD's was a trip. I started with Chris's Mix #1 (eight Eminem tracks followed by seven A*Teens songs with absolutely no transition songs in between) and worked my way through Chris's Mix #19: The Graduation Mix (lot's of "hate this town," "gettin' out of here," and "I'm leavin'" songs).

And then, 'cause I was on a roll, I continued on to the college years and found Chris's Mix #25: The I'm Probably Gonna Lose My Virginity Tonight Mix. (because I'm not kidding when I say I made Mix CD's for everything). It started out pretty romantically with Leona Lewis and John Mayer but spiraled kinda out of control once Heidi Montag got thrown into the mix.

Clearly, I know how to bring the heat.

Going through the entire playlist here would be a little insane, so I'll provide a few of the highlights, and you can see the rest by following me on Spotify and subscribing to "The Reunion Playlist." I'm not entirely sure how one finds another person on Spotify, but it's linked to my Facebook, so I'm pretty sure you can search "Christopher W. Roberts" and find me. You won't be disappointed in this playlist, I promise (I mean, maybe you'll be disappointed, I guess I don't really care one way or another)!

Teenage Dirtbag- Wheatus

This song was my jam in high school. I can't really comprehend why. It in no way relates to anything I went through. I don't really connect with the lyrics on a personal level. I just really, really f#%!ing love it.

Fame- SR-71

This song was the route of the email address that I got as a Freshman in high school and then was embarrassed by for the next 10 years of my life (we all had that email address). was I thinking?!

The Wreckoning- Boomkat

A pre-Pennsatucky Taryn Manning in possibly the most 2003 band that ever existed.

Sk8r Boi- Avril Lavigne

Every single time this song came on, I would turn to Beth and with a completely straight face say, "I'm a sk8r boi." before going back to what I was doing before with no further explanation. And that's all there was to that story...we were awesome.

Stuck in American- Sugarcult

Sugarcult was one of those bands who I only knew by two songs, but it didn't stop me from listing them as one of my favorite bands of all time for a solid two years.

Don't Cry For Us- Justincase

I bought this album 100% just because the guy on the cover was a dreamboat, and I'd do it again.

Bare Naked- Jennifer Love Hewitt

Let's all take a moment right now to just be thankful that this album/music video happened and that we got to experience it.

Right Thurr- Chingy

I mean...his name was Chingy. And we took him seriously...

Red Light- Jonny Lang

Another album I bought only because of the super hot guy on the front...and then I proceeded to listen to this song on repeat and sob alone in my room for hours at a time. So many feels.

Senorita- Justin Timberlake

I'm fairly certainly Beth and I nearly destroyed our vocal cords before a speech competition by maniacally screaming the call and response portion of this song.

"It feels like somethin's heatin' up. Can I leave wit' you?"

Penny & Me- Hanson

Turns out, Hanson had a whole career after they quit being teen hearththrobs.

A much less successful one.

My Immortal- Evanescense 

No joke, this was on 7 of the mix CD's I listened to.

The Bad Touch- Bloodhound Gang

They used to play this at school dances, you guys. So inappropriate.

I Quit- Hepburn

From the Buffy Soundtrack, and also from the Chris's Big Depressing Crush on a Tease of a Straight Boy Soundtrack.

Check out the rest on Spotify, and throw any suggestions you may have for additions to the playlist my way. I've been enjoying this walk down memory lane...a lot.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just 4 Teenz

The company who supplies the magazines for the store that I work part time at (because wine doesn't pay for itself) recently went out of business, and it's. been. awesome.

I mean, I think a lot of people probably lost their jobs, and that's sad or whatever, but it's meant that we've had to unload our entire stock of magazines, marking them down until they're almost free to make room for whoever is going to take over the contract. I've gone a little overboard.

It started out pretty reasonably. I got a copy of GQ and Details. I'm a young(ish), gay man who, if he had more than $14 dollars at any given time and didn't appreciate the clearance rack at Old Navy quite so much, would probably be pretty damn stylish. Men's lifestyle magazines are a legitimate purchase, and at 75% off, I'd be crazy not to snatch them up!

Then I bought month old copies of US Weekly, People, and Star. But...I'm a young(ish) gay man who, if he had more than $14 at any given time and had unrestricted access to cable television (the E! Network), would probably have a much better grasp on the celebrity culture that is so important in the homosexual community. I need to stay on top of this stuff in case Tori Spelling's shocking weight loss (that whole Dean McDermott is a sex addict thing has obviously taken a toll, so sad) or Kristen Steweart's dead eyes come up in conversation. 

In Style, Vogue, and Bazaar featured Shailene Woodley, Charlize Theron, and Kate Winslet on their covers, and I absolutely had to read those interviews, so I grabbed those. Shailene Woodley is making her own toothpaste, y'all. I mean...I find it exhausting enough dragging myself in to brush my teeth between the time every night where I pass out, mouth open and drooling, watching Gilmore Girls and when I jerk awake two hours later and stumble to my bed. No way I'm finding time to Pinterest a toothpaste recipe. 

Seriously, with this enticing a milkshake, it's crazy that there aren't more boys in my yard.

Shit got kinda weird as the magazine selection got more picked over. I bought one dedicated entirely to re-purposing flea market furniture (like I'm ever going to turn an old ladder into a rustic and stylish bookshelf). I decided I was really into Word Finds one day, and bought a big 'ole book of those. I also got three different wedding magazines that I immediately took home and shamefully hid like they were porn (in fact they're tucked safely away under the porn).

As of last week the selection had gotten pretty limited. There was Vogue Knitting which promises amazing and stylish patterns for handmade clothes guaranteed to humiliate your children (although, let's be real, if you're hand knitting sweaters for your kids, they're probably already home-schooled freaks). Apparently no one is interested in learning to live off the land, because the survivalist guide, Off the Grid, is still collecting dust. And since I'm not interested in the work that it would take to get Hugh Jackman's Wolverine body, the men's fitness magazines didn't appeal to me at all. My magazine binge finally appeared to be coming to an end.

Until I spotted the neon colored, celeb packed covers of a whole rack of teen magazines.

The last time I'd laid my hands on one of these magazines was in the late 90's, right in the middle of the Hanson craze. My cousin and sister were obsessed with the brothers, their rooms covered floor to ceiling with ripped out posters and clipped out articles of the brothers from Teen Beat or BOP. I, trying real hard to hide my sissy, did my best to pretend that I really couldn't be bothered by the glossy pages filled with all the boys I was desperate to snuggle. 

While they traded Taylor for Zac (but never Issac) or Nick for Justin, I'd casually mention that I'd be happy to take any Posh Spice or Alicia Silverstone pages off their know, if they were just going to be thrown away, hoping against hope that on the back there'd be a shirtless JTT or Leo for me to swoon over later in the privacy of my room (when it was always the f#%!ing old one from 98 Degrees), but I could never bring myself to ask them to shove over and pass me the scissors and the scotch tape.

So when I spotted them on the shelf that day, all of this came rushing back, and I got a little nervous. 13 year old Chris was screaming at me to stop, "People will think you're a pansy!" (while 28 year old Chris was too busy being disgusted by how chipped I'd allowed my nail polish to get). 

I started to feel bad that I'd deprived myself of the joy these magazines could have brought me in my formative years. Not only that, but these magazines are positively chock full of advice for dealing with flirting and crushes and all of the mixed signals that boys send. Maybe this is why my love life is such a mess! I just didn't get the proper guidance! I could probably learn something from these things.

So I bought three of them. 

I learned way less than I thought I would.

I learned that all teen boys are named Austin now. 

I learned that Ariana Grande is not the name of a plus sized drag queen/possibly a lady professional  wrestler.

And I learned that teen girls need like a ton of affirmation. 

For instance, I took a quiz from one of of these publications that promised to tell me if my crush and I had true potential by providing me with a checklist of tell tale signs that he's the one. Now I don't have a crush per say (because do adult men really have crushes?), but there is gentleman who I've repeatedly gotten drunk and made out with publicly at the bar. So that can probably count for this quiz. 

"No cheating -- you know your guy's middle name, and he knows yours!"- I'm not even for sure what his last name is.

"When you wake up in the morning, the first text you get is always from him."- No. And thank god, trying to engage me in conversation before 8am is the best way to get never talked to again.

"You have him saved under a sweet name like 'cutie' on your phone."- Do I even have his number?

"You guys have hung out one-on-one without any other friends around."- Well I guess there was that one time in the parking lot...

So. 18 questions. 17 "No's" and 1 "Kinda I guess, Yes.": 

The only possible answers are "You have potential," "You're making sparks," or "You're like fireworks!" I mean, sure it's nice to have this little bit of reassurance, but I think it would probably be a bit more helpful to hear something along the lines of, "You're a drunk embarrassment."

Maybe I shouldn't really be taking any sort of relationship advice meant for hormonal teens constantly on the brink of an over-dramatic, yet poorly planned suicide attempt with their lady Bics.

There's gotta be some life guidance in here somewhere though. Like with the "What's going to make you a star?" and the "How will you find fame?" quizzes. I took both of them, and they informed me that I have a razor-sharp wit (I mean obviously...did you see the super edgy suicide joke I just made...and then felt terrible about?) that will make me famous, and they advised that I put myself out there with a You Tube channel. Vlogging it is!

Imma be a star!

Now I just have to get some camera equipment, do some stage setting, lose some weight to get camera ready, and then find a flattering camera angle when I figure out that I'll never be able to stop with the super shitty gas station foods.

F#%!, that sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I'll just keep throwing this blog together at the last minute after a bottle of wine and hope that this does the trick. 

I was going to do a whole third part here where I found fan fiction written by teen girls about their favorite celebrities. It was all like, "I met Justin Beiber at a pool," and they just like swim around and talk a bunch. I was going to write my own fan fiction that was much more compelling. 

It turned dirty and weird pretty quickly. These are teen idols, and I can not go to jail right now. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Grown & Sweaty Pride

It does't even seem reasonable that Pride has come and gone already this year.

The few weeks before the big weekend seemed to fly by completely out of my control. I had a checklist of thing that I absolutely needed to get done. Then a few days passed and I thought, "Eh, jeans aren't something that you like super have to wash all the time, I don't really need to do laundry." A week passed and I decided, "Planning out a rainbow themed dessert is a bit much." (Plus, all the calories!) Two weeks passed and I figured "If I just pretend that I didn't manscape on purpose, I'm gonna seem soooooo butch." 

After the whirlwind few months I'd just had, jetsetting around the country, I really just couldn't get myself motivated to commit to the non-stop party weekend that is Gay Pride.

I wasn't the only one, either. When Travis and I arrived at the hotel, we found Jamie, Simon and Trevor sitting on the couch watching local news and drinking water.


I mean, this obviously wouldn't do. I called everyone lame, mixed a drink, turned off the TV while they were watching it, and put on some dance music. To which Jamie responded, "We were taking bets on how long it would take you to mix a drink, turn the TV off, and put on dance music."

You f#%!ers love me.

We'd bought tickets that night to an event called Grown & Sexy Pride. I was a little bit (a lot) concerned that it was going to be a pride party for the geriatric lesbian community, but I tricked the group into thinking it would be amazing anyway for one reason and one reason only.

Willam Belli.

Willam is the most infamous of all of the contestants of RuPaul's Drag Race. She's (He's? Drag queen pronouns confuse the shit out of me) the only queen to ever be kicked off of the show, forever cementing her reputation as the most badass contestant in Drag Race history. 

She's also my goddamn hero.

Seriously, in my years of obsessively stalking her on the internet, she's helped shape the person that I've become.

She taught me about the importance of treating  friends and colleagues with respect.

I've learned not to be afraid to take a little "me" time.

She also taught me the importance of generosity.

Most importantly, she's instilled in me a sense of selflessness that I've carried on into all of my interactions both personally and professionally. 

Plus, the bitch can side-eye!

The 1st Ave party turned out to be really amazing. There was a DJ spinning dance music between a number of different performers doing drag, burlesque, and a very "stomp the yard"-esque performance by a group of dancing lesbians (so actually a bit more like put on work boots, till, fertilize, and seed the yard...and then make hummus). 

My self confidence was through the roof that night too. I tell you what, that pool day in Vegas must have been some sort of turning point for me, 'cause I've been giving exactly zero f#%!s about what I'm perceiving to be other people's opinions of me. Last year, I made it my goal to introduce myself to just one person, and this year I couldn't stop making friends. I introduced myself to so many people that night. 

The chick with the Willam tank top:

"Oh my god, gurl, I love your tank top!"
"Oh, thanks, I got it for my birthday!"
"It's my birthday...can I have it."
"Is it really your birthday?! Do you think it will fit you?!"
"Are you calling me a liar AND fat on my BIRTHDAY?!"
"How do you  know that this isn't a Tyra Banks in a fat suit thing?! Boy are YOU gonna be embarassed when I shame you for fat shaming me on national television"
"I didn't...I just..."

That chick's cute friend:

"Your friend was just really awful to me. Does she treat you this way too?"
"Is this a Stockholm Syndrome thing? I'm Chris, what's your name?"
"Not one for jokes, huh Bryce? K, byeeee"

The guy my friend wanted desperately to marry (or possibly just tounge sloppily on the dancefloor):

"Are you finding it sooooooo flattering that my friend is repeatedly and aggressively slamming his pelvis into you from behind right now, or is that like super annoying?"
"Started out's moved past that."
"Hey! Shut it down!" (to friend) "I'm Chris, by the way." (to friend's prey)
"Shut up, I just met someone ELSE named Bryce!"

Glasses guy: 

"Dude, your glasses are, like, SUPER adorable."
"I'm Chris, what's your name?"
"'s Bryce."
"Seriously. There's like a CRAZY amount of people named Bryce here tonight. You don't even know!"

Willam. Freaking. Belli.

It happened. 

The drag queens on stage were performing a Spice Girls mash up, and I was taking a hundred pictures of the Posh one (and only the Posh one) when I heard a gasp and felt someone yanking on my arm, abruptly turning me so I was face to face with Willam.

I overreacted a little.

I took a moment to compose myself and try to come up with the perfect thing to say to her...and this is what came out:


It wasn't super clever or original, but she was kind in her response.

"Oh, well thank you so much!"
"No. Seriously. I like SCARY love you."

Also...not really my most brilliant moment.

"I came out to watch the show, so..."
"Oh yeah, absolutely. Can we just take like 8 or 9 pictures first?"

She was a pro at handling my hysteria and inconsideration for the other performers in the show, and afterwards I took out all of the singles that I had and shoved them into the hands of Posh Spice (and only Posh Spice), turning back to a disinterested Willam with a look meant to convey, "Oh yeah, no big deal that we're just hanging out together. I'm totally enjoying the show. Look, I'm paying her. Is this what you want?! Can we be best friends now?! Can I smell you?"

This girl who was SO sick of my shit:

I dropped my glass on the floor, and she shot me the most withering glare.

I replied, "Calm down. It's not even the worst thing that I've done."

My level of excitement was reaching a boiling point (nearly pushed over the edge by Willam "liking" the Instagram photo I had just posted), so I decided it was time that we moved on from this party before I went full on Swimfan on Willam or really pissed off one of the people standing around me (possibly Bryce).

We ended the night on a rooftop bar, away from the crowds of celebrating gays. I called my sister, insisting that she didn't even understand how much I loved her while she repeatedly asked me, "How high up is this rooftop bar?", and "Could you please not stand too close to the railing for me, buddy?"

It was one of my best Pride nights ever.

I was in a funk for most of Saturday. The only thing that I could get myself psyched up for was the used book tent. Every year I tell the group that I'm with that they should leave me there, and I'll meet up with them after I've carefully examined every damn book on those tables. Part of me doesn't want them hovering around acting all annoyed at the amount of time it's taking me, but a bigger part of me is also desperately hoping for a "meet cute" in the book tent at Pride. 

I picture me and a slightly dorky, but totally hot, guy in glasses and a Battlestar Galactica shirt both with armloads of books turning and bumping into each other, spilling our books all over the grass in the tent. We both apologize profusely before bending over to help each other gather and separate our piles. He notices that I'm buying one of his favorites and says something like, "Oh, you're cute and you have good taste!" I'm not at all awkward about it, and I answer back with a clever quip that even now, in the fantasy, I'm swooning too hard to actually come up with. We end up talking for hours over funnel cakes (I say we should share, but he decides to get his own, which is what I was hoping would happen in the first place), and when my friends come looking for me, I tell them they can go f#%! themselves, I'm busy.

So when I heard from behind me, "Good choice on that one, I read it last year, and it's amazing!", and turned to see a pretty cute guy also with an armload of books. I should have been thrilled.

Instead, I immediately began thinking, "Oh god, someone's talking to me. Who just walks up and starts talking to people?! Did I remember to put on deodorant today? I wonder if I can just pretend I didn't see him? Nope, I've made eye contact. Just smile. Not like a crazy person. Like a normal person smiles. And then get away. YOU'RE NOT READY FOR THIS!"

I managed to spit out something along the lines of, "Oh. Yeah. I liked...some...books...I read last year too..." before I averted my eyes and moved to a different table. 

I'm going to die alone.

It rained for most of the afternoon which kind of put a damper on the rest of the evening, making it hard to really get excited about round two of partying out at the bars. We started out at Jetset where I pretty quickly developed an entire imaginary relationship with the bartender wearing a bro-tank and a hat that said "YOLO" in rhinestones. It took awhile to get into the swing of it though. It wasn't until we got to The 90's and made it to the dancefloor just in time to hear "Since U Been Gone" that it really started to feel like Pride. 

Once out to the dancefloor, it was clear that I was ready to have a balls to the walls, no shame, Proud (even though there's no reason I should be) night. 

I'm not sure if this is a universal thing, of if it's just me being a disgusting human being, but you know that time of night where everyone is a sweaty, horrible mess, but nothing has ever been more fun than what is happening right in that moment? Like, under normal circumstances, if someone were to bump into you, like at the grocery store, and you feel sweat rubbing off of them onto you, it's enough to make you cancel whatever plans you have to immediately go home to shower. But at 1 in the morning on the dance floor when a strange girl sending behind me whips her ponytail so hard that it wraps around my head entirely, into my open mouth and eyes, coating my whole face with her perspiration, I literally can't find a f#%! to give. 

It was the best. 

By Sunday morning, I'd exhausted every Proud bone in my body, and I just couldn't stomach sitting at a parade for 37 hours. I mean, it's not really that long, but that's what it feels like after about the 20th church float that goes by (I get it, Jesus REALLY loves me). I decided to skip it entirely and go home and go to bed. 

I feel like it says something about the state of acceptance in this country that I felt completely okay with missing out on the parade, an event that used to be such an important reminder to me that our community is loved, supported, and that we weren't alone in this fight. 

Or it could be that it says something about how my drinking habits are making me miss out on special moments in my life, and maybe I should consider seeking treatment.

Probably that state of acceptance thing though.

Oh, and by the way, it was also on Sunday morning that I figured out that the three Bryces I met on Friday were definitely just the same guy, three different times.