An Opinionated Daddy's View of Life

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Don't Want Him, You Can Have Him, He's Too Fat For Me defines the work, "Churlish" as,

"churl·ish, adjective
1. like a churl; boorish; rude: churlish behavior."

As an officer and a gentleman, I try to avoid being churlish. That said, I had an experience recently, on Halloween, that made me wonder if I was exhibiting churlish behavior.

I don't know about you, but when I am struggling to make social connections (new friends, go on dates, etc.) I always tend to think, "wouldn't it be nice if one of my friends had someone cute with whom to fix me up." Or, "wouldn't it be nice if someone would invite me to a party, or to church, or to a rugby match, so that I can perhaps meet some new people." If your experience has been like mine, you know these things rarely happen.

Well, for me, it did finally. A fellow I'd never met, but had chatted with occasionally on line sent me the following email, "We've talked before. Always have struck me as a cool guy. I'm not your type but I wanted to invite you to a Halloween party on Saturday at my house. Should be 50-75 people. Gay and straight, some with costumes and some without. Let me know if you wanna come and ill (sic) send you the address. "

At first I was a little nervous. I mean, I asked myself, "what if this is some sort of religious thing?" Or, "what if this is a joke?" Or, "What if it is a sales thing, like some soft of pyramid scheme?" After these fleeting thoughts, I decided I was going to look on the bright side. I was going to assume it was an authentic invitation sent by a kindly soul. I am glad I decided to go the positive route. Because, that my friends, is exactly how it turned out. It was a huge costume party over flowing with food, booze, and guys.

Well here is where the question of churlishness appears: it turned out to be a bears only party. As I've oft mentioned, I am an opposites attract kind of guy. Bears are not, I mean NOT my thing at all. In other places I've lived or to where I've traveled, bears and their admirers mix. My friend Ryan (a major admirer, trust me) goes to bear events all up and down the coast of sunny California and he, and his posse of other admirers are always the bells of the ball. In Seattle, though, this rarely if ever happens.

First, as I mentioned above, Seattle is a bear town. So even the younger guys tend to be stocky, balding, hairy, sporting goatees and beards. Second, in Seattle bears are only 'allowed' to socialize with other bears. The bear community here is only open to bears, bearish cubs, or chubs. I hear constantly from the few younger non-bearish guys here that they like bears, they like them a lot, but none of the local bears will pay them any attention. If you've read other pieces I've written, you also heard of my experiences at receiving flaming IM's and emails from guys insisting that since I am stocky and hairy, I am 'expected' to be attracted to that kind of guy and that is the only kind of guy I deserve to date. Sorry, flamers, but ick! Not my thing at all. Let me also repeat, as I've written before, I don't think I am all that. I don't think I should only date 10's. I do believe, however, that at nearly 50, I know what makes Mr. Happy smile and what doesn't. I am not saying bearish guys are not attractive, nice, smart, funny, etc. I am only saying that I don't find the appealing. As we say in the Navy, "I wouldn't fuck a bear with your dick." I will say that of the 200+ people that were there during the hour I was there, there were 4 cute guys (i.e. my kind of cute: non-bearish). One, a former semi-regular fuckbuddy. One a muscle boy. One attending with his boyfriend and another waiting for his boyfriend to arrive. How do I know these things? Well the former fuck buddy stopped by to say, "hello" than ran off to get a drink. The other guys, I happened to over hear enough of their conversations to learn these things. When you spend an hour standing by yourself in a corner, it is sort of hard not to over hear stuff. I mean, what else are you gonna do?

So, am I being churlish for being disappointed it was a bear party? Perhaps. It was very sweet and thoughtful of the host to invite me, sight unseen. That sort of kindness should happen more often. I am both glad and thankful to have been invited. I am also proud of myself that I made myself take a social risk and go to a party about which I knew little. I was completely uncomfortable and totally out of my social depth. I made myself promise no matter what, I'd stay for at least an hour and I did.

So what do I mean by being 'proud' of myself. For someone who has a very powerful persona (as a professional actor I have 'stage presence. I am also a military officer. Additionally, I've been told repeatedly that I intimidate people with my loud and distinctive voice and my blunt talk), I am actually quite shy and socially awkward. I just don't have the social 'gene'. Give me command of a watch team, where I am large and in charge and I am inspiring. Put me up on a stage, and I will charm the pants off of you. Sit me down at a church, social event, etc. where I am surrounded by a bunch of strangers, and I am a total disaster. My lack of a social gene is something I work to overcome; ergo, being invited to the party was a step towards improving this social anxiety. Of course, it is also true that the whole hour I was there only 3 people spoke to me: the host; the former fuck buddy; and the muscle boy, who commented on my T-shirt.

I've also written of late about getting thinking about trying to date again. An acquaintance asked me the other day, "why are you thinking about dating, when you are clearly still hung up on your ex-boyfriend?" An interesting question. My response, "I've deserve to have some kind of social life, don't I? I know it is too soon for anything 'serious', that isn't what I seek anyway. But I can't spend all of my time hanging out with my dog at the little house down by the big lake, now can I?" Disclaimer: I am still hung up on Sam, the big dork. I'd be lying to you and to myself if I didn't admit that. The spoiled, ill-mannered, and quite insane mongrel with whom I share the little house near the big lake miss Uncle Sam terribly. So between my social awkwardness and still being hung up on Sam, I appear to be stuck.

I think we all deserve a social life. I'd like to think that I do as much as anybody else. Yet, it (a bear party) was clearly not my 'thing.' I have to admit, lately I've been pondering if I truly know what is my 'thing'. Can I really be nearly 50 year old (I turned 49 in October) and still be this shy and awkward? I guess I can. My therapist and I talked about this the other day. He commented that perhaps my 'thing' just isn't like that of others, and I shouldn't expect it to be. He asserted that by expecting to a more social creature, and not being so, I just end up making myself be disappointed? Maybe he is right. Still, it gets kind of boring being in bed alone every Saturday night by 2130. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy time alone and I love both the little house near the big lake and my crazy dog. It would, however, be nice if my time alone was more something I chose, rather than something foisted upon me by circumstance.

Sometimes dealing with the 'monster' we know, as evil as it might be, seems safer than the monster we don't. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be stuck in old, ineffective patterns which, while comfortable, are not conducive to the healthiest or happiest of experiences. Can I miss Sam (and secretly wish he'd come home) and still go on the occasional date? Yes! Of course that would have to find someone with whom I wanted to go on a date and who wanted to go a date with me. Anyway. Should I continue to accept the occasional social invitation, even if it isn't my thing? Yes! Should I try and not have churlish thoughts and find away to enjoy such experiences, even they are not my 'thing?" Yes!

At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So This is Why So Many 'Full Figured' Guys Use the Word, "Masculine" to Describe Themselves

Data from the current study supports this theory. Age, height, weight and hairiness are indicators of masculinity. Older, hairier, taller and more solid men are considered to be more masculine than younger, smoother, shorter and lighter men. Data from the current study suggests that Only Tops seek out sexual partners with less masculine features, while Only Bottoms seek out sexual partners with more masculine features. One might suggest that Only Tops seek out sexual partners with feminine qualities while Only Bottoms seek out sexual partners with masculine qualities.

Beyond Tops and Bottoms
Correlations between Sex-Role Preference and
Physical Preferences for Partners among Gay Men
By Nicholas Yee (

Opposites attract, now don't they?

At least that is what THIS DADDY thinks

Friday, November 18, 2011

It Goes Without Saying...but I Might as Well

The Daily Beast

Sep 29, 2011 12:11 AM EDT

Do Cougar Couples Survive?

7. Gay men who identify as “bottoms”—preferring receptive anal intercourse—are twice as likely to desire partners 10 years older than themselves as partners 10 years younger.

In the study that yielded this statistic, 11.6 percent of “bottoms” desired partners at least 10 years older; 4.7 percent of “bottoms” desired partners at least 10 years younger. Also in this study, twice as many “tops”—men who prefer insertive anal intercourse—desired partners 10 years younger than themselves as 10 years older. “Critics may point out that maybe Bottoms who prefer older partners become Tops who prefer younger partners as they get older, or that Tops in general are older than Bottoms,” notes the researcher who presented this data.

Nicholas Yee. “Beyond Tops and Bottoms: Correlations Between Sex-Role Preference and Physical Preferences for Partners Among Gay Men.” Independent research project (PDF)

See, haven't I been saying that intergenerational dating is perfectly natural? And, of course, haven't I always insisted that Daddy = TOP and boy = bottom? Not that I needed it, but it is nice to have 'proof.' Sigh. To quote that famous philosopher, Lily Tomlin, "I'm a tree, I can bend." Being right so often is a heavy burden to bear, but for you, dear readers, I am willing to shoulder that burden.

Isn't science a wonderful thing?

At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone

Ninety days ago, 16 August 2011 my (former) young man moved to the East Coast for graduate school. The lyrics to this song match my mood today. The little house near the big lake just ain't the same without the big dork.

Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
It's not warm when he's away
Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
And he's always gone too long anytime he goes away

Wonder this time where he's gone
Wonder if he's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime he goes away

And I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know

Hey I'll leave the young things alone
But ain't no sunshine when he's gone
Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
Only darkness everyday

Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime he goes away
Anytime he goes away
Anytime he goes away
Anytime he goes away

"Ain't No Sunshine" (, lyric and music by Bill Withers from his 1971 album Just as I Am, produced by Booker T. Jones.

Mawkish though it might be, to paraphrase how I always end my posts, "At least, that is how THIS DADDY feels."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You're So Vain...

I'll bet you think this blog is about you, you're so vain...." Come on, sing along, you know the words.

Recently, while listening to "Fresh Air" on NPR, I heard an interview with an author who was on her third (count them: one, two, three) memoir. Really? Is anybody's life so important that they have to write three different books about it? If so, do people actually want to read that stuff? I guess so, I mean, she keeps getting published.

I was pondering the reasons today for why it is that I write this blog. Like writing a memoir, I think blogging by its very nature is a very egocentric act. I mean, for heaven sake, does anybody really care about what is going on the blogger's life? And, if so, why? Don't get me wrong, I am glad that people read what I write, and I certainly hope that my readers derive some pleasure in doing so. Still, by writing a blog and hoping folks will read it, am I acting like an egomaniac? Wait, don't answer that.

Originally I started this blog space as a 'rant space'. It didn't have a name or a particular topic area. It was merely a place where I could write rants and ruminations on a variety of topics. It was never intended to be read by anybody.

Then, as I continued to write, the blog morphed into something less about ranting and more about positivity. Daddyhunt, a website I visit frequently, asked for folks interested in writing for them to provide samples of their work. Never expecting anything to come of it, I did so. That got to rethink the purpose of this blog, made me want to make it more thematic, give it a name, etc. As DH wanted their articles generally be positive and upbeat, I started really concentrating on making sure my pieces were positive and affirming. It was, however, very important to me that my writing be authentic. Readers can spot a hypocrite a mile away. As I found myself happy in life, it was easy to write pieces that were both positive and yet authentic at the same time. As I began to appreciate my life more (new home, new love, new job), the blog's 'perkiness' and 'upbeatedness' seemed to increase. No more ranting for THIS DADDY. Life was good. If I, never anybody's idea of Sister Mary Sunshine, could be happy, then by golly others could to. The focus became rather about commenting on the 'goodness' of life, acceptance of aging, finding love unexpectedly, etc.

Lately, though, things have been different. I've noticed that as I experience my current 'dark' time (i.e. my recent break up with the boy I love; losing the job I enjoyed so much; worrying about paying my mortgage; finding out I am diabetic, etc.), my writing has lost a lot of its 'perkiness'. It is awfully hard to be perky when going through a time like this. So that brings me to back around to what started this rumination: do people actually want to read this stuff?

I get what it is I derive from writing. It allows me to express myself. It allows me to, or so my therapist tells me, 'connect' with the outside world in a new way. It allows me to better understand that different though we all might be, we share many, many life experiences in common.

But what is it that you, my readers, get from reading stuff? I can't answer that. What I can say is that I am glad that you take the time to read what it is that I write, perky or not. God that sounds so self centered. I don't mean that in the 'what I have to say is so important people should read and heed my every jot and tittle'. Trust me, I may be one opinionated dude, but I don't think I know everything there is to know and that my way of thinking or my beliefs have any validity other than to me.

I mean to say, 'Thank you'. If you take the time to read, "Buck Up, Princess', I hope you derive some pleasure from having done so. I hope reading it encourages you to think about experiences in your life which we all share. I hope the blog makes you ponder these shared experiences and helps you realize that you aren't alone. As dopey as this sounds, we really are all in this life together.

Not that I think you should care or anything, but I really am a happier man than I have historically been. I really do like my gray hair. I really am able to appreciate life in ways I'd never have though possible a decade ago. At the moment, my life sucks, and I am sure this is evident in my writings. I also know that life will get good again.

I hope you find, "Buck Up, Princess" authentic, during the perky and the not so perky times. And I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sitting down and writing it. And, while not always agreeing with what I say or how I think, I hope you find it worth the time it takes to read it. If you want to share your reasons for reading my blog, please do. If you want to ping on me about something I say or something you think I shouldn't have said, please do. Life is better when you share it with others. And, "Buck Up, Princess' is one way to do this.

At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Look of Love

Have you ever noticed that when people are in love, when they talk to each other (either on the phone, via SKYPE, or in person), they get a goofy look on their faces and their voices change? I used to work with this very brusque, completely professional female Navy officer. Whenever her love slave would call our office, suddenly her voice would drop, and she'd turn into something akin to a purring sex kitten. She'd go from, "Good morning, LCDR V speaking. This is a non-secure line. How may I help you?" in a clipped, totally professional voice to, "Hellllooooooooo, this is Renee, baby" sounding like a combination of Eartha Kitt and Kathleen Turner. It used to make me giggle every time I'd hear it happen. Admit it. We've all done something similar.

Or, have you ever caught yourself calling a former flame by the pet name you used when you were together? Not to ruin my butch, military officer persona, but Michael N was, 'Sweat Pea'. Derek H was, 'Pumpkin'. Paul G was, 'Sweetie'. Sam G was, 'baby'. Gross, I know. Almost as nauseating as that, 'Seinfeld' episode where Gerry and each other constantly referred to each other as, 'Shmoopy'. Anyway, is continuing to sometimes and slip and use a former lover's pet name healthy or even appropriate?

I've been thinking about these behaviors a lot lately, especially following SKYPE conversations with my (now former) young man. When we chat, it seems to me, anyway, we both get these dopey smiles on our faces that people who love each other get. We each seem clearly happy to be both chatting and seeing each other. Most of the time one or the other of us has to make up an excuse for the call to end, because neither seems to want it to do so. I still catch myself sometimes thinking of him as, 'my sweet baboo'. Granted, I never called him that to his face when we were together (a joking reference to what Sally calls Linus in, "Peanuts"), but I'd often think of him, using that term in my mind. If you haven't noticed, I do have a rather odd sense of humor. Or, when talking to the crazy border collie with whom I share the little house near the big lake, I still refer to him as, "Uncle Sam".

I am not sure how to feel about me performing these behaviors. Is it normal to act like this? Is it healthy? Is it appropriate? I mean, maybe I am imagining that he enjoys seeing me and chatting with me as much as I do seeing and chatting with him. Granted, when we were together he grew a beard which he knew I hated (even though it didn't look bad on him at all, I just don't like facial hair on the guys I date and to me, he is beautiful, no matter what) it and now, since he's gone, he's finally shaved off the damned thing, which makes me a tad grumpy. He even got really defensive when I pointed this out to him, claiming having had the beard wasn't to be defiant. Sure, I believe that. I know to him our time together is a distant but pleasant piece of nostalgia (he even uses that word when talking about us). To me, however, it remains more than that. Do I know our time together is over, yes. Do I expect him to ever return to Seattle, no. Still.....

When a relationship ends, I think most folks, unless the relationship was a bad one, miss the person as much as they do the mere fact of having had a relationship. I clearly miss being in a relationship. I think by my nature I am a 'marrying' kind of guy. Before Sam, I was in a relationship with a guy for 10 years. To this day, we are still (sort of) friends. He only lives 80 feet away (trust me, there is a very good reason for that, as I tell him, "My house has two bathrooms and a view of the lake, yours doesn't!), we even still share keys to our houses. I still slip sometimes and call him, 'sweatie.'

That said, in this case, as different from my past, it seems clear it is way more him that I miss. Sure I miss having someone to share my day with at bedtime; someone with whom to go out for breakfast; someone to leave his dirty socks in inappropriate places strewn throughout my house. I miss how beautiful are his eyes. I miss touching the soft skin on his back. I miss how affectionate was he. We fit together like a puzzle, for example, when laying on my couch watching TV. I miss how he used to climb up on my lap and straddle me, just to hold me and be held by me while hanging out in the living room of the little house by the big lake. He was the first person to actually call me, 'baby' and have it sound perfectly natural. But way more than those things (and myriad others), I just miss the big dork himself.

So, healthy or not, he is still (at least a little), 'Uncle Sam.' He still remains, at least in a small way, 'my sweet baboo.' Maybe to some extent he always will, just like Derek will always be, 'Pumpkin' and Paul will always be, 'Sweetie'. Each time you love someone, it is special and unique. Each time you love someone, it deserves to be honored and respected for this uniqueness. Rightly or wrongly, this is one way that I do this.

At least, that is what, 'This Daddy' thinks.