Maddog’s Journey Home.

I’ve been at a loss as to what to write lately.  I sit down and put my hands on the keyboard, look at the white space on my monitor and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  And nothing happens.  It’s not like I’m at a loss for opinions.  I have opinions on tons of shit.  I just don’t really feel like complaining right now.  And then I try to write something nice and positive, and that won’t come either.  Instead I end up surfing the net, and going to bed, feeling like I’ve let down the three readers I’ve got left.


I should tell you about my trip home to Kentucky last weekend.

Last Friday morning at 7:15 a.m. Adam and I loaded our crap into a rental car.  We stopped at Starbucks for coffee and McDonalds for Egg McMuffins and Diet Coke.  At approximately 8:00 we crossed the George Washington Bridge, turned right, and headed southeast to Kentucky.  I was driving.  Actually I was the only one who could drive.  Adam wasn’t on the rental agreement and to have him insured would have more than doubled the rental cost.  So it was just me.  He was navigating.

And so we drove.  Turn here.  Turn there.  Stay in this lane.  Stay in that lane.  Watch for I-78.  Wait.  We just passed I-78.  No.  No.  It’s up ahead.  No.  I promise you we just passed I-78.  No it’s too soon.  We can’t have passed it.  So I trusted him that we had not passed it, and I continued to drive.  45 minutes later when we still hadn’t passed it I suggested we stop and see what was going on.  We stopped at one of the travel plazas on I-95 and looked at a map.  Sure enough, we’d passed it a while ago.  (I was right, but I didn’t make a big thing out of it.  Just that I was right.)  I suggested that we just buy the Atlas and do the trip the old fashioned way.  Throw away the Mapquest directions and just decide where we were going and how to get there.  So I shelled out the 25.00 bucks and we were on our way.

When it was all said and done, it turns out that we probably only added about 40 minutes to the trip.  We didn’t have to backtrack.  We just drove a few more minutes south, picked up the Pennsylvania Turnpike and we were back on track.

Does anyone else know that Pennsylvania goes on and on and on and on.  We drove for days on the fucking road and we didn’t get any closer to anything.  We just drove and drove and drove.  We stopped every 90 minutes or so to pee since we couldn’t quite get our schedules together.  And of course there was always a shortage of Diet Coke.  So we probably would have made more progress if we hadn’t stopped so much.

We decided to get lunch at Breezewood, Pennsylvania.  It’s kind of the halfway point in the state of Pennsylvania.  It’s a scary, scary, scary place.  And it’s kind of hard to explain why.  Perhaps it was the freaky girl who waited on us at Pizza Hut.  Or the man sitting behind us that belched every three or four minutes during our entire lunch.  Or perhaps it was the 378 bikers that pulled up in the parking lot.  Or perhaps it was the lady who was showing off her Jesus Loves Me bracelets.  Or perhaps it was the crazy girl at Dairy Queen.  Although the one common denominator in the whole equation was us.  So perhaps we were the freaky, crazy ones.

Finally we were on our way.  And so we drove and drove and drove and drove.  And finally we paid our toll and crossed out of Pennsylvania.  With the tolls in Jersey and now Pennsylvania we’d already spent 30.00.  Just for the right to drive.  Once we were in Ohio the trip seemed to pick up pace.  And finally we seemed to be making more progress.  Around 7:00 about 30 miles outside of Columbus we drove through a little area and as we passed we saw a J.C. Penny Clearance store.  So we got off at the next exit, turned around, and headed back.  We’ve never been one to pass up cheap stuff.  It was a nice store actually.  And the stuff was okay.  I ended up buying a shirt, and some socks.  Adam bought a couple of things and then we were back on the road.

And we drove.  And drove.  And drove.

Finally we were in Cincinnati.

And hungry again.

And we had to pee.

So I picked an exit I knew from when I lived there.  And what would you know there was one of Adam’s favorite restaurants.  The Cheesecake Factory.  I asked him if he’d like to stop.  He wouldn’t answer.  It basically came down to whether we should stop and eat dinner, or pick up something to eat in the car and drive the 90 more miles to my mom’s house.  I voted to stop and eat and so we did.

It was nice to be out of the car.  And holding my boyfriends hand.  And chatting.  And discussing how nervous we both were about his meeting my mom.  By this time it was almost 11:00 so we paid our check and we were on our way.  Three minutes later, Adam was asleep and I was on my own.  I’ve driven this stretch of road a million times, but it seemed to go on forever.  I was tired, and sleepy, and nervous, and I just wanted to be home.  I stared at the road intently afraid at this point that I was too tired to drive.  And I drove and drove.  And finally we drove into Georgetown.  Back into civilization.  I’d made it and I was awake.

I woke Adam up as we drove the last twelve miles.  And about a mile from the exit I called my mom to tell her that I was just about there.  And then I noticed a police car in the lane in front of me.  And I was moving toward it and I assumed it was moving as well.  Until I was about 500 feet from it and discovered that it was sitting still in the middle of the Interstate.  I slammed on the brakes and came to a stop a few feet from him.  I was finally able to pull around him and I still have no idea why he was stopped in the middle of the road.  I just know it scared the crap out of me.

And then we exited, turned left, and then left again.  Drove to the stop sign.  Turned right.  Turned right into my mother’s drive way.

And there we were.

Ready for my mom to meet Adam.  My boyfriend.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or just woke up from a coma, then you know the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on gay marriage.  

I don’t think I was really shocked.  All the early reports stated they felt the court would uphold the amendment.  Of course like everyone else I hoped for the best.  I don’t know that I felt anger.  Or surprise.  I just feel like it’s one more slap in the face when it comes to our being accepted as equal citizens.  I have no doubt that in my lifetime all fifty states will recognize gay marriage.  It will take a while but eventually even Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas will realize they have to get with the times.  By that time of course there will be some new group that is being discriminated against.  God knows…to be happy we have to hate someone.

And I discovered yesterday that for too many of us, that hatred is directed at ourselves.

After the ruling yesterday, like everyone else I know, I updated my Facebook status, and started responding to the status updates of my friends. 

I found the following comment on my friend Kevin’s status:

To be honest, it’s our stereotypes that are keeping us down. People get a bias for a certain group of people based on previous experiences, and maybe if we all started acting like normal fucking people instead of every faggot in town acting super fabulous, we’d get the respect we deserve. Who knows?

I was somewhat outraged at this statement.  Especially since it was coming from a gay man.  What do you mean normal?  What I realized after reading several other people’s pages is that there is a lot of self hatred in the gay community.  There is a lot of internalized homophobia.  How can we expect others to love us and let us live our lives as we want when we don’t even think that’s okay ourselves.  

I kept coming back to the word “normal.”  Normal?  What is that?  Who gets to decide?

That’s a big problem in our country.  We’ve decided that everyone should behave normally.  You should wear certain clothes.  You should have a certain job with a certain income level.  You should belong to the right clubs and drive the right car.  You should…Well that’s the problem.  “You should.”  I will restate.  What the fuck is normal?  And who decides the standard to which everyone else is judged. 

After much thought and debate about whether to respond to the above comment, I posted:

A question for you. What is normal? And who gets to decide? I’d really like to have the guidelines sent to me. Can I not wear the work boots I just bought? Or a pink shirt? Or a sweater from Bloomingdales? Or Pumas? Tight shirts? Baseball caps? Jewelry? Shoulder bags? What do we do with people who can’t pull off acting “straight” whatever that is? Should we put them in camps and water board them till they can spout how many home runs A-rod has hit this season? Should we shutter Broadway because “normal” straight men don’t do musical theatre. Or baking. Or lots of other things. Your idea that we should conform to the “normal” stereotype is feeding in to what the right wingers would have us believe…That we are not normal because we are gay. I’m not normal. And I don’t plan to be normal. Because I don’t know what that is. What I am going to do is continue to live my life the way I want. If some straight person who votes doesn’t like my clothing then screw them.

His response:

You know what’s really funny? Pandering to society’s expectations of you as a gay man. Falling in to the lispy stereotype and the bravado that people expect you to fall in to.

My response:

Who’s society? What expectations? The reason “people” hate gay men isn’t because they are lispy. It’s because we have sex with other men. There is more bad press about circuit parties and drug use than about lispy men. Most conservatives don’t mind us at all as long as we aren’t “practicing” our sexuality. In fact the Mormon church, the backer of Prop 8, doesn’t mind if you are gay. Only that you are actually having sex. The only people who really pander to society’s stereotypes are those who write straight acting on their Manhunt profile. I don’t know how to break it to you but the minute you put your penis in another man’s mouth  you aren’t “straight” acting and you are no longer acting normal according to too many people in our society.

Someone else’s response:

In answer to your questions, Jeff, I would like to reiterate that common sense is a good guide in deciding what is “normal.” A better word than “normal” might be “appropriate.” A man on the sidewalk holding hands with another man and wearing a pink shirt and a shoulder bag is appropriate. A man on the sidewalk wearing assless chaps and licking another man’s face is inappropriate.

I was tired of arguing by this point and let it rest.

But what about “straight acting?”  What about pandering to the stereotypes that have been created?  What’s wrong with wearing assless chaps?  

The reality is:  Both of these men have been told that to be accepted by society we must fall into the acceptable “norm.”  But I repeat my question one last time.  What is normal?  And the bigger question…What does that have to do with my ability to get married?

I was chatting with my friend Michelle today and told her about this exchange.  I think she was perhaps more taken aback by the word “appropriate” than normal.  It’s just as judgmental.  Who gets to decide what’s appropriate?  My mother?  Your mother?  The Pope?  The President?  Fred Phelps?  The mega church down the street?  The truth is nothing we do as “gay” people is considered acceptable by anyone who is fighting against us.  We could get rid of all the assless chaps, and the drag queens, and the gogo boys and these people would still hate us vehemently.  They like to trot these people out as an excuse to hate us because it’s something that will get the attention of everyone else.  But at the end of the day they hate us because of who we are.  And the truth is, if you, as a gay man, think the same thing, then you are just as homophobic as they are.

So stop fighting against your own cause.  Come out of the closet.  Stand up for who you are.  Who you REALLY are.  Not the person you think everyone else expects you to be.  If you wanna lisp.  Then lisp.  If you want to wear pink sweaters and dance down the street then do it.  If you want to hold your boyfriends hand in the middle of an outlet mall, in the middle of Pennsylvania then do it.  (I did this over the weekend.  It was great).  If you want to wear assless chaps and lick your boyfriends face then fucking do it.  Hiding in the back of the bus is never going to get us the recognition we want and deserve.  It’s never going to get us the rights that we want and deserve.  It’s taken a long time to get to this point myself.  And there are times when I have to remind myself that I’m living my life for myself, not someone else.  But now that I’m here, and awake and aware of who and what I want to be, I say FUCK EM with a capital F  U  C  K.  As long as I’m not hurting myself or anyone else, then who really cares about my assless chaps.  Really?




Fuck the “A” train.

It’s late.

As usual.

Which annoys me.

I got out of work later than usual tonight, which was good because I was actually making money.

I got to the subway station at 1:20.  I walked through the door of my apartment at 3:05.  Do the math.  I’ll wait.  For those of you who are math challenged I’ll do it for you.

One hour and forty five minutes.

Almost two hours to get home.  I can walk it in almost that much time.

It’s usually no more than an hour from the moment I swipe my card till I get home.  But for the last several weeks they’ve been doing repair work at my end of the subway line which causes the MTA to close the downtown section of the track.  This means that one train has to go back and forth on the uptown track.  The MTA has been nice enough to tell us this is going to happen.  And they’ve been nice enough to give us a schedule of what times the shuttle train will run.

Tonight I got to the 168 train station at 2:15.  Based on their schedule the next train should have arrived around 2:25 and headed back out at 2:31.  The train finally arrived at 2:50.  And then left immediately instead of waiting till 3:01 as it was scheduled to leave.

My question is:  “Why spend money to publish a schedule if it’s bullshit and you aren’t trying to adhere to it.  Last fall the MTA  was doing the same kind of work.  Which entailed a shuttle train.  Without any notification.  I’d get to 168 and be told to exit the train and wait for a shuttle train.  And then I’d wait till it arrived and continue home.  I find it far less annoying to not know anything and for the arrival of the train to be random than to be told it will arrive at a certain time and then to have it not happen.

Tonight I filed a complaint.  I said pretty much what I’ve said here, except a little more concisely and with a little less sarcasm.  Except for the part when I explained that with the MTA being millions if not billions of dollars over budget, so much so that the state is having to bail them out, that perhaps not printing full color signs that pretty much do nothing would save them thousands of dollars a week.  Times 52 weeks a year, I’m thinking that might add up to a lot of dough.  And that’s just on the A line.  God knows what it’s like to ride any of the other lines.

Dining Tips

I’m in a grumpy mood.

I made no money at work tonight.  And I say that loosely.  I made less that 10% of my sales in tips tonight.  I still made more money that the millions of people who are unemployed.  But it was not as much as I’d have liked.  I only waited on two American tables all night.  Combined their checks were around 35 bucks.  It was two couple that each had one drink each.  They tipped 20 percent and left.  The other 97,000 tables that I waited on were foreign.  Ugh.

Things to remember the next time you go out to eat.

1.  If you are not 21 don’t get upset when I ask for your ID.  And don’t get upset when I insist that I can’t serve you even though you’ll be 21 in two days.  And I don’t care that in your country you can drink at 16.  And I really don’t care that you are dining with your parents.  And promising me a big tip won’t do the trick either.  Sorry.  Next time go to a country that lets you drink if you are younger than 21.  I have to pay my rent and I can’t pay my rent if I’m fined and fired for serving a minor.  Nope just not worth it.

2.  Don’t be rude.  At all.  Ever.  There’s no need for it.  Ever.  At all.  Let me repeat that.  DON’T BE RUDE!!!

3.  I’m aware that some of our tables need to be adjusted so they do not wobble.  I fix this problem ten times a day.  The way to get this done is as follows:

Me:  Hi guys.  How are you tonight.

You:  We are great.  Any chance we could get some help with the table.

Me:  Sure.  Give me two seconds.  There you go all better.

What not to do:

Me.  Hi guys.  How are you tonight.

You:  Shake the table uncontrollably and then yell at me to fix the table.

My response to said situation tonight.  “How about we start with a hello and how are you BEFORE we get to our demands.”

They thought I was rude and got up and left.  I don’t feel guilty.

4.  If there are seven of you and all you want is seven waters and one brownie sundae, you might want to reconsider being here.  You are welcome to look around, ask questions, take pictures, etc.  But do you really need to take up any servers table for seven with a tab that’s only going to be 10.00?  Look around you, there is a list full of names of people waiting who really WANT to eat.

5.  Don’t tell me you don’t drink.  Everyone drinks.  Everyone.  If you don’t drink you’ll die within a few days, and based on the attitude tonight we might be better off should that happen.  Next time I’ll serve that water you don’t want to drink with a fork.

6.  If the restaurant is closed.  And your server has dropped off the check after making you aware of last call for food and last call for drinks and has come back to make sure you don’t need anything.  PAY THE FUCKING CHECK!!!   You may not realize this but I can’t go home till you shell out some money.  So I sit in the wait station wishing that evil things should happen to your off spring if you don’t pay me soon.  Keep the tip.  I don’t care.  I just want to cash out and go home.

7.  And while we are on the subject.  If the restaurant is closing.  Don’t sit down for dinner.  There is nothing good that can come from this.  No one wants you to be there.  You service will be bad.  Your food will be bad.  Your entrees and appetizers and desserts will all be served at the same time.  The bussers will ask you to move your feet so they can start sweeping and mopping.  Walk down the street to the place that’s open all night, or that serves till later.  We’ll be happier and most of all you’ll be happier.  And don’t ever think about sending something back if you don’t like it if you are the last customer to sit down.  The fryer was off before they even cooked your fries.  And your burger was grilled from the warmth of the left over heat.  There is no way to recook something that you shouldn’t have ordered because you shouldn’t be eating here in the first place.

Enough rambling tonight.

A good night’s sleep and I’ll be in a much better mood tomorrow.

Out of the only closet left.

Adam and I had a long talk about my blogging experience.  It’s hard to explain to someone that I don’t really think about what I’m going to write.  I just sit down at the keyboard, take a drink of Diet Coke and 30 minutes later I hit publish and it’s done.  I have no idea what’s going to come out.  I know there are many people out there who spend days getting their posts just right.  But that’s not me.  I just sit and type and hope for the best.

So about that phone call I’m supposed to have with my mom on Sunday.  Well Sunday is the 6th anniversary of my dad’s death.  I didn’t feel like it was perhaps the best time to bring it up.  I also had a long discussion with Adam about it and after all that I headed off to work.  And the first thing I did when I got off the train to walk to work was to call my mom and chat.  And about ten minutes into the conversation I asked her if she knew that Adam was my boyfriend.  She said, of course.  I won’t share all the details of the rest of the call, but lets just say it was not a surprise to her.  She did say to me that Adam is more than welcome in her home and that she only wants the best for me.  She’s had the chance to live her life I should have the chance to live mine.  I want to talk to her more about it this week before I get there.  I don’t think there will be a time for it while Adam is there and so we’ll have to just do it over the phone.  I’ll keep all of you posted as to how this proceeds.

I am home from work early tonight.  I was just not feeling it tonight.  So around 10:30 they started cutting people and someone asked if I’d mind going home and well here I am.  It will be nice to fall asleep with my boyfriend tonight rather than waking him up as I crawl into bed next to him. 

Now I’m going to finish the bourbon and Diet he just poured for me, jump in the shower, eat the dinner he made for me, and then we’ll just have to see after that.

Maddog’s Coming Out.

I’m a pooped Maddog.  Work kicked my ass tonight.  In a good way.  Thank god the manager’s cut the floor early and kept the rest of us busy.  For all of it’s kicking my ass, I had a great night.  It was one of those nights where I think to myself, “I’m pretty good at this.”  It was also one of those nights where people just throw money at me.  I’ve never been able to figure out why one night is great and one night sucks, but I’ll take the great nights anytime they want to come my way.

Adam is asleep in his bedroom waiting for me to come to bed.  I told him as soon as I posted I’d be there.  Since it’s 3:45 he’s probably already asleep.

Have I mentioned that I’m taking Adam home to meet the in-laws?  Actually next weekend we are driving to Kentucky to see my mom.  I had originally planned to drive to Oklahoma and stop in Kentucky to see her.  After I bailed on Oklahoma, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I wasn’t coming.  The original plan was for Adam to drive to Oklahoma with me and then fly home.  Now we are driving to Kentucky next Friday and returning on Monday.  It’s going to be our first real road trip together.  I love road trips and he’s assured me that he does as well.  So far all of our traveling adventures have been great and I have no reason to expect this won’t be a perfect trip as well.

So he’s going to meet my mom.  

My mom is going to meet Adam.

I’ve told Adam that he’ll break up with me as we drive back across the George Washington Bridge coming in to the city.  He has no idea what my family is like.  No one ever does.  Often it helps to have Michelle around to explain because she’s been there done that and the shock is hard to imagine.  

First I’m not from a middle class family.  My mother would barely fall into middle class now.  After 30 years of hard work.  The rest of my family is just above poverty level, if they’ve risen that far.  Add to that, that they are conservative, closed minded bigots.  I’m sure we’ll here several off color jokes before we head back home.  Especially about “The Mexicans.”  They all smoke like chimneys and most of them don’t even come close to knowing what it means to keep a clean house.  I tend to sit on their sofas and try not to touch anything more than I have to.  There favorite words are fuck and shit.  And none of them are educated.  Out of twenty five cousins all my age, I’m one of five that graduated from high school.  I’m the only one to go to college.  

And yet they are my family and love them or hate them they are the only family I have.  To be honest with you, they love me to death.  I’ve never been able to figure out why.  They are all excited that I’m coming home and they all want to know what time I’ll be coming by their houses.  I sometimes think they like me because I got up and got out.

Adam gets to experience all of this.

AND there is the gay thing.  No one in my family will say a word about Adam being with me.  They’ll welcome him with open arms and like everyone else they’ll think he’s the next best thing to white bread.  I’ve never taken anyone home with me that my family didn’t adore.  At least they didn’t tell me if they didn’t.  Of course we also don’t talk about the gay thing.  I’ve only discussed it with a few people in my family.  I assume the rest of them know.  I’ve never hidden it.  I’ve never gay proofed my house.  My family has been to visit me when I’ve been living in a one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend.  We just don’t discuss it.  Of course, I don’t really discuss anything about my life with the.  How was work…good.  How’s the weather…good.  How’s New York…good.  When are you coming home…soon.  That’s the extent of my conversations with my family including my mom.

And my mom is the catch.  I’ve never told her that I was gay.  As I’ve said, I haven’t hidden it.  I just don’t talk about it.  And just like everyone else our conversations are superficial.  They are about work, the weather and the relatives.  Sometimes these chats go on for 30 minutes or so.  

This time is different.  My relationship with Adam feels very different.  And special.  And wonderful.  So I think it’s time to stop pretending and have the conversation.  What I find crazy is that I’m 44 years old and I’m nervous about it.  What’s she going to do, disown me?  Am I going to disappoint her?  At least I don’t beat my wife, drive my car head-on into a school bus while I was drunk, had my children taken away from me because I beat them, run off to Tennessee without telling anyone, not worked in three years, do drugs, drink so much that I don’t know who I am most of the time, have a restraining order out on my ex-wife because she’s threatened to kill me.  In the scope of my family being gay is quite easy.

So I just need to make myself a bourbon and coke.  Sit down on Sunday afternoon and explain to my mom who Adam is.  I want her to know how special he is to me.  And how important it is to me that he meet my family.  I also want to introduce him as my boyfriend.  Not just some random person that I brought home with me.  

So Sunday it is.  Wish me luck.   I’m sure I’m making it ten times worse than it’s going to be.

A Sleepy Maddog.

Anyone who’s read this here blog thing for more than five minutes knows that I have my issues with depression.  I’ve suffered with it my entire life.  About ten years ago I found myself sitting in my current doctor’s office telling him my story.  He listened and asked questions.  And then told me he’d like to see me again.  I have no idea how many times I saw him before he prescribed any medication for me.  It was a sticky subject with me because all of the other medications I’d been on only caused side effects and didn’t seem to help with the depression.  I was very clear that I wouldn’t tolerate insane side effects and that I didn’t want to have to wait five years to see if it was working.

So one week he prescribed my medication.  He told me about the side effects, which didn’t seem so severe.  He told me not to go home and read about it on the Internet because it’s normal use might freak me out.  He suggested I give it a try and see what happens.  That was almost ten years ago.  I’m still taking it today.  It changed my life almost immediately.  My moods evened out, the fog lifted, and life seemed normal.  It has not been a cure all.  Turns out this drug was really for my intense mood swings (I’m not bi-polar) but I can go from happy to pissed off in about ten seconds.  For the most part I’ve only had three or four real angry outbursts since I started the medication.  And I’m about 99% sure they were warranted.

I still suffer from depression and after much work my doctor and I seem to have found a group of drugs that seem to do the trick.  I still get down, but I have learned that it’s normal to be depressed some of the time.  What I don’t do is crawl into bed and hide for two weeks because the world is closing in around me.

As I’ve said, I’ve been taking variations of these drugs for about 10 years, and every so often I meet someone who tells me that it’s silly to take these drugs.  I should learn to deal with it on my own.  Or they want to know when I plan on stopping them.  For the most part I just ignore them.  What I should say is that until you have hidden in your bedroom for two weeks straight, banging your head against the wall, because the physical pain is easier to tolerate than the emotional, and been about three seconds short of killing yourself, don’t talk to me about the drugs I take or my ability to deal with things on my own.  Perhaps they are a crutch.  But 99% of the people I know have some sort of crutch for something.

I have no idea how I ended up on this discussion.  All I really wanted to say is that if I don’t take my medication I don’t sleep.  It’s not designed to help me sleep, but without it, my sleep is not good — if I sleep at all.  I learned this several years ago and so I religiously take my medicine before bed.  Until I met my boyfriend.  He’s upset my routine and over the past several weeks I’ve forgotten to take the medication.  And so I go to sleep.  And sleep about five minutes.  And then I’m awake, staring at the ceiling, wondering when I’ll be able to sleep.  Now here’s the funny part.  When I’m doing this, I never, ever ask myself if I’ve taken my medication.  Only the next morning when I’m completely exhausted from lack of sleep does it occur to me that I didn’t sleep because I forgot to take it.

This happened last night.  And I tossed and turned.  And was miserable.  And at 9:00 a.m. this morning I was still awake and so I called Adam who was getting ready to leave for work.  And he asked why I was awake and I told him I hadn’t slept.  And the first thing he said to me was, “Did you remember to take your medicine?”  FUCK!!!!  I took it then, and about 20 minutes later I was asleep.  Unfortunately it kind of fucked my day.  So tonight I’m going to take it as soon as I hit publish.  And I hope to get some good sleep to make up for the lack of sleep last night.

It also helps that Adam sent me an email just before he went to bed that said, “Don’t forget to take your medication.”  He’s the best boyfriend ever.

Maddog’s in Love!

I’m still working on the balance of my everyday life coupled with that of my life with my boyfriend.   We spend a LOT of time together.  And trust me this is not a bad thing.  I LOVE spending time with him.  We just haven’t figured out the balance of doing the things we liked to do before we were a couple.

I have all but stopped reading.  My time for reading has always been just before bed.  I like to crawl into the warm bed, snuggle under the comforter, open my book and get lost for 30 minutes or so before I go to sleep.  Now when I go to bed, I have other things to entertain me for 30 minutes before I go to sleep.  Let’s see…read book number 3 from the Twilight series?  or have sex with my boyfriend?  Hmmm.  I’ll let you decide.

The same is true about blogging.  Writing my posts was how I ended my day.  Get home late from work.  Check email.  Watch Jon Stewart.  Write a post.  Read.  Sleep.  Once again, who wants to stay up to write a blog post when there’s a hot boy waiting for you in the other room.

Of course all of this is starting to figure itself out.  Slowly.  Very slowly.  And I’m sure over the next several months/years we’ll settle into a routine that works for both of us.  Right now, we are just so excited to spend time together, that we act like little school girls.  Sometimes it’s as if we haven’t seen each other for months.

And the point of all this.

Life is great.

It’s fucking great.

Sometimes I pinch myself and ask how the hell all of this has happened.

Four months ago, I was plugging along at work, no prospects, spending all my time at the movies.  And then one day in walks a beautiful man with a mohawk and deep brown eyes and what do you know it’s four months later and we are in love.  I say all of this because I was really starting to believe it was never going to happen to me again.  And now it has and so far it’s better than any relationship I’ve ever been in.  We cuddle, we whisper to each other in bed, we hold hands, we are supportive of each other’s careers and dreams, we are affectionate with each other in public.  We are very compatible.  I never thought I’d be someone to hold hands on the subway, and now it seems strange if we don’t.  We giggle over silly things at dinner.  We argue over who’s going to pay the check.  He tells me I need to drink more water.  I tell him that he should wear a belt with his pants so they’ll stay up.

It’s nice being in love.  Very nice.  It’s also nice being in a relationship that so far seems completely healthy.  We are respectful of each other.  We are not judgemental.  We listen to each other.  We do nice things for each other.  We are romantic.  And unlike my other relationships it seems to be good.  He isn’t hiding me in a closet.  He isn’t more interested in seeing other men than he is in seeing me, he isn’t obsessed with my weight, he isn’t demanding.  He’s just a regular guy who loves a regular guy and neither of us cares if everyone else knows it.

Can you tell how much I care about him.  I’m probably being a little silly because I’m home by myself for the first time in several nights.  We somehow seem to manage to sleep together more and more every week.  So I’m sitting here typing my blog wondering if I should have just gone the two extra subway stops, watched American Idol and then crawled into bed next to him.  Perhaps tomorrow that’s what I’ll do.

In the meantime, I just wanted you to know that I’m quite happy.  I’ve been sort of bitchy in the last couple of posts and that’s not who I am at all.  Not at all.  Life is good.  And with any luck it will only get better.

A Southern Tale

As I’ve mentioned Beck (Adam) has been reading my blog.  Over the past couple of days he’s gotten real insight into the anger I sometimes feel when I get home at night after dealing with the public.   I put on a good face for him but I think he’s finally coming to understand.  It also explains why sometimes instead of spending the night at his house I get off the train early and stay at home.  It’s not that I like to sleep alone.  Or don’t like him.  Or any host of other reasons.  It’s simply that I’m in one HELL of a bad mood and it takes some time to get out of it.  And it’s best if I don’t have to be around people I like while I’m doing it.  It’s easy to understand why my co-workers drink so much.  I have friends that go out every night after work for drinks.  Of course they always complain about not having money but that’s another story.   For me, I come home and chill for an hour or three before I force myself to go to sleep.  And then I prey that I won’t dream about work as I go to sleep.

And all that being said tonight was a fucking AWESOME night.  Fucking Awesome.  I’ve mentioned to just about everyone who will listen to me that I hadn’t had one of those nights where everything goes your way and the crowds love you and everyone throws money at you and it’s an all round perfect night, in about four or five months.  The run is over.  Tonight rocked.  I walked with 15% of my sales after tipping out 5% of my sales.   Tonight I had the third highest sales total I’ve ever had and it was the second highest net tips ever.  Yes, it was a good night.  And for that I’m grateful.  Maybe it means I can keep this up for a while longer.

There were two little things that happened tonight that I’m going to bitch about.  

First we have a new manager.  His name is James and he’s British.  Not that either of those things is important.  He’s only been in our store for about three weeks.  He’s nice enough, but I don’t think he has a clue how our store is run.  He’s trying to do things the way they are done in a place where you do a 1/4 the business.  That’s not going to fly here.  He’s also a little more hands on than I like.  I like the managers to leave me and my tables alone on the whole.  I only want them to approach the table if I’ve asked them to or the tables specifically requested to see them.  Otherwise let me do my job.  It hadn’t been a problem till tonight when a table sent back two cheeseburgers because they weren’t cooked enough (more on this later).  I took the burgers back to the kitchen and following procedure alerted the kitchen manager to the problem, rang in two new cheeseburgers, well done, and then put a note on the order that it was a re-cook.  With burgers it usually only takes about two three minutes because we always have burgers on the grill.  So I’m standing there and James rushes up and says, do I need to go to the table?  Are they okay?  Should I offer to buy them dessert?  Should I…FUCK NO you should not go to the table.  You shouldn’t even go talk to them.  They are perfectly content (more on that later) and they are fine.  And we definitely don’t need to give them free shit just because they didn’t like how their burgers were fixed.  You do that in this restaurant, you better set up the free all you can eat dessert bar.  And then two minutes later I’m walking out of the kitchen and he’s talking to my table.  Get the FUCK away from them.  I don’t even know what he said to me after that.  I was just pissed.  And it’s a good thing he didn’t buy them anything because I was fully prepared to give him the check and tell him to handle the table if it was so important to him.

And now the table itself.

A couple of night’s ago my friend Bonnie said, “I’ll take a four top of French people who don’t speak a word of English who run up a 100 dollar check and then don’t tip over a country table any day.”

Her point was proven tonight.

I went to the lobby and asked if there were four people for dinner.

The guy raised his hand.  It was the only quick thing he did the whole rest of the time.  It took forty minutes to get them to the table because they were walking so damn slow.  I need to get you to the table before someone sits down at it.  

So I get them seated and before they’ve responded to my first hello I’ve realized that I’ve made a horrible mistake.  THEY ARE SOUTHERN!!!!!  WITH A BIG “S”.  And not just Southern.  They are hicks.    They are also the type of people who are miserable the minute they get out of bed.  I think I could have served them the best dinner ever, handed them the keys to a new car, given them the winning numbers to MEGA millions and they’d still have been unhappy.  I decided it was a challenge.  So I tried to kill them with kindness.  By the end I just wanted to kill them. 

I get the drink order.  An Iced Tea, a Diet Pepsi, a water and a Mt. Dew.  And no we don’t have sweet tea–don’t even ask.  I get their drinks and head back to the table and get their order.  It’s a appetizer combo platter.  None of them need it.  They are from the south, they haven’t missed a meal since Carter was president.  The rest of the meal is two pork sandwiches and two cheeseburgers.  VERY.  VERY.  Plain cheeseburgers.  Get that, we don’t want lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise …yes I fucking know what plain is.  

So I place the order and I drop off appetizer plates and I fill up the guys Mt. Dew thinking he needs a refill like I need a whole in my head but it’s my job so okay.  And I’m also running around like crazy taking care of other people.  When I hear someone scream “Maddog” at the top of their lungs.  I look over and one of them says, “We need plates!!!”  Where are the plates I brought you?  They were dirty.  Okay, no need to get upset I’ll get you new ones.  I bring the plates and we are back on track.  

I order the rest of the food and I run around like crazy taking care of everyone else.  I see their food get dropped so I run over and ask if there’s anything else I can get for them.  They grunt and say, “At least give us time to try the food first.”  UH.  OKAY.  About 30 seconds later someone shouts MADDOG across the dining room at me, I go over and the woman says, “This is gonna have to go back on de grill.  It ain’t cooked done.”  I take the plate from her.  It’s a perfectly cooked medium well burger just as she said she wanted but I’m not going to argue.  And then the son pipes up, “Yeah, mine ain’t done neither.  I take both plates and head to the kitchen.  See the above paragraph.  I go back and explain to the table that the burgers will take a couple of minutes but they shouldn’t be too long.  I refill Mt. Dew boys drink again and I’m off.  By now they are getting snippy and it’s clear they are not happy with any thing.  And every time I pass by the table they seem to be more and more irritated.  I just keep smiling.  Finally the burgers are done and I drop them off at the table and ask if there’s anything else they need.  And pay attention here.  This is when I was done.  One of the women eating the pork sandwich took her glass which only had ice in it, held it up in my face and shook it like a baby rattle to indicate she needed more soda.  OH, NO SHE DIDNH’T  OH NO SHE DID NOT!  I held up my finger and said I’ll get to that as soon as I can, and never went back.  I’ll be happy to fill your drink up seventy two times.  But ask nice.  Don’t shake your shit at me and expect me to jump.  She never did get her glass filled.  So I go take their plates away and I ask them if there’s anything else they need and they say no.  By this time they put the tip on the table.  It’s 4.00 dollars.  Their tab is 90.  Hmmm.  I say I’ll be right back with the check and as I do, glass rattling lady says, “You can put the appetizer on my tab.”  Of course it’s going to be on your tab.  The whole check is going to be on your tab.  There is only ONE tab.  Yours.  If you wanted separate checks then you should have asked.  Before you rattled your glass at me.  Before you put down your four dollar tip.  And before you pissed me off.  I dropped off the check, told them I’d take it as soon as they were ready and left.  

I guess they managed, about 5 minutes later they called me over and handed the money to me, including my four dollar tip.  And they walked away.

And as I walked away I remembered sometimes the best tip, is NO TIP AT ALL.

I’ll take French people who don’t speak English and don’t tip, than hick southerners who run you ragged, complain about it all, and then don’t tip.  Yeap.  I’ll take the French any day.  And remember these are my people I’m talking about.

Fucking People

I officially hate people.  

All people.

Well almost all people.  I don’t hate you because you know better than to not tip.  At least you better.

In the world of money, tonight was the worst night I think I’ve ever had.  I’m starting to think it’s me.  Should I use breath mints?  Should I grow my hair out long?  Should I be nicer?  Bitchier?  What’s the deal.

I made exactly 10.4 percent of my sales tonight.  And the only real reason that I’m not about to explode is because I busted my ass all night and my total sales were high enough to help make up for it.  It’s the least I’ve made on a weekend night since back last summer.  I certainly hope this is not the sign of things to come.  I need to make some money.  It’s expensive having a boyfriend.  VERY!

So people I hate tonight.

The French.  

The Italians.

The Indians.

The Australians.

And most of all the fuckers from Frenchburg, Kentucky.  The fat momma and her pretentious daughter and her gay son and his gay German boyfriend can all just climb right back up on the tractor you drove in on and head back to the hollow you live in.  Fuck you.  And your horse.

First, my restaurant is not the place to put on airs.  If you want to be uppity there are about 10 other places a stones throw away that you can be as uppity as you want.  

Second.  Don’t order me around.  Ask Motherfucker.  I’m not your man servant for you to tell what to do.  It’s my job to fetch things for you, as long as you aren’t rude.  But if you going to sit there and be all sergeant blowhard on me, you’ll probably have to wait for that drink you want.  And you can be as prissy as you want about the drink menu book, but they’ll still be the same 20 minutes from now, you’ll still be over charged and no I won’t give you the glass for free.  And next time, so I don’t have to make two trips, actually look at what you are ordering.  They even put a fucking picture in the menu so your illiterate ass can figure out what you are ordering.  And don’t go all snap, snap on me when I bring you your drink and it’s not the one you thought you were getting.  It looks just like the one in the picture you pointed to. 

And mostly get a brain.  When I asked where you what part of Kentucky you are from don’t respnond with, “How do you know we are from Kentucky?”  It might be the three people sitting at the table with Kentucky gear on.   And then don’t tell me I’ll have never heard of it.  No really.  I’ve never been to fucking Frenchburg and after tonight I wouldn’t mind if it burnt to the ground but I’ve fucking heard of it.  And it’s not small.  Sadieville, KY is small.  That shit is real small.  300 people small.  So don’t tell me about small.  And don’t get all friendly when I tell you I know where Frenchburg is because I’m from Kentucky.

And then and this is with a capital DON’T.  DON’T get all I don’t know why anyone would want to move to the citttteeeeee.  It’s just too much.  I can’t take all the hustle and bustle.  Yes, you are probably right.  You can’t take all the hustle and bustle.  Our restaurant seats more people than are in your little town.  And it’s probably been awhile since you’ve eaten anywhere other than Midland Frosty Freeze or the Pig Out BBQ.  And I’ll make more in one month than the average male does in a year in your little town.  And don’t get me wrong I’m sure it’s a perfectly quaint little place.  But don’t get all snippy with me about “getting out.”  You see that gay boy sitting to your right?  Some day you are going to have to come back to NYC to meet his boyfriend.  And then I hope you realize that it’s quite an amazing place.

And  when you do come back.  And you do eat out.  And you are still a little uppity as you will always be want to do.  Let me just help you by saying 9.00 is not an acceptable tip on a 130.00 dollar check.  It’s not even close.  And don’t think it’s not a good tip here.  I’m about 99% sure that you are supposed to tip 18 to 20 percent in Frenchburg too.  So let’s suppose you go out to eat and the bill really is 130.00.  The tip should be at least 26.00.  Yes, I know that’s 20%.  But let’s not forget you are demanding and difficult and no one really likes you.  So you should probably leave more than that.  

But that will get you started.

I feel better already.

And just so you know.  I had the above conversation with my mom years ago.  She’s never tipped less that 20% since.