By Belinda Carroll, PQ Monthly
I have something to tell you, sweetstuff. It’s the kind of confession that is usually preceded by three triple martinis and a promise to not shed underwear in public. Ok, here it goes:
I’m not as slutty as I used to be.
Oh sure, there was a time that I had so much sex for sport that I had my own category in the REI catalogue; they called me Salacious Sally. That’s mostly because my entourage of lovers wasn’t allowed to know my name — it cut down on the stalking. But, just as all swallows have an inherent desire return to Capistrano, I’ve had to succumb to an even more disturbing migration pattern: a migration toward meaningful relationships.
Calm down, lemondrop. I’m not talking about moving to the suburbs and collecting ceramic chickens while professing my love for Pottery Barn. If you ever catch me knitting, owning camping equipment, or saying, “I think Uruguay would be a great place to look for our designer baby,” get me to the next Castro Street Fair, find the first short-haired butch in a A-line shirt, and have her slap the sense into me. That’s actually not a bad idea at anytime.
What I’m talking about is my late teens and 20s, where despite all odds, I was bound and determined to propagate the species. That didn’t go as planned because eggs don’t get fertilized on their own, no matter how hard you try. Although, I shudder to think what my child support payments would’ve looked like had I’d ever had access to sperm. I was one lucky biological difference away from being the star of Baby Daddy Week on “Maury Povich.”
The issue, my little rack of lamb, is that I actually would like to know a person beyond what cocktail they prefer and how flexible they can be while riding memory foam. Though I will say that if you can find someone capable of power yoga on a waterbed, it may not be required you know every little thing about them; let’s not ruin a beautiful dismount.
Have you ever been attracted to someone mysterious? Someone who you couldn’t quite figure out, someone who constantly made you guess where they were, what they were thinking, feeling, and what kind of drugs they were on? Of course, that’s exciting for a minute, but when the chips are down and I’m hysterical because I’ve just found out that MAC discontinued Diva Red and I’m going to have to go with Buttery Brown, which means changing my entire wardrobe, I want someone who will assure me that Lancome has a color that is slightly more burgundy but serviceable. Crisis avoided.
The idea that to attract and keep your lover interested you have to hide your idiosyncratic differences is a myth, sugarpie. Think about it, how long can you downplay your love of Cheez-Wiz, or the fact that once a year you have a Spongebob Squarepants marathon? Long enough for her to look in your fridge and realize that unless you own a catering business for rednecks, there’s no good reason to own six cans of Cheez-Wiz and the Costco-size box of snack crackers.
For example, I am a comedian. A lot of people would assume this means I am witty and fun constantly. Those people have never seen me in egg yolk-stained sweatpants, watching the sixth episode of “I (Almost) Got Away With It” — a show so low budget that it makes cable access look polished — and bitching that I’m just not getting enough accomplished and I don’t know why. My girlfriend gets all of me, good and bad, and for that I had to be honest from the very first — a little relationship life hack that I didn’t know until approximately my 1,000th relationship. (I’m sorry to all who came before this realization.)
Sometimes, I miss the days of getting into a relationship with the thought of who I could create myself to be for that person. Because this time I was going to be zen, workout every day, and finally learn the banjo. (Note: don’t ever lie about being able to play the banjo. It’ll come back to haunt you at a cookout.)
And, glittertits, if you are judging me for being lost in my 20s, then I suggest some self-honesty. No one came out of the womb knowing who they were. Except for maybe Cher, and even she got modifications as she went along.
Whether a person is in your life for a night or for a lifetime, you will be much more comfortable if that person understands you are not James Dean and are in fact, closer to the awkward kid in “Superbad.”
Now let’s go tell each other our deepest secrets and see what acrobatics can be achieved on memory foam.
Belinda Carroll is a Portland-based, nationally-touring stand-up comic, writer, vocalist, and an ardent LGBT activist who is in desperate need of a nap, a massage, and a girlfriend who works for an airline or a spa. For booking or to offer the aforementioned services, her email is BelindaDCarroll@gmail.com.