(This is in response to Domenick Scudera's brilliant "Diary of a Gay Day." This is in no way making fun of gay people, but rather, a satirical, eye-rolling look at how my lifestyle is positively viewed by heretofore mentioned politicians, marketers, and Hollywood types. I fully support Scudera's lifestyle, his 16 year relationship, and his right to one day marry his "gay, homosexual, male lover." I recommend you read Domenick's piece before you read this one.)
I live the straight lifestyle. The lifestyle that is held up by politicians, marketers, and Hollywood as the ideal lifestyle. For those who are unfamiliar with my lifestyle, this is a typical day:
6:00 am. I wake up, ready to start my day. I choose to be straight today, as I have chosen every day for the last 44 years. After all, why would I choose to subject myself to nasty jokes, mean-spirited putdowns, discrimination, and even beatings and murder, all for the sake of "love"?
6:30 am. I take a straight shower. I know it's a straight shower, because the workmen who installed it were also straight. (I think this also makes it a Mexican shower.) The water is hot and appropriately softened, not like water for gay people. I don't know what water for gay people is like.
7:00 am. I have a straight breakfast of sausage and eggs — two symbols of fertility if there ever were any. I eat a banana, but I cut it into pieces so I don't look like I'm going down on it. I am flooded with emasculation imagery as I try to avoid eating a banana "gay."
7:30 am. I drive to work in my straight car. It was marketed to me and my wife as a "family car." It's for people who have children, presumably by procreation, like straight people are wont to do. My wife and I have children, we have a family car. Therefore, we are a family.
However, our children are adopted. We did not procreate them, we got them from other countries. Gay people can also do this. Does this mean we're actually gay? Does it mean we're not a real family? Some people think gay people should not adopt children or marry. These people also think that white people should not have black or Hispanic children. I hope the marketers who thought we are a family don't take the car away from us.
8:00 am. I arrive at my straight office, and go "straight" to work. Promise to get projects done for clients straightaway. Have a a straight shot of espresso to get the juices flowing. Stick to the straight and narrow to avoid distractions.
9:30 am. Exchange manly jokes with my partner, Paul. When I introduce him to other people, I have to clarify that he's my "business partner," so people don't confuse him with a "gay, homosexual, male lover" kind of partner.
At work, I edit straight articles about straight things, like construction equipment, cigars, luggage, and lasers. We also write articles about shopping, although I have a woman write about those, so people don't think I like shopping. Man, first bananas, and then shopping. Being straight is hard; being gay must be so easy.
1:00 pm. Lunchtime. My straight, not gay, also married business-partner-not-life-partner and I go out for a working lunch. I order a hamburger and French fries, because that's what a "real man" eats. Not salads or tofu.
2:00 pm. Straight back to work. I work to pay for my insurance so that if I'm ever in a straight hospital, my straight wife can come visit me because she's allowed to. She can even make end-of-life decisions on my behalf, even if we had only been married two days previously.
6:00 pm. I return home to my straight, heterosexual female wife, who is legally my spouse, and our children. I reflect on the fact that just a few centuries ago, she would have actually been considered property. And she was granted the right to vote just 93 years ago. And is still fighting for equal pay. But we are a family, because politicians, marketers, and Hollywood have told us we are.
8:00 pm. We watch TV tonight, so we can immerse ourselves in the comforting images of heterosexuality, both in commerce and entertainment. We see young heterosexual married couples who have procreated babies struggling to decide which diaper to buy. We see how we are bad mothers and fathers if we do not buy certain toys for our children. We are encouraged to buy family cars so our children will be safe.
The TV programs themselves all show straight, heterosexual people having struggles with their straight, heterosexual lives. A straight married man is tempted by a straight unmarried woman with large breasts. Another straight woman is having a straight affair on her straight husband. Scantily clad straight teenagers try to score straight unprotected sex. Two straight 30-somethings try to fight the straight sexual tension between them and pretend they do not really want to have loud, straight monkey sex on the coffee shop table. A gay character appears. Jokes about being gay ensue to show everyone is okay with him being gay. A lot of jokes about the straight, heterosexual male father figure then ensue. Hey, what the hell did we do?!
9:00 pm. Bed time for the children. Our wonderful, straight (so far) children. I worry that one day they may choose a different lifestyle than the one we are teaching them to choose.
11:30 pm. We retire to our straight, heterosexual bed, confident that we have made the right choice once again to remain heterosexual. No one derided our choice. No one discriminated against us. No one beat us up or murdered us. We smile knowingly at each other, secure in our choice for the day, and in the knowledge that we will probably make the same choice again tomorrow.
My book, Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is available on Amazon.com, as well as at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.
My NEW book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing is also out. You can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million in October, or get it for the Kindle or Nook.
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