I was walking through a building on my way to the business school for a class, when I noticed a sign for a “National Coming Out Day” workshop. I was surprised when the thought “I should go to that” popped into my head. How could my brain betray me like that? I knew I wasn’t gay.
That was 2005. Here I am, ten years later. And yeah, turns out, I’m gay.
I have an amazing capacity for compartmentalization. When I first suspected I was maybe not like the other guys, I was in high school. I remember talking to my bishop and he asked me if I was struggling with same-sex attraction, and I cried and said that I was. We were supposed to meet again to talk about it, but I never set up another appointment. At the time, I thought it was controllable and changeable, and I could do it myself. So I put the episode in a box and set it on a shelf.
Another time, I was harassed in the halls by my classmates. I still don’t know what they knew that I didn’t, or if it was just plain old teenage cruelty. The episode shook me, so I wrote a letter to my seminary teacher, asking for help. I don’t really remember what I said, nor do I recall his response, but I was comforted by it. I knew I wasn’t gay. I knew I’d be ok. And my shelf got another box.
Yesterday, Labor Day 2011, was a pretty great day. I was surrounded by people and things that I love. Of the many many wonderful moments, one stood out that I wanted to share.
As I was shopping at Meijer for a BBQ later that day, I was wandering down the milk aisle and I noticed an old lady standing with a cart off to the side. We’re talking very old, oxygen tank old. In the cart was a baby in a car seat. For no real reason, I made eye contact and gave the woman a big grin, just because I was feeling so good. (I whistled a Guster song that was stuck in my head through the entire store, I was feeling that good.) And you know what, she gave me a genuine smile back.
Every year, I think about getting those silly Valentine’s Day cards at the store and sending them to my siblings and nieces and nephews and friends. Basically, I never get that taken care of. Sometimes, I’ll even manage to buy the cards (usually Harry Potter) and then promptly not get anything done with them.
I was thinking about it this year, since I have addresses this time, but typically, I didn’t get it taken care of. Fortunately, I saw a post on Lifehacker the other day, which gave me the perfect solution: Video Valentines.
On Saturday night, before I watched Star Wars: A New Hope, I recorded a set of videos on my phone (Droid Incredible, you are incredible!) and sent them to my family. And it was great! I actually got Valentines sent this year.
So, I decided to record one for you, Loyal Blog Readers. I even busted out a red shirt for the occasion and set up some fancy shmancy frame on my webcam. 😀 (I thought about going with a heart, but it was too not manly. So you get the postcard)
Dear Friends and Family-
Yeah, I know! Christmas cards from Brady! Who would have thought?
2010 and I had a good time. I spent most of it in Michigan, making brief escapes elsewhere from time to time.
As you probably know, I continue working for Ford Motor Company, as a Financial Analyst in the Product Development group. I can’t tell you exactly what I work on, but you’ll probably start seeing it in a few years, if things go as planned. Ford continues to do well, and I continue to remind you that if you are considering a new new car, be sure to let me know. I can get you a discount! (Unless you live in Puerto Rico, as it turns out…)
I made my first visits to Chicago (Finally!), Puerto Rico, and the Bruce Peninsula of “Southern” Ontario this year. They were all wonderful visits. I also took a summer road trip with my kid sister Nicole across Ohio to New York. We just barely missed being rained out of the Cedar Point amusement park and were nearly rained out of the Hill Cumorah Pageant.
I set my grill on fire during a Labor Day party at my apartment and hosted a fantastic group of friends for Thanksgiving. I watched the last episodes of LOST and Heroes with friends. I made it to three different cider mills. I was the piñata swinger at a Fiesta Mexicana.
All in all, I’d say it was a great year. Thank you for the part you played in it!
Here’s hoping you have a happy Christmas and a wonderful year in 2011.
You can keep up with me in any number of ways!
This post is mostly meant for my family. It’s a way for me to effectively communicate what I would like for Christmas. Generally, I am listing these in higher priority first order. These are ideas and don’t really construe a wish list as such. Nor is it comprehensive. Some of my favorite gifts have been the things that I least expect, that I didn’t know that I wanted… like my cast iron skillet or 30 pounds of potatoes.
(Intangible) Things I want and need:
– A deeper relationship with my siblings, particularly my brothers.
– An occasional phone call from one of the above
– Someone to pick me a dentist and schedule me an appointment
– Encouragement (and help) planning and shopping for meals in advance
– Decluttering help and encouragement
– Some time to think and encouragement to ask and answer the hard questions
– Insight into and practice to become a better friend
(Tangible) Things that I want and need:
– An Ultrasonic Humidifier
– Manly Thank You Notes (Too many are feminine or wedding TY notes. Not what I need!)
– A Knife Sharpener
– Good Steak knives, and maybe an extra paring knife or two
– A storage solution for my Dominion collection
– Oneida Community Twin Star Serving Pieces (Esp. the Pie Server and Pierced Serving Spoon)
– A Green Tie
– Pocket Squares with Yellow, Orange, Red, or Green accents
Things that I want but probably don’t need:
– Argyle Socks
– Argyle Sweaters
– German Style Games that I don’t already own (ask if you want to know) (I’ve had my eye on Small World and Incan Gold)
– David Allen’s books: Getting Things Done and Making It All Work
– Gretchen Rubin’s book: The Happiness Project
– A Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Kitchen Style, not Campfire style)
– An Immersion Blender
– A Rice Cooker Cookbook, like The Pot and How to Use It
– Dr. Who trinkets