Don’t Take It Personally; Just Take It Somewhere Over There Out Of My Sight!
Don’t Take It Personally; Just Take It Somewhere Over There
Out Of My Sight! – Don’t Get Me Started!
Everything they tell you about age is true. The older I get the more I realize that
the clichés are all true, that although for years I’ve been frightened of the Red Hat Ladies (whose motto seems
to be to do whatever they please and walk around in red hats as a sort of symbol of their freedom), I may just becoming one.
For years I have tried to please so much that I lost sight of myself more than once. (True, I didn’t really want to
see myself as my waistline expanded and the hair left my hair faster than the people leaving the theatre after Lincoln was
shot) but as time continues its march onward I’ve discovered the less I give a shit what people think of me. And you
should do the same. Don’t take it personally, just take it somewhere over there out of my sight! – Don’t
Get Me Started!
can tell you from experience (this is a classic start to any older person giving you advice) that what you do has very little
and everything to do with what people think of you as a person. Like a pack of wild animals, show a weakness and you’re
going to end up being eaten (and not in any sort of sexual way that’s going to bring you any sort of pleasure). By the
same token, act as if you don’t give a shit about anyone and you’re going to end up drinking alone. So as the
medical book my mother often uses to diagnose our family’s illnesses from with frightening accuracy (we call her an
AAD – Almost A Doctor) after looking up your symptoms and determining your diagnosis the book states, “what shall
be done.” Well, I’ll tell you what shall be done.
Take a little piece of everyone who crosses your path that impresses you or
makes you look twice whether it’s someone you know or would just like to know or even just look at. The way you interpret
these pieces and place them on yourself will ultimately assist you in becoming your own person. Sure there are going to be
photos you look back at and wonder why you ever thought that mustard yellow silk suit with the shoulder pads larger than most
doorway openings was a good idea (scroll down to the right to see my picture submitted for evidence) it’s all part of
learning life’s most valuable lesson, the ability to laugh at yourself!
I always say that one of my maternal grandmother’s most
valuable lessons she taught me (other than how to iron, which whether people believe it or not, is important) was that you
have to dress for depression. If you feel like crap, that’s your business and doesn’t need to be shared with everyone
else. Contrary to popular belief, misery may love company but no one wants to keep company with anyone miserable unless they’re
just as miserable themselves. Other than a few trusted friends, keep your troubles to yourself, suck it up and put on your
game face doesn’t happen on its own, it needs to be crafted by a talented makeup artist, you. Only you know what will
make you happy or feel successful so what other people think should matter less than what you think. However, when interacting
with others make eye contact, ask questions and listen to the answer, and make sure the heels of your shoes aren’t worn
down (this includes those of you who insist on wearing flip flops and thinking any of us want to see your nasty crusty non-moisturized
heels). The point is that ultimately you can’t make people like you, love you or respect you all you can do is be fabulous
and give the appearance of being flawlessly confident in yourself. Let people draw their own conclusions about your life canvas
you’re painting for and of yourself. And whatever you do, don’t take it personally; just take it somewhere over
there out of my sight! – Don’t Get Me Started!
Redecorating The New Year’s Resolution Tradition –
Don’t Get Me Started!
the gyms will be filled with people believing their own self-deception that they tell themselves every year, that THIS year
is going to be different, this year they are going to work out and be able to look at themselves in a full length mirror naked
without throwing up in their mouths. God bless them for trying over and over again with the gym, telling themselves they’ll
drink less, that they’ll eat less, that they’ll open themselves up to living in the moment and every other New
Year’s cliché and new idea they can come up with to torture themselves. But just as the gays moved into bad neighborhoods
and raised property values, I think it’s time for this gay to start redecorating the New Year’s resolution tradition
– Don’t Get Me Started!
I must confess that I have never made a list of resolutions (or a bucket list for that matter) even though
I’m a list maker from way back and consider myself one of the more organized people on the planet. So as always I feel
the need for a disclaimer that this will be a little bit like having me give advice on cooking – oh, I don’t cook
but I have a lot of opinions about it!
Change does not come easy. (Look at the kids working at fast food places; they need the computer to do it
for them.) So you can imagine how hard it is to change habits that have been with us for so long that they’re the only
thing that feels comfortable to us, no matter how dysfunctional they may be. So creating a list, even mentally seems like
a big set up for failure or at the very least a reminder of the promise you didn’t keep with yourself when it all blows
up in your face sometime in February. (I think that’s why they made February shorter, less days to stress about not
keeping promises to yourself before March comes in like a lion.) And what if how we behave or do certain things is just us?
The way we were intended to be? Of course I’m not talking about doing heroin but maybe I was put on this earth to just
go ahead and eat the wrong things and then bitch about why I’m not more toned. Taking it a step further, what if I could
just go ahead and accept that when I eat crap I’m going to feel like crap and look like crap? What if I could remove
the guilt from the whole process? Stop being judge and jury on my own life? Wait, does that sound too much like a resolution?
Perhaps it’s my short attention
span or maybe some will see this as a type of resolution but it’s not a list, it’s one thing. Enough. From now
on when I doubt myself, my looks or even my place in this world as it stands currently, I’m going to whisper in my own
ear, “enough.” I’m going to realize that I’m doing enough, I’m working out enough, I’ve
had enough of those Thin Mint cookies so I don’t need to eat the entire box in one sitting and perhaps along the way
I’ll discover that I’m enough for myself. The problem with always being an overachiever is not in finding the
next mountain to climb it’s knowing that you’ve climbed enough to be satisfied with what you’ve done so
you’re not freezing your ass off struggling to get up the next mountain and the next one after that in some sort of
crazed frenzy to keep yourself so busy that you don’t have to really see yourself. I’m not talking about being
complacent I’m just talking about starting to realize when you’ve had enough and are enough.
So you see, it’s not a resolution,
it’s just a word, “enough.” And the great thing is that you don’t have to start it on the first
of the year you can start it now realizing that what may be “enough” for you today may not be tomorrow. Like life
and your waistline, it’s constantly evolving, changing shape. So enough all ready with the lists, enough with the unrealistic
goals that are set in January only to be drunkenly forgotten about before March arrives. As a gay who has prided himself on
taking judgmental into an art form, allow me to streamline and redecorate your old resolution process with a new sleek way
of looking at life and telling you quite simply, enough all ready, you are ENOUGH!
No, Let’s Not Be Honest, Shall We? – Don’t Get
you ever been talking with someone who says, “…let’s be honest…” and what follows is never
anything you want to hear? I’ve made a real decision; I only want honesty from people whose opinions matter to me and
the older I get, it turns out that the list of people whose opinions really matter to me is less and less. So while I appreciate
you thinking your advice is as sage as Aristotle’s, do me a favor and just post it on Facebook like everyone else. No,
let’s NOT be honest, shall we?
I like lies. I like people telling me I look good, that I look as though I’ve lost weight or even that
I look better than I did in high school. There’s enough reality to reality (the real kind, the life kind, not what they
show on television) that when I see someone who is an acquaintance or get that random message through Facebook the last thing
I really care about is their “honest” opinion. The more I know people the more I believe that people aren’t
all that honest to begin with so usually their “honest” opinion is just a little closer to the truth than their
average run of the mill opinion or story they give you. So keep your honesty to yourself when you’re alone late at night
and keep the lies flowing when talking to me. I’ll appreciate you more for lying because frankly lying takes more work
than just being completely honest. (If we’re being completely honest with one another. Are we? Now I’ve confused
is the embroidery of memories. Who wants to hear a dull story? I know I don’t. So if I weave a few shiny threads through
the dull wool fabric that is the “truth” of the story, just sit back, smile and enjoy it.
Though some may see this as a cynical
outlook I assure you I have moments of complete cockeyed optimism that makes Annie look like Rex Reed (if you’re too
young for that reference, Google it). I’ll leave what some call optimism to the people who believe reality television
is reality. I prefer my reality through the gauze filter that allows me to see it just a bit out of focus and able to laugh
at it all.
honesty matters in life and in its place but people who say they’re always honest never are and it cracks me up when
they use this phrase to say things like, “let’s be honest, he looked like his mother in that coat, not like he
was on a runway in Milan.” I take it all back. I’m realizing that most people use the phrase, “let’s
be honest” as a precursor to some really slamming quip about someone. Used in this context, you have my permission to
continue to use. Because let’s be honest, no one wants to live in this world without clever repartee, right?
The Auto-Tuning Of Broadway – Don’t Get Me Started!
I was raised that the release of
the Original Cast Album was as exciting of an event as my birthday. When you could take your thumbnail and slice the thin
plastic off that album cover, pull that record out of its inner tissue paper jacket, put in on your stereo, drop the needle
and listen to never before heard songs, ideas and mostly voices it was a true celebration. I remember reading the linear notes
over and over as I listened to the album and tried to imagine what the actors were doing on this phrase or that but more often
than not, after one listen to the album I was up on my feet doing what I thought should be done as I belted the newly memorized
songs out in my living room. I would try to imitate the particular phrasing and sound of the singers I heard, each one having
more than a nuanced difference in their voices and performances. They all had their own sound and this round record caught
every inflection. A recent watch of the cast of the revival of Godspell on The View made me stop and think about how the sound
of Broadway performers has changed over the years. More to the point, I began to think about how everyone seems to sound the
same anymore. Don’t get me wrong, they have fabulous sounding voices but listen and what you’ll hear is what I’m
calling the auto-tuning of Broadway. Don’t Get Me Started!
I think it’s difficult for people to revive shows that reflect a time
period heavy with social commentary and period changing sound for the musical theatre. An example is the revival of Hair which
just seemed forced to me. What was once done by a cast that actually had long hair and were singing about their own experiences
or what was going on at the time in this country was suddenly a bunch of people in lace front wigs “acting” like
what they thought hippies acted like “back in the day.” I know what you’re going to say, you’re going
to say that the same could be said for someone trying to revive a show like Guys and Dolls. After all, these people aren’t
from that period either. But I think it’s different when it comes to shows that were done originally in the 1960’s
and 1970’s. In the revival versions few casts (directors, production teams, etc.) seem to really evoke the period for
those of us who lived it. Look at the recent revival of A Chorus Line. What made A Chorus Line revolutionary in the 1970’s
wasn’t the quality of the voices as much as the stories from the actual dancers who were telling it. And as you went
through the show you saw the individual’s strengths and weaknesses as characters both vocally and as dancers as “Zach”
tried to find dancers and singers for the chorus where he wanted no one to “pull focus.” He got his wish in the
revival. The recent revival was so slick you were wondering why everyone didn’t make the “cut” at the end
of the show. Listen to the original cast’s version of At The Ballet and then listen to the “New Cast” version
and you’ll see exactly what I mean. When you hear the original cast you feel, you don’t just listen to someone
with a lovely voice singing a lovely song there is a difference, a huge difference. And when I listen to these new cast recordings
more often than not I feel like the character “Morales” from the show, “And I felt nothing.”
Look, I get that times change and
I get that just like athletes that run faster today than they did back in the day (either from science, new technology or
drugs) the same can be said for Broadway performers. While the dancers all now look like they could go on So You Think You
Can Dance and the singers all seem to sound like one another, I think we’ve lost something, something really important.
We’ve lost that indefinable “it” factor it seems. Sure it comes along every once in awhile but it used to
be when you listened to an album or saw a show everyone who had a role in the show had their own “it” factor.
Now it seems more and more that no one really stands out as special. Maybe it has to do with the wave of putting movie and
television stars on Broadway who have more box office appeal than talent for the stage so they had to bring the talent of
the rest of the cast down to not outshine the “star du jour” they put in the show.
Whatever it is, I miss hearing performers like an unmistakable
Nell Carter belting it out with an uptempo number and then breaking your heart as you hear her voice and heartbreak when she’s
delivering a ballad. I want to hear the likes of Mandy Patinkin spitting not only contempt as “Che” in Evita
but as a singer in a performance that made you feel just as much as you enjoyed the sound. While some things are better glossier
and refined, I’d rather have the “edge” back in my Broadway performers (and probably a little of that crackling
you used to hear when listening to a record on a record player too). The auto-tuning of Broadway – Don’t Get Me
Honestly, Enough All Ready With The Polls For Everything!
Honestly, Enough All Ready With The Polls For Everything! –
Don’t Get Me Started!
read an interesting article that basically said that polls are created by people to prove their point. I tend to agree. I
don’t know when it happened but it seems what used to be reserved for the world of politics has now become common place
for everything from who hates the Kardashians to what age group is eating more celery. Any time I see a “poll”
mentioned I roll my eyes and think to myself, “Honestly, enough all ready with the polls for everything!” –
Don’t Get Me Started!
don’t know anyone who has been polled (and believe me, I’ve polled everyone I know). So who are these phantom
people who are telling us that shoppers are more optimistic this holiday season than last year? Really?!? With all the unemployment?
Does anyone else not feel the fervor to maintain holiday standards by the violence we see on what is becoming Black and Blue
Friday (which is now Thursday and Cyber Monday which really happened on Cyber Saturday)? I’m glad that so many, according
to “the polls” have that holiday feeling but the people I’ve talked to are more stressed out than ever before
figuring out how to pay their regular bills let alone figuring out how they’re going to pay for gifts for their kids.
Still someone somewhere took a poll so I guess we have to believe them. <insert eye roll>
The thing is that while it may be great for some marketing people
to sit around a table and see that a poll of eighteen-somethings are more apt to buy a Droid phone than an iPhone, I don’t
really want my newspapers or the “entertainment” websites that I read to use any poll as the spine of their story.
And more and more it seems as though there really is no story, just a poll. I obviously missed something somewhere. Screw
becoming a doctor, lawyer or even the American Idol kids, if you want to become part of a business that’s booming become
a poll maker-upper! You can probably just sit on your ass and eat Cheetohs all day and just “poll” people online.
On the rare occasion that you do have to go out to poll real people, look at it this way, at least you’re getting paid
to take your raggedy assed sweats for an airing out!
The other thing is that I think most people lie. That’s right, I’ve said
it before that I make shit up but I’m a mere amateur in comparison to some people. Some people can’t make it twenty
minutes without lying. Test yourself, see how long you can get into your day without telling someone who looks like shit that
they look good (and telling them they look “tired” is still a lie – they don’t look tired, they look
a good fifteen years older than their chronological age). We all lie and whoever made up the color code for lies, “It’s
just a little white lie” has got to be the same person who came up with the terror alert color codes, it’s not
like shades of pink, there’s the truth and there’s a lie. Get it? So if everyone’s a liar (and those of
you who don’t admit that you lie are the biggest liars in the world) then how can we believe any poll taken from a bunch
of liars? The easy answer is that we can’t.
While politicians and marketing executives have tried for years to put us all in age boxes and
those who “like” and those who “don’t like” categories to figure out what to sell us and whose
buying, the truth of the matter is that I think polls are really about seeing just how sheep-like we humans are willing to
become. I think polls are used to sway us and bully us into believing someone else’s point of view. As those of
you who read my blog know, while I’ll admit a good marketing campaign could probably make me buy even tampons, when
it comes to how I feel about politicians or cheddar cheese (let’s face it, they’re very similar) I don’t
need to know what other forty-somethings think, I’m confident enough in knowing my opinion is the one that really matters
to me. Honestly, enough all ready with the polls for everything! – Don’t Get Me Started!
ago when I was at dinner with a producer from a dinner theater where I worked for eleven years. (It's what I refer to
as My Dazzling Dinner Theater Days)
I was riled up about something and this producer
said, "You should have a radio show where people call and get you fired up and you just go off." As I had a reputation
for going on a tirade the likes of Dixie Carter on Designing Women (remember this was years ago) and as I was constantly starting
my sentences with the phrase above; when I started blogging I decided that this might be a way to get my rants out to the
public at large.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing
Since the site began in August of 2006, people have been writing in (okay, mostly my Mother) telling me that
I needed to do a video blog (or “vblog”) like Rosie and everyone else in the world. Writing the “Don’t
Get Me Started” blog five times a week is daunting enough without adding video production on top of it. Plus, what would
be different about the video blog from the written blog? After the huge response from my blog about being a Forty-Something
Gay during Pride week, it hit me that my video blog would feature topics for us garden variety Forty-Something Gays! I hope
you enjoy them as well as the rest of the Some Like It Scott site!
Some Music While You Read?
At the request of Some Like It Scott reader you can now read
or listen or read AND listen when on the "Don't Get Me Started" page. Click below to turn the music on and
scroll to the bottom to find out what you're listening to!
That's right, Don't Get Me Started! I have no
idea what I was thinking. Well, not true, I thought it looked fabulous. The hair was sufficiently “palmed” out
to give it height and that’s not a shadow you see behind my head, it’s the true bi-level cut of the 80’s
going on, not a mullet, my friends, an honest to goodness Duran Duran inspired bi-level! I had purchased this Gulden's
mustard colored all silk suit at Bloomingdale's with the collarless purple silk shirt and just knew I looked fabulous.
(What a difference a decade or so makes, huh?)
Anyway, I was simply overwhelmed by how many people wrote in telling
me about their hair and fashion disasters, everything from a "Super Freak" outfit to get into a Rick James concert
to a swell guy who wrote about his perm that gave him that “greatest star” Streisand “Star Is Born”
look, or so he thought until he reflected back on it “with one more look at you.”
What's your fashion disaster that was caught on film?