Thursday, April 19, 2007

Oh No! Not GAY!

My super-blog-buddy Poet With A Day Job is running a really cool contest over at her other site, Contest Central. She’s participating in National Poetry Month by posting a kick-ass poem every day. If you’re the first to comment on her poem, she sends it to you on a postcard with some cool original artwork by her. I’ve won three so far. PWADJ sends them to me at my work address. Two have arrived so far. The first one came while I was away on vacation. The second one came today. The postcards stimulated a bizarre conversation between my secretary and me. What transpired was so funny that I sent PWADJ a letter telling her all about it. She suggested I post the conversation on my blog. What follows is my email to PWADJ:

I have to share this. I received your
Gibbon poem today - thank you SOOOO Much. And I love the picture.

My secretary (she's 70 and Catholic) walked into my office waving your post card in my face and started screaming at me like a crazy woman.

Sandy: Who the hell is sending you this shit? You got another one of these when you were away and we all think you're either being harassed or threatened!

Me: Who the hell is "We" and why are you sharing my obviously personal mail with other people who work here?

Sandy: Because read this shit! It don't make no sense. Someone got your name out of a directory or something and they're sending you threatening postcards with no return address so you can't have them arrested! The
last one talked about some woman kicking someone’s ass and wearing spaghetti straps! What kind of trash are you getting here? Is it porn? Do you know who's sending you this crap?

Me: (Stunned out of my mind that I'm about to have the following conversation) (long pause) Yes. I happen to know who's sending me these poems. She's an amazing poet.

Sandy: Jesus Christ! You have a girlfriend in California too? You're the one who's amazing.

Me: She's not my girlfriend she's . . .

Sandy: Then what the hell is she to you and why is she sending you poetry about spaghetti straps!

Me: (OMG - I can't believe I have to explain this) Sandy, close my door and sit down please. She's not my girlfriend, but she is my friend and . . .

Sandy: Well where the hell did you meet her and how come I don't know about her?

Me: Sandy, I met her through a mutual interest we share. I know you don't know this about me. It's no body's business and I'd rather you not tell "We" about this, but I write poetry, I've been writing for years, it's one of my only hobbies, and I met this nice woman through my poetry writing.

Sandy: Holly shit! Your gay! I always wondered if you were gay. Oh my god! Some of the people here suspected you were, but I always said no, there's no way, he likes the ladies and . . .

Me: (OMG where's the video camera when you need one!) So is that it then? You don't like me now because it's out about me being gay?

Sandy: Oh my god! (huge gasp!) You admit that you are?! Oh my god I work for a GAY!

Me: Sandy, I can't believe how fucking prejudice you are. You know it makes me sick sometimes how harsh you are about black people and gays. You're so old school it's not even funny. And for the record, I'm not gay, but it kills me that it would even matter to you. Some of my family members are gay and I know a lot of amazing people that are gay, and who the fuck gives a shit anyway?! I can't believe you!

Sandy: Are you sure your not gay? You said it runs in your family. Maybe you just don't know it yet? I mean you write poetry and that bag you carry . . . nobody believes you when you say it's a "man-bag." It's a damn pocketbook and you know it! You carry a purse like a woman!

Me: That's not true, I carry a purse like a MAN! Now stop it. These post cards are from a friend of mine who is an amazing person and an amazing poet. And before this month is over, I'll probably get a few more of these postcards. And when I do, do me a favor, don't even read them. Just walk them in here and hand them to me.

Sandy: Wait till Joanne hears that you're gay. (Walks out of my office).


Well gang, there it is! In the course of 20 seconds, I went from being a victim of harassment, to an adulterer to a homosexual. So? What did YOU do today?



poet with a day job said...

Like I said, this si so utterly ridiculous I can barely contain myself...but I couldn't be more pleased that my poetry is having such a drastic effect in the community!

PS: I carry a man bag.

Dennis said...

M - You're poetry is changing the world! I'm still laughing. Hey! You've seen the poetry, now see the bag Dennis’ Actual Gay Bag

Rethabile said...

That's an amazing account. Wow.

Jessica said...

This is hilarious -- I love it.

By the way, my husband loves bags. A lot. The benefit is, he gave me the greatest bag ever for my birthday. :)

le said...

It's hilarious to think of M being any guy's girlfriend...if the woman ever met her she would never ask that.

Anyway, M is seriously spoken for. I may not get every postcard, but I did win the grand prize, which is PWADJ herself.

And nobody can rock a man bag like my honey.

Leah said...

oops! that last comment was mine but i clicked too soon or something. anyway.

Dave said...

Cant decide whether to laugh or cry. Thanks for posting it, though. Yipes.

Gino said...

You simply have to love it!

Crafty Green Poet said...

That really made me laugh! But seriously some poeple have the most bizarre prejudices and believe in the weirdest stereotypes...

Kae-Lyne said...

Brilliant!!!! A good giggle first thing in the morning is better than the best cup of coffee.

I'm trying to get my husband to carry a man-bag. I was hoping it will prevent him from losing his wallet, but he'll probably lose that too.


Dennis said...

Jessica - I feel the same way about woman's shoes - as a consequence, my wife's closet is full of them! Thanks for reading.

Leah - I'm glad you thought this was funny. It was too good not to share. Ignorance is such a wonderful source of amusement sometimes, and god knows, I'm around enough of it to keep me laughing all day long! You and M are very lucky to have each other. Why does M carry a man bag? Thanks for reading.

Crafty - Indeed!

Ka - You made me laugh. I've been carrying one for about a year. The worst part is now my wife is constantly handing me HER keys and glasses and asking me for Advil, gum, mints, tissues etc. I draw the line at feminine products. I'm not carrying those. PERIOD! (ooh I made a funny!)

gautami tripathy said...

Assumptions, presumptions. The world is made up of all kinds of people.

Very interesting account.

amy said...

What a funny story and stupid stereotype. "I carry a purse like a man" is the funniest thing I've heard all day.

poet with a day job said...

Of course I have a man bag! I have two in fact: one Jack Spade, the other Fred Perry. I wouldn't be caught dead with a purse. I'd just look so ridiculous. And PS: your "man bag" is SO NOT GAY!

Leah said...

Awww, thanks. I do feel very lucky to have my M. She has a man bag (or two!) because she looks so good in them. I definitely wear the purse in this relationship. Anyway, I gave her the Fred Perry. It's this one, but in maroon with a baby blue stripe:

leah said...

Oops, here!

PS--I'd say yours is more of a Lawyer Bag than anything, Dennis.

Dennis said...

Leah - thanks for the pics. I don't know if I could carry a bag like that. I actually used to carry a hipsack all the time that I use when I hike. Got used to having all my stuff with me but often hated looking like I just got off the trail. So I wanted something more stylish. The bag I have (in the link) has these real thin (ladylike) straps on the back so you can wear it like a back pack.

I found these really cool clogs on vacation that were very comfortable. I loved them and wanted to get them, but my wife and daughter gave me "the look" and said, "And the bag? We don't think so. Unless you want to walk by yourself." So sadly I yielded to peer pressure and didn't get them. :-(

M – You’re cracking me up! I love this whole conversation so much!! I looked at your bag using the link L gave me. Very nice! What do you think about clogs on guys?

Angie said...

My husband was jealous of the postcard M sent me too!! Until I explained. Oh, M - wreaking havoc on the world, one postcard at a time.

OK, the baby woke up from his nap just now and is yelling mama mama! And what am I doing? Checking out all your bags and clogs! Go for the clogs Dennis! Men who wear what they want are sexy, whether it's man-bags or clogs or khakis or jeans.

Women too.

gotta get the kid.

Angie said...

ps - love ALL the bags, good work Leah.

Dennis said...

Angie! Loved your comments! I'm cracking up over the consequences of M's post-card campaign. So funny. We'll have to encourage her to do this more often. No way am I waiting until next April to have this much fun again.

On your advice, I'm getting the clogs. I like the idea that wearing what I want will make me sexy!!! I just have to worry about "to whom . . ."

Have a great day!

Brita said...

Well said.