Tag Archives: manners

I think now’s the time for me to take a lover.

[A piece in which the writer employs the word odalisque eight times.]

Yesterday I finally got those skin tags removed. Yeah, those skin tags. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice them. There were well over 700 of them, most the size of a Kia Soul, stretching from my left eyelid down my face and neck and across my chest. People would point in that way so I couldn’t see them. And I think everyone knows the haunting taunts the neighbor children would sing: “Faggy, gaggy floppy skin taggy. The City’s gonna put your face in a garbage baggy!”

But today I am a butterfly emerging from his chrysalis. They are gone. Go ahead, run your fingers over the upper half of my body –all bumps you find will be the necessary ones.

Hello? No one’s running their fingers over the upper half of my body, much less the lower half.

To remedy this situation, I have decided to take a lover. I refuse to use any of your more base carnal terms. “Take a lover” sounds like something out of the society pages of old: “Marquis Christopher Ronald Bartholomew Fay of the Columbus Fays spent the season at Biarritz, where he was rumored to have taken several lovers hailing from prominent families. This periodical salutes his discretion, tenderness and virility”

The phrase “take a lover” also conjures visions of me reclining like an odalisque on an overstuffed 19th century chaise longue, resplendent in velvets and feathers. I really think this would be a good look for me. I look great in a La-Z-Boy, and male odalisque is not too much of a stretch after that.

Apologies to Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1814.
Apologies to Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1814.

I have other things going for me in the taking a lover department, too, beyond the lack of skin tags. My collection of abstruse t-shirts is at its apogee; I’ve lost like fifteen pounds; I’ve finally figured out a way to apply Just For Men that looks completely natural; I drive a Volvo station wagon that’s old enough to be interesting; and I’m relatively new meat here in Columbus.

BUT…

There is much that conspires against me taking a proper lover at the present time. Remember, the inability to take a lover never has anything to do with the odalisque on the chaise longue, but everything to do with the outside world. Continue reading I think now’s the time for me to take a lover.

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Manners maketh the hump.

People sometimes accuse me of being overly obsessed with manners. I have my reasons.

Table_SettingI was reminiscing the other night with my friend Chloe. Her birthday was the next day, and I brought up celebrating with her back in 2005. A bunch of us sat on grass next to the East River in Brooklyn, watched the sun go down over Lower Manhattan, and drank copious amounts of wine. I brought a bottle of Smoking Loon Viognier. That day Chloe was turning 23; I had turned 39 three months earlier.

I remarked how wonderful it was that I was able to become such long-term friends with someone so much younger than me. Well, the fact that she was dating and eventually married one of my best friends certainly helped. However, I would have gladly been friends with Chloe regardless of that. (Though that would have probably involved a 39yr old man hanging around the Pratt campus).

“I just wasn’t into the typical college bullshit,” she said.

“True. I remember telling someone I had found a 35yr old 22yr old friend.”

“Yeah, I didn’t do crap like fuck in front of my roommate.” Well, that was out of nowhere, but I understood.

It’s all about manners, and nothing says ill breeding like fucking in front of one’s college roommate. College is the first time many people are away from the manner-enforcing mommies, and sometimes they go insane with improper etiquette.

Manners exist for a reason.

During my first term at Wittenberg after transferring in, they existed for the very necessary reason that I needed to be able to walk into my dorm room or fall asleep without seeing my new roommate Sheldon and his girlfriend Denise having sex. Continue reading Manners maketh the hump.