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The Slow Tragic Demise of Pollyanna

Letter Sent to the Restaurant Where I am Painstakingly Employed

August 20, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

As I'm sure you are aware, your establishment is a wonderful diner and has excellent food. It is also however, quite a "late night haunt." Needless to say I tend to frequent your diner at rather uncivilized hours after a long night of severe alcohol consumption. In any case I found myself at your diner late last night and to say the least a little inebriated. Unfortunately I woke up this morning with a distinct feeling that I was a little bit short on the bill, I think about dollar. Leaving my lovely young waitress without a tip and perhaps even your establishment one dollar short. Please accept my most sincere apologies. Enclosed is what I hope will cover the dollar short and if you could see that the rest goes to an excellent waitress who was working late on Friday the nineteenth. I believe she was Asian, that is all I can remember.

Your loyal patron,


(She sent me $10.00 with this letter!)

A Conversation Between Two Voices In My Head:

Cocaine Girl: "Remember when you first moved to New York and every day was full of adventure? Every person you met filled you with inspiration and hope?"

Quaalude Lady: "Vaguely."

C.G.: "Whatever happened to that girl? She was so excited about life and people and the future. Now, you are just so sullen and cynical."

Q.L.: "I really don't want to hear this Pollyanna bullshit right now."

C.G.: "But, it's true. You used to call g8s every day and tell him about all the synchronicity you encountered. It seemed like fortune smiled on you everywhere you went. You were leading such a charmed life."

Q.L.: "I was 23 years old and 30 pounds skinnier. I was desperate. I ran around the city screwing bartenders and trying to become a star. Of course every day seemed charmed. I was delusional."

C.G.: "No, you were optimistic. Good things happened for you because you looked at the glass as half full. You believed in goodness and the universe delivered."

Q.L.: "So, what, now I'm just mired in a misery of my own doing because I don't believe in the potential for goodness everywhere I look?"

C.G.: "Well, it couldn't hurt you to at least try and smile a bit more."

Q.L.: "Seriously, I'm seconds away from stabbing you right now."

C.G.: "Look, all I'm saying is there was a time that you, somehow, managed to find the good in people. You wanted to believe. And because you believed, it was true."

Q.L.: "So, basically, you are saying that what I perceived was true."

C.G.: "Ummm...yes."

Q.L.: "But, it may have just been my perception of the world that was positive and not the reality."


C.G.: "Yes, but, how we exist is defined by how we view our life, so. . . "

Q.L.: "So, what? I think I'm happy, therefore I am happy? Or, should I say, I convince myself I am happy, therefore I am happy?"

C.G.: "Being happy is an active verb. Happiness doesn't happen, you have to be happy."

Q.L.: "But, I am happy. I am pessimistically happy. Or am I joyfully contemptuous?"

C.G.: "Yes. No. Shit. Now you've got me all confused. You know what? Fuck you. If you want to be miserable, be that way. I need a fucking drink."

Q.L.: "Come on. I'll buy you one. I'm sure we can find a happy hour somewhere."

C.G. smiles brightly: "Fuck you very much."
Dear Kathy --

Thank you. Really. You restored my faith in people, if only for a moment.

Seriously. Thanks.


link * Miss Marisol posted at 8:40 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 8:40 AM   |


Blog-a-log-a-ding-dongs. . .

Everybody loves Brando at One Child Left Behind.

Yesterday, I challenged this man who loves Journey to come up with a word that could be used to describe someone met and befriended through blogging.

When I talk about you with my flesh-and-blood friends, I call you "_____, this girl/guy whose blog I read who reads my blog . . ." and, frankly, I just don't have enough time in life to keep calling you people that.

So, Brandon, in turn, has thrown down the gauntlet to the blogosphere to find just the right word. Hopefully, it could become part of the national lexicon (like "bootylicious"), so when you're at a party telling your friends about Tequila Mockingbird or Dooce or Hot Librarian, they won't give you that look like you're discussing cartoon characters or porn stars.

Head over here and offer your suggestion. . .I hear there's a prize.

Card I received from this girl Summer who reads my blog whose blog I read whom I really like . . .

link * Miss Marisol posted at 9:57 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 9:57 AM   |


Cool Change Indeed!

Amanda B. at VeryZen posted this wonderful story about her father's evolution from Christian homophobe to outspoken advocate for gay rights. As we approach the annointing of a new Miss Hag. Homo du Mois, I have been thinking about the idea of acceptance and coming out.

Surely, a woman who proudly wears the moniker of "Fag Hag," must have always been an open-minded gal. Sadly, this is not so. I, too, grew up under the hypocritically judgmental eye of the Catholic church. And in a tiny blip of a parochial town in the deep Maine woods. A dislike of gays was like fluoride in the toothpaste. That's just the way things were.

In honor of all the gays I've loved before, I offer you pieces of early homophobia and my very own coming out. Of the dark closet of ignorance.

Junior High, 1988.
The force of the popular girl clique is singularly overwhelming. We don't breathe without conferring with each other.

Is it inhale, exhale or exhale, inhale?

One of our own, K., has been chosen as this week's target. Every week, one of us is the least loved. It is how adolescent girls learn to suffer and to punish. By picking off one of our own. K. has imperfect skin. Her clothes are a minute too late. Her potential wanes.

Plus, we have all learned a new word. A word we collectively whisper in every double-pierced earlobe in town. Lesbian. Worse than slut or burnout.

K. catches me in a moment. Away from the group.

Why? Why are people saying such a thing about me?

Her perfect nails tremble as they delicately pick at her wrist.

Freshmen Fall at Quirky Midwestern Private Liberal Arts College, 1993.

The campus is colorful today. I do not look up at the primordial trees or the white dome of the chapel tower that obviously sits in the center of campus, at the pinnacle of the quadrangle. I look down. At the shuffling shell toes of my Chuck Taylors.

The ground is covered in smears of pastel chalk. Every inch of sidewalk is covered like a horde of toddlers snorted an eight ball and tried to create the biggest hopscotch game in the universe overnight. Except, the chalkings are not simple squares and numbers. They are phrases and quotations. Slogans.

God made me gay! Gay is good! Silence=Death.

And of course, the rainbows. The pink triangles. Later, I would learn that this is a tradition. The GLBSGQT (LMNOP . . .) group on campus chalks the sidewalks every year on the eve of
Gay Pride Week.

As I wind my way through ivy-covered red brick edifices, I think little of what I am seeing. And then it happens. One bright pink statistic stops me in my tracks. Literally.

One-third of this campus is gay.

One-third? Like, 33.3%? That's . . .like . . .400 people!

I rush back to my dorm room, to confer with my very straight roommate. A. is my antithesis in so many ways: effortlessly blonde hair, clear blue eyes, a Biology major. An athlete on two sports teams with long, lean legs. I swoop through the door and tell her what I learned from the sidewalk.

A. nods, wide-eyed.

"I know. One of the girls on the basketball team is."

"The one with the mullet?"

I curl up on my thin mattress and stare up at the black and white Guess? ads that cover my wall. One-third.

Freshmen Spring at Same College, 1994

I have finally met him. My soul mate. His name is Patrick and his love is the end of my loneliness. It is the most uncomplicated relationship I have ever had with a man. Our hands fit together perfectly.

"I have to talk to you," he hands me a Basic Light 100.

"What's up?"

"Not now. Later. Tonight. We'll get some wine, sit on the roof."

We are standing in the middle of the Fine Arts Building parking lot. A group of tennis players bounce by on their way to practice. A muddle of black clad theatre kids lounge on a low wall smoking.

I speak. Too loudly. "Are you coming out?"

It echoes through the perfect storm of brick wall.

. . .coming out, coming out, coming out . . .

The record skips. The needle screeches. Everyone stares.

"You're lucky I love you. Why don't we just call my dad while you're making announcements?"

Since then, homophobia has faded into my distant mind. It's something people used to do, I think. Like communicating with carrier pigeons or listening to 8-track tapes. No one does homophobia anymore. Right?

At least for me, the transition was painless. It was, in fact, wondrous.

Somewhere between fear of the unknown and unabashed desire for a grander life, I learned to love. And the lesson came from a gay man.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 8:06 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 8:06 PM   |


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. . .

You will never run into me in the Self-Help aisle at Borders. My mother, on the other hand, will read every tome in the joint. And, with very little provocation, she will share with you her theories about why you are so screwed up and what titles you can read to help change your life today. Something like Get Out of Your Own Way or Stop Blaming Mommy.

This is a woman who, when I fell ill to normal childhood ailings like the common cold, would realign my chakras and perform Reiki on me before succumbing to the far more successful over-the-counter medicines like Robitussin.

"Mind over matter, sweetie. A positive attitude makes the strep throat go away."

Her persistent metaphysical beliefs did not necessarily mold me into a pious woman.
Although I believe in a Higher Being and pray and meditate and think about the afterlife, I am not a sancitified guru. I like cynicism and pessimism. I like to scoff. Sometimes, you will hear me mutter, "Bah."

Recently, however, I have read a book that someone might place on a Self-Help shelf. That same someone might call it a guide to changing your life. It could, in different hands, even be used to start some flaky commune cult.

Although I have read it and found it immensely inspirational, I am recommending it to Miss Hag. readers based solely on its entertaining merits. It's gut bustingly funny. If you learn something or gain something in the process, well, more power to you. I simply endorse it as a great read.

The book, by Danny Wallace, is a true account of a year in his life. It is called Yes Man. Danny begins his story with a moment of epiphany, a moment that changed his life. After going through a breakup and losing a girl he liked, Danny found himself staying home a lot. Turning down invitations for beers at the pub. His friends came to expect him to come up with any excuse not to hang out.

One evening, London's Tube breaks down and Danny finds himself riding a bus home. On the bus, he has a conversation with a bearded stranger who gives him some advice that he takes very seriously. He takes it literally even.

The stranger says, "Say yes more."

And so, Mr. Danny Wallace decides that for the next 6 months (until midnight of New Year's Eve), he will say "yes" to every invitation and request made to him. Anything that is asked in the form of a request, Danny will do it. Danny says, "Yes."

This one change brings him all over the world. He gets a promotion and wins a large amount of money. He buys a car he doesn't need and becomes a minister over the internet. He also purchases penis patches from his email spam and gatecrashes his ex-girlfriend's first date with another man.

Danny has hilarious and enlightening adventures because he says "yes" to everything the universe serves up.

I really wanted to try this for a short period before posting about the book. I wanted to try to say "yes" for a whole day. Just to share my funny and exciting adventures saying "yes" to every invitation put forth to me.

But, I couldn't do it. I'd say to myself, "Maybe tomorrow."

It's not that I don't believe that the way of "Yes" has much to offer. The basis of the idea is one that I firmly believe will change one's life: opening yourself up to the universe. However, it's not something I could just choose to do. It's sort of like losing weight or saving money. I know that if I do either (or both), my life will change for the better. But, still I put it off.

I read the book, but it didn't change my self at the last turn of page, although I certainly talk and think about it with everyone. No, I'm not a "Yes Woman." Not because I'm afraid to accept everything offered to me. I guess I'm just more of a "Yes, But Maybe Later Gal" for now.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 9:33 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 9:33 AM   |

You're Nobody Till Somebody . . .

. . . memes you.

I awoke today to find that my favorite mean_girl used me as her "naughty little example" for a meme today. I feel so violated.

And to answer your question, mg, I am working at becoming a professional writer (aren't we all?). But, nobody seems to want to pay me just yet.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:06 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:06 AM   |


Excuses, excuses . . .

I recently wrote about how there is a lot of this in my life:

This week was no exception. With visitors in town, this behavior seems to increase exponentially with the number of guests:

So, I spent a lot of time this week doing this:

And looking at the world like this:

and this:

But all I seem to remember is things looking like this:

And at the end, I had to do some of this:

Because hangovers seem to hit harder now that I am closer to this:

than this:

And, that's why I did very little of this:

So, all I ask is you do this:

And I'll try harder next week.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:23 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:23 PM   |


I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

My dearest, Betsey, is a single gal in New York. Thusly, she always has such fascinating tales to share about the men who pass through her social life. For instance, there was the guy who couldn't stand the sound of metal on plates and brought plastic utensils for her to eat with when they went to dinner. There was the gentlemen who thought that because Betsey bought a popsicle, she was secretly signaling to him that she wanted to have sex with him. And, who could forget the young man we referred to as The Undergrad?

Betsey had a conversation with The Undergrad one day in which she referred to the phenomenon from the early 80's called "New Coke."

While telling her story, Betsey noticed the young scholar looked a bit puzzled when she referred to the time when Coca-Cola reformulated the recipe of its signature soda in an attempt to broaden the beverage's repertoire.

Betsey said, "You do know what I'm talking about, right?"

Undergrad, "Of course." Pause. "I mean, I was too young to remember that happening, but we discussed New Coke in my Economics class once," he added.

In my mind's eye, I picture him saying this to Betsey with the endearingly wide eyes of an unsullied young man.

"God," Betsey replied, "How much do I feel like Mrs. Robinson right now?" She laughed.


Undergrad, "Who's Mrs. Robinson?"

Naturally, Miss Betsey immediately brought the boy to her home to watch The Graduate.

Being out of the dating scene for so long, I appreciate her lively tales. Often, I feel the slightest pang of jealousy for her daily excitements. When I first moved to New York, years ago, I dated. And, I had a fair share of weird encounters with the opposite sex. But, five years into a relationship, my stories of yore are distant and old.

That's why, last Tuesday morning when I got home from work at 8 a.m. and took my boyfriend to breakfast, I felt excited to tell him the following story. I felt I finally had something odd and funny to add to my repertoire of freaky experiences with men. But, judging from his reaction, I guess I should have been more frightened than amused by this bizarre anecdote.

Last Monday night, at midnight, my shift started at little Flo-town. It wasn't a busy night, but the transition from Dinnertime to Late Night Time at the restaurant is always a bit unwieldy. It's like changing dance partners in the middle of the Lambada.

On this particular eve, I had a lot of little things to get done all at once and I was running from the back to the front of the restaurant: answering the phone, making change, running food, bussing a table. A middle-aged man with an awkard mini-fro and a scruffy beard sat at the counter with a piece of paper in his hand.

Same counter, different guy.

He looked familiar. If he is who I think he is, he is a homeless man that used to come into the restaurant about a year ago. In Manhattan, there is an group that prints a newspaper filled with stories and poems by and about New York's homeless. In an effort to help the city's displaced population have a chance to earn some money; they give stacks of this paper to them to sell on subways and street corners in return for any amount of donation.

The man I am remembering used to come to the restaurant and I would buy a paper from him and give him a cup of water. He was always polite and unthreatening, so it didn't bother me to do this for him. I think this is the same man that came in to chat with me last Monday night.

I didn't have time to stop and talk to him for long because I had several small tasks to accomplish. However, finally, he stopped me and asked for just a moment of my time.

He showed me the papers that he was holding and explained to me that he was just released from a local correctional facility a week ago. He showed me a small white plastic identification card and said, "This is my parole identification card. I got parole for life."

"Wow," I replied unsurely. "That's...ummmm...nice?"

"See, look here," he pointed excitedly at the information on the top of the paper, "I spent one year in jail for burglary. Now, see, I didn't steal nothin' from your house or anybody's house that you know. Do you know, I got arrested for stealing something from my own house?"

I looked blankly at him unsure of how to properly respond to this.

"Well. Yeah. That's a. . .a bum deal."

He nodded solemnly. "But look, that's not what I came here to tell you. I came here to tell you that I always remembered that you were so nice to me."

"Oh, well, yeah, you're welcome."

"Yeah, and I been thinkin' 'bout you every day for the past year I been in jail."

At this time, the restaurant security guard entered the restaurant. We call him Six Six because he is a little over 6 feet 6 inches tall with forearms as big as my calves. I smiled at him and looked over at my recently jailbird friend with eyes that I hoped conveyed that this dude was a wee bit wacky.

Naturally, my parolee friend mumbled a good-bye as my building-size doorman saddled up to the bar next to him.

"I seen that dude around here before," he told me as I relayed what just happened.


Don't fret Miss Hag. readers. I'm sure he's harmless. I prefer to think of it my very own fun story to share with my embattled single gal pals. Or, you know, here's hoping!

link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:21 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:21 PM   |


Approaching the Drop

12 Things I Have Learned Since I Met You 12 Years Ago

1. Never pluck your eyebrows when you're stoned.
2. If you buy a car for $1200, don't expect it to make it a full lap around the country.
3. Don't eat mushrooms that grow out of your kitchen walls.
4. Assume every man is gay until you sleep with them. (In Betsey's case, never assume anything.)
5. Vodka is a great lover, a mediocre friend and a terrible business partner.
6. Have thoughts and think about them.
7. It's fiction as soon as it's over.
8. Always get photo approval.
9. There's always time for massages and pedicures.
10. Listen like you haven't heard the story a million times before.
11. If the phone rings twice in the middle of the night, you have to answer the second time.
12. We are very very very lucky fools.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 6:04 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 6:04 PM   |


Hello, My Name Is Marisol And I Am an Everythingaholic

The Dennis, 1999. Photo by g8s.

A few months ago, I was part of my very first intervention. Dennis, one of my two homosexual life partners, actually requested that we all intervene because his life was careening dangerously towards complete destruction. He sent us an e-mail that said, "This is it. I mean it. Intervene."

We all felt a little bit strange about having said intervention because none of us are what you might call "sober" people. To illustrate how ill equipped we were (and are) at hosting a meeting to tell someone that they need to stop imbibing, you can just ask where we had this intervention.

We had it at a bar.

Not only did we have it at a bar, we had it at a bar where the bartender knows of all of us and halfway through the emotional gathering, he sent over a round of shots.

My mind goes to this day often because Dennis is no longer with us. And by that, I do not mean that he is dead, I mean that he has left the city for a while to get his life in order. He is out in the "real world." He is in the Midwest dealing with some old demons and I talk to him on the phone frequently. I absolutely have to believe that he will work things out sooner or later because I love him.

Contact Sheet of Dennis by g8s.
Click for larger view.

I want to believe that someday soon, I will be on a leather banquette tippling on a dirty martini and laughing with my dear old friend, Dennis. But, I am realizing that this event is a reality that may be resigned to the past in order for us to have a future. And that makes me sad in ways I can't quite explain.

In his memoir, Dry, Augusten Burroughs writes about going into rehab and the misconceptions he had about what that experience would be like. Initially, it did not occur to him that rehab is a path towards sobriety. The night before he is to fly out to his future rehab home, Burroughs joins his old drinking buddy to toast the future,

"Now I'm thinking rehab could turn out to be great. I'll dry out for thirty days and it'll be like going to a spa. When I come home, I'll be able to drink more like a normal person drinks."

This sentiment is something that I have since spent time considering. How to drink like a normal person drinks.

I love to drink.

I love to be with a group of my friends drinking and being silly. I love to toast and to pour, to shake and to shoot. I love it all. But, alcohol is most certainly a drug. And, it is a drug that simply does not belong in certain people's lives. Or bodies. Because, for whatever reason, certain people cannot have alcohol as an element in their functionally productive life.

Sure, it is common to have a time in one's life when drinking and drugging is virtually inconsequential. And, as we mature, we find a way to moderate our imbibing so that it is entertaining without being destructive. But, not for everyone. This is something I am not sure I am ready to face.

Because, I suppose, to a certain degree, I am also an addict. And an enabler. But, mostly, I am unreservedly sentimental for a past where the inebriants flowed freely and the consequences were reconcilable.

Dennis, Marisol, Betsey and Patrick. Halloween, 2004 @ the intervention bar.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 11:08 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 11:08 AM   |


Walking Wounded

So, if you lose your faith, babe, you can have mine,
And if you're lost I'm right behind,
Cause we walk the same line.

Now I don't have to tell you
How slow the night can go,
I know you've watched for the light.

And I bet you could tell me
How slowly four follows three,
And you're most forlorn just before dawn.

When it's dark baby,
There's a light I'll shine,
And if you're lost, I'm right behind,
Cause we walk the same line.

And if these troubles
Should vanish like rain on midday,
Well I've no doubt there'll be more.

And we can't run and we can't cheat,
Cause babe when we meet
What we're afraid of,
We find out what we're made of.

Click above pic for more Miami vacation shots.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 2:59 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 2:59 PM   |


Jai Guru Day Brraah . . .

First, a note of apology to my blog-amigos. I have been on the 'puter less during my vacation (all i ever wanted) and thus, absent from the comment trails at your sites. I'll be catching up soon.

It would be untrue for me to say that I never get hit on. However, since I have been in a relationship for several years, I less frequently in situations where most of the people are, in fact, in the process of finding potential dates. Therefore, I have far less practice deflecting men's advances.

Case in point.

I was with the kids last night having cocktails when a really unattractive man came up and asked me to dance. At first, I thought he was joking so I didn't respond. When he repeated the request I said, "Oh, I don't really dance."

This was the nicest way I could think to say "no" without saying "no." I didn't want to dance with him.

"Awww. Come on."

"Oh, I really just want to finish my drink. But, thank you."

"Just one dance? Come on. What's your name?"


This is the name I give to anyone I don't want to know my real name.

"Come on, Janie."

Still trying to be nice, I changed tactics and picked up my camera. I said, "Actually, I'm kind of doing this photo project thing with my friends right now, so I can't dance with you."

This still didn't seem to work. He kept pushing the idea and even started rubbing up against my leg. I started getting pissed off.

"Look," I said firmly, "Your chances are steadily plummeting. You should go."

This is when Patrick interceded. However, this only pissed me off more because the guy was starting to get aggressive with my gay boyfriend. So, I talked to him like I talk to customers at my job who act like assholes.

"You know, you reeeealy need to go now because you are pissing me off and I am not afraid to punch you."

At this, he sort of grunted and walked away. But as he walked away he said, "If you touch me, I will slap the shit out of you."

This set off my alpha male alarm and I puffed up my chest like a territorial gorilla. I motioned at him and said, "Come on, buddy. I'm not scared of you." And, I wasn't.

However, I was, at that moment, incredibly glad to not be out there dating anymore. I don't think I would be very good at it.

Read the signs, folks. They're always there.

Click to see pics from Days 2 and 3.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:10 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:10 PM   |


Cowboy Tuxedo

Perhaps there is some rhyme to this reason. Perhaps I am not an unmoored ship, a cause lost to the salivating jaws of cynical disregard.

I have found a glimmer of hope and I am going to cling to it

Sound the alarm.

There is a sufficient break in the clouds of dismay and the solution is simple.


Take one part cynicism and pour it over ice. Shake it with a vintage blend of comfortable friendship, unabashed unconditional love and reasonably priced vodka. Strain out the nasty bits and serve straight up.

Submitted for your aproval...proof of the light at the end of the tunnel. Accept this ridiculous example of optimism with my sincerest regards.

Day One

Click to see a glimpse of Day 1.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:57 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:57 AM   |