Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Tale of Two Drag Shows

On Day 10 of my 30 Days of Blogging, I've run across a topic suggested by my friend Phyliss:

Sex Week on Campus

This topic presents a bit of a problem, in that I'm not sure I can write about it. Sex Week, and the last minute decision by the university to remove funding from Sex Week, has generated a fair bit of controversy, and I've been reminded in the past week that all university employees fall under the employee code of conduct, which includes some broadly vague and nebulous language about not giving the appearance of being unsupportive of the university. I am openly supportive of Sex Week, though, and am helping to facilitate the Drag Show tomorrow night.

My record with drag shows is a little mixed. I've been to some that were entertaining, but there was also that one where that drag queen threw a shoe at me from the stage, and that was kind of traumatizing, what with it being my first sober drag show and all.

Thinking about that, though, also reminds me of my very first (unsober) drag show...

The year is 2006. Barry Bonds is breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, President Bush is admitting that the CIA has secret prisons all over the world, "Smallville" is just starting to turn awful while "Superman Returns" hits the theaters and is all the way past awful and into terrible. The breakout radio hit of the summer is "S O S", by a girl named Rihanna that none of us had heard of before even though this is her second album, and I am in a terrible relationship with a guy who is not only fully closeted and will not admit that we are in a relationship or meet any of my friends who don't already know him but who is also kind of a jerk.

He does, however, have fantastic abs.

Since he later decided that he was straight, I will refrain from mentioning his name, although he may have changed his mind again since then. I don't know, because we haven't talked since shortly after I moved here, when I suddenly got tired of returning his calls. I should have known he'd turn out to be a jerk, because the first time we went to lunch (when we were still just friends) he not only made a point of mentioning that he was "mostly straight" (I still have questions about what, exactly, this means; he was unwilling to ever clarify it) but also described me as "cheerfully husky". Bitch. Even worse, since I have low self esteem, I managed to convince myself that "cheerfully husky" was actually a compliment.

This rationlization was really easy, since he had fantastic abs.

In other jerky moments, he once said that I had "a girl brain", in that my emotions were just always hysterical and out of control. Once when I was supposed to bring wine to go with dinner, and actually asked the guy at the liquor store for help, he looked at the bottle I brought and said, "Wow, this was a really good try." He used a handkerchief instead of tissues, which meant that there was perpetually a crusty snot filled cotton rag in one or more pockets. He thought my weekend habit of going to estate sales was "morbid and creepy", and he hated when I sang along to music while driving. Also, he was deeply in love with Audrey Hepburn, and kicked me out of his apartment when I fell asleep during "Roman Holiday". (It's a great movie. I was just tired.) Most egregiously jerky of all, though, is that he bought me something for Christmas that I very specifically said that I did not want. We were at the store, and he pointed it out and was like, "I'm going to buy you that for Christmas," and I was like, "I don't want that. And you know how people say that and don't mean it, like, 'Oh, I don't want a surprise birthday party' but they really do want one? I don't mean it like that. I mean that I really, honestly don't want that," and then he bought it for me anyway and presented it with, "Well, I'd already decided I was going to buy it, so you'll just grow to like it."

Like I said, jerk. But fantastic abs.

I was younger then, and easily mislead.

Anyway, because I was job searching and finishing my masters and in this horribly annoying relationship all at the same time, I was really, really moody a lot, so my friend Franco was like, "Jesus, we have to get you out. You need to socialize with gay people who actually admit to being gay, and aren't jerks. You're miserable all the time."

"But he has these really fantastic abs..."

"Shut up. We're going to the Cinco de Mayo Drag Show at Waterworks."

"Well... ok."

And so we went:

Dana takes the camera

and there was drag. We saw fake Mariah Carey:

Not Mariah Carey

a really terrible Celine Dion, a drag king (the first one I'd ever seen), this girl who won and who didn't seem to be any specific person:

She won

a weird snake lady with thick, heavy eyebrows:

I think she's a Romulan?

and fake Christina Aguilera:

Not Christina Aguilera

Not pictured: the shirtless bar boy with the fantastic abs and the rack of test tube shots. I bought so many test tube shots that I could have gone home and started my own chemistry set. At one point Franco tried to gently dissuade me from talking to him and from buying more test tube shots:

"Every time you point at him, he comes over and sells you another shot."

"But have you seen his abs? Hey, look, he's coming over here again!"

Eyeroll. Sigh so loud you can hear it over Not-Liza Minelli.

Ah, to be younger again.

But maybe to not date so many jerks.

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

First, that guy sounds like an idiot. Second, I love that you set the time period through the use of Smallville and that Superman movie. Always be you, Joel.