You Don't Know Me, Fucko
My drunk friend, Nancy, was attending a party at my house, and was offered a ride home from another party guest. "You shouldn't be driving," he told her.
"You don't know me, Fucko!" she slurred. No, we didn't let Nancy drive home, but her quote became a favorite of mine and Juju's.
So, today I am thinking about all the people who think they know me. It is strange that I talk about so many details of my life to so many people I've never met. But I can't help myself. I am an attention whore and am not ashamed. I'm more ashamed of owning a Rosie O'Donnell talking doll than I am of being an attention whore.
Recently, I was called an attention whore on the Gay Bloggers tribe on Tribe.net by a person who seems to have taken a disliking to me. However, I took it as a compliment. It took one or two more attempted insults from this other member before I realized that he was trying to get a rise out of me. Calling me a wallflower would probably be more insulting to me than saying I will do anything for attention. Sure, I'm an attention whore. I'm an actor, and I'm a blogger.
The Executive, a friend who knows me very well and likes me anyway, replied to my Tribe antagonist, who I've dubbed George Statetheobvious, with the following:
"Toddy, an attention whore? You have no idea..."
See, my friends know me. They love me for who I am. And they know I am an attention whore and make no apologies about it. My ex, prior to breaking up with me on my birthday, said that he was uncomfortable with the way I "held court" at parties. He said it made him feel invisible (I'm sure it was all my fault that he felt invisible as he sat in the corner criticizing people under his breath).
I'm sorry if you don't like it, but it comes naturally to me - this strange desire to entertain. This is not a new thing. I have been an attention whore for as long as I can remember. You should see the home movies of me and my sister as kids. Actually, my sister only made cameo appearances, because in nearly every movie my parents ever filmed, there appears the inevitable shot of me literally pushing my sister out of the frame. If she was doing something cute on camera, I would run in front of her and start singing or tap-dancing or clowning.
In an attempt to give me an outlet and allow my sister some on-camera time, my dad built a stage for me in the basement of our house. I was encouraged to write skits and perform them for my family at holiday gatherings. My talent shows were frequent, and I was a hell of an entertainer. I wrote songs, played my trumpet and read my poetry to my cousins, aunts and uncles. As a youth, my fans adored me. However, unlike Melissa Etheridge, my coming out destroyed my career. Apparently, you can't be a poetry-reading trumpet player who performs marionette shows to the soundtrack from Xanadu if you're gay. (Funny, one would assume such a performer HAS to be gay) I have been forced to seek out a new audience. And, for the most part, I've been well-received. Until George Statetheobvious.
To be honest, George Statetheobvious is the first "critic" I've encountered on the Internet. With any luck, he won't be the last, because it is as close as I've come to feeling stalked.
I'm lucky to have met more friends than foes through this blog. A mystery was solved today. One reader of my blog wrote me an e-mail to say that he frequently reads me from his office. He works for an "evil coffee empire", a fact I've noticed from reviewing my site statistics. I'm so happy to finally know the identity of this mysterious reader, who I always pictured sipping a big cup of coffee from a Seattle mug as he reads Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. We may meet up for a drink someday when he visits Portland, and I look forward to it.
There are a few other people out there reading regularly, and I feel very curious about who they are. Someone who works for an "evil online book empire" reads this site quite often. Someone who works for an "evil dental empire" in California reads me too. I also see hits from a mortgage company in CA and from some crazy stalker in Cleveland (kidding - I know who you are, Cleveland).
It's fascinating to know that someone I've never met knows what drink I order at the bar (and which bar) on Thursday nights. Thanks to those of you who send me really nice e-mails about enjoying my writing. Thanks to friends I've never met who call me from Bloomingdales to say hello. Thanks for the drunk dials, for burning CDs for me, for coming over to hang out at my house, and for telling me you like my writing.
Your kindness helps to counteract the evil plots of George Statetheobviouses everywhere. Oh, and one more thing...
Hey, George! You don't know me, Fucko.