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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Cashmere Fantasy

I am so excited to visit New York City. But I have to admit that I'm starting to get nervous. I need to clear something up for anyone I might meet in New York (or elsewhere). Today I am going to post pictures that have never been seen before. I am going to prepare you for the truth.

There is no way I will be as funny as you think I will be. Look. Here is proof. Most boring post I've ever written? Probably not, but it helps make my point. Sometimes after I make a joke you can almost hear the crickets chirping.

There is no way I will live up to your expectations as to my charm, disposition, looks, wit or intelligence. If you expect me to be one of the nicest people you've ever met, I can pretty much guarantee I won't let you down, but in the other areas, I feel grossly inadequate.

But it's your fault for worrying me. Because some of you are sending me e-mails that make me think you're expecting too much. I've been told I "write like a hot guy" and that I "would look good in cashmere". I can't say I really understand either of those statements. I'm not even sure what cashmere is. I thought it was a city in Asia or the Middle East. Anyway, I implied from the tone of the e-mails that these statements were meant to be compliments. Another blogger suggested I may get an invitation to see his loft after we have a couple drinks together. I am so appreciative for the encouragement, and more than a little intrigued, but I'm also concerned that I will dissapoint.

My anxiety reminds me of college when my friend Dan would introduce me to people as "The Funniest Person Ever", and new acquaintances would ask me to "say something funny". I would stare blankly and swallow hard. And say nothing.

That picture of me at the top of the page? It was taken last February by The Midget. She is a brilliant photographer. She made me look good, but, in spite of her brilliance, The Midget captured a few dozen photos that were much less flattering. You never saw some of other pictures I rejected. I don't have digital copies. so you can't see them. But, trust me. They're the kind of pictures the National Enquirer would put on the front page under a bold headline proclaiming "Hot Toddy a Cokehead!" or "Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven Gains 75 Pounds!"

Here is a picture of me in my glasses, ripped jeans and a sweatshirt I've had for over 10 years. It was taken at The Executive's beach house. See how round my face is? See how messy my hair is? See how I'm getting drunk with The Handsome Prince? See what a booze hound I am? And I'm probably not saying anything funny either.

I have gained 13 pounds since May, most of which will still be with me in New York City. I have been so erratic about getting to the gym for the past three months, because I've been - um - distracted. Sometimes I can't think of anything funny to say. I freak out and panic when I think about certain social situations, and this upcoming trip is one of those situations.

I'm not getting through to you, am I? You still think I'm HOT Hot Toddy.

Look how huge my head is. This was a picture taken, once again, by The Executive.

See how cute and normal-sized The Executive is? I'm sitting down on his garden wall, because if I stood up my face would not be in the picture. As a Texan recently told me, I "couldn't fall off a mountain", which I think means I am really, really tall.

Look, I do like myself. I probably think way too highly of myself. Anybody who proudly refers to himself as Hot Toddy is a total narcissist obviously has a healthy ego. But you shouldn't think too highly of me just yet. Have you seen my morning hair? (Very few get to see this side of me without earning it by spending the night. Well, until now.)

Okay, I didn't want to do this. You've forced my hand. The Handsome Prince has seen the ugliest side of Hot Toddy more than practically anybody. In fact, true to his nature, THP has captured my ugliest side on film more than once. Earlier this year, when we visited Vancouver, BC, I was hungry and needed coffee. I was in a bad mood. I had a headache. I refused THP's request that I pose for a picture. He ran up next to me on the sidewalk and took this picture against my will.

It's blurry, because I wouldn't stop walking. You can see the irritation in my face. If you look closely enough, you can see the portal to hell in my eyes.

A wonderful guy recently sent me an e-mail describing his experience upon meeting other bloggers. He met a few of them, and had this to say:

"In the middle of the night after [meeting them], I woke up sad because I didn't feel like I connected with them the way I wanted to. I sent my friend an email about it explaining that I shell up because I got picked on a lot for being different when I was a kid."

This blogger friend of mine concluded his e-mail with words of reassurance that made me want to hug him through the Internet. And, so it comes full circle. People who read my blog are making me nervous. And people who read my blog are making me feel safe and loved.

I guess I'll just make the trip, and you can decide for yourself what you think. It shouldn't matter anyway, since those who have actually seen my ugliest side love me anyway.

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