As many of you probably know, yesterday (October 11th) was National Coming Out Day. It's a day to celebrate coming out of the closet and living a true and honest life.
Having come out a couple of decades ago (does that sound longer ago than "twenty-some years ago"? I'm not sure which makes me sound older...), these days I try to spend a little time on National Coming Out Day to think about the changes in my life since then, and to think about the changes in the world since then.
In light-hearted homage to that, I'm taking today's blog post as an opportunity to write up a Tiz List of things that I figure many of you don't know about me - and which may be a tad bit of a surprise. (Not sure why this is called a Tiz List? Check out this blog post, or search previous blogs under the header of "Tiz List".)
1) Yes, I'm a book guy. But I have never read most of what we're told are "the Classics." I know enough about most of them to talk my way in and out of conversations, but that's about it. I'm a really slow reader (which is, ironically, good in my line of work), and although I love the style of that incredibly in-depth and moving writing, there is simply no way I'd ever make it through Moby Dick or Les Miserables in less than a year each.
2) I'm an editor, but I would prefer to make sure that an individual author's style is maintained rather than make sure that the Chicago Manual of Style is perfectly represented. (This, obviously, is why I prefer to work on fiction and memoir and not non-fiction with all of its annoyingly anal citations.)
3) I love to bake, and I almost always use margarine. Everyone I bake for always says "oh... you can really taste the butter" or "I'm sure the secret is the butter..." but unless the recipe specifically calls for butter over margarine (or if I'm baking for someone who has a soy allergy or something of that type), I grew up with margarine and I still use it.
4) Yes, I'm gay. No, I do not think Halloween is "the Gay Christmas" (yes, I know people who call it that). I, personally, really can't stand Halloween. Sure, in the right situation, and with the right people, a costume can be fun (for instance, possibly a masquerade ball - get your minds out of the gutter), and who doesn't like a night when random people give you free candy, but I like Christmas as my Christmas, and I'd really rather skip directly past the final couple of weeks of October when everything is orange and black and covered in spiderwebs.
5) I like good, new food, but I hate trying to get into "hot, new restaurants." I don't want a "funky new concept" where they think it's "more fun" for customers to have to wait an hour because there are no reservations (I was actually told that, once). I want a restaurant where I can understand the menu, where the staff don't look like they just rolled out of bed, and where the food tastes good instead of just being "a great concept."
Okay... I'm never going to get a full list if I do them all as paragraphs. Let's go a little faster...
6) I really like Cool Whip.
7) I have no problem finding north when I'm outside (it helps if the sun is out), but I sometimes get totally confused when driving around Minneapolis.
8) Given the opportunity, I can fall asleep pretty much anywhere.
9) Succulent plants freak me out.
10) If I had a ton of money, I would totally fly first class everywhere I go, even though I'd still clip coupons and watch the rest of my budget.
11) I think too many people have too many tattoos. (Note: This does not say that I think no one should have tattoos. I just think that there should be some kind of fashion police out there monitoring who has them and saying "Dude, come on. Getting a full sleeve is not going to make people think you're an edgy, independent thinker, when you're actually a 40-year-old barista who lives in his parents' basement.")
12) I think there should be a way to turn in people for staring at their phones (or whatever) while driving.
13) I don't understand men's underwear without a functional fly.
14) In the past 6 months, I have picked up boxes of Rogaine and Just For Men for beards - but I have not bought them.
I had every intention of making this list 15 points long, but I started watching the dog breathe (see this post if you missed that reference), and got totally off my train of thought.
So... Let's let #15 belong to each of you. If you had the opportunity to come out and put some random information about yourself into the electronic ether, what would be top on your list? Drop it in the comments down below here so everyone can see it, if you feel so inclined. Or - if you're not up to that - just ponder it for a bit and see what odd little secret you've been keeping - possibly even from yourself.