Thursday, 29 March 2007

What Sports Do You Like?

Last night we had my son's end of season cricket break up. I'm not sure where it all came from, but my son is sports mad. This is totally different from me (and his mother). Despite my lack of interest in most things sporting, I have been able to involve myself well in his sporting activities. He plays tennis and cricket competitively. I find his tennis easier to engage with than his cricket. I have always had a problem with cricket. Part of it was that my family was so very into cricket when I was growing up and I wasn't, so it has always been a point of difference for me (to add to the list!). but I also find the game so 'straight'. I find it such a conformist game, with little opportunity for individual expression. Part of it is that being a non-contact sport, there is little expression of aggression, unlike the various footy codes, so there is a sense of having to behave in an acceptable manner (on the field at least!). I find it hard to explain what I mean by 'straight'. Anyway, all this means that I find it hard to engage socially within a cricket team setting, so I'm glad it was over quickly last night. Home in time for Prisonbreak!
Also, because of what they wear, cricket doesn't show off as much eye candy as other sports!

Monday, 26 March 2007

Equality in Relationships

Reading NSSG’s blog on balance in relationships got me thinking, together with the situation my parents are currently experiencing. My mother had surgery on her foot last week, which means she will be off her feet for 6-8 weeks and therefore pretty dependant on Dad for most things. This is what she is finding most frustrating – not having her foot weighed down by a tonne of dressings, or managing the pain – but being so dependant on her partner of nearly 50 years! So why is this such a problem for her? What does equality in a relationship mean? Does part of being in a relationship mean there is a sense of complementarity? Not only practically, but emotionally as well? This is something that the individuals within the partnership move in and out of as well. There are going to be times when one individual is more dependant than the other. These periods may be short or long, but they need to be looked at as part of the bigger picture. Being human means we are dependant on others and others are dependant on us. Sure there needs to be an overall balance, but there can't be equality all the time. And all relationships are different because all individuals are different. What may work for one couple won't work for all.
Ultimately it's all about communication. If that is kept as open as possible, then misunderstandings and hurt should be kept to a minimum.

Monday, 19 March 2007

The Gay Role Model

I read Dan's latest blog (My Life in the Slow Lane (I really do have to learn how to link!)) on his coming out to his parents and it took me back to my own experience. He was braver than I was as I initially wrote to my parents to tell them (despite only being suburbs away!). This had two benefits. It meant they could have an emotional response without having to worry about how that would affect me. It also meant I didn’t have to experience their initial reaction (yes, selfish I know!).
In many ways it was a non-event. We’re a family who doesn’t express our emotions very much with each other and we are also quite private, even with each other – very waspy! We’ve not really discussed it at all since. They really have very little idea of what my life as a gay man entails. This is a reflection of their knowledge of my life as a whole. Sad really, but that’s the way we are.
Anyway, reading Dan’s blog got me thinking of how we, as gay people, are often called on to be the educators of not only the larger society but the smaller communities of which we are a part, such as families and work colleagues. I guess this is so of most minorities. We can’t expect people to suddenly change the way they think and feel about a group of people, just because they are made aware that one of ‘those people’ are in their midst (and actually have been for a long time). We need to be patient in allowing people to work through what they need to do so to come to that place of (hopefully) acceptance and (hopefully) understanding. I've always thought understanding and acceptance are separate and whilst understanding would be nice to have, acceptance is the more important (I think this requires it's own entry to flesh out!).
This patience can be especially difficult in dealing with family with whom there are many complexities after a lifetime of involvement. It may seem unfair that after such a struggle with coming to terms with our own sexuality and perhaps even being on the receiving end of some sort of abuse or discrimination, it is us who needs to be the adult and provide the role modelling and education for those around us. This, at times, requires us to put aside our personal emotional response to the way we have been received and treated and be somewhat detached. Easier said than done, and there are some of us who can't do that - and that is OK!
I'm starting to rabbit on and losing the plot of what I'm saying, which I guess is, sometimes being gay is hard work! Or do we just make it so?

The Joys of Heterosexual Youth

I’ve mentioned before that I’m doing some study at present. I work in the health care sector as a counsellor, but am having a mid life career change and doing nursing studies. This has to be done as an undergraduate, so I’m one of a minority (a very small minority!!), with the majority being school leavers.
Last week we were doing history taking interviews for patients. We had to pair up to practise. I was paired up with a guy who did VCE last year, so he was about 18. He was from Hong Kong and had been in Australia for a couple of years. His English was very good, but he was struggling with some of the medical terminology. We had a sheet that was supposed to guide us with information we needed to obtain. He was looking through it and pointed to something and asked me what that meant. So I explained to him what a pap smear was. ‘You can get cancer there?!?!?!’ was his response! I refrained from pointing out that HE couldn’t get cancer there, but did say that you can get cancer basically anywhere. This led on to a conversation about what and where the prostate is. We also had a discussion about how on earth one could ask a woman how regularly she performed breast self examinations!
The joys of heterosexual youth!

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

How easily we forget

The battery in my car key that allows me to unlock
the car with the press of a button has died. It's been going flat for a
while now, with it taking a few presses to unlock, but the other
morning it actually died. There I was, running late for work (of
course!), pressing like mad and nothing was happening. I ran inside to
get my spare key. It was only later in the day that I realised I could
do the old fashioned thing and put the key in the lock and turn it! Is
all this technology locking down parts of our brains? Will there be
basic things that we will soon be unable to do? Are we becoming slaves
to technology?

Sunday, 11 March 2007

I Need More Sleep

Friday was J's last day at work (see A Gay Old Workplace - note to self: learn how to link!), so we went out for dinner and then some of us continued on by going down to Brunswick Street to do some more chatting (and drinking!). It was a really good night. I even managed to ask for a Quick Fuck (Kahlua, Midori and Baileys). Unfortunately there was not a guy to be seen behind the bar so the request was wasted on a woman! It was about 4.00am when I rolled into bed. It was up again at 7.30am for my son's cricket final. Despite the fact that I felt so good yesterday - let me rephrase that - I'm surprised I didn't feel worse than I did - I am getting too old to survive on such a small amount of sleep. I was probably one of those people who was always too old to survive on so little sleep!
I'm now off to Day two of the cricket final. I'll be glad when the season is over!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007


Last year I returned to study as part of a mid-life career change. It was a big decision for me and one that I took a while to come to. The problem is I can't afford to study full time, so I'm doing an undergraduate degree part-time - so yes, doing the maths, that six loooong years. Finishing the first year has confirmed that I'm heading for the right goal, I just wish I had a different path to get there (all applications taken from Sugar Daddies!). It's been an interesting experience going back as a mature age student with so many school leavers, also going back to undergraduate study. I have to say that despite what we as students pay, the level of teaching varies dramatically from excellent to 'who did they have to sleep with to get this job!'
Discipline has never been my strong point. Last semester I spent far too much time on the net doing non-study stuff (like blog reading). I didn't do as well as I could have done. I'm determined that this year will be a different experience. I'm going to have to severely curb how much time I spend reading blogs, sticking only to my favourites and not being distracted by others' links. This aint going to be easy!

Monday, 5 March 2007

A Spectacular Weekend

I had a great weekend - nothing particularly life changing but very life sustaining. It started on Friday night when a previous work colleague who had moved interstate was back in town for a few days. So someone organised a dinner with about a dozen of us. It was a great night of food, wine and conversation. The conversation ranged from everything from politics to movie reviews to gossip to gutter humour to environmental issues - the whole gamit. It was so good that I didn't get home until 1.30am. I then had to be up and out by 8.00am to go to my son's cricket match. I have to admit that cricket is not my favourite game, but I manage to engage with it if D is in it or I'm watching it with him. During this game we were witness to a spectacular lightning display. We could see it moving from east to west and closer to the ground, so close that it was decided to stop the game for safety reasons until it passed us by.
Saturday night was going to be a night to catch up on the lost sleep of Friday night, but I then got a text from FB (see previous post) asking if I wanted to catch up that night. Now I know that this will be no more than an FB relationship (although it doesn't fit all the rules set out by Not So Single Guy) and for the moment I can live with that. Anyway it was a fantastic reunion (not having seen him for a while). He headed off home around 2.30am. I then had to be up and out the door again by 8.00am to help a friend out with a stall she was having at a market. That was a lovely, slow and gentle day conversing with interesting and friendly people.
Despite so little sleep, I'm surprised how well I managed to get through the day at work today. I finished the day with my yoga again. I'm managing to focus inwards more during the class, feeling less self-conscious with what my body is doing.
So it was a weekend of relating at all levels, in ways that fed me physically, emotionally and spiritually. Isn't that what life's about?