I HATE the question "Got any big plans?" or "Got any exciting plans"?
It makes me feel like everybody else on Earth spends every night in a Mountain Dew commercial, going hang-gliding and scuba diving and running at breakneck speed to grab cans of soda from an ice chest to guzzle while they're singing songs around a campfire at the beach with 35 of their closest friends.
How does everybody on Earth find the time to plan and go on these gigantic gatherings every single day of their lives?
And if I'm not rushing around like a lunatic through vast crowds with fireworks and laser shows and throbbing music at least 6 hours out of every 24, I'm a failure.
That's a lot of guilt to put on someone.
Besides, I'm an introvert. I don't like crowds, or lights, or loud music. Granted, in West Hollywood I was out at the bars 2-3 times per week, but they were gay bars, and not the crowded, noisy ones.
And even then, I preferred quiet evenings with a boyfriend, or at a small party: dinner, DVDs, conversation, party games, and sex.
What's so wrong with taking a little break, relaxing at home while the rest of the world is frantically trying to be stimulated? Chinese delivery, Netflix, a Grindr hookup -- perfect!
That's a lot to explain to the checker at the Food Co-Op or the student worker who swipes my card at the gym.
But the worst is my bank. There are two people, one who accosts you on the way in and interrogates you about what you want to do, and the other who actually does it for you. Both of them take "being friendly" to crazy, intrusive extremes.
One day in the late summer 2003, when I was living in Wilton Manors, I got even:
Under other circumstances he might have been cute: mid-twenties, short, slim, dirty blond hair, round face, wearing a blue shirt and red tie (I always find business clothes erotic). But his faux smile and overly chipper banter was just too annoying.
"HI!!!! How are you today?"
I don't like that question, either, but I dutifully said "Fine, thanks...." His name tag read Mason. "So, Mason, I'd like to..."
"I hope everything is going just fabulous!," he interrupted. "What wonderful service can we offer you today?"
"I'd like to withdraw some money. The ATM is broken."
"I can certainly offer you wonderful service with that!" Mason squealed. " Just fill out this withdrawal slip. "So, do you have any big plans for tonight?
I wasn't about to get judged by some twink for not having Big Plans involving lights and noise and 30 of my close friends, so I ignored the question. "Ok, it's all filled out."
But he wouldn't let it go! "Just a minute, let me verify. So, any big plans for tonight? Anything exciting."
He read it. "Boomer! What a cool name! Any big plans for tonight, Boomer?"
"....And I'd like $50 out of my account, please," I said, trying hard to keep from answering his prying questions.
Mason grinned. "I can certainly help you with that. Any big plans for tomorrow? Anything exciting?"
I stared at Mason the Intrusive Bank Teller, my mouth agape. He stared back with his blank robotic grin. This was a battle of wills! Only one of us was going to make it out of here without a very public humiliation!
"Could I have that in tens, please?" I said, in one last feeble attempt to retain my dignity.
"I can certainly help you with that." Mason typed a bit on his computer, pulled out a receipt, and opened the cash drawer. But instead of counting out my $50, he looked up and said "Any big plans for Friday night? Anything exciting?"
He was holding the $50 just out of my reach. It was quite clear that he wouldn't hand it over until I answered a Big Plans question.
What happened next is too risque for Boomer Beefcake and Bonding. You can read it on Tales of West Hollywood