Speaking In Tongues

By: Ann Brown

I’ve been thinking about rejection. Nothing specific has happened to make me think about it. I just felt it was time to rotate the shit I obsess over, and “rejection” came up next on the wheel. I’ve spent a lot of time recently obsessing about my imminent death, and on what the hell am I going to do with these ridiculous 55 year-old boobs of mine, and on the menu for my Passover seder next week. I’m ready to move on to a new issue. Focusing on rejection dredges up some cringe-worthy memories. Not the most embarrassing by a long shot, but one that comes easily to mind is when I tried to add a little tongue to a chaste kiss a very cute boy once gave me and he politely returned it to my mouth. I even tried again, hoping against hope that perhaps his tongue-return was merely an involuntary reflex or the result of a small facial stroke or something, but no such luck. Returned to sender. Ouch. I learned then that I am not a big fan of getting my tongue returned to me, and my stringent avoidance of rejection was borne. Also borne, my decision to stop tongue-kissing people who are clearly not attracted to me. And, with the exception of the summer of 1970 – when a French kiss was nothing more than a salutation – I’ve pretty much stuck to the policy. This all goes out the window, you understand, should I ever meet Theodore Bikel, because he rocks and he is totally getting tongue. Even though he may not be attracted to me. Even though I am happily married. Even though he may already be dead. Claudia recently mentioned that every important thing she ever got, she got by begging. That comment intrigued me. This, of course, sparked a lively conversation about the definition of begging, our ability to market ourselves and, ultimately gay sex, the latter topic having been introduced by Doug, who has decided he is part of our Facebook salon; one of us, but the one of us who is young, single and gay. And the one of us who tires quickly when the conversation turns to, well, when it turns to topics not Doug. Which is how a thread about rejection morphed into a discussion about colonoscopy and Doug schooling us on how best to endure one. Until we pointed out that we don’t need his helpful hints about that since a person is under total anesthesia for a colonoscopy, which, after having one, I am really thinking may be the best way to have gay sex, as well. I’m just saying. I think it would be a revelatory “note to self” moment for every gay man undergoing a colonoscopy. In fact, I am considering putting myself under anesthesia for hetero sex from now on. I so admire the Claudias of the world, knowing their worth, asking/begging for what they want, getting their due. They balance the me’s of the world who’ve marched into the boss’s office with both barrels blazing, demanding the world, and left empty-handed, asking at least that my parking be validated. And not even getting that. Rejection is a mean bitch. But I am ready to get into the ring with her. I am older, wiser, I’ve got these ridiculous boobs that I have no idea what to do with anymore, and I’ve been carb-loading since….well, since my first pregnancy in 1982. Smart money is on Dr. Strangemom. I just need to decide where to begin, where I will mount my first battle against rejection. Yoo hoo. Oh, Mr. Bikel…….

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