Saturday, July 24, 2010

owning up and not reviewing

Not so long ago I began a post, but for whatever reason I didn't finish or post it.  In that post I discussed that Momma had a Dr. Phil book that I'd sorta been reading.  And though I've ignored it for a couple of days, I've apparently started sorta reading it again.

I'm sure we're all familiar with Dr. Phil.  He's Oprah's lovable oaf that got his own show drawling at people to tell them how they should live.  Many people dislike him, and with good reason, while many people find his folksy, aw shucks sort of, get-in-the-game mentality to be exactly what they need.

I don't hate the guy, and I think I'm able to hear him and decide for myself whether the things he's saying at the moment has any actual value.  And I think I'm able to weed out all the generalities that work for everyone if we'd all just somehow be exactly as we should and thought right thoughts and always acted in a way that made sense and was healthy.

The problem is that none of us ever always do those things we should, so hearing someone tell us to always do it as we should just isn't that big a help to most of us.  If a calendar with daily affirmations and quirky advice about smiling and enjoying the rain gets you through the day then good for you.

But some of us just swallow the hearburn most of the time because the Tums don't work, and forcing a smile gives us a headache rather than makes our inner sunshine sparkle for all the world to see.  And chances are there's something within eyesight that makes me feel hatred, and that's just how I am.  I kinda hate to say but my daily affirmation calendar would involve pictures of people that I can feel better than.

I suppose my real issue with the book is that I approach it from my gay point of view, though it's a book about hetero women connecting with hetero men to form hetero relationships.  I never figured any of that out in my years of research(aka being in the closet), and now that I'm finally out I can admit to all that.  Before I would have had to defend the honor of men and damn him for comparing us all to fish.  He actually suggests to some extent that getting a man is like catching a fish in that you have to know how he acts and where he feeds so that you can use the right lure to snag him out of the river.

And I'm really doing Dr. Phil a disservice.  I'm measuring his book as a gay man, and really it's just not for me.  It's kinda like reading a map for a city I'm not going to be visiting, or maybe it's like when Google maps gives you shitty directions.

For all that I'd really hate to imagine the gay version of this book.  While straight men do fit a bunch of stereotypes, whether or not I said they do or don't earlier, it doesn't matter, because we gay men have and fit all of those and then some.  We're everything from mind numbingly normal to glitter clad.  I can swoon over Rufus and still squee when I touch something gross while rocking out to Motorhead.  It's how it is.

Maybe my problem was in thinking that a Dr. Phil book would not eventually piss me off.  I kinda want to watch his show now just so I can yell insults at the tv.  But if you happen upon his book and find help in it then good for you.  I haven't, though I have gotten depressed by the whole thing.

I'll never find a man, and if I did I wouldn't be able to marry him.  Maybe I'll go drown my tears in a drunken cheezy poof and ramen orgy.  Woe! woe is me!

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