Friday, August 31, 2012

Justify My Love

I am:
  1. Rational to a fault. By which I mean my brain doesn't allow me to simply think or feel something if I can't rationally justify it. So, for example, it's not enough for me to know that I love Clark just because that's how I feel; I need to constantly review the reasons why I love him in order to justify the feeling. This is probably not fair to him, as he shouldn't feel like he needs to constantly provide me with reasons to love him, but I'm going to count my recognition of that unfairness as a safety net--if there's ever a day when I can't think of reasons to love him, my rational brain will point out that it's not fair to require reasons, and force me to fall back on the fact that I just do. 
  2. A list-maker. 
If I were a supervillain, this is the supervillain I'd be. Yes, I know, lame.

 Therefore, Reasons Why I Love Clark Today:
  1. He went to a Common concert with me last night. He was worn out from a long week, finds rap music grating, and feels claustrophobic in crowds, but he went with me because I wanted to go and didn't want to go alone. He did not have a good time, though he made a valiant effort, swaying to the music of the opening act and singing along when audience participation was encouraged. I will not ask him to go to a rap concert again, as I don't enjoy making him suffer, but I appreciate knowing that I'm important enough for him to do something he really doesn't want to.
  2. On a similar note, he blogs because he knows blogging is important to me and therefore he wants to be part of it. I don't need him to blog--I would be okay with it being my thing--but it means a lot to me because it's his way of showing that what matters to me matters to him. Also, I enjoyed reading his first post, and I look forward to reading any future posts.
  3. He reads my blog. Not just this blog, but also my old blog. He's somewhere in the middle of 2006 now. This is something he just decided to do on his own, but it delights me to know he's reading my old posts. My sister always accuses me of not talking about my feelings. Admittedly I don't go too in-depth into my feelings even when blogging, but I do express myself more openly in writing than I do in real life. Meaning, writing is one of my primary methods of forming intimate relationships, so I appreciate that Clark has shown interest in getting to know me better in my native language, as it were.
Okay, my rational mind is satisfied. Now I will go find something I can do to give Clark reason to love me back.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Setting the Record Gay

As you may have heard, some nasty rumors have been going around about my boyfriend. Specifically, that he's been seen kissing Wonder Woman. Or rather, his alter ego has. I want to reassure all my loyal A Fob in Smallville readers that Clark is not, in fact, cheating on me. The fling with Wonder Woman is a PR thing, really. Gets people talking about the Justice League, maybe results in more funding for the team, yadda yadda yadda. And I understand, he's just doing his job. Do I feel threatened? Not in the least. Sure, she's the living embodiment of female perfection, but Clark's about as interested in her as... well... about as much as she's interested in him. What, you thought Wonder Woman was straight? Don't be ridiculous. The woman was raised on an island populated solely by women, didn't even meet a man until she was in her twenties. Her being attracted to men is about as likely as you being attracted to a Martian.

So no need to worry about me and Clark. We're good. Go about your business.

See? I'm secure enough that I can post this image on my blog.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Other Ex

I have only two exes (and neither lives in Texas). There's FoxyJ, who was my first serious relationship and to whom I was married for nearly ten years. And then there's my first boyfriend, Clone Wolf (blogonymmed after my misreading of his username, SLClonewolf), whom I dated for three weeks (we were officially boyfriends for eight days). This post is not about either of these people. Rather, it's about my other ex, the LDS Church.

I realized recently that my relationship with the LDS Church is very much like a relationship with an ex-spouse. We've been separated for six years now, though I didn't officially file divorce papers until a little over a year ago. That's a long time to wait before making our separation official, but then we had been together for a long time--eighteen years of marriage, and eight years of courtship before that. It was an arranged marriage, but in many ways a good one. By many standards, the Church was a good husband (husband rather than wife because the LDS Church is fundamentally male and because it amuses me to think of my marriage with the Church as a same-sex marriage). The Church is generally kind, loving, and in all things a gentleman.

But there was a dark side to our marriage, too. One of the things I loved about the Church was that it inspired me to be a better person, but the problem was that he wanted me to be a different person. I spent years trying to be a better me for the Church before finally realizing that there was no version of me that could be what the Church wanted me to be. It was in some ways a co-dependent relationship--I bent over backwards to please the Church, even to the point of defending him when he hurt me. When I realized how unhappy I was in my relationship with the Church and stopped looking at him through rose-colored glasses, I realized that it was not only the truth about myself he had hidden from me, but also truths about him and about the world around us. (He has a different version of this story, but then that's how it goes with most divorces.)

Nothing says "We're done" like ripping the word girlfriend out of your comic book title

So I left. For a while, I was angry. I wanted nothing to do with the Church. But we'd been together for twenty-six years, so untangling our lives was no simple matter. We had--and still have--a lot of mutual friends and family. For the sake of our shared loved ones, I did my best to be civil toward the Church, but then he'd do something to open up old wounds, like campaigning for Prop 8 in California, and I'd lash out in return. It was a transitional period for us, trying to figure out what our relationship was now that we were no longer lovers. There were a lot of bumps, but eventually things smoothed out.

Now, a few years later, we've finally achieved a comfortable distance. We see each other fairly frequently--I do live in Utah, after all--but by now those old wounds have scabbed over and healed. Occasionally he does something to upset me, but I get over it quickly enough. Ultimately, what he does or says doesn't have much effect on me. And why should it? Now he's just somebody that I used to know.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Keeping It In The Family

As I've mentioned before, Clark and I have decided not to tell our children yet that we are in a relationship. As far as they know, we're roommates. This is mainly for the benefit of his children, who don't know yet that he's gay, and who would likely make such knowledge known to all of Smallville if they did (they're kids, and kids don't keep secrets, nor should they be expected to). Mine know that I'm gay, but we figured it's best not to tell them about Clark and me because they can't be expected to keep a secret from his kids anymore than his kids can be expected to keep a secret from everyone else.

That said, children are observant. The following conversation took place between my nine-year-old, S-Boogie, and me last week:
S-Boogie: Is it legal to marry your step-brother or step-sister?
Mr. Fob: I don't know, it probably depends on what state you're in. But you probably wouldn't want to, because if you grew up with them then you'd feel like they're your brother or sister.
S-Boogie: So P-Bibby [S-Boogie's sister] probably won't want to marry Charles [Clark's son]. Because he's kind of like her brother.
Mr. Fob: No, probably not.
S-Boogie: And Little Dude [her brother] won't want to marry Wisp [Clark's daughter].
Mr. Fob: Nope.
S-Boogie: Hm... But it's okay to marry your roommate, right?
Mr. Fob (with a big smile): Yes, yes it is.
So yeah, basically she knows. I still won't confirm it for her unless she outright asks me, because she's less likely to share speculation than a known fact, but I'm glad she's figuring out things on her own, because eventually we will tell them all, and I'd rather it not come as a shock. Ideally, the progression from Dad's roommate to Dad's partner/husband/whatever will seem natural to the kids, not like a major change for them to digest all at once.

Also, I hope that none of my children marries one of their step-siblings. Because they did that in one of the Brady Bunch movies, and it sort of ruined the Brady Bunch for me. Because ew.

But not as ew as admitting that the only thing stopping you from marrying your underage cousin is Kryptonian law. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In which I go to a gay strip club, learn something about gender dynamics, and reaffirm something I already knew about myself

Tonight I went to a gay strip club. Clark laughingly predicted that I would be so uncomfortable at the club that I would run in, then run right back out. This ended up not being the case. I was certainly outside my comfort zone, but I was not in any way ashamed or embarrassed. I don't feel ashamed unless I'm doing something I believe is wrong, and I did not feel so tonight. It would be wrong if going were a violation of my commitment to Clark, but it was he who suggested I go in the first place so that wasn't the case; it would also be wrong if I did anything to treat the dancers with less than the respect they deserve as human beings, and I had no intention of doing that. So considering how far outside my comfort zone I was, I felt surprisingly comfortable as I walked into Nob Hill Theater, paid my admission (they gave me the local discount even though I told them I'm not local), and entered the theater room. 

Woo hoo, take it off!

I walked into the theater to find a skinny man wearing a towel and talking to a group of women. Apart from the dancer, there was not a man in the theater, which I found odd. The dancer immediately approached me and started dancing right in front of me. This made me uncomfortable because I didn't know what to do. Or rather, I didn't want to do what was expected of me--he was a stranger, not especially attractive to me, and he was invading my personal space. After a minute he gave up and sat down in the chair next to me. We chatted, and I relaxed a little. He whispered to me that he was annoyed at the women because they weren't good tippers and they were scaring away all the men. This seemed strange to me--it hadn't occurred to me that I should feel any less welcome because there were women in the room. After all, this was a gay strip club; I am the intended audience. 

The next dancer spent the first fifteen minutes of his performance focusing entirely on the women. While on stage, he smiled at them, and when he came off stage he hovered around them. He didn't even look in my direction. I enjoyed the show but felt just a little snubbed. Meanwhile, other male patrons poked their heads in, then decided not to enter when they saw women in the room. Again, odd. Then the women left and the dancer walked over to me. He apologized and explained that the women had told him that they didn't realize this was a gay club and they could only stay for a little while, so could he please dance for them before they left. We chatted some more while he danced, and then other men started trickling in, and I realized why they felt the need to maintain gender segregation. See, men enjoy a strip show in--ahem--a very different way from how women do. In ways that they probably don't want women to watch. 

And I guess that's what makes me a strange gay man. I wouldn't want to enjoy a strip show in the way those men were enjoying this strip show in front of anyone, not even the dancer unless that dancer were someone with whom I was in a committed relationship. A recurring theme of this blog is that Clark is a private person and I am not, but when it comes to sex I am very much a private person. I have no desire or interest in sharing that part of me with anyone apart from Clark. It's not that I'm clinging to the moral code I was raised with; I'm just not interested in anything other than monogamy. To be honest, as much as I appreciate the male form, I didn't enjoy seeing men dance right in front of me nearly so much as I enjoyed making the little start of an emotional connection when I talked with them. And that doesn't begin to compare to what I feel when connecting with Clark. So now that I've checked "go to a strip club" off my bucket list, I think next time I'll just stay home.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Exploding Heads Revisited

     This is Clark, in my first attempt at a blog post. Being a private person, writing a personal blog is something I've never really shown interest in. But I believe that a key to building a successful relationship is the ability to show interest in things that are important to the other person.  I know that Mr. Fob enjoys blogging, and so from time to time I hope to write a post here to show that I am willing to share that interest with him.

     I have started this post several times, but have struggled to know what to write about. Some things feel too personal for me to share, and other things seem rather trivial. I finally turned to Mr. Fob’s  blog, The Fobcave, and looked at one of the first posts there.  In that post Mr. Fob reflects on his feelings about his religion by sharing the following quote:

"If you live in a closed belief system of certainty, resistance to new information is intense, and the breakthrough feels like death. You feel as if your head might explode." --Alan Jones, Reimagining Christianity: Reconnect Your Spirit Without Disconnecting Your Mind

     When I read this quote, I think of all the changes in my life over the last year, and I wonder how my head hasn’t exploded! A lot of people in my situation get upset at family and friends not being as supportive as they “should be.”  I admit, I wish my family were more supportive than they have been. At the same time, change is hard. My family has been living in a closed belief system.  I know that the changes in my life have presented them with new ideas to deal with. Accepting these ideas may indeed feel like death itself.  My patience with them comes from me understanding this is a big change for them too. Change is hard. Their heads must feel as if they are exploding.  I hope that time will help them deal with the discord with their beliefs and my reality.  One day they may have a change of heart, as the barber does in this video clip.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Those who follow my Facebook updates (and really I think of this blog as sort of an extension of Facebook) know that I am doing something new every day this year. Although today is the seventh (actually, because it's the seventh), I am thinking of the number six today, so here are six of my favorite New Things from over the past six months:

  1. In February, I went to a Superbowl party for the first time. After the half-time show I kept catching myself humming "Like a Prayer." I felt horribly embarrassed that I couldn't stop myself, but Clark just found it amusing. This was our sixth date.
  2. In March, Clark and I took a trip to Las Vegas. We did several New Things there, but what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so I'm not allowed to talk about those things publicly.
  3. In April, we walked the full length of the Provo River Trail, from Vivian Park to Utah Lake. 
  4. In May, Clark and I took our kids camping near Bryce Canyon so that we could see the solar eclipse. The kids were all covered in red dirt the entire time and all three of mine pooped their pants within an hour or so of each other, but the experience was worth it.
  5. In June, Clark and I moved in together. Probably the most significant New Thing of the year. 
  6. In July, I was in a musical, My Fair Lady, thanks largely to Clark's support and encouragement.
Clark (reading over my shoulder) says he sees a common theme here. Do you?

Hint: The secret is not that Clark and I joined a team of assassins.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Benefits of Secrecy

Four years ago, FoxyJ and I decided to move back to Utah, despite having vowed never to do so. She was done with school and I was working from home so we could live anywhere, and it made sense to live where it was cheap and we had family nearby. Before we made the move, I promised myself that I would not let myself become one of those people who chooses to live in Utah (or anywhere, for that matter) and then complains about what a horrible place it is. Sure, there are things about Utah I don't like, but it was my choice to live here so it would be kind of lame of me to whine about it all the time. Also, I'd just make myself miserable. So instead I've made a conscious decision to focus on what I like about living here, and I believe this has made for a more positive experience. 

It occurred to me today that the lesson learned from this needs to be applied to a situation I'm currently in--specifically, being in a relationship with a man who cannot make our relationship publicly known. No one forced me to be in this relationship. I knew what I was getting into. And I absolutely believe he's worth it. And yet I complain. Which is lame. So I resolve not to complain anymore. And to help me focus on the positive, here are seven things that I genuinely enjoy about being in a secret relationship (for the record, Clark prefers the word "privacy" over "secrecy," but I maintain my right to call it what I want, just as I respect his right to call it what he wants):
  1. It gives me reason to refer to him as "Clark Kent" online. Which makes me giggle with delight every time I type it. To be honest, dating Clark Kent is kind of sort of the fulfillment of a lifelong fantasy.
  2. By the same token, the whole secret identity thing is kind of fun. I don't mean to make light of Clark's genuine need for privacy (see? I even used his word), but thinking of it like a game transforms it from a burden into an adventure. The key is to make sure he and I win the game.
  3. Adversity makes us stronger. Dealing with this issue--which has been a greater source of tension in our relationship than just about anything else--has forced Clark and me to have some difficult conversations. I can't say I enjoyed those conversations at the time, but I do believe that working through them is helping us to build a better relationship in the long run. 
  4. Realizing how much it bothers me to keep our relationship secret has forced me to ask myself why. Do I feel a sadistic need to shove my gay relationship in the faces of my socially conservative acquaintances? Do I want others to be jealous of my awesome boyfriend? Or am I just an exhibitionist who gains pleasure from displaying himself before the world? I honestly don't know, but asking these questions will inevitably lead to greater self-awareness. I'm practically halfway to nirvana already.
  5. Secrets make those who are "in the know" feel special. Do you know Clark's secret identity? Do you feel special? You should. (And I'm sure that those of you who don't know have something else that makes you special. Like maybe you can play the kazoo with your toes.)
  6. Despite how anxious my kids are for both me and their mother to remarry so that they can have three dads, it's probably a good thing that for now they believe Clark and I are just friends and roommates. In the last year they've had to deal with their parents getting divorced and me moving out. They can take time now to get to know Clark and his kids better as friends before getting used to the idea of them being family. 
  7. Quite honestly, I enjoy having my bed to myself a couple of nights each week. Clark warned me the other day that he will likely want to keep his own room and sleep in his own bed now and then even after it's no longer necessary for the children's sake, simply because he likes to have his own space, and that doesn't bother me in the least. Cuddling with Clark is heavenly, but sleeping alone can also be nice.