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I'm Okay, but You're Not

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


I've never smoked pot heavily, but I've noticed that age, like weed, tends to mellow some people out. Some people become cranky, but with my most recent birthday, I've discovered I'm “over it.” I'm over a lot of stuff.

However, that doesn't exactly mean I don't care about anything. I notice I save a lot of stress, when I don't bother to worry.

One of the things I'm sort of over is my peculiarities vs. other people's “issues.” For a while, the Jerry Springer show and Maury were a couple of my guilty pleasures/empowering entertainment choices. I'd think I had it rough, then I'd tune in for an hour of people with more drama than a soap opera. Yes, my house sucks and I hardly ever socialize, but at least I'm not engaged to my cousin and cheating on him with his best friend. Nor am I pregnant, and wondering which one of ten men could be the father. I'm old fashioned, and if you're wondering which one of ten men is your baby's father, perhaps your slutty behavior should be addressed, so you won't have this problem in the future. Am I slut-shaming here? Well, yes, but at least I condemn both sexes for spreading it like peanut butter. Male, female, if you're sleeping with dozens of people, yuck. Just yuck. I consider myself a feminist who doesn't appreciate slutty behavior. So there.

I'm also realizing I can't necessarily be pigeon-holed into categories. I'm fascinated by the world of stripping, yet wince when I see music videos with half-naked women gyrating like their lives depended on it. I'm okay with legalizing marijuana, yet have a distinct aversion to druggies, or people who depend too much on drugs or alcohol. Capitalism is cruel, yet I'm wanting to make a buck doing things I like to do. I'm a mess, let's face it. So of course, I like watching other people who make me look completely normal and well-adjusted.

Thanks to YouTube (I can't afford cable) I'm watching things like My Strange Addiction, a now-defunct TLC show about people who do things like drink paint, eat glass, date women decades older than they are, and a guy obsessed with being Madonna (who dates men decades younger than she is.) These people seem ordinary, until you see footage of them eating mattresses and drywall and gulping down paint.

I can't decide if it's documentary, exploitation, or must see TV, but personally, I can't decide why I watch it. To make me feel better about myself? To convince myself that I'm “okay”? To convince myself that my assorted obsessions aren't really all that bad? It's entertaining, to say the least. The guy who spent $100,000 on Madonna costumes, and several grand on plastic surgery, has a dramatically campy breakdown on camera while gazing into the mirror. See, his boyfriend doesn't like the whole Madonna obsession thing, and Adam meets with one of Madonna's backup dancers to confront his addiction. The scene where he skims off his blonde wig and starts to cry is over the top, and presumably, he gives up his addiction in order to be with his lover. But what I want to know is how did he come up with $100,000 to spend on clothes??? To say nothing of the plastic surgery. I mean, it's one thing if he's a Madonna impersonator, and does it for a living. But if he's just your ordinary gay guy who wants to be a woman (said woman being adored by gays since day one), what does he do for a living? TLC never got into that.

It's human nature, I guess, to look at others and either want to be them, or be glad we're NOT them. I seem to be at war with myself for various reasons, and trying to understand why I am the way I am. Why do I have two heaps of dirty clothes, instead of one big pile? Why can't I fall asleep on airplanes? That one's easy: I have to be awake to help out the pilot if he has any trouble. Why do I sleep best in a cold room? Why does anesthesia make me violently ill? Why do I get bored easily, yet slogged through nine years of higher education? I'm okay. Not perfect, but I'm okay.

But that guy who spent $100,000 to look like Justin Bieber? He's just NUTS.

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