Four weeks ago I reminded myself that I had six weeks until Gay Days in Orlando. Six weeks to eat right, work out and get a tan. The timeframe was totally doable, and this time I was going to do it. Now here I am two weeks away from a weekend of tone bodies in tiny bathing suits, wondering where the last four weeks went.wrong.
Four weeks ago I reminded myself that I had six weeks until Gay Days in Orlando. Six weeks to eat right, work out and get a tan. The timeframe was totally doable, and this time I was going to do it. Now here I am two weeks away from a weekend of tone bodies in tiny bathing suits, wondering where the last four weeks went.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when such timelines were not a part of my life. When I was in college, my friends and I went to the pride festival in Pensacola every Memorial Day weekend. There were no weeks of dieting and exercise to get rid of a belly. I could eat and drink as much as I wanted and still keep a flat tummy. There were no missions to tan. We spent several days a week at the pool or the lake anyway. The only preparation involved was to save enough money for the trip.
While I am grateful that money is no longer a concern and I won’t be sharing a single, cheap hotel room with twelve of my closest friends, I am a little bitter at the amount of effort that is now involved in maintaining what I used to take for granted.
I turned thirty-two today and with each passing year I am forced to add another level to what has become a very time-consuming and oft expensive maintenance regimen. I force myself to go to the gym three times a week, motivated mostly by the beautiful, built boys that surround me. I tan regularly, but must also keep a certain degree of SPF coating key areas to prevent wrinkles. At night, where I once passed out on the couch or whatever surface was convenient, I now must first conduct a routine of exfoliation and anti-aging face creams, slip in a retainer to ensure the teeth I paid too much money for stay straight, then slide under sheets with a high thread count so as not to abuse my skin.
I buy overpriced shampoo in the hopes that it will persuade the hair to stay attached to my head, and then spend countless hours a month removing hair from the rest of my body. I even have nose-hair trimmers – a device I was unaware even existed until I was twenty-five.
I have dyed my hair, bleached my teeth and waxed my eyebrows. I have had peels and microdermabrasion, and although I have not yet joined the Botox club, I can feel the impending needle inching ever closer each day.
As Gay Days approaches and this masochism becomes increasingly brutal, I have to wonder why I…why so many of us torture ourselves. Sure, we could argue that some of the exercise and skin care has health benefits, but truth be told, it is simply vanity. We want the other hundreds of thousands of gorgeous men that will surround us to find us attractive…maybe to flirt, or even, dare I say, talk to us. Perhaps with enough effort put into maintaining my exterior, someone may accidentally find out that I am an intelligent, worthwhile person.
And maybe, just maybe, he will be intelligent and worthwhile, too. Of course, unless he has a good body and a great smile, I’ll probably never bother to find out.