Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sundays with Sam: A make-up party

I have been super busy this winter with all the snow storms we've been getting and I just want to say one thing: I Am Ready For Spring! LOL Well, sort of. Because since I work for a landscaping company, we do a lot of business when it snows. Some of the people who pay us to do their landscaping, such as cutting their grass, trimming hedges and bushes, planting trees, and so forth, also pay us to take care of their sidewalks and driveways when it snows. And also to plow some of the out-of-the-way side streets because the City doesn't get to them until the last. And believe me, we stay very busy. So that means longer hours but it also means extra money. So the big snow storms are getting very tiring right about now, but the good thing is that I am making a little more money!

But on to other business. You know that counseling program I go to? Well, they are really big on this thing they call "Self Care." It's basically the idea that you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself, especially when you feel stressed or tired or discouraged or depressed.

Every week I have to show my counselor my Journal which contains a list of all the things I did during the week that fall in the category of Self Care. The idea is that if you are depressed or stressed or whatever, you need to balance all that with doing some thing nice for yourself. It doesn't mean that solves the stress you are feeling, but it is suppose to slow you down so you don't get lost in all the stress. I hope that explanation makes sense. I know it helps me, even though I am new to this business of Self Care. I still think it is very important.
So, Brad told me about this make-up party he is going to next weekend and he invited me and Rick (my BOYFRIEND) to go. But Rick already has other plans with his family for this big get-together with his grandparents and can't go. Brad said it's going to be all gay guys and the person who is giving the party is a cosmetologist, who is a specialist in make-up and cosmetics and such. So I got to thinking I might list this party as one of the things in my Self Care list.

But . . . the more I got to thinking about it, I got to thinking that this party might be more Stress than Self Care. The main reason is that the only gay people I hang around are Brad and Matty (and, of course, my BOYFRIEND, Rick). The only other gay people I am around are the people who go to my counseling program, but that is not a social event, you know? For some reason it makes me feel anxious inside and I have been writing in my Journal about this so I can figure it out.

Here is what I came up with so far:

WHY AM I STRESSING OVER THIS PARTY?

1. People might judge me. I am so sick and tired of worrying that people judge me for being gay. And, yes, I know every body at this Party is going to be gay, but for some reason that only makes me have a different kind of anxiety. Is every body going to be better looking than me? Are they going to think I am not gay enough? What if they talk about some thing that all gay people are suppose to know about and I am clueless and then come across as totally uncool and they ignore me and think I am weird? -- Stupid thinking, I know, but that is honestly what goes through my head some times.

2. What if I get there and don't want to try on any make-up and they think I'm judging them? I have never worn any make-up before and am not sure I want to try it. A bunch of the guys at my counseling program wear make-up and I think it looks good on them and I have all kinds of High Respect for them. Brad even wears some make-up and believe me he looks really good in it. Okay, since this is part of my Journal-writing, I have to be as honest as I can, so here goes: I have enough trouble being self-conscious over whether I am masculine enough. I think wearing make-up will just confuse me at this point because it is some thing that will push me way out of my comfort zone.

So Brad and Matty invited me and Rick to come to their house one night during the week to try on a little make-up just to see what it was like, and I think that might be a good idea. He even said Matty has tried make-up and all four of us can "practice" this week. So we will be doing that on Thursday night, I think. He said it will probably be a lot of fun because Matty will provide plenty of entertainment and I could even practice on him! LOL. Brad said he will explain things and help me try on what ever I am comfortable with. Plus Rick will be there and said he would like to try it, too.

So there you have it. After I wrote all this out in my Journal I felt a lot better. Even though Rick (my BOYFRIEND) can't go with me to the Party (*very sad face*), he is going with me to Brad and Matty's this week for our "Practice Make-Up" visit (*very happy face*). He said he had never worn any make-up before, but wants to see how we BOTH look with it!!! (*extreme happy face*) 

When I showed Rick what I had written in my Journal, he said two basic things: (1) "I love the way you think and work things out. You're really amazing, you know that? (*blushing and turning red big-time*), and (2) "I don't think you could get any better looking, but if I'm wrong and the make-up makes how you look even better, then I might have to ravish you on the spot! . . . But only if Matty and Brad are not around!" (*turning NEON RED  and blushing ALL OVER*).

When I was talking to Matty about my feelings, he said I shouldn't push myself to try any thing I wasn't ready to try, and it was even okay not to even want to try the makeup altogether. I think I might like to, just to see how I feel about it, but I don't want my reason to be so I can fit in. If I decide to try it, I want the reason to be for Me and not for any one else.

Brad told me it's normal to think about what other people think. We all do it, but he said I should remember that this is My life and no one else's. Then he said, "The only person you have to please is You. Not Rick. Not the people at the Party. Nobody but You." Oh, he also said he would stick by me at the Party the whole time, and that made me feel good.

All in all, some good advice and feedback. Well, maybe I'll end up moving this Party out of the "Stress" list and put it over in the "Self Care" list. Wouldn't that be cool? :)

18 comments:

  1. I agree with Matty, don't feel like you have to try this at all, but if YOU want to I absolutely think you should start with Thursday night. That could be a whole lot of fun :) If you do decide to go to the party, you can do as much with it as you want. That could mean putting make up on Brad, if you feel more comfortable or maybe just learning about the products. I've never been to a make-up party myself but you may be introduced to other great products, like cleansers and moisturizers, that may be more comfortable for you to work with. My guess is you'll have a lot if fun, meeting new people, Brad by your side, you should go for it, but only if it doesn't turn into a stress situation for you.

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  2. I agree, you should go and just have fun with it.
    Your don't have to try on the make-up if you don't want. Even if you do, it doesn't mean you have to wear it, unless you want to. Who knows, maybe you'll find something you like, or your BOYFRIEND likes, there could be some fun benefits ;)

    You'll probably meet some really cool people at the party and have alot of laughs. Besides, with Brad at your side, how can you go wrong!
    Have a great week, and fun if you decide to go.
    Hugs!

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  3. There are two quotes I always fall back on when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

    I find nothing so singular to life as that everything appears to lose its substance the instant one actually grapples with it. Nathanial Hawthorne

    80% of success is just showing up. Woody Allen

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to convince you to go to the party if you're not ready. There's a time to push through fears and there's a time to respect them and give yourself more time. When you are ready, however, remember that you don't have to accomplish everything at once. You don't have to be a social butterfly or try all of the makeup, or do anything uncomfortable. Just show up - that's success, and I bet you'll be surprised how effortlessly the rest falls in line.

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  4. Hi Sam,

    If this party was just with strangers, I might agree that it might be more stressful than it is worth. But with your two very good friends running the show and with Brad's' assurances of not being coerced into anything outside your comfort zone, there would appear to be no harm in going there and having a little fun.

    One thing to remember is that actors (gay, straight, whatever) wear makeup as a very routine matter. So it can't be all that traumatic. But you, Sam-I-Am
    are sill captain of your own ship and master of your own destiy, so YOU will still have the last word.

    Rick is so cute, so nice, so sweet. He is a gem and due to him, a dead battery forever changed your world!

    Andy

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    1. Sorry, I was incorrect saying Matt and Brad are running the party, but they are still there for moral support and will be watching your back.

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  5. I don't think there is anything wrong with trying something like makeup just to see how you fit in. Part of becoming comfortable with yourself is knowing how different things make you feel and how that helps you to feel like you're fitting in.

    I, too, love how you write things down to help you work through them. It's very smart, and so far, it really helps, doesn't it?

    Here's a scenario. Let's say someone who knows you're gay just invited you and Rick to a party. You get there and it's a makeup party. Now you'd be justified in feeling scared, worried about not fitting in, etc. But now you've had a chance to think about it, you're getting a chance to try it out, and sure, if you simply don't like it, you can say with a clear conscious "no thank you". If you get there, and you're not sure, you can hang back. No one in a setting like that is likely to judge you, and I doubt you'll be alone with you decide not to highlight those beautiful eyes.

    My closest personal analogy: I'm not 100% out either. Many people, perhaps most people I know, are aware that I am gay. Appearing masculine isn't a problem. But it was hard for me to accept an invitation to a drag party at a gay bar in Richmond on New Years Day. I worry about being spotted in public doing "gay things" (whatever those are). But I did much the same thing you did in my mind. Pros and cons, what's the worst that can happen? I went, wound up having a great time (and getting a big ol' smooch on the cheek from one of the queens, leaving behind enough makeup to have turned my whole face pink). So it worked out.

    I think the best thing about this post is that you seem to be looking for reasons to DO IT, rather than reasons not to, and even if you decide to sit this one out, you've made a rational decision. If you go, and it's not your thing, you can politely hang back and simply say "I wasn't sure about this, so I'd just like to watch" and I am pretty dang sure everyone else will say "that's cool, enjoy yourself". If you do find it's something you like, even as a "side kink" or just something you wanted to try once, you've expanded your horizons and might even make some new friends!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  6. Good morning Sam,

    Another excellent, well-written post. Definitely your goal is to try and move this upcoming party out of the Stress column and into the Self-Care column. With that said, it is understandable any new situation can be a stressor. The plus for you is Bradley will be by your side. And...you seem to have come a long way already by working out a lot of this in your journal and talking with Rick and Matty. Could you have a better support group?

    The Thursday night get-together will be fun for you I am sure. After that, you will have a clearer idea how you might react to make-up at the Saturday party. If you think it is not for you, that's not a problem. Just go and enjoy yourself. You will learn things about skin care in any case, and have fun in the process. Love your opening quote. :)

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  7. Thanks for the work update, Sam. It's interesting to know that the landscaping firm does snow clearing in Winter, though I can understand you being tired of the snow by now. :)

    I love the idea of keeping a weekly self-care list. I think it's an idea we all can benefit from.

    As for the make-up, I know you and Rick will have fun at the pre-party practice session at Matt and Brad's and I know Brad understands totally your nervousness about the make-up party itself. You will know when the time comes whether you are ready to go or not and, in any case, journalling about it all will have been a useful experience for you. *Hugs*

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  8. Sam, you are definitely on the right track and you continue to amaze me every week. Brad is right, it's your life and the only person you have to please is yourself. Rick obviously likes everything he sees in you so you must be doing something right. Keep doing what you're doing and stay true to yourself. And have fun at the party... whether you decide to try the makeup or not.

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  9. Also, if you go you could think of it as being moral support for Brad. Not to pressure you into it or anything (at ALL!), but this is stepping outside the safe boundaries of home for both of you. Sometimes, for me, it's easier to do something when I know I'll be helping or supporting someone else. Makes it less about me and more about them and for some reason that really helps me move forward more easily.

    Just a thought. Whatever you decide, it'll be the right thing for you to do in the moment and the next time you may decide to do differently :) At any rate, I'm looking forward to hearing about your pre-make-up party at Brad & Matt's - that sounds like a blast :D

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  10. Hey Sam! I say just do whatever makes you feel good. Make up or no make up that's a personal choice but the funny thing is you may fret about this all week then go to the party sit down and start putting on the make up without a second thought. You'll end up wondering what the heck all the stressing was about, I've done that many times. I think the anticipation of an event is worse than the actual event. :P

    Have fun on practice night, the ravashing part sounds like pretty good incentive to go. ;)

    {{{Sam}}}

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  11. Cris is absolutely right, focus on going to the party as moral support for Brad, if you feel up to going. Whether you discover an interest in trying some make-up or not, just have fun and be your wonderful self, you'll be making new friends there in no time and Brad will have your back. He's not going to take you into a situation he thinks might be judgemental on you. *hugs*

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  12. Another amazing post Sam-You-Are-Wise. You brought up so many good points. I love the idea of Self Care. I hope you also consider writing blog posts as self care for your brilliant mind. As for gay enough and masculine enough, that's not for anyone else to decide. You just be you. However much gay or masculine that is. You can't control other's perception of you anyway so you call the shots on that especially since you might feel fluid about it from day to day. I think it's great you're having a trial run with the boys and RICK. You'll know before Saturday whether you want to go for it or just accompany Brad. Either way it sounds like a fun adventure. I love how RICK supports you and what he said about the way you think and about ravishing you. Although truthfully, I bet he doesn't need a reason for that ;) Thanks for another great Sunday highlight Samwise. You rock! (((Hugs)))

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  13. Hey Sam! I love the way you worked things through to making the party potentially a positive experience for yourself. When it comes to things like doubting ourselves or what we feel we can do or how people think about us, I think everyone is guilty of a little "magical thinking" in terms of their insecurities. You are a marvel in the logical and brave way you have worked to overcome this.

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  14. This reminds me of when I was in college and my cousin had a naughty nighty party, which I hosted at my apartment. She wanted me to put on underwear-a lacy bra and underwear, garters, the whole nine yards- and wear it in public (in front of everybody at the party) because back then I had a great body and she thought if the other girls saw me looking sexy in naughty underwear they would want to buy it. So, I was supposed to be a living advertisement, I guess. I felt pressured into doing it and so I did. (This was back before Facebook, so I didn't have to worry about finding my picture online where everyone could see it.) I never had been half-naked in front of my cousin; I had never worn sexy underwear, but I am a pleaser type so I allowed myself to get pressured into doing it because I wanted to help my cousin. I think back on that experience still to this day. I was intensely embarrassed, and I worried the other girls would judge me and think I was slutty, but at the same time I was a little proud because everybody said how good I looked. I generally didn't want to do it, yet I was a little bit glad I did it. So, I know how conflicted you feel. I don't think there is an easy answer either. Sometimes it is right to push at the edges of your comfort level, but you really have to do it because some small part of you inside wants to do it. NOT JUST TO PLEASE OTHERS. The problem is, sometimes it is hard to figure out which one of these things is the reason you are doing something. So, just feel free to say yes or no right up until the makeup brush touches your face, or even if he gets started on doing your makeup and you change your mind, it is still OK to say, I think I'm all done thank you.

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  15. I am so touched by how much the four of you support each other, and the makeup party sounds like a BLAST!! Even if wearing makeup doesn't turn out to be your thing, the fact that you're willing to go with Brad and support him, and to be a little adventurous and try something new with your friends, is awesome! I CANNOT WAIT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THE PARTY! xoxo

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  16. I am so glad you were able to turn your thinking around on this, that is wonderful! Have fun on Thursday trying it out. If it turns out that it's not your thing you can still have fun at the party just hanging out with Brad and meeting new people. Either way you will have pushed your boundaries a little bit which is the only way people can learn new things about themselves. I am sure we will all be thinking about you this week and wondering how things went. I am looking forward to hearing how it all worked out. And great advice Brad! You guys are all so wonderful together, it's so nice to see such great friends being there for each other like you all are.

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  17. Great post Sam! Your journal writing really seems to be helping you sort through your worries and find some answers. And have I mentioned how totally cool your BOYFRIEND! is? He always seems to be there for you. In fact, the four of you together have an amazing friendship, I'm so happy you have each other to lean on and support. Have a fun time Thursday and Sunday!

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