First of all I wanna wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. May your holidays be wonderful and peaceful. There might be some people who only like Christmas because they get expensive presents, others say Jesus wasn’t born in December, so why should Christmas be celebrated that month? It might be true that, to many people, it’s only about the money. But to me, well, there is this special spirit that calms me down, lets me forget all the pain and sorrow of the entire year. No matter how tough times sometimes were, I simply enjoy the time, the moment, the present, during the holidays. Two weeks ago I had this dream of meeting someone for the first time, and having a conversation with. I want to tell you this story, as to me, it reflects the true meaning of Christmas.
We met at this restaurant in Los Angeles. Not quite fancy, but also not just an old hut. It was a nice place for friends to hang. We met for the very first time, and I was so nervous. He was already waiting for me. We hugged, and were walked to our table. He asked me how my flight was and we started to chat. I joked a bit and smiled when I said: “I hope you have more than a few minutes for me.” He replied that it’s not about time, and when he goes out for dinner, he brings enough time for it. I continued trying to be a bit funny by saying that he might need hours to convince me that I missed something by not watching tennis, so he would need much time for me.
I knew he loved this sport, though I didn’t understand the thrill about it. He answered that he didn’t want to convince anybody to watch anything she didn’t want to. Maybe he felt that I wasn’t much interested in tennis, and didn’t want to bother me. But I said that maybe I would actually start liking it when I get the chance to see it with his eyes. He smiled. I could see the sparkle in his eyes, when he started to talk about his favorite sport. His euphoria was fascinating. He almost reminded me of a little boy who just got this super cool present he had always wished for.
After he told me so much about tennis, including mentioning words I had never heard before, I said to him that he was cute. I still had this picture of the boy in my mind. Maybe because I haven’t seen a grown up man being this enthusiastic about anything. But he gave me this look, like: I am a man, I am anything but cute.
I apologized, saying that he is of course not cute, but a manly man. He looked down to his plate – he had fried chicken and I had a crispy chicken burger (oh I still get hungry, thinking of this part of my dream…). He said that he is not manly. I looked at him, saying that he looked pretty much like a man to me. He looked me into the eyes: “I can’t fix things like my Dad could, I can’t explain how exactly the engine of a car works, I cannot even build up a closet.” I told him that I knew many men who couldn’t do these things. Then he added: “I am not a normal man, but only a normal gay.” I asked him if he thinks that made him less of a man. He looked down again to his chicken and said: “Some do.”
Then I said: “The problem in our society is, the older we become, the more we have to fit in. Most people get lost. They somehow forget who they are. Instead of teaching children what to think, they should better learn how to think. How to get their own opinion. The worst thing you can do, is focusing more on pleasing others than pleasing yourself. It’s your life that you are living. You have to be happy. And one day, everyone will understand that everyone fits the best to our society by being himself. Don’t get lost in what others tell you to be, or what you should be. And what is even “normal”? Many persons misunderstand it. It does not mean average, or like the majority. It means ‘being yourself’.”
He looked me into the eyes and smiled. He told me that way too often he thinks of what others think of him. He loves his life, and wouldn’t change a thing. But sometimes people seem to not understand. I replied that often I feel that way, too. That is why I started to listen. If I wanna be heard and understood, I have to listen to others, too. Maybe I won’t be able to feel the same way about something, but maybe I learn something new, maybe even about myself. I told him that before we met for the first time on this very day, I knew some things about tennis, but now I understand it.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!!!