This is part one of a two part opinion, which was in response to a question of expectations posed by an on-line collaboration site.
A Gay Opinion 9/19/00
by R.A. Melos
We all have expectations of what our live should be like, and we also try to live up to the expectations of others whether they be spouse, friend, or total stranger. Yet one of the most freeing and important lessons I learned in life was to give up expectations.
When I was a child, before I was too hurt, emotionally, by my so-called peers and society itself, I had many expectations. Oh sure I knew the basics all children are taught from birth by heterosexual parents, you grow up, go to school, graduate, get a job, get married and raise a family. When I was five my role-model on how to lead an interesting and exciting life was my next-door neighbor, a college professor who was, by the time I would turn 18 had been married a total of 6 times, on his third wife.
I truly thought people were supposed to get divorced and wondered what was wrong with my parents, who never seemed to argue and were in no danger of getting divorced. Obviously they were the ones who were wrong, not the fun loving guy who drank too much and changed wives like some people change cars.
As I got a little older, and my next-door neighbor finally moved away, I saw a different view of the world. I was already jaded by the pain inflicted by my peers, who somehow knew I was gay when I didn't even know what gay was or how I could be it. However, this knowledge didn't hamper me from having the expected expectations of any child in my generation.
I, for a very short period of time, wanted to be a fireman. Maybe it was the red fire engine or the Dalmatian, but I knew I wanted to be just like the guys on the television show Emergency. Okay, so this was the point when I discovered the expectations of growing up and getting a job meant you had to study for the job you wanted, and fireman wasn't something that was practical for a slightly asthmatic kid who wasn't into anything very physical.
I quickly decided my career would be as a writer. This decision was made when I was in second grade, and amazingly has not changed since that time. Oh sure, I sell real estate and interpret tarot cards, and am working on an on-line pagan business venture, but my real love is writing.
I grew up closeted to the world and to myself, and possibly never would've come out of the closet if it hadn't been for my discovery of one physical activity I didn't mind breaking a sweat while doing, and I owe that discovery to fate and my ex-lover. If you haven't read past entries all about how much I love him, and what a complete jerk he turned out to be, please feel free to browse through my articles.
A quick brief history for those of you not willing to navigate the web site. Me, single. Him, married man with one child at the time. We had a lot of sex, and he got his wife pregnant with a second child. He and I continued to have sex as much as possible, and to that end I began working for him. More sex, he panics at the realization he is having another sexual relationship with a guy (I wasn't the first guy he was with), and asks stupid me to hook him up with "some whore" who wants a no strings attached relationship.
I was dumb enough to think of a girl I was working with at my real estate job, and since she, in my estimation, fit his request, I hooked them up. She took him from his wife six months after his second child was born, and moved in with him less than two weeks after his second child's first birthday. She had no idea about him and I at the time, but he told me she would make him "straight".
Okay, fast forward to the day he throws me out of his life because I refuse to continue lying to his soon to be ex-wife about his relationship with his soon to be second wife. He tosses me out, leaving me brokenhearted and hurt because he treated me like dirty for a woman I considered lower than a common whore, since a common whore is honest about wanting a guy for his money up front.
Okay, he divorced, they got married, and wife number 2 had a child. Don't need a psychic to tell you that, or to tell you it won't work out any better than the first marriage. (It didn't. They are divorcing.) Hey, you rebuild what you've just destroyed, and the same tearing down process is apt to happen sooner or later.
Anyway, this is supposed to be about me, not my ex-lover's inability to remain faithful, or to be a decent human being. But then we are getting back to expectations. You see, when he told me how much he cared for me, and that he would "always" find a way of keeping me in his life, I actually believed him. So my expectations were what he wanted them to be, and I was happy to bury my head and take him at his word.
So now after a long and hurtful end to a hot and sexy relationship, I am finally coming to terms with the fact, at least in the case of my ex-lover, no one could believe a word out of his mouth because he lived to lie and manipulate to get his way. Obviously he wanted me for a time, since he was the one who initiated the relationship, coming right to my office and asking me if the sex would be mutual.
And after he grew bored with me he moved on. Unfortunately for him a financial move which trapped him in a cover marriage which he will never be able to get out of when the time for real honesty comes, but hey, he told me she would be the perfect trophy wife, so he's gotten what he wanted and deserves. (I guess I was wrong about this.)
Of course many would say I'm bitter and nasty for telling the truth as I do, and that is partially true. I am bitter because he used me the way he did, not only physically but emotionally as well. That bitterness is slow to fade, as is the healing of my broken heart because I really believed him when he would say nice things and be seductive and sweet.
He taught me a lot about men in general, and closeted married men in particular. The first lesson is one of great importance: NEVER get involved with a married man in a heterosexual relationship. I don't care if he does tell you all about his ongoing relationship with his best buddy from high school who he stills sees at least 4 times a year, or if he does come right out and tell you he is bisexual, or goes both ways, NEVER NEVER NEVER even consider anything more than a one nighter at the most. (Hey, you deserve some fun.)
Okay, lesson two is more for men in general. Okay gay men, listen up! Women who say all men are jerks, are right. Every man on the planet, and those orbiting in some space station as well, have the potential of being complete jerks. I have the ability of hurting another person, and have by my actions of outing my ex-lover to his second wife, her family, his family, and his ex-wife. In that one move I hurt all of those people plus my ex-lover, and I am sorry for the pain I caused them all.
I'm not sorry for telling the truth, but for the way in which I told it. Again, it was expected of me to keep my mouth shut and keep his secrets which set me off to tell the truth. I guess I'm trying to say I never do what is expected of me, and since I have no more expectations in life, I don't respect other peoples expectations of me.
Perhaps this is wrong of me, but it is the way I am now. I will say I'm sorry for any pain the truth may have caused all of those people, but I'm not and never will be sorry for speaking the truth. My ex-lover had outed me and through the few words of truth he ever spoke in his life he did me the greatest favor anyone could've done for another human being, he set me free from my self-imposed closet. For that act alone I will be forever grateful to him, and happy that I can be open with my family and friends and coworkers.
With the removal of "straight" expectations from my life, something I will forever associate with the year 2000, I can feel free to explore the world in a new light. Yes, this new light is one which does not allow for total trust of my fellow human beings, but that is the price I had to pay for this life lesson. Amazingly enough, my ex-lover is the only man I ever would completely trust again, and that is simply because, even without the necessity of expectations in my life, I, if you'll pardon the expression, know what to expect from him.
As for my growing up to be a writer, I have written two completed novels, a stage play I would like to see produced, and am currently working on several other literary projects. I would like for the remainder of my bitterness toward men in general, and my ex-lover in particular, to fade away so I can feel a level of trust and love again, but that is not necessary for me to get on with my life. There are many people who get by in life without trust, and that's far better than burying your head in the sand and believing every word spoken to you.
I know the pagan community may not agree, as so many pagans seem to openly trust, but again we are back to expectations. While they seem to be open to one disillusionment after another, I don't need repeated emotional let downs to teach me expectations of honesty and trust are as far from the reality of life as is the idea of Prince Charming. At the very best my view is realistic, and the best one for me and my way of facing the world.
I have no expectations about being published, and even if I never earn a dime from my efforts in writing, I have the satisfaction of having produced a creative work. Even if I never get my pagan business off the ground, I have the satisfaction of having worked on the creation of two tarot decks and several other pagan items. Even if I never interpret another tarot reading for anyone but myself, I have the knowledge of the tarot, and the metaphysical lifestyle which gives me joy.
I may have no great expectations, but I do have personal expectations. At least I managed, through the help of one cruel ex-lover, to get rid of my "straight" expectations.
So whether one buries their head in an illusion of trust, or one mistrusts everyone and everything, the expectations are going to be the same. Even when you have no expectations you still have some expectations, just make sure they are truthful and realistic.