Friday, April 25, 2008

What's your Function?

We all have titles that we use to define ourselves as friends, co-workers, family, or significant others. We can spell out relationships using this simple tool of social taxonomy without a huge expenditure of tears and fuss. Slightly trickier are the assignations we give ourselves and each other when it comes to our jobs as friends, co-workers, family or significant others.

With me? No? Let me give you some examples: The latest object of my affection can be depended upon at least once a day to express his amazement that I am from Tennessee and yet I wear shoes, have all of my teeth and can read and write. We're working on this. Alice is my go-to person for all things gracious and traditional. While we were both raised right by genteel Belle mamas, it took far better on Alice than it ever did on me. Big Gay Kevin is still teaching me how to like boys/men/those funny acting things with penises. I've never been very good at the whole relationship-romance-flirty thing and he is there to keep me from punching men on the arm and patiently explaining to them using the farthest limits of my Buddha nature that Bobby Orr is the greatest person to ever pick up a stick, not that Gretzky person. So what is my job?

It's not a huge, important function, but it does make things a little easier in a pinch. I have finally figured out that I am here to supply all of my loved ones with bon mots when they're at a loss for words. I discovered this when I was on the phone with Big Gay Kevin and I asked him if he'd ever seen a Joe Gage movie and would he think it might be more fun to watch one of his movies than the usual fare (Keanu for him, anime or martial arts or something with lots of magical realism for me -or as BGK calls them: "movies we have to freakin' read"). Sorry. Getting back on track...

I asked Kev about Joe Gage and he gasped and got quiet.

"What's wrong" I asked.

"WHERE did you hear about that? Have you ever actually SEEN a Joe Gage movie?"

"Ah, no. What's wrong?"

"Well. They're movies for men. men. And they're not really the kind of movies I'd expect you to know about. I'm a little shocked."


"It's disorienting to hear you talk about Joe Gage. I'm not sure how to put this..."

Now, here's where I would normally plug in some clever turn of phrase that would make them say, "Yes! That's it!" The thing is, I have to think of one for myself. Dang.

"This is a bit like watching a toddler swear and flip the bird, isn't it?"

"Yes! That's it!"

My work here is done.

copyright 2008 Jas Faulkner

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