Monday, August 28, 2006
Why must I be a teenager in love?!
Why must I be a teenager in love?!

Each time we have a quarrel
It almost breaks my heart.
Cuz I'm so afraid,
That we will have to part.
Each night I ask the stars up above,
Why must I be a teenager in love?!

One day I feel so happy,
Next day I feel so sad.
I guess I'll learn to take,
The good with the bad.
Cuz each night I ask the stars up above,
Why must I be a teenager in love?!

I cried a tear,
For nobody but you.
I'll be a lonely one if you,
Should say we're through.

Well if you want to make me cry,
That won't be so hard to do.
If you should say goodbye,
I'll still go on lovin' you.
Each night I ask the stars up above,
Why must I be a teenager in love?!

I cried a tear,
For nobody but you.
I'll be a lonely one if you,
Should say we're through.

Well if you want to make me cry,
It won't be so hard to do.
If you should say goodbye,
I'll still go on lovin' you.
Each night I ask the stars up above,
Why must I be a teenager in love?!

Why must I be a teenager in love?!
Why must I be a teenager in love?!

- Paul Anka


Friday, August 18, 2006
Of MRPs and Best Before Dates
Of MRPs and Best Before Dates

One evening when the weather in Bombay was much nicer than it is now, and not raining perennially like someone's leaky nose, I was on my way back home from Cotton Green station in a cab. (I love that name: Cotton Green; something so.... fluffy and comfortable about it!) And that's when I called up SnowWhite's Stepmother.

CT, happily gesticulating: "I'm in a cab heading home from meeting a client. Had a nice time."

SS, sniffing airily: "Tart!"

CT chortles: "You don't know the half of it! ;-) But no, that's not the kind of client I meant. So what's your day been like, dah-ling?"

SS: "Aaa, nothing outta the ordinary. Had some time to kill, and so logged on the chatroom to amuse myself. All old men."

CT giggles: "Gonna be 25 soon, ya know, kid."

SS, shocked: "Heavens! Thank god I'm still 17!"

At that, I break out in laughter, because SS is nowhere close to 17, God bless his vanity, but of course we must never disprove that theory. And in the course of that fifteen minute cab ride, as my cabbie negotiated through the crowded streets of Central Bombay, SS and I thrashed out another comprehensive theory - that of the Real Shelf Life of the Gay Bombay Man.

It's actually pretty simple. Go to a GB party and there you have three classes of boys. The Detestable Twink, who's just turned 17 and bought himself a new pair of leather pants, is preening in the middle of the dance floor, as all the hotties try desperately to feel him up. Then there're the Early Twenties, who particularly hate the Detestable Twinks because they remember fondly the not-too-long-ago time when they were DTs themselves, and miss those days. And then there are the Fag Ends, who're going to cross thirty in anything between six months to a year, who're the object of pity by the Early Twenties and the object of sport by the Detestable Twinks. What's playing out at the heart of the great drama? The great theory that proves, in essence, how we're all blonde bombshells, prettier than Barbie could ever hope to be. Ken gone Blonde gone Natural - that's the new superhero.

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The Theory that says, your real Shelf Life is always double your actual age (gasp gasp!), and of course, there's an upper limit here. The Shelf Life determines how effective your plummage really is: whether, like the Miss Bennetts, you really know how to catch a man. And of course, just by sheer dint of numbers, the Detestable Twinks have the best shelf lives. At 17, the maximum they're really worth is only 34 years, and so it's clear that they still have a long long way to go, like moronic little robots that run on Energizer Bunnies, and can go through one boyfriend to the other with the refreshing charm of dealing a pack of cards: knave, knave, knave, o god, not a knave again...!

Of course, if you've actually got a brain (Good heavens , why on earth would we need those? They're not even pretty!), you'll realise that your shelf life is best when you're one of the Early Twenties. That's when it's about 50 on the average - the interval available to find a boyfriend is much smaller than it is for the DTs, but then, if you have a brain, you'll probably look for something other than a big appendage and a fat wallet, and you'll probably think about common tastes other than in the bedroom, - which can also be a HUGE bother at times, to tell the truth.

The bother is worst for the hapless Fag Ends. By this time, they have developed *gasp* Individuality. They have developed *ouch* Likes and Habits. They have opted for *wince* Love. That's when your equivalent shelf life becomes a hapless 60. As far as the gay dating scene is concerned, you're a stodgy old Uncle, and your only hope of not staying one till the day you die is if another Fag End like you comes along and you stick it out together. DTs laugh at you behind your backs, as you cavort with them on the dance floor, but ultimately go home with just another Fag End.

CT, giggly on the phone as ever: "I like our theory! But then, there's a prob - what about the rest - what happens you pass by 30? What's your equivalent Shelf Life then?"

SS checks for wrinkles in the mirror on the other end: "O, that's the end. As far as Shelf Lives are concerned, 60 is the max. So, once you're past 30, you might as well just shrivel up and die. You're past the Expiry Date, honey. No one's ever gonna want to pick you up. So you remain at the back of the shelf forever and ever. Simple."

Simple. Sometimes, I love how deliciously mindless and shallow I can get.


Just thought that, according to the Theory, that would make Boy a Fag End who would only probably end with some other Fag End, while I would be a borderline Early Twenties-Fag End. Ho hum... Thank God none of my Theories make sense. ;-)

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I met an old friend after a long time today, someone with whom I'd been very close, in the days when I still hadn't come out to him. I remember the time I finally did come out to him, about one and a half months after Boy and I were official, and he sounded kinda worried on the other end:

Old Friend: "Gay? Are you sure? Maybe it's just experimenting?"

CT, laughing: "Naaaa. It's irreversable. I'm gay. Completely so. And I'm in love with the greatest guy ever."

OF: "Well, maybe you shouldn't be in so much of a hurry to do this. You'e still pretty young, CT."

CT, shaking head: "Age has nothing to do with it, OF. I know who I am. I'm gay and honestly speaking, I'm absolutely cool with it. The question is, are you cool with it?"

Well, he said he was, and I believed him. He was someone I relied upon, in no small measure, during a very important phase of my life. Him and Chimneypot. And today, he was in town, and so the three of us met up for drinks and dinner.

Have you ever felt sad when you're sitting across the table from someone, and can feel the camaraderie just... drifting away...? I felt terrible for a moment, because as we talked, I realized that I couldn't think of anything new to say to him, other than reminescence about the past we'd shared. And that felt like a lie. It was all so much lying, so much straight-man-clinking-beer-glasses. And I don't like beer anymore - let's get that straight - I'm into wine and vodka.

To be fair, it wasn't all his fault. That was what I told Chimneypot later in the cabride back home. Sometimes, it's just inevitable. Distance and Events in your own life shape the way you look at other people, old friends, old relationships. That's how you simply lose touch. And you can't stay in touch forcefully. I feel guilty at times, for not having taken the pain to stay in touch, like I did with Ex Flatmate, and I ask myself sometimes whether the only reason I stayed in touch there was because of my crush...! Uncomfortable questions to ask myself.

By the close of dinner, OF leaned over and asked me what it was like to be "on the other side". I looked perplexed, and he went on: "Do you feel like a woman inside, wanting to be with the right man?"

And now, I was really stumped. I put on my most affected and artificial professorial tone, and replied that homosexuals were far from homogeneous - and what he had just described sounded more like transexuals than actual gay men, anyhow. Transsexuals could be either men feeling like women inside, or women feeling like men.

OF: "But you feel like being a woman at times?"

It seemed strange to hear this from him, maybe because I'd never expected cool, liberated OF to think about gay men in these terms - this was something I expected from people who were not at all familiar with homosexuality - and somehow, I'd imagined that he would be. Chimneypot later told me, he had asked her about me earlier on the phone - this was his way of showing concern, because he was worried and curious, she said. OF is brusque and blunt. He always has been. What's changed is me: I'm not that understanding of blunt people anymore.



Current mood:
Drowsy and moody
Current song: Where's the party tonight?

Dance with me baby, won't you dance with me all night?
Won't you party, party, party, won't you burn the floor all night?
Where's the party tonight?
Down the road!
Where's the party tonight?
On the dance floor!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Different kind of strangers...
Different kind of strangers...

Was listening to this song this evening, and I stopped doing what I was upto for awhile. It's a beautiful song, talking about serendipity (which, by the way, happens to be one of my favourite movies!), talking about inflamed attraction, and of course I had to think about how it all happens for us in the gay world. I've had my fair share of one night stands, I've forgotten my share of one night stands. ;-) And it's strange to think that I found my Boy through one such episode which refused to remain relegated to the ONS status. So, this one goes out to Boy then -

Strangers in the night, exchanging glances,
Wondering in the night
What were the chances we'd be sharing love
Before the night was through.

Something in your eyes was so inviting,
Something in your smile was so exciting,
Something in my heart
Told me I must have you.

Strangers in the night, two lonely people,
We were strangers in the night
Up to the moment
When we said our first hello.
Little did we know
Love was just a glance away,
A warm embracing dance away, and -

Ever since that night weve been together.
Lovers at first sight, in love forever.
It turned out so right,
For strangers in the night.
- Frank Sinatra

It's funny, because Boy and my 'song' is a very corny 'Stranger is Danger'. *shy grin*


On another, less pleasant note, I received an sms from another stranger, My First Ex, wishing me happy birthday. I was surprised, but messaged back a thank-you, and asked him how he'd found out. The ass replied, 'I don't forget the birthdays of certain special people'. I cursed him in my head and aloud (to my surprised Flatmate), and messaged back a terse 'nice for you, but am horrible with dates myself'. And to my supreme surprise and indignation, the response I received was a 'Was missing you all day yesterday and then realised that it was your birthday, so I messaged you'.

Given my history with this guy, I'm astonished at his gall. Maybe I really should have confronted him on what he'd done to me, and seen the little asshole squirm in his pants. I'm not sure what he's playing at - he'd called me, about a month back, just making 'small talk', talking about how he missed me and all that crap. Some people are beyond help. Beyond pity. Yet, not beyond scorn.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006
If you thought Carrie Bradshaw was a manic, you haven't met...
If you thought Carrie Bradshaw was a manic, you haven't met...

The idea for the evening was to go see Omkara by myself. Everyone else I know has already seen it - some, more than just once - and so, despite some warnings (SnowWhite's Stepmother saying "You won't understand it - the dialect is hardcore North Indian Hindi, and you don't know that!" HARRUMPH!) Closetalk gets into a cab and barks at the cabbie.

Well, sadly enough, SS' curse struck home, and I didn't get to see Omkara cuz the theatre was 'houseful'. Briefly, I considered taking the train to Bandra or even Mumbai Central to catch the movie at a later show, but gave up when I recalled the early day at work I have tomorrow. Instead, I decided some retail therapy was in order. Last year I'd bought myself my beautiful TIMEX for my birthday, and so I decided another high-profile purchase was in order ahead of next week.

The train was caught, and I soon found myself at Lifestyle.

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Bad idea.

I entered the damn place around 9 pm, and finally left at about eleven thirty. Within two and a half hours, I spent an amount of money equivalent to my monthly rent. Not something I'm very proud of. But it was all on sale....!!!!

Hell, that's gotta count for something! Right? Right? Riiiiiggghhhttt?????

Naaa, that argument doesn't cut ice even with myself. *sigh* Strange to find myself in this position. I mean, I'm hardly your everyday extravagant shopper, though I may fancy almost everything I see in a shop - that's cuz I rarely act on the impulse and buy. I suppose, everyone has a break-even point, though, and mine was this evening. When I entered Lifestyle, I told myself I'd buy a pair of pointy-toed shoes, the ones that SS calls "witchy-bitchy shoes". I couldn't find any, though. I looked around, but found instead a pair of Red Tape shoes I really liked. Keeping prudence in mind, however, I deserted Lifestyle and popped into Inc. 5, Metro and Citywalk in turn to see whether they had my "witchy-bitchy" togs. They did - at an outrageous price, and so prudence won out again, pushing me back to Lifestyle. Decided I'd buy myself the Red Tape pair only - hell, even that was pricey, but at 2 grand, it was still less than half the price of the shoes at the other shops.

At Lifestyle, however, I was diverted at the clothes' department. Got stunned at the sale and the fact that they were selling Bossinni t-shirts at Rs 250, and so I made multiple trips to the trial rooms. Finally, after picking and choosing my way through the entire mens' floor (I'm a tiresome shopper, as anyone who's been shopping with me will attest to!), I head upstairs to pick up the Red Tapes I'd decided on. The tshirts I explain away to my conscience, as "once-in-a-while-only-cuz-there's-sale" purchases, and it helps that I got them cheaper than their normal rates. *whew*

Upstairs, I try on my new shoes. But then, there's this other pair of boots that I really like: tall and black leather, with zippers at the side that make the most delicious sound ever when you tug them down. ;-) Not even trouser zippers, before the mating ritual, make that heavenly noise - this smells of M-A-N all over! So I traipse around in front of a bemused salesman alternating between the Red Tapes and the boots. I've always lusted after boots, I tell myself, and my conscience fires off a stern lecture, recognising the beginning of another excuse coming up. ;-) So that's when I decide to give prudence another chance, wave the boots goodbye and settle finally on the Red Tapes.

By this time, though, I've also noticed this sexy pair of Lee Cooper flip-flops, and I try them on as well. What luck - they're also on sale: a good thousand bucks cheaper than they would normally cost! The conscience is slightly mollified by my sacrifice of the boots (Why do I keep hearing Nancy Sinatra in my head now?), so I'm allowed to pick up the flip-flops. I careen in front of the mirror, one foot in Red Tape, the other in Lee Cooper, and enquire innocently of the salesman whether he has any other flip-flop styles. The devil beams at me, and drags me into a corner: none that I particularly like, but just as I turn to go back, what's that glistening there, catching the light on its shiny long red tapering noise, at eye-level with me....???

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Witchy-Bitchy Shoes!

Final Body Count:
1. Three tshirts
2. Lee Cooper flip-flops
3. Red Tape slip-ons
4. Witchy Bitchy Shoes
5. Artificial flowers for decoration
6. Silk cushion covers
7. Groceries: muesli, lite milk, chips and wafers, spicy dip

On the way back, Boy sends me an sms, replying to my earlier message informing him about the no-movie show: So, no movie means no popcorn, eh? Poor baby.

I replied: Nopes, no popcorn. Just a smoking credit card.

He's a bit puzzled, I'm sure.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The Programme Tonight...
The Programme Tonight...

Watched a soppy movie tonight on the telly, and my heart felt so tight I thought I would cry. I actually didn't, though. You'd barf, if I said that the heroine of the movie I almost cried over was J.Lo, but I'm still going to do it. I actually like her acting skills, believe it or faint. And starring alongside her was Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, two major stalwarts. The movie in question was Shall We Dance?, about how bored older man (Gere) takes to dancing on the sly, as he's attracted to the hot teacher (J.Lo), and how his wife (Sarandon) gets to know in the end.

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But the movie's finale was brilliantly heart-rending, with Gere not straying from his wife: in the end, when she tells him to go dance with J.Lo at her farewell party, he comes up to her workplace, in a tux, shiny black dance shoes, with a single-stemmed rose in his hand, and says, "But my partner is here..."

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*sniff sniff*

That's me - or rather, my soppy Charlotte avatar from Sex and The City, who sometimes comes into her own to displace the usually reigning Samantha and Carrie personalities. At these times, I'm left with a simpering smile on my face, and the touch of the moronic in my "Awwww, choooo chweeeetttt!!!" dialogues. I refuse to feel ashamed of this, though.

Other great ways the movie ended:

1. There's this bald guy who works with Gere in his law firm, and who hides his twinkle toes from everyone else, and gets on the dance circuit with a Latino wig to cover his baldness: but in the finale, he tosses his wig away, and dances like a sexy devil, pushing the crowd to a frenzy. No use pretending to be who you're not!

2. A surprise gay element: this other macho guy, who joins the dance classes so that he can attract all the gals, eventually falls for his date's brother, who fixes her costumes and all. It's actually pretty adorable, watching the two of them in the end, dance in a gay bar. ;-)


Currently reading this book called The Buddha of Suburbia, by Hanif Kureishi. It's an excellent book, so if you happen to find it, do pick it up. The central character is this 17-year old British Asian named Karim. It's placed in the 1970s, like Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty - another must-read! - but is so much pacier and more personal than that one. You tend to like Karim even though he's probably a selfish rascal. Hell, all selfish rascals are inevitably liked, when you come to think of it.

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I still haven't finished reading it, but it got me remembering about the time I reviewed R Raj Rao's The Boyfriend. How different the books are, even though they both have gay/bisexual Indians at the core. But then, Kureishi's brilliant. He's supposed to be one of those 'intellectuals', and that's why I avoided him for a long time, but then I finally picked up his Gabriel's Gift sometime back, and that was so great that I told myself I have to read some more from this writer.

The Buddha of Suburbia has not disappointed me yet. Racing towards the end. Well, or as close to racing in book terms as I can get.



Saturday, August 05, 2006
Good Things and ... ahem ahem... Packages
Good Things and ... ahem ahem... Packages

So yesterday, I found myself at one of Mumbai's high profile shopping arcades, and decided that what with my birthday coming up and all, I could treat myself to a nice t-shirt. After not being able to find what I wanted, however, I made do with a cup of chilli corn, and called up the Chimneypot to complain.

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Chimneypot, hassled at work on the other end: "Hello? Hello? What is it? I have a deadline to meet. Hurry up."

CT, pouting: "None of these damn shops have my size! It's so ridiculous! Not one of them had anything in a size smaller than M! They're all bloody Ls and XLs and XXLs! It's all a blatant conspiracy by American companies: MacD's and KFC gets them fat, so that they can only fit into the large size stuff that obese Americans wear!"

Chimneypot, trying to make some sense of the tirade: "Wha-aa-at?"

CT, gesturing with hands now, so that passers-by on the road around him are a bit scared that he's the latest Bombay terrorist: "You heard me! Why can't I find a S size shirt in Bombay?!"

Chimneypot, struggling now, but thinking she's seen the light: "Do you mean to tell me that you're an S size?"

CT pauses for a second to consider, pouts some more, and then: "Well, no, I'm not an S size per se, but I like to wear S! But they don't have any S!"

Chimneypot, through clenched teeth, before hanging up: "O, go wear an M, and jump into the ocean!"

Stumped. I mean, leave aside her incredulity that I would wear an S size, why is it so friggin' hard to find the size I want in Bombay? Tackling her incredulity question now, let's be honest: it's just some of the things associated with gay people: we wear 'tight' clothes, we like to 'show off'. Heaven (and Hell) knows, I've done a lot of 'showing off'. Everytime I wear a sleeveless tshirt at a GB party, I'm supposedly 'showing off'. SnowWhite's Stepmother says, he could never wear a sleevless. Emily says, he could never wear anything 'tight' for that matter. Me? I'm only too happy to wear them, only too happy to stand in the spotlight in my ganji and dance like a devil. But Chimneypot and Flatmate and loads of other straight friends of mine think I wear a size smaller because of the 'gay thing'.

And of course, that's sheer Poppycock.

I mean, there are loads of straight men out there who go the 'tight and narrow' way. Sheer shirts, tight-fit vests for nipples to poke through, leather pants that grip your arse, pointy shoes that make you look "witchy-bitchy" (courtesy, SS) - all of them, and I mean, ALL, have been appropriated by straight men in their closets. Good enough. But when the straight man gets to dress all slinky and sinewy he's given the 'metrosexual' tag - see a gay guy try on something like that, and he's something shocking next to an exhibitionist.

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Not that I mind the 'exhibitionist' tag, actually. My next mission: to buy a pair of o-so-tight-I-can't-reproduce jeans.

I'm gay, you see: I don't need to reproduce! Amen.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Tag... I'm it!
Tag... I'm it!

This is perhaps the first me-me I'm answering on this blog. The funny part is, I'm doing it while listening to an utterly quaint Hindi song on the radio - Salman Khan crooning in lovelorn tones to Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.... Just the perfectly corny touch to a corny me-me. actually, me-meS, since I got tagged by two people consecutively, and me being the eternal procrastinator that I am, it's taken me ages to get down to answering them.

Starting off with Emily's tag;

I am thinking about... my Boy right now. Wishing he'd call. It's been sooo terribly long. And as I write this, I realise how utterly moronic I must project myself as. Terrible. I hate LDRs.

I said... I won't cheat on him. I still haven't.

I want to... stay in Goa for a month. Learn how to ride a goddamn bike and explore the goddamn place. And then I want another two weeks in Kerala, where I've never been.

I wish... wishes would solve all my problems.

I miss...
being able to kiss someone good morning.

I hear... too many voices in my head. Time to call the shrink.

I wonder... whether I'll ever stop cribbing about my life. Something tells me I won't. For better or for worse.

I regret... not being smart enough to be a doctor. Not being more cloistered in my sex life. Never having the courage to tell my old flatmate that I was majorly attracted to him. Wait a minute. Did those two make sense, in succession? *sigh*

I am... usually confused, though most people think I have it all together. Sometimes I think that too.

I dance... like the devil. To tempt another sexy devil! ;-) I enjoy that. It's in my soul to dance.

I sing... like an angel with a sore throat. Never, never ask me to sing. ;-) I trouble poor Boy on the phone when I sing hume tumse pyaar kitna for him. *grin*

I cry... for silly movies, books, and when I've been betrayed in real life.

I am not always...
this maudlin. Sometimes, I can actually be the Man in Charge.

I write... not half as often as I should.

I confuse... others sometimes, myself most times.

I need...
a glass of Chardonnay right now. Thankfully, I have a bottle in my fridge. ;-)

I should try... being more understanding, I tell myself. And then, I rebel and ask why should I? Is everyone as schizophrenic as I am? Or is it just me, the ass stuck in his closet, meandering about, hoping he gets it right, knocking on wood painstakingly on the way...?

I finish... in a walk, usually. Running never helps.

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And then there was Viji, or the Insane Bitch, as I once labelled her (much to her glee), who tagged me about six of my 'weird' habits. Ummm... now I'm really not sure where to start on that one, but here goes...

1. The Monica Complex. I need a clean room. Regular blog readers will recall the time I swept my floor after having sex with a cute guy I fondly named Beret Boy, because as hot as the guy was, he shed hair worse than an alley cat all over my floor. And I can't stand that!

2. The Narcissus Complex. Yes, I have a six foor two mirror in my room, and I stand tall (?!) at five foor seven. It's not just for when my six foot boyfriend comes into town to hug me and look at us both in the mirror - I have a gargantuan ego that demands that size matter! ;-)

3. The Samantha Complex. Sex is casual for me. Terribly casual. Some people don't get that. My closest friends have a problem accepting that about me. For me, sex is as inconsequential as a handshake. A sneeze. A yawn. A sandwich.

4. The Shoe-Ad Complex. I walk. A lot. I prefer to do that. One, I'm cheap to get into a cab when I'm just going around to the corner. Two, I actually like to walk. Used to love walking alone back in Delhi and Calcutta. Not in Chennai, though - Chennai is no place for a cute gay guy to walk alone. *grin*

5. The All-Tunes Complex. Music lovers don't get me. I like most of the songs out there. But I can remember the words only for a miniscule. I don't get carried away by the singer either. I don't memorise the teeniest details about my favourite singer's life. To tell the truth, I don't have a favourite singer - I thought I did, once upon a time, but then I grew up.

6. The Observer Complex. Most people don't believe me when I say I'm an introvert. My closest friends think I'm a garrulous chatteratti. (Thank God, my Boy doesn't think so too! *grin*) But put me in a crowd full of people I don't know, and I'll probably stick out like a sore thumb, with a plastic grin on my face, happy to just listen and see, the eternal observer, making of what people what they show me.

And if all you people out there think that no. 6 up there doesn't gell with what I evidently do and say at GB parties, that's because I tend to know a good many people at these events - courtesy no. 3 up there.

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