Weddings, Tumblers, And Umbrellas, Oh My!

Last week was my final week in Virginia Beach and Charlottesville before heading off on my road trip to Los Angeles. My best friend Anne was getting married on Saturday, the day before I was to leave. I was a bridesman in her wedding, which I don’t think exists since my computer just autocorrected it to bridesmaid. She originally wanted me to be an usher, but I told her to make me a bridesman instead. I asked her who I was gonna walk down the aisle with.

“Maybe Na-ma,” she said.

“Who is Na-ma?” I said.

“My grandma!”

“I don’t get to walk down with a Groomsmen like the other Bridesmaids? That’s really heteronormative.”

“Well I don’t know what that means. You’re walking Na-ma.”

I spent the week doing various pre-wedding activities, such as the rehearsal dinner and a cookout with the whole bridal party. First, however, came the bachelorette party. My friend Carter, who was also a bridesmaid, and I went to Spencer’s at the mall and immediately proceeded to buy everything penis related. We got a penis cake, penis lollipops, a penis garland for the wall, and a penis shot glass. Once we were all penised out, we set off to decorate Carter’s place for the party that night. As we cooked the chocolate penis cake, Carter’s roommate was eating dinner with her mother.

“It’s so awkward having my mother here while you’re baking a penis cake,” said Carter’s roommate.

“I don’t feel awkward at all!” her mother said as Carter and I frosted the giant chocolate dick.

When Anne finally arrived, we gave her our presents and ate pizza and penis cake.

“This is the best party ever!” Anne said as we sat eating the dick cake in silence. We then watched Bridesmaids and told each other secrets from our childhood. All in all it was a pretty solid night. The only thing missing was the male stripper that we tried to order, but the company told us that we needed more than just three people at an event for a stripper to come. I guess that would have been pretty awkward with just the three of us watching a man take off his clothes for money, although I imagine it would have been awkward regardless of how many people were there.

I went home for the next two days to pack up the rest of my things and say goodbye to my family. My parents gave me a going away gift basket, which included a tumbler with crabs on it.

“It’s a Tervis tumbler,” my mother said. “I also have one with fish on it if you don’t like the crabs.”

“I’ll keep the crabs. It’s a good reminder to avoid Venereal Diseases,” I said.

I had dinner that night with a family from my church that has two small girls. Their parents told them I was leaving for LA.

“When are you leaving?” the oldest one asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said.

“I don’t think I can be packed by then, You go ahead and I’ll catch up on my scooter,” she said.

The next morning I had lunch with my Youth Leader from high school. She gave me a going away present, which included a UVA tumbler.

“It’s a Tervis tumbler,” she said. “It has a lifetime warranty. Remember that.”

The next day, packed with everything I own in the world and two Tervis tumblers, I headed for Charlottesville. The rehearsal was Friday at 5 at the Catholic Church of The Holy Comforter, which I enjoyed because it sounded like Jesus’ blanket. I showed up half an hour early in the pouring rain, so it was just me sitting in the pews with my umbrella as the lady organizing the rehearsal set up. She asked me who I was, and I told her I was a Bridesman.

“Oh, you’re a Groomsman?” she said.

“No, I’m a Bridesman,” I said. “I’m on the Bride’s side.”

“Sides don’t matter at this point,” she said cryptically.

“Okay.” I said, praying for someone else to show up.

The rest of the people showed up, and we walked through the rehearsal.

“It’ll be the girls in the front and the guys in the second row,” the lady said.

“If this woman sits me with the Groomsmen I will burn this church down,” I said to Carter.

When we got to the rehearsal dinner at Basil, I stuffed myself with appetizers until I was uncomfortably full. I then spent the rest of the night wishing I had eaten less as I sat there watching the remaining courses being brought out.

“If I shit myself during this wedding tomorrow it’s sure to ruin it,” I thought.

Thankfully, my fears were unwarranted. I showed up to the church, and got in my tux. We waited in the chapel with for the Bride to show up and change into her wedding dress.

An older woman walked in.

“I’m Na-ma!” she said.

“I’ve heard a lot about you,” I said.

Two women were taking pictures of us getting ready to document the process.

“Where’s the Bride?” one of them asked. “She’s not getting cold feet is she? Haha just kidding!”

Na-ma and I were not amused.

Finally, Anne showed up and changed into her wedding dress. They called us into the hallway to get ready to process into the Sanctuary. As the first Bridesmaids began processing, I watched with tears starting to form in my eyes.

“You’re not gonna cry, are you?” the organizer lady asked me.

“No,” I said defensively.

“You left your umbrella here,” she said.

The wedding turned out beautifully. Anne looked amazing, nobody got cold feet, and everything was wonderful. As we took pictures outside, Anne said “Let’s get one with just the girls, so we can show off our dresses! Sorry Joe, we have to be heteronormative for at least one picture.” I’m just glad she finally knows what heteronormative means.

We went to the reception, when I realized I’d forgotten my umbrella again. Before I could go back to get it, one of the guys I’d seen at the wedding came up to me.

“Joe,” he said. “I found your umbrella. I wanted to bring it to you before I had too much to drink tonight.”

“Thanks,” I said. I put it under my chair so that I wouldn’t forget it.

Throughout the wedding, I couldn’t help but have this nagging thought in the back of my head.

“You’re not getting enough attention,” the voice said.

“But this isn’t my day. This is my friend’s wedding, I don’t need attention,” I thought.

“Yes you do,” the voice said.

“Fair enough,” I thought.

Eventually it came time to make toasts. Here was my time to shine. I had a few anecdotes about how I met Anne, threw in a couple jokes here and there, and had a killer punchline. People ate it up. My need for attention sated, I could finally rest easy and enjoy the night. I danced with Anne, until her tiny nephew came up and tried to touch the disco ball.

“Will you dance with him?” she said.

“Swing me!” he said.

I spent the next four minutes swinging a small child around on the dance floor as Sia’s “Chandelier” played in the background.

As the night winded to a close, I figured it was time to leave, so I approached Anne to say goodbye.

“This was the perfect send-off for me moving to LA, Anne” I said, hugging her goodbye.

“I’m glad that my wedding was able to serve as that for you,” Anne said sarcastically.

“Fair enough,” I said.

As I sit typing this in my car as my friend Jon drives us off into the unknown, I realize that I’ve said goodbye to everyone that I’ve ever known, except for Jon. It’s crazy to think that in just one week I’ll be in a new place with no one that I know. At least I have my umbrella. Actually, now that I’m checking the backseat, I realize that I’ve forgotten it. Shit.

-Theodore Dandy

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Husky Girl Tries To Make It In LA Without Giving Up Her Morals- Is It Possible?

Looking for housing in Los Angeles is tough. Not that I thought it would be easy, but it’s proving very hard to find a place that’s both close to where I need to be and also not out of my price range. I’ve been roaming craigslist ads for the past week, and while I haven’t found anything solid yet, I’ve certainly learned a lot about Los Angeles, as well as humanity as a whole.

There was one ad in particular that caught my eye:

“Older Italian top 55 seeking roommate bottom boy for long term live in. This is a roommate with benefits. Rent is 300 a month”.

I have several problems with this.

First of all, the apartment was too far away.

Second of all, to live with this person, I would have to both sell them my body AND PAY $300 A MONTH? Why not one or the other? If I’m giving up my dignity and my virginity to some random guy in exchange for housing, you’d think it would at least be free. What kind of a world do we live in? Chivalry is dead, I guess.

At least in another ad looking for a “live in girlfriend” the guy posting it offered to pay for rent and utilities. I mean, seriously, it’s the least he could do. I guess women get everything nowadays, and us gay men are just stuck selling our bodies for half off of rent plus utilities.

Housing isn’t the only thing that’s been nagging at me about my big move to LA. I’ve been thinking about what kind of a job I want to get when I get out there- a “pay the bills” job- and I’ve settled on working at Starbucks for several reasons:

First, I love their latte’s. Ergo, I imagine I would be happy making them.

Second, my mother used to be a barista. I’ve always wanted to follow in her footsteps.

Third, my brother told me that all the baristas at Starbucks are gay. Sounds like a great place to find a date.

Fourth, can’t you imagine me making your coffee for you in the morning? I would look adorable.

Fifth, they have great benefits. I don’t know what benefits, but I’ve been told they’re great.

So, my plan is to apply online to all the Starbucks near the Art of Acting Studio that I’m attending, then go in and introduce myself to the manager at each of these places. I’d be sure to be hired by someone, right?

Not according to my friends. I’ve been told many discouraging things, such as:

“It’s really hard to get a job at Starbucks.”

“It’s really hard to get a job in Los Angeles.”

“No one will hire you if you don’t have experience.”

“Good luck finding full time work.”

“You’ll die out there.”

That last one didn’t come from my friends, it came from my parents.

But, all I can do is persevere and try to make it for myself. Even if I have to sell my body to an older Italian man and work part time at the Dairy Queen, I’m doing whatever it takes to survive. LA, here I come.

-Theodore Dandy

***Disclaimer***

-I would not sell my body for housing. At least, not yet.

I Was Offended After The First Paragraph. The Last Paragraph Had Me In Tears.

I spent this past week home in Virginia Beach for the last time before I move to Los Angeles in mid-June. I wanted to spend it getting tan at the beach, because ever since I found out that my skin was capable of retaining melanin, I’ve been tanning like crazy. I always told myself that I was incapable of getting a tan, cursed by my freckled skin and ginger-like complexion. I was constantly sunburned growing up- I used to joke that I could get burned indoors at night in the winter (and I could). But, realizing that living in LA means being in the sun, I decided to apply suntan lotion every fifteen minutes and see what happened. The results rocked my world. To my utter surprise, I did not burn. Ever since, I’ve been sunbathing more than a white girl at beach week.

This week, however, my dreams of getting that summer glow quickly faded as my parents presented me with a proposition- help them clean out the garage and attic and get paid money that would help me make the move to LA. “Sure!” I said, severely underestimating the job. I thought it would take me one, maybe two days. 

It has taken me all week. I am in pain. Everything aches. I long for the gentle caress of the sun. I am weak and hope is dying fast. If I were a Greek mythological character, this would be my eternal punishment. My garage seems to have been the home to a rave by several rats on LSD, and poop is everywhere. My attic is the mouth of Hell, sweltering and filled with dust. My lungs search for sustenance in this rapidly dwindling supply of oxygen, and I crave the sweet release of death.

I did have one reprieve, however. Friday night was my dad’s poker night, so my mother and I went to see Pitch Perfect 2. As the movie began, my mother was reading her email on her phone. I nudged her to put her phone away. After a minute into the movie, an usher came up to us. 

    “M’am?” he said. 

Oblivious to the world, my mother didn’t hear him. I nudged her again. 

    “Mom, he’s talking to you. You need to put your phone away.” 

She put her phone away and started watching the movie. After it was over, I chastised her for what had happened. 

    “I can’t believe an usher had to tell you not to use your phone in a movie,” I said.

    “What? What usher? Who?” she said.

This is why I don’t go to the movies with my mother.

Back to cleaning the next morning, everything still hurt, even more so since I’d worked out the day before. Don’t know why I thought that was a good idea. On the plus side, I’ve found a lot of interesting stuff. After stepping through the floor in our attic about 6 times, I found a bunch of maternity clothes of my mothers. My first thought was that they looked like something an 18th century pompadour would wear, but then I googled “pompadour” and found out that it was in fact a hairstyle, not a type of person. Color me embarrassed at my misuse of outdated terminology.

Something else I found was a guide about substance abuse that was my mom’s when she was studying child psychology and development in college.

   “You would love this!” she said. 

Thanks, mom.

I started reading through the guide when I noticed some writing. 

   “I need to use cocaine to be sociable,” it read. “I feel depressed after having two kids. Maybe having another would help. I need to stop doing coke soon in order to have a healthy baby.”

   “Uh, mom, what is this?” I asked, thinking I had stumbled upon evidence that my mother had been using coke when I was in the womb.

   “Oh, that’s from an old case study I was reading,” she said.

Too bad.

I thought for a moment that there was something really cool my mother was keeping from me, but it turns out she’s just a regular lady who doesn’t understand how to act in a movie theater. Why does it feel like all of a sudden this blog has just become a bunch of stories about my mother?

-Theodore Dandy

A Gay Goes Undercover- The Reason Why Will Shock You!

Before I tell this story, I would like to address something. I’ve been asked numerous times if the things I write on here are true- people ask me if the stories I tell really happened to me, or if it’s just satire. I have to say, I really don’t see the humor in making up things, saying that they happened to me, and calling it satire. I don’t even know what I’d be satirizing. Gay Christian Virgin Alcoholics? If so, that seems like a very specific niche to satirize. Everything that I write about really happened to me. With that being said, this story is about the time I went undercover in an ex-gay group at the University of Virginia during my first year.

I arrived at UVA with wide eyed optimism and a healthy case of FOMO (Fear of missing out). I wanted to be involved with Theatre as much as possible, but also join some of the gay groups on grounds, as well as a Presbyterian group. I had never been involved with any gay organization before, mostly because my high school didn’t have any. This wasn’t surprising, since they wouldn’t even let us have 2 dads in the school’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (they changed it to a mom and a dad). So, as soon as I got to the Student Activities Fair and gave out my email to a bunch of CIO’s whose emails I still get, I was ready to rock and roll.

I joined one of the gay groups my first semester, excited to meet new gays and expand my collection of vintage lesbian friends beyond the one that I’d made in high school. They were all very nice and very gay, exactly what I needed in a group of friends. However, I felt a bit left out as one of the few religious people in the group. I also joined a Presbyterian student group, but felt similarly left out as a gay person. Not that either group were exclusionary at all, it just felt to me at the time like I was on the outside in both groups.

Then one day when walking to my first year dorm I saw chalked into the ground the words “Gay? Christian? Feel rejected by both? Email Sashuva”. To me, this was the ray of light I’d been looking for. “I’m gay!” I thought. “I’m Christian! I feel rejected by both! I should email them!” Determined to meet other Christian homosexuals, I emailed the group that day, asking them what they were about and got a reply. It was in fact a group for gay Christians. It was not, however, what I had thought it would be. The email told me that SASH stood for “The Student Alliance for Sexual Healing” and, among other things, that “We encourage former gay and lesbian students who want to align their sexual behaviors with scriptural standards.” Uh-oh.

I had inadvertently stumbled onto a newly formed ex-gay student group, and I had no idea what to do. I told the executive board of the gay group I joined, who thanked me and then met to discuss what they should do about this. I asked one of the members of the group what they were gonna do, and if I should do anything further. “Well,” he said, “Technically you can do whatever you want, and we won’t ask you to do anything. But… if you wanna know what I think, you should go undercover and find out more about them.”

“Okay!” I said, a naive first year desperate for attention and an excuse to show off my acting skills through secret agent work. I emailed them back and we set up a time and place to meet. I was further surprised when I met the president of the club, who I’ll call Max, and found out that I recognized him from my time in the Drama building. “What do you hope to get out of this club?” he asked. Unequipped with any sense of originality or artistic integrity, I told him the plot to the Lifetime original movie “Prayers for Bobby” starring Sigourney Weaver.

“Basically my family is super religious and my mom really wants me to change but my dad is more standoffish and doesn’t really care,” I said, spinning my intricate web of lies. “So I basically just think that if this can help me to be straight then that’s what I wanna do.”

“Uh-huh. Well, we aren’t really aimed at making you straight, we’re more a support group for people who deal with same sex attraction who want to be celibate,” he said. This rocked me a little bit, as I had been misled by the email into thinking this was some sort of a conversion group. Still determined to milk my career as a spy as long as possible, I told them I was interested in being a part of their group regardless and they agreed to send me a copy of the constitution. Not the Constitution of the United States, but rather their group’s constitution. I know, I was confused as well. I forwarded the constitution to the gay group I had joined and awaited further instructions, which did not come because I was basically just doing this out of my own desire and not because anyone had told me to.

Later that week, I was interviewed by The Cavalier Daily for an Article titled “Gay at UVA”, and the student who interviewed me asked me about my time at UVA my first semester. I told him how my experience had gone, and then mentioned the ex-gay group. “Excuse me?” he asked. He questioned me more about it, and I told him everything that had happened. It didn’t occur to me until after the article was printed that going on record about this group basically ruined my entire career as a spy and left me unable to continue to work incognito.

Both the ex-gay group I had gone undercover in and the gay group that I had joined ended up having a joint dialogue together, which I obviously did not attend out of courtesy to SASH (better late than never). After the dialogue, Max decided not to go through with creating the student group, as there had been too much sensation about it (as well as several more Cav Daily articles written). Feeling guilty for lying to Max, and realizing the damage I had done, I emailed him to set up a meeting between the two of us so I could apologize and we could talk things out.

I met him for coffee on Grounds wearing my “Legalize Gay” shirt. The cat was out of the bag.

“I had a feeling you weren’t really looking to change,” he said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“I don’t know, you just seemed so comfortable with yourself,” he said.

“Dammit,” I thought. “Maybe I’m not as good an actor as I thought. I can’t even pretend to be self-conscious when I’m literally always self-conscious.”

I apologized for lying to him, but told him my fears about the damage a group like SASH could do to first years struggling with reconciling their sexuality with their faith. We had a long discussion about God and gays, and we ended up parting on good terms.

Looking back, I regret lying to him and putting myself in situations like these- because although I joke, I know that my desire to be in the thick of drama can blind me from doing the right thing. I am glad, however, that I helped stop SASH from happening, because as much as gay Christians who desire a support group to remain celibate deserve that, the precedent it sets and danger it allows to students is too great. Plus, how many people can say that they infiltrated an ex-gay group their first semester at college. That’s pretty wild, am I right?

-Theodore Dandy

I Found God In The Parking Lot Of A Strip Club

First of all, I would like to apologize for not writing last week. I was graduating, and graduating can be stressful. To make up for it, I’ve decided to write about one of my more eclectic experiences. I decided to visit my hometown, Virginia Beach, for a couple of days with a few friends of mine. I took off early Tuesday morning with my friends, Regulus and Rachel, with my other friend Oliver joining us a few hours later. These are, of course, aliases. Anyway, we arrived in Virginia Beach and went straight to the beach. For those of you who know me, I hate the beach. I’ve learned, however, that if I actually apply suntan lotion and go with friends instead of my parents, I have a great time. Sorry mom and dad. Anyway, this was the first time I’d been to the beach clothed in anything less than a burqa, and I actually managed to tan this time. We had dinner at my brother’s house on the beach, where my friends met my parents and we had a lovely time. After dinner, my friends and I went to the Oceanfront to explore. We stopped by Sunsations, where I used to work, and I showed them all of my least favorite memories working there. We then got back to my car to find a parking ticket for 70 dollars. God dammit.

It was then that my friend Regulus asked, “Hey, who wants to go to a strip club?”

“I’m down,” said Rachel.

“Strip clubs make me uncomfortable,” said Oliver.

“Let’s do it,” I said.

We drove to one strip club, called “Mermaids”, but that turned out to be a bust. Who knew that Tuesday nights were not the best nights to go to strip clubs? I certainly didn’t. We decided instead to drive to Minx, a strip club that I had driven by every day on my way to high school, the lone building on the long stretch of Oceana Boulevard. I realized after pulling into the parking lot that my outfit of a tank top and flip flops would not be acceptable attire for a gentleman’s club, so I changed into what I had in my car. What I had in my car turned out to be a short sleeve button down shirt with birds on it, as well as a pair of floral toms. I entered the strip club, clearly identified as a homosexual. As soon as we entered, my friend Regulus went to the bar and got us each a Red Bull, as well as forty dollars in singles each.

“Do I have to give these to the strippers, or can I just keep them?” I thought. But, remembering the UVA honor code, I realized the honest thing to do was give the singles to the strippers as intended. There were three women dancing on the stage, in three different areas. Taking a seat near the door, I sipped my Red Bull and tried to act nonchalant. The women were all very pretty. One woman was hanging upside down from the top of one of the poles, wearing six inch heels. “She’s very talented,” I said to my friend Rachel. “I wish I had that kind of confidence.” Every once in a while, one of the women would smack her heels together right in front of me, and I would throw a couple of dollars at her out of sheer fear. One woman had on a pair of heels so tall that I gave her two dollars as soon as she walked onstage, just for wearing those shoes.

I watched my friends- how were they tipping? What were the rules? I didn’t want to be rude. My friend Rachel sat back smoking a cigarette, tossing a couple of dollars every once in a while with a “Been there, done that” look on her face. My friend Oliver sat there looking as though he were at an art gallery, nodding his head and setting down a dollar every so often with a look on his face that said “All right, that deserved a dollar.” I looked at my friend Regulus. He was folding up dollars and bouncing them off of one woman’s butt and giggling like a little kid. After each song, the women would rotate, collect their money, and one of them would move offstage. It was at this point that I would run around to each woman and toss a dollar to each of them, feeling like they deserved a tip to end the dance. The women were all very polite, thanking me and clearly understanding that I was tipping them out of sheer politeness. After I worked through the first 20 singles, the thought “What would Ruth Bader Ginsberg think?” made me realize it was time to leave.

My friend Regulus had promised to pay for me to get a lap dance, and I could tell that he intended to follow through on this threat. I went out to the parking lot, my mind racing with new thoughts on feminism and the patriarchy, only to be interrupted by my friend Rachel, who had left to keep me company. We sat in my car, talking about how uncomfortable I was, and how many strippers Rachel had known. We watched our friend Oliver go up to some random car, thinking it was my car, and get yelled at by random people. Finally, he found his way to my car and the three of us got into an intense and deep conversation about God. We talked about loneliness, God’s plan for us, and spiritual growth while our friend Regulus got a lap dance from a very nice blonde woman.

Finally, when Regulus was done, we left to go back to my parents’ house for the evening.

“The stripper who gave me the lap dance said her fiancé got the nanny pregnant, and so she was now taking care of her baby and the nanny’s baby,” Regulus said.

“Did she tell you this while she was giving you the lap dance?” I asked.

“Nah, it was after. That would have been awkward,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure it was awkward regardless,” I said.

At the end of the day, I’m glad that I went to this strip club. It made me think a lot about sex, gender, and how we view ourselves and our bodies. While it’s not an experience I am keen to repeat, it is one that will stick with me for quite a while, whether I like it or not.

-Theodore Dandy

This Gay Did Things. First You’ll Be Shocked, Then You’ll Be Inspired

Today I turned in my last Final for my last class at the University of Virginia. Lot of lasts in my life right now. Lot of firsts, too. Here’s a sample of the firsts and lasts that color my final days at UVA.

First #1: I streaked the lawn last night with one of my best friends. I’d always wanted to streak the lawn, but considering I never had the confidence to, it was something I told myself I’d probably never do. Thoughts of being arrested and charged as a sex offender ran through my mind as I ran naked across the lawn. I would be the one person to be arrested for doing something every UVA student has done, wouldn’t I? Fortunately for me, the only person who approached us was a man who thought the perfect time to ask us for money was when we were naked. Now, I have finally streaked the lawn, and I’ve also seen more breasts than I really ever wanted to see.

Last #1: This one is technically a first and last. I went to my first (and hopefully last) Kentucky Derby party on Saturday. I arrived not knowing what the Kentucky Derby was, content simply to eat the salt and vinegar chips and coke that I brought. I was the first to arrive, so it was just me and my friend who hosted the party for about 15 minutes. She explained what the Kentucky Derby was, and that it was common to bet on which horse you thought would win. I bet a dollar on the favorite, because I figured no one else would bet on the clear front runner. As soon as the race began, I transformed into a ruthless hockey mom. “GO AMERICAN PHARAOH, GO! YOU WIN THIS FUCKING RACE I HAVE A DOLLAR ON THE LINE SO HELP ME GOD!” Finally, after a breathless 2 minutes, American Pharaoh pulled ahead and I left 5 dollars richer. Of course, it cost $5 for the coke and chips, so I broke even. But hey, now I am an official gambler, and I will hopefully never have to watch a sporting event again.

First #2: Last night I had one of my plays performed on the UVA stage for the first time, which was really fucking cool. It got plenty of laughs, but, to quote Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “I’m not going for laughs, I’m going for GASPS.” It got some of those too, especially when three people were stabbed to death on stage. I think you know you’ve made it as a writer when you can get an entire theater full of people to laugh hysterically when one character stabs another to death.

*****DISCLAIMER*****

Nobody was actually hurt, although I did scrape my arm on accident.

Last #2: As a fourth year who’s graduating in little over a week, I decided to write pretty much whatever the hell I wanted for my finals. I wrote a pitch for Directing where at the end of the play I wanted to have the main character thrown into the Lake of Fire, represented by a kiddie pool. For another Drama class, I had to come up with characters and plot points for a play based off of a newspaper article. I decided to name the play Changeling 2: No Relation to Changeling. I am literally past the point of caring whether or not my humor is understood or not. If I find it funny, that’s all that matters.

– Theodore Dandy

So All Of Your Friends Got Raptured And You Didn’t- Now What?

With the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments tomorrow about Marriage Equality (or, as its opponents refer to it, gay “marriage”), I thought I’d address the concerns of hundreds of Americans as well as Michelle Bachmann that this may bring about the end of times, known to some Christians as “The Rapture”.

When I was a little boy, I had pretty severe anxiety. It often kept me up at nights, just thinking about what would happen if, years from now, my parents and the rest of my family were to all die in a horrible accident and I would have to fend for myself. Or if, God forbid, I had to go to college, what would I do? I toured a UVA lawn room when I was in middle school, so I always pictured myself living in a dorm that looked exactly like that. I was plagued with visions of myself, alone, parents dead, me attending college and unable to sleep. How would I wake up in the morning? My dad always woke me up! Would I still wet the bed? How would I survive? I convinced myself that before I was old enough to get to college, one of two things would happen: I would either die, or I would be raptured by Jesus Christ. That’s right. I was so afraid of going to college that I convinced myself Christ himself would come down from the heavens and rapture me.

This was about the time I got really into reading those Left Behind books, but instead of reading the regular books, I read the kids version of them. I first got them as a gift from my parents for Easter, who I’ve convinced myself didn’t really know what they were about. But if they did know, they must have thought, “Hey, what better gift for our young son than a chocolate bunny and a book about how God left millions of people on Earth to endure the Tribulation with the Antichrist because they didn’t believe in Jesus?” I devoured all 40 (yes, there were 40) of those books, sure that Jesus would one day come and take me (and hopefully my family, but I wasn’t picky). I was pretty sure I was a homosexual by this point in time, so I kept an eye out for any mention of gays either getting into heaven or not (as though these books were the ultimate authority on God’s stance on gays). Fortunately, there was no mention of gay people in the books. Unfortunately, they did have a few choice words about dogs.

In the final book, shortly before Jesus comes and makes all the bad guys explode (yes, they literally exploded), one of the characters asked, “What’s gonna happen to the dog when Jesus comes?”

“I don’t know,” another responded. “He doesn’t have a soul, so I guess we’ll just see when Jesus comes.”

“Are yOU KIDDING ME??” 12 year old me shouted. I threw the book in the corner of my room and refused to finish it. I had read 39 and a half books of this, and the downright FALSE accusation that animals don’t have souls caused me to give up on the whole Left Behind franchise. How DARE they? “Dogs don’t have souls,” I thought. “I’ll tell you who doesn’t have a soul, it’s Jerry B Jenkins and Tim LaHaye!” Still, however, I believed that perhaps one day the rapture would happen.

“They’ll see,” I said. “When Jesus comes and takes all the dogs away and THEY’RE the ones left behind!”

Then I came of the tender age of 18 and finally went off to college. I did in fact go to UVA, but I did not live in a lawn room (thereby destroying my goal of losing my virginity on Mr Jefferson’s grounds, although I suppose that could still happen). When I took the Early Christianity/ New Testament class, however, I quickly learned that The Rapture was not, in fact, the end of times, but simply a metaphor for the fall of the Roman Empire. My whole worldview shattered, I could no longer lean on The Rapture as my back-up plan for “When things get too tough maybe Christ will just come and make it all go away.”

So to anyone who thinks that gay people getting married will bring about the 7 year peace treaty between Israel and the Antichrist, leading to the Whore of Babylon riding in on the Beast with 7 heads, the Rise of the Antichrist, and the eventual destruction of the world ending in the triumphant return of Jesus Christ, I say, “Probably not. But if it does happen, hey, you’ll be in heaven and it’ll be the rest of us left here to deal with it!”

Although, let’s be honest, if The Rapture did happen, I would totally be raptured.

– Theodore Dandy

Current Mood- Sinead O’Connor Ripping Up A Picture Of The Pope On SNL

This week. This week has been tough. I thought last week was tough. But I was wrong. This was the week.

For some reason every deadline in the world seemed to fall on Wednesday April 15, 2015, and so most of my week was spent doing the billions of things I had to do in order to pass my classes, graduate, get a job, and be Lena Dunham. I had to finish the latest play I’d been working on, which I know is going to be a success because I managed to include both the lines “I hope you miscarry” and “We’d still be together if diabetes didn’t take his left foot”. For some reason my writing style only ranges between funny, horribly mean, and super cheesy. It’s a hard life, but it’s the one God gave me and dammit if I’m not gonna give it my all.


Thursday I asked my roommate with the large biceps if he would teach me how to weight train, because although my diet had caused me to lose 20 pounds, I’d begun to plateau in my weight loss. He brought me to they gym, him in a tshirt and gym shorts, me in my tank top and head band.

“Before we start, since I hurt my shoulder, I just have to do this really homosexual stretch,” he said.

“What do you-” I began to ask, until I saw the stretch.

“Oh.” I said. “You were right. That’s a pretty homosexual stretch.”

After all homosexual stretches were out of the way, he proceeded to show me how to use the bench press, as well as several other machines. Doing it felt fine, but once we got to the car, I could not move my arms. Driving home was probably a bad decision considering I didn’t have use of my upper extremities, but I made do.


Friday was leg day, which turned out to be even more difficult than upper body day.

“This is the one that makes you really good at sex,” my roommate said, showing me how to dead lift.

“It’s cause of the thrusting. You see? Cause you thrust when you have sex.”

“I think I understand,” I said.

After the workout, I went with several friends to a festival with rides and cotton candy. Despite working out both days, I knew I would regret it if I bought cotton candy.

“A moment on the lips, forever on the hips,” I whispered to myself.

“What?” my friend said.

“Nothing!”

We rode several rides that made me feel that tingly sensation that I always enjoy, but after the third ride I began to feel queasy. I felt like somebody’s mother who tags along and is like “I can ride the rollercoasters!” and then afterwards has to lay down in the grass with a damp washcloth over her eyes as her son tries to deal with the public humiliation he’s enduring. Now every muscle in my body hurt, I felt nauseous, and I still didn’t have any cotton candy.


Saturday I woke up, feeling like I had all the time in the world. “Treat yo self,” I thought as I laid in bed until noon. I got a call a few minutes later from a man asking me to babysit for him later that day at the Tom Tom Festival. “Yes!” I replied, having spent $32 on shampoo the night before and looking for a way to replace the money. I had two games of tennis lined up for Saturday, because nobody told me that when you call all of your friends in one day asking if they’re free to play tennis, they will all call you back and schedule a game for another time, meaning you will now have ten games of tennis on your hands. I lathered on suntan lotion all over my pale, freckled body as I emerged into the scorching heat. There was a shirtless volleyball game right next to the court my friend and I played tennis at, so needless to say we both did rather poorly during the game. As I shifted from game #1 to game #2, I saw 10 cop cars stopped on Emmett street with police officers arresting several passengers in a station wagon. As each of them walked slowly backwards and were handcuffed, my friend and I pondered why they were being arrested. I thought they had robbed a bank, while she thought it was illegal to drive a station wagon after 1993.

After tennis, I drove downtown and met the child I would be babysitting. His parents were going to a performance and I was to hang out with him at a park nearby, unless he wanted to watch the performance, in which case I would sit with them and take him out if he got bored. We played at the park for an hour, and by played I mean he played and I followed at a short distance making sure he didn’t die. Finally he managed to lead me to the performance which turned out to be a video that all of my friends were in. Sadly, he got bored halfway through, so we left and went back to the park to play tag. Still sore from working out, I pretended to hurt my ankle so he would get close enough for me to tag. Little kids are so gullible.

Afterwards I went out to eat with friends, where the conversation quickly shifted to government control and the collapse of society.

“I think it’s all gonna fall apart. I really do. Society’s just gonna collapse,” my friend said with a giggle. Perplexed by her seeming joy at the destruction of humanity, I Wikipedia’d end of the world scenarios late into the night.


Sunday I did nothing.


And that was my week. Long, tough, hard, and other adjectives I use on my dating profile. But I got through it, and hopefully this week I’ll push myself just as much. Because you know what they say- “It’s all about the gains, bro.”

-Theodore Dandy

The Saga Of Eleanor Crabtree

So this week I had to write a scene with a partner of mine for my Film Acting class. Since it will likely never be used in anything outside of that class, I have decided to do you all the honor of showing you the scene that my partner and I have written. I hope you enjoy.


Timothy: Excuse me, Mrs. Crabtree?

Eleanor: Yes? Oh, Timothy! Please, have a seat.

Timothy: Thank you, Mrs. Crabtree. (sits)

Eleanor: Please dear, call me Eleanor.

Timothy: Oh, okay…Eleanor.

Eleanor: Now, how can I help you, Timothy?

Timothy: Well, it’s about the homework you gave us. It’s so difficult; I’m having a hard time with it.

Eleanor: Well, you see, Timothy, I’ve always been a firm believer that going through hard times makes you a stronger person. I really do! I think you learn from it, and you grow. For example, and this may be crossing the student-teacher line, but I’m sure it’s harmless for me to share a personal anecdote with you. After all, you might be surprised- I’ve got some wisdom in this old noggin! Now, when I was younger, my mom had this rule about no pets. But, I always wanted one. So, one day I found this beautiful little orange tabby, just adorable, and I brought it home and…”no pets!” she said…but she was very humane. She just took it out back and it was four quick shots, it barely felt a thing (pause) and you know, I learned my lesson. No pets! And then, when I started working here, Mrs. Gooch had that pet turtle in the classroom, and I remembered my mom’s lesson, I did, so I just flushed it down the toilet. So you see, Timothy, I really think that the harder this class is for you, the more you’ll learn from it. So don’t give up, okay? You’re too smart for that. Now, that’s enough out of this old bird.

Timothy: Mrs. Crabtree I-

Eleanor: Eleanor please…Mrs. Crabtree was my mother.

Timothy: I…I just… you know Mrs. Gooch is still looking for her turtle, don’t you?

Eleanor: (light hearted giggle) it’s okay, Timothy. She’ll learn. “No pets!”

Timothy: I don’t think you should keep saying that. You could probably get into a lot of trouble for the whole toilet… situation… and I am not sure…well I think…okay, it’s like…that’s really messed up. (She is hurt) I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Don’t cry…What I’m trying to say is…I don’t think these lessons your mother taught you are not necessarily universal. I mean, plenty of kids grow up with pets and um…well, you know, their mom’s don’t usually shoot them. (Trying to cheer her up) But hey, I mean on the bright side…you never had to worry about worms, you know! (he forcedly chuckles, she is unaffected) Mrs. Crabtree, I think you should maybe talk to someone at CAPS.(She tries to speak-) You know what- I bet they would even bump you to the front of the line! Or actually, I think they might even let you stay there for a little while and I think you’d really like it. It seems like you have a lot going on in that old noggin (lightheartedly mimicking how she said it earlier) and I mean it can’t hurt to sort it out.

Eleanor: Oh Timothy, that is so thoughtful and sweet of you but I’m beginning to feel that you are crossing a student teacher line saying these things and I am professionally bound to report you. But remember, don’t give up, you’re too smart for that. (wink)


And there you have it. The student teacher friendship that was never meant to be. We will be filming this scene tomorrow and I pray for you and your loved ones that we burn the footage before it is released upon the world like The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse.

-Theodore Dandy

Is She The Next Sylvia Plath? (Hint: No)

I have to write a slam poetry piece for an upcoming performance. Now, for those of you who know me, and those of you who don’t really but can infer from my writing, I am not very good at slam poetry. My version of slam poetry is more “I’ll just start talking about the things that are important to me and then throw in a few quotes that I stole from Disney Channel Original Movies along the way.”

To compound my anxiety even more, there is a rehearsal for it this very evening, where we will present the beginning and ends of our pieces in order to run a cue-to-cue. This means I will have to come up with how I’m gonna start and end a piece that I haven’t even written, let alone am proud enough to read it in front of a group of people.

To get myself in a more creative writing mode, I’ve decided to do a little practice for all of you, just so I can get the creative juices flowing and maybe get some of my bad ideas out.

Time.

What is time?

The time stops, all the clocks, stuck in a box, fed only lox.

Time is a social construct.

Get your head in the game!

He says to me, all the time in the world.

But the worldly worries of warts and wedgies are wasted on wishy washy woes.

Crack!

Bam!

Splash!

The time has come for me to step up to the plate,

Trying to succeed, trying to elate

Myself.

As you can see, I have a lot to learn about Slam poetry. Unfortunately, I have only a few short hours to do so. So, in the interest of putting myself and public humiliation first, I’m gonna go ahead and call this article

Done.

But what is done?

A turkey in the oven?

A child with a test?

A white girl who can’t even?

Done.

Or has it only just begun?

I’m sorry, I can’t really seem to get myself out of this train of thought. I guess that’s a good thing since I really do need to start

Working 

Wanting

Wishing

Waiting

What is it for?

The mistakes and milkshakes of the fallen brethren 

Clawing and clamoring and cleaning their souls

Obsessively.

Ok, I promise, that is the last time I will do that.

-Theodore Dandy