Monday, June 29, 2009

Another Year

Two friends both happened to be in this region over the weekend: a sassy friend from Texas visiting Decaying Midwestern Urban Center and the cowgirl blogger HistoriAnn. Seeing them both was nice.

Another year has also passed, meaning my birthday is upon us. The good news is that you all can now legally elect me to be the President of the United States. Truth be told, though, I am not in much of a celebratory mood. I am feeling a bit high-maintenance these days, so drawing more attention to myself seems like a lot to ask. The news also seems to be riddled with untimely deaths, which is kind of another downer.

Nonetheless, it is always good to think about one’s life in relationship to others. At age 35, what were other people doing?

    If I were Mary Richards at age thirty-five, my closest friends, Phyllis and Rhoda, would move away to start two doomed shows new lives in San Francisco and New York.

    If I were Elvis Presley, my final film, Change of Habit, would have been released last year. I would have costarred with Mary Tyler Moore in it.

    If I were John F. Kennedy, I would currently be serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. This would be the year that I would meet Jacqueline Bouvier.

    If I were Jesus at age thirty-five, I would have risen from the dead two years ago.

    If I were Cher, this would be the year that I released a duet with Meatloaf. It would be another year before I starred in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean on Broadway.

    If I were Oscar Wilde, this would be the year that I published “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.,” my first writings about romantic love between men.

    If I were James Dean, I would have been dead for eleven years.

    If I were Montgomery Clift, I would smash my car into a telephone pole and disfigure my face this year.

    If I were Pancho Villa at age thirty five, I would be serving as provisional governor of Chihuahua in the midst of the Mexican Revolution. It would be another two years before I decided to launch an attack on New Mexico.

    If I were Harvey Milk, it would be another 12 years before I became the first openly gay elected official in a major U.S. city.

    If I were Saint Anthony of Padua, this would be my last year to live.

    If I were either of my parents, I would already have three children. The youngest would be seven years old.

    If I were Martin Luther King, Jr., I would become the youngest person to win a Noble Peace Prize this year.

    If I were Paul Lynde, I would be enjoying success on Broadway as the father in Bye Bye Birdie.

    If I were Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, I would be bankrupt from my failed expedition into New Mexico and would have been forced out of my governorship of Nueva Galicia this past year. I would also be very bitter.

    If I were Marilyn Monroe, this would be the last year of my life.

    If I were Pearl Bailey, this would be the year that I took the role of Frankie in the musical Carmen Jones.

    If I were Manuel Armijo, I would serve as mayor of Albuquerque while enjoying my wealth from sheep trading.

    If I were Walt Whitman, I would be finishing the first edition of Leaves of Grass for publication next year.

    If I were Queen Isabella I, I would take the town of Loja this year in my merciless campaign to conquer and control the Iberian peninsula.

    If I were Captain Kirk, I would have been commanding the U.S.S. Enterprise for four years. Unless I was the Captain Kirk from the recent film, in which case I would have skipped over all the hard work of earning that rank ten years ago.

    If I were Popé, it would be another ten years before Spain’s religious authorities would arrest me for practicing “sorcery.”

    If I were Truman Capote, this would be the year that I learned of the grisly murders of the Clutter family.

    If I were Gore Vidal, I would have spent this past year working on the sceenplay for Ben Hur.

    If I were the scholar George I. Sánchez, I would have just published my best known work Forgotten People, which drew attention to the poverty and unfair conditions in New Mexico.

    If I were Anne Bancroft, I would be cast as the "older woman" Mrs. Robinson in the film The Graduate this year.

    If I were GayProf, I would have finished (more or less) the Never Ending Research Project of Doom.

    If I were Reies López Tijerina, I would travel to Mexico and meet with former president Lázaro Cárdenas this year.

    If I were Wonder Woman, I would age another 2,456 years before joining Patriarch’s world to fight crime.


vuboq said...

Happy Birthday, GayProf!

St. Anthony of Padua is my favorite saint.


asspanther said...

Happy Birthday! I recently had one as well. Like you, I was not looking forward to it but it ended up being a really nice birthday celebrated with a few close friends. I hope your birthday surprises you and turns out to be a great day.

Also, thank you for using the subjunctive.

Kendra Leonard said...

I also just turned 35. I'm not sure if your list made me happier or sadder, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Wishing you a year of finding and keeping good friends, having things so well for you generally, continuing to kick ass blogging, and much unexpected beauty, wonder, and fun.

Candace said...

Happy Birthday!
I love this post - what an interesting way to reflect (and it also puts to use all those research skills academics develop). I'm half-inspired/half daunted to try something similar when my own bday rolls around.
Hope your year is a good one ~

Roger Owen Green said...

Wish I could bring you a better birthday present to cheer you up. But go here:, for a print version of "A Wonder Woman Still- Lynda Carter Gained Fame Playing A TV Superheroine, But Now She's Returning To Her First Love: Music" from CBS Sunday Morning last week.

WV- limessed: besotted by citrus.

pacalaga said...

Happy birthday, GayProf! I love these "if I were" posts. They are awesome. There's nothing wrong with being high maintenance.

Carrie K said...

Happy Birthday, GayProf!

Anne Bancroft was 35 in that flick? Funny how she no longer seems old AT ALL then.

Keri said...

Happy Birthday!!

Today is my birthday too -- I'm about the same age as you, so your list gave me all kinds of cool things to think about.

Anonymous said...

"If I were Jesus at age thirty-five, I would have risen from the dead two years ago."

For some reason, I found that particular line uproariously funny.

Congratulations on completing the Never-ending Research Project of Doom. I am nowhere near completing mine, and it's encouraging to know that it is possible.

Frank said...

Hail, Strong Amazon Sister, and Felicitations on the Day of Your Birthday! It should be a Themiscyra-wide holiday!

Tenured Radical said...

I was thinking of sending you bracelets but you already have them.

Happy Birthday, hermano.

Tenured Radical said...

And many happy returns.

dykewife said...

happy hatch day, love!

if you were me your world would be quickly closing in around you as your life falls apart. you would have just begun therapy and learn of the wedding of the sibling who sexually abused you nearly 30 years before. you would be unable to leave the house alone, if at all. you would cry a lot and fear the sound of the telephone, the mailbox rattling and of people coming to the door.

it would be another nearly 10 years before you'd be able to work again.

i don't miss being 35.

Unknown said...

Happy birthday! I hope that 35 turns out to be a powerful year for you. When I turned 35 (12 full years ago) I finished my second MA and gave birth to my wonderful son. The lesbian baby boom was in full swing, so I even had a birth announcement in our local gay press! Congratulations on your research project!

Sisyphus said...

Have you finished the NERPOD? Oh frabjous day! Congratulations and happy birthday!

(And as someone a couple years younger than you, the whole Anne Bancroft as predatory _older_ woman thing is quite disconcerting.)

urbicande said...

Happy Birthday! It's always a pleasure to read you...

Doug said...

Happy Birthday! And many congrats on completing the NERPoD. So what are you going to do with all your free time now that NERPoD is [very nearly] complete?

susurro said...

happy birthday. and congrats on nearly finishing NERPD

Susan said...

Happy Happy Birthday. And what a way to slip in the completion of NERPOD! Double felicitations!

Steven said...

Happy Birthday to you, GayProf!

Rat said...

Happy birthday! May this year be better than all previous ones.

Baron Scarpia said...

Happy birthday! My advice, and I don't say this to many people, is to get drunk. For all kinds of reasons.

hobo handbag said...

Are you really a gay? come on man, there's a lot of chick out there that need your love man.

what ever you do just dont get injured
personal injury

dpaste said...

So the NEPOD is essentially done? Huzzah! Maybe you are suffering from post-partum depression. I hear Scientology is good for that.

Many happy returns of the day to you.

Laverne said...

Happy Happy Belated Birthday!

Does anyone else see the resemblance between Pearl Baily and Queen Latifah?

Just me?

Ah well...