When You Become “That Guy”
As a pseudo-intellectual and somewhat cultured young African American man who favors Sunday brunches with bottomless mimosas and would never be caught dead in a chain restaurant like Chili’s, I couldn’t help but feel like I was letting my brethren in pretentiousness down – I’m supposed to be watching the Obama documentary on CNN!
I am college-educated with a full-time, salaried job and I have over 1,000 Twitter followers who re-tweet me all the time. I have a closet full of designer labels, I read Baldwin on a regular basis and I only watch the news networks because all of the reality TV shows are preventing the more substantive-yet-witty comedies like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” from thriving as they should. I also refuse to date a man without a salaried job, a car, his own place and a degree.
I don’t let people call me black, because I’m African American; I even wrote a Facebook note criticizing President Obama and the U.S. Census Bureau for leaving ‘colored’ in its list of options and tagged all my friends in it, because all of my friends understand the struggle. And speaking of President Obama, I’d prefer that we don’t vote for him just because he’s black – look at the issues, too.
At my full-time, salaried position, I am not an entry-level employee. I actually sit in the boardroom with the CEO and other executives and make decisions about the direction of the company on a daily basis. I’m paid very well and will likely be able to retire before I turn 35. In fact, I’m so important at my job that I can come and go as I please – at least, that’s what I’d have you believe from my tweets.
One of my favorite things about myself is that I know everything. Style suggestions? I have it, because no one’s style is better than mine. Relationship advice? I can go on and on (and on) for days about what you should do in your relationship, especially since I’m not in one and haven’t been for a good two years. Why am I not in a relationship? I would rather focus on my career at this point in my life – you know, the career in which I’ve already established myself as a key player in my multinational company just seconds out of college.
By now, I’m sure you’re asking who I am and looking to be more like me with every passing declaration of my greatness. I know no one’s perfect, including me, but I do my best with what I’m given. So who am I?
I’m “that guy.”
No one wants to be “that guy.” Unfortunately, our current generation of young black gay men has fallen into this belief that the rest of the world was born yesterday and that life begins and ends when they enter or leave a room. We think we’re too good for chain restaurants and have this idea that spending $200 on a date is the determining factor in continuing to date someone. We’re also painfully annoying and perpetually single, and spend many a lonely drunken night wondering why “the ugly guys” always seem to be in relationships.
If we can simply put our pretentiousness aside, be ourselves and like what we like, maybe we’ll actually dance at the club one night.