Saturday, April 24, 2010


It's not only former daytime stars like (recent As the World Turns returnee) Julianne Moore and David Hasselhoff (soon to reprise his 1975 to 1982 role as The Young and the Restless's Snapper Foster) who are heading back to the genre that gave them their start. Broadway and TV actor Brian Kerwin has been a contract player on One Life to Live since 2007, while film stars (like James Franco and Mario Van Peebles) and prime-time actors (such as, in recent years, Betty White, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark, Randolph Mantooth and Patrick Duffy) have been paying their respects, too.

But most shockingly and coincidentally, from the "What are the chances?" file, Ma and Pa Walton (Michael Learned and Ralph Waite, above) are currently and respectively guest starring on General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. Who's next? John Boy to accompany Erica Kane on her 12th trip down the aisle on All My Children?

Monday, April 19, 2010


I've done it before, and as God is my witness, I'll do it again: I'm going to blame it on the alcohol!

Last Wednesday night (or should I say early Thursday morning?), after too many shared bottles of wine with my friends Michael and Rob, I did something completely against my normal nature: I hit on the ex of one of my best friends.

I wish I could excuse my actions by saying that there had always been something between us, or that there was a moment of overwhelming spiritual connection. But I can't. Maybe it was a combination of the wine and the Spanish (the ex doesn't speak a word of English), such a romantic language. Maybe I was bored. Maybe I was just horny.

Thankfully, one of us was in his right mind and nothing happened beside a little flirting, some suggestive looks, and a caress or a few. I'd never before put myself in that particular position, having strictly followed the three cardinal rules of male friendship: 1) Hands off his man! 2) Step back from his ex! 3) Stay away from his sister -- or brother!

So far, so good. But my near-transgression forced me to reconsider something a good friend of mine revealed several weeks ago. He told me about this habit he has of sleeping with his friends' boyfriends. At the time, I was only mildly disturbed by his revelation, and more because of the mix of pride and shame with which he told me about it than the revelation itself.

But after what had almost gone down between my other friend's ex and me, I was forced to give it a closer look. I wasn't crazy about what I saw. Would my friend, the one who couldn't keep his hands to himself, ever try to pull the same stunt on one of my boyfriends? I'd like to say, no. I'm sure he'd say, no. But how could I be sure?

If I were to introduce him to someone I was dating, would my insecurity get the best of me? Would I spend the entire time looking for stolen glances or lingering looks between them? Would I avoid going to the bathroom lest I leave them alone to their own devices? Like most people, I'm already riddled with insecurity, and my knees buckle at the very thought of being a participant in such a ridiculous scenario.

Would I simply have to go through the rest of my life not introducing him to any of my significant others, or -- worse! -- steering clear of significant others completely? Because, at the end of the day, it's not just this particular friend whom I have to handle with care. What about the boyfriends? And my other friends? And all the other guys I don't even know?

They say that no relationship can survive without trust, but I still haven't figured out how to build one with trust. Trust no one, I've always told myself, because anyone, given the right confluence of circumstances, would betray you. Yes, extreme, but I'm not entirely sure that it isn't completely true.

For now, for my own peace of mind, I've got to put my friend and all of his friends' boyfriends out of my mind. I've got to stop thinking about him and the boyfriend that I don't even have. I've got to forget about the other night and what didn't happen.

And most importantly, I've got to lay off the white wine.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I've always been something of a hopeless romantic, but lately my romantic fever has been burning out of control.

I always root for the underdog. Sometimes, I root for the bad guy (or girl), too, which is exactly what I did all the way through The Talented Mr. Ripley -- the book, not the movie -- but suddenly, I'm rooting for the stalkers.

Last week on One Life to Live, when Schuyler held Gigi at gun point and tried to force her to have sex with him on the floor of Viki's cabin, I winced. When Rex and Bo burst in, and he aimed the glock at Rex, fired, and shot Bo instead, my heart leapt out of my chest. But on Friday's show when they led him away, in handcuffs, to Statesville Prison, I felt a twinge of sadness.

Yes, Schuyler made some very bad choices. Last November, he made a complete transformation, in the space of a few episodes, from the only smart guy on the show to the dumbest one. But in the end, everything he did, he did for love. For love of Gigi. For love of the baby he thought was his. For L-O-V-E. I enjoy watching a good soap villain, but it's hard to think of them as all-around baddies when inside them burns the flame of love.

Ok, I'm going a little bit overboard here, but then again, these outrageous soap opera storylines don't exactly inspire sane reactions.

Then there is Annie on 90210 and her drug-peddling boyfriend Jasper. (Why can't I meet a guy with a cool name like that?) She wants to break up with him, but he's blackmailing her -- he's the only one who knows that she killed his uncle in a hit-and-run accident -- to get her to stay with him. He's creepy for sure, but there's something sexy in his desperation, in the way he would go there to keep the girl.

I know, I'm kind of sick. And I probably could use a dose of healthy love in my own love life. But until that comes along, let me enjoy my TV fantasyland with sick, tortured romantic anti-heroes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


If I live to be 100 -- at which point, it probably will no longer matter -- I'll never understand my own sex. Although I recently was reminded of how puzzling men are in every country, the Argentine male remains, for me, the most puzzling of the species.

Last week, I was talking to the Argentine ex-boyfriend of an American friend, and he told me something that I didn't expect to hear. He's moving to Mexico for three months, for work, and he's looking forward to getting away from Argentine guys. The truth is, he hates them.

Interestingly, almost all of my Argentine friends, male and gay or female and straight, have, at some point, said the same thing. My American friends, however, are simply, like me, puzzled. I haven't yet reached the point of hatred, but sometimes I think I might be getting there.

Luckily, for the most part, 2010 has been mostly free of entanglements, and I spent nearly two months of the year abroad. But talking to my friend Rob (his ex is the one who hates Argentines), we finally devised a workable game plan for dealing with the Argentine male: Ignore him. As Rob pointed out, that's all they understand.

And if, deterred, they go away, they'll always come back. A couple of years ago, Rob met an Argentine guy who acted like he was the best thing since sliced whole wheat bread (like me, Rob is black). Once Rob caved and began to respond to the guy's attention, he fled the scene. He stopped responding to Rob's emails, and at one point, when Rob was in Miami, where the guy was living at the time, the guy seemed to make a point of not seeing Rob.

Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue, he was back, more ardent than ever, begging for a chance to be Rob's "amante" (lover).

Excuse me while I vomit....

Okay, I'm back. Alas, I've been there way too many times, and I now know better than not to ingore such sudden changes of heart. And ignoring it has nothing to do with maintaining interest. Even if it works, I don't think that playing coy to keep someone circling your orbit is the answer. I'd rather end up with someone because we naturally gravitate toward each other than because I've won some silly love game.

So the other night when I ran into Gonzalo, a guy I've been interested in for nearly a year, and he invited me back to his place (after the kind of first kiss that only happens in the movies), why did I decline? Not because I wasn't interested, and not because I thought it would impress him into chasing me harder (so far, he hasn't).

The honest-to-God real reason: Because I was, well, you know, kind of exhausted.

Monday, April 5, 2010


"Give me your hand."

I did as I was told.

And with that my friend who fancies herself a sort of medium began my forecast of things to come. By 43, she predicted, I'll be settled down with a tall, dark and handsome artist from Europe. Eventually, the palm reading turned into a session on the couch.

Your brother needs you. Reach out to him.

Forgive your father.

Don't worry about your mother. She's stronger than everyone in your family combined.

And wait for love. It's coming. But first, you must fix things with your family.

I have no idea where she got her insight into my family. In our previous conversations, we'd never gone that deep. But there it was last night, all out on the table. She painted a few broad strokes that could apply to pretty much any life. But she also eerily pinpointed some specifics. A few things she got wrong (like my chronological placement in the order of my siblings), a few she nailed.

Thirty minutes into our impromptu session, a guy at the other table was reading palms, too. I thought he was making fun of us, but he insisted that he, too, is connected to a higher power.

I'm still not sure whether I'm buying any of it. I believe in psychic ability, premonitions and things that go bump in the night. When it comes to the lines on my hand determining the course of my life story, though, that's pushing it a little bit.

But I'll take that tall, dark, handsome artist from Europe.