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Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

Image7_2

P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

600px-US_27.svg

SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

photo(1)

Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

One Hundred Seventy.

Trust me, the irony is not lost on me that the most epic party I went to while I was living in Glasgow was at my flat. (Because I am not cool.)

I had just moved out of the nightmare flat and into my gorgeous new flat in Partick, so naturally, it was time for a flatwarming party. It was mid-November, and I had only moved to Glasgow in mid-September, so I was still getting to know all of my classmates/department-mates/their friends. I invited literally everyone I knew (see: 10 people, max.) and hoped it would be fun.

My Flatwarming: A Photo Essay

Things started super chill.
Things started super chill.
There were lots of healthy snacks.
There were lots of healthy snacks.
And then cider happened.
And then cider happened.
Things started to get blurry...
Things started to get blurry…
And somehow we ended up here.
And somehow we ended up here.

Once the drinks started flowing, party game suggestions started getting shouted out at random intervals.

Oh, party games.

It all started with a round of “Never Have I Ever…” or something along those lines. We’d go around in a circle drawing a card from the deck (who even brought that game to my flat?!), read it aloud, and if we had done the thing, we’d drink.

The tension started to rise when questions about dating/messing around with the same sex came up and couples started getting surprised at their partners’ responses.

Oh shit.

So we all decided to move on to a much, much better party game: SPIN THE BOTTLE.

Uh Oh

ShitShitShit

BabySmash

Look, in a nutshell, that was the night I made out with a lot of my friends (including my BFF Mags – what up, girl?) and not once with the guy I had a crush on.* But it was doomed from the start: some of the STB participants wandered away during the game, leaving only a few people sitting in a small circle on my living room floor, which started an argument, which left one of my friends crying in the kitchen, which led to some face slapping, and then more crying, and then a lot of drunken drama. (Which eventually faded away back into fun times, and then I remember one of my friends couldn’t even find my front door to leave, and then I remember mopping my floors at 3am because I’m a clean freak and I couldn’t sleep until my flat was at least 50% back to normal…)

But that is beside the point. The point is that Spin the Bottle ruined everything.

And it’s not the first time that’s happened to me.

FLASHBACK TO: Andrea in 2007

I’m at the epic cast party that ended my relationship with rum. We’re all in the hot tub, and seemingly out of nowhere, Kisses in the Rain produces a water-friendly, floating version of Spin the Bottle. (Seriously, where did it come from?) So we start to play, and basically it just turns into Kisses in the Rain and I making out in one corner of the hot tub while everyone watches on wondering when the hell we got together.

But then everything goes to hell (pun most certainly intended) when the very innocent, very religious blonde from my cast lands on one of her male cast mates. It goes to hell because her boyfriend is present. He acts like he’s cool with it (and he should be, because the cast mate could not be gayer if he tried), but shortly after the kiss (first spin, no tongue!), the two of them disappear into the house and start having a huge fight. In the end, they say everything’s fine, but they break up like, two days later.

So, lesson learned: You shouldn’t play Spin the Bottle past the age of 15.

WAIT A SECOND.

FLASHBACK TO: Andrea in grade seven

I’m at a slumber party at my friend Jessica’s house. A couple of the kids there drink too much Diet Coke (or alcohol – I don’t notice because I’m a goody-two-shoes) and eat too much candy and things get rowdy. Someone suggests Spin the Bottle. Ooh, fun! Exciting! Saucy! Only instead of being fun and exciting and saucy, I end up kissing one of my friend’s really gross boyfriends, who kind of looks like Seth Rogen, but not hot at all (yes, I think Seth Rogen is hot), and then I have to kiss Tyler-the-seventh-grade-bully’s “six pack”?

(SPOILER ALERT: he doesn’t have a six pack. Just a 13-year-old belly.)

So gross. So fucking gross.

Lesson learned: Spin the Bottle is NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

I know you’ve got a story to further back me up, so SPILL IT.

(Man, I’m on pun-fire right now.)

xA

*I realize in writing that that there were very few guys at my flat that night, so if you’ve narrowed yourself down to being my crush, you’re probably right. (I feel like enough time has passed for me to say it was my friend Graeme. I feel like my crush was beyond obvious.)

Ninety Six.

Remember back in November when I wrote about not having a “type” of guy and instead being attracted to certain personality traits?

Sort of?

The Super Quick Re-Cap, brought to you by Andrea:

I dig guys who are at least one, but potentially all,* of the following…

  • Smart
  • Fucking Hilarious
  • Weird
  • Nerdy
  • Writing Talent
  • A Sexy Accent
  • Scottish
  • Idris Elba

(You can read the whole shebang and see photos of men I find sexy here.)

(SPOILER ALERT: One of them is Idris Elba.)

I forgot a trait. Perhaps the most important of them all.

TAKEN.

That’s right. Apparently, I am only interested in men who are already taken.**

In the last year,*** I have had crushes on at least six guys whom I have learned are very not up for grabs. The most recent? My workplace crush. Ridiculously intelligent, quiet, kind, funny, with a sexy accent. One day it was my JOB to go talk to him. That was the best day at work.

This week he showed up with not only a partner, but children in tow.

Truth.
Truth.

CUT TO: Me, craving some seriously tacky music (possible songs include “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child and “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson), a lot of chocolate (or cake, or cookies), and some privacy in which to deal with my ridiculous, teenage heartbreak.

Wife? Kids? Really? Are you sure you don’t wanna leave that behind to hang out with me instead in a non-committed way (‘cos I’m not into that)?

Well, shit.
Well, shit.

Lesson learned: I have excellent taste in men, which doesn’t often work in my favour.

xA

*Mmm…Scottish Idris Elba in nerd glasses writing a book of mathematical jokes while wearing a cowboy hat and stroking his pet iguana…

**Or gay. But that hasn’t happened in a while, so maybe my gaydar’s getting stronger. MAYBE.

***OKAY, OKAY, MY WHOLE LIFE.

Forty.

After some chats with some friends and readers, I decided it was only right to balance things out this week. I am a Libra, after all. I love balancing shit out.

So with that, I give you: A List of Attractive Personalities – The FEMALE VERSION (what what!), by Andrea Beça (With Photographic Examples)

(Sorry if you’re a lady and you’re reading this and you’re so straight that you don’t find any other women attractive. No, really. I feel sorry for you. Expand your horizons a bit.)

Personality Trait: Smart

Example: Mayim Bialik

She’s a motherf*cking neuroscientist, y’all. Bow down!

Personality Trait: Fucking Hilarious

Example: Tig Notaro

Two words: Taylor Dayne.

Personality Trait: Weird

Example: Kristen Bell

ADORABLY weird. Sloths!

Personality Trait: Nerdy

Example: Ginnifer Goodwin

Did you know she’s obsessed with Harry Potter?

Personality Trait: Writing Talent

Example: Mindy Kaling

THE MINDY PROJECT. That is all.

Personality Trait: Fat

Example: Rebel Wilson

Yes it’s a personality trait and yes it’s a good thing. Represent.

Personality Trait: A Sexy Accent

Example: Sofia Vergara

Guapísima!

Personality Trait: Scottish

Example: Kelly MacDonald

She’ll always be Dianne from Trainspotting in my heart.

Personality Trait: Christina Hendricks

Example: Christina Hendricks

DON’T ARGUE WITH ME. I CAN’T. DON’T EVEN.

And then sometimes, there’s just lust.

Like I’d write this post without Jayne…

Wait, I think I lost track of what I was saying.

Oh…but I still totally made my point.

You’re welcome. Happy Sunday.

xA

P.S. Lesson learned? I like boobs!

Thirty Four.

Your mom was right.

I mean moms were right, as a general rule. Like, in society or whatever.

It was just a phase. As much as I hate to give in to The Man here.

I was a super angsty teen. I joke about it a lot now. Hell, I did it yesterday. Someone was talking about listening to heavy metal when they work out and I laughed and said something about being a goth teen. I was all “Been there, done that! LOL!*”

I listened to heavy metal and dreamed about marrying Marilyn Manson. I bragged about how Slipknot was relaxing music to me, how it would make me tired and I could fall asleep to it.

SIDENOTE FROM PRESENT TENSE ANDREA: Maybe it did that because it was so obnoxiously loud and busy and my brain just went into overload-and-shutdown mode?

I bleached my hair and dyed it a new colour every three weeks. I shaved off my eyebrows and drew in new ones (OH DEAR GOD NEVER DO THIS! It has taken me over a decade to have ALMOST normal eyebrows again.) I wore crazy platform shoes and spike bracelets and tons of makeup. I had crushes on boys who wore lots of eyeliner and pleather pants.

Like Davey Havok:

Oh, the good old days.

SIDENOTE FROM PRESENT TENSE ANDREA: I am now in love with other kinds of boys in makeup. Usually the kind of boys who don’t like girls. But it’s like totally okay because we can be best friends and talk about all of the boys we think are cute, and then one day we can get totally drunk and have sex that one time and laugh about it for the rest of our lives.

AND: I haven’t kept up with Davey Havok or AFI, but based on recent photos, I feel like he might actually be one of the other kinds of boys in makeup…

It was my life. I was never going to change or grow out of it. It was WHO I WAS. FOREVER. “So quit trying to change me, mainstream society!!! I’m an individual!”

And then I changed.

Oh shit. Thank goodness I was too young to get that Avenged Sevenfold tattoo I thought I wanted.

It was sort of gradual. And it’s not like I’m some mainstream socially acceptable girl now or anything. (I do have tattoos, after all.) Starbucks wouldn’t hire me if I applied for a job there. They won’t even give me application forms because of how I look.** (WOE IS ME.)

But somewhere between then and now, I stopped listening to almost all heavy music and became obsessed with musicians like The Beatles, Belle and Sebastian, and Patsy Cline. (I actually find heavy metal – can’t believe I’m about to say these words – kind of noisy now.) I stopped wearing a lot of makeup and embraced the “naked” look. (OMG, buy the Naked 2 palette from Urban Decay. It’s RIDICULOUS.) I grew in my eyebrows (or I’m TRYING to, anyway). I like feeling happy. I teach obnoxiously upbeat fitness classes as a part-time job and I wear obnoxiously bright clothing while I teach them and I LOVE PITBULL. I stopped wanting to do Marilyn Manson and now I just wanna do Adam Levine, OKAY?

STOP JUDGING ME. I’M ALREADY JUDGING MYSELF.

Life’s funny, isn’t it?

xA

*I did not say LOL.

**Yes, for some reason, Starbucks is the epitome of mainstream, socially acceptable life in my mind.***

***Also, I like to drink Starbucks.

Thirty Three.

I’ve recently been doing a bit of a “past boyfriends, flings, and crushes” assessment, as you do when you’re writing a 365-day blog about your life, and in doing so, I realized something about myself: I don’t have a type.

Some of my friends have their type of guy down to a science. Like, tall and blonde, blue eyes are a must. Or tall, but not skinny, tattoos are a must. Or tall’s not important as long as he’s not shorter than I am, and no blonde hair. Or whatever.

But I don’t really have a physical type that I go for more than any other. What I’m most attracted to are certain personality traits. So since it’s Sunday and I imagine you all reading this while enveloped in a luxurious bathrobe, sitting at your dining room table with a glass or orange juice, a cup of black coffee, and a delicious looking bowl of cereal, the sun shining through a floor to ceiling window, I thought what better thing to give you on such a glorious imaginary morning than a lot of attractive men to look at?

(Sorry if you’re a dude and you’re reading this and you’re so straight that you don’t find any other men attractive. No, really. I feel sorry for you. Expand your horizons a bit.)

So with that, I give you: A List of Attractive Personalities, by Andrea Beça (With Photographic Examples)

Personality Trait: Smart

Example: Ryan Gosling

What with all his feminism and charity work and all that.

Personality Trait: Fucking Hilarious

Example: Rob Delaney

And he’s cuddling a pussy. So fitting.

Personality Trait: Weird

Example: Danny Pudi

Quirky to the max = amazing.

Personality Trait: Nerdy

Example: Nathan Fillion

It looks good on him.

Personality Trait: Writing Talent

Example: BJ Novak

If you don’t know who he is, we can’t be friends.

Personality Trait: A Sexy Accent

Example: Blake Shelton

He says “y’all” without even thinking about it.

Personality Trait: Scottish

Example: Ewan McGregor

….What?

Personality Trait: Idris Elba

Example: Idris Elba

What do you mean “that’s not a personality trait”?

And then sometimes, there’s just lust.

Like I’d write this post without Adam Levine.

Wait, I think I lost track of what I was saying.

Oh…but I still totally made my point.

You’re welcome. Happy Sunday.

xA

P.S. One day TMZ will dig this shit up and make my life awkward.*

*Just kidding. My life is always awkward.

Twenty One.

I learned something very important this Halloween, and I didn’t even really go out and celebrate (sad, because I love Halloween; next year ALL OUT), and I didn’t even really learn it on Halloween, but some time a few days after.

It was some day when I was sifting through various articles on Halloween costumes – best dressed, worst dressed, pet costumes, celeb costumes, family costumes, whatever. And then it struck me.

This:

Meh…

Does not make me nearly as happy (nay, squeaky and ecstatic) as this:

YEAH!

So clearly, gay people have some sort of special, magical gene in their bodies that makes them WAY COOLER than us. And that makes me really happy, even if it means I’m slightly less cool than I thought.*

Also, they’re way better at costumes, because duh.

xA

*We all know I was never that cool to start with. No harm, no foul.

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