I Am Refreshingly Open About My Personal LifeCommentary • people • Opinion • human interest • relationships • ISSUE 36•43 • Nov 29, 2000 By Jason Renfro Jason Renfro Some people never let you know the "real" them. They keep their deepest thoughts and emotions tucked away from the rest of the world. Why they would want to, I'll never know. I, for one, am refreshingly open about my personal life. Would you like to know about the problems I'm having with my wife? No need to ask. If you are vaguely acquainted with me, you doubtless already know about the miscarriage, the affair, the second miscarriage, the man from Oklahoma City, and the fact that Gloria's allergy-relief medication has a dehydrating effect, which necessitates our use of lubricants during sex. (Chances are pretty good you also know that we prefer WET-brand lubricants over Astroglide.) Did I tell you about the recent fight with Gloria when I knocked over the Christmas tree? No? I'd be happy to go into all the sordid details. Some people would probably be too closed and repressed to share something like that, but not me. You see, unlike some people, I'm honest enough with myself to admit that I have problems. And, as part of my healthy attitude, I'm comfortable letting everyone in on them. Sometimes, it takes hours of explanation to really get to the heart of things, but my friends, coworkers, and fellow Food Lion shoppers are worth it. Just like anyone, I sometimes experience feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and doubts about where my life is headed. So when somebody at work asks me, "How's it going?" I take the time to answer truthfully, unafraid to let my true emotions out. If there isn't enough time over lunch in the break room, I'll catch the person as he or she is leaving work and finish up what I was saying. I know exactly what they're thinking when I stop them from climbing into their car. They're thinking, "Thank goodness someone in this world has the courage to cut through all the lies and superficiality and bare their soul. Thank goodness there's at least one person out there who isn't hiding behind a mask." I'm not just refreshingly open about my emotions, but my desires and interests, as well. Take, for example, anal sex. I really enjoy it, giving and receiving it. Now, I know I'm hardly alone in this, but for some reason a lot of people consider this classified information. But why should it be? Do we really have to bury our feelings all the time? If my dentist asks me how my weekend went, I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that the highlight was all that great anal sex. Well, I'm no liar. And I refuse to put up walls between myself and those around me. I like to share with people. It brings us all closer together. That's why, if you know me, you know I like masturbating to women's tennis magazines. Of course, I like masturbating to plain old porn, too, but how many times can I mention that before I feel like I'm intentionally trying to hide my enjoyment of tennis magazines out of some societally imposed notion of shame? That reminds me of the time I caught pubic lice from a woman I met in a bar. Most people would have been all guarded about it, spending the day at work scratching behind closed doors. Not me. I let everyone know what I was going through, and that the reason I had to take a longer than normal lunch was that I had to run to Walgreens and get some Rid. I wasn't about to sidestep the issue. We all need to share what's really going on in our lives. Then there's my family history. Some people save so-called "deep, dark secrets" for their closest friends. Why they do this, I'll never know. My mother's addiction to painkillers, my father's cross-dressing, the beatings, and what my childhood babysitter did to me–ask me where I grew up, and I'll tell you all this and more. All this talk of family brings me to my brother. He's in jail for carjacking an SUV. The whole thing went awry, and he accidentally wound up killing the owner. If I'm with someone who has an SUV, I'm not afraid to say, "Hey, my brother is in jail for killing someone over a car like this." If they express shock over my brother's fate, I just tell them, "Oh, being in jail can't be too bad. You get a lot of anal sex there. I love anal sex." Though they usually have to rush off and attend to their busy lives, I get the satisfaction of knowing that I reached out and connected with a fellow human being, no matter how briefly.