Dear LiveJournal: Car Wrecks, A Camry, and My First Date

The reason why everyone wanted to date me.

Posted on 2008.09.24 at 21:36

“This week has been really stressful, but I’ve handled it quite well. Yesterday my Dad decided to drive in reverse without looking behind him, at the screen that shows whats behind you, or listening to his back up sensors. He hit the porche. Then he blamed it on me for parking behind him. What if that would have been a child? What would you say? It’s the child’s fault for being there. NO, it’s your fault Dad. Be a man. Then I FINALLY picked out my car. I’m getting a 2009 Camry because its only 2,000 dollars more than a three or four year old used one. So it would be stupid to buy a used one.

Lots of work this week, but I’ve managed it well. YOGA TO THE RESCUE! Lol.

I have my FIRST DATE ever this Friday. I’m not that nervous. I’ll just be myself. We’re doing it dutch. It was his idea. He didn’t want me to pay for him. SO EXCITED!

Britney’s new song comes out on Friday. SO EXCITED!!!!”

My father and I have little in common. Anyone whose been to a Britney Spears concert has seen ten-year-old boys re-enacting the “Slave 4 U” choreography as fathers cover their eyes with baseball hats. I was that boy, and I still am that boy—while my father surfs and drinks beer, I write and blackout out thanks to $10.00 handles of vodka. Ever since I came out at age thirteen he has stopped calling our neighbors faggots. He even bought me a muscle calendar for Christmas. But every now and then, he likes to assert his masculinity—as he did on 2008.09.24 when he drove into his Porsche and then cursed me out, not because I was a little wannabe cock-sucking faggot (I sucked my first cock the next spring), but because fathers are older than their boys. Fathers are men. They work out and watch Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. They are men except for the fact that masculinity is more than guns and sex and driving nice cars.

But when you’re sixteen and car-less, you have to deal with their shit and all the other trappings of living in a city that lacks public transportation. Because I was one of three openly gay boys at my high school, my little problems became magnified. A.) I was a dramatic queen. B.) I knew two other gay boys—at that time my type was anyone else who sucked cock: I was horny as fuck. I imagined my first date as a sensitive, thin American that would dance in the sand while reenacting “Bet On It” from High School Musical 2. But when my friend Alex said she met a gay, I didn’t ask about his personality. I said, “Set me up.”

She introduced me to my First Date at a Tyler Perry movie. He wore black jeans covered in metal chains and spiked his hair instead of tight red pants and white shirts perfect for Disney Channel Original Movies. “I’m in love,” I thought. During the Tyler Perry movie, we held hands. Afterwards, we walked around a shopping plaza discussing how his therapist prescribed him meth. This sounded ridiculous, but he was gay and sixteen and I was gay and sixteen, so it was love.

I asked him out that night via text message. He agreed to meet me the next Friday at the Cheesecake Factory at the Sawgrass Mall, both the largest outlet mall in the world and the only mall on the planet built in the shape of an alligator. Over brown bread and a caeser salad that could feed an entire gay clique in the Meatpacking District, we discussed our lives: my obsession with Zac Efron and how his single mom walked in on him masturbating to a Marilyn Manson concert VHS. I was lonely, so I said that was hot. Later he dragged me to Hot Topic and refused to go to Claire’s. After we had walked past the Rainforest Café three times, I proposed we go to the “back of my car.” He agreed. When we got to my BMW, he asked “Where are we going?” I grabbed his chin. “We’re in the back of my car.” “But where are we going?”

“We’re here to fuck!” “Oh. I thought we were going to another mall or something.” I jumped out of the car. He’s retarded, I thought. He’s fucking retarded. He exited the car after me. “Aren’t we going to go somewhere?” he asked. “Let’s just go home,” I said. “Enough is enough.”

The next day I wrote a LiveJournal post about how he was an asshole. I lay in my bed listening to “Womanizer” for the first time and wishing I had at least a womanizer in my life. Like my father I needed to be a man. I needed to realize that the problem wasn’t my First Date’s fault. It was the gay world around us.


More from Mitchell Sunderland:

You Don’t Know What It Feels Like To Be A Woman

My Fag Hags Through The Years

About Mitchell Sunderland

Mitchell Sunderland is freelance writer and social media manager in New York. His work has appeared in VICE Magazine, Thought Catalog, The Billfold, Rookie Mag, the Huffington Post, and Emily Books Quarterly. He has ghost tweeted as and managed social media publicity campaigns for authors at Simon & Schuster, Crown/Random House, and Plume/Penguin and various tech companies. He tweets and tumblrs regularly. Email him about your life and his work at

One Response to Dear LiveJournal: Car Wrecks, A Camry, and My First Date

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