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Tuesdays with Gooley- Episode 21

{disclaimer:  I am NOT Gooley..  On Tuesdays my friend Gooley guest posts.  These are HIS stories.  His life. His Antics.  Every other post on this blog is written by me.  EXCEPT for the ones titled “Tuesday’s with Gooley”  Please don’t ever mistake MY messiness for his..  I am clean and I smell good}

25th High School Reunion


Well, all of my whining and negative future fantasy about how terrible my high school reunion was going to be proved to be silly. I had a great time and reconnected with great people. I was also on my best behavior…mostly. I even upped my grooming game to a new level. Not only did I get a haircut and shave and shower every day, but I wore layers of deodorant….of course I forgot mine but my sister had some version of industrial strength roll-on that proved effective. Crystals and Tom’s of Main don’t stand a chance against 105 degree heat mixed with a lot of hugging. Disaster avoided.

I almost looked preppy. I chatted at length and in person with more women than ever and loved it! As a matter of fact, both nights I found myself in breakout pods with wonderful women chatting about just about everything and laughing hysterically. Looking at all the photos it’s actually a bit obnoxious. They almost looks like the douchey pics of “those guys” at the clubs on Facebook bolstering their images with multitude gratuitous photo ops with multiple (and mostly unattainable) girls. Ew!
































I did manage to drop a few irreverent and mildly inappropriate bombs. Nothing too incriminating but I had to stay at least somewhat grounded in the ridiculous or my head would have exploded….or worse, I could have traveled back to the land of the “SUPERDOUCHE” and gone completely off the rails like I did a few weeks back. I’m glad to say that I did not eat special brownies, nor did I chug vodka and beer in superhuman quantities. I actually socially drank somewhat moderately (although for me that’s relative).

Irreverant Bomb Number One: I learned that not everyone has heard of Burning Man. I also learned that perhaps I should ascertain my audience and filter the explanation of my experiences at Burning Man before opening my pie hole. I found myself elaborating about this life affirming pilgrimage to the desert where we dance naked and “illuminated” while celebrating art and humanity just before burning a wooden Man in effigy. My audience was “Miss Sandra” and I think I blew her gaskets. Enthusiastic stories of Pagan rituals don’t necessarily match up with some God fearing folks. I should know better. She’s probably regretting her high school Sadie Hawkins dance choice and saying extra prayers while clutching her rosary beads. Oh well.

Irreverent Bomb Number Two: Very simply – It’s just not appropriate to talk about masturbating with a woman who, just minutes prior, confided she had a crush on you. Never is this appropriate. It might be funny, but never appropriate. There was vodka involved and it was 2am…but still.

Irreverent Bomb Number Three: Remember my use of extreme hyperbole when I need, or in this case choose, to make a point crystal clear? It happened again. This time with a guy from all of my sports teams back in the day. We were good friends for a while and competitive as hell. We were even on a few all-star teams together. The initial conversation was fine. We did the normal small talk and then he asked EXACTLY the same dreaded questions that I talked about last week.

“So, are you married? Do you have any kids? What are you up to?” Without skipping a beat, my reply was a loud and resounding, “No, I’m gay as fuck!”

It came out of nowhere and was way more shocking than I intended. There was a small audience. Half laughed and half mysteriously disappeared after processing what had happened. Somehow I kept a straight face but would probably take that one back if I had a do over. Oh well.

By and large it was a really good time. I connected and reconnected with people in very real ways and will make an effort to build on these connections. I’m pleasantly surprised how many people, mostly the women – and some men, have grown and added dimensions and levels of interest over the years. I’m also glad that the weekend was full of smiles and laughter. I suppose, at our age, life has had its way with us and the strong have all developed the “I don’t give a fuck” muscle enough to let things go and just be. I look forward to more trips back and more forging forward.

The Gottliebs: The underlying theme of my pilgrimage back to Kansas City was visiting the Gottliebs. Dave and Amy are twins that fought like feral cats back then – now they are full of love. Marilyn Gottlieb, aka Merryland, Mayday, or Mumba is a force of nature that can truly not be described. Truly. She’s possibly the most loving person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting rolled up in a package of eccentricity that I appreciate beyond words. I am shedding a tear even as I write this.

THEN & NOW:   (in THEN, I’m the goon on the right.  Do you like my bangs?)

I conveyed that they would be surprised at my admiration of their family. Dave told me that it was just a “box of chaos” and was a bit confused at my POV. Mayday even asked me (paraphrasing), “Gooley, why did you choose us? We were a mess. There were ants crawling in the kitchen. The lawn was tragic and the house falling apart.” My reply was, “That’s EXACTLY why.” I never saw the outward presentation. I only felt the unbelievable love that emanated from the power of Mumba at the head of the household. Coming from my family that expended all energy on the superficial, I was enamored watching a family so in flux and yet effective at creating a paradigm of love. The results are the true measure; three wonderful and successful children that have grown into loving and dynamic adults. To sit in the house that Mayday built that Saturday to share the love was unforgettable. I cried all the way back the hotel.


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Filed under: Tuesdays with Gooley



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10 Responses to "Tuesdays with Gooley- Episode 21"

  1. Kates says:

    Gooley, thanks for the happy tears friend.

  2. Tasha says:

    Gooley, Gooley, Gooley….O how I Love thee!!!
    Mighty fine I might add to! I’m sure any single woman was completely devastated to hear you drop the ‘Im gay as F’ bomb! I love it! Hilarious! To be a fly on the wall……..

  3. You’re such a girl!!!

  4. Brenda Boo says:

    I love this post. Love “gay as fuck” said with intense enthusiasm. Hate that I didn’t hear the Burning Man talk because I would have loved that as well. Adore the Goddliebs and love that there are families like that in this world to balance out the not so Godd-like ones. The pictures of you made me smile because you look so handsome and relaxed and are clearly owning your space with pride. The best one of all was the one of you holding Momma Godd’s hand–it says so much in one simple frame. While I think Hot Mess has a book inside of her that must be written, I feel the same about you. Maybe a collaborative effort that will set the world spinning off of its axis–now that would be glory defined.

  5. Dan Mcsherry says:

    Feel awful I did not respond until now. I am sooo happy everything was better then anticipated. Isn’t it always like that with you Jim? How can anyone not feel the love and positive energy that surrounds you. Going home as you found can be so tenderly bittersweet..I find myself typing through a little mist myself knowing the profound journey you travel. And in knowing you so well I feel some of what you were feeling and know you cannot put that in words…but thanks for sharing……Now to McNuts…I would rather talk to a chick about masturbating then a guy. Although guys talk about it all the time and most of us pretty much have wanked ourselves silly a million freaking times. Nothing wrong with that brother…In fact if a woman wanted to talk about it I would actually probably shut up for the first time in my life. Frequency , technique, toys …Gimme all the details!!! Have your friends call me too!!!The gay as fuck comment might have been a little harsh…But I understand…This is the over the top declaration that has been brewing ever since you threw a vision to that moment. When the moment arrived it just came pouring out …I get it! Anyway UDAMAN!!

  6. Gooley says:

    All of my transgressive irreverant bombs came after midnight….past my bedtime. I don’t go to bars anymore much less close them down after last call! AppRently I need a babysitter or film crew…cuz I’ll say anything. At the
    MMM I’ll have a license. This scares me.
    Thanks all. I may have to do burning man post…and a book is possible. For now I’ll just keep blogging. Since I’m lazy, I could just stitch it together and call a publisher:)
    dan…what can I say other than thank you and a shout out to the pixies!!

    1. Dan Mcsherry says:

      Aha! Bravado was a ruse…Who wants to hear about a grown man crying? Now you have uncloaked me and let the true heart out! It truly was one of the most heart warmimg stories I have seen or read in a long time. I guess its because I know you! I like the pixies now…I like stowing away here in mommy world…Of course you could ransom my posts here for millions and blackmail me into oblivion ;) Well shit, not millions but maybe a couple grand…Speaking of a Million Grand…Had a question on that Logo game the McSherrys play…What candy bar sums up your love life? It was pretty fun….

  7. Lebo says:

    Jim – From another of your “Sadie Hawkins” dates! You always had the greatest smile that lit up your entire face! Probably why I asked you to that silly dance :)I love the post, and so glad I have found this blog to follow! I had just talked to Jennifer Quist Mathes while she was in Houston right before the reunion…would have loved to be there! You look wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Gooley says:

      How could I forget! Dinner, I believe at your place?? With D Wentz and ????
      Thanks for the kind words. If you read more of my posts .. Going back a few months. Consider yourself warned:) toto left Kansas!

      1. Lebo says:

        What a great memory you have! Homemade dinner and all, and Judith Dawson (where I pulled that name out of is amazing to me) and David, you are correct! I love what I have had a chance to go back and read so far! You are very talented. And believe me, toto left Kansas a long time ago for a bunch of us! Keep the stories coming!

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