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Friday, February 12, 2010

Facebook's Unsure of My Sexuality

A little while back, I penned a blog post in defense of my heterosexuality. Sorry I'm too lazy to hook you up with the hyperlink, but I've been shoveling snow for a week straight and, right now, I'm just not that into you.

In that post, I talked at length about how I'm really not gay, though societal conventions would have you believe that I am decidely light in my loafers. Actually, I just bought my first pair of Doc Martens, which means I'm even more far gone than being a gay man, apparently I'm a lesbian from the late 1990's.

I also went on and on about the various aspects of my personality that might lead one to believe that I am a homosexual: my intense love for Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, my unmatched penchant for matching clothes, my ability to take an interest in my wife's crafting projects, and my predilection for tears.

Of course, we in the blogosphere and specifically the My Masonic Apron fold banded together to rally around my heterosexuality, disclaiming society's distasteful tendency to lump, stereotype, codify and categorize a person's sexuality based on a random collection of traits.

Plus, I freak out when my underwear seam rides up my butt, so you can imagine....

While my friends and my wife are convinced that I'm straight, Facebook, it seems, remains unconvinced. Last night, I uploaded some fun, wintry pictures of my wife and me outside, frollicking about in the 3-foot-high snowdrifts and, occasionally, shoveling when I noticed a peculiar ad on the upper right-hand corner of my screen, a spot which, according to advertising studies, is the spot on a screen or paper your eye goes to first.

The ad featured four or five jovial looking, bare-chested men of Adonis-like proportions, their sand-colored hair swept back serenely suggesting they were photographed in a, well, Caribbean situation. To support this notion, the text below the handsome lads read as follows:

"Sail the world's most beautiful ship with 2,800 gay men to the best of the Caribbean. Great deals available now. Join Atlantis today!"

I looked quizically at my wife. What could there possibly be on my Facebook page that would lead online advertisers to think I would be a prime target for a gay cruise to the Caribbean?

1.) I am not gay (I'm tired of saying it, too) and I am listed on Facebook as "married."

2.) I have never been on a cruise and have no desire to be on one, ever.

3.) I have never been to the Caribbean and have no desire to be there, ever.

4.) It's the pictures of me in G&S roles that made them think I'm gay, isn't it?

I never knew there was such a thing as a "gay cruise." Maybe I'm just so young and innocent, but I had always assumed that a cruise ship was basically a microcosm of the larger world: with paralyzed people and black people and affluent people and stupid people and people with b.o. and people who insist on walking around without bras even though they're forty and older, people who wear eye-patches and people who wear Panama hats, people with skin lesions and Herpes sores and knobbly knees and dental veneers, people who eat gefilte fish right out of the jar and people who perform necropsies on other peoples' deceased pets for a living.

You know, I kind of just assumed the gays mingled with the straights on cruise-ships. And, I guess, on some cruise ships, they do.

But I now know that, on some cruise ships, they don't.

I wondered, upon viewing the website, if enough wealthy homophobes could band their resources together and buy a ship to sail to St. Bart's or wherever on a "Straights Only Cruise" and how the A.C.L.U. would feel about that. I also wondered if the Captain and First Officer of the "Gays Only" ships were required to be gay, too, and how difficult it must be to find a gay Captain and First Officer with the experience to pilot one of these tremendous ships. I also wondered, too, if the lobsters served on-board had to be gay.

Like gay cruises, internet advertising fascinates me. Once I switched to G-mail from Yahoo, I started noticing startingly accurate banner ads. The first one that almost dropped my jaw to the floor was an ad for a theatre company in Palo Alto, producing "Gee & Ess: An Original One-Man Gilbert & Sullivan Show." Then there was an ad advertising EMT training. Whatever G-mail does in terms of I.P. snoopery is working, because their ads are consistently on the mark.

Speaking of targeted internet advertising, I now understand that I will be bombarded at every turn for ads about gay cruises, man-thongs, tussie-lubricant, and Toyota RAV-4s because I had the audacity to Google "gay cruises" to get to that website. And now that you've clicked on the hyperlink, you will be, too.

Facebook's ads, though, could use a little work. Why? Because the very next ad to pop up on my screen after the gay cruise ad was one from Proflora Flowers, Inc. It bore a picture of red roses on it and it gently advised me that...

"Your wife will love these."

Indeed. I'll have them sent to her from sunny St. Bart's.


  1. It's okay; Facebook is constantly reminding me to "reconnect" with my mom. Facebook doesn't have a clue.

  2. No, really, Colleen-- you should cablegram her or something.

  3. You obviously have not seen the hit Hollywood film, Boat Trip, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sans.

  4. I think the fact that you'd never heard of a gay cruise is further proof of your heterosexuality (and maybe your quaintness).

  5. Too lazy to hyperlink, but you'll recap the whole post for us? Right on Daddy-A.

  6. This may not be brilliant, but I laughed out loud at this this morning. That double-this action just made me shudder.
    Catching up with your blog is a weekend priority.

  7. Facebook keeps trying to hook me up with "hot singles near you!" whiel showing a picture of my brother. thanks. I had to share a room with him and I don't ever want to go there. And I'm married. But apparently- being married is passe. You aren't cool until you are sleeping with a sibling. Possibly on a gay cruise

  8. There are also "Cougar" cruises.....

    I've thought about inviting my mom, as her husband it a total pain in the ass (not my dad, btw...although he, too, is a pain in the ass) but my husband might take issue.

    Apparently, these "specialty" cruises sell out really quickly. Go figure. Older women wanting hot bodied young men with hello good stamina? What will they think of next?

  9. Hopefully the neo-Nazis won't get in on this specialty cruise thing.

    Actually, maybe that wouldn't be so bad-- they could get hijacked by Somali pirates!

    Or Jewish ones!

    Aaaarrrrrrrrrggh! Oy!


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