7 April, 2004, 12:46 p.m.

When I was a young girl, I thought I was hot shit

back & forth

My first day at The Gayest Bank in the Universe was .... problematic. I slept in, having spent the night before in the grip of an infernal insomnia, and missing the first hour of one's first day of work is a hell of a dramatic way to get started with something. So I walked in, all sheepish, apologised, and went through the rest of the day. I am, mercifully, training in a place different from where I will eventually be working. This is good, because whatever impression I make can be corrected before I show up at H*rv*rd Sq**r*. This is particularly useful since I think my habitual reserve and coldness (mixed with a messy slosh of embarrassment) came across as unfriendly to the manager and assistant manager. Who happen to be two of the queeniest guys I have ever clapped eyes to. Alas! -- I feel uncomfortable in the presence of other gay men, since I feel there's some kind of cameraderie that I'm obliged to take part in but can't quite locate. Add to that my usual angst about coming out on a job -- in this job, at least, the last of my fears is that I won't be accepted, of course, but that makes the problem of how to out myself honestly all that more thorny: I refuse to fabricate an imaginary date or talk about ex-boyfriends without prompting.

But that will probably all resolve itself as soon as I out myself, which will come in time. Perhaps the bigger problem is the demands this job will make on my wardrobe and grooming skills. I'm a scruffy lad. Or, to be fairer and more specific, I have a convenient sartorial plimsoll line based on jeans and a shirt with a collar and romantically untidy hair -- one will recall this signature look from practically every day I attended Sw*rthm*re, for example. At the GBITU, I have to dress it up a notch, though: a tie every day, clean and pressed shirt, blah, blah, blah. It was easy at SOFTWAREfirm, where I could be the the nattiest geek in the office without shifting out of second. Ho, ho, ho. Not any more.

The last thing I need to spend money (I don't have) on right now is clothing, since I have a metric buttload of them, many of which don't fit and most of which are endearingly shabby-looking. Trying to find a sweater with no holes to wear on my first (late) day was harder than it ought to have been. Damn it, I am thrift-store chic. I am nerd-glam. I own *two* black acrylic cardigans (one zippered, one buttoned). I haven't ironed a shirt since 2001. I need to Queer Eye myself. Gah.

Baby steps: the first of which is to purchase a full-length mirror, which I've never used regularly (and it has on occasion shown!). MH just installed hers and, she says, her vanity has suddenly blossomed, now that she has access to a full-sized reflection. The other thing is probably to lay out clothing the night before, since I am not the morningest of people and I am sure that I am less likely to miscalculate of a mellow evening than when I am once again rushing lately out the door.

Speaking of which, I suppose I should pull up my socks and face the day.