Surprisingly, I get a lot of comments posted to this blog that include a note asking that the comment not be published. That wouldn’t be so if I published an email addy to use, but the result would be the same: lots of private communication, questions and comments readers for one reason or another don’t want made public. That’s cool. I’m just amazed that anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time would actually trust me to keep their private comments private. I don’t exactly have a stellar track record for being discreet.
Not surprisingly, most of those comments are about Noom – my bar boy friend and current love of my life – and our relationship. Many are from readers who are or who have been in similar relationships with Thai guys. They tend to explain their relationship and comment on how familiar my tales are to them. Even when they don’t name names, I understand why they do not want their comments made public. Not everyone wants their private life published for the world to see. Even when it is done anonymously. Still, it’s a shame those stories never see the light of day; there are a lot more positive and successful Farang/Thai relationships out there than you’d expect considering how you only here about the doomed ones elsewhere.
The second most popular theme in the private comments I get are well-intended messages questioning my sanity. I appreciate that those reader want to keep their comments private too. While they are usually polite and come from a good place, the you-should-never-trust-a-bar-boy train of thought gets plenty of airing elsewhere. As for me wearing rose colored glasses, I think if you read through the bulk of my I Fell In Love With A Bar Boy posts you’d see that isn’t a valid concern. I probably question Noom’s motives more than what should be healthy for our relationship. But then so does he.
Even those comments that question our relationship and the wisdom of becoming involved with a Thai bar boy almost always include and exemption for Noom. Part of that, I have to assume, is that people are generally polite and don’t want to unnecessarily dump on someone’s relationship. Not that that makes a lot of sense. There is little logic in saying, “Beware of bar boys,” coupled with, “You really need to be careful,” followed by, “Well, except for Noom.” Huh. That message is a bit muddled. Which is why I personally try to avoid being polite as much as possible. Regardless, I appreciate the attempt and concern. And appreciate even more that in telling these tales I must have managed to portray Noom as the wonderfully exceptional man that he is. Readers tend to want to idolize him even though he is a money-grubbing not to be trusted bar boy. And so do I.
I also get a lot of private comments either from those currently trying to find their way through a similar relationship, and/or those who are open to becoming involved in a similar relationship who have a million questions about the necessary balance between caution and going for it with all your heart and soul. Those are the more difficult comments to answer. I can speak from my experiences with Noom. But that doesn’t mean the guy someone else is involved with will react the same or that he has the same motives. Whether it is Thai bar boys – or any other group of people – making generalized statements that supposedly cover the entire group never works. There are always exceptions to the rule; you are dealing with an individual, not a group.
There are cultural issues that (almost) all Thais share, many of which I’ve attempted to highlight in these tales. And while you should be aware of them – or more precisely aware of the differences between your culture and Thai culture – above all the best generalized advice I can give about being in a relationship with a bar boy is to remember he is an individual first. Focus on what it is/was that attracted you to him in the first place (besides the sex), not on all the stuff you’ve heard about bar boys. ‘Cuz you’ll be surprised how little of that crap ever surfaces.
Most of the comments I get on these tales – both positive and unintentionally negative – dwell far too much on the issue of love. But that’s human nature. Pop music wouldn’t be the billion dollar industry it is if people were not so wrapped up in the L word. You’d think with all the people either pursuing love as a goal, busily trying to hold on to the love they found, or trying their damnedest to get over the love they lost that it wouldn’t be such an abstract emotion. But then if love was that cut and dried Adele would just be another fat, white chick from England instead of the popular chantreuse she is. It’s kinda sad Babs stole her thunder at the Academy Awards, but then ugly female singers have always held a monopoly on love songs. It’s interesting that while so many people want to be in love, or at least to be loved, the closest love song any one has come up with that best reflects reality is one of R.E.M.’s most popular tunes.
But then a love song belted out by either Noom or I would put a quick end to that genre. It’s not that some things are best left unsaid, but rather best left unsung by some. What that song would be would be the major question in any case. Love, as popular as it is, is difficult to define. Even when it isn’t expressed in song. For being such an important aspect in everyone’s life, the word itself just doesn’t measure up. It isn’t specific enough for its purpose, it’s too generalized and covers too many different emotions and too many different things. I love my dog, but not in the way opponents to legalizing same-sex marriage would have you believe. I love my mom, but that whole Oedipus Rex thing just never made sense to me. I love apple pie, but . . . okay maybe that’s not a good example.
The point is it’s too easy to read your idea of love into my love for and with Noom. That’s my fault. The title of this series of posts itself rubs some the wrong way while painting an untrue picture for those who focus on the positive attributes of Cupid (forgetting that that little fat bastard is armed and dangerous). And it doesn’t help that I introduce Noom into each of these tales as ‘my bar boy friend and current love of my life.’ Each of these stories is intended to stand alone. I thought that phrase summed up who and what Noom is, quickly, so anyone reading one of these posts would instantly understand the dynamic of our relationship. Silly me. That’s what I get for being facetious. I shoulda know better than to use the L word in such a frivolous manner.
So a lot of the private comments I get center on love; the curious question the future of our relationship, those trying to make sense of that relationship wonder about its details, those attempting to define what it is that we share question if it is love, lust, or simple infatuation. Not that I haven’t wondered about all those things myself. There is no question that I love Noom. Nor is there any question that he is a bright, shining point of goodness in my life. I am happy when I’m with him. And when I’m not, thinking about him makes me happy too. He is not, however, The Great Love of my life. At least not yet. Who knows what the future may bring. Ours is not an all-encompassing love; Romeo and Juliet can rest easy. Which is probably a good thing ‘cuz that tale set in Thailand would end with one of the two leaping from a balcony.
While I shudder at the thought of placing myself in the role of the fish, Juliet found a much better use for her balcony than the flying farang of Thailand have in questioning, “What’s Montague?” Her observation that a rose is a rose by any other name can be applied to Noom too; that he is a bar boy should be of no more importance than Romeo being a Montague. That seems to be a major issue for some in coming to terms with our love affair. I often get comments worried that I may be losing sight of that little fact. “He’s a bar boy!” (which is a nicer way of saying, “Yo dude! He makes his living having sex with any guy willing to slip him a few thousand baht!”) is a common warning. Yeah, I know. But he’s also Noom.
Maybe it would be less of an issue if I only identified Noom in these tales as ‘my bar boy friend’ (ignoring for the moment how often y’all couple boy and friend and ignore that all important space between the two words). Following its popularity thanks to Facebook, it might be better if I titled these posts instead as ‘I Fell In Like With A Bar Boy’. Either or both would remove the L word from the equation and would help avoid readers from assigning their own definition of love to what Noom and I share. But I don’t think ‘like’ – while less confrontational – cuts it either. Instead I’ll keep using the L word and let you define it as you see fit. Just stay away from Chris Brown and Rihanna’s version, okay?
I can’t define what love is and what it isn’t any better than you, even when it comes to what Noom and I share. It’s a crazy little thing that works, regardless of how it’s defined. So don’t get too caught up in applying the L word to what we have. I still like, prefer, and will continue to label these posts with I Fell In Love With A Bar Boy. But the most important word in my phrase ‘my bar boy friend and current love of my life’ is the one infrequently honed in on: friend. Love may be grand, but it is our friendship that means the most to me; I love that we are first and foremost friends. The rest is just a happy bonus.
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