For the past few months, I've been following NoFo, a blog written by a guy named Jake who lives on the North Side. I can't even remember how I stumbled across it, but I've been thoroughly entertained, and have read almost all of his postings. And he's been at it since 2003, so there are a lot of them. And while my self-esteem counter is only in the double digits (for now!), his pageviews are nearly at 1 million.
What I love about his writing is that he is unabashedly, unrepentantly, unrelentingly himself - a happy gay man. It's who he is, and he's not afraid to put it out there - with honesty, introspection and vulnerability. Here's a man who won't hesitate to dress as Beyonce and her "Single Lady" crew for fun (and even choreograph a routine along with it) on one day, but will benchpress you into oblivion the next, while helping to care for his husband's developmentally challenged brother, and scheduling tapings for the It Gets Better Project at the Center on Halsted. And though the topics of his writing have evolved over the years, his blog still maintains the humorous, self-deprecating, husband-and-family-centric tone that I admire.
So imagine my surprise when I'm walking out of my office building last week on my way to pick up my new glasses when I see all 6-foot-1 of Jake-ness in the lobby. So I paused, unsure of what to do next, because I was already running late. And then my mild crush overwhelmed the left side of my brain, so I decided to wait until he finished talking with his clients. And when he was done, I gathered my petticoat, introduced myself, and gushed like a schoolgirl on speed.
He was a true gentleman, very friendly and approachable, and appreciative of my compliments about his blog. And then we commiserated briefly over a very distant mutual acquaintance who turned out to be a psychopath. But that's a posting for another time.
And get this - it turns out he works in my frakkin' building. And has for the past year and a half. (But I was there first. Seriously.) I've never seen him in person previously because he's at the office earlier than me (which I know from reading his blog), and we use a different bank of elevators.
So, Jake, you probably won't read this, and you may not remember me if we bump into each other in our little corner of the Loop again, but I hope you don't mind that I consider you my blogging Yoda. You've inspired me (as you probably have many others) to take a chance in starting this blog, and just be who I am - unabashedly, unrepentantly, and unrelentingly.
Just without the Beyonce ensemble.