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Singled Out: A Pale Imitation

Singled Out: A Pale Imitation

Entertainment Publicist Mona Elyafi meets friends for coffee only to become the center of attention. 'As entertaining, harmlessly charming and rather comical as it indeed was, I was only amused for about a minute. Don't get me wrong, it's not for lack of a sense of humor because you know I am the first one to not take myself seriously.'

I agreed to meet my mini-circle of foxy ladies last Sunday for a spontaneous casual tête-à-tête at a local trendy Franklin Avenue hang in Hollywood.

Although originally presented as an intimate "quality time" brunch with my three musketeers, the impromptu breakfast club shindig billed itself as a bid to debunk the notion that none of them can render a pitch perfect impression of me!

The trio, composed of one defunct non-working and two currently working actors -- simultaneously took turns in delivering their best satirical rendition of what they deemed to be the distinctive trademarks of my personality -- and yes they covered it all: my goofy demeanor, voice intonation, undetected accent and hand expressions.

As entertaining, harmlessly charming and rather comical as it indeed was, I was only amused for about a minute. Don't get me wrong, it's not for lack of a sense of humor because you know I am the first one to not take myself seriously.

But seriously, try spending a relaxing quiet lazy Sunday afternoon, with literally me, myself, my other self and my other self's self -- that's a lot of mini-Monas and three too many clowns considering I've never been much of a circus aficionado! Let's just say that Bozo the clown never made it in my top-ten list of favorite entertainers as a child and neither did any of the animals at the zoo.

While I seemed to serve as the plat du jour, ironically the plat de resistance they all actually really noshed on only consisted of a meager bagel with a microscopic serving of cream cheese they generously split in three and called it "lunch."  I personally settled for a more nutritionally balanced meal and treated myself to a sumptuous cup of hazelnut coffee, no cream and no sugar.

Oh come on! No need to raise an eyebrow, you know it's countdown to the Dinah and right about now every lesbian on the planet is self-consciously starving herself desperately hoping that by April that damned Victoria Secret bikini or Brazilian thong will be more on the flattering than the fattening side. I'm not on a diet, I'm just French which means that my version of a copious continental breakfast or brunch - however you want to call it - boils down to two essential ingredients: caffeine and nicotine.

As their stand-up comedy routine was enfolding, I murderously remained silent in my little corner chair sporadically forcing myself to drift a smile to simulate my good spirited endorsement. The fact of the matter is that I don't EVER take things personally, I'm just an overly sensitive person! Suddenly I felt like that woman in the Ikea TV commercial who neurotically rushes out of the store with a handful of bags belching out at her husband "START THE CAR....START THE CAR" thinking that the cashier mistakenly undercharged her and obviously hoping to eclipse herself before the error would be caught.

As much as she was unaware of Ikea's current national blow out sales, I similarly royally felt duped yet confusingly short changed. Truly this was not what I had in mind nor was it what I had bargained for -- too much drama for my mama ....and for Mona! As slapstick as the situation was, it was more of a slap on my face than anything else. I couldn't help but wonder:  am I really like that? Am I that animatingly agitated? Do I always gesticulate like a pill? Do I voluminously speak with flying hands to punctuate my expressions?  And do I speak with such buoyant intensity and bouncing gradations of pitch?

Humm, unless I pull the denial card, I have to cop to all of the above -- and perhaps so much more! So what if I am quite a spectacular energumen, at least I'm full of surprises.  

Naturally, while I paused a minute to digest the punch in the face and urgently launched the "get over it" phase, I did what I do best, namely mentally disjoint from the pow wow conspiracy committee and fumbled in my basket of BS looking for the incriminating evidence to put the blame of this entire defamation of character travesty on.  In my "be kind and rewind" psychological enterprise, I suddenly had an epiphany.

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"I know this all about this business of being gay!" that viciously evil voice inside my head decreed.

The metamorphosis into drama-queen land made its dramatic world premiere the very queer minute my latent internal clock got the wake me up before you go-go call. Damn it, I knew my Wham-mania would have some severe repercussions at some later point. Seriously, how does one become gay after 28 consistent years building a seemingly solid "straight chick" portfolio? Was it just a matter of social circumstances or did I just win the genetic lottery? If you ask me -- and I know your curious minds do -- it was not only just a matter of time but it was about time! Ironically everything that could possibly go wrong went fabulously wrong and absolutely did not live up to my grand expectations.

Yes my lesbian initiation ritual invoked more of a sacrifice than a divine revelation.

The first girl I've ever been with was not remotely close to what I now have meticulously listed as "must have" physical, cultural and intellectual qualities in my dating requirements manual. What she did have though was an enormous amount of audacity and the balls to ask me out -- what can I say, I was suavely seduced, inexplicably turned on and curiously fascinated. What happened next was the stereotypical sequence of events known as the "Lesbian U-haul cultural Phenomenon." 

Long story short, I certainly didn't score a hit and my pop tune was more along the lines of "I kissed a girl, didn't like it and totally regretted it!"

Luckily, I am not one to give up that easily. Somehow something inside of me wisely convinced me that there was more to it than the excruciating ordeal I suffered and remained determined to not let this disastrous incident affect my rites of passage into Lesbian hood.

While evidently I proved myself to be freaking right and deservingly reaped the rewards of my interminably optimistic patience, I was completely oblivious to the new perils I was now facing as an avowed woman who likes women who like women. With the discovery of this new world of infinite possibilities also came the insight into a whole new world of the definitely impossible female personality better known as "drama bitch."

Yes women are outstanding royal bitches and I can certainly be the queen of the bitch-hive! As my girl Chaka Khan said: I'm every woman, it's all in me -- even the Salma Hayek Leb-an-ese genes ... yep, I'm a lot of that too!

But honestly, what's not to like about a little lesbian drama in my life? I can certainly take it, fake it, fabricate it, regurgitate it and obviously - as evidenced by the melodramatic Lady Marmalade performance so accurately delivered by my sexy female entourage - be it.

So be it! After all, as the saying goes: "it's Mon(a)day, let the drama begin!"



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Mona Elyafi