My 36th birthday was coming up. What did I want to do for the rest of my life?
The answer came from, of all places, The Nanny.
Nor was there a lot of beefcake. Maxwell (Charles Shaughnessy, top photo) was handsome, and eventually Brighton (Benjamin Salisbury, left) developed a degree of teen-idol cuteness for the younger gay kids.
Nevertheless it was a Castro Street must-see due to the never-ending parade of famous guest stars, the snappy banter, and gay symbolism of an underdog taking charge and "moving on up."
Fran Drescher is a strong gay ally, besties with her gay ex-husband Marc Jacobson. She turned the experience of living with him into a sitcom, Happily Divorced (2011-). To promote the series, she held a contest called "Love is Love Gay Marriage Contest," and, using her ministerial certificate from the Universal Life Church, performed the weddings of the winning couples.
It was a silly episode, mostly about people confusing "Je t'adore" and "Shut the door." But it started a train of reasoning:
Of all the things I had done, interviewing bodybuilders, counseling juvenile delinquents, researching housing trends, writing job ads, what I liked the most was standing in front of a classroom. Teaching. The main job of college professors.
When the episode ended and we switched the tv to the last half of Melrose Place, I turned to my partner and said "I think I want to go back to school, and try for a Ph.D. again"
See also: My 12 Careers