Monday, December 31, 2012


So a little over a year ago, I began composing a list of "requirements" for a potential romantic partner.  A reminder, before putting on the hormone-goggles, of what is important to me in a relationship and in a person I want to share even just a part of my life with.

The good news - and not the subject of this blog post - is that my new love not only meets, but she exceeds these requirements.  By far!  In fact, every once in awhile she'll do something surprising that makes me say, "Y'know, that should have been on my list, too..."

But she is not what this post is about.

The list was a combination of practical matters, values, and attitudes towards life.  In hindsight some of the "practical matters" were really just examples of a larger quality - an ability to be flexible, for example, rather than rigid specific requirements in and of themselves. 

But one of the qualities I am beginning to realize I need from more than just my romantic partner. 

I recognize we all feel blue sometimes - I felt depressed for a considerable amount of the last three and a half years - and we all have things that don't go the way that we'd like.  We all have room for complaint.  But what I need in my life, and need to surround myself, are people who have room for happiness.  This doesn't mean someone who is bubbly and happy all the time - because let's face it, often those people we want to shoot* - but someone who despite everything that might seem to go wrong, will still allow themselves to be happy. To recognize life's blessings and be grateful for what he or she has and not simply what might seem to be missing.

I want the people I care about to experience happiness - I want them to just be happy - but I recognize that while I can make someone happy (for a moment), as a general rule, I can't if they won't allow themselves to be.  I spent too much time and energy trying to create an environment in which the ex-wife could feel happy and secure, but it never worked because she wouldn't allow herself to be happy.

The great news is that my new love allows herself to be happy.  In fact she's currently one of those bubbly people who is happy all the time! And I love that about her.  It isn't that her life is perfect - from an objective standpoint, it's not, she has challenges - but she is happy with what she has, and that makes it perfect.  I am very blessed.  Having someone to share my life with who can allow themselves to be happy is essential for me. 

And now, I have come to realize, it is essential to me for more than just my romantic partner.  It is also important for me to see and have in the people with whom I surround myself.  You can whine, you can cry on my shoulder, you can be having a crappy time of it in life and tell me about it.  But if you can't also accept the inverse, the possibility of being happy, the possibility of being blessed, of noticing that the cup isn't JUST half empty, then I am going to start to keep my distance from you.  I don't need you to be happy all the time.  I don't need you to be happy. But I need you to recognize the possibility of happy - and if you can't, you have my compassion, you can have my time during crisis, but you can't have my continued presence on a regular basis in your life.  I need more from you.  You should want more for you.  And until then... I wish you only the best. 

If I were to have a resolution, I guess, for the New Year, this would be it.. to surround myself with people who allow for the possibility of being happy. 

* I admit in light of current events, this is perhaps not the most sensitive expression, and yet... I mean it is as an expression, not as any literal desire or interest in TRULY ...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

So who am I? Edited and Reposted

I wrote the following post as my third post back in February when I began this blog.  And I have used it as my referring link in my Twitter account

The problem I have is for those of you who have been reading recently, #4 isn't true anymore.  I've re-read the post, and otherwise, find it to be fairly good and on target.  At least for now.  At least until I manage to be with my love full time, then a few of those other items down there will change, too.  So, I've edited that.  And I'm reposting as new.  So I can have a new link to put on my Twitter account. 

I am pleased - I will briefly remark - in re-reading through it, how well this managed to capture what my blog has become, so I have also linked it up to a few key posts relative to several of these (until I grew bored - see 21. I have / am ADD).  If you haven't read it in awhile, re-read and remember... ;)


Believe me, I have thought about saying, I am the Borg. I have assimilated and the purpose of this blog is to assimilate you.

But that isn't true.

Or is it?

As I made the epic decision to try to do another blog (this is not my first anonymous blog, but hopefully it will be the one I stick with and the one that goes viral), I made this list in my head of all the things about me I needed to tell you. And I dramatically decided at the end, I would end it with "I am you." But I'm not.

Or I hope I'm not.

It's fun to find like-minded folks, and I hope to attract a lot of like-minded folks. But I doubt that there is someone who is as unique as me and who likes EVERYTHING that I do. I could be wrong.

I'm probably wrong.

But the reality is if you become a fan of this blog you will like a portion of the things I like and not necessarily all. My challenge will be to still keep you interested even when I'm talking about a subject you really don't care about.

So who am I?

Okay. Before I give you the list, I'll have to admit a bit of my neuroses. First, I wrote a list that I will qualify and say is not comprehensive. Then, afraid that the order in which I wrote things might suggest a priority in how I identify myself, I took the list that I had written as a stream of consciousness and then used an Excel formula for random numbers to order the list. #3 on the list is Geek.

Some of this list may make sense to no-one but me. But each one is worthy of its own post. If you want to know more, find the post.

1. I have a geographically diverse background
2. I live under a rock.
3. I am a geek.
4. I am currently single.
5. Zen is Borg and I love the Dalai Lama
6. I like country music.
7. I am a mystery / legal thriller fan.
8. I watch way too much television.
9. I love deeply.
10. I am active in my church(And this post provides a bit of an update)
11. I have a diverse working background.
12. I am a soccer coach.
13. I am a wee bit narsissitic - at least to the extent you need to be to write a blog.
14. I live alone.
15. I am a dyke.
16. I live in a small town.
17. I live in a poor part of town.
18. I watch a lot of Hulu.
19. I am an iPhone, Facebook and PC user, but I have owned a Mac, too.
20. I love the Superbowl for the commercials. (I imagine after the Superbowl has actually played since I've become a blogger, I'll have a post about this, too... Half tempted to just post some links to my favorite commercials!)
21. I have/am ADD.
22. I enjoy Texts From Last Night, Idiot Runner, The Bloggess, FlyLady, George Takei and advice columnists.
23. I love to line dance.
24. I am neither politically correct or incorrect. I just am. I do not belong to a political party, either. I am registered as an independent. (This wouldn't be complete without a link to this post, too)

This is by no means comprehensive, but gives you a brief introduction. Interested? Read on. Tell your friends. Leave me comments. Adore me. Assimillate.

Resistance is futile.

Love Letters...

There comes a point in a relationship when you begin to develop your own language.. your own inside jokes.. your own words that have their own meaning.

And it is then, apparently, that you can write marvelous public love letters without anyone else necessarily suspecting a thing...

This morning, apparently, I am in the love letter writing mood....

I will NOT share our language with you...

But I know that everywhere she looks, she will find my love letters to her...

I spread them like bread crumbs, and she for me...

Even this silly blog entry, we both know, is a love letter...

As she would say, I'm a goof. And as I would say to her, "I am - but I am YOUR goof"...

You may now gag and resume your regular activities now... ;)

To The Hostess with the Mostest

A true bonafide text conversation last night:

Her:  You going to #wineparty?

Me:  No.

Me: You?

Her:  Nope

Me:  Didn't think so...

Her:  I found my soul at that party.

Her:  That was its purpose.

Me:  Yep.  Me, too!

Her:  I almost wanna tell Kit

It's been awhile since I've been on #wineparty.  But I must take a moment to thank our hostess for introducing me to a wonderful woman, with whom I have fallen deeply in love, and she with me.  Consider this our #wineparty confession...


There is an energy that exists amongst us all, at varying levels, connecting us to each other.  Whether it's the spirits of souls who have passed, God, or some other technological explanation, I firmly believe there is an energy which connects each of us.

And I think that love acts as a magnifier, an enhancer.  That when you love someone, the energy becomes stronger, clearer, and connects you even further.. magnifying the energy, and magnifying the love.

It's that connection you hear about between twins... That feeling you get when something happens to your other half. 

It is that connection that gives you that nudge sometimes to reach out to someone you may not have reached out to in awhile.

My 77-year old significant other, for example, went into the hospital the day before Christmas eve.  Her asthma was bothering her more, and it turned out she had pneumonia.  There we were waiting in the ER that Sunday afternoon for them to prepare her room to check her in, and her cell phone rings.  It's a friend, Nancy, whom she hadn't heard from in awhile, and even after they got off the phone, she kept remarking how ironic the timing was for Nancy to have called.  How dear a friend she's been, and how great it was to receive her call.

Somewhere that energy was at work between the two of them.  Somehow, Nancy got the message and knew to reach out and just that moment.

Now I'm not saying it always works all the time.  But I do think it exists.  I do think we need to listen, sometimes, to those little messages we get.  And take time to reconnect with those whom our energy still connects us. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Insomnia - My Old Friend

I apparently have anything BUT a regular sleep schedule lately.  Says the girl typing at 3:50 AM.

I have had days where I sleep from 1 - 5 every day, twice a day.  Days where I wake up every two hours, and fortunately drift back to sleep.  Naps so deep that when I wake I am completely disoriented as to what day it is let alone what time of day it is. 

For the most part, I don't spend my days dragging, although I have come home from lunch for an afternoon nap or two on occasion.  So I guess I have to hope that my body is getting the sleep it needs.... even if it needs it, or takes it, at some strange hours. 

I had a friend in college - who I was quite jealous of because of this fact - who literally only needed and only got four hours of sleep  day.  I mean imagine how much work you could get done (because in college I still thought it was important to get work done) if you could stay up studying until 2 AM, and be back awake again at 6 AM?? I mean wow! 

Be careful what you wish for, folks! ;)

But tonight's insomnia, I'm fairly certain, is brought to me by the letter 'H' as in Holidays.  As you may recall, some of my family is coming to visit.  Woo hoo.. Oh, wait.  No.  Fortunately, I live practically across the street from the Mall where there's a hotel where they will stay so I don't have to have them stay literally in my house.

Because, apparently, I'm angsting over that. 

I actually live in a fairly nice sized space for a single person.  I lucked out in the housing department when I finally got to have my own space again after a year of living in various other people's homes after fleeing my own home of a decade.  I live in a stand-alone house, that actually has copious amounts of space, that I have managed to expand into.  Much more than I ever needed.  It's a two-bedroom home, and the front bedroom is essentially a storage area (read junk room/pretend-office) and the back bedroom is actually 15 foot wide, so large enough to not only have a sleeping area, but also to have a sitting area, too.  The bathroom is ridiculously huge, and the kitchen is fairly large, although limited counter space, too.  And I am blessed with an extra back room - which I've thought of as a mud room / pantry until I got a washer / dryer given to me this past year, and now it's the mud room / pantry / laundry room.  No dining room in the house, but there is a living room. 

It's a lot of space for one person, which has been nice.  Some of the apartments I looked at before I found the house were a lot cozier, including one place which was essentially three rooms, no doors, in a row - the living room area, connected to the bedroom in the middle, with the kitchen on the opposite side.  So, if I had had company, they would have to traipse through my bedroom area to get to the kitchen, which I didn't like particularly much.  Plus the rooms were small, and the landlord mentioned that he thought the woman next door on the same floor might have a lot of paid evening guests. 

The next place would have been nice if I were about, oh, say, a foot taller.  There was no air conditioning, and the windows that could open were all situated quite high on the walls- difficult for me to open to get any kind of cross-breeze going.  It was two bedrooms, but that was it - two bedrooms and a kitchen.  And in the kitchen, again, apartment was designed for a giant, I seriously seriously would not have been able to reach them without a step stool.  I may have been able to access the bottom shelf of them, but I'm not sure even that. 

I have lived in a house for a good deal of my life - although I have lived in an apartment, too.  I admit, I prefer not sharing walls with others because you have the illusion, at least, that you can be louder.  One twitter friend complains regularly about the boy who lives under her and the noise he makes.  I can make considerable noise here - even vacuum in the middle of the night - and not worry about waking anyone or bothering anyone. 

The yard here leaves a LOT to be desired.  Some of that is my fault, because I never seem to have a working lawnmower.  As soon as someone gives me theirs that I have been borrowing, it no longer seems to work.  (Seriously, has happened more than once!).  But it is also quite uneven, and there are a lot of dips and holes and places waiting for me to sprain my ankle.  Always an exciting prospect when you have no health insurance. 

But here's the thing about my house.  It's furnished somewhat sparingly for one.  It is in many ways like a large master bedroom suite.  There is plenty of wonderful space for ME to be comfortable.  But not enough space to really share with anyone else or to entertain.  So I don't.  No-one even tries to come into my house, and I've grown quite comfortable with that.  Perhaps a bit too comfortable, but comfortable nonetheless. 

My house is furnished with cast-aways and give-aways from folks from my church.  The bed I sleep on was someone else's guest bedroom bed that they decided to replace right around the time I was moving in.  The frame is off because there's a metal part that sticks out that I can't figure out how to make go in.  It's pretty basic - nothing more than the metal support frame.  I have two dressers from a friend who left the country and just returned (and wants one back?), and a nice oversized chair in the bedroom from a friend whose wife didn't agree with his purchase. 

In the living room, there is a love-seat sized couch - two people can sit on it cozily - and a setee  that I was basically storing for the friend who had left the country for a year.  It smells (faintly now) of cat piss, and I don't recommend it as a place for anyone to rest upon.  But my friend has apparently grown immune to the smell, and so for her, it is a lovely piece from her house that she will want returned (I keep hoping) some day. 

So, if I invite the folks in, I have no place for them to sit comfortably to stay and hang.  There is not enough room for a tree - I have a fairly pathetic desktop tree that makes Charlie Brown's Christmas tree look lush.  No place to hang the stockings - although I do have one, and just received another last night at a party.  There is no television in my house - no TV to watch any games on or any Christmas specials or even movies on DVD.  I watch all my stuff on my computer.

Then there's the subject of Christmas dinner.  I have had several friends ask me or comment upon how I'll now be responsible for Christmas dinner.  To which I reply to them, I don't think so.  I purchased a small 2' diameter (maybe four foot, but 2' width when the "leaves" are down) table for my kitchen with two little stools from Wal*Mart after living here for six months.  There is no room for more than two to eat. 

Plus, it isn't as if I am much of a cook. 

So, I am having a little angst.  I did manage to keep from inviting them in their last visit without much trouble or awkwardness at all - and frankly, I'm hoping for a repeat of that.  Because my living space is designed for one, or perhaps one + one guest.  It works for me.  But it doesn't work in this kind of setting.

My opinion, generally, is that they invited themselves - they shouldn't expect me to do these things, and for the most part I think that's a pretty reasonable opinion, and in line with their expectations.  On Christmas day, I am planning a Jewish Christmas with a friend of mine (who is Jewish, of course) where we will have Chinese food and see a movie.  On Christmas Eve, they will be forced to go to my church. :)  That solves the Christmas dinner issue. 

But my fear - perhaps unwarranted, since last time they were so accomodating and didn't look for an invite in - is that by NOT inviting them in, they will think I am hiding something.  And maybe I am - I do feel protective over my space, even though it doesn't entirely reflect me since I've only spent money on the kitchen table, the refrigerator and a set of shelves for the pantry, and everything else was given to me and fit in where it could.  I have three desks in three different rooms!  None of which have chairs with which to sit at.  I don't want them to judge my ability to thrive based upon my living space, because it may not send the message that I have healed and recovered well enough for their standards.  They already wonder what I'm doing in this small town... and even offered unsolicited this past month to move me some place else. 

They are well meaning.

But they are giving me insomnia.   And forcing me to write long rambling posts (because usually my posts are so short and pithy.. ;) ) Bleah...

(And why am I NOT surprised that I already have a label on the side for Insomnia..? Ah, my old friend... we spend too much time together..)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Miss me?

See? I wasn't gone so long...

So, one of the things I'm struggling with is how to tell people in real life. 

Mostly, at the end of the day, I'm not worried about it. 

But here's some of the deal.  Most of the people in real life don't know that I'm on Twitter.  They certainly don't know that I have a blog (that whole Jenga-thing).  And my last relationship that they knew about - the ten year marriage - kinda ended badly. 

I have begun to tell a few people, so I have an early taste of the questions that will be raised. 

Oh, you met her online, was it on a dating site?  Um, no.  Fortunately, that was an individual whom I had told about my blog.  Unfortunately it was at lunch with someone else that I *hadn't* yet told about my blog...

Then there's the question of the distance.  What were the odds that I would meet someone even semi-local?  Particularly when I was trying to hide who I am and where I live?  Slim-to-none. She is NOT local.  She is at a distance.  So.... where do you see this going?  Are you moving? Is she coming here?  (Or from those who would also be out of town, is she coming *there*?)

And at some level, those questions are premature.  Not that they haven't been discussed between us, and not that we don't have our own thoughts about it.  But then to share those with others when it's still so new, well... it's premature.  And for some reason, I don't think the old joke about what a lesbian brings on the second date would be found too funny by others - although I think it's hysterical.  (The answer? A U-Haul).

Many of the people that matter aren't here, locally.  So it isn't something that can just be brought up in casual conversation.  And for the people who are here, there is an understandable fear (which is sweet) that I might leave.  Because I might. 

It takes people in a small town awhile to let new people - strangers - in.  There isn't a huge transitional population here, like in some places such as San Francisco.  And yes, there is a fear of letting them in, because they don't have the attachments, and they might leave.  (Kinda the dog chasing it's tail kinda conundrum)  (The word of the day, by the way, is Conundrum). 

So now they've let me in.  I didn't leave when my best friend who invited me here in the first place left two years ago.  They've even asked me to lead them.  And I'm gonna tell them that I might leave?  Yeah, that's nice, Borg.  Real nice. 

Long distance relationships have evolved significantly thanks to technology than they were when I was last in one.  With texting, it is possible to be at a moment's reach away to share something.  Love letters don't take weeks to arrive when they're sent by e-mail.  (Apparently, they DO still take weeks when they are sent by snail-mail..).  Long distance is no longer as expensive, if not free.  Video chats.  There are many more ways to become and remain connected than there were when I was in love with my first love and we were long distance. 

Unfortunately, while they have developed the "communicator" from the original Star Trek, they still need to develop the transporter.

I am happy and want to share my happiness.  But I understand others' fears and their questions.  And I'm not ready for them to indirectly question my happiness.  Or, frankly, question my judgment.  Yeah... my last one didn't end up so well.  Do I owe them some sort of reassurance / promise that this one will go differently?  How can I know?  Psychic powers failing...

If I were dating someone local, people wouldn't have so many questions and wouldn't get so far ahead of themselves.  Meeting someone online raises questions, too - I understand that.  But then, someone from a distance?  Raises a whole lot of other questions.  I do understand that - I do.  But so many of them take away from THIS moment right now which is where I want to be, and where I SHOULD be. 

Do we know where this is going? No, not exactly.  Can I just enjoy the moment, here and now? And take the future as it comes?  And leave the planning between us for now?

Yes.  And when it is time to share, I will find a firm way to politely make that clear.  Those are great questions, and while I have some thoughts on the answers - *we* have some thoughts on the answers, I don't have them yet.  Let's just see how this unfolds, and be happy for me at this moment.  As I am happy, myself.  No-one knows what the future holds, and if she had been here and in person, that wouldn't change my ability to know what the future holds.  So rather than waste today worrying about tomorrow, let's just live in today. 

Because today is pretty damn wonderful.  And THAT is simply what I wanted to share...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's Next?

I am at a crossroads in my life.  And potentially for this blog.

One of the purposes of this blog was, frankly, to grieve a relationship or two.  To get past whatever might have been holding me back from moving forward in my life.  And to do so in a safe space where I could speak about these relationships in a public and yet quite private way. 

See many people didn't know about the depth or nature of the relationship with tryst.  So to talk with people I already knew about it put me in an awkward position of outing someone and sharing their personal life.  That wasn't my place to do.

But you knew neither me nor her, so telling "you" about it, and doing so anonymously, didn't expose her.

And now I find myself embarking upon another new relationship.  With someone whom I met doing this.  And I want to scream it from the rooftops (okay, announce it on Twitter) but it's not my place.  Because talking to you about her would put me in the awkward position of outing someone and sharing their personal life. 

So I have this conundrum....

And even if "outing" her and sharing her personal life weren't an issue, I have no desire whatsoever to conduct a public relationship.  You know the kind I mean.  The ones who are sitting right next to each other in the same room, tweeting or FBing their affection towards each other in public rather than simply talking to each other directly.  There's a time for sharing your love, guys, and then there's a time for getting your own room. 

The second purpose of the blog was as an outlet for all the random stuff that goes through my head and life with whom I had no one to share.  So as not to overwhelm my friend network with lots and lots of emails about nonsensical stuff.  To help pare down my conversations with real friends to more meaningful things (although Ken and I have now had some meaningful conversations about strawberry scented shampoo, now). 

And now I have someone who fills those shoes, who will probably regret at some point telling me she loves reading everything I've written (at which point, I'll come back here to share some silly inane stuff to spare her...).  Someone who, apparently, finds my conversations on shampoo endearing.  Silly girl.  Someone who is simply amazing. 

I am not done blogging.  I don't think.  But I do find myself writing a lot of blog posts lately just for her.  Things that might not be appropriate to share with a wider audience because they involve her.  (Seriously, this woman gets emails from me that say "Post I won't publish" that are written just like this one is... )

But my priorities have changed.  My focus has shifted.  It may be that this blog has accomplished all that it was meant to do.  And maybe that was to find her.  I don't know.  We'll have to see...

But this, my dear friends, is where I'm at... Happiness.  And it's a damn wonderful thing....

Off to the shower, now... to think of Ken... ;)

Thank you to those of you who have been on this journey with me so far... You have lightened my burden immeasurably...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Matrix...? Inception..? Facebook!

Now, that's a damn scary conclusion...

So, I created this blog once upon a time, and did so anonymously, so that I could feel free to talk about certain relationships in my life and certain people and not compromise their privacy.  That just because I wanted to share things about me, didn't mean I should share things about them.

So what do you do when you create an anonymous blog for that purpose, and then you meet folks doing it, and then you want to share stuff about them? But about you.  But about them??

Do I create an anonymous blog within the blog?  Hell - that seems like a lot of work to cultivate a new set of followers, and frankly, with three different worlds out there, I would get very confusing.  Matrix-like .. Inception-like.

It seems my only choice is to go *gasp!* back to Facebook...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Priorities Change

DISCLOSURE:  The only thing I have going in on this post is the title.. I have no idea where this will go, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Sometimes in life, certain things will happen that will make you see things - perhaps everything - in a different light.  Suddenly make you realize that things you thought were important aren't, and perhaps make you value things you didn't realize were important, even more. 

If you're lucky, this change in perspective is something that reflects even more accurately the true you - the you that you have been becoming or trying to be.

It can be an amazing epiphany. 

Whether you've had or are having a life changing moment, the reality is that all the moments of your life have led you to this one.  And this moment will lead you to another one.  You can't help it - it's what happens.  It's life.  And you can let these moments just pass you by, or you can - in the spirit of the Dead Poets' Society - seize the day.  Carpe diem..

Enjoy where you're at.  Enjoy what has made you you.  Celebrate yourself. 

And if you're reading this right now and you don't feel like you can do that, well... first, *hugs*.  Second, do something to change that.  Change what's making you miserable.  Change what you value.  Really look at what is important, and focus on that - value that.  If it brings you unhappiness, if it turns you away from others, from experiencing the joy in life, then maybe - just maybe - it's not that important. 

The Dalai Lama says that the Art of Happiness is finding those things in life that bring you joy and maximizing them.  And "things" frankly is the wrong word, because I'll tell you people, things don't bring you happiness.  They might bring you comfort, or amusement, but things never, never bring happiness. 

My life has taken a significant change lately.  My perspective has a tremendously different shift.  And I am happy. 

May you all be so blessed. 

P.S. I turned 42 on Saturday.  And I have joked for nearly 30 years probably that 42 is the answer to everything from Doug Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I've never read. So as I approached this birthday, I kept feeling - down in my bones, perhaps, or just joking at the surface, who knows - but I kept telling folks that I was looking forward to 42 because it was the answer to everything.  And you know, when I turned 42 - the minute I was 42 - I, indeed, had the answer to everything.

It is amazing. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Holidays - Part Trois

I am afraid that with my post The Holidays - Part Deux I may have confused some folks into thinking that I was still lost in the drama of it all.  I'm really not.  It was more a background as to why I am indifferent about the holidays - well most particularly, Christmas, and it was a nice jaunt down memory lane briefly remembering a time when I wasn't. 

The reason I had set out to write is that I had still been reeling, quite shocked, from an e-mail I had gotten from my father's wife announcing their arrival in my town-nine hours away from theirs by car-for Christmas.  The e-mail started: "Looking forward to spending Christmas with you."  as if we'd already made arrangements. I read further to learn of their intended visit and hotel reservations.  FOR THE FIRST TIME!

I am moving away from my initial shock, and frankly, anger at her e-mail to working my way into being a gracious hostess for their visit.  A little grudgingly.  But I'm working on it.  There are three separate distinct issues - two of which I will get over, one of which I still have to decide how or if to respond to.

1) Having to "have" Christmas.  Now I know that just because they've invited themselves I don't have to "host" Christmas.  My silly friend who suggested that it meant I suddenly had to pull out the pans and make some elaborate meal is entirely wrong.  I feel no such compunction or obligation.  But, apparently, at some level, though, I have to "do" Christmas.  And unlike visiting other folks, there is some responsibility on my shoulders for me to figure out what it is we will do. 

2) Having my family to visit.  I live away from them for a reason.  It IS sweet that they want to visit and be with me.  I do understand that, in theory.  I am trying to accept it and be happy about it, but I like living my life.  And I like living my life away from them.  Thank you.

3) And this is the one I have to figure out whether to respond or deal with and that is the invitation (or lack thereof on my part) of themselves not only just to visit - I can and have accepted that - but to visit on a holiday, when I might have had other plans.  I might have been going out of town.  Or I might have been invited to share it with another family even semi-locally who I would now have to invite my family to, as well?  Nowhere in the e-mail was there a question - an "Is this okay?" Maybe they're smart enough to realize I might answer "no" - and I can sort of respect that - but this isn't a "We're thinking of coming through at the end of June" or mid-March, or some non-descript time. This is at a time when I might very wel already have plans of my own that I may have no desire to include them on (or if I did, perhaps I would have already invited them to visit to begin with...?). 

I want to be gracious enough to say it's okay to come for this holiday (because otherwise I'm a raging bitch, let's face it), but it wasn't okay the way you did it.  To find a way to set a clear boundary.

Hell, what I want to say is that my lover is whisking me away to her family for the holidays, and gosh, darn, I won't be there... but since I don't have a lover, let alone one who is whisking me away for the holidays, (where IS that sugar momma?) and telling them would raise all sorts of other questions I wouldn't particularly want to answer... well, then, that wouldn't work, either.  Details.  It always gets lost in the details.

So THIS is the post I wanted to write.  The other stuff, frnakly, is history.  It just is what happened before.  THIS is what is happening TODAY!!

Ah, as I always say, though, apparently resistance is futile..

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Not quite as sexy as an on-demand pay-per-view channel, but, it'll have to do.

Alt title: Oh, yeah, so that's what this feels like...

My paternal grandmother was bipolar - except then, we called it manic-depressive.  And so there's always been this underlying awareness that it can run in families, and, well... whenever I have gone into see someone who shrink-wraps, I always am sure to mention this.  I've never really thought I was, but I'm not the professional, now am I?

I never really thought I was because while I had the "mania" - attributable also to my ADD - I was never really depressed.  I can't say I was always "happy", but for the most part, I think I was relatively well balanced.  Until, oh, about, three and a half years ago. 

And even then, my depression was understandable.  I described it as situational.  A certainly understandably depressing situation had most certainly been at the root of it.  And that explained the first year.  And being alone in a new town.. Well, maybe that explained the second year.  But really, by the third year, shouldn't I be freaking done with this depression thing?  Yes, I could see subtle improvements.  I could look back at the year before and say I was better than I had been.  But damn, if this wasn't taking forever.

And I can't say I'm out of the woods yet.  I still see lots of trees blocking the sun around me.  But I can say in the last month and a half, there has been significant, noticeable, improvement.  Periods of excitement and energy and - dare I say it - happiness have been more than just fleeting.

A lot of it, I recognize, centers around the new position at the church. I forget, sometimes, how much I like people.  How much I truly enjoy them.  And as a result of this new position, I have taken it upon myself to sit down with as many of our members as I can.  And I'm loving it.  Just loving it.  Finding things that people are getting excited about.  Pulling out areas where they may thrive within the community.  Finding people to support others who took a particular ministry on their own. 

My theme, by the way, (even though I don't *need* a theme) is sharing the ministry.  And I feel strongly about this, and could get on a roll, and bore you all to death, although keep you mildly entertained by the energy and excitement *I* feel about it.  But I'm loving what I'm doing.  I'm enjoying seeing seeds I have planted begin to take root.  I am excited about the possibilities.  I feel like I have found my calling.  Maybe not my long-term calling, but a short-term one and I am enjoying it.

Which I haven't done in a long while. 

Oh.  Yeah.. So this is what happiness feels like.  So this is what it's like to enjoy my life, again.  There is a light at the end of that tunnel - there is sun beyond those trees.  I will emerge.  I am emerging.  Damn, that sunshine on my face feels good. 

P.S.  The problem with blog posts on demand is that there is the possibility that I might end up taking your request and using it to write about something only remotely related.  I can't help where the spirit takes me... ;)  So, my friend, I know I barely touched on what you wanted me to write about.  But maybe in another post... ;)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Holidays - Part Deux

One of the problems about Thanksgiving is that it isn't even over before people are preparing for Christmas.  Driving home from my Thanksgiving dinner, there was already Christmas music playing - even on the radio station I had been so excited in the morning which had been advertising that they would WAIT until this holiday was over before beginning the next one.  Mostly I listened to a book on CD, then, while driving home to avoid the songs about Mommy kissing Santa Claus.

Christmas.. well.. it has mixed memories for me.  I do remember being a kid and being excited to get up in the morning and see what was under the tree.  We were allowed to attack the stocking before the adults got up, but nothing else.  Not that we didn't manhandle the presents and try to figure them out. 

Stockings had a formula.  There was always an orange or an apple at the bottom plumping the toe of the stocking and weighting it down.  Then there were a lot of Hershey's kisses and other candy, because our upcoming breakfast of Grammy's cookies wasn't going to be enough sugar.  I never ate the fruit.  Never.  Not even a day or two later.  It always went back into the fridge, and who knows who ultimately ate it or if it were tossed.  I'm actually not a fan of Hershey's Kisses, either (I know it's sacrilege, don't tell "Santa"). 

But then there would be a small gift.  I don't know what they were when I was really young - I don't remember them - but in the last few years that we *did* celebrate Christmas, my mother had begun giving me, at least, old toys of hers.  I remember one year a particular 3D wood jigsaw, that I enjoyed taking apart and figuring out how to put back together again.  I always enjoyed those gifts.  Usually there would be a note with them explaining where they'd come from.  This was clearly AFTER we had stopped believing in Santa. 

We weren't allowed to wake the adults.  My parents were smart.  But they didn't sleep in too late, either.  Everyone was usually in the living room around the tree by 7:30 AM.  Sleepy parents, and if we were lucky, grandparents were there, too.  We opened one gift at a time, taking turns.  Mom, usually, would sit by the tree and select which presents went to whom, and my brother or I would be "Santa" delivering them from her lazily (I understand now) sitting by the tree to whomever they belonged. 

Breakfast would always be Grammy's cookies - she would bring tins of them that would last a few days.  As an older adult, receiving those tins either by mail, or to take home in person, were always the highlight of my Christmas, and I admit, what I miss most.  Others, sometimes, make cookies similar to hers, and each year I flock to them and savor them and think of her. 

We would be done with the frenzy within a few hours.  Who knows - it might have only been 30 minutes, but it seemed like hours - good hours - to me.  And then there was always the difficult moment of deciding what to play with first. 

Now, if my mother had been smart, and had the patience of a saint (she is smart, she is not patient), she would have made my brother and I sit down that afternoon and write Thank You notes.  She would have made THAT part of the tradition.  If I were ever to have kids (not very likely at this point), I would hope that I would instill that discipline in my children.  Because I'll tell you now.  I suck at it.  Big time.  And I feel bad. But anyway, that could be another post. 

I have no bad memories of Christmas as a child.  I hope I threw no tantrums because I didn't get what I wanted or I couldn't play with something or I wanted what my brother had, but I have no memory that I did.  I hope I was appreciative of everything - even the clothes we would traditionally receive from my father's cousin.  I have no soiled memories of those Christmases. 

When I was thirteen, though, my memory of Christmas, itself, has been blocked out.  It was very cold, and my grandparents car couldn't start to drive home just a few hours away, so they spent an extra night.  Eventually, the day after, they were able to warm up the car battery or whatever it was that needed warming and they were on their way. My brother and I were downstairs in the basements - in our rooms - playing with our gifts, when my father came downstairs and told us to come upstairs because he needed to tell us something.  Actually, I don't remember what he said or even that he had come downstairs, I only remember walking in the room and seeing my mother sitting on the couch crying with tears streaming down her face. 

The grandparents who had just left an hour or so before were her parents, so my mind immediately shot to the worst scenario - they had been in an accident.  What else would make my mother cry so? 

----- I just have to say the obvious here.  One of the worst things, ever, for a kid, is seeing your mom cry.  That day, and several others that followed during my adolescence where she cried are the worst memories of my childhood - I always felt so helpless.  -----

They sat us down - again, I presume my father did, and did all the talking, frankly, but I can't remember through the numbness.  And he told us he was leaving - that they were separating. 

I remember, at the time, feeling this great rush of relief.  Oh, that's it? Grammy and Grandpa are okay?  I hope I didn't say out loud "Oh that's it?"  I think both my brother and I knew how serious things were by how serious they were.  I hope I was respectful, and quiet, and didn't say anything too stupid.  I can't remember. 

And then we were sent downstairs to play, while my Dad packed a bag.  Within an hour or so, he was gone. 

(Wow - this is totally not where I thought I was going this morning with this post, but I guess I needed to)


Frankly, at first, I had no idea what to think of it all with my parents separating.  They never fought - several of my friends' parents fought and so when one set separated, it wasn't surprising; and another set, surprisingly is still together thirty years later.  I just viewed it at first like my father had gone away on a business trip and he would be back.  It wasn't until six months later that it struck me that he wouldn't just be back, and that he couldn't just come back as if nothing had happened.  And dealing with my parents' separation took me the rest of my adolescence to deal with and only as an adult do I understand my father's actions. 


When Christmas rolled around the following year, my parents had been "dating" or trying to date and we had seen him somewhat regularly.  My brother had left for college that fall, and so it had mostly been my mother and I together.  My brother, of course, returned home for Christmas break, and we were all together to decorate the tree a week or so before Christmas.  We actually had a fresh tree for the second year in a row bought by my father sitting in the stand. Several boxes of lights and ornaments from the attic were all on the living room floor waiting assembly.  My brother and I were waiting in the living room and my mother and father were upstairs.  My father, it was planned, was going to spend the night on Christmas eve with us so he would be there when we woke up on Christmas morning.  I assumed, naively, that my parents were upstairs making out or something, since there had been several visits with him where at a certain point I was told to go downstairs so they could have time together.  My mother had been working hard to woo my father back, cooking meals she never otherwise cooked, and I knew they had been (at a minimum) kissing upstairs on several occasions (I don't want to know what else, I still don't need to know what else). 

So while my brother and I, increasingly impatiently, were waiting downstairs, my mother and father were upstairs.  But they weren't kissing, it seems.  Apparently, there had been some confusion, some miscommunication, and my father wasn't planning on spending Christmas eve with us, but instead with his girlfriend.  He would come by on Christmas day, but he wouldn't wake up with us in the morning.  He was clarifying this with my mother upstairs.  Eventually, my father came downstairs, and I don't know exactly what he said - I can't imagine he admitted all those details to us - but my mother was upstairs crying, and my father didn't stay for us to trim the tree.

I don't know if my brother and I just trimmed the tree ourselves - or if we had already started while they were talking - but I don't remember my mother coming back downstairs to decorate, and so I assume that we did.  I don't remember Christmas, frankly, at all.  Although I'm sure it happened, and gifts were given, and that my father did come by. 

By the next year, though, my father and his girlfriend had moved in together.  My mother and I didn't bother with a tree.  Pretty much that was the end of Christmas for us.  Two years in a row of bad luck - to put it lightly - was enough for her.  And, frankly, I can't blame her.  I was fifteen, and my brother was practically on his own - I'm not certain if he even came to stay with us during his Christmas break, or whether he stayed with other friends.  He hadn't lived with us over the summer so I'm not sure he did for that Christmas, either.  And by the following year, he had already dropped out of college (taken a year off, which is now 28 years off, soo-o-o I don't think he's going back) and was living on his own. 


I'm an adult now.  I understand my father's reasons for leaving, and I can even have compassion for the timing.  His girlfriend is now his wife of 20+ years, and I know, now, that he had been developing feelings for her - although had not acted directly on them - before he left my mother.  I see how she is a more compatible partner for him, and I am happy for him.  I can honestly say that I don't "hate" Christmas.  But I'm not particularly fond of it either.  I do enjoy spending it with other families.  Three years ago, I was living with a family with two kids, 10 and 7 at the time, and being there to experience their joy on Christmas morning was one of the best Christmases of my life.  And I wish I could have spent more with them.  My ex-wife and I always wanted to spend Christmas with the grandkids when we were together, but they were across the country, and usually her son was spending it with his in-laws, so we were never invited. 

Christmas, to me, is for the kids.  Last year I got into a disagreement with my then-best friend over whether Christmas was just a kids' holiday - she was in the spirit, I apparently was less so.  But as an adult, those were the moments that would melt my heart around Christmas - seeing the kids' enjoyment. 

Today, I am content to spend the day alone, although I often will share the meal with friends, too.  Last year, for exmaple, I had Christmas dinner with my priest and his partner after services that morning.  I do not begrudge those for whom the day is special.  But I do not look forward to 29 more days of Christmas music, either. 

This was not the post I set out to write - but I guess I needed to set up the background for this season and this year. 

Stay tuned for The Holidays - Part Trois. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's all good!

My last post just now, I'll admit, was a little sad.  But the really good news is that it is just a moment.  I do miss her - we used to talk nearly every day for at least an hour.  But I am broken of that habit.  And I have grieved.  And today, it seems, I am letting go.  It is a good thing.

I am finally emerging from the grief.  It's kinda cool to be able to step aside and look and see.  The grief over losing her as my best friend, and the grief of my ex-wife. 

I've had my period of mourning.  And I have had a period of healing. 

Am I perfect? Well, no, of course not.  Will I have moments? Yes, of course I will. 

But a great weight has lifted.  This last month and a half, I have felt better.  I have felt energized.  I have felt.. well.. a lot of things. 

I have no idea what is ahead of me now.  But I am ready, today, to admit that these other things are behind me.  They are no question a part of my life.  But they are in the past.  I am ready for the future. 

It's all good, people.  All good. 

WANTED: Best Friend

Eleven months ago, almost to the day (it was the day AFTER Christmas, rather than the day before), my best friend decided and announced to me that she didn't want to be my friend anymore. A misguided Christmas present, apparently, can do that to a relationship, although the story is a little bit more complicated than that.

We've talked three times since then: we had a brief quarter where she actually tried to call me once a month.   I'm not quite sure what I might have done to have ended those, other than miss her call that last time she tried.  That was June.

She's been working for quite some time on her next athletic achievement - try-outs for a local sports team.  Something that has been very important to her for awhile now, and taken significant importance after an unfortunate injury took away her ability to do her favorite sport as well as she used to.  In her life, this is a significant event.  Try-outs happen on a grand scale once a year - in November, but in the spring, sometimes, if there are a few openings, they will also have try-outs to fill a few spots.

It was in our talk in March or April when the last try-outs happened, and I asked her, even if she communicated nothing else to me ever again, to let me know if she made it.  She promised me, then, that she would make sure I would know when it happened.  And we had talked after those try-outs where she confirmed she hadn't.

So try-outs happened again.  And I knew they were vaguely taking place about now, so I sent her a "good luck" text nearly three weeks ago. 

Ten days ago she found out she got on.

Today, I found out.  And not from her.

I want to share her good news - I want to shout to people, "Hey, my best friend..."  and it is then that I realize given that she didn't share this great news in her life (equivalent, people, for her to having a baby - that kinda exciting big life event) with me, I probably should stop thinking about and referring to her as my best friend.  I am no longer one of the people she shares these things with.  Her 342 and growing Facebook friends and strangers, yes.  Me, no. 

When we had those three brief phone conversations, she also promised me we'd be friends again someday.  Given that she didn't keep the promise of telling me when she made the team, I guess I shouldn't be holding my breath....

Applications are now being accepted...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Holidays

Oh, the mighty holidays.  Good times. Except when they aren't. 

The Twitter is getting all wired up for the holidays.  Thanksgiving tomorrow, er.. later today (Good morning to you, insomnia, I love writing posts at 3:30 AM).. and also beginning to prep for Christmas.  I was reminded earlier today that I need to make sure there are music CDs in my car because we are about to begin that infernal Christmas music.

Holidays can all strike us in different ways.  I admit, I am mixed both in my expectations and in my memories...

I'm not a big holiday person.  My mother wasn't - mostly they were a reason for her to get anxious, not relaxed.  And that anxiety, in hindsight, was palpable.  We did not have a very large extended family - although most everyone was fairly close.  My mother had a brother with two children, and my father was an only child. And the holidays were the few times we'd see my cousins or my grandparents - so that was nice.

As a kid, Thanksgiving was always extra special for me, because my birthday followed quite quickly afterward, so we'd often celebrate it, too, while at my grandparents.  My grandmother's moist cake, with vanilla ice cream melted into the crevices of her nice china that we ate on.  We may have often eaten out for Thanksgiving but we just as often returned home for cake. 

While I mentioned my mother's anxiety above, really it was quite minor compared to many's stress that raises during the holidays.  I'm not sure why we put such pressure on ourselves to make a single day so perfect.  But often we do - worrying about whether the turkey will come out right, and on time.  Will we have enough pie? (Always a key question for me, so with my ex, we often brought the pies form Marie Callendar's ourselves) The important things.

Initially, I had no particular plans for celebrating tomorrow, and frankly, I was perfectly fine with that.  I am perfectly content to spend a holiday or two by myself, and have done so frequently.  But on Sunday, our new priest to be invited me to join him and his partner as they had way too much turkey not to share.  This was not my first holiday spent with a priest, or even a gay priest and his partner.  I went home after Sunday services with our current priest to have Christmas dinner with him and his partner last year. 

But if I hadn't, I would have been fine.  I have spent many holidays alone and was perfectly content.  (Have I said that already? Is it possible I might protesting too much? Nah...)

This evening, while taking a hot bath, though, I remembered one of the hardest parts of my separation from my ex-wife:  losing her family, too.  If we were together still, there is no question we would all be gathering at the home of her sister's daughter where I spent many of the holidays that she and I shared together.  My ex is one of six siblings, and her oldest sister, ALONE, had six children, so HER extended family was quite large, as those kids, too, had long since started having children.  There would easily be between 15-45 of us at every holiday.  And it was quite a crew. 

The ex had mixed feelings about her family, but I always enjoyed the affairs.  Playing basketball out front while waiting for the meal to finish.  Laughing inside about the same dramas that happened year after year.  Don't let Melissa make the gravy, because if she does, it will take forever.  The karaoke machine one year - I had fun belting out hits, although in hindsight that was a Christmas.  Watching out for my mother-in-law who was an alcoholic and would manage to find it no matter how hard you kept it from her.  At some level we wanted her to enjoy herself, but when she'd get drunk enough to hit on the grand-kids' generation, well.... My, she was quite the flirt even in her 80s. Every posed picture like a sex kitten. 

Her oldest sister is a big woman - tall, broad, hugs you like a bear.  She's goofy, and silly and very loud, and very passionate.  Don't get her riled up - although she was often amusing when she was.  Very early on in joining the family for celebrations, one of her daughters told me how grateful they were I was in my ex's life because I had brought her back into the family, and back into the holiday gatherings. 

I always loved the big meals.  Her family, so huge, was so different from mine.  And never having to be responsible for preparing a meal except once there, or preparing a house for guests, was a tremendous relief that allowed me to simply enjoy the gatherings. 

As I stepped out of the bath this evening, wrapped myself in a towel, I thought of them all gathering tomorrow, and wished I was there.  In some ways, it'd probably be safe, because I imagine my ex has faded back into the woodwork again.  She enjoyed herself while she was there - for the most part - but was never particularly excited about going.  Shooting hoops with the nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces.  Hurrying the gravy along so that we don't have to wait an extra hour to eat.  Making sure that Mom's drink was more coke than Jack. (Oh, how she loved her boyfriend Jack!)  Trying not to fill ourselves before the main meal came out.  I do realize, in hindsight, this is what holidays are about: family. 

I do miss that family. It was hard to leave them behind, too.  In this spirit of Thanksgiving, though, I am grateful that I was able to be a part of that family, and of all the families I've been fortunate to be a part of for a holiday or more. 

May you and yours enjoy the day and the meal and the fellowship.  Stop, pause, and remember this is a day to be grateful for the blessings we have, and that family and friends are such a huge part of our blessings.  Relax and remember it is just one meal on one day and know that it doesn't have to be perfect.  No-one will starve... it will be just fine.

And take a moment, too, to remember our poor Canadian friends (since I have so many readers from there) who have already had their flash-in-the pan for the holiday and will sadly be going to work tomorrow.  Raise a glass for them and try not to make them feel TOO bad on Twitter... ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What if?

I have this post percolating, but I'm not sure how to title it, and I hate that.  I find that the title comes to me first and usually helps provide me a unifying theme - keeps me on track once I start typing so that I am semi-cohesive... But the title isn't coming to me at the moment.  You, the reader, already know if I came up with something brilliant.  Well. No, you don't because you haven't read the post yet, only my verbal throat-clearing. 

As I wrote earlier, I firmly believe that sexuality is a spectrum, and that few of us are 100% in one direction or the other.  And because God has a sense of humor, I have learned long ago to be very careful in speaking about absolutes.  He likes to say, "Oh really?" So I don't tempt him. Because temptation is bad. ;)

As such - avoiding absolutes - I can't tell you that I'm 100% lesbian.  But I am amused that for several friends the thought of me with a man makes them laugh out loud. Literally.  So, I'm probably pretty close to the end of the spectrum, but I don't rule anything out absolutely.  (See above). 

The "political" problem about admitting the spectrum, is that it makes that old saying / question "But you just haven't met the right man..." in theory accurate.  No.  I haven't met the right man.  But I don't know if the right man is even out there, or if I'll ever meet him, or why I would have to wait for him anyway.  One day, though, I don't discount the remote possibility that there could be a man I might want to share my body with.  I have no doubt there is a man out there I might want to share my life with - but my body is a whole different affair. 

One of the reasons I leave myself open and am fairly comfortable with the idea of bisexuality is my experience with my second serious relationship.  She was unashamedly bisexual.  No question.  Although I think even the term bisexual wasn't adequate.  She described it to me essentially that making love to a person was just a natural extension of her affection for a person.  And that makes sense.  A lot of sense.  And she loved a lot of people.  :)

A good friend of mine from college was a lesbian when I met her.  Or so she thought.  I don't know if she was die-hard or not, but she actually had girlfriends in high school which was more than I had done.  So, her lesbianism had been well established. 

Until that summer that she lived with a guy.  Frankly I don't remember my reaction to that, and a part of me, today, wishes I could.  Probably because (ideally) I didn't really have much of a reaction at all.  She was happy, she was enjoying his company, and as she has admitted to me now, she was quite happy given all the shagging they were doing (to put it politely).  Good for her. 

And even as I type this now, I wonder why I should have an opinion on the matter.  Why who she sleeps with should matter to me?  I mean when we (later) slept together, she certainly knew what she was doing, so.... ;) really isn't that all that should matter to me?

I can't say I thought much either way about her sexuality.  I knew her as a lesbian, but I don't think I felt any need to give her a label or re-label her.  She was just my friend.  (Technically, still is, I should watch those verb tenses!)

Several years out of college she met and married a guy.  So?  Exactly. So.  And about fifteen years later, she got a serious crush and fell in love with another woman.  By this time, it was clear that her husband was an ass and that she wasn't particularly attracted to him, and didn't desire him any more.  I was absent during many of those fifteen years, so I can't speak much about their marriage and how it went over that time. 

But she found herself in a conundrum.  In love / lust with a woman and most definitely NOT attracted to a man she'd spent a significant portion of her life with.  What was she? Who was she?  Was she just a lesbian after all?

She was clearly growing and changing, and her husband was not growing and changing in the same ways, and so she finally made the difficult decision to separate.  And then go to hours and hours of therapy to accept her lesbianism.

God does have a sense of humor.  He really does laugh. 

The girl she fell in love with was a fickle girl.  So, it wasn't as if she ran from his arms into hers, and lived happily ever after.  Sadly, no.  She left him, and now, suddenly available, the woman she was interested in went screaming in the other direction.  Ain't that the way it goes? But she knew / realized / understood that the separation from her husband WAS separate from her feelings for this woman, and even though this woman did not remain available, she did not want to return to her marriage. 

So she spent several months wondering what the f* was wrong with her? 

Last night, I re-read an old post here from during some of this dark time for her.  And I admit it broke my heart all over again remembering this.  It may be part of why this post is percolating. 

Just when she started to accept, maybe I really am just a lesbian, she fell in lust with a guy.  And had great mind blowing (yes, I'm jealous) sex with him.  Over, and over, and over again.  She might even be still having it right this moment as I'm typing this post (and I laugh because she might just tell me she was for spite! *smile*).  She's still slept with other women, but she's found a man whose company she really enjoys, and whose body she really enjoys. 

Despite my jealousy over the mind blowing sex, I am happy for her. 

But boy did that throw her into a whole other tizzy about "What am I? Who am I?"  Poor girl.  (Don't feel THAT sorry for her, did I mention she gets to keep having mind blowing sex?)

There have been a number of women - often married - who have given me their #wineparty confessions of kissing a girl, or exposing themselves to another woman, and how much they enjoyed it.  Some of them wonder if they might want more... I'm a good listener.  And I think for many, they may never feel a real pull to have sex with a woman, but their x% of their sexuality that isn't straight recognizes that we are just humans. 

All of that, really, is actually an introduction to the topic that was really bouncing around my head this morning.  What would it be like, now, having loved women passionately all my life to suddenly develop sexual hormonal feelings for a guy?  I've kissed guys before.  As in before I realized I was a lesbian.  And let's face it, when your eyes are closed, you have no idea what gender you are kissing.  Well, unless there is stubbly beard or ticklish mustache, but my kisses with boys were all pre-pubescent prior to facial hair. 

There's a guy at work who teases me that I am on his bucket list. 

And I enjoy flirting with him and teasing him much as I do many of the women I flirt with.  Flirting is fun.

But there is no desire or interest to do anything more with him - which I can't say the same about the some of the women I flirt with. 

But what would it be like to wake up one morning with raging hormonal feelings for a man?  What would it be like to have these feelings for someone whom I never expected I would?  How would that feel?  How confusing would it be? What insecurities would surface? 

Would I go online and research videos on how to give a blowjob? (They're out there - I know!  There is a LOT of advice online about how to give a blowjob!)  Would I worry that his interest in me was only for the challenge? (The bucket list).  Would I question my whole existence as a lesbian before that?  Wonder if I was really stupid and hadn't given men a fair chance like my father asked me when I came out in high school? 

I mean I can admit I thought "Wow" when I saw Brad Pitt on the big screen with Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise.  And, yeah, if that young cocky cute boy had wanted to have a go with me in bed after I saw it, I might have decided to give it a whirl (Those abs, that smile, his hair falling in his eyes...)

Would I then look back at all those experiences and wonder if maybe they were telling me I was straight after all?

The good news is I'm experienced enough to know that it doesn't have to be a dichotomy - either one or the other.  I understand bisexuality exists.  I acknowledge its potential. 

But still? People laugh at the idea of me with a man.  In fact, the bright burning bush fire from God that my ex was losing it was that she accused me of having an affair with a man.  Wha-a-a? Okay.  Now I know that she's the one who is crazy, not me.  And God bless my friends who laughed at that.  What would my parents say if I brought home a boy?  My exes? My church? What would people think if I had the hots for a man? Fell in lust with a guy?

I admit, the description my friend gave me of the boy she's having mind blowing sex with sounds appealing.  She describes him as a lesbian trapped in a man's body - that apparently he actually knows what to do in bed to please a woman as opposed to (I'm assuming) most other men (she's been with).  Okay, maybe I could have sex with a lesbian man... ?

I don't know. 

For one woman I've been with, I was her first, and to the best of my knowledge so far, her only.  And I waited, after we first made love, for her to freak out.  She was 40 and just had sex with a woman for the first time.  She was a natural, by the way.  And it never happened.  Later, she started questioning her identity overall... but she knew that she wasn't straight.  Frankly, I never felt the need for her to define anything more.  She loved me, it didn't really matter, otherwise.  But I was amazed that she never freaked out about having just had sex with a woman.  I kept waiting for it.. gently probing to make sure she was okay and, well, she was.  Wow!

I don't know if I would handle it so gracefully.  Although, I guess if there was a guy that was special enough for me to consider sharing myself with him that way, well, then... I guess / hope that it would just make sense.  Just be what was natural, and like my former lover, not be so shocking. 

I don't know. 

But it was what I was thinking about, randomly, this morning.  And thought I'd share with you. 

Do I go to work today?

Now a friend of mine will see this title and get her feathers in a fluff immediately because I was teasing her last night that I might not go this one day this week that I am expected to be in.

Actually, procrastination is NOT what this is about.  But I put that title in there for fun.  I do that sometimes.  I'm a wild girl. 

The true title might have been something like Lottery? Or Spam Pt 2? Or, I dunno... so I wrote the title above.  Don't kid yourselves - I know the title is the most important part of the post and if I don't hook you with the title, you'll never read the rest of the post.  So I agonize over that.

But today, I clearly didn't agonize.  This morning in my Borg Blog e-mail account was the following letter:

Now, I admit, the first instinct is to think it's a spam scam.  Except for the following few things:
  1. Gillian & Adrian Bayford really do exist.
  2. They really did win the Euro Millions jackpot lottery in England (which I verified NOT by clicking their posts)
  3. Their links actually are to the sites that they list in their e-mail - i.e., it's not a link that says one thing but takes you some place else (I tried to create one here in blogger, as an example, but Blogger won't let me)
  4. The place the links take you to are actual legitimate news outlets
  5. They do NOT claim to be Nigerian Princes.
  6. They do not appear on the SURFACE to be looking to have their money laundered.
  7. They don't give me any directions of what to do - no bank account information to be wired to.
  8. Their English and writing is actually fairly grammatically correct and not broken. 
  9. Their e-mail address - while apparently from a free e-mail account service - does at least actually seem to match their name and isn't full of gobbledygook
So I admit, I'm kinda confused, and kinda curious.  I may be one of ten lucky folks to be receiving $1mm USD from them.  I sure could use it...

But still.  To keep my friend from giving me a hard time, I guess I better go shower and go to work.  After all, according to the articles, that's what the Bayfords would do...

On a serious note, any thoughts about what to think about this e-mail would be much appreciated. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Coming Out

I am currently working on a contract in a distribution center.  So we have inside office people and people who work in the warehouse. While the company is one big happy family, the conversations that take place in the warehouse are of a vastly different nature and flavor than those inside.  I really enjoy the warehouse, including some of the more, um, raucous conversations - like the day the warehouse supervisor brought in bull balls and fried them up.  But that's perhaps for a different post. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through the warehouse and some guys I've been working with stopped me telling me they had a question for me:  Were you born gay? Or did something happen to you?

I imagine for some people who are gay, perhaps, something happened to them.  It may have simply been something that helped them acknowledge who they are, or it may have been something traumatic to turn them away from the opposite sex.  But most of us are born this way.

And I want to clarify what "this way" means.  I believe very strongly that sexuality exists on a spectrum - with very few people actually being one extreme or the other.  I think a lot of people who identify in one direction or other, may be within 20% range - where 80% -99% of their attraction is for one sex (gender, whatever the politically sensitive word is today! ;) ) and 1-20% perhaps possibly attraction for the sex / gender that they don't identify as their sexual orientation. 

A lot of "activists" might shy away from saying these things, because if there's an ounce of possibility you might like the opposite sex, then, gosh, being gay is a choice.  No.  Not exactly.  Choosing to be true to who you are is a choice.  Choosing who you find attractive is not. 

But that's my opinion - for whatever it's worth.

For those who identify as straight, or heterosexual, there rarely is an "aha!" moment where you realize you are "straight".  You may have a moment where you have it confirmed - where someone just looks SOOO hot, and.. well, but usually you start with a base understanding that you're straight, and to figure out that you're something else is the way it works.

I came out in high school.  I had done some experimentation, that in hind sight, made sense and confirmed that I was gay, but I didn't realize that at the time.  Nope, I assumed I was just like everybody else, and so I tried to find boys who were cute, and went on dates.

But none of them really clicked for me... I went out with this one guy who was really sweet, wooed me, paid for our dates, bought me stuffed animals, and did all of this even on the date where I decided to let him go and break up with him. 

And I wondered - if such a wonderful and sweet guy doesn't do it for me... Hmm...

I remember writing in my high school journal, "I wonder if I'm...."  I couldn't write the word.  Lesbian didn't come naturally off my tongue - still doesn't ;) But lesbians do! ;) Oops.  Anyway.. it was a process.  In some ways, I didn't just wake up and be gay.  No, I was always gay.  But slowly, I realized, Hmm.....

I found certain sources, and did some reading, and things started to make some sense.  And the many times I've fallen head over heels for a beautiful woman since then, have given me the confirmation I needed.  And the many times I haven't fallen for wonderful men that I loved dearly as a friend, have also given me the confirmation I needed.

That's *my* story, and my experience.  Anyone who wants to guest blog and share their experience, feel free to e-mail me.  It is a confusing process, and sometimes it doesn't happen so early in life, and for some it happens even earlier.  My ex-wife came out in her late thirties after two marriages.  It takes a lot to be so self-aware, and to allow yourself to be you.

If you're reading this and wondering about yourself, it's okay to wonder.  Take your time, and take a look around to understand how you truly feel, what truly turns you on.  The answers are there, but you must be patient to hear them. 

Even though it's been a long time, I am a good listener.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

God and Gays and, well, Amish

Since I've awoken from my afternoon nap, I have had two interestingly juxtaposed inputs - blog entries from lesbians who have been told that God can't love them the way they are (or part of that theme) and watching the first episode of  Breaking Amish that was aired on TLC.

It has been so-o-o-o long since I came out, that I can't remember really what it is like to "come out" - to discover who you are and that who you are doesn't necessarily mesh with that which is around you.  Moving to a small town three years ago gave me a reminder experience, but I never hid who I was, and I am happy with who I am - so hiding was never something to be considered.

People politically try to often compare homophobia with racism.  Marriage equality, for example, is easy to compare to Loving v. Virginia and the Supreme Court case that declared that it was unconstitutional to punish people for an interracial marriage.  We share in common a history of being a minority, and being shunned, in general society, for being that minority - for being discriminated against, for having our actions considered illegal not for the actions themselves but because of who we are. 

Not a lot of fun.

But that analogy - that comparison - is rarely a satisfying one.  It leaves this huge gap in understanding the fears and the risks that LGBTQZWXY folks share in risking being shunned by their family and their friends.

I remember in high school one of my best friends - who cannot remember this to save her life, and I don't need her to - screaming at me, essentially, that if I ever brought a girlfriend over to her house she'd never talk to me again.  She came to my union ceremony, and has since gotten over that.  But telling people you care about is a risk.  I remember the short-lived friendships I made at freshman orientation in college withering away after they saw me at the Coming Out Day table on October 11th.  People who no longer looked me in the eyes and who darted off in the opposite direction.  I do have vague distant memories of these hurtful actions taken by others.  I'm old, though, and it's been awhile.

I have been fortunate, though, that my family has been fairly accepting.  Their biggest concern - which any family would have about anyone embarking on something "different" in life - was that it would be a hard life for me - that I wouldn't have a normal family life that they had.  That others would make it harder.  They just wanted my life to be easier - as most families would want for others in their family.

I never had to worry that my family would suddenly stop loving me for who I was.  I am and was very fortunate.

But it could have gone differently, and for so many coming out, it has or it will.  Even in today's more "liberal" "accepting" society (again, I'm old, it wasn't quite so acceptable back then - no Will & Grace..), children still risk alienating their parents, losing their siblings, being extricated from their families.  Not belonging anymore.

People who are a minority by race - while there may be some internal racism within the community - for the most part don't have to worry that their parents will hate them because of the color of their skin.  Mostly because they got it from them.  Or so I'd think.  For the most part, they don't have to worry about telling someone that they are "different" because what is "different" about them is evident.  Now I will not pretend to argue that I understand how hard it is to be of a different race than those around you, and how hard it is because you can't "hide" necessarily - I don't pretend to know, and I am not comparing challenges.  Both sets of minorities face challenges.  My point here is merely to point out while some of those challenges are the same, some are quite different.

By the time the producers / directors of this series Breaking Amish has reached these young adults, they have already pretty much made their decision.  Inviting camera crews into their lives in their last days, essentially, in their communities, pretty much has sealed the deal for most of them.  And it is heartbreaking to watch them realize that they have to choose not only a "lifestyle" - or being true to themselves or trying to have an opportunity to figure out who they are - but they risk being shunned and NEVER being welcomed back.  They can go back "home" but no-one will face them, include them, support them.  In reality, they can never go back. 

So episode 1 - which is all I've watched so far - is about the heartbreak of these families telling them to go back their bags and leave and, "Well, it's been nice knowing you, but you are now damned to eternal hell-fire". Much of the same garbage (in my humble opinion) that some folks in the guise of religion tell people who are LGBQTXYZ  (I'm so old, it used to just be G, it was a great stride to add the L (that's not entirely true, but adding the "B" was a true expansion of the political climate's "inclusiveness")).  These people in the show are going to New York City where they won't suddenly be welcomed with open arms into the new world they've chosen.  There, too, they will be Other.

I lost my virginity not in any sort of romantic, love struck fantasy manner - even though I did wait until I was eighteen.  I lost it because when I was on the dance floor with other lesbians - not much older than I - they would literally run away in the middle of the dance when they learned I was just coming out.  I needed to get that "out of the way" to even have a CHANCE at being accepted into this "new" world. 

I know that the bloggers I have been reading are still quite young.  And some other young lesbians I've met make me realize that with time and experience can come maturity and acceptance - that I have come a long way from where they are.  But it is painful and heart wrenching to read them struggle with their faith and their family and feeling at peace with who they are themselves.  And watching, just now, Breaking Amish, I felt like I saw another set of young people dealing with a very different circumstance who could understand how they feel, nonetheless. 

I wonder, though, sadly, if I introduced my new Amish "friends" to these new young lesbians, if the young struggling Amish folks would shun us, too. 

We are more alike, folks, than we are different.  And maybe I should re-title this post that..

Resistance is futile - you will be assimilated. 

P.S. To my new lesbian friends - if you find this post - trust yourselves.  Be true to yourselves.  As Doctor Seuss wrote:  Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Otter Box and Sox

So, I believe in the general resilience of the special glass used on iPods and iPhones.  I dropped my iPod many, many times (not on purpose, no) before it finally cracked, and even cracked, it still works.  I never had a protective carrying case for it.

I'm on my third iPhone now and for the first time, I bought a protective case.  I even bought an Otter Box.  But I am highly doubtful that it will help me. 

The reason I bought it is that sometime around December, the camera on my previous iPhone got so scratched that pictures taken with it became quite fuzzy.  Only the camera on the back.  The camera on the front was still sharp - so I did become somewhat skilled in taking pictures over my shoulder or without being able to see exactly what I was taking...

But getting a "fresh" start, I decided I would try and protect this camera better.  Now that I know that the glass surrounding the camera is NOT the special relatively scratch resistant glass that is on the rest of the iPhone. 

I carry my phone in my pocket. I'm not a purse gal, not that I think a purse would necessarily prevent the rattle with the keys and coins that happens in my pocket, anyway.  I still don't know how the camera got so scratched - I have done research into my pictures and time-stamped the demise around Christmas last year.  I can't remember anything in particular that I did.  I have just assumed, generally, that it got scratched up over time, and that might be the case.

So.. I went to look at cases to protect the camera.  And ALL of them are open in the back to allow the camera to look out without any kind of protective film or skin to protect the camera.  So, if something had POKED at the camera lens from within my pocket, for example, I'm not really sure any of them will protect the camera. But, at least, in theory, it provides a ridge so the camera is not flat against whatever it rubbed against.

I decided to go for the Otter Box.  My best friend bought an Otter Box when she first got her iPhone about three years ago, and was in love with her Otter Box, even though getting the phone in and out was a bit like trying to get into Fort Knox.  Those things are fricking expensive.  So I bought the "Commuter" case which offers less protection up front, but since I didn't have any problem with it up front, I'm less worried.

And, I still have insurance...

But, already, I think my iPhone feels about its Otter Box the way my feet feel about sox at night, now in bed.  It can't wait to squirm out of it... It doesn't QUITE fit right, and it just feels confining, and all it wants to do is push it off.

You can see, for example, the pieces of the otter box sitting on my desk at work now.

I don't know if this will work, long term, but... I'll take a lot of pictures in the meantime!! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Church Politics

Oh, how I would love to write a post about people at the church.   Oh, if you didn't have to deal with some of these personalities personally, you would find them quite amusing. 

Now I know that all of these characters are likely found at every or most churches or other religious homes.  So, the reality is that I could tell you all about them, and like everyone else in my blog, you'd think I was talking about your church down the street. 

With my recent, um, promotion, I, now, am involved in the inner workings of how the sausage is made.  I feel like I should go read Upton Sinclair, again, so that the church inner workings don't look so bad. 

Luckily, I love people and I am able to step back - mostly - and be amused by their quirks.  I am enjoying the excuse / opportunity to get to know a few more folks better and I enjoying getting folks energized and excited about the things to come...

We'll keep it on that positive note. 

Wipe off that smirk....

Hee hee...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kicking it Around...

So, I had to make a difficult decision recently.  For the most part, I know I made the right decision, and I feel relief.  But at the same time, I am already feeling like a little puppy with my nose to the glass and wanting back inside.

Being active in my community has been one of the ways in which I have strived to increase my social opportunities in town.  I'm not sure whether either of the things I volunteer for actually do much for me socially, but at least they provide me something to do.

I have mentioned before that I'm active in my church.  I prepare the church bulletins, and have been the overall administrator of much of the day-to-day minutiae.  This past month, the members of my church (foolishly) elected me to be the lay leader of the church - the head of our governing board.  I've been hinting here and there about it, primarily on Twitter, and telling a few individuals about it, but mostly letting it sink in before sharing it.

I am honored, certainly, by the confidence they have in me to do this - although I do also respect and understand that a part of it was that no-one else was foolish enough to take it on.  But the last month or so I have gotten excited, and enthusiastic, and been brainstorming and inspired and all sorts of good things.  Really good things.  We're going through a transition, and there's a lot to be done.  I've already been meeting with lots of folks in the church and getting an idea what makes them love our church, and where they feel a passion and a calling.  All good stuff.

I have also been more than just a soccer coach.  For the last two years, I've served on the Rec league's board.  Mostly I did it so they wouldn't forget me when it came time to recruit coaches since I had been an assistant coach for my best friend's daughter's team, and I don't have any kids myself.  But I really enjoyed it.  Our board is under "staffed" and so each board member took on several roles.  So, in addition to coaching, I ran the concessions stand, helped with the candy drive, and was director for a league. 

This season was a bit overwhelming.  And I was grumpy for reasons outside of soccer, and finding myself constantly pulled away from being able to coach my kids.  Which was the fun part.  So, near the end of the season - technically before I even knew about the church responsibility - I was considering taking a break.  I was feeling burned out, and I wanted to just coach. With the new church responsibility, I had a good excuse I could use to gracefully back out for a couple of years (or longer, we'll see....) from the soccer responsibility. 

Tonight was our soccer "banquet" for coaches, refs, team parents, board members, etc.  And our elections for the following year's board.  The board is light, and I felt a pang to want to help out - there were almost as many empty slots as there were people who filled them in - seven people and five remaining open slots.  I did resist, and for the most part, I am glad I did.  But I have enjoyed being a part of the team, and a part of me will miss that.  They know I'm available to help, but they also know many others who have offered to be available not really follow through to be there, and once I'm no longer obligated to get up at 9 AM on a cold winter Saturday morning to winterize the field, I'm less likely to do it. 

So, tonight is bittersweet.  A bit of relief, a bit of sadness.  One woman offered (unsolicited) about what a wonderful coach I was and how much her daughter had enjoyed having me as coach.  Those accolades are always nice.  So I'll stick to the good things, and let go of the less pleasant things, and we'll go from there.