Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ay to Zee

A - Animals/Pets: A small pesky, but extremely cute, little dog and formerly a cute, but brain-damaged, cat that now lives with my best friend. (See below).
B - Best Friend: An ex-lover
C - Cohabitants: Mr. Lesbian, my dog and a new and unwanted puppy that Mr. Lesbian just bought yesterday in direct violation of our agreement about pets.
D - Desire(s): To be happy in do-able increments throughout the day.
E - Eye Color: Green, with grey rims
F - Favorite Food(s): I love huge hunks of steaming, locally-grown vegetables and pretty much anything that I cook. I make absolutely phenomenal soups of all kinds.
G - Games: Occasionally Scrabble, but hate and detest card games. I've played "The Ungame" with clients and my granddaughter, who thinks that it's hokey.
H - Habit(s): Looking for rogue chin hairs to pluck.
I - Interests: Reading (Psych books particularly, but occasionally novels), writing, playing the piano when I get anywhere near one, cooking, activism around sustainability issues, staring out of the window, bird watching.
J - Job: Sex Therapist
K - Kitchen (Wonder or Blunder?): Wonder! I'm a great cook, and folks are always dropping by at mealtimes "just in case."
L - Languages: French, German and English
M - Most Valued Possession(s) (an item, not people/pets): A 3-ring binder in which I keep all my credentials, such as CE's, immigration papers, etc. It's THE thing I would grab if there was a fire in my house.
N - Name (Named after?): I don't use my real name on this blog. Sapphique I picked because it seems fitting.
O - Outfit You Love: Pajamas - win hands down every time!
P - Pizza Toppings: Spinach, Bacon, Ricotta cheese, roasted red peppers.
Q - Question Asked To You the Most: "Did you lose weight?" followed by a compliment on how I look. No, I've not lost weight, and shut the fuck up for continually asking me about something so transparently manipulative and irrelevant!!
R - Relationship/Partner: Yes. But this is a doomed partnership.
S - Sport: (Playing) When my knees were good, I loved mountain biking. (Watching) Ice Skating.
T - Television Show(s): I've recently become very fond of "Eli Stone" thanks to my daughter. Otherwise, I don't watch network TV.
U - Unsavory characteristic(s): Procrastination vis a vis things financial (i.e. paying taxes), doubting own intelligence on occasion, occasional (but not unchecked) self-loathing.
V - Video (Favorites): Anything featuring Marilyn Monroe.
W - Webpage (Favorite--not your own): Kate Harding
X - Xylophone (or other Instrument?): Piano, violin, timpani drums, tenor and soprano recorders.
Y - Year Born: 1953
Z - Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius


Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh Well, It's Ladies' Night and the feelings right !

Daughter and I went out for cocktails on Saturday night, while Mr. Lesbian babysat our granddaughter. They had an exciting night planned while we were out - "Nancy Drew" was on Pay-Per-View. Meanwhile, daughter and I drove down to the nearest town - music blaring. Daughter had made a compilation CD and it had some oldies, but goodies on it. "Ladies' Night," for one...quickly followed by Ms. Jackson singing "Nasty Girl," some Beyonce, Chris Brown and a host of other folks, some of whom I'd never heard of. The roads were clear, the moon was unbelievably orange and luminous, hanging low in the sky in an end-of-the-world kind of way, and we chatted all the way in to town.

Sitting in a Mexican restaurant on Main Street, we had frozen Margaritas and split an entree and a dessert and talked and talked and talked. There's this fun game I used to play with an ex-lover (now closest confidante) called "Tell Me Three Things." It's what I'd call an intimacy game, because you have an opportunity to find out gobs of cool shit about people you love. The game goes like this. You take it in turns to pick a category, and then ask the person to tell you three things about the category. Last night, daughter went first and she said, "Mummy, tell me three things you regret." Okay, so here's a word of warning...there are some things that it's hard for people to hear. This for example is not the time to tell your dearly beloved daughter that being a single parent was incredibly hard and it would have been a lot easier not to have had to experience that. However, it is the time to tell daughter (or son if you have one) that you wish you'd worked harder in high school. Because we were baring our souls, I was trying to keep it real. The three things I'd regretted?

1. Not embarking on my career when I was younger, instead wasting my talent and intelligence in meaningless, low-paying, depressing jobs. (This was a little close to the bone, because partly why I didn't do that was because I got pregnant and raised a child instead of going to school.)
2. The way my relationship with Lynnie S.M. from Chelsea, NYC ended nearly 10 years ago. I'm not proud of that, even though I have worked on forgiving myself, and although she still won't speak to me, I wish she would.
3. I wish I had not succumbed to my mother's attempts to diet all three of her daughters, particularly me, leading to a higher bodily set point, years of disordered eating (only now getting under control) and a lifelong battle to see myself as valuable because of the body I'm in.

The regret I would have added if I had been allowed four regrets was my decision to remain with Mr. Lesbian as long as I have. (Yes, I know..we had a five month separation and I came back. I know that I haven't written about that yet and I will. Later.) Meanwhile, I realized while talking to my own therapist that if life hadn't been so chaotic at the time I got involved with Mr. Lesbian, it would have been a hot affair that lasted 6 months, and then I would have realized its shortcomings and moved on. However, at the time the loss of Mr. Lesbian's son meant that I just couldn't leave her alone like that. In addition, at the time there were numerous other distractions. I was struggling with bulimia, my daughter had serious substance abuse issues, and then revealed a "surprise" pregnancy and then subsequent premature birth of my granddaughter, while all this time I was trying to finish graduate school and was holding down a big-damn-job. It was not an easy time. And, it sounds pathetic, but the years just careened past and before I knew it, nearly ten years had gone by.

So, one of the other questions my daughter asked me? Tell me three things that give you joy.

My answers were as follows:

1. My daughter and granddaughter.
2. My work as a sex therapist
3. Reading books and writing ......and folks, that's all I could think of.

And that's when I realized something crucially important. This life is just too short to be putting "reading books" on the end of a list of that magnitude. I don't expect marriage to be easy - after all, I had my parents relationship as the template for marriage. But I expect more than I have, for the amount of work I've put in. It should be supplying some part of the joy in my life and it isn't, it just isn't.

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Proof that Mr. Lesbian is a Guy

Mr. Lesbian, as I've written elsewhere, passes for female. Born biologically female, hir gender identity is male. Trust me, s/he's right.

Here's the evidence:

1. Built first motorbike from the nuts up at the age of 14
2. Used to think it was weird when somebody would refer to hir as a girl when she was a small child.
3. Keeps clothes in a pile that have been worn so that s/he can wear them again over and over.
4. Drips coffee filter all the way to the trash can and doesn't think to wipe up the spills.
5. Doesn't notice dust.
6. Doesn't notice when I've dusted.
7. Doesn't remember when I ask hir to dust.
8. Doesn't know where the duster is kept.
9. Even when told, doesn't remember duster's location.
10. Doesn't clean teeth before coming to bed at night.
11. Thinks the only way to wash face properly is by scrubbing.
12. Doesn't turn clothes the right way out when dumping them in the laundry bin.
13. Doesn't separate dark colors from light colors.
14. Is possessive about the TV remote.
15. Falls asleep on the couch every night.
16. When I'm away for the night each week, s/he considers buttered popcorn a dinner entree.
17. Assumes that taking the trash to the Transfer station is h/ir job.
18. Thinks talking about what you feel is "sissy stuff."
19. H/ir study is a mess, but the tools in the barn are immaculately organized.
20. Doesn't get the point of vacuuming.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Breakfast Fight

My daughter, granddaughter and pet bunny are staying for the weekend. It's Easter weekend which is a strange thing for an atheist like me to be celebrating, but hey, whatever! Granddaughter loves searching for eggs and then binging herself into an altered state of consciousness on the vast amounts of chocolate and candy she subsequently consumes. The responsible adults among us try to make her food choices really count leading up to Easter Sunday when that damned Easter bunny litters the farm with small plastic eggs, which granddaughter tries to scoop up before the squirrels beat her to it. (Last year it was a fight to the death.)

So this morning I, lesbian Matriarch that I am, stand ready at the kitchen counter, ready to do everybody's breakfast bidding. Daughter tells me that she would like two eggs, over easy, on Buttermilk toast (both eggs and bread locally "made"). Granddaughter says she would like Scottish oatmeal with brown sugar and butter. Mr. Lesbian comes out of the bathroom and the following conversation ensues:

Me: Mr. Lesbian, dear....what would you like me to make you for breakfast?
Mr. L: What is everybody else having?
Me: Daughter and granddaughter are having different things, I haven't decided what I'd like for breakfast yet, and I'll make anything you want.
Mr. L: Yes, but what are they having?
Me: Tell me what YOU want and I'll tell you what they're having.
Mr. L: I guess we're at a stalemate.
Me: (smoke beginning to pour from ears) If you can't tell me what you'd like for breakfast, how on earth do you think you're ever going to be able to communicate to me what you want from this relationship?

Mr. Lesbian disappears into the bathroom. I wait.

S/he comes out of the bathroom.

Mr. L: May I have scrambled eggs?
Me: (Big sigh). Yes, of course. And thank you.

Yeah, I know the answer to this one (I'm a sex therapist, remember, and couples are my "thing") but, nonetheless...why does everything have to be so goddamn hard?


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ten Cool Things About Living Near Lesbianville, USA

1. The local (and one and only) store in my town of 800 residents is owned by a lesbian couple.
2. Every other car has a rainbow sticker on the bumper.
3. When I asked a local gay man where I could take my gay brother for a drink in a gay-friendly pub, he looked confused, stumbled over his words and said "But Sapphique, EVERY bar around here is gay friendly!"
4. You can have as many cats as you want and nobody will mock you and call you The Crazy Cat Lady.
5. The mayor of Lesbianville guessed it.....a lesbian!
6. You're assumed to be a lesbian unless you "come out" heterosexual.
7. Clothes-wise, anything goes. (I'm SO thrilled that there's no dress code. I have cultivated what a former friend used to call "bed-to-day-wear.")
8. Gay-friendly cops! The local sheriff introduced himself to us in the parking lot of a nearby bank saying "We love same-sex couples around here, gals!"
9. Monthly lesbian potlucks for any lesbian in a 20 mile radius.
10. It's a huge relief to finally feel like you're no longer in an unwanted minority.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Yikes, that year went past REALLY fast....

Yeah, I's been more than a year since I posted. This year has pretty much sucked. I left Mr. Lesbian in March and moved in with my best friend and her husband for five months. Mr. Lesbian got masses of therapy for five months and dealt with some of hir shizzle. My dad died last summer, which sent my whole family spiraling into confusion and misery. I moved back in with Mr. Lesbian in August and for extremely complicated reasons that I don't fully understand, I lost my best friend as a result.

Mr. Lesbian and I got along much better for the first few months, but the strain of being the sole breadwinner, along with all the other pressures on us has been challenging to say the least. It was really too soon to move back in together, but it felt like the best decision at the time and we've done our best to pull through. Along with everything else, we have been learning how to live in a very rural environment, make new friends and contacts and, for Mr. Lesbian, search for a job in a very dead job market. Finally, last week s/he started work at a pretty cool technology company in Western Mass, at the same salary s/he was making in the big city. So, we don't have to worry about losing our farm and we can finally start to think about getting our goats and chickens.

So, while I'm aware that this has been the news in brief, I wanted to reassure whoever is still reading this blog, that I will be posting more frequently from now on. I'm still married, still a lesbian and ...I'm back!