Having a crush is so much fun

I spent my whole life trying to figure out how women could go from one boyfriend to the next like they were getting on and off transit stops on a metro line. “How the hell do you find that many people to be attracted to so fast?” This bewilderment followed me around for most of my life. I just didn’t get it.

I’ve been out for a year now, and guess what. I totally get it.

maxresdefaultSuddenly no matter where I go, I trip and fall over some woman who is nice, and smart, and cute and then hello libido!! I’m staring from across a room half in my head about all the things we could be doing if we weren’t in this grocery store /church service /playground /OBGYN waiting room… whatever… don’t judge me!

It’s starting to get embarrassing how often someone says something to me and I realize I just snapped into a conversation that is halfway in progress because I was imagining all-the-things with the woman over there. “I’m sorry… what… No… Yeah, that’s a great idea. What the hell are we talking about??”

Sigh

The good news is that I got the nerve to tell the adorable woman with the bright smile and the sparkly eyes that I met at the Gay Christian Network conference that I have a crush on her.   It was a big deal for me to be that honest. I generally don’t say anything and just hope and hint and maybe this will just magically work out? Pleeeeease?

I didn’t die. Obviously, because I am typing this, but in the past it always seemed like I might die and melt through the cracks in the floor if I admitted that I got all tingly when I looked at a an attractive woman. Don’t get me wrong it was very scary. My heart sped up and I had to remind myself to keep breathing and to just say it and let it be.

I’m glad I did. For better or worse she doesn’t live that local to me so if it went horribly sideways I was likely to stop getting messages but no actual damage in my daily life. She was flattered and we talked for a few hours on the phone and most days since then. I am really enjoying the process of getting to know someone that I have feelings for.

I am realistic and I know that chances are nothing will come of this and it will just be a good exploration into someone who is normal and stable and all the things I have decided I am worth enough as a person to have in my life. The rush of excitement that comes with the instability I have experienced in the past isn’t there, but the calm of a genuine connection of totally worth it for it’s own sake.

She casually mentioned coming to the San Francisco area over the summer and asked if I would like to see her. I can neither confirm nor deny the squeal of delight that may or may not have happened when I saw the text message.

It feels really good, and for now I’m happy. I could get used to this.

Relationship crash and burn

Things with J blew up in my face pretty fast. Comically fast, as in one pizza and a movie night fast.

Until now I had only gone out on the town with J. We had spent a few night in a hotel for reasons that made total sense at the time and since I love hotel sex, I was totally game.

To be fair, I had a night with her I will probably never forget. I got to experience the kind of affectionate intimacy coupled with sex that I have been longing for my whole life. It was a beautiful thing and it broke open a piece of me that I will be forever grateful to have had happen.

That said, she is also a special kind of unstable that required that I run, not walk, away from this woman as fast as possible.

Here is how it went down, in 3 hours of blazing glory:

We had both gotten an awful cold, and I was finally feeling better and craving to get back to the naked-in-your-arms intimacy from our last encounter so I offered to bring a pizza to her house and we could watch a movie under the covers and just be girlfriend-y and sticky sweet.

  1. I hadn’t realized her 11 yr old son would be there and I wasn’t thinking I was meeting the family after only a few weeks. Also very glad I brought pajamas… Don’t spring that on a gal!
  2. She shows me around her house and at first glance it looks like no one lives there and was abandoned a few years ago after a bunch of ex-roomates shoved their dirtiest furniture all over the place. Except she owns the place, and pretends that its all “renovations.”
  3. I see the renovations that, even as a lay-person, I can tell she has no permits for and the whole thing is very bizarre.
  4. We are in the backyard and she starts throwing odds and ends into the darkness and yelling at what could be cats in the bushes. It’s all a way bigger deal than it needs to be. Hey, J, It’s cold, and dark, can we not get strung out on a random cat? No.. cool. Just checking.
  5. Back to the house. She lives in the garage that is painted and neat and nothing like the rest of the house where everyone else (like her son) lives. There are so many scented candles lit that I fear it may burn down or I could be overcome by pumpkin spice.
  6. There isn’t a functioning table to eat in the main house so her, me, and her son all pile onto her bed and eat pizza in our laps. I now wonder how many crumbs I will be sleeping in tonight. Ick.
  7. She starts coughing and hocks up a loogie and leans over the bed and spits onto what appears to be the floor? After the 2nd or 3rd one I dare to ask. “Oh..” she says, “there’s a garbage can.” Nice.
  8. Her son makes a comment and she laughs. “Your fucking funny!” she says. Later, she tells me he told her, “You just like her because she has a nice ass.” Ummmm your son just objectified me and you encouraged it… not cool.
  9. As we sit she tells me about her former fiancé and how they had met the previous weekend. I knew they saw each other but I thought it was just social. Turns out she left me at the hotel before noon, picked up her ex… maybe not as ex as I thought… and went to another hotel for the night and had sex, all while she was texting with me. Wait, what?
  10. Then she casually mentions another ex- fiancé in the past year. I clarify, two separate women you were engaged to in the past year. One of them you are still sleeping with, but not, you know “with-with” Yup.   Oh… wow.
  11. She opens her phone to show me someone she met and opens up Tinder.  She has so many matches I can’t count them as she scrolls screen after screen of messages to scores of women. She never does find what she is looking for and goes into her e-mail where I see pages of Craiglist chats… Oh there she is.  Holy Shit!
  12. She’s not feeling so hot and starts shoving medication in her mouth to the point where I wonder if she will stop breathing or have a heart attack in the night from the level of suppressant medication she just took. Whoah!
  13. Potty break to clear my head. I get into the bathroom and realize her up-to-code master bath isn’t deep enough to sit on the toilet and not hit the opposite wall with your knees so I am at a ¾ angle trying to pee and my knees are now out the door. Awesome. It’s just getting better.
  14. I get back to the bed/table/OMG WHY AM I HERE and decide to circle the conversation back around the almost ex and I ended up having a coughing fit so bad I thought I was going to vomit. It turns out my body gets violently ill in the presence of that level of bullshit.
  15. Oh, hey, look at that, my thing at the place just exploded and I have to go. You keep the leftovers!

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A mix of boy and girl

In the last month I’ve gotten my first few comments from kids about the way I look. Both of them took me by surprise, but ended up making me feel pretty good about my life too. I always hated feeling invisible. I’m sure not invisible anymore, and I am learning to handle having eyes watch me with unspoken questions running through them.

“You’re a boy mommy”

This one was from my daughters classroom. I volunteer in her room once a week and since I have a teaching credential a lot of the time the teacher uses me as an educator and not just a parent. Most weeks I take a small group and do a writing assignment or do some assessments on sight words and the like.lesbian haircuts $15 by Peter E Lee cc2.0 flickriver

Lesbian Haircuts sign by Peter Lee via flikr cc 2

Lesbian Haircuts Sign by Peter Lee via Flikr cc 2.0

I asked my daughter how she felt about a classmate saying that about me. She didn’t seem to care but I could tell it had stuck in hear head that I’m not like the rest of the moms. She was adamant that she wanted me to come into her class and she still likes to play with my hair and ask questions about gender norms and boys vs. girls. I’d like to think I’m giving her and the other kids some other possibilities of what it looks like to be a grown up.

“You’re kind of a boy… but kind of a girl too…”

One of my students was line leader (a very coveted position when you are 7) and as the leader this child walked next to me all the way to class from the playground. As we got to the last few yards he seemed very excited and told me his revelation: “you’re kind of a boy, but also kind of a girl.”

To this little child, the idea was novel, and exciting. When I told this story to a fellow queer friend, he immediately smiled and said, “Ahhhhh, that’s the non-binary kid! I’m glad you are there, it’s important.”

I hadn’t thought much about if I’m honest. Most of my thoughts when I am at work are about if the staff is okay with me being there, and so far they seem to be relaxing into my presence in a good way. I’m just another teacher now. My presentation is my normal and my way of being now. I feel most comfortable, confident and sexy when I am an amalgamation of male/female.

My response to that student on the way into class was the first thing that came into my head, “I know! Isn’t it fun! You get to be whatever kind of boy or girl you want to be.”

 

Maybe you should tone it down

When I first came out, one of the first things my mom said to me was, “You aren’t going to end up dating one of those women who looks like a man are you? Because I think if you are going to like women you should date one who looks like a woman.”

There are so many things I wanted to say in response, most of it my newly minted feminist self would be ranting about gender roles and the gender binary and a lot of things that I don’t think she was looking for at that moment. As a friends said to me yesterday, “Honey… don’t play with your food.”

 

Plaid shirt  public domain

Lesbians and plaid, it’s a thing.   Plaid shirt, cc public domain.

I really don’t think my mother ever expected her formerly plaid wearing, Birkenstock loving, boot wearing, short-haired, straight daughter so morph into a plaid wearing, Birkenstock loving, boot wearing, short-haired lesbian…. Wait… what? Now these things I do have a different meaning, and context and what if it’s my daughter to is the one who looks kind of like a man. OMG, nooooooooooo!

Okay, my hair is a little shorter and clearly crossed the line into a men’s adjacent cut, but really there wasn’t much there to begin with and I’ve been wearing the rainbow bead necklace my rainbow-loving preschooler made me for years without noticing an ounce of the clueless irony.

A few years ago I was with my mom at Chipotle while a young employee saw my necklace and chatted to me about his life and his boyfriend like we were new BFF’s. We then went back to a table where my husband and daughter were waiting and when I asked why I was suddenly so popular, I kid you not…. my mom said….. “He probably thinks you are gay because of that necklace.” Then we all laugh and how silly that would be. Hahahahaha!

Holy hell.

Fast forward to recently, when my mom wanted to know if I was going to “tone it down” I was truly confused. I’ve had these clothes for years, or ones very similar to this. I just went for plain navy v-neck sweater this year instead of plain pink v-neck and apparently that was the line separating me from my true identity.

I felt like Clark Kent with the glasses on. No one suspects a thing until they come off and then WHAMMO superman in tights and a cape. Where did that superhero lesbian come from? Who could [she] be?

Assumptions are wonderful camouflage for denial. All of the markers can be staring us in the face and because we aren’t looking for it, the obvious floats past without notice. Now we can all see the elephant lesbian in the room, we just didn’t know I was there all along.

Out of the mouth of babes

“I know who you are!!” says the sassy 1st grader.

I had just gotten through a long week in my classroom. Not enough sleep or coffee and an upcoming trip to Disneyland with my in-laws for a family vacation was weighing on my mind.

The particular little girl who was talking to me had spent most of the period half on the table doing silly things with her BFF that sat across the table. It has only been 45 minutes but I was ready to send that class back to mommy the regular classroom teacher.

At the moment the gaggle of 7 year old girls were huddled in a bunch whispering to themselves in line waiting to go back to class.

“Ms. X… I know who you are!!” She is so excited when she says this, like she just found out her favorite dessert was being served for lunch.

I’m tired but I’m also curious. I look at her quizzically, and think, ok… I’m game. “Who am I?”

“With that hair (androgynous pompadour) and that necklace (my favorite hollow glass orb the size of a golf ball on a plain black cord)…..” she pauses for effect, “You’re Ursua, the Sea Witch!!” The glee in her voice and the giggles the kids near her emit and the delayed ohh and ahh of the other kids and they see what she see’s is quite a moment.

I’m pretty sure my mouth went slack for a few seconds as I gathered myself.

Shit kid…. Fat, white, lesbian, black sweater, big hair, and the necklace. I can see it too now that you mention it.

I was halfway between laughing at her dead on assessment of me in a Disney single character to a horrified gasp followed by “Oh no you didn’t…” and a bitch slap. Then I suddenly wanted to lean in close and whisper to her that I was coming for her voice if she kept talking in my class. “Muah, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!”

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Look, it’s meeeee!

Two days later I was in Disneyland with my family. My mom and I shared a clam shell as we took a trip under the sea. There in the darkness and among the singing fish, I found my new favorite Disney character. I took a photo and sent it to everyone I could think of in sheer glee.

 

I also found a rainbow Mickey lanyard and a set of villain pins that include Ursula at the souvenir shop and I now have a lovely way to carry my keys around school.

Take that 1st grade! I love my queer, masculine-femininity, fat self.