Late Night DJ

Just now, driving home after the mauling that is pilates, I was thinking  how blogging is like being a late night dj – especially blogging about one particular little area, like being a femme mom/wife/ass kicker (as opposed to blogging about politics or whatever – not that being a femme mom/wife/ass kicker isn’t political, because it is). When you’re a late night dj, you’re pretty sure most people are asleep, but you still want to do a good job because if there are some people awake and listening, then you know they damn for sure need what you’re playing.

So here, for those of you who are also femme mom/wife/ass kickers and for those of you who derive sustenance from reading these words, today I post, I post!

I just started reading The Well of Loneliness which, if I’ve ever read it, was a very long time ago and I don’t remember anything. I’ve gotten to the part where Stephan is  14, just got her new racer, Raftery, and said goodbye to her French governess. There’s this extremely well-done sense of how hard her father is working to hold back the forces of doom, push them off for as long as possible, to protect his daughter, to let her be herself as much as she can before the world comes crashing down on her. It’s sad that her mother can’t seem to show her daughter the same kind of understanding nor does she seem to be able to express her love, despite her best intentions; the idea that her own child somehow turns her stomach is a very distressing one. I don’t know much about Radclyffe Hall, like if she had any kids in her life when she was an adult,  but her understanding is spot on of the whole delicate balance between allowing our children to find out who they are by themselves while at the same time guiding and doing one’s best to protect them which is right at the heart of being a parent.

Queer parents or straight, our kids aren’t usually who we’d necessarily like them to be, or who we thought they might be. And you don’t have to be the parent of someone like Stephan to experience deep disappointment and/or worry about the life of your child. In his book-to-which-I-refer-as-if-it-were-the-Bible-as-it-seems-to-have-been-written-expressly-about-Seth, Get Out of My Life But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf, he gives us the example of Molly, who is somebody’s daughter. Molly is turning out to be rather a slacker, getting C’s and D’s in school and preferring to hang out with friends more than anything else. Wolf says one of the hard thing about being a parent of a teenager is that we start to see that some of their less edifying traits, excusable when they were children since they were still changing and developing, may be traits that will stay with them into adulthood and we have to deal with it. He says we have to have our own process of grieving our lost hopes and expectations, hopefully in a way that won’t make the teenager feel bad, and then move on, saying to ourselves the equivalent of, “She’s just going to be Molly.”

And accepting and protecting a queer child – why does that have to be so fucking difficult? Why are children still dying? It’s really no different than accepting and protecting any child. I’m not naïve, I know there are hundreds of complicated reasons people damage their own children, not least of which is that they are themselves damaged. But I’m holding out hope, spinning the platters as the clock ticks over to the lonely hour of 3:30 am, just positive that the people listening, however few, are nodding their heads and humming along, and that when day breaks, they’ll take those same tunes out into the life of the world and yes, it will make a difference.

Published in: on October 28, 2010 at 6:27 AM  Comments (3)  

How’s It Hangin’?

In the break down of chores, I do the laundry, for the most part – I’m doing it right now, in fact – and that is fine, because my Husbutch does other things like right now she’s out in the back yard taking out the pricker bushes (invasives) in order to plant something native, as we are doing what we can to have the best bird/bee/butterfly habitat in our small patch of suburban earth. Our own personal contribution, which is nice to be working on on 10/10/10 (see 350.org for more).

Back to laundry: The other day, a man came to fix the washing machine, which had been leaking deplorably. Very cheerful fellow, turns out his kids go to the same elementary school our kids went to, so we had a nice natter about that – in fact, it was kind of a long natter. Then he got to work and fixed the machine and went cheerfully off with good wishes for the middle school years on both our parts (one of his daughters is the same age as Owen). Later, I went to the basement to get after some whites, and realized that the whole time he was down there, nattering with me and then fixing the machine, a bouquet of about 5 of my bras were hanging to dry on hangers, not 2 feet from his head – and I wear colorful, fun ones, too. I suppose washer/dryer repair people see all kinds of things, but I am embarrassed in retrospect, as it isn’t very decorous. And I don’t want him to have a visual if we run into each other at a school event!

In other news, we’re actually going on a date tonight. I’m about to go rest a little to prepare (I’ve had a cold). It’s a caberet from these folks

http://www.axe2ice.com/events.html

and has the theme of APOCALYPSE, which I hope isn’t too much for my staid Spouse, who hated “Children of Men” so much that she could hardly speak after we saw it. “Apocalypse”…cheery!  Just the thing to offset all this 350.org hullabaloo…And that does it for this very domestic post!

I’m going to go lie down now.

Published in: on October 10, 2010 at 7:22 AM  Leave a Comment  

Not Going to the Femme Show – Again!

This evening, the air is luscious, almost-fall, smooth as silk, just gorgeous. Earlier, my Hubby was sitting out on the deck with our dog on her lap, both of them with their snouts to the very slight, sensuous breeze.

We’ve been doing paperwork a lot today, figuring out things like life insurance, which I have to have for my parenting agreement with my boys’ other mom. The boys are at her house this weekend (“Happy White Domination Weekend!” a woman up at the dog park said to the gathered dog owners this morning, my Husband reports), so we are on our own. We have planned a date for a long time, a cabaret in Cambridge on Sunday. Then we found out the Femme Show is on for tonight, but we aren’t going. Even though we would like to, and friends of ours will probably be there, and even though we missed it last time, too.

But…I have a sore throat, probably on loan from Seth, who’s been reacting to the changes in weather with various cold symptoms. My Husband wants only to be out in the yard puttering, although it’s dark now. So we stayed home and I made soup and we split a dark beer and later we’re going to watch tv.

You might think that we are boring and old, but I was pretty much like this when I was young, too.

Here’s the soup I made – soup of the evening, beeeeyooootifuuuul soup! Maybe you’ll make it, too.

Autumnal Beet Soup

1 large onion, roughly chopped

4-5 small/medium beets, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped and salted

2 celery stalks, chopped

a good hunk of cabbage, chopped biggish

 

beef broth

 

bay leaf

pepper

dill

caraway seeds

paprika

soupcon of sage

even smaller soupcon of clove

Fry the onion in olive oil in soup pot until translucent, add everything but the cabbage, fry for a few minutes, add beef broth, cook until veggies are soft-ish, add cabbage, cook another 5-10 minutes.

Serve with squeezes of lemon, dollops of yogurt, bread and goat cheese.

 

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 10:49 AM  Leave a Comment  

Autumn Appetite

Long ago, when I lived in Japan, as summer faded away and the cooler weather started, people would remark to each other that they had shokuyoku no aki, or autumn appetite – like bears, I used to think, hungry to stock up on sustenance in order to hibernate.

Being the little academic brat that I was (both parents were university professors for over 50 years), my autumn appetite has always been more about the excitement of new projects beginning, new vistas opening, new pens and pencils and notebooks and opportunities as summer ended and the school year began.

This autumn, I am hungry for a little stability. A little plateau of cozy.  A time of settling.

3 years ago, I had major hip surgery. 2 years ago, my butch Beau moved here to live with me and the boys, after we’d sustained a long-distance relationship for more than 5 years. Last year, I slogged through the trenches getting a parenting agreement in place – lawyers and all – with my ex, the other mother of Seth and Owen. Somewhere in there, my mom had her own major hip surgery (and I flew across country to be with her), and, OH YEAH! This summer, my butch Beau became my butch Husband. That’s right, people, she and I are now legally wed, at least in a handful of states. It was a truly fun affair featuring ancient rites, heartfelt vows, merry klezmer music, local food and cake, touching toasts, loving friends and family, and Seth and Owen looking very fine in their ties and jackets. But boy, what a lot of work!

And now, with the changing season, my autumn appetite has kicked in big time. Instead of pushing aside a whole slew of things that I can’t pay attention to because, for example, I’m working overtime with my lawyer to find a way of presenting this parenting agreement to my ex so that she’ll actually agree to it, I’d like to seriously consider, say, joining the church choir. Giving a pilates class a good college try (hey! I have abs!). Having some kind of routine, for heaven’s sake, and maybe even a social life!! and not feel so much like I’m just hanging on by my fingernails and at the mercy of Some Big Thing, even when that Big Thing is as happy as our Wonderful Wedding.

It’s a very, very rainy day here, a day conducive of contemplation, tea, and procrastination. Of taking stock of a thing or two. And of getting used to the idea that, here in the burbs, a Femme Mom and Wife might look around at her life and feel a little less buffeted and a little more able to chart the course in a pleasing manner. What with our meat share, our local produce, and some pretty good neighborhood restaurants, the food is good and golly, the company is just scintillating (more on them in future blog entries), so bring it on, the shokuyoku no aki. I’m all over it.

Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment