So Glad You Have Mary

Coming out of my therapist’s office the other day, I bumped into a straight mom I know from cross country (Owen has been running Varsity since freshman year). This mom is also a therapist who works in the building. I was a little startled and shy to run into her, so, after saying hello, I blurted out, “I see Mary!” gesturing at my therapist’s office. The mom smiled her warm, therapist smile, and said in a warm, therapist voice, “I’m so glad you have Mary!”

 

Another time, I overheard the following conversation between two straight ladies at the UU church where I sing in the choir:

 

Rainbow Love #1:       My son is seeing someone!

Rainbow Love #2:       Oh, really? That’s great! How’s it going?

RL #1:                         Well, they’ve only been on a few dates, but he seems like a sweet man.

RL#2:                          Oh, I hope it works out for them!

RL#1:                          I know, I know. You just want them to be happy, you know?

RL#2:                          Yes, I know exactly what you mean!

 

There’s nothing like being reduced to the status of cute, fuzzy animal by this brand of

straight benevolence to kick a girl in the ass.

 

I think this is what wears us down and does us in. Here we are, queers in suburbia – most

of us being careful not to use that terminology, even – volunteering for the PTO, having

mostly straight friends, working hard for “welcoming” churches, on town committees,

carpooling, smiling and nodding as straight parents say things to us like, “I’m so glad my

kids have had the opportunity to get to know you and your family – now they’ll grow up

knowing that gay people are just like us!” We are supposed to be grateful that straight

people are “ok” with us, even though so often these same “ok” folks never offer to go to

Pride with us, obviously don’t have the imagination or time to spend a few minutes

thinking about the reality of our lives or do anything else that will truly support us, just

happily pat us on the head and give us a wink and a nod. You cute little lesbian, you!

 

I’m glad I have Mary, too, but not because anything about me is broken or less-than or

worthy of pity and condescension. Mary helps me remember all the many, many ways that

I am whole.

 

My husband and I went to a Pi(e) party in the distant land of Jamaica Plain on March 15,

far, far away from our suburban lair. There were queers of all sorts at this party, and I

conversed with five or six different femmes alone. It was a haul to drive over there, and

we really had to push ourselves to get out of the house, but my gracious was it worth it.

Seeing all those flavors of queers situated us again in our skins. Being surrounded by

our people reminded us that we are unique, capable adults who think deep thoughts, have

complex and nuanced personalities, grown-up sexualities and so much more.

 

Best of all, my offering had a little picture of John Waters on a stick stuck in it, with a

speech bubble that said, “Have some (apple) pie, butt plug!”*

 

 

 

*see the chapter about Blossom (my hero!) in Carsick, our Queer Book Group’s most

recent read

Published in: on March 24, 2015 at 4:37 PM  Comments (3)  
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Ubi caritas*

This morning, I missed singing the second “Ubi caritas” — we’re doing three versions in choir – and I missed singing the first one for similar domestic reasons: it just seems like the better choice to stay home with my family.

I’m back singing more seriously after a few years’ hiatus, and I joined this new choir simply and purely to sing, nothing more. The choir director is a dear singing friend from my old voice teacher’s studio, gay as the day, the church requires nothing of me, unlike my old UU liberal hell that just about did me in, and I have made it a priority to practice, get to Thursday night rehearsals, and be there on the Sundays we perform. Singing is one of the things in life that truly feeds my soul.

I’ve been sick for about a week with some vague headache-y, vertigo-y, sore neck-y complaint that got so bad at one point I wondered if you can have walking meningitis the way you can have walking pneumonia. “C1 and C2,” said my chiropractor when I could finally get there (oh yeah – we’ve had a lot of snow here) and she grabbed me and wrung from my neck the sound of a machine gun, or perhaps a chainsaw. Recovery has been slow, despite this cathartic adjustment, and I’ve been missing from the heart of the family in a way I know is disconcerting for everyone.

“I’m so glad you’re feeling better,” whispered my stalwart husband last night as she kissed me goodnight. “I was starting to worry.” She, who has danced attendance, missing work to drive me to acupuncture and chiropractic appointments, brought me meals and reassured me when I started to freak out. And I’ve had to ask Martha** to step in for things like going to an accepted students afternoon at a local university with Seth, when I so dearly would like to be with him as he continues to freak out in various teenage ways about this very adult decision he’ll have to make in the next few months.

I was finally well enough this morning to get up early, as I like to do, muddle through some sudoku, write a little, read, meditate. It was snowing again, but that’s not why I stayed home from choir. I just wanted to be here, cooking, doing chores with Tex – who’s also been yearning for an at-home day to just putter and read – inhabiting the house. Shoring up the home.

*where there is love

**my ex, they boys’ other mom, she of the ever changing pseudonym

P.S. Noble sentiments indeed, from someone who decided not to stop reading out loud to Tex the chapter “Bernice”, about the heroic, renegade librarian, from our Queer Book Group’s current selection, Carsick by John Waters. The chapter includes a great deal of raunch, for example, the (fictitious?) book title, Clitty Clitty Bang Bang, had me and Tex falling about laughing hysterically, and sent a recently awakened and deeply horrified Seth back upstairs to his room for another hour.

Published in: on February 8, 2015 at 4:20 PM  Leave a Comment  
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